Monetization Native Advertising

The keys to setting the price of a sponsored article (and responding to brand needs)

, 1 March 2019

Sponsored articles are often a quick way to monetize your blog. Now widespread, this communication method nevertheless requires a certain command of the subject. In this post, we’ll guide you in defining the price of a sponsored article and mastering all its nuances.

The basic criteria to evaluate before launching

Many statistics exist regarding sponsored articles. Their data is often compared to the results of advertising inserts. For example, sponsored articles have a click rate of 0.2% while for advertising inserts it’s 0.05% (Source: E-Marketing – in French).

It’s important to understand what a sponsored article is. By definition, it’s a blog article referring to a brand, an event or a product in return for remuneration for the publisher / author of the publication.

Having defined that, it’s time to check out the criteria to be respected for pricing a sponsored article. Here are some (the most important) to consider:

  • Your blog’s notoriety,
  • Your site’s influence,
  • How long it takes to create,
  • You activity’s legal status.

Other criteria must also be taken into account before proposing a rate for a sponsored article. The site Relevance has in fact drawn up a list of these:

  • The number of words,
  • The targeted audience,
  • Promotion on social networks,
  • The visibility time of the article,
  • Email promotion,
  • Pay-per-click.

Assess your site’s reputation and audience

Although perhaps obvious at first glance, this measure is nevertheless essential for setting the price of a sponsored article. Why? Because it’s imperative to be fully aware of your site’s results, from its notoriety to its audience. Here are some keys to finding these valuable numbers to have better visibility.

 – How old is the domain name?

A domain name corresponds, according to Marketing Definitions (French site), to an address entered by a user in a browser’s address bar to connect to the home page of a site or most often directly entered in the search bar.

To find out the age of a domain name, you just need to know the creation date. There’s nothing simpler (at least on paper) since you just have to do a Whois query. The older a domain name is (the more it was created a long time ago), the more value it will have.

And for good reason, Google assumes that if a domain name has existed longer than another, it has more legitimacy compared to new entrants. The site with the older domain name will be referenced more quickly than the others.

– What are its measurements?

A lot of data (or metrics) must be taken into account when analysing and evaluating the reputation of a site.

The Citation Flow and Trust Flow indices: the former calculates the popularity of the pages thanks to the quantity of your backlinks. The latter represents the trust index of your URLs and will calculate their quality.

The Domain Authority is a search engine ranking score. There is no good or bad “DA” for a site. The main objective is to have a higher DA than your competitors. To view it, simply download Mozbar, an extension available on Google Chrome. Other tools are also available to evaluate the Domain Authority of a site, including Link Explorer, a backlink analysis tool.

Backlinks: mentioned above, backlinks correspond to the links that redirect to a specific site. The purpose of the presence and the number of these backlinks is to optimize the visibility of the pages on search engines. Several strategies exist to manage these links, in particular that of Netlinking for which many methods and combinations are possible.

Where do the links come from? This is a crucial piece of information to analyse a site’s reputation and audience. For this, Google Analytics stands out as a quality tool.

Alex Rank: This is a complete and reputable tool in the performance analysis of a site. With an easy to use interface (including simply entering the web address), you can access the keywords of your competitors’ sites and find out the audience of a particular site.

Real Time: Statistics like unique visitors, page visualization, time spent on site and bounce rate generated by web analytics tools are important for discovering obstacles, identifying winning strategies, understanding visitors to a site and the conversion behaviour. Many tools such as Google Analytics and Clicky can be used to easily obtain these data.

– Does the site contribute to your page rank

To find out if the site improves your site’s reputation, in other words if it redirects to your pages, we usually talk about PageRank. As discussed in a previous article, it is actually an indicator that assigns each site a score of 0 to 10. This score ultimately assesses the popularity of a website. Google uses PageRank in it’s search engine’s ranking algorithm. Check out here the method to find out your PageRank and its alternatives.

– What is the traffic?

It’s essential to know your site’s traffic in order to set up your digital strategy. Among the many methods to analyse a site’s traffic, Google Analytics certainly appears as the most complete since it allows you to know the sources of a site’s traffic, the behaviour and the characteristics of its visitors, the user journey that leads to conversions, conversion rates…

Google Analytics is a premium web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic, currently as a platform inside the Google Marketing Platform brand (Source : Wikipedia)

– Have you ever made links to sites with “special” themes?

Knowing the deep reaches of a site will help you better understand it. If a site has already made links to specific topics (especially on poker, money, mediums or casinos), it is essential to be aware of that.

If a site’s theme is established overall by Google, the search engine also considers the different pages of a site. That’s why keeping the same theme on the different pages of a site is essential and corresponds to an essential criterion of netlinking.

Setting the price of your sponsored article

Setting the price of a sponsored article depends on a lot of criteria. It can be calculated according to the time taken to write the article, if it’s sent directly and ready to be published, etc. Several techniques are nevertheless possible to price a sponsored article, a real source of regular income for blogs.

No formula

Defining the price of a sponsored article can be done without following a specific formula. As seen above, setting the price of a sponsored article depends on the criteria taken into account. In particular, you need to base yourself on the qualification of your blog, its authority, the relevance of the topic of the sponsored article compared to that of your site. The calculation is then made according to these different criteria (your expectations and the specificities of your project).

It’s also possible to calculate the price of a sponsored article according to the actions that will be implemented. For example, if posts on social networks are requested or a prominent banner.

In general, for the “average” publisher, the price is usually €20 ($23) for 500 words. Add to that notoriety and influence and you have an overall idea of ​​the price.

Using a formula to calculate the price of a sponsored article

The calculation of the price of a sponsored article with a formula generally follows the same criteria as for the one without formula: the time of writing, the thematic… Nevertheless, it is essential to agree on some basics in order to propose a coherent price for a sponsored article. Here are some things to do to make things easier:

  • Calculate your hourly rate (sum collected for an hour of work after deduction of expenses) + Measure your writing time (it will depend in particular on the request made, the research necessary but also the length of the requested post.

With this first calculation, you will get the “base price”, “the cost of writing” of your sponsored articles.

  • Other more complete and complex formulas have been put in place by American bloggers. Here is an example:

(Time spent x hourly rate) + [(average number of pages viewed per post / 1000) x advertising rate].

Respect your readers

Don’t change your editorial line with every tempting offer

The secret of a site that works, generates traffic, which has good measures and results and manages to keep a more or less stable community of readers? Regularity in your editorial line. Established from the outset, this line is, in other words, your Ariadne’s thread in the production of content in the short, medium and long term.

Stick to a rate of sponsored publications

This may seem obvious at first, but many blogs have too many sponsored publications.

If the editorial line of a blog is certainly the first thing to define, it is also necessary to respect the readers by not proposing only sponsored publications.

Everything is and therefore becomes a question of balance so as not to lose readers and offer them content that’s as qualitative as possible. It would be a pity if you wanted to offer too many sponsored posts and lose your community, wouldn’t it? Establishing, from the start, a rate of sponsored posts for a site is certainly THE keystone of your performance.

Publish articles without a drop in quality

Who says publishing a sponsored article on their blog necessarily means lower quality content for your readers.

In the same way as the editorial line which must, as much as possible, keep a certain fluidity in the long run, sponsored articles must respect your basic established writing conditions.

Whether it’s the tone, the formatting of sponsored articles or the presence or absence of media, your post should not be differentiated by its quality.

Posting a sponsored article on your blog is not synonymous with declining quality. To keep your readers and keep a constant in your statistics, fluidity is required. (Image credit: Pexels)

Respect the law

Declare your income according to your status

When you are asked to create content, write a sponsored article or test a product, the remuneration calls for billing. Declaring your income is done differently depending on your status

For example in France, bloggers are often under the “Auto-Entrepreneur “status. Such mini companies only pay charges when revenue is generated. After registration, (on the official website) and obtaining the company number, you must declare your income or risk paying a heavy fine if you’re caught, a risk better to avoid.


Comply with Google’s rules for SEO

If you have to respect your readers and stay legit by declaring your income, it is essential to follow some Google rules for SEO.

In several previously published posts, we introduced the SEO rules to please Google or the tips to make a qualitative leap thanks your content.

As you can see, defining the price of a sponsored article depends on several criteria previously defined by each person. Before even embarking on this new communication method, it is essential to know the data, the reputation and the audience of your website. Once these statistics are known, it is imperative to respect the readers, the law and Google’s rules for SEO.

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