Selling ads yourself: How to calculate the rate card?


Formerly CyclingTribe
Another discussion here has prompted me to give greater consideration to selling and hosting ads on my own server for my forums (as opposed to using Adsense, for example).

Technically this isn't a problem, however I have no real idea of how to calculate what to charge.

I appreciate there is no magic formula, but would it be reasonable to take the eCPM figure from Adsense and double it? Or are there some "industry standard rates" that I could refer to for developing my own rates? or do I need to band things by page views or unique visitors etc.?

I'd like to give this a go, but want to get a reasonable return without overcharging or pricing myself out of the market.

Any help or advice appreciated.

Shaun :D


Well-known member
I suppose there wouldn't be a magic formula as such... but it's all dependent on your traffic. A popular site can value their ads at a higher cost because of the amount of traffic it'll receive.

I guess you should just keep looking at your statistics, bounce rate, registration, referrals, traffic, etc. then decide whether to price yourself higher up or lower down, but even then you'd still need an actual rate.

Create your own formulas ;)


Formerly CyclingTribe
It's that starting point that's the important bit really. Without knowing what my competitors charge (they don't publish their rates) I'm at a bit of a loss to know where to start out.

Once I've got going I can alter pricing based on demand and availability - if they're queuing at the door I can charge a premium, but where to start? ... lol


Formerly CyclingTribe
Also, do most of you who are doing this charge by time period, impressions, or clicks?

Shaun :D

Brett Peters

Well-known member
Morals are trumped by common business practices such as this one
If it tests your morals that much then get a third party to legitimately enquire out of curiosity

Business Coach

Active member
hopefully there is no flex to your morals...but thats off topic

anyway here are some variables that are considered for advertising
Demographics - Frequency - Reach - Recognition - Exposure

1) target audience and their demographics
2) For internet ads monthly page views and monthly unique visitors (how many times will ad be seen and how many individuals will see it)
3) Age of site - established sites command more than new sites
4) Recognition and Exposure of site (how much YOU advertise the site makes a difference in the exposure and recognition and directly correlate to your ad pricing - ie PSP forum by SONY versus JoesTinyTownPSPtalk.)
5)Frequency of ad (is this a banner, in a monthly newsletter, etc)
6) spending patterns of your audience
7) repeat advertiser ratio