Top Blogs and Their CPM Advertising Rates

What makes the cost of advertising on one blog $500 when another blog will charge you $5,000 for the same amount of traffic? Of course the blogs we are hypothetically talking about are going to be in the same niche, and most likely have some of the same people visiting both sites. The difference between the site that is selling their traffic for $500 (or $.50 cpm) is that they have little to no branding, while the site that can charge $5,000 (or $50/cpm) is very well branded and high a very loyal and respectable following of readers on their site.

A good example of this would be TechCrunch and Mashable. Both of these sites cover the same stories that are published on thousands of other sites, but they have the branding and name recognition to allow them to charge 10x, 50x… even 100x time more than other web sites.

I thought it would be a fun and interesting case study to see how much top blogs in the internet marketing, tech and blogging niche are able to charge in comparison to each other. To make the study easy to follow and understand, we will only be looking at sites that are currently using to sell their inventory and on a CPM basis only. I will also try and make sure all of the ad placements are in the same size and location on the sites.

What is CPM advertising? For anyone that might be new to advertising or forgot what CPM advertising, it’s the method of buying advertising on a “per view” basis. “CPM” is the cost per 1,000 views, as in visitors to a web site and 1 impression equals 1 view.

On to the advertising!

Search Engine Journal

SEJ is one of the largest blogs on the internet when it comes to online marketing and search related news. Not only are they ones of the largest sites, but they also have a well respected name and known by many in the industry. Advertising on their site in the top right corner with a 300×250 ad will cost a heft $16 CPM!

Search Engine Journal Ad Rates


WebDesignTuts+ is another extremely well known and successful blog which is mostly known in the blogging and design market. The site currently has over 600,000 impressions per month and depending on what ad location you would like to buy, prices will vary. In comparison to SEJ and for the same location with a 300×250 ad size, you would be looking at a $12 CPM. When advertising on the site with the same banner size but at the end of their posts, the rate is only $1.50 CPM. This gives you an idea how important it is to place your advertising at the top of a site versus the bottom.

WebDesignTuts Ad Rates


While LifeHack really isn’t a tech or marketing web site, they are extremely well known and have massive traffic flowing through the site. Their site focuses on life tips and improving productivity. Fortunately they also have a 300×250 banner location on their site in the top right corner, which makes them another great addition for this case study. With over 12 million monthly visitors, you can buy a ton of traffic through their site in a prominent location at $4 CPM.

LifeHack Ad Rates

The Next Web

When it comes to internet marketing and technology news, The Next Web is one of the hottest sites on the internet. There over 6 million monthly impressions served through the site and they also have a nice 300×250 banner ad location on the top right side of all their pages. The cost to advertise in this location is $5 CPM.

The Next Web Ad Rates

Awesome Blogs Selling Out All Locations!

One thing you will notice about the blogs listed above is that they all have open inventory on their CPM advertising. While you might be surprised with how much some of these sites are charging (earning) for their advertising space, what’s even more amazing is to see blogs that are actually selling out on their CPM ad space. We’ve listed two of them for you below.

Killer Startups

Killer Startups used to be a blog that focused on new web sites and startups and anyone could be profiled on their site for a placement fee. Around a year ago the site went through a complete redesign is more blog/news focused now. KillerStartups only has one banner location on their site for sale, which is a 300×250 banner in the bottom right side area… but it’s important to note that they have over 520,000 impressions served monthly and are 100% selling out this location at $3 CPM.

KillerStartups Ad Rates

Personal Branding Blog

Just like the name of the blog says, Personal Branding Blog is all about blogging and is the product of well known marketer and speaker Dan Schawbel. Of all the sites we featured, PBB has the least amount of traffic, at 60,000 impressions per month, but the blog also is completely sold out in two of their CPM categories… one of which being the 300×250 banner location in the middle right side location of the site, at a cost of $7 CPM.

Personal Branding Blog Ad Rates

What Type of Advertising is Right for You?

The question here is two fold… if you are an advertiser you should be looking at your options when it comes to advertising on different sites. The good news is that if you are advertising through BuySellAds, this is an easy place for you to start split testing conversions and click through rates.

On the flip side, if you are a blog owner with a lot of traffic and have a well trusted and followed brand, should you be selling your ad space on a CPM or flat rate basis? You might be surprised at how much money you might be leaving on the table with either option. The best way to find out is for you to sell your traffic through both methods and see which earns you the most money, while also bringing the best results for your advertisers as well.

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  1. Thanks for the breakdown Zac – have you used any of these yourself? Will be good to know if you had good results from any of these sites. Might try a few in the new year myself. Will come back to this. Thanks for putting this up here, appreciated.
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  2. These are some incredible sites and the ads sell really well. Even though the rates are higher, but they are worth it as they drive in highly targeted traffic.
    My recent post My Top Tier Business Review – What is it All About?

  3. I think I need to gain more traffic before trying CPM ads. RIght now I'm just using CPC ads.

    Ah, I'm so jealous with those blogs!
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  4. Impressive. The success comes from the efforts the publishers at the sites have invested. These stats make any blogger work hard. From an advertisers point of view, these slots are expensive and advertisers should get their best creatives at such targeted slots. The benefit of advertising is that these blogs are highly geared towards particular audience which makes sense to expect a high ROI if the creatives are good enough to attract potential customers.
    My recent post Top 5 Free Blogging Platforms To Speak Out

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