Media kits are kind of a big deal these days for bloggers. What to include and how to create them is something I hear asked a lot in the blogosphere.
Over the years I’ve been asked several times to write a blog post about media kits – it seems that a lot of my readers (who are also bloggers) need one and don’t know where to start! It may surprise you that I created my own professional media kit for the first time just over a year ago; till then I’d only ever used a page on my blog that served the purpose. However, if you’re being approached by brands (or if you want to approach brands yourself) then you really need to have a media kit that can be sent out at the drop of a hat. Even if you’ve only been blogging six months, it’s something you could be asked for at any time.
And the last thing you want is to be caught out and say you don’t have one, isn’t it…?!
I’ve listed how to go about creating one (where to find templates), what to include in your media kit, and what to do with it once you’ve got it. You are more than welcome to look at my media kit (see the link in the page) as an example, but here’s a disclaimer: please don’t think my media kit is anywhere near perfect!
My media kit is a constant work in progress and I’m tweaking it all the time – not just the stats (which inevitably/hopefully go up) and brand campaigns (that inevitably change), but because I’ll look at it one day and think information needs moving around or redesigning altogether. Like your About page, it should be constantly updated and staying fresh with you as you grow as a blogger.
A media kit that hasn’t been updated in several months is not an accurate reflection of your blog, so stay on top of it. I try to update mine every month or so if I can – it only takes a few minutes to tweak stats or other info if you do it regularly.
If you’d like to see my media kit, you can see it via the link on my Work With Me page – there’s no point me keeping it secret as I believe in the sharing of information between bloggers!
I’ll walk you through all the steps you need to create the best media kit you could hope to have, but first – the five million dollar question:
What is a blogger media kit?
In the blogosphere, a media kit is basically your blogging CV (or resume). It’s a document that you would send to prospective brands or PRs who you want to work with, or who want to work with you, so that they have an at-a-glance document of your branding/image, stats, skills and potential suitability. It’s your chance to summarise your online presence in one place in order to market yourself to prospective clients.
How to create a media kit
The first thing you need to do is to decide how you are going to construct your media kit – are you going to start from scratch or use a template? Will you use your own software or something that you’ve found online that’s free? If you’ve never created anything like this before I’d say forget learning a new software package like Photoshop Elements and find a template instead – they’re easy to use and will save you a big headache.
When looking at templates, ask yourself: What do I need my media kit to highlight? Do I need to let basic stats and images speak for themselves, or do I need it to be more wordy? Knowing what you need out of it in advance will help you find the design that’s right for you.
Secondly, make sure the design fits in with the aesthetic of your blog – don’t use the same template as the next blogger because it’s the first one you found (hence my disclaimer)! If you’re a craft blogger who makes vintage-style pieces, you don’t want to use a minimalist black and white template because it will jar with your style. Find something that reflects YOU.
Your choices are:
Free media kit templates
Canva – The King of Graphic Design Templates, Canva offers many modern, stylish templates (many are made specifically for bloggers) – it’s amazing that they’re all free. Highly recommend, though there are only a few dozen to choose from.
Also if you Google “free blogger media kit templates” you will find links to sites that give you a free template download (usually when you sign up to their subscription service).
Media kit templates to purchase
e.g. Creative Market. With hundreds of designs and prices as low as $13, you’re more likely to have a unique media kit if you buy a template as the majority of bloggers will go for the free ones from Canva or similar (I now think it’s one of the things worth spending money on for your blog).
Design your own media kit
e.g. Photoshop (Elements), Picmonkey or Pages. It’s perfectly feasible to start your own media kit from scratch. Recommended for those who know their way around design software and are graphic design-savvy enough to create their own template.
Finally, make sure you create something that can easily be updated. Don’t ask someone to design your media kit for you in Photoshop if you don’t know how to use Photoshop yourself – you might need to urgently update it one day and send it out to an important brand who wants to work with you, like, YESTERDAY.
Format: No matter how you create it to begin with, the final version should ideally be in a PDF format when it’s finished.
What you should include in a media kit
This is merely a guide to what I think every blogger should include in their media kit. There is no definitive answer – it merely depends on what your strengths and weaknesses are, what your blogging niche is and to whom you’re pitching or targeting. Some may apply to you, some may not – but I think these are the ones you should seriously consider.
1. Your blog’s logo or header
Your visual branding is essential. If your blog’s name isn’t obvious from your logo (though really, it should be…) include it as plain text as a main part of the design.
2. Your full name and contact details
Many bloggers forget to put their name on their media kit – do not overlook this important piece of information!
Your email address is the minimum contact information you should include, and make it clear and obvious on your media kit. Include your telephone number ONLY if you’re able to answer calls at any time and you also answer unknown numbers (I personally don’t because I get so many spam calls, so I don’t include my phone number on my media kit). If not, you’re adding a barrier for people trying to get in touch with you.
3. Your blog’s name and URL
Don’t assume that your blog’s name is obvious to the reader from your blog’s logo, and likewise that your blog’s URL is obvious to the reader from your blog’s name. Make sure these important pieces of information are clear.
4. Your blog’s tagline
A tagline is made up of about 5-10 words that relate to you and your blog (think about movies – they ALL have a tagline to entice you and grab your attention: “Fear can hold you prisoner. Hope can set you free” – The Shawshank Redemption). If you don’t already have one, start brainstorming now to think of a phrase or short statement that sums up YOU. Mine is “Who wants to be age appropriate, anyway?” – it’s the thing I bleat on about most on my blog so it made sense to make that the main focus.
Here are some great blog taglines:
Design Seeds: “For all who love colour”
Lady of Style: “Look age-amazing 50+ naturally”
Fashion For Lunch: “Buy the shoes. Buy the bag. Dine well”
Paper & Stitch: “DIYs and design for your modern life”
The Barefaced Chic: “The definitive guide to ageing with attitude”
Fitness 4 Mamas: “Beyond just sport”
Michelle Tyler: “Curating a wardrobe for life”
You can see how much more powerful and memorable these are than “A fashion and lifestyle blog!” or something just as generic. You totally get an immediate impression of what to expect from these blogs. (Remember: include your tagline under your actual blog’s header, not just on your media kit, if you’ve just created one.)
5. A profile photo and visuals
A great headshot makes you seem more personable and will “put a face to the name” when people want to work with you. Include at least one other visual to showcase your photography – visuals are a key decider for brands as they want their products shown off in the best way possible. Show off what you’re capable of producing with one or two of your best photos worked into the design.
6. Your blog’s message
A mini bio with your likes/interests, skills, achievements and goals that describe the essence of you and your blog. How long it is depends on what you blog about – if you blog about your personal life then it’s bound to be longer than if you purely blog about the latest catwalk collections. Again, there are no rules, so do what’s right for you. However, the more succinct, the better.
7. Your key stats (blog and social)
How you get your stats is up to you (none are ever 100% accurate), but Google Analytics is the most generally accepted source. You should include monthly unique visitors and page views (I take the average from the last 12 months to allow for shorter months and quieter ones like August, rather than just the stats from the most recent full month).
Include anything else that is exceptionally good, e.g. a high (over 40) DA score (Domain Authority), a low bounce rate (anything under 50% is very good for a blog), or a high average number of comments.
Include all the key, relevant social media platform numbers. Highlight the strongest one(s). Unless you’re really strong on something like Tumblr or Google+ don’t include them – keep it to the basics like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and (if relevant) YouTube. Don’t forget email subscribers.
If you’re a relatively new blogger or you’ve just started on a platform and your stats aren’t quite what you’d like them to be, consider highlighting details of your growth over time instead. Place more emphasis on other positives like high engagement, award nominations or press features.
8. Audience demographics
A company in the UK with a 50+ female target market will probably want to know how much of your audience fits that criteria. So include percentages of your audience’s age, sex, geography and other relevant interests in your stats.
9. Examples of work you’ve done and/or brands you’ve worked with
If you already have brand partnerships under your belt then include these – use examples if possible. Brand logos are a great visual way of showing who you’ve worked with.
10. Services offered
This is where you can list what sort of partnerships you’re after: sponsored posts, social media campaigns, product reviews, guest speaking, event hosting, brand ambassadorships, etc. It helps brands decide how they want to work with you and may help them decide to work with you in a way they hadn’t thought of before.
11. Your USPs (Unique Selling Points)
What makes you stand out from all the other bloggers out there? Include at least three points that make you stand out – these can be as specific as you like. Remember they are your UNIQUE selling points, so they’re meant to be unusual and memorable.
Adding all or part of a testimonial can work wonders on your media kit. A great quote from a reputable brand can work wonders in not only proving that you worked with them but that also you’re a force to be reckoned with.
Once you’ve worked with a brand it’s always a good idea to ask them to write you a short testimonial. I ask for a testimonial from every brand I work with – however, the reply rate can be low, even if you chase them up. But be politely persistent and send them a reminder every now and then and you may hopefully be rewarded with something fantastic you can quote.
First person or third person?
Whether you address your self in the first person “I have worked with brands such as…” or the third person “Catherine has worked with brands such as…” is entirely up to you, but personally I think the third person is more professional. It’s a way of distancing yourself from what you write on your blog – you’re presenting yourself in the way that an agent would present you to a client (when you’re at the stage of sending your media kit out you’re representing yourself in the same way)!
However, go with the one you’re most comfortable with.
Should I include fees in my media kit?
This is VERY much a case of personal preference – there are pros and cons of including your fees.
PROS of including fees:
- If you include fees in your kit it means that brands and PRs have all the information they require from you up front. It’ll save you work in the long run because they don’t need to chase you up asking yet another question about what your fees are.
- There is no ambiguity about the fact that you charge for your services.
CONS of excluding fees:
- It can be a barrier for some PRs if you don’t include fees – they’ve now got to contact you again to ask what your fees are.
PROS of excluding fees:
- If you don’t include your fees it means that you can quote on an ad hoc basis. It can be difficult to have a “One size fits all” price because you may end up producing twice as much work for one campaign as you would for another, but you quoted/charged the same for both as per your media kit.
- If you exclude fees you can then offer a tiered pricing system whereby (for example) you offer a basic package, a medium package and a with-bells-on package to give PRs a choice depending on their budget. This can be difficult to convey on a media kit and is better explained separately via email correspondence.
- If you include a link to your media kit on your blog, you may feel you don’t want to share your fees with other bloggers (I am all for sharing information privately with other bloggers when they ask, but I like to keep my cards close to my chest on a public basis and don’t want to be held to those fees at a later date by PRs).
- You are free to put your prices up at any time by excluding fees. You never know, you may go viral one day (I’ve seen it happen!) and your reach could increase a thousandfold overnight – you’d want to increase your prices immediately if that were to happen.
What to do with your media kit
So now you should have all the information required to go out and produce the best media kit ever! As I mentioned before, this isn’t a definitive list of what to do or include – it entirely depends on what you blog about and what you want to emphasise. Every blogger is different, and that’s the beauty of the blogosphere being an amazing resource for brands: we are all unique, and your media kit should reflect that.
If you want to put a link to your media kit on your PR page, go for it. I do, as I like to think that brands see it when checking out my page and it saves them asking for it. That far outweighs the “disadvantages” some bloggers seem to think there are in other bloggers’ seeing their stats. For me, working with brands is far more important than being secretive where my peers are concerned… what are other bloggers going to do with my information, anyway?
I always say concentrate on your own work and potential and don’t concern yourself or worry about what others are doing (probably because my mother used to tell me, I don’t care what the other kids at school are doing, I care about what YOU’RE doing!) Use others simply as inspiration, not as a reason to be down on yourself or get distracted.
Now you have your media kit it’s ready to go whenever you’re asked for it. However, like waiting for the man of your dreams to come knocking at your door, you shouldn’t sit waiting for your dream brand to email you first. If you’re desperate to work with a particular brand, do your research first, make sure you’ve got something to prove you’re a big fan (if you’ve never featured them before on your blog or social you may want to rethink that…) and send the relevant person a well-crafted, succinct pitch by email that proves what you can do FOR THEM.
If this is you get your media kit sorted as a 2018 blogging priority – though don’t take TOO long as you never know when Gucci may come a-knocking after all…! 😉
DO YOU HAVE A MEDIA KIT ALREADY – OR HAS THIS HELPED YOU WORK OUT HOW TO GET ONE SORTED? COMMENT BELOW, OR TAKE IT TO TWITTER @NOTLAMB!
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