Building Your Blog Media Kit
Last Thursday evening, PHLBloggers had an event called Creating a Flipping Awesome Media Kit. (I named it myself.) Mens' Style Pro, Sabir Peele, came out to teach us about what a media kit is, what should be in it, and when to send it out. I first heard Sabir speak at a Philly Tech Week event about blogging. At one point he said, "if you want help creating a media kit, let me know" - and my first thought was, hm, I know about 15 people who would like help creating a media kit.
So I emailed Sabir and he made it happen for us, which was awesome. He was super easy to talk to, a great presenter, and had a lot of information for us to ask question about. So, lets' start at the beginning of what we learned.
So you're a blogger who wants to work with brands, but you don't know where to start. Create a media kit. That's where you start. A media kit is a resume for your blog. It talks about why you're awesome and why other people should want to work with you. So lets' begin.
What to include in your media kit:
- Who you are
Include your name, your blog, and a little bit about yourself. Stay 1000 feet high. (Unfortunately,) Nobody cares about the details.
- Your analytics
Media kits are all about the stats. Get on Google Analytics and find some key stats like page views, unique visitors, location, demographics, and anything else that might be important to a brand working with you.
- Your brand
Speaking of brands, make sure you include enough information about your mission and online-personality to make your brand clear. You've worked hard to build a brand that's all about you and presented it exactly how you want on your blog. This might be a good place to show off some of your best posts, weekly features, or a list of brands you've worked with in the past and features you've created for them.
- Your services & rates
Your media kit is a place to include services you offer and the rates those services cost. This is a great starting point for negotiating rates when working with brands, an sure-fire way to help you stick to your guns, and an easy way to show you're legit.
What to remember when you’re building your media kit:
- It’s a business document
This document is your blog's resume - and the best resumes have incredibly clean formats. Sabir's media kit is made in Microsoft Word, and you know what - it said everything that it needed to say. Why are you stressing out about Photoshop and Infographics if you're not a designer? Just do it. This was actually the biggest turning point for me. I honestly can't wait to go back and create a very simple and elegant media kit in Microsoft Word - no frills. That's how we do things around here. (If you are a designer, do your stuff girl. Or boy. Incredible props to you.)
- Put dates on your analytics
When you include your analytics, choose a four- or six-month timeframe to include statistics from. Include the dates you've selected on the media kit as well so the brand can see they've got the most up-to-date information. You also don't want to average all your stats because in the beginning you probably weren't getting as much traffic. The current numbers are the only ones that will matter to the brands right now anyway. Make sure to be honest though, don't only include a small date range with a huge spike in it, otherwise a brand is going to constantly expect that type of engagement from your site. Instead, include that as a highlight of big things that have happned to your brand recently. ("Recently featured on...")
- Don’t forget to update your information
Blog stats change every week, usually for the better, so don't forget to update the numbers as you see increases. It'll show that you're on top of your game and feature your highest numbers.
- Check for dead or broken links
Don't forget to go back through links you've included in your media kit to make sure that they're all still active. Blogs are constantly changing - and sometimes we don't realize a small change we make can have a large impact.
What to do when you send out your media kit:
- Write a proposal
Write a proposal to the company you want to work with that promotes an idea you have for an awesome collaboration. Make sure to explain why this idea will benefit that specific company. Do a little research on the company and industry beforehand to see if they have recently started any initiatives that you can piggyback off of. Or maybe a bunch of other companies in the industry are participating a specific initiative, but the one you want to work with hasn't done it yet - that could be your opportunity to help put them on the map.
- Find the PR Person
Try to find the internal PR person at the company you want to work with. Some companies even have social media managers that specifically deal with social outreach. If you can't find the internal PR person online, maybe they have an external PR company they are working with. And if neither of those things work, you're just going to have to get creative.
- Attach your media kit
Attach your media kit to the email that you send. It will add legitimacy and a starting point for price negotiation. (Stick to your guns as much as possible though unless it is a great opportunity or a brand you really believe in.)
How to get some bonus points:
- Add a mini media kit on site's about page
Sure, you don't want to give your media kit out to just anybody, especially because your rates are included (which might change based on timeframe or the company you're working with); however, all of the social statistics are already available for the world to see, so why not include a mini media kit on your site with some stats to start getting brands interested?
- Ask to be promoted on their media channels as well
If you're already working with a brand, ask if you can be promoted on their social media channels as well to expand your social reach. No harm in asking, right?
- Give them your phone number
So much communication happens electronically today, don't be afraid to include your phone number. It's a more direct line to you and feels more like a business deal, which is exactly what working with a brand is.
Now you might find yourself thinking, great, Chrystina, but what do I do if my numbers aren't high enough to make a media kit?
If you're starting at the beginning:
- Remember that any viewership at all is worth something. Maybe you're introducing an audience who has never heard of a certain brand to that brand. Even 50 followers would be 50 new followers for that brand. Or maybe you only have 50 readers a day, but your entire audience is located in the same city, which happens to be the same city as the brand you want to work with. Make sure you promote that fact when you promote your idea.
- If you've done reviews of brands and products before, even if you haven't worked with them directly, include those as samples of content you can produce. This will give the companies a great idea of what you can produce. And don't forget that in the end it all comes down to content, so if you can prove that you are creating great content there might be a brand who wants to start working with you on the ground floor before you make it big. They may even be more inspired to work with you because they know it will cost less than working with some of the major bloggers.
Oh, and in terms of what to charge. We had a discussion revolving around the fact that for every 10,000 unique monthly visitors on site you get you can charge $100-$400 per edtiorial you write for a brand. The numbers kind of blew my mind a little bit, but dream big, and you never know what's going to happen until you ask.
My personal next step? Figure out what brands I would be interested in working with. When I was purely blogging about greeting cards and party hosting it was a little bit more clear what types of brands I would want to work with, but now that Chrystina Noel is more of a personal blog that means I can work with anybody - which officially means I have no idea where to start. So my question to you is, if you've worked with brands before, how did you decide which brands you wanted to work with?
Happy media kitting!