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How to set your sponsored content rates | The business of blogging

As a blogger, one of the hardest things to figure out is how much you should be charging for your content. Companies are often unwilling to pay bloggers unless they set their own rates, and in an industry that’s very closed-doors about how much everyone is charging, it can be difficult to figure out where your ballpark should even be (much less the exact figure that you want to aim for).

Earlier this year, I surveyed a number of fashion, beauty, and lifestyle bloggers to anonymously find out how much they were charging. Here are those results.

how much to charge for a sponsored post

Montly unique visits average beauty blog

Average monthly visitors for the blogs surveyed.

Background information

First off, if you missed the rest of my Business of Blogging series, you can view the first few posts here, or at the links below!

How to start a beauty blog (and what to expect once you do!)

How to monetize your blog, partner with brands, & more: The do’s and don’t of blogging

Additionally, I wanted to share a bit of information about the bloggers who took this survey before we begin. Most of the respondents were beauty bloggers (84%), and on average, they posted 2-3 times each week. 

The number of unique visits and page views that these blogs saw varied greatly, but they averaged 14 000 monthly unique visitors and 29 000 monthly page views. 63% of bloggers mostly waited to be approached by brands, and there was no significant difference noted in the rates secured by bloggers who took the initiative to approach brands.

making money blogging tips

Sponsored posts

For a single sponsored post, most bloggers are charging about $250. A further breakdown follows:

  • 100 000+ monthly visitors: $1200-$1800 per post. Average $1500.
  • 10 k to 90 k monthly visitors: $60-$500 per post. Average: $280.
    • Instagram: $15-200 per post. Average: $100.
  • 50 to 9000 monthly visitors: $10-400 per post. Average: $125.
    • Instagram: $24-$150 per post. Average: $45.

Within each of these tiers, much of the discrepancies can be explained by bloggers’ Instagram follower counts. With almost no exceptions, those with over 15k followers on Instagram were the ones commanding the upper range of each spectrum, and those with under 10k followers were charging the lower end of each.

Blog stats aside, here’s how everyone’s Instagram numbers broke down when examined on their own:

  • Under 3k followers: $15-$100 per post. Average $30.
  • 3k to 50k followers: $25-$400 per post. Average $125. *Note: this category’s data set was all over the place. Outliers aside, most bloggers in this category charge $100 per post. 

How to set a sponsored post rate instagram

Sponsored content rates vs monthly visitors

Sponsored post rates vs. unique monthly visits. Note: outliers were excluded from this scatter plot because frankly, the rest of the data looked like one big lump with them included. For the full range of the survey, please read the textual content of this post.

Blog sponsorships and banner ads

Far fewer bloggers offered blog sponsorships and banner ads than sponsored posts, but there were more than I had expected! 26% of bloggers offered sponsorships and 34% of bloggers offered banner ads, with sponsorship fees being consistently higher than banner ads.

  • Over 10 000 monthly visitors: Average sponsorships $300/month, ads $50/month.
  • Under 10 000 monthly visitors: Average sponsorships $100/month, ads $35/month.

Event coverage

For event coverage, most bloggers either charged nothing or charged around $200. 

Because only 20% of respondents included data for this section, I will not be drawing any additional conclusions.

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how to charge for event coverage blogging guide

Overall conclusions & tips for getting a better rate

I’m hoping that these averages will help provide you with a starting block for how much you can be charging if a brand requests specific content or coverage from you, but they’re not at all a definitive guide.

One of the things that I learned while going through these rates was that nowadays, sponsored content rates are no longer only set by page views. Social media is a key determining factors in rate-setting, and a while a difference of 10k page views has no impact on a blogger’s rate at all, a difference of 10k Instagram followers can change the rate that they command by hundreds of dollars.

Sponsored post rates beauty blog

Instagram stats had the most significant impact on how much bloggers were able to charge, and Bloglovin’ stats seemed to have no influence at all. However, there was one big predictor for who saw the most visitors and those who made the most cash: the top five bloggers surveyed all posted daily or multiple times a day.

In conclusion? If you’re looking to make blogging a living, focus on growing your social stats – primarily Instagram and YouTube; not so much Facebook or Twitter. From there, stay honest, and make sure to update your blog daily if possible!

What are your tips for rate-setting and sponsored content? Leave your do’s and don’ts in the comments below!

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  • lindalibraloca

    Good thing I don´t blog for a living, because my social media stats are very low. I just have no time to focus on them.
    My recent post Inspired by … Chanel Le Rouge Fall 2016

  • shireenplatt

    I have been waiting for this and yessss! I am charging a pretty good rate! Thank you so much for taking time to do this, I'm bookmarking!
    My recent post My Thoughts on Becca x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Collection Face Palette

  • Thank You so much for such an indepth and thorough blog post – I've bookmarked it for any future reference :)
    My recent post Come and celebrate THE TEN SPOT turning 10!!*

  • Jen

    This is so super helpful, Rae! Thanks so much for sharing!! *Off to grow my Instagram* :)
    My recent post #GetYourBoldOn with Make Up For Ever Artist Rouge Lipsticks

  • Lilly

    So I wonder how this differs for different niches. Like, for example, sexuality.

    Also: What do you mean by blog sponsorship vs banner ad?

    Also: I'm undercharging based on these numbers BUT I'm not convinced that the sex toy industry will pay such rates. Hrm.

    • Dude, I would loooove to be able to compare these figures with those of the sex industry!!

      The definition of a sponsorship depends on the agreement, but typically a sponsorship = an agreement for ongoing promotion on multiple platforms & over time. (Eg. a company that pays a blogger $x per month in exchange for 1 post, 2 instagram photos, and a monthly Twitter party). A sponsorship could entail a banner ad, but not vice-versa.

      If you ever find out, I'd be super curious to know if the sex toy industry would pay similar rates!

  • Cosmetics Aficionado

    This was SUPER helpful!

  • This is a great post. Thank you for the breakdown and insight!

  • it would be interesting to see the distribution of bloggers according to umv. wondering what the skew on the curve looks like. i feel like there would be a really thin tail on the right end and low leptokurtosis (concentration around the mean)

    the insight about instagram and social media is so key! but i have no idea how to beef my numbers up. well i do but i am also unwilling to spend my life and constantly thinking about how to be 'online'. its can be such a game and ..i just want to live my actual life. i guess thats why i'm not commanding the big bucks lol.

    this was an amazing report Rae!!!! thanks for polling the cbb :)
    My recent post A Reason to Try Sephora's Lip Products (ft. Sephora's Rouge Cream Lipsticks*)

    • Jenn, that is SUCH a good point. I'm going to add a couple distribution charts right now!

      I definitely agree with you on the social media thing. Yes, I recognize that it's super important for monetizing your blog, but at the same time… I don't want to give up the way that I'm currently living my life just for more $. It's an awesome plan for some people, but I'm not comfortable making that step, you know?

      But hey, maybe that'll change! Needs must and all.

  • May

    I was wondering something, do bloggers charge brands (or shopping websites) when they send them products to review or do they review the product(s) for free?

    • It depends on the blogger, but on the whole, no – unless there is a clear disclaimer, products that are reviewed by bloggers are done so for free. Any money that a blogger makes from a review is generated by site ads or affiliate links, which is why us bloggers really appreciate it when readers shop through our links! ;)

      (Caveat: "Insta-famous" or mega-popular bloggers are frequently paid for any product features or reviews, as are many YouTube stars. Basically, if the blogger has been in Vogue or talks about skinny teas a lot, they're probably getting paid for their review. Otherwise, nope!)

      • May

        Thank you for your answer Rae. I'm a little surprised they don't get paid for reviews; doesn't the brand/shop wins money on their back even though they use affiliate links? I assume they only get a little percentage of the price. Could you please explain me what is a sponsored post?

        • No problem, May! :)

          Yeah, brands really come out on top when it comes to the brand/blogger relationship. Most of us bloggers do it solely out of love, which can be tough if you work full time as well! (Affiliate links usually give the blogger only 2-10% of each sale.)

          A sponsored post is something that's arranged between the blogger and company that the blogger gets paid for. It's usually a little more "advertorial" than a regular review, but it can be anything – a lookbook, a product spread, or something review-style. The easiest way to see if something has been sponsored is to look at the top of the bottom of the post; it's highly encouraged (and, in the US, legally mandated) that bloggers issue a clear disclaimer if something has been sponsored.

          Hope that helps! If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask :)

          • May

            Thank you for your explanation Rae!

  • A Slice of Kate

    This is super interesting and a really great breakdown!
    Thanks!
    -Kate