Sunday, 21 August 2016

A Beginners Guide to a Blogging Media Kit

In April of this year, I spent the Easter break rebranding The Wildflower, updating the design of the site and investing in a designer and alongside that creating my first media kit. 

Today I thought I'd share this media kit along with my pros and cons, and what's next for my upcoming media kit as a kind of beginners guide. I am no expert at blogging, and my blog is by no means immensely successful, but at a recent blogging event, talk of media kits came up, and some did not know of media kits or how to create one, and I explained I found it really easy to make the kit, on top of it's actually opened a lot of doors for me in the past four months. 

For my blogging, I write from a MacBook pro, but at the time I made my media kit, I actually didn't have Microsoft apps on my laptop because I had a work laptop, and home computer. I used the home computer to create this kit (which was really slow fyi!) and used Microsoft Powerpoint and Paint (retro!). 

I used Paint to edit my photographs into grids for the front cover as a simple cut, copy and paste. I used Microsoft Powerpoint for the main body of the kit, using different sizes of fonts, and weighted lines in accent and pop colours. If you have it and are used to using it, other programmes such as Photoshop or Adobe I've read are good for creating media kits too. For me, I wanted an easy and time effective way to create a simple yet effective kit, and I didn't fancy downloading new software this time around, so stuck to programmes I know and love (even if it does make me like my Year 10/11 self editing in Paint!) 

Front Cover;
Some bloggers choose to have a front cover, others do not. I personally quite like the idea of a front cover, like a mini leaflet/book style feel to the kit, and I've heard of bloggers printing their kits and handing them out, in which case I think a front cover is necessary. 

I wanted to pick photographs which represented my brand and my blog alongside personal favourites.  The wildflowers photograph I used as part of my blog header and business cards, so wanted as my main focus point of the cover. 

The square photographs are a collaged selection of favourites and well loved photographs from my blog and Instagram over the past few years. 

My colour palette I picked as shades of grey as the accent colour, and pink as a pop colour. I am actually thinking of changing my pop colour for my next media kit so don't get too engrossed in the colours; I picked colours I liked and that went well as I tried different shades out. 

Front Cover Checklist: 
  • Pick a photograph (s) that represent your blog / brand. 
  • Pick a colour palette. 
  • Include the title of your blog. 
  • Date your media kit. 

Page One; Introductions, Social Media & Stats
To gather inspiration for my media kit, I took to Pinterest and read articles on other bloggers and brands and their media kits. I gathered a mini checklist of things I wanted to include, and had a few ideas on my own, which I'll explore more on page two.

I used the introduction to write a short paragraph about The Wildflower, and a shorter paragraph about myself. A piece of advice I learnt from attending The Blogcademy was that you should write those introductory paragraphs (for your media kit or about me page) in the third person. It gives more of a professional feel,  even though I found it really awkward writing about myself in third person - I get why people pay people to write introductions for this sort of thing! 

In the right hand column I included contact details across my e-mail and social media and then a summary of my statistics as up to date as possible. There were different variations on what statistics bloggers and brands were sharing on their media kits. I liked to highlight the social media platforms I actively use all the time - I do have a Pinterest and Tumblr account alongside Instagram and Twitter, but get less of a connection on those platforms so did not include them. Include what works for you. 

At first, I was worried that my following was not big enough, and my stats didn't seem worthy of a media kit - I say screw it, and put your stats on regardless of size. I've not had one criticism from a brand of my media kit or the numbers provided on it (at least not to my face ha!), and a lot of brands look for and/or appreciate quality followings, niches and honesty. 

A lot of brands I see asking for bloggers and pr requests, often ask for your sites DA score. You can check this using - I am 99% sure I'm going to use my DA and spam scores on my next media kit. 

Page One Checklist: 

  • Write an introduction 
  • Include your contact details & blog details
  • Include your stats 

Page Two; Reader Profile, Collaborate, Events 
Page two of my media kit was give or take. Some bloggers prefer a one page media kit, and if you think you may be one of those bloggers, check the checklist at the bottom of this section, and make sure you have the elements from page one! 

If you fancy a longer media kit, then keep reading! 
I decided to elaborate on page one. My first section was my reader profile. I don't religiously check my statistics, but when I hit the stats button, I do enjoy seeing my followers, and checking that map on blogger and seeing where in the world people are reading my blog - I find that more crazy than how many times my blog has been viewed!  I listed my top two countries readership which was the UK and USA (closely followed by Iraq and Russia!)  along with a general reader profile - this is quite common on media kits. 

I also decided to list my most popular posts, and then the ways which I am happy to collaborate with brands and bloggers. 
Something which I haven't seen done before was including an events section, of upcoming events and past events. I personally found this a huge pro to my media kit because it provided a talking point for brands, and shows participation in the blogging community alongside a way to network. 

Like I say, this page is a lot more give or take, and is totally non prescriptive. I'd say take ideas of aspects you'd like in your media kit. 

Page Two Checklist: 

  • Reader Profile 
  • Popular Posts
  • Include a section you'd like to write about, such as events. 

Finally  I saved the document to PDF and renamed 'The Wildflower Media Kit' for ease of attaching the file to e-mails. 

My future media kit; 

It's been four months, and it occurred to me that my kit is already a tad outdated, alongside the fact I now feel I have a lot more to offer with my media kit as I've worked with quite a few brands since creating my media kit. In my next media kit I want to include: 
  • Updated events section
  • Summary of brands I've worked with 
  • Advertising section, as I've now launched advertising on my site 
  • New popular posts as travel now has a bigger following on The Wildflower, especially the Disney themed posts. 

Pros & Cons
  • I've worked with a lot more brands than I have done in my whole six years of blogging since having a media kit. 
  • My stats have gone up as a result. 
  • It saves time - my e-mails writing to or responding to brands are short and simple, because I let the media kit do the talking.
  • It contributes to your blog as a brand. 
  • It's a good way to celebrate your achievements; until I wrote this media kit, I hadn't realised just how much I had done with my blog to that point, alongside holding down a full time job and studying alongside to become a teacher. It's also a good way to track progress if you don't track your stats (which I don't do, but should do!)
  • It's a good way to display your best - and why shouldn't you blow your own trumpet? 
  • It didn't take that long - the media kit you are reading above took about 2-3 hours and if you are a whizz with photoshop, or have sections you can take from your about me page or graphics ready made, it'll be even less time. 
  • If you do it yourself, its free to make! 
  • If you design it right, you can keep it indefinitely or longer than a year. 

  • It usually requires maintaining - like a haircut, or your Twitter account, it needs updating. I feel conscious that my hair is no longer ginger or rose gold blonde - it doesn't help I'm getting my hair dyed again in two weeks too and know I'll need to update the photographs again! It's also worth maintaining stats. Since my 1st media kit, my stats have gone up considerably more than listed. 

I couldn't think of any more cons - I was wondering whether any readers had any comments on pros or cons? 

& that's it really! I'm hoping this mini beginners amateur guide has helped some people out there or maybe inspired you to create a media kit! If you need any help or ideas, tweet me, comment or e-mail me and I'd be happy to help! I'd love to know your thoughts on media kits?

© In Between Days | All rights reserved.