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:
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.
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.
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.
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!