It’s funny what you become known for in blogging — some of us are CrossFit experts, some make incredible recipes and apparently I am the guru of media kits. I almost feel like a fraud because I am (and I say this objectively) not a marketing expert, have no design skills and really just created mine through trial and error.
- Making a Blogger Media Kit
- Best Blogger Media Kits
- Finding and Working With Blog Sponsors
- Finding and Working With Blog Sponsors II
- Money: The Ultimate Hornet’s Nest
- Bloggers in Depth: Money, Money, Money
- Bloggers in Depth: How Much Do We Make and Where Does it Come From?
- Blog Homework: Day 9
- Branding: Not Just for the Big Dogs
But since I get a few of the same questions over and over about creating and using media kits, I thought I’d address some of them here.
Blog Media Kits: When You Don’t Have Much Traffic
How big should my media kit be and what should it include?
Media kits are kind of like resumes — they should be compact, include only the most relevant and timely information and should be a conversation starter. They don’t need to answer all of the questions a brand may have and honestly, it’s better if they don’t. Consider them like a movie trailer…a great introduction to you and your blog. Brands will use these kits to decide whether or not to move forward with a longer discussion, and that should be your goal. You probably won’t book a job or a project solely on the weight of this kit, so consider it the cocktail hour that you hope will lead to a sit-down dinner.
So, how big should it be? Ideally, you’ll keep it to a single-page cover letter, a single-page 1-sheet (I can’t tell you how many 7-sheet 1-sheets I see) and maybe, depending on the project, a writing sample. Be brutal when editing. Do you really need to share that five years ago, you ran a 5K? Or that in college a decade ago, you were on the debate team? It’s possible, depending on what you’re pitching to the brand, but keep your accomplishments and statistics short, easy to read and recent.
I also, for some projects, have a separate page with some package pricing.
How do I find the right person to send my kit to if I’m making the first move?
The Internet and social media have made it so much easier to find the right person to connect with when it comes to brands. First of all: Twitter, Twitter, Twitter. Every organization now has an account, and many times, I’ll start with a simple tweet.
“I’m working on a marketing project and would love to talk to someone from your team about getting involved. Can you send me contact information?”
That works nearly every time, because that’s really Twitter’s job — to respond to requests. Make sure that you get all of the relevant information: email address, first and last name and title. If you do only get some of the information, Google is your best friend. Plug in whatever you have, and you’ll find a biography, full contact information (look for news releases that list it all) and more.
Getting the name and contact information is a great first step, but if you really want to stand out, I’d take one more step…find someone in your circle that is connected to that contact. Ask him/her to let you use him/her as a reference or to confirm the contact information (using info@ or contact@ or a generic email address should be your last resort).
What if I don’t have a lot of traffic — is it even worth creating a media kit?
YES, YES, a million times YES. I have had the pleasure of talking with several brand representatives, marketing managers and social media ambassadors, and across the board, they say that the passion and dedication of a blogger is more important than the traffic. For better or worse, you will be measured by your numbers, but not exclusively. The most compelling answer to this came from a woman that I worked with on a project — she told me that when it comes to sales, which was her main metric, she’d rather work with a blogger who has a lot of influence over a small audience than a blogger who has a huge reader base but not a lot of sway.
If you tell your 100 loyal readers that a particular brand of yogurt is delicious, and 20 of them buy it that week, that’s a win. Another blogger with 10,000 readers may only convince 10 of them to buy the yogurt.
And if you don’t have a lot of traffic, make sure that you sell what you do offer. Perhaps you’ll do more than the contract asks for, or will be willing to go above and beyond in other ways. Maybe you will create a video in your post, where “bigger” bloggers just include the review in a larger post.
Find out what the brand is looking for, and what they will be measuring. Often, page views aren’t the make or break metric…
What programs can I use to design my media kit?
I admit to having almost no design skills. So I rely on programs like Pages and Photoshop (paid programs for Mac) and pre-designed templates to create my kit. Google Docs and Open Office are free word processing software kits that may be great resources. You can use this great tutorial for a free template!
And truly, I think this is something that’s worth investing in…so consider looking for a great graphic designer to help you with at least some of the elements (graphics, font choice, etc.). You might even be able to trade — perhaps review the person’s work on your blog in exchange for the designs, or use your skills to help him/her with business.
How often should I update my media kit?
OFTEN. Make sure you always have a version of your kit ready to go, with just a little bit of work. Brands will look for your most recent statistics (usually the last month) so you should have a template that can be edited and updated in less than 15 minutes. Your cover letter should be personalized every time you send it as well.