A huge reason many bloggers join Food Blogger Pro is because they want to learn how to make money with their blog. It’s an honorable goal!
A lot of the time, bloggers will hear about advertising networks and the money they can make with them, so they’ll apply and get accepted and stop there. While ad networks might be the main source of income for bloggers with a lot of traffic, the income from running ads on your site can be less than satisfactory if you’re getting just a few thousand page views per month.
Alternatively, working directly with brands can be a reliable source of income if you are able to start and maintain a sponsorship.
But that’s just the thing…
How in the world are you supposed to start a sponsorship?!
One way to start a sponsorship is to wait by your computer and stare at your inbox waiting until a super rad company contacts you wanting to start a sponsorship. Wouldn’t that be neat!
Unfortunately, that’s not likely to happen.
The more reliable way to go about finding a sponsorship is to find the companies that you think would mesh well with your blog and contact them with some information about your blog.
This is a lot more difficult than just waiting around.
It requires time, research, perseverance, and dedication; but you’re a heck of a lot more likely to see results.
So, after you’ve found the perfect company that you want to reach out to, what do you say? What do you send them? This is where your media kit really comes in handy.
So what is a media kit, exactly?
A media kit is a one or two page document that sums up your blog in a nutshell.
In just these one or two pages, you are providing everything the brand needs to know to make a decision on whether they want to make a deal with you.
Now, that’s not to say the company won’t ever go look at your website or your facebook page. Not at all. But a media kit that is less than impressive – or lacking entirely – is a lot less likely to pique their interest and send them clicking over.
And what does a media kit contain? Let’s find out!
A powerful media kit will contain these uber important elements:
A summary describing you.
People want to work with other people who they feel they have a connection with.
Remember that one time you met another person who was a food blogger and you felt an instant connection with them? Your "about me" section is trying to achieve that goal – finding a connection with the person on the other side of the screen.
The tough part about this is that you don’t exactly know who is going to be on the other side of the screen. So the only thing you have left to do is just be yourself, and hope that the other person feels a connection.
In this short blurb, you want to convey who you are, what you do, and what is important to you. On my media kit, my about me section goes like this:
Hey there! I’m Raquel, a vegetarian food blogger over at mycaliforniaroots.com.
I am based in San Luis Obispo, CA, a small but lively town on the central coast of California. I spend my time here running and riding the local trails with my husband and our black lab pup, Dedas.
It’s also a good idea to include a good head shot of yourself so the person reading your intro can feel like they are hearing the words from you, a real person with a real photograph.
Since this part is the first thing the company representative is likely to read, you could also include a short note about where your work has been featured.
Here’s what Lindsay’s media kit about section looks like:
A summary describing your blog.
This is where you talk a bit about your blog – what kind of content you post, any events you and your blog participate in, and what your goal is for your website.
If the reader has made it this far, you likely succeeded in making a connection with them. This is your chance to tell them why your blog is a good match for them.
Here’s what my "About my blog" section looks like on my media kit:
My California Roots is a vegetarian food blog that focuses on mostly healthy, seasonal recipes that are often vegan and gluten free.
I post recipes two or three times per week, most of which are recipes that can be made on a weeknight in 40 minutes or less. I occasionally post how-to tutorials to help newer cooks get comfortable in the kitchen.
The desserts I post are usually decadent and drool-worthy, because I believe a balanced diet incorporates guilty treats every now and then.
My readers are not necessarily all vegetarian, but almost all follow my same type of mostly-healthy lifestyle. They are concerned with their health, but splurge every now and then. My readers are not only concerned about their health, but also the health of the environment, and this heavily weighs on their shopping preferences.
Here’s what Lindsay’s media kit about section looks like:
A look at who your audience is.
You have to look at this one from the sponsor’s side. No matter how cool of a person they think you are and no matter how much they love your blog, they still want to make sure that sponsoring your blog will be advantageous to them.
Sponsoring a blog is advantageous to a company if the demographic of your audience pretty closely resembles the demographics of the audience they are trying to reach.
You can better your odds of matching a potential sponsor’s audience if you do your research and send your media kit only to those companies who you think will have a similar audience. But, don’t be scared to go outside the box, either. You never know when a company is trying to reach a different audience than they currently have!
Here’s how Lindsay displays information about the Pinch of Yum audience in her media kit:
A glance at your blog’s stats and reach.
A lot of sponsorship opportunities require promoting your post or the product on social media. Thus, potential sponsors will want to know how many followers you have, as well as how many people come to your blog every month.
This information is best displayed as little graphics with clear numbers. They should be really easy to get the information across. For instance, you could use a little Facebook logo with the number right below, which indicates that is how many followers you have on Facebook.
Don’t be afraid to get creative with these!
It’s also a good idea to provide some links to your best social media profiles, so that if the company wants to go check it out then they already have the URL.
Information on companies you’ve worked with
If you’ve worked with some other companies before, your media kit is the best place to display that. Companies want to work with desirable bloggers, and showing that you are desired by other companies for your recipe development, photo skills, or social media reach can help you make the sale.
To display this, you can either list the companies and what you did for them, or just display their logo to keep it simple. Here’s how Lindsay did it for her media kit for Pinch of Yum:
If you have any testimonials from companies or even people you’ve worked with before, be sure to include them. This both adds a personal touch to your media kit from someone other than yourself, and it helps to promote you without shamelessly tooting your own horn.
If you are able, be sure to provide a picture of the person who gave the testimonial, as this helps the potential sponsor make a connection with the other person.
This is almost a no-brainer, but it is something you don’t want to forget! Make it easy for the company to get in contact with you in case they want to start working with you. Provide your email address at minimum, and include things such as your Twitter handle and phone number if appropriate.
And finally, photographs
As food bloggers, photographs are a big part of what we do, and they can be really instrumental in finding a sponsorship. Many companies want to see their product displayed in big, beautiful photographs on your website. So, show them how you can work with a camera by placing some of your best photos on your media kit.
And you’re done!
Whew, that was quite the list! It’s a lot of information to fit into a just one or two pages. But with some creative tinkering, you can definitely do it.
Once your media kit is done, you can start the fun part – contacting brands you’d love to work with! This takes a lot of work, but it will likely pay off in the end.
But wait! What about the design?
Good question! Designing a media kit can be just as difficult as coming up with the content to put in it. So what is a person who’s not all that experienced in design supposed to do?
Fortunately, there is an answer! Bjork and Lindsay offer a media kit template that you can purchase for just $5. Five dollars! That’s awesome. You can find it by going to this page and scrolling to the bottom. While you’re there, check out the How To Monetize Your Food Blog e-book. It’s a really great resource if you don’t already have it!
Alright, I think that pretty much wraps it up. You should have everything you need to know to build your very own media kit and start making money with sponsorships. Get to it!