My blog has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 6 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.

My name's Joel Kelly and I live in Halifax, NS.

I'm a 20something guy doing digital and social media strategy for a Halifax-based marketing agency.

I'm a vegan nerd and marketing asshole.

You should follow me on Twitter.

Contact me about whatever (like, say, your marketing questions) at

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

How much should you charge to advertise on your site?

If you're trying to figure out how much you should charge to advertise on your site, it's actually pretty simple:

First, take the going rate of meat. Multiply that by the cost of fuel, and then, finally, divide by the number of people.

Easy, right?

Maybe not!

Wow, that was a lot of sarcasm, even for me... I apologize... That may or may not have been more sarcasm. It's hard for even me to tell sometimes.

So, as you may have suspected (or, entirely possibly, you may not have) I've been asked recently, several times, how much a site should charge for its advertising space. I've heard this question posed (well, it was related to me by a colleague) by someone who works at a radio station trying to get their site to start, you know, not losing them money anymore, and by a friend who had to do a business plan for school.

In both cases, the question, essentially, was,

"How much should we charge?"

That's, first of all, the wrong question you should be asking yourself, and advertisers. The first question you should ask yourself is, "How much would somebody actually pay for this?" Which, of course, leads you to start thinking about value, the value of the space and the value of the audience who will see it.

Like meat, fuel, and other incredibly general terms that describe so much and nothing, advertisements are not created equal, and do not have equal value. A big box on one sports website and a big box on another sports website absolutely do not necessarily command the same price.

So what's the difference?

Are we talking bacon, or prime rib steak?* There is no "market value" for meat. There's no market value for ads. Each is assessed on an individual basis depending on quality and demand. A terrible ad space on a website with an incredibly important and high-spending audience demands a higher price than great space on a website no one goes to, obviously.

You may have noticed something.

I've written a lot of words without telling you how much to charge for your ad space.

You're right. Give me more information about your site and then we'll talk.

For now, you've asked me how much food costs, and I've said, "Money."

*Wow, for a vegan I'm strangely drawn to analogies about dead animals.


Chris Van Patten said...

"Wow, for a vegan I'm strangely drawn to analogies about dead animals."

Yeah, I was going to say, for a vegan, the meat analogies are odd... :P Nice post. Information is always nice, haha.

Joel Kelly said...

Yeah... I'm a little weirded out by it. But it's just the first thing that comes to mind.


Todd Lapinski said...

This is a really useless post. Why choose the subject if you are not going to provide any information?

Joel Kelly said...

Thanks for your input, Todd.

Here's your answer: $20. I assume that's what you were hoping to find here?

Checked out your blog. An interesting counterpoint might be, "Why make a blog if you're not going to write any posts?"

Truly, life is full of mysteries.

Thanks for stopping by!

Todd Lapinski said...

Better nothing than brainless dribble.

PSEP said...

If you were to set the price range of the banner ad in this site, how much do you think is it worth?

Joel Kelly said...

My site? Almost nothing. Ad Sense would be the only real option, which would be on a PPC system of pennies per click.

Definitely not enough readership to make banner ads helpful here.

Anonymous said...

I have 10000 unique visitors per months on my site, how much should I charge for banners, skyscrapers, and other ads? Is there some sort of formula?