If you are looking to take your blog from a hobby to something more professional, enduring and profitable, then you need sponsors. But, to hook sponsors, you’ll need a media kit that tells your blog’s story. Creating a media kit is a proactive way to reach out to sponsors instead of waiting for sponsors to find you. This blog post is going to cover the media kit basics: what a media kit is, why a media kit is important for growing your blog’s brand and what you need to get your media kit started.
What is a media kit?
A media kit is a digital public relations tool that gives basic information about your blog, as well as a little information about yourself to establish your brand. Your media kit should tell sponsors—here I am and here’s what I can do for you!
Traditionally, media kits contained print materials that businesses sent to the press or other businesses to promote a new business or product launch, and to bring exposure to their brand. In this way, businesses are able to control their brand’s public image. Similar to a resume or portfolio, a media kit is something that you can publish on your blog, or that you can send to advertisers and sponsors to establish your blog’s presence—and advantage—over the millions of other blogs out there.
[Photo courtesy of The Blog Maven]
What should my media kit include?
These days, most media kits are published digitally. Creating a media kit will require some research on your part, but it doesn’t have to be a giant to-do. A media kit can be created in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint or Photoshop (or you can pay a designer to create one for you).
If your blog’s theme is simple, keep your media kit simple too. In its most basic form, your media kit should include your picture, your blog’s theme and focus and analytics. These elements are important to advertisers and sponsors for a few different reasons, so lets break down these three basic components.
For many of us, our blogs are an extension of ourselves and it is important to show sponsors who you are and why they should be interested in you and your blog. If you are an eclectic and funky baker who blogs about creating punk rock pastries, you’re going to want to emphasize that in your picture, so leave the power suit in the closet and instead opt for a picture with your trusty apron and handy rolling pin.
On the flip side, if you’re a mom with toddler-aged twins who blogs about working full-time outside of the home, you’re going to want that to come through in your image as well, so dust off your Wonder Woman cape and mask. It’s important to be true with yourself, your audience and your sponsors, but most importantly, have fun!
Your Blog’s Theme and Focus
Your blog’s theme and focus are important to sponsors because they are essentially looking for brand ambassadors. Brands want to partner with bloggers whose readership is in line with their buyer personas. If your blog is about baking, the look of your media kit should convey this without the sponsor having to go to your blog to find this out.
Sponsors Require Analytics
If you don’t have some kind of analytics tool installed on your blog, drop what you’re doing and find an analytics tool! Not surprisingly, Google Analytics is by far the most widely used analytics tool and there’s a wealth of information out there to help you learn how to use it. If you prefer a less wonky approach to analytics, then check out Kissmetrics.com, which is more conversational and an easier approach to analytics tools.
Analytics are important because they show your blog’s reach. Don’t fret if your blog doesn’t have 1,000 subscribers, because what is important is who you are reaching, not just how many you are reaching. What your analytics show sponsors is your potential to convert readers into consumers through ads, sponsored blog posts and product giveaways. If you blog has only 50 followers, but they are all very engaged with your blog, then that is more valuable than a blog with 500 followers who rarely engage with your blog. Important analytics to include are page views, unique visitors and followers across all your social media platforms.
Blogs attract “target audiences,” which are very specific niche audiences that brands otherwise have a hard time reaching when competing for traditional ad space, such as in newspapers, magazines, television and radio. Blogs minimize the time that sponsors and advertisers spend in tracking down these target audiences because blogs attract like-minded members.
Tip: Get creative with displaying your analytics! Instead of just listing statistics, show these numbers in a way that is in keeping with your blog’s theme. For example, if your blog is about baking, show your analytics in the form of measuring cups or a tiered cake. Or, if your blog is about gardening, then show your analytics in the form of sprouting flowers. Creativity will help your media kit stand out from the rest.
[Photo courtesy of Zannaland]
Do I include my rates?
Including your rates on your media kit is optional. You can request that sponsors inquire privately about the rates you charge, or you can list them on your media kit page. The prices you charge are entirely up to you, but you should expect some negotiation. Pricing is usually a formula that combines the number of your daily visitors by the monthly price of your ad.
All of these elements should flow together seamlessly in your media kit: a picture of yourself that represents you and your blog, a theme that resonates with the sponsors you seek to attract and analytics creatively displayed in a way that is in keeping with your blog’s theme.
Now that we’ve covered what a media kit is, let’s go over why it’s important for a blogger who is looking to increase their sponsors and make their blog profitable.
Internet advertising is a hot market right now. According to a report by the Internet Advertising Bureau in conjunction with PricewaterhouseCoopers, in just the first quarter of 2014, Internet advertising revenues saw a 19% year-over-year increase. As advertisers increasingly turn to digital to market their products and services, you can use this to your blog’s advantage.
And that’s where your media kit comes in. It tells the world that you and your blog are open for business. It also can help you create mutually beneficial and lasting relationships with sponsors—good sponsors bring legitimacy to your brand. Likewise, your brand can bring major sponsors down to a more personal level for your readers.
The outcome is that you can receive revenue from sponsors and advertisers, and in exchange, advertisers are able to further extend their reach to their consumer base.
First, you’re going to need to do a little blog house cleaning and then you’ll want to gather some research. Google and Pinterest are great resources for finding examples of blogger media kits. Katy Widrick’s blog has a lot of great examples of a basic media kit that you can easily create using Word, PowerPoint or Photoshop. Start small and create a media kit in its most basic form, and as your subscribers and sponsors grow, you can add more elements to your media kit.
Go through your blog and edit your content for typos and grammar errors. Make sure there are no broken links or images. You’ll also want to ensure your comments section isn’t full of spam or offensive comments. Advertisers don’t want to see a messy blog.
Here are some numbers you’ll need to get started:
Advertisers Look for Relevancy and Cost
Advertisers are most interested in two things: relevant content and cost. Pampers isn’t going to choose to advertise their diapers on a blog about hot rods and sports cars, they want to advertise on blogs that moms (and dads) of diaper-wearing babies frequent. For some insight into what sponsors and advertisers expect from bloggers, read this interview from dailyblogtips.com.
Before you create your media kit, ask yourself “What do I have to offer sponsors?” If your blog is about homeschooling techniques or life with triplets, you’re going to want to reach out to companies whose brands are in line with your blog’s themes, otherwise you’ll be wasting your time. Got a cooking blog? Reach out to Food Network or Cook’s Country. Obsessed with blogging about your garden? Ace Hardware is banking that your readers and social media followers are obsessed too.
Remember, working with sponsors is a two-way street: you have the audience, which sponsors need to be successful, and they have the revenue-generating ads and product giveaways, which your blog needs to be profitable.
Got a media kit you’d like to share with the group? Paste the link in the comments section below!