Of all the frustrations I’ve dealt with over the past two years of blogging—all the website malfunctions, Instagram anxiety, and imposter syndrome—perhaps the most infuriating bullshit has been trying to get paid for my labor.
Maybe it’s because most bloggers start out as hobbyists, not as business owners (which we are, even if it’s just a business of one). Or because the industry is so heavily skewed female in a world where women are still underpaid compared to men…
…but it’s like talking to a wall sometimes when I try to tell a PR specialist that free product is not going to pay my rent.
One of the ways that I think we can all get paid more is by educating each other so that we are all equipped with the knowledge and tools to advocate for ourselves, and less bloggers and influencers accept product as payment and undercut their peers.
So, I’m kicking off a new series on my blog to help my fellow female creatives get their $$!
Let’s start with step one: creating a media kit.
Why create a media kit?
A media kit is like a resume for landing a sponsored blogger/influencer gig. It helps you tell your story: who you are, what you blog about, who your audience is, how big and engaged your audience is, and what they can expect from a collaboration with you.
Having a media kit shows that you’re a professional and have put serious thought into what you can offer to a brand.
What should a media kit include?
Your media kit should include:
- A short description of you and your brand/blog.
- Your relevant stats on any relevant platforms. For example, I highlight my blog web traffic and my Instagram following and engagement, since these are the channels for which I create the most sponsored content.
- Examples of any previous work, to show your style and quality of work. Note that these examples DON’T have to be paid work or even branded work! Just show off your content creation skills that can apply to a sponsorship.
- The services you offer. For example: Sponsored Blog Post, Sponsored Instagram Post, etc.
- Your rates (optional). For a while I didn’t list my rates on my media kit because I was still figuring out what I could and should charge, and experimenting to see which rates brands said yes to. More on setting rates in the second post of this series.
How do I make a media kit?
What stats should I include in my media kit?
- Blog/website: It’s best to use Google Analytics, the industry standard. Good metrics to include are: monthly pageviews, monthly unique visitors, percentage of returning visitors. I average these metrics over 3 months to show a more holistic picture of my blog traffic over time.
- Instagram: I include my followers and average engagement rate (you can get this by dividing the number of likes and comments over the number of posts; there are online calculators for this!). If you have a business account, you can also include average impressions or reach per post. For some people that’s higher than their follower count, giving a more accurate depiction of their influence.
- Other social media accounts: The metrics that brands are interested in vary between social media platforms, but in general the number of fans/followers/subscribers, impressions/views, and engagement rate are useful. For Pinterest, you might include monthly viewers and monthly engaged viewers; for YouTube, you might include the number of subscribers and average views per video.
- E-mail subscriber list: If you have a sizable e-mail subscriber base, be sure to include that!
What if I’m just starting out and don’t have impressive stats?
That’s OK! You don’t need huge numbers on your media kit to work with brands or even get paid. I had my first paid collaboration when my blog had around 5k monthly pageviews and my Instagram had only 1.2k followers.
Focus on what tells your story as best as possible. Maybe you don’t have a ton of followers, but your engagement is off the charts. Or maybe your numbers aren’t stellar, but your photos are incredible.
If a brand approaches you, know that they predict a return on their investment from working with you, and that means they are placing a value on your work, whether they want to pay you with money or product. It’s up to you to decide what is worth your precious time, work, and creativity.
Stay tuned for part 2 of this series: setting your rates!