A popular topic I’m consistently asked about here at Blogging Basics 101 is how to monetize a blog. Bloggers want to know where to start, what to charge for, and how much to charge for it. Monetizing your blog can take many forms–advertising, product reviews, affiliate marketing, and giveaways are just a few options. Regardless of the method(s) you choose, one thing is certain: you need a media kit.
Before I explain how to develop your media kit, I want to be very clear on one point: It’s hard to make money with a blog. Even when you’re making money, it’s likely not much. Be prepared for hard work that is not equivalent to the pay-out.
Why Do You Need a Media Kit?
You’ve decided to take monetization seriously. Good for you! A media kit will help you realize that goal.
I think everyone needs a media kit–especially as your blog grows. Every PR rep or marketing company I have worked with has asked for a media kit with my advertising rates, traffic statistics, and, if available, my demographics. Your media kit is the document you can send to PR and marketing reps, potential advertisers or vendors, and anyone else who may be interested in working with you. It’s your opportunity to tell people why they should work with you.
What should you include in your media kit?
- Branding. Your media kit should reflect your blog’s brand. You can use the same color scheme and any graphics that emphasize that brand. If someone is familiar with your blog (and if they aren’t) they should be able to tell this media kit came from you and your blog.
- Elevator pitch. An elevator pitch is a short explanation of what you do. BB101′s elevator pitch is I write tips and instructions for beginning and intermediate bloggers.
- Explanation of your blog’s topic or niche. After you’ve stated your elevator pitch, you can expand the explanation of your blog’s niche, why you are an important part of that niche, and why your are a good fit with a potential vendor or PR representative. This is a great place to explain why you’ll add value to a specific campaign.
- Traffic statistics. Focus on the traffic you have now and don’t pad your numbers. Your potential partners expect a level of honesty and will base their relationship with you on what you tell them. If you say one thing, but can’t deliver, it won’t end well. When discussing your traffic statistics, include unique visitors, feed subscribers, total page views, and total visitors. If you have particularly good Google Page Rank or Technorati and Alexa page rankings, definitely include that information here.
- Bounce Rate. If your Bounce Rate is under 65%, you can include it with your traffic stats. Bounce rate is the rate at which users leave a blog. Anything under 65% bounce rate is considered successful because your users are staying to read your content and not clicking away. This can be an important selling point for potential advertisers.
- Advertising sizes/options, rates, and guidelines. What size(s) of advertising will you offer (e.g., 125×125, 120×600)? How much does each type of ad cost for a week? A month? Consider whether you’ll give discounts for clients who book several weeks of advertising and explain that policy here. This is also the place to discuss whether you’ll accept animated advertising or ads that do not relate to your audience, and whether you’ll issue refunds for certain situations.
- Payment. Be clear about how you will be paid and when you must receive payment. (If you are using PayPal, they have easy-to-use invoices.)
You can download a media kit template at Mom Bloggers Club.
One of my favorite bloggers and artists, Sarah Jane, has written a post on what to include in a Press Release or Press Kit. Her article is geared less toward blogs and more toward artists trying to get their products into magazines, but it’s definitely relevant and has excellent information. You can easily adjust that information to your blog business.
For information on what to charge for your advertising space or giveaways (yes, you should be charging for giveaways!), read Advertising Rates for Mom Blogs: How Much Should I Charge? over at Mom Bloggers Club.