What is the #1 thing that will make you stand out to potential blog sponsors and convince them that your blog is the right investment for their advertising dollars?
Two words: Media Kit.
Whether you’re new to blog sponsorships or a seasoned veteran, having a polished and professional media kit will give your sponsorship program an edge over bloggers with a similar audience, helping potential sponsors recognize the value of sponsoring your blog.
I’ll tell you straight: it does take a bit of time investment to put a great-looking media kit together, but once it’s done, you’ll have it for the rest of your blogging life.
So folks, this doesn’t have to be some terrifying project – it’s pretty simple, really. 10 steps and you’re done – so as soon as you’re finished reading, share this post with your friends and then get going.
Everything You Need to Know about Media Kits
Umm…What’s a media kit?
So glad you asked. It’s a document you put together that gives prospective blog sponsors everything they need to know about sponsorship with YOU.
And I need one?
Of course you do. A great sponsorship kit is an amazing tool for communicating with sponsors, but it also shows them that you know what you’re doing. A media kit is your best foot forward, professionally speaking (especially if it’s designed well)- and it will also help weed out businesses who really wouldn’t be a good match for your blog. So you can quit wasting your time writing lengthy emails to “just anybody” who’s interested in sponsorship and focus on sponsors that will go the distance with you.
What goes in a media kit?
You might think it’s just dry, boring facts like your Google Analytics stats and your pricing, but if you stop there, you’re selling yourself short. A media kit is an opportunity to show off the best of your blog: your personality, your style, and what makes your blog unique.
A great media kit is the gateway to the best sponsorship program with the highest rewards. Period.
So are you ready to get started?
Let’s do this.
New! Download this Guide as a PDF – FREE! Want to take this article with you? To get a PDF version of my “How to Make a Media Kit that ROCKS” guide PLUS a helpful checklist to guide you through the process of creating your own media kit, just click here.
Create a Media Kit in 10 (Easy) Steps
1. Gather Your Resources
This is the biggest hurdle to get over, but once you have everything you need in one place, it’ll give you momentum to finish the job. Here’s what you need to gather:
- A photo of you
- You blog’s logo, preferably at a printable resolution. If you don’t have one, contact your blog designer to help make that happen. No logo? Use your blog header until you’re ready to hire someone to help you go Pro.
- The most beautiful or interesting photos from your blog
- A screen shot of your blog’s home page with your advertising space visible
Features (make a list)
- Regular features on your blog that draw readers: post series, blog carnival/linky events, etc.
- Subject areas you write about, including most well-read posts about the topics
- Page views per month (from Google Analytics)
- Average page views (in the last three months)
- Unique visitors per month
- Traffic sources with number of incoming links per month
- Reader demographics (you can get these from Quantcast, where you can sign up for free)
- Subscribers: RSS, Mailing list, Facebook fans, Twitter followers, Pinterest followers, etc.
- Any other statistics that are noteworthy
2. Write an Introduction
Since the introduction is the first thing people will see when they read your media kit, make it count. There’s plenty of space for your statistics, but you need to make your introduction personal. Tell a little bit about yourself – your family, hobbies, goals – whatever will help a prospective sponsor connect with you.
Put your photo here – not a long-range shot, but a face-to-face “greeting” that shows how friendly you are and invites potential sponsors to get to know you and your blog.
If your work has been featured in any magazines, books, well-known blogs or other publications, here’s where to tell about it. It doesn’t have to be long; a simple “My work has been featured in _____” will do.
3. Describe Your Blog
What is the THEME of your blog? You can have more than one, but give an in-a-nutshell account of what your blog is about. Tell about any weekly events you host that draw regular readers to your blog. If you have seasonal topics you write about, describe your yearly flow. Write a few sentences to describe your readers, too: you (should) know their habits and personalities better than anyone, so let your sponsors know exactly who they’ll be advertising to on your blog.
This is the heart of your media kit: it helps your sponsors understand what you’re about, and it can help them – far better than statistics can – understand how well they (and their products) will fit into the life of your blog.
4. Present your blog statistics + reach
Here’s where you’ll use all those fun numbers. At the very least, your potential sponsors have the right to know:
- Unique Visitors per month
- Pageviews per month
- Subscribers (RSS and mailing list, if you have one)
It’s important to make sure that you stay current with your stats. Put “current as of [date]” and then make sure that date is within the last three months. It’s not helpful to give your numbers from last February, because (as you know) a lot can happen in the life of a blog over many months. Keep it current.
Aside from the three items above, if there are any numbers you don’t feel are impressive, just leave them out. Sorry, your 23 Twitter followers just won’t make the cut. 🙂
But what if I’m a beginning blogger?
If you don’t have lots of impressive numbers to show off, you may want to think about including your growth trends. For example, I’ve only been writing on this blog for about two months, but last week my email subscription grew by 800%.
Not bad for a few posts between design clients. 🙂
5. Outline your sponsorship policies
This is the “terms” of your sponsorship, and it includes your prices, but what should be more important to your prospective sponsors is what they’ll be getting out of the deal. Here are some things you need to consider, and outline them in plain speech for your sponsors:
- What are your rates? If you offer different sizes for your ads, list the price for each size. The larger the ad space, the higher the price.
- Do you offer your sponsors the opportunity for a giveaway? If so, these almost always come with special terms – e.g., an extra fee, or a certain number of months of sponsorship before they’re eligible to offer a giveaway.
- Do you conduct product reviews? Sponsors are probably aware that the most powerful kind of advertising is an in-post link that flows naturally from the context of your writing. So it’s okay to state that while you consider giveaways and reviews that fit with your topic and your readership, if they want the star sponsor treatment, samples must be provided by the sponsor.
- Where will the ads appear? Will people viewing your posts in their reader or via email be able to see the ads? How do you decide on the placement of your ads, and who gets the top position?
- Outline any payment policies, such as payment being required within a certain time frame prior to the month of sponsorship. Also give details of when the images are due to you and what file types you accept (just JPGs and GIFs, or do you allow animated buttons as well?).
These are all important factors to consider, but as you’re thinking about them, remember that if you want to find a sponsorship match made in heaven, you have to be a great sponsor host first.
6. Gather testimonials
You can talk all day long about how great your blog is – what an amazing opportunity sponsors have when they team up with you – yadda yadda yadda… But getting other people to promote you? Priceless.
It’s not that other people will say things you couldn’t say yourself, but it means more coming from others. Having great testimonials alone on your side won’t convince sponsors to sign up with you, but if there’s a sponsor who’s “just not sure,” a great recommendation from your past sponsors will help seal the deal.
If you don’t already have testimonials in hand, it’s time to reach out and ask for some. If it makes you feel uncomfortable, I’d normally say “get over it,” but this time I’ll give you a little script to follow. 🙂
I’m putting together a packet for potential sponsors for my blog, and I was wondering if you’d be willing to write a short testimonial about your experiences as a sponsor of [name of your blog]. It doesn’t have to be long – even a few words will go a long way to help other small business owners in their decision-making process. And of course I’d include a link back to your blog. I appreciate your time!
[your name here]
P.S. Hope you and your family are well! (or some other personal remark)
(By the way – Men, please don’t use this example as-is. It’s terribly feminine. Rework this to fit your style…or at least throw in a reference to football.)
It may seem intimidating to reach out and ask for testimonials, but I can tell you it does get easier with practice. This goes with the territory of monetizing your blog – sometimes you have to step outside your comfort zone. But put on your “business hat” and just do it.
7. Wrap it Up
It would be a shame to make it this far and not seal the deal. Don’t forget the all-important call to action at the end. Give your potential sponsors their next steps. How should they get in touch with you? (email is fine.) And don’t write “To find out more about sponsorship,” because that’s what they’ve just done in reading your media kit. Rather,
To begin sponsorship with [your blog’s name], please contact [name of contact] at [email address].
So that’s it!
The writing portion is done. The only thing left is to tie it up in a bow.
8. Sprinkle Liberally with Photos
Nothing says “boring” like a huge pack of WORDS. Add some class to your media kit by featuring photos or images from around your blog. If you have a great-looking blog, put some example photos or screenshots in your media kit to give sponsors a feel for your site. Make it visually appealing so sponsors can see the “home” their ad will live in. And as a last resort, if you don’t have images readily available, it might be worth using a beautiful media kit template to make your layout pop with different fonts, colors, illustrations or other graphics.
The idea is to make sure your media kit looks professional, not like a 9th grade history paper.
9. Proofread. Edit. Repeat.
If you think you’re done, that just means you need to let your project rest for a few days. Put it aside and come back to it with fresh eyes. Read it out loud. Make sure it’s perfect. This document will represent you to all your potential sponsors, so make it count.
10. Convert to PDF
Please, PLEASE don’t send out your media kit as an MS Word document.
If your word processing software is so old that it doesn’t convert documents to PDFs, you can download PDF 995 (it’s free), which will install a PDF converter as a printer on your computer. But it also might be time to update your copy of Word.
And…Send it Out!
Your work here is done. Have your shiny new media kit ready to send out to potential sponsors, and watch your blog sponsorship program take off!
“Ten Steps” probably never seemed like so much work. But once you’ve created your media kit, you’ll be able to use it as a template for years to come. Elements like blog stats and testimonials will be updated periodically, but at that point, it’s a simple exercise in “fill in the blanks.”
And when business owners contact you to ask about sponsorships, you’ll be proud to send them a well-done media kit that shows off the best of your blog.
So what are you waiting for? Share this post with your fellow bloggers, leave me a comment (I love them), and go start making your very own media kit!