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Getting Advertisers for a niche blog- What to Charge? Part 1- Gathering Data

So, it’s official, my workload is not much but I continue to pursue this little passion of playgrounds, and I’m hoping to make it a wonderful site and resource for NJ parents. At the same time, I do want to make it profitable to cover my costs of traveling, visiting and hosting.

Anyone want to share their information? I’m baring it all, my numbers for April 2009- August 2009. I don’t think generic ads work for a site like this, as a friend mentioned to me right when I began my website. So I’m going to start having to hit the pavement so to speak and ask NJ businesses to see if they would want to advertise on my site. My dilemma is on what to charge.

CPM (cost per mille)

If you are asking the same question I am, one really great article I’ve read is from Pro-blogger, “How much should I charge for my Advertising Space?” Long story short $1.50 cpm, or $1.50 per 1000 impression seems to be the number for a 125 x 125 top sidebar position.  Please read the article if you want to get into the details, it is a very rough approximation, and the market is all over the place on this one.  But for my purposes I’ll take this ballpark.   Shall we take a look at some data for NJ?

So, Park Lady, what you got? Ahhhh, well I’ll start with my own data….here are my unique visit data extracted from google analytics, play along if you’d like…  Playgrounds are seasonal, but I’m hoping to attract more viewers with featuring indoor museums/malls/play spaces as well, so I’m hoping that my traffic will not be as low as April’s numbers, especially since I started using twitter/facebook, I’m hoping to engage my audience more, and get out there.  Using the data below, I average out April-August and get an avg page impressions/month (8601+10496+17791+36168+39651)/5)= 22,541 page impressions/month;  so if I use the 1.5 cpm as suggested, I would be charging, 33.75/month.

**Update: Interesting sidenote:  Using the site statistics from my hosting company, dreamhost (for njplaygrounds.com), my page impressions are way higher than in google analytics.  If I were to use those numbers April-August would be  (14,608+21,793+73,386+167,618+225,766)/5=100,634 page impressions/month.  Looks alot better, but I’ve been told to trust google analytics more than the hosting stats.  Also dreamhost is looking at njplaygrounds.com and not njplaygrounds.com/blog-n-photos.  Not sure if that is a big difference since all my viewable content is on the blog-n-photos folder.  So lesson for businesses is that there are big differences between hosting stats and google analytics, make sure you know which one you are getting, when someone is selling you advertising space. 

njplayground-advertising-data

Ok, so let’s check out comparisons from other sites.  For example NJ Shore Guide, has their advertising rates publicly shown. They even show their July statistics in pdf format.  And really, kudos to them, because they give you all their data, including the bots/spiders they see.

I inserted their data in my format and got this:

njshoreguide

I’m interested in a header banner, and the 118×118 left side ads in my sidebar.  They charge$1200 annually, or  $100/month according to their list of advertising page for a 118×118 ad on the left column .

Using the pageviews they get, and using the same data range April-August, (not a very accurate CPM, you may want to recalculate for the year)

0.73= CPM= (100/136.153)

So using their 0.73 CPM, I would charge about $16/month.

For a 118×118 ad on a single page the charge is $300 annually, or $25/month. To calculate the CPM for that, you’d have to dig into the detail of how often that particular page impression comes up in a month.

For comparison, let’s pick some other ones:

I really like the “pick-your-own fruit” NJ website.  Well “pick-your-own” a national site, has a cool advertising page.  A lot more cheaper, but it doesn’t share what the traffic is:

They charge $75/yr for a banner on a page, To have your own dedicated webpage it is $125/yr.  Since we dont’ know their traffic can’t calculate CPM.

Ok let’s take a look at Go Kids NJ-  they are getting about 150,000 to 350,000 visits a month

Wow, they get tons of traffic it looks like, And here’s what they charge

For $250/month you can get a banner on every page.  a pretty big one too, and with that traffic it seems like a good deal.

Since they don’t give what their page impressions are, I cannot calculate their CPM.  If I take the visit to = one page impression, the CPM would be, $1.25, but most likely it is lower since a visit would = multiple page impressions usually.

Although Go Kids NJ has alot of traffic, I think they have so many links that you don’t get the highlighted attention you’d get if you were in a site with less advertisers.

Crunching the numbers I have about 17% of the traffic Shore Guide gets, and maybe a single % of Go Kids NJ, kinda.  I think I’m leaning toward the $16/month number for now, especially since I don’t have a good history with fall weather, since my blog is a bit new, and seasonal.

Stay tuned for what I finally decide and what my advertising page/pricing will look like.  Also, if you have any great guidelines, or companies that you’d like to share, feel free!

I’ll also be looking at some other texts including  “Be The Media” by David Mathison, and see if I can get some advice from his recent book.  I met David at a recent tweetup and am excited of getting my site to the next level.

2 comments to Getting Advertisers for a niche blog- What to Charge? Part 1- Gathering Data

  • Wow! I can’t believe all the research you did! Bravo! Thank you for being so open about your numbers, too.
    This is so interesting. I think you can charge $25/month. Especially, since advertisers will have more visibility than those on the other sites.
    I’ve come up with my own protocol where I approach someone for advertising AFTER I’ve reviewed them. I still want the integrity of my reviews to hold up and not be influenced by advertising. I’m also thinking of doing just one advertiser per category so that they have a little more exposure and I can reason for charging more.
    Thanks again for sharing such awesome info 🙂 Can’t wait to see your advertising page.
    p.s. I subscribed to your posts in RSS so I don’t miss them anymore!

  • admin

    thanks Mira for adding this piece of the puzzle. I think that is very valuable to do one advertiser/category and review them first before approaching for advertising. Really smart! I’m thinking that’s a good idea too, with the pricing.

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