Monetizing Your Blog: 5 Things You MUST Include In Your Media Kit

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So you've thought long and hard about it, and you've decided to start selling banner ads. But how do you both show brands what you're selling, and “make the case” for them choosing to spend their advertising dollars on your blog? As you've probably guessed, you use a media kit!

A media kit can sound kind of intimidating (I know it seemed wayyy over my head when I first started blogging), but it's really just a compact way of presenting advertising information on your blog in a quickly scannable, easily readable format. A media kit doesn't have to be a super complicated document; it can be as simple as a word doc you've converted to pdf. Nor does a media kit have to be incredibly long and detailed; a few pages long is usually just fine. What a media does have to do, however, is show all the relevant and necessary advertising information on your blog so a brand can make an informed decision. Also, having a media kit on hand makes you look more professional and put together as a fashion blogger, and when it comes to where a brand chooses to spend its money, those kinds of first impressions matter. A lot.

While there are an infinite number of ways to put together your media, it absolutely must include certain information. So when writing out a media kit, remember to make room for these 5 things:

Statistics.

Your statistics includes items like visitors, page views, and demographics (where your blog's readers live, their gender, age, etc.). It's important to use a reliable and trusted stat tracking platform like Google Analytics for this data. And, of course, it goes without saying that you should be always be honest with your numbers. Don't lie. Don't fudge. Don't round up. If anything, I'd suggest rounding down, especially if your traffic tends to be inconsistent. Many brands will ask for a screenshot of your Google Analytics to verify that your stats are what you say they are; you may just want to include a screenshot of that information as a standard part of your media kit.

Advertising Opportunities.

So you sell banner ads, but that's not enough information. What size are your ads? Where are they located? Do you rotate the ad spaces with other brands? Can brands pay by the week or do you only sell by the month? What about special rates for long-term contracts or discounts for small or indie brands? Are some of your advertising opportunities limited (for example, do you only offer one giveaway per month or have a maximum 12 sidebar banner spaces on your blog)? Are certain opportunities only available around the holidays? Be as detailed as possible about what brands can expect from the ad space they're paying for. This definitely isn't the time to hold back information.

Advertising Policies.

While some people think your stats or your advertising opportunities are the most important part of a media kit, I think the most important section is your advertising policies. Taking the time to put things down in writing now – even if you've never had an issue with a single advertiser – can save you a lot of trouble later on. Put yourself in the brand's shoes; what kinds of questions and concerns might they have? And though it's never pleasant, think through the worst case scenarios. What will you do if a brand demands a refund at the end of their ad period because they're not satisfied with how much traffic you sent over? What is your policy if a brand's ad payment is overdue? How will you accept payments?  Spending the time thinking through all these things now can only help your blog in the long term.

SEO and Keyword Information.

Is your blog receiving traffic for the search terms a brand wants to be associated with? Put another way, are people from your advertiser's target market actually visiting your blog? If a brand is selling budget fashion, and your top five referring keywords are some variant of luxury, high-end, or expensive fashion, that's good to know. Similarly, if a brand specializes in retro or pinup fashion and your blog visitors are looking for futuristic or postmodern fashion, that's relevant information. Get familiar with your Google Analytics, and dig into which keywords are sending the most traffic to your site.

Social Proof.

Finally, brag a little bit about yourself. You've shared a lot of quantitative data; now it's time to tell a brand what other people are saying about you. Include some words from readers in your media kit about why they read your blog or the difference it's made in their life. Ask previous or current advertisers to give you a testimonial explaining how advertising with your blog affected their business. Show off your social media following, and don't forget to include links to other major media outlets your blog has been mentioned on. We make a lot of decisions based on what we see others doing; use the power of social proof to your benefit.

What kind of information do you like to include in your media kit? Has putting together a media kit been helpful for you when talking with brands? Let's share some advertising stories in the comments!

 

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19 Responses

  1. Oh K

    Honestly, I was a bit lost on what a media kit was. I think that in a month or two, I’ll get to the point of posting one. But you’ve inspired me to start collecting information for it!

    I think the last tip is really helpful. It personifies the media kit, kind of like book reviews.

    doitfortheirony.blogspot.com

    Reply
  2. Barbara

    I extensively researched what a Media Kit is sometime last year and created one for my site but I have not updated it (shame on me).
    However, I included just the basic stats without details such as advertising opportunities like you outlined above.
    I have not had any interactions with brands wanting to place ads, but since I look forward to being a top professional blogger in my niche, I am putting in place everything that can stand me out.
    Thank you for this article Cora, I will definitely be incorporating some of them when updating my media kit.

    Barbara
    http://www.barbara1923.com
    Lagos, Nigeria

    Reply
  3. Rebecca {at} Preppy Panache

    Thanks for posting about this. Some day I might even do it 🙂

    Reply
  4. Sanne

    I think this article is very useful and it definitely made me think about starting to collect information to create my own media kit. I am starting right now! 😀

    Reply
  5. Maggie A

    This is super helpful. I definitely have considered the idea since a lot of brands (surprisingly) approach my about reviewing their products and advertising on my blog. I never actually took anyone up on the offer because I never thought it was legitimate. Always thought it was just an email blast to all bloggers lol.

    xo
    Maggie
    Love Mavin

    Reply
  6. Vanessa Balli

    Thank you for this post! I recently posted my media kit at http://www.vanessaballi.com

    It has details regarding retailers I work with, as well as my stats, and information regarding banners. However, I did not include the price on the media kit. I asked them to email me. I think that looks more professional, no?

    Thanks!
    Vanessa

    Reply
  7. Helen Hird

    I really want to start advertising, as i’ve had my blog for over a year now… but I don’t even know to to use basic banner ads (terrible i know!) and i’m a bit scared to try incase I mess it up. If anyone could give me any words of advice or send me a message i;d really appreciate it! x

    Reply
  8. Sagar Nandwani

    I have a blog right now that I have NOT monetized (yet) called Shoestring101. In it I share tips on how to start and market small businesses… you guessed it… on a Shoestring.

    But I have another blog that I DID monetize, and I have to tell you that I knew the timing was right because my readers TOLD me it was.

    It was 2002 and I was posting, posting, posting about a low-risk strategy I discovered for trading the stock market. I had developed the strategy on my own by REVERSING everything I did wrong to lose a huge stack in 1999. Anyway, at a certain point some folks began asking if I had written a book.

    I’m not looking to promote that book here, BTW… that’s 1)not appropriate and 2) this audience is probably not about playing the stock and options markets. What I AM saying is this:

    At a certain point, when trust and authority is built up between you and the reader… and ya KEEP ON SHARING useful and actionable, AWESOME content… your readers will actually demand more.

    In my case it was a book that I wrote and self-published. For others, they may do well with affiliate marketing or other venues. I think that as long as we keep the READER’s best interests at heart, and speak to and serve their needs without asking for anything in return… eventually you will know when it makes sense to monetize.

    Because people that have been helped by you will respond in kind.

    ANYhoo, my $.02.

    Keep Stepping!

    Reply
  9. Aurea Regina

    Seu post foi ótimo, pois preciso fazer um Kit de Mídia para incluir em meu site e agora se por onde começar.Muito obrigado!

    Reply