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Online advertising – the big CPM earners

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Tuesday December 29, 2009 )

If you’re only getting a few bucks per thousand impressions for advertising on your site, these figures will certainly make you drool – or if you’re an advertiser, make you cringe.

While the economic crisis put the brakes on CPM rates for many publishers, some sites can still command quite mind boggling figures.

AdAge has a slideshow of the CPM power players which includes:

Yahoo : $600,000 a day for the major home page slot
Hulu : $35+ CPM
Wall Street Journal video – $75 – $100 CPM
Web MD: $40 – $60 CPM
National Journal Energy Blog – $364 CPM

$364 CPM for a blog? I’d like a piece of that action!

It’s not so unusual says AdAge – niche blog and e-mails that reach decision makers in the energy and health sectors can attract rates of over $1,000 on a CPM basis.

By decision-makers, they don’t mean whoever holds the checkbook in a household, more the executives of multi-nationals and legislators :).

Unfortunately for site owners and advertisers alike, some small-time publishers see these big figures and think that even $20 CPM for a banner ad is therefore a fair price to ask when they get around to developing an ad rate card.

Unless you’re a specialty site with some solid stats to back up ad performance, you simply won’t get it; or if you get it once, you’re unlikely get it again from that advertiser. Advertisers are particularly dubious about CPM arrangements as there is no guarantee of success as with a CPA (Cost Per Action) or CPC (Cost Per Click) campaign – to a certain degree.

I think for many smaller content sites, contextual advertising via an ad network such as Google AdSense is a better way to go. There’s less headaches involved and while paid on a per click basis, the CPMs can be very good. The time saved in trying to woo advertisers and general administration can be better spent on creating content to attract visitors to view the ads.

Affiliate programs can also be an excellent earner as you get to choose the products best suited to your site’s audience and promote them in a way you choose – within reason.


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