Media kits for beginner bloggers
Bloggers want their blogs to be profitable, but they have to speak the language of the companies who want to work with you.
A media kit is like your bloggy resume. It is a summation of who you are as a blogger, what your blogger is about and some key facts and statistics to help companies, other bloggers and brands have an idea of what you are and who you are about and most of all, whether or not they want to work with you.
A media kit must be honest, you cannot fudge your numbers or lie about your experience to make you sound more appealing.
In your media kit, you would give a brief yet eye catching biography of who you are and what your blog is about. You may include education, writing credentials and previous writing experiences.
You have to include your unique readership per month. If you have a blog that is local, be sure to say the percentage of readers who are in the area. You can get this information from many sources, but most companies prefer Google.
Your media kit should include all of the social media outlets you have and how many followers you have on each. Again, do not lie about your numbers as companies have professionals or third parties who investigate for them. Something as simple as a blog post for a free product could be investigated. It may sound extreme, but companies want to make sure that their product or service receives the attention that it is paying for.
List the different types of ways a company can interact with you. Will you write advertorials, host twitter chats? Charge for endorsed tweets? Will you agree to banners on your webpage and for what price?
Prices should be listed in plain sight. If you are open to suggestions and different ways to work with a company, state that. Companies sometimes have unique business partnerships that may work best for you. You may also include unique business partnerships if you have some great ideas. Do include them with reasonable prices. Remember, if you are a new blogger with a hundred or so monthly followers, you cannot charge a lot of money for product reviews or advertorials. You are not reaching the masses yet! Price accordingly and know that you are in a building stage. You can adjust your prices at any time!
Your media kit could be anywhere between one to ten pages, depending on what you can offer. Feel free to include pictures, logos and names and logos of the brands and magazines you have also worked for.
Don’t worry if you do not have design skills, there are many templates that are available online. Some of the best people to work with have plain media kits. A simple PDF is fine.
If you have a creative side, then show off your creativity! Eye catching media kits can make a company stop and focus on the points that matter.
You may leave links of previous campaigns you have run for other companies to show off some of your work. Make sure it is only your best!
Whether you are starting out or you are a more established blogger, having a media kit is a must. You will be asked for it and if you have not yet, it is not ‘if’ but ‘when.’
Media Kits are perfect for introducing yourself to businesses and brands when you can’t meet companies face to face. It shows that you are professional, committed and worthy to invest time and money in.
Your Media Kit should could look something like this:
Your blog logo
Your contact information (email, phone number)
A picture of yourself (if you like, this is not mandatory)
About Your Blog: A quick synopsis of who you are and what your blog is about.
Your Unique Visitors per Month- These statistics are from Google Analytics. The potential sponsor would want to know how many individuals visit your site.
Percentage of readers in region- If you are a local blog, include the percentage of your readership who reside in a particular area. That way, your sponsor can judge if their product will reach your masses correctly.
Statistics: Where are people residing who read your blog? What percentage is male/female, what are the average ages? You can get this from Facebook.
Bounce Rate: This is optional- how many people stay on your blog to read more than one post?
Average time on site: If this is over 45 seconds, this is worth mentioning
Pricing: What is your price breakdown for advertorials, sharing a coupon or post on social media, twitter chat hosting, etc. Outline the prices and a brief synopsis of what you can provide.
ADVERTORIALS- the price of the advertorial, approximately how many words can you write, what kind of advertorials (see Advertorial section)
Twitter Chats- When during the week you would host (Monday night) what time zone you are in, how long the Twitter chat would be and how you structure it. If you are open to suggestions, say so.
Affiliate Marketing- If you are interested in this field, state the minimum percentage of each sale you would take.
Social Media Blasts- how many times would you share the product blast on each social media outlet. You don’t want to share too much and lose your readership integrity but you want to get the message across to your readers.
It is okay for your media kit to be a few pages long. Expect it to be at least two pages, even for a new blogger!
The most important information is your unique viewers and putting yourself into your media kit! Use your words and be authentic and fun.
Feel free to use pictures, but remember, it does not have to be ‘pretty’. A PR company or a brand wants the information more than the fluff.
Once a sponsor agrees to render some of your services, a few new bloggers make the mistakes of trying to negotiate for a higher price. Do not do this! If you walked into a grocery store and bought a can of soup for two dollars and when you arrived at the cashier the price changed to five dollars, I am certain you would never do business in that grocery store again! That being said, stick to your agreed terms and outline your conditions clearly.
Sponsors, especially PR companies have multiple clients and they may use you to represent many brands so keeping a good business acumen is integral.
A media kit is like your calling card to PR companies and brands. It is the introduction that you need to meet new brands, products and services you believe in. It can start a great business relationship and will require updating every few months as your blog grows and your prices change.
What Is An Advertorial?
When a company offers for you to write a paid advertorial, there is so much to consider in usually a very short time frame. Companies who expect advertorials usually expect them quickly. They want the article on your website and shared throughout your social media channels. However, there are many things to consider before writing an advertorial and there are many expectations of a company that may not be laid out to you initially.
When propositioned to write an advertorial, you must decide if this is a product or service that you can stand behind. If you believe in this product or service then you must be sure it would be a great fit for your readership. A blog about pregnancy and newborns may not want a ‘What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas’ article. Keeping the trust in your readership is paramount at all times, even if the money is very good.
Once you have decided that you can stand behind the company writing the advertorial, you must figure out a scenario that your reader could use this company, product or service and illustrate that. A company or a PR firm will make requests. The usually supply you with hi resolution photos. If not, they may want you to photograph yourself or your children interacting with the product or service. Sometimes, they allow you to use a stock photo or they request you use their logo.
You must provide links to the company. These must be do follow links, or links that go through right to the company’s website. Like a blogger who is reaching out to a magazine or a bigger blog to get healthy back links, companies want links from you and they want to connect with your reader. You may be asked to give anywhere from one to five back links and the company may ask you to link other companies so that the reader gets advice from them and other sources.
An advertorial price range is based on a few factors, mainly how many unique readers you get a month. If your blog is regional, this may matter less if you can prove that you readership is centralized to the desired area. The company must take into account how long they want the article to be. A 2000 word article would obviously cost a lot more than a 350 word shout out article. Depending on your unique views and your reach on social media, you and the company would determine a price. If you have a low readership, do not expect hundreds of dollars, even if your readership is centralized.
Companies like advertorials for a few reasons. An advertorial lives on the internet and is much cost effective than running an ad in a newspaper or having a television commercial made. It lives forever online. Secondly, it can be that personalized recommendation that so many people base their sales on. Lastly, an advertorial can help sell products fast, providing a link to the purchase. A consumer does not have to leave their house to purchase these products or services!
An Advertorial is exactly what it sounds like, an ad within an editorial. Some bloggers may feel it is not authentic to write an advertorial in a blog and it has even been described as the death of journalism.
In retrospect, if this is a company you can stand behind and something you would share with your readers anyway, it is a good situation all around.
Ads are seen in many perspectives. It is no coincidence that a blockbuster movies characters are only drinking one beverage or that you ‘happen’ to see the actors only eating at a certain restaurant. It is product placement, which helps pay for the movie. You still get the enjoyment and message from the movie and only a handful of times in the past, has a movie ‘overdone it’ with product placement. Those movies do not make sequels!
Events and workshops and networking nights have sponsors which, in exchange for payment, pay for a hefty time to speak about their product or service, even if it has little to nothing to do with the event. They get banners, inserts in ‘swag bags’ and more! The events still go on and people still get the message from the event. Poorly balanced events that hinge too much on their sponsor and less about the topic are usually unsuccessful.
This is to say the same about your advertorial. Make your advertorial successful by achieving balance. Give your reader a proper message and highlight your ad, make it subtle and find that balance in making your company happy and making sure your readers get great content. Most of all, make sure you stand by the product, authenticity is key for your blog to continue its success.