The Dirt on Blogging Media Kits {Guest Post}

by Guest Contributor

Guest post submitted by Sommer from Green and Clean Mom.

If you’re a blogger do you need a media kit? I am often asked this question. I’m going to give you my opinion based on three angles. One as a professional blogger who works with brands and wants PR firms and companies to work with me! Second as a blogger who has a product to sell and therefore market – which is not easy! Third, as a consultant who works on blogger outreach strategies, programs and engagement. And it should be plainly noted that this is my opinion and not the opinion of any of my past or present clients – gotta love a disclaimer!
Okay, here it goes. What I’ve come to learn is that some bloggers say they want to work with brands, they’re PR friendly and they’d like to be an ambassador or review a product for a company, but they don’t have a media kit or any information on who they are and why companies should work with them. What some bloggers say and what they provide the brands, PR professionals and companies – well that’s a different story. Other bloggers actually feel that they should be swooned, courted and chased after if a brand or PR firm really wants to work with them. And some just aren’t sure how to create a media kit or why.  Others know they need a media kit but have to find the time. It’s a mixed bag.

Blog Sampling

Not too long ago, for a potential review program, I visited 110 blogs – most of which I had heard of and whom I follow on Twitter or Facebook. I was curious which of these blogs indeed had media kits for me to learn more about their social media footprint. I wanted to learn more about past brands they had worked with, if they had any clients, testimonials, press and if they accepted advertising. Of course, yes I was looking for some blog stats. I’ll go into why the numbers do matter in a few minutes but what I discovered from visiting the 110 blogs startled me. I was trying hard to align these bloggers with an opportunity and struggled.

  • All the bloggers were PR friendly and wanted to work with brands and businesses.
  • Only half of the bloggers had media kits or provided statistics, testimonials or details and most were outdated {I am guilty there, updating mine.}
  • Maybe a third of the bloggers offered media kits if they were contacted.
  • The remaining bloggers had nothing.

Here’s the problem. If there is no media kit, I have to look for the details on my own and it’s likely I am not getting accurate information. In fact I know I am not getting accurate information because what I see as a blogger and what the free sites like compete.com show are not even close! If a blogger provides it for me {yes it is more convenient} it will be more accurate and reflective of what they want me to see.

Think of it like this: Do you want me to see you with or without your makeup? Come on — put your best foot forward if you’re really PR friendly.

Ah, and contacting a blogger for their media kit means my email will either end up in the “spam folder”, starred follow-up folder, accidentally deleted or just never replied to because G-mail swallowed it. Some bloggers reply with a canned message but then why not just put your media kit on your website? It will take either several attempts to get a media kit through an email or contact form or it just won’t happen. Note, there are rare cases when it is easy and I pinch myself.

Don’t Give Away the Farm

A media kit is not just about numbers but yes the numbers matter and I’ll get to that. If you are a blogger your media kit can include any of the following:

  • Demographics – who reads your blog; where are they from, their ages and do they have kids?
  • Screen shots of your social media properties and numbers for examples.
  • Screen shots of your stats from more than one source. What Google says and your hosting says might differ.
  • Who you’ve worked with, write for and where you’ve been mentioned – a visual collage!
  • Testimonials from clients, bloggers, campaigns you’ve worked on, PR professionals or brand you’ve represented.
  • Information on how to work with you, advertise with you and connect with you. This is where you can provide a screenshot of available advertising spots and rates.

Yes, rates. But that doesn’t mean you give away the farm. Feel free to not publish your advertising rates because another blogger can find out what you charge if they wanted to, but why not help other bloggers and give them examples? If you consult, offer special services or speaking rates keep this private if you’re not comfortable publicly sharing it. If you’ve provided a well-rounded media kit they’ll contact you for more information – just reply to their darn email!

Tip:  Consider making your media kit visually appealing, easy to view on your website or download for viewing at a later time.

Numbers

Okay the numbers matter. It’s true. You might not like it, but it’s true.


Follow me with a sensible business mind here and put emotions aside if you’re already foaming at the mouth.  Companies want to work with bloggers and they get it {most of them}, they want it and they really do love this new media. They’re interested in building a program, gaining a bloggers trust, working long-term to build relationships and partnerships. They do want to pay. The problem will always boil down to money. Doesn’t this happen for your own business or in your home? Think about it. I know I need a higher speed internet service and I want to it but can I afford it and is it necessary? Can I do my job without the upgrade? There are lots of ways to answer that question.

Think about it:  Your blog is your business if you’re doing reviews, making money and want to grow it. So how would you handle working with bloggers and where would you spend your marketing dollars. Put the shoe on the other foot.

So what do the numbers really mean? Regardless of whether your blog stats are small or large for any campaign it comes down to a cumulative total that matters.  When a review campaign can garner 750,000 page impressions and reach 189,000 people, for an example that I just pulled out of a hat, these are numbers that mean an increase in brand or product awareness and at the end of the day help the company or brand meet their objective – whatever it is.  They are also report worthy — something tangible for the traditional marketing and advertising person to see.

Think about it:   If you put your money into a program to market your business what would you expect to see?

Yes, brands are working with bloggers because they’re more than numbers but there has to be justification of some sort at the end of the day and because a blogger is humorous, has great Instagram photos, has blogged for five years and is really, really nice – just doesn’t cut it in the board room. Sorry. When pitching a blogger outreach program, ambassador program or any number of creative ideas, there has to be a hook — a reason that explains if money is taken from this bucket and put into this bucket there will be delivery and here are some numeral examples and here are the “other” spectacular benefits {backlinks, SEO, building blogger relationships, potential great person to hire full-time, and the list goes on and on}.
The bottom line is: if you want to work with brands, PR firms and companies do yourself and them a favor and create a media kit – even just a simple one to begin. And it’s okay to use a template like this free one just get one!
Hopefully I’ve convinced you, inspired you and helped you to understand why I think media kits are so important for a blogger interested in growing their blog as a business. You can check mine out over here and for further reading I suggest Your Blogs Media Kit , How to Build and Attractive Mom Blog Media Kit and How to Write Your Media Kit.

This guest post was written by mom blogger, Sommer Poquette. You can find Sommer sharing her heart on her site Green and Clean Mom. You can also find her on Twitter and Facebook.



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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Shannon May 25, 2012 at 11:45 am

This is excellent information and some food for thought as I move forward with my new blog. Thanks!
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2 Amy Volk May 25, 2012 at 12:26 pm

Thanks Sommer. I have known that I needed to create one, but this helped me so much and I appreciate all the resources you gave. I will be working in this ASAP!!!

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3 Sommer June 22, 2012 at 3:15 pm

Amy you rock and yes, please create a media kit! In the long run you will be so happy that you did!

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4 Allie May 25, 2012 at 1:17 pm

Sommer,

First, I value your opinion so much. I have watched you grow for many years. You are a go to gal for things like this. And you write an awesome blog!

Second, what awesome advise. My only issue before writing a media kit and having it available is that my traffic is not so stellar…yet. I plan on changing that. So should I go ahead and write up a simple media kit? Hey, I figure not too many will stop by yet, as I get bigger then hopefully someone will pay attention. Or should I wait until I look better on “paper”?

~Allie

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5 Sommer June 22, 2012 at 3:16 pm

Allie,
I recommend you have a kit regardless of your size. Sell what you offer and update it often as you grow. Include your offline influence too!

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6 OneMommy May 26, 2012 at 9:19 pm

Thank you for a ton of useful information!

I am one of those who has thought of doing a media kit, but hasn’t done it – time is partially a factor. Definitely going to get that baby rolling!
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7 Online Shopping Market June 4, 2012 at 6:24 am

This is excellent information and some food for thought as I move forward with my new blog.I will be working in this ASAP!!! Thanks!!!!

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8 Lynnette August 17, 2012 at 10:44 am

I’ve just learned about the importance of having a media kit, and the information in your article here is so helpful! Thanks!!
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9 Sommer September 8, 2012 at 10:51 am

Thanks Lynnette I am so glad that this was helpful for you!
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10 OutsideTheGuidebook September 13, 2012 at 7:16 am

I have been blogging for just over a month now and had only last night heard about this thing called the Media Kit. Had no clue what it was! This article is very good for a newbie! Well written Sommer.
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11 Sara Vartanian October 28, 2012 at 10:06 pm

Thanks, Sommer! I appreciate how you broke down the “why’s” to a media kit and also provided info about how to create one! I especially like how you discussed being easy to reach!
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12 Entrepremom / Mommy Iris November 27, 2012 at 7:46 am

Thanks for the information, Sommer!

I never really thought of this until now. I know what to do next.
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