This is the year you’ve decided to get serious about monetizing your blog. Whether it be for banner ads, video ads, sponsored posts, text links, giveaways, etc, chances are if you’re working with a company, they will want certain information about your blog. What kind of information? Traffic does help, but companies also look at other metrics in mind when deciding on developing a partnership with a blogger. So how do you prepare? With a media kit.
A media kit can be as involved as a slide show presentation with stats on your website, information about your readers, every press mention, and samples of your work, and as simple as a bulleted list of your stats and ad rates. When I first decided to put together a media kit, I prepared a detailed presentation, but found that more often than not it overwhelmed my potential sponsors for things like ads. For the most part I use a simple list of my stats and ad rates along with a few links, and that is sufficient. Either way, it’s important to have these on hand.
So how do you create your own media kit?
Look around at other media kits
The first thing I did was to look around at other people’s media kits to get a feeling about how they were approaching sponsors. How do you do this? Well I reasearced two types of media kits:
- The Big Guns– If you type in “Media Kit” in Google, you’ll get directly to the pages of some of the most popular kits available on the web. But for more fashion specific results I checked sites like Daily Candy and worked off their style, as one day…one day… I hope to be able to work along those lines!
- Your peers– Not to say you’re not a big gun! But the sponsors who are looking to work with Daily Candy may not be the same ones who are dying to work with you. I usually look around at other blogs to see which ones have their stats listed on their website, and see what kind of information they have available. Usually if a site is big enough and is serious about monetizing, they’ll have an Advertise link on the home page. Sometimes they’ll have the stats and information available there.
Keep your kit handy
From there you’ll get a good idea about what kind of information you need to create a media kit that’s right for you. Even so, here are some tips to help you make your blog more appealing to sponsors:
- Have your kit handy– I use Canned Responses in Gmail with my stats and ad rates to get back to sponsors. Sometimes people ask for types of advertising that doesn’t work with your blog, so it’s not worth it to recreate the wheel and customize every request. If a sponsor sounds legit, and wants more information, you can then tailor your media kit.
- Screen shots– I usually describe in my Canned Response where the ads go, but sometimes people want a visual aid. This can easily be done with a screen shot that clearly points out where their ad will appear on your site. I’ve posted what my old screen shot looked like as an example.
- Presentations– Presentations either in PDF or in Powerpoint look really nice, and you have more control over how it appears when you send it over. I’ve also started using Google Presentations, because it features a sharable link, embeddable code, and you can have multiple editors who can modify your kit if you need help. The downside to Google Presentations is being at the mercy of Google… last week they went down, and had to rewrite a proposal from memory to secure a sponsorship. It made my morning crazy.
- Documents– If you need just one pager, using a Word Doc is good, or a one page PDF. If you want to make it available within the general stat count… I would suggest creating a Google Doc, publish it so it’s available on the web, and place the link in your stat count in Canned Responses.
- Create and ‘Advertise’ Page on your website: If you don’t feel comfortable placing your stats on your site, a short summary of what your site can do for sponsors, perhaps links to a press page (for all your mentions), and some of the past campaigns you’ve worked on, is all valuable information. If you do feel comfortable placing your stats, go ahead, that has made a big difference for me in separating the serious people from the not so serious ones.
- Keep your kit handy, but don’t automate everything! Grechen’s Closet says “I definitely wouldn’t recommend adding a shopping cart where advertisers can purchase ads without even talking to you…a personal relationship is very important with advertisers, especially if you want them to stick around for more than just one term…”
While you’re creating your media kit, it’s probably also important to develop your advertising policy.
5 Things You MUST Include In Your Media Kit
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:
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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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!