Blogger Media Kits: When You Don’t Have Much Traffic

UPDATE!

See a gallery of blogger media kits here.

Purple-Bar

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.

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

Five-Things-to-Know-About-Making-Your-Media-Kit

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.

Katy Widrick Media Kit

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.

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Comments

  1. says

    I have been wanting to do some things to increase my traffic. I feel like I lost a bit when I moved to WP. Thank you – I will be using this post as a reference and resource. :) Perfect!

  2. says

    This was a very helpful post. I am fairly new to the blogging scene and I’m still trying to understand all of the business aspects of it! It’s so nice when extablished bloggers share their expertise. Thank you!

  3. Lauryn says

    Just about to start creating my first media kit. Was worried about being presumptious because I am a smaller blog but now I am all in! Thanks so much for all of this great info!

  4. says

    Thanks for the encouragement! Many times I get a little intimidated by my traffic numbers, however you made the point well, they are my loyal readers! However my traffic has just taken a huge leap!
    Visiting from SITS

    • says

      I’m so glad — and absolutely, celebrate every jump…it’s a testament to your amazing work!

      The more I work with brands, the less they care about numbers and the more they care about engagement. So keep doing what you’re doing and celebrate those readers.

  5. says

    Popping over from SITS. I do have a media kit, but it’s like 2 years old. I would never have thought of hiring someone to help me with it, but I think that’s a great idea, especially since my Google Analytics account has been broken for months and I can’t figure out how to fix it. Where do you find someone to help with stuff like a media kit and your analytics?

    • says

      I’m working on putting together a list of vendors, since so many people are looking for help…but I would also look to Etsy for some basic design work (there are a lot of people who do beautiful headers and buttons who could give you a graphics package to use).

      Why don’t you drop me an email about your analytics issues and I’ll see if I can help! kwidrick@gmail.com

  6. says

    Found your post through the SITSgirls. This is especially helpful and encouraging for someone who doesn’t have a lot of traffic. Thank you! I’m now following your blog!

  7. says

    Thank you for sharing this. I am confident in my design skills that I will be able to create a GREAT media kit. once I feel I am ready and confident enough to reach out to brands. One question I have. Is should I only make a media kit available for those who request it, or publicize on an additional PR/Marketing type page on my blog?

    Great Job on this post, and I look forward to putting your words into action.

    • says

      I have heard both cases made — that brands don’t want to have to take the extra step to make the request, so you should keep it online AND that because you want your most updated and accurate numbers reflected, it’s bad to have old versions of your kit floating around the Internet.

      I keep mine available by request because I want to make sure that it has the most recent information, and because I can customize it for the client.

  8. says

    Thank you for an interesting article. I’m a small-time blogger writing about my full-time traveling lifestyle aboard a sailboat and in an RV. I have a media page, ’cause I read somewhere I needed one, but I didn’t know what to put on it. This gave me a great outline to work from.

  9. says

    Thanks for the great tips! I plan to create a media kit and every little bit of knowledge helps to point me in the right direction. Thanks again!

  10. says

    Wow, this advice is so timely and very helpful! I’ve been so intimidated about creating a media kit for myself, fearing that my “numbers” aren’t good enough. Appreciate the boost, AND the help! :)

  11. Neerav Pandya says

    Katy ,, thanks a ton for the info. People like you have really made dispersal of knowledge through the web a boon for many newbies which has in turn propelled the growth of web in a holistic way.

    I really appreciate your efforts and noble gesture of parting the knowledge acquired through hard work and trials.

    If I would have it within my reach, I would have conferred a Nobel Price for “Knowledge Sharing” to you.

    Keep up the good work. God Bless you.

  12. says

    I started my blog about two months ago, and while I know I need a media kit, I’ve been reluctant because my traffic seems a bit low!

    Thanks for the encouragement, I’m going to move forward with creating one anyway.

  13. says

    This may have already been asked though I didn’t see it while scrolling. I was wondering how you know your monthly unique visitors versus your monthly visitors? I know my blog can see up to a thousand views in 24 hours these days but I have no clue on how to track who is who. Thanks so much! Great information that I will definitely be bookmarking and using soon!

    • says

      Hi Marisa!

      What tool are you using for analytics? Google Analytics has separate links/reports for uniques versus monthly and most other tools do as well. Let me know and I’ll point you in the right direction!

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