If you’re here, you’re likely a blogger who is has developed some level of success or following, modest or otherwise, and now want to begin partnering with brands, tourism boards, and other companies with a blog rate card. Don’t have a rate card? This article will help you build an efficient, detailed, well-formatted, and unique one. And if you already have one you can spoof it up by cross-checking it against this article to be sure it’s optimized for success.
A well-made blog rate card is an important piece of successfully pitching brands and monetizing your blog, and I’m here to help you do it!
Do you need a rate card?
When you reach the point in your blogging journey where you’re ready to begin reaching out to brands—or if you’ve already begun being approached by brands—you absolutely, 100% need a blog rate card. Having a rate card doesn’t mean that you are limited to charging exactly what’s listed on your card. But, a rate card can show that you’ve put in forethought to you the worth of your blog, your audience, and most importantly, your time.A blog rate card shows confidence and professionalism. #blogging #ratecard Click To Tweet
A rate card is a sign of confidence and professionalism, that you aren’t just some beginner blogger who has no concept of partnering—it could be a defining factor in making brands more secure in their decision to work with you.
Some Rate Card Essentials:
An easy but potentially disastrous mistake would be to forget your blog or business’ name! Your blog/business’ name should be easily seen, bold, and easy to remember. Since your rate card will likely be sent in conjunction with your media kit you can be brief in the introduction text of your email pitch, as the nitty-gritty details of the services and “why”s they should work with you should be explained in your media kit.
If you are sending your blog’s rate card in an email pitch as I assume you are (if you aren’t…) you need to be very obvious in which attached PDF is. You could be potentially be sending out your media kit, rate card, contract, and other documents all at once.
Having “Blog Rate Card” clearly visible at the top of your document helps brands who may download all of these items at once to be able to click through them with ease. Also, be sure to include the document type in the file name as well.
My rate card is named Packs Light Blog Rate Card – 09262018.pdf
Note my blog’s name, the document type, and the day it was last updated: September 27, 2018.
If you’re pitching creatively you may end up sending someone your rate card via Facebook Messenger, Instagram DM, Twitter, etc. so contact information is essential! Include “obvious” contact information such as your email address, business phone number (I suggest a Google Number), or Whatsapp so they have the path of least resistance should they decide to accept your pitch.
Also, adding your social media handles as clickable links in the PDF version makes it that much easier for brands to view and interact with your accounts.
Blog Rates and Social Media Rates
Obviously, a key component of your blog rate cards are the actual rates. I found it easier to organize my rates into “Blog Rates” and “Social Media Rates”, as they are able to operate as separate entities for my blog.
In my blog rates, I include pricing for advertisements in my monthly newsletter, my blog content, my blog pages, and other things such as photography and videography services. In social media rates, I price out for minimum social media posts on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and YouTube.
As you’ll see in my rate card below I also compose “packages” where I compile standard services I may provide for a brand and encourage brands to purchase them for the best value for both them and I.
Some additional rate card tips:
1.) If you have a service that you price for on a case-by-case basis like photography sessions or videos, and don’t be afraid to put “TBD” on your rate sheet if your prices may vary per project.
2.) Packages help prospective partners decide if a partnership with you will be priced as “budget”, “moderate”, or “costly”. Again, be sure to charge true and don’t be embarrassed to be budget or afraid to be costly. Also, packages may help set your standard rates, but you can always adjust per the scope of each project.
3.) If you travel internationally or your business has international partners be sure to specify the currency in your rate sheets. You don’t want confusion between ¥ vs. $ to bite you in the butt later.
4.) Put lower reaching social media at a minimum of 2 or 3 posts. If you offer multiple tweets or posts with a small reach, it can add value better.
5.) It may be a no-brainer, but make sure that your name, website URL, email address, and business phone number are included in your rate card.Charge true—use this article to build your blog rate card and get paid what you're worth. #blogging Click To Tweet
How much should you charge?
The actual rates that each blogger should charge are, honestly, subjective at best.
One awesome tool is Social Bluebook, where you can get approximated rates to charge for your website and social media channels based on traffic, engagement, and following. To the right, you can see my Social Bluebook analysis and what sort of metrics it provides you.
People may tell you to charge X amount per X percent of followers, but honestly only you know your true value based on your engagement, quality of content, experience, and range of services. So, always be fair and only charge what you’re really worth.
But that includes not short selling yourself! The bane of any blogger’s existent are the bloggers who sell themselves extremely short or work for completely free and it lowers the expectation of pay for everyone else! I’ll only say this once: blogging is work. Don’t work for free. Period.
Pitching Properly: The Key to Success
After 3 years I still consider myself an amateur blogger, but I’ve had my fair share of successes and failures so I feel I can still provide some advice on this front:
Firstly, pitch within your means. I’m not saying you shouldn’t pitch for the stars because you absolutely should… once you have some experience.
Pitching willy-nilly to companies who don’t fit your niche or are completely under or over your level of experience does not serve you or the brand’s best interest. Over-pitching will put stress on you to over-promise and could affect your quality of work. And under-pitching means your time and effort is being taken away from a partnership that could be paying you fairly.
When starting out, you may not have the experience to feel out situations where you may need to charge more or less than your usual rate. You should aim for appropriate pay and experience at the beginning and then you can “get fancy” with negotiations later.
Also, lead with your strengths—if you have a super-specific niche and high engagement, play that up. If you have 10 years of experience writing, mention that. If you have a huge Facebook group of loyal followers, lead with them. PR staff and brands see multiple pitches every week, so it’s in your best interest to make your blog stand out in the most concise, honest, and impressive way you can.
*This post was last updated September 27, 2018.
Happy pitching, monetizing and of course, blogging! If this post provided value to you, get the FREE Downloadable of my own personal blog rate sheet template—subscribe below and have it sent instantly to your inbox.