As more and more of us are turning to blogging or influencing as a means of paying the bills, we find ourselves wondering what the going rate is for various products and services. One such question that I see many bloggers as is ‘how much should I charge for a ‘do-follow’ link?
For those of you who know me, you will know that I regularly undertake academic research as part of my role as a University Lecturer. I also enjoy writing my blog. Bridging the two together, I recently undertook a project to investigate travel influencers, see- ‘The Travel Influencer: The First Research of Its Kind’. Within this project I look at income from influencing which is the topic that I will focus on in today’s post ‘how much can I charge for a ‘do-follow’ link?
How can I make money from a ‘do-follow’ link?
A ‘do-follow’ link is link that search engines crawl and count as votes of quality (according to an article by Raven Tools). Authors of websites like ‘do-follow’ links because it helps to increase their domain authority, in turn ranking them higher in search engine results.
Whilst search engines, Google in particular, try to keep an open playing field for Internet content, allowing the best websites to work their way to the top and the worst to fall towards the bottom, many companies try to play the system. They play the system by paying to have their links added to various websites, often in return for money.
Whether or not you should place links on your site for a fee is a heavily contested topic. There are claims that bloggers and website owners have been penalised by Google as a result of hosting such links. In effect, Google has lowered their page rankings and subsequently decreased their online presence. Other bloggers live off the money that they make from hosting ‘do-follow’ links on their sites.
How does this relate to DA score?
According to Moz, domain authority (DA) is a search engine ranking score which predicts how well a website will rank on search engine result pages. Domain Authority scores range from one to 100, with higher scores corresponding to a greater ability to rank. The more ‘do-follow’ links that there are to your website, the higher your DA score.
When placing a ‘do-follow’ link onto a website, the DA score of the host website will determine how much influence the new ‘do-follow’ link will have on the website which is being linked to. In other words, the higher the DA score, the more improvement it will have on the DA score of the website being linked to.
Given this fact, it seems pretty obvious that websites with higher DA scores are more valuable to those wanting to sell links than those with low DA scores.
How much should I charge for a ‘do-follow’ link?
In my research, I found that almost half of all travel influencers charge for ‘do-follow’ links. The fee charged ranged from £15-£750, with the average being £190.
My data demonstrated that there was a clear correlation between the fee charged for a ‘do-follow’ link and a blogger’s DA score: As the DA score increased, the fee increased.
Now there is no hard and fast rule for how much you should charge for a ‘do-follow’ link on your website, if indeed you decide to charge at all. But I appreciate that it is important to have some guidance to work from. So I put together this fee sheet, demonstrating the average ‘do-follow’ link fees charged by influencers according to their DA score.
As you can see, those who are just starting out or who have a small blog with a low DA score, do not generally charge a very high fee for a ‘do-follow’ link. The amount charged does increase quickly though! It seems that the sky is no limit when it comes to fees for ‘do-follow’ links, with the highest charge being £750 by a blogger with a DA score in the high 40s.
In my experience, companies will try to entice influencers to include ‘do-follow’ links for free or for very little compensation. Given that the impact could be a decrease in your own online presence, I would personally recommend that you don’t sell yourself short and that you charge a reasonable amount or turn the business away. It also benefits the whole influencer community by not driving down fees.
For more data on fees charge, average DA scores, social media following and more, you can download a full copy of the research data here.