The best thing about blogging is getting to connect with my readers and other prospective bloggers. I’ve been running Diary of a Debutante for a few years now, but I still feel like I have no idea what I’m doing half the time. Hence, I’m always so flattered when y’all come to me with questions or for blogging advice. Time after time, the most common FAQ is, “What advice do you have for me as a beginner blogger?” My answer every time is to create a killer media kit. In my experience, an eye-catching media kit, also known as a press kit, is the first step to success as a blogger. Great stats are only half the battle; presentation is key in how you pitch your business.
I’ve gone to a handful of conferences over the past year, and having pre-printed media kits at hand is always recommended and highly encouraged– so I recently turned to Vistaprint to get the job done. Instead of printing out a generic (and boring) old media kit on cardstock, why not try investing in an actual professional brochure to help expose your brand? Vistaprint offers a variety of brochures for just about any business needs you could possibly have. Their brochure selection includes different sizes, folds, and paper stocks plus fully customizable templates for easy, professional, and unique designs. Keep reading to check out my suggested media kit contents, plus some other tips and tricks for getting your press kit noticed and setting yourself apart as a digital influencer.
A strong media kit should present all your best attributes efficiently and attractively. I chose to customize a bi-fold 8.5″ x 11″ brochure with a premium glossy cover from Vistaprint with my blog’s official colors and fonts. Here’s exactly what goes into my media kit:
Recommended Media Kit Contents
1. Sample Brand Work- What are some of your favorite photos of brand collaborations? Use them to show how fabulous you can make a product or service look! On mine, you’ll notice that I used photos from brand collaborations throughout the entire two-fold brochure, not just in one designated area. That’s one of the main reasons I went with Vistaprint’s two-fold design– I wanted my media kit to look more like a magazine and less like pieces of paper stapled together.
2. Testimonials- Who loved working with you? Ask them if you can share a quote or two somewhere visible. Since you probably can’t see it, mine is from a press interview I did with a magazine, and it’s proudly displayed on the front.
3. Contact Info- What’s the best way to get in touch with you? What is your blog URL, since they’re going to want to check out your website? How can they find you on social media? Because it’s essentially the most importance piece of the kit, my blog’s URL is listed about five times throughout the brochure with its biggest mention on the front page in a distinct font. My email address is listed twice on the brochure (once on the front page and once on the back page), and my social media channels are all listed on the front page.
4. Services Offered- What services do you provide, and how much do they cost? I blurred out my prices (sorry!), but you can see that I listed a full menu of services offered. This includes a little blurb about what each package entails.
5. Audience Demographics- Who reads your blog? This section should include an age, gender, and user type breakdown directly pulled from Google Analytics. Be sure to include the date you pulled your numbers, as well, since stats will change (and hopefully improve) over time.
6. Pageviews- How many unique monthly visitors (UMVs) and monthly pageviews does your blog receive? Again, be sure to include the date you pulled these numbers.
7. Social Media Reach- How many followers do you have on social media? This should include Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. Google Plus and other channels are optional, since most brands won’t request shares on lesser known platforms.
8. Your Mission- What is your brand’s official mission statement? Who are you as a company? What does your brand represent? Because Diary of a Debutante’s mission of promoting body positivity and eating disorder awareness is so important to me personally, I devoted the entire back page to it. You could easily settle for a smaller “About Me” section, but I highly recommend you convey who you are and what makes you different in a prominent spot. Remember, there are thousands of bloggers just like you on the internet… setting yourself apart is huge, and sometimes stats alone aren’t enough to do the job.
Once you have all your information ready to go, design and printing comes into play. Here’s what I recommend by means of media kit production:
How to Produce Your Media Kit
1. Choose a Design- The easiest way to simplify the production process is to go through a custom printing company that can create something impressive, unique, and totally customizable at an affordable price, like Vistaprint. Vistaprint creates brochures in a variety of textures, folds, colors, and styles. Although their customization tools were enough for me personally, you can also hire one of their design experts to customize a design for you for as little as $5, which is pretty cool.
2. Request a Proof- No matter how fabulous your design looks on screen, I highly recommend ordering a proof before purchasing. When I worked in finance, we paid thousands of dollars to produce our new company letterhead from a fancy printing firm, and when we finally got it, the color was wrong, the spacing was wrong– pretty much everything was wrong. Vistaprint sends you a downloadable proof almost instantly, which you can print out or simply review on your computer screen. Even without a physical proof, these proofs can be preemptive indications of spacing issues, incompatible font or photo sizing, and/or poor photo resolution.
3. Order in Small Batches- Remember how you dated your stats and user demographics? Be prepared to update your stats (and all the rest of your media kit contents) at least once a year. I update mine quarterly, which means I’ll order a new batch of brochures quarterly.
Once you’ve picked out your Vistaprint brochure and you have your media kit designed, printed, and ready to impress, you’re pretty much in the clear. However, there are little gestures that can set yourself apart from the masses even more. Here are additional media kit contents I include when handing out a printed media kit:
Supplemental (But Still Recommended) Media Kit Contents:
1. A Hand-Written Note: The art of the old-fashioned hand written note has been long forgotten, but I’m determined to bring it back. I literally can’t remember the last time I felt flattered to received a computer-generated thank you note. They’re impersonal, and they flood both my digital inbox and my physical mailbox. If you’re mailing out a printed media kit, find out the name of a company PR representative and address it specifically to them. Say hi and that you hope to work with them soon. It’s really that simple… but it can also be so much more effective.
2. A Colorful Envelope: I’m not sure what the official stats are, but I’m 100% more likely to open anything if it’s hand addressed and in a colorful envelope or box.
3. The Element of Surprise: If you’re a blogger, you’ve probably received some kind of press samples in the past. What samples have you remembered? The ones with boring packaging, a single product, and some packing materials or the ones with bright and colorful boxes, a surprise treat (usually in the form of a Starbucks gift card), and a note? It’s always the latter! Think of something cute, cheap, and fun and start including it as part of your standard media kit contents. After receiving a few as inclusions in brand press kits, I’ve started sending Sugarfina’s taster packets. At the very least, they’re fun, and they get me noticed! 🙂
I hope this was helpful for you guys! Please don’t hesitate to let me know what other questions y’all have in the comments. If you’d like some advice on getting sponsored collaborations, I wrote a post about how to effectively pitch brands last year! And if you’d like more information about Vistaprint, check them out on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube for new products and updates!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Vistaprint. The opinions and text are all mine.