After over 4 years of blogging, a couple of months ago, I finally got my act together and created my own Media Kit for Swoon Worthy. And after doing quite a bit of research around the interwebs on how and why to create one, I thought it might be helpful to share with you what I’ve learned and why, if you are a blogger, you should consider having one too – especially if you are considering monetising your blog.
What is a Media Kit?
Think of a media kit as a CV (or resume) for your blog. If you wanted to work for a company and you had an interview, you wouldn’t walk in without your CV right? It shares your experience, your skills, your areas of expertise. Well, a Media Kit does exactly the same thing. It tells a company why they should work with you and what you can offer to them.
Why should I have one?
Now, I’m incredibly picky about who and what I do with brands and from reading various other blogs, I think that’s a prevailing attitude amongst many bloggers. It’s important for a blogger to remain true to its brand – and while that may sound like ‘corporate speak’ when it comes down to it, I have spent a long time making sure that there is consistency in my content. That information or products I share on Swoon Worthy don’t seem out of place or look shoe-horned in. I want things like sponsored content to feel like a reflection of what I would normally be sharing here anyway. You probably do the same, right?
And so when you work with brands and companies, you want to ensure your own ‘brand’ (what your blog and what YOU are all about) is reflected well in the process. You don’t have to wait for companies to offer things or necessarily accept whatever they are proposing! I have found over the years that if I am offered something but it doesn’t exactly suit me, I will often go back to them with another idea. Nine times out of 10, the best companies will be happy to work with you and to come to an agreement that you are both comfortable with.
Well, a Media Kit saves you a LOT of time. By highlighting what you do, who your audience is, what your reach is and how you like to work with companies, this saves an Outreach or SEO Executive a lot of time trying to research your blog (and so many others as part of their job). With a Media Kit, everything is in one place and there’s no need to constantly be repeating yourself in emails. It’s efficient for both you and the brand looking to work with you.
On the other side of things, if there is a company you want to work with, then approaching them with a prepared media kit is a great foot in the door. It looks professional, showcases your blog in it’s strongest light and gives a brand a good reason to at least talk about opportunities that might be available.
I’ve only been blogging for a short time – do I still need one?
Everyone has to start somewhere and especially, in the beginning, your stats might not be where you want them to be. Well, should this stop you from creating a media kit? Not at all. Just like when you first start job-searching, you want to highlight your strengths and you’ll do exactly the same on your blog’s media kit. Talk about the % of growth over the last month or 6 months. Talk about what your plans are for the future. If you’ve got a great following on Pinterest or on Instagram but your visitor numbers aren’t that high, then that’s the stuff you want to highlight. Whatever you do, don’t lie. Just like on a CV, playing up to your strengths is perfectly acceptable but out and out lying will certainly destroy any trust if the company finds out you are lying to them. Just don’t risk it.
What should be in my media kit?
Here are the things that are in my media kit:
- An Introduction to Me: a little bit about me personally as well as press coverage where I or my home have appeared (you might want to include a nice smiling photo of yourself here – of course not of the time you went to that Hen Party and you are wearing sparkly devil horns and holding a Mojito – something a little more professional than that is probably best!)
- An Introduction to Swoon Worthy: what my blog is about, who my audience is, my style, what I cover on my blog (you can see my page above)
- Statistics: Visits, Unique Visitors, Page Views, Moz Score, Klout Score, New vs Returning Visitors, Subscribers, Social Media followers, etc.
- Sponsorship Opportunities: how I like to work with companies and what I can offer, whether that’s reviewing products, sponsored posts, giveaways, ad space, etc. and my prices for each of those items.
- Testimonials: quotes from agencies, companies and independents that have worked with me as well as some reader quotes (yes, you can ask a company for these, especially if you have a good working relationship with them)
- Some of the Brands I’ve Worked With: basically a listing of companies that have worked with me before (seen below)
- Call to Action: this is the final page where you encourage the person looking at your kit to get in touch with you so include a final message, your email address, blog address etc.
Each of those is a separate section (about a page each) in my kit. I created it in Powerpoint and then just created a PDF from the Powerpoint to send out. It certainly doesn’t have to be fancy and you can, of course, use whatever you have available or you feel comfortable working with – from Microsoft Word to Photoshop to Issuu to create yours.
Obviously, this is not a hard and fast list. Include whatever you feel comfortable with. Do some searches on Pinterest or Google for other bloggers’ media kits and pick and choose what information feels right for you.
How often should I update it?
That’s up to you, really but updating it every 3 months or so is a good idea. You can, of course, update it monthly if your blog is growing and you wish to show your best numbers.
If you are a blogger where the visual is important (ie., interiors, fashion, food), then include your own photography in your kit. It shows a brand what you are capable of producing and they can see at a glance your creative ability.
Who should I send it to?
I send it to any company that gets in touch about a possibility of working with them. I am still very choosy about who I work with regardless of who I send my kit to, but at least it gives me the best possible start in terms of negotiating what I am the most comfortable with. I have also sent it to companies that I would like to work with. If I see a specific brand that is obviously reaching out to other bloggers, it’s a nice way to introduce yourself to them to see if they might like to work with you too.
What should I charge?
This is a tricky one and I’m not here to tell you what I think you should charge (sorry). You have to consider how much time you will put into a post (Are you taking your own photos and styling their products? You may wish to charge more. Are you using their imagery? You might charge less.), whether it’s a sponsored post (are they writing the content or are you? How much time will it take you to write it?) or if you are happy to accept guest posts, etc. and how much you feel your time spent doing these things is worth. And yes, it will depend upon your reach as well – the more visitors and followers you have, the more you can ask.
Of course, you don’t have to include prices if you don’t want to but I find it makes it easier to be upfront about what your expectations are for your own time and it will filter out those companies who aren’t willing to pay you what you feel you are worth. Worse comes to worse, if you find that most companies are coming back to you saying they can’t afford you, then you either need to hold out for companies who are willing to pay what you require or you need to lower your prices. It’s up to you and entirely personal.
I hope this has been helpful and if you are considering creating a media kit, let me know if you need any more information in the comments. If you already have a media kit, then any more hints or tips that you can add would be great. I’d love to hear what you think