A lot of newer beauty bloggers ask me the same question: how do I earn money from my blog? Can I/ should I even earn money from my blog? How much do you earn, at Projectvanity.com?
This used to be a touchy subject back when blogging was the sole realm of glorified journal writers - when business-minded bloggers didn't yet exist. I look back on that time with a sense of nostalgia, but I am also aware of the hard facts today. Bloggers are extremely influential in their respective niches and can drive up sales if a brand approaches them the right way. At least, that's how it is for small-medium businesses. Very few bloggers in the Philippines have the kind of following that can put a big brand front and center of its target market.
And that is why some bloggers charge for services now. Not because they're greedy little pieces of junk, but because they are influential or at least give a brand some much-needed, quality exposure online. I keep saying this - it's not a small feat to run a good, updated blog. It takes money, time, expertise, and passion (or at least a certain hard-nosed gumption) to create a website that's worth reading and coming back to.
Model: Alexis Urbiztondo | Makeup: Theresa Carbonel | Photographer: Karen Sarte
I think it's not fair for a brand to take advantage of that and give absolutely nothing valuable in return. Likewise, it's unfair for a blogger to demand free things and cash from brands if he/she doesn't have high traffic, quality content, and influence to offer in the first place. It's a straightforward transaction. Don't get your panties in a bunch.
What about the readers? Do they have a say in all this?
I think readers should understand where the bloggers who do sponsored posts are coming from. It's free to read a blog - maybe you'd hop on and spend 15-20 minutes reading a new post during break, but that's about all the investment you'd spend on one blog post. The beauty blogger (let's just say) would have spent maybe five hours acquiring information and/or attending the event, photographing the product, writing the post, and then promoting it on her social media networks. That doesn't include the days or weeks she would have spent using the product and recording her impressions about it.
All that, to bring you information you'd consume in 15 minutes, for free. Surely you wouldn't mind seeing ads and a sponsored post every once in a while? A blogger needs to at least get rewarded for all that effort. If she's not a celebrity blogger, she probably only gets sponsored once in a blue moon. I for instance don't earn a pile of money from this blog. Well, it's a tidy sum when I get tapped for a campaign or become a brand ambassador, but blogging is not a business nor a living for me.
I do it mostly out of love. As do most bloggers. But that doesn't mean that we don't know what our efforts are worth.
I believe that there's a way for bloggers to do sponsored posts without turning their readers off. It's hard to do, which is why not many bloggers do it, but it can be done. Just make sure the terms are clear before you agree to get paid; can you be honest? What is the directive from the brand - does this compete with what your blog stands for? These are things you need to figure out for yourself. You need to know where you're willing to draw the line to get what you want. Then, don't cross it.
And so we come to the really important bit: how much should bloggers charge an advertiser? There aren't strict standard rates, because celebrity bloggers can really raise their fees simply because they have a huge following and advertisers need the exposure. Non-celeb bloggers may also have a different perception of how much they should be paid - like, do they come out with high-quality content? Are they influential in their niche? These factors can raise their fees. It also depends on the brand wanting to work with the blogger, and for how long.
But let me just put this out for the sake of having a rate everyone can compute, and adjust as they see fit. Get your monthly page views, divide it by 1,000, then multiply it by P50, which is the average cost per mille (or thousand views, or CPM) in the Philippines for a 300x250 ad. So that's:
(number of page views / 1,000) x P50 = your sponsored post or ad rate
Example, if you have 50,000 page views every month, divide that by 1,000. You'll get 50, which you will then multiply with 50. You can charge P2,500 for a sponsored post or an ad on your blog. This can be adjusted according to the type of campaign, advertiser, and length of the contract.
The P50 per thousand views is on the low end though. I charge P75 per thousand views because I can guarantee quality content and a niche audience that respects the opinions of this blog. I do often lower my usual rate for start-up brands or brands I like, especially if the exposure they require isn't that time-consuming. I charge the full rate for big brands with numerous requirements - even a bit more if they require a lock-out of competing brands.
Now you must be thinking, wow, Liz is probably sleeping in bags of money! Haha. I'm not. The last sponsored post I did was two months ago if I remember rightly. Ads come and go, but my biggest advertiser is of course, SMART, since I am one of their Digital Brand Ambassadors. :) Otherwise, I believe only 2 in 100 posts are sponsored or paid for here. It could be more but I choose only brands that fit the profile of Project Vanity readers.
I just remembered that I need to write about how you can go about working with advertisers. That's another story entirely, but I think my When can a blogger ask for sponsorship? post covers the basics pretty well. :)
Hope this helps!