A question that pops up frequently in blogging groups I’m a part of is “what is a blog media kit?” followed immediately by “why do I need one?” and “how can I make one?” My goal here is to try and answer all three of those questions in one deft swoop and then show you how to make one in a few easy steps. If you’re only trying to get an answer to one of those questions right now… trust me, the others will come. (If you’ve come here looking for author or freelance media kit instructions, you’ll have to wait. Media Kit 101 starts with bloggers. Don’t worry, though! Those posts will be coming, soon.)
First things first: What is a media kit?
Think of a blog media kit as an eye-catching resume for your blog. It serves the purpose of highlighting your strengths as a blogger and helps you to make an amazing first impression when you contact brands about potential partnership ideas, sponsored posts, or when you pitch an idea to an online magazine or other outlet. Essentially, if you need your blog to open any doors for you, the media kit is a beautiful, stylized, crowbar that will help you to prove that you mean business!
Why do I need a media kit?
Some bloggers may balk at the thought of having a media kit. They assume that people who want to know more about them, their blog, and what they have to offer will check their website. They believe that “the proof is in the pudding” so to speak, and don’t see why they have to put extra effort into creating this weird little document in order to gain clients or obtain sponsorship.
The fact is, most brands and PR agencies work with a large number of bloggers, websites, and other entities to promote their products, services, and their own clients. Your blog media kit is not only your resume, but it’s a cheat sheet on why they should pick you over your competition. Sure, they could visit your website, but its stats, growth rates, etc. – we’ll get into this later) rather than to try to hunt down the information they need from various corners of the web.
The easier you make it for a company/brand to work with you, the more successful you’ll be.
How can I make a media kit?
I’m thrilled that you’ve decided to come to the dark side. Please take your “I realize I want a media kit” cookie and proceed to the next section of this article. The bad news is that there are more questions to answer and you’ll have to do a little digging for information, but the good news is that it’ll be worth it!
Step One: Decide What To Include
It’s essential that you figure out what you need to put on your media kit. This is your chance to make your blog shine! The important thing to do is to figure out where your strengths are and play off them. However, there are a few things which should always go on a media kit.
The Necessary Evils
- Your Logo or a Professional Looking Photo of You – This may be the first time that the person you are contacting comes in contact with your business. BEST. FOOT. FORWARD.
- About – Just like with your website, your media kit should include some “about me” or “about the website” information. This doesn’t necessarily have to be long, just a paragraph or two that you can share about your site or yourself that will be broadly applicable. Remember, you’ll be sending this to everyone you’d like to work with and possibly posting it on your site, so this won’t be changed. Leave the heavy tweaking for specific things (product reviews, endorsements, sponsored posts, etc.) for your cover letter. Remember to include reasons why you’re great and how the organization will benefit from working with you in particular. This is a sales document more than anything else, so don’t think of it as bragging about your accomplishments or what you bring to the table.
- Contact Information – You’ll want to include your website address, of course, but you’ll also want to include your email address and any other ways potential partners can contact you. You do not want to litter your media kit with a barrage of social media links, so this should be limited to things like email, Skype username (if you have one for the business/blogging exclusively. Professionalism is a goal, here), or phone number if you give that out to potential brand partners.
- Services Offered – This really speaks for itself. If you are a blogger, content creator, social media consultant, Photoshop specialist, sponsored post writer, freelance writer, freelance editor, product reviewer etc. etc. etc. you’ll want to put those details on the contact sheet. You may be contacting a brand because you’d like to review one of their products. If they don’t have any openings for reviews, but are seeking someone to manage their social media accounts or write a sponsored post for them aside from a review – they may offer you an alternate opportunity. Beyond that, if they are happy with your work after they hire you (because let’s face it; you’re great and they’ll want to hire you), they may keep you in mind for future opportunities for other things!
Once you have these details down, you need to select a few of these things based on your blog’s strengths to ensure that you are thoroughly representing yourself, and are doing it well!
These are Technically Optional, but You’ll Definitely Need a Few
- Social Media Followers OR Social Media Stats
Most media kit articles say that you should always include your follower count when pitching ideas to companies. I don’t agree with this practice. I’m a relatively new blogger (I started in January of 2015), so my social media stats aren’t remarkable. For bloggers who have just branched out into a new social media area it may be very underwhelming to put “300 Twitter Followers” and “25 Facebook Likes” on paper. While you should never by any means fail to provide follower count when it is requested or if it is listed as part of the requirements for a position, you also shouldn’t go out of your way to make yourself look bad when applying for a job. (Because let’s be honest; that is what this is.) If you’ve just launched a blog and you’re getting started on social networking it’s okay not to let on like you think 50 Twitter followers is something to brag about. In fact, it’s better if you don’t. (It makes you look more knowledgeable and credible.)
Networks to Include: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Google Plus, Youtube, Periscope, Vine. (Twitter, Facebook, & Instagram are the big 3)
Possible Stats to Look At: Growth (% or real number), Impressions, Reach, Engagement are all good
ones. I don’t have links for ways to track all social media stats, but here are a few quick links to help you
- Average Page Views OR Page View Growth
With any luck, once you’ve made it to the point where you are considering a media kit you will have implemented Google Analytics. If not, your host may have some basic analytic resources that you can take a look at. (My host: A Small Orange has pretty fancy graphs, but I still prefer Google Analytics. [Note about a Small Orange in Case You’re Looking for Hosting, Use my Aff link & the code
‘FriendMe’ to sign up you’ll get 15% off ANY package you select.]) The page view growth can be a comparison across time.
Example: ‘Pageviews have consistently doubled each month.’ is much more flattering than ‘Pageviews went from 1,000 to 2,000 in January, and from 2,000 to 4,000 from January to February’. It says the same thing, but the spin you put on it reflects how the information will be seen.
- Your Target Market OR Detailed Types of Topics You Cover Often
This area is important because it helps organizations determine if you and your blog are a good fit for them. Try to be detailed.
Example Topic: “Fashion” is okay, but “Fashion Trends, Fashion Dos & Don’ts, OOTD, How to Wear It, Who Wore It Better, Discovering Dupes, Fashion on a Budget” are all better.
Example Audience/Market: “Women” is okay but “Female Millennials, Stay at Home Moms, and/or Expectant Mothers” are better.
BAD Example Topic: “10 Things to Bring on a Road Trip” is too specific, but I like where your head’s at. This can go in a ‘Most Popular Posts’ section if this is one of the posts you’re most proud of.
BAD Example Audience/Market: “35 Year Old Women Who Like Dressing Their Chihuahuas in Tiny Clothes” is way too specific, but tweaking this into “Pet Owners” and “Dog Clothes Enthusiasts” works.
- Popular Posts OR Posts You Like Best/Think Reflect Well Of You
Okay, so you might not be at the point where people are rioting at the gates to get you to produce more content like something you just posted. That’s totally okay! Instead try and think about the posts people have shared the most, which posts have the most comments, or which ones reflect your talents as a blogger best. This is essentially the “greatest hits” album of your blog, so make the most of it. It’ll be the first example of your work that potential clients/partners see; make it count! You can include images here if they are high quality, but again the goal is to let them see the best of your work.
- Email Subscribers
This is one I tend to almost forget about because typically social media will give a great picture of how much “reach” your blog has. However, if you have far more subscribers on your mailing list thanks to the clever use of “optin” forms or other tools, don’t neglect to let your potential brand partner know!
Now that you have the basics of what needs to go into a media kit you can dedicate some time to deciding what you think represents your best side as a blogger. Just digging up analytics and statistics can take some time, so if this is all you can squeeze today that’s fine! Next we’ll focus on how to put that media kit together using best practices which will make your media kit look professional and stand out, as well as and include a free downloadable media kit template for Microsoft Word AND a bonus template for Microsoft Powerpoint. (They are also compatible with Google Docs & Open Office, for your convenience.) The templates will be great to use right out of the gate as soon as you add your own information, but you’re also welcome to play with the template version to see what you like until you feel confident to try designing your own.
**This post was originally made earlier in 2015, but died when the site was lost. This is a re-post. Additional posts in this series will be shared next week!