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How to Create a Blog Media Kit That Brands Will Love

Are you a blogger who wants to start working with brands?

Well, you are going to need a stellar blog media kit that will make you look professional, show off your work, and basically make brands line up to work with you. It’s like your ultimate sales pitch tool. I can guarantee you that if you pitch a brand without a media kit, your chances of them saying yes to a collaboration are waaaay lower.

Note: Affiliate Links have been used in this post. Please refer to my Policies page for more information.

Blog Media Kit | How to make a media kit | Pitch brands | Sponsored Posts | Media Kit Templates

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Here are the elements that every media kit should have…

A Description of You & Your Blog

You need to introduce who you are and what your blog is all about in your media kit. The description should be a short paragraph letting them know your name, your blog name, and the general topics you blog about. I also like to include location in here. For me being based in Canada, sometimes that is an advantage or can be restrictive to potential sponsors, so I like to get it out on the table right away.

 

Amazing Photos

Next up are photos. You don’t want your media kit to come off as all-text because that would be seriously boring. It needs to look good and convey a sense of personality and your blog. I want you to include your best headshot so that the brand can feel like they are getting to know you, and then a handful of other images that demonstrate some of the most stellar work from your blog. Make sure these are beautiful photos that are well-lit, edited nicely, and form a cohesive look.

 

Audience Demographics

Next up are your audience demographics. You want to give the brand a sense of your readership so that they know whether this fits into their target market. If you head into Google Analytics, you can look up the sex, location, and age of your readership. You should have a general sense of this anyway, and the overall interests of your readers just based on your interaction with them. A one to two sentence description of your audience is sufficient.

 

Stats

Your blog and social media stats need to be on the kit somewhere. The key ones to include are:

  • Your followers count across your social media platforms
  • Monthly page views to your blog
  • Monthly unique page views (“users” in Google Analytics)
  • Newsletter subscriber count (assuming you have a newsletter setup)

To get your page views and your uniques, head on into to Google Analytics, as it has the most accurate numbers. If you don’t have Google Analytics setup yet for your blog, definitely do it. It’s going to be the best way for you to get a sense of your readership.

Blog Media Kit | How to make a media kit | Pitch brands | Sponsored Posts | Media Kit Templates

Check out Shannon’s media kit here. She does a beautiful job at packing it full of info AND keeping it pretty! 

Collaboration Options

You want to describe the kinds of ways you could work with brands. This is where you are saying what you offer – whether it’s blog posts, social media posts, newsletter mentions, photography, original video, etc. I recommend you include your rates within your kit so that it’s all in one spot. You want to make it as easy as possible for the brand’s PR/marketing person.

 

Contact Information

It’s kind of obvious, but make sure you have your contact information readily available in the kit. An email address is sufficient, and your handles for social media is good to have there too.

 

Testimonials / Press

This is optional, but having testimonials from other brands you have worked with can be a great way of selling yourself. Or even just having the logos of brands you’ve worked with is still an awesome way of adding that credibility factor to your blog.

If you have received big press coverage with your blog, then it’s nice to highlight that as well. Again, it shows that you have a big reach and helps you to be taken seriously.

 

General Tips:

Make it a PDF – Your kit should always come as a PDF, unless you have created it online so it has its own URL. Don’t send something in Word or as a JPEG, it just doesn’t look as professional and may be difficult to open up. A PDF will always look exactly how you created it, no matter who opens it up on any device.

Lots of white space – You don’t want your kit to feel text heavy. Make sure you have lots of white space to make it look great and be easy to read.

Not too long –  I don’t think that there is a hard and fast rule to how long your media kit should be, but kind of like a traditional resume, I wouldn’t let it get out of control long. People aren’t going to take the time to read anything that goes on forever, so aim to keep it under 3 pages.

 

Media Kit Templates:

If you are savvy with design software and can create your kit on your own, then totally go for it… BUT using a template is what I recommend. It will save you tons of time and headache, and will ensure your kit looks super amazing.

There are lots of great templates out there, but here are my faves. The best part? All of these can be customized using Word, so you don’t need Photoshop or any other special software. It makes it easy to edit and you can save as a PDF no problem:

template1

template2

template3

  • Graphicadi  – use coupon code THESWEETESTDIGS for 10% off!

template4

template5

And if you want to use your blog media kit to get work with brands, be sure to check out this post that takes you through how to pitch a sponsored post.

Don’t forget to sign up for my totally FREE 7-day email course on blog monetization. I’ll send you jam-packed lessons to help turn your blog into a booming business. Pinky swear.

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Top 10 Must-Have Tools For Bloggers

There are so many tools and software out there to help you run and create a blog, it can be totally overwhelming. I’m constantly hearing about new programs coming out, things seem to be ever-changing, and it’s hard to stay on top of it all.

There are a few programs and websites though that are my absolute go-to’s as a DIY + design blogger and keep my business afloat. I love it when I find something that is user-friendly and makes my life easier in some way. I try to create “systems” in my business so that everything runs as efficiently as possible.

If you’re looking to create a blog or already run a blogging biz, here are my top 10 must-have tools

(Please note that you don’t need ALL of these things to run a successful blog biz. I know that costs can add up! So be sure to add new tools to your toolbox as your budget allows.)

The top 10 must-have tools and programs for running your DIY and design blogging biz. Ever blogger and online entrepreneur needs these!! Click through for the free download cheatsheet!

Affiliate links have been used when appropriate. Please see my Policies page for more info.

 

My Top 10 Blogging Tools:

 

1 / WORDPRESS: For creating your blog

I know Squarespace can be all kinds of pretty and easy to setup (I hear great things!), but I am a wordpress girl through and through. Once you get used to it, it’s pretty easy to figure things out on your own (and worst case, google it! Honestly, there is an answer for ALL wordpress issues out there).

I also love that I can feel somewhat tech-y knowing how to edit my site, change up the look, ensure good SEO, etc. Oh and the other great thing? Because WordPress is used by a zillion people, there are plugins for everything. And most of them are free. For example, if you want to start selling products, then the WooCommerce plugin is free and waiting for you.

If you want to get more of the in’s and out’s on how to start and create a blog, including wordpress install info and plugins, be sure to check out this step-by-step guide. It’s walks you through all the nitty gritty stuff.

 

2 / SITEGROUND: For hosting your blog

SiteGround is widely popular with wordpress bloggers and is so highly regarded in general. In my own experience (they host all my sites) – there is nothing bad to say about this company. Their rates are very competitive and the customer service is un-matched.

[FYI – I also recommend BlueHost as an excellent start-up host provider since you literally can’t beat their prices. Although I have had good experience with them in the past, I have heard from a few folks that haven’t had the best time with their customer service. But if you are just starting out and want the absolute cheapest option, this is likely it.]

Click here for my “How to Start a Blog” page for way more info, including detailed instructions to get you up and running.

 

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3 / CANVA: For creating amazing images

Ever wondered how to create amazing graphics for your blog? Especially if you don’t have the bucks to shell out for Illustrator or another paid program?

Well, get ready, because you’re about to lose hours and hours of time on Canva creating the most gorgeous graphics ever. Honestly, I LOVE this program.

I use Adobe Illustrator for a lot of things, but I come back to Canva regularly because their design templates are great, they have so many options, and the interface is just crazy easy to use. Major heart eyes over here.

 

4 / BOARDBOOSTER: For scheduling Pinterest

Pinterest is ridiculously important for bloggers, and particularly those in the DIY + design niche, where good graphics and photography are a big player in attracting readers to your site.

My fave Pinterest scheduler without a doubt is Boardbooster. This little tool will change your  life. I use all 3 of the features (campaigns, scheduler, and looping) to manage my Pinterest. I pin to group boards, pin new content to my own boards, and then loop older pins up to the top of my boards to ensure daily pinning. It means that I look like an active pinner and gain lots of followers, but only have to spend an hour a week on Pinterest. Amazing, right? It’s the best money I spend every month (they have plans starting at only $5!).

I wrote a detailed post about how to setup your Boardbooster, that takes you through step-by-step, with screenshots.

The top 10 must-have tools and programs for running your DIY and design blogging biz. Ever blogger and online entrepreneur needs these!! Click through for the free download cheatsheet!

 

5 / BUFFER: For social media scheduling

Buffer is another excellent scheduling tool – I use it for Facebook (pages and groups) and Instagram. It allows you to upload all of your pics, write out your captions, and schedule your posts for weeks and months in advance.

For instagram, it can’t actually post for you, but you get a little pop-up on your phone when it’s time to post and then it’s just a matter of hitting a few clicks to publish.

Sitting down once every few weeks to plan out your social media content will make your life so much easier.

 

 

6 / CONVERT KIT: For your email provider

If you plan on focusing on list-building (which I reeeeally encourage you do to build your biz!), and want to have a smart email system to do it with, then ConvertKit is it.

I switched over to ConvertKit  from MailChimp and I’m loving it. The creator of ConvertKit built it specifically for bloggers, and it means that there are some really smart features.

Do you have multiple opt-in’s on your site? No problem – they only get counted as 1 subscriber so you aren’t having to double pay for them.

Want to setup an automation sequence for a free course or other marketing tool? Easy-peasy in ConvertKit.

Need to tag folks so that you know what particular things they are interested in from you? Takes 5 seconds.

I could go on and on. There are lots of really great features at an affordable monthly price.

When I first switched over, I was a little bummed that the emails didn’t look as “pretty” and didn’t have the drag-and-drop setup feature that Mailchimp had. But then I realized that I actually like getting emails from bloggers that look more like an email from a friend and don’t take a million years to load with a ton of images. Plus apparently fewer images also means they are less likely to go into spam folders. Who knew?!

Read more here about why it’s so important that you build an email list as a blogger.

 

7 / CREATIVE MARKET: For graphics, fonts, and all things pretty

Creative Market is a rabbit hole that I get COMPLETELY lost in from time to time. From amazing fonts, to gorgeous stock photography, to really cute graphics and clip art, there is so much fun stuff to browse. If you are going to create printables, do any kind of graphic design (even basic stuff) for your blog, or need stock photos for your posts, then this is where you want to go to.

If you sign up for their newsletter, you get free stuff every Monday to download! I’m always super pumped to see what they are sending out every week. Go sign up now – you’ll love it!

 

8 / WAVE APPS: For your bookkeeping

One downside of running your own biz is having to handle all the numbers and bookkeeping, but I have found a tool that makes this WAY less painful. Stop using a plain spreadsheet to track your biz expenses and sign up for Wave. It will change your life (it’s free!).

I track all of my expenses and pay-days in there, create super profresh looking invoices, and can get a quick glimpse of what my overall income is in a flash on the dashboard. You can even have multiple profiles – so I separate out blog, etsy shop, and in-person design/consulting services as 3 separate entities so that I can see the income from them super clearly. It’s an amazing tool! Makes tax time so much easier, too.

 

9 / LEADPAGES: For your marketing

Leadpages is a tool that allows you to create really beautiful landing pages and leadboxes. You use these when you have some kind of incentive to offer your readers and want them to opt-in with their email address.

LeadPages is not a cheap tool, but they really have it nailed when it comes to understanding how to increase conversions and turn readers into subscribers. Their templates make it really easy to create attractive pop ups and sales pages.

I also wanted to point out that ConvertKit also offers landing pages and opt-in forms, but they are more basic and don’t have the variety of templates and functionality LeadPages does. That’s why I use both systems and integrate them together.

 

10 / KingSumo Giveaways: To build your email list with giveaways

If you do any giveaways on your blog, you might have used a free service like RaffleCopter or Gleam. Those are fine, but generally when I do giveaways I want the entry to focus on the thing I’m after most: the email address. Building my email list is waaaay more important to me than social media follows.

The best tool I have found to do this is called KingSumo Giveaways.

With KingSumo Giveaways, the ONLY thing you collect as an entry is the reader’s email address. It’s an amaaazing way to help build your list. Then if the reader wants even more entries, they share the giveaway with a special URL and for every friend they refer they get a bunch of additional entries (you set the number). It means that there is major incentive to share the giveaway – total win for the blogger.

It’s a little bit pricey, but it’s a one-time cost and if you do giveaways a few times a year and have list-building as an important aspect of your biz, then I totally think it’s worth it. I much prefer a one time cost then a monthly subscription for something like this.

 

That’s a wrap! My top 10 tools.

 

You can check out other programs and tools I love over on this page, and you can also get in on my FREE 7-day email course on how to monetize your blog by dropping your email below.

Create a Profitable Blog: FREE eCourse

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Sign up for my FREE 7-day email course to get action-packed lessons on monetizing your blog delivered straight to your inbox. Go from hobby blog to legit biz.

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7 Strategies To Increase Blog Traffic

As a blogger, you want each post you write to get noticed! There is nothing worse then spending a whole whack of time crafting an amazing post, just to have it bring you little to no traffic and hear crickets. It’s not just a game of luck though. There are really specific things you can focus on and do with each blog post to make sure it reaches its full potential. From my experience of writing blog posts that have done super well AND not so great (trial and error, peeps!!), here is what I have learned: 7 proven strategies to increase blog traffic.

Increase blog traffic | Viral blog post strategies | Increase blog pageviews | SEO, Pinterest and Blog audits | Click through for a free workbook!

1 // TEACH SOMETHING

The types of blog posts that not only get read, favorited, shared, and stand the test of time, are the ones that provide ultra valuable content.

A short post that doesn’t leave the reader feeling like they gained a lot from it ain’t going to have much of a lifespan on the internet. On the other hand, if you write a really comprehensive article that imparts some kind of knowledge to the reader, they are going to really value it and share that bad boy.

Try to write every blog post with the intention that readers would want to bookmark and come back to to read again, because it was THAT GOOD. I’m not saying that each post needs to be a tutorial of some kind (though those are great!), but try to always write your post from the perspective of offering value in some way to your reader.

My top posts that do well and continue to send traffic my way, even years later, are comprehensive posts that taught the reader something – usually a DIY project tutorial or some kind of how-to. This post on choosing quartz countertops for our kitchen is an example of one of my best performing posts. In it, I took the readers through our experience of selecting countertop options and included all the marble-lookalike quartz options out there, our decision making process, which we choose, and how we ended up liking it. It’s a pretty clear guide for someone wanting to do something similar.

 

2 // HAVE STELLAR PHOTOGRAPHY

Photography, particularly in the design / DIY / food / fashion / lifestyle arenas, plays such a huge role in blogging. Let me embarrass myself for a minute, k? Here is a photo from one of my very early blog posts. It was one of my first furniture makeover posts – this was the “during the makeover” pic.

pic-2

Small, SO dark, a weird angle, and terribly composed with the sofa and random stuff in the background. NOBODY is going to find that inspiring. It’s just plain bad.

This image, on the other hand, is well-lit, better composed, and is all around more appealing. Waaaay better. Obviously I have learned a thing or two in my 5+ years of blogging.

looking-for-nursery-or-kids-room-decor-ideas-check-out-this-black-white-and-green-boys-room-with-a-scandi-meets-camp-design-7

I know all bloggers aren’t photography experts. I’m definitely not. But, I promise that you can get better if you just dedicate a bit of time to figuring it out.

Look up tutorials online, read through tips, and get to know photography editing software like Photoshop, LightRoom or PicMonkey (only $40 for the Royale version). There are even tons of apps out there for creating amazing photography just using your phone – here is an article outlining some of the best ones.

If you don’t need to use original photography in your posts, then be sure to use beautiful stock images to amp up the visual factor of your article. There are plenty of sites that offer free stock photos. If you are looking for something more unique or specific, then there is also a whole market out there for paid stock (check out Creative Market, Etsy, etc.). Just never ever ever use a photo that isn’t yours without knowing that you have permission to do so.

 

3 // MAKE IT PINTEREST-FRIENDLY

Pinterest is a huge driver of traffic for most bloggers. It is consistently in my top 3 referrers to my blog, sending me a minimum of 1000 hits a day. In order to get your full potential out of Pinterest, you NEED to make sure you have a “pinterest-friendly” image in each and every blog post you write.

What does this mean?

Size –  The image should be vertical and sized around 735 x 1100 pixels. Vertical images are proven to be way more successful on Pinterest than horizontal ones (they always appear really small), so please please please don’t ignore this piece of advice.

Text – Although I would argue that it isn’t always necessary, images with a text overlay tend to do well on Pinterest. An overlay refers to your post title or some descriptive phrase placed on top of the image, like the one below.

There are two free software tools you can use to do this. The first is Canva, which if you’re anything like me, you will get obsessed with. They even have a Pinterest image option with templates you can use – your designs are going to suddenly look SO good! The other option is PicMonkey, another solid option that I use regularly.

Tags – Alt tagging. I know, I know. You’re like “alt whaaat?”. You know how when you pin an image from a website it automatically pulls a description into the Pinterest description? Well, if you don’t alt tag your image with something, then it’ll pull whatever the title of the image is (think “DSC_0959”). Not great. You want to ensure that you have entered a good phrase into your image’s alt tag so that it pulls this as its’ description, making it way more search and reader friendly in Pinterest (meaning it’s more likely to get re-pinned). If you don’t know how to edit the alt tag, google it for instructions using your platform (wordpress, blogger, squarespace, etc).

Here is an example of one of my post photos that I would consider Pinterest-friendly:

chalk-painted-mason-jars

If you want to get all the Pinterest info you’ll ever need, you HAVE to check out Melyssa’s Pinfinite Growth course. I took it and have 5x my following and saw a 300% increase in Pinterest traffic. The girl delivers an incredible system that works.

 

4 // SMART SEO

SEO stands for “search engine optimization”. Basically, there are a whole bunch of things to do with keywords and the tagging of your post, that are going to help make your post rank high in google search. The higher your post ranks, the more people are going to see it and click on it.

Here are the basic things you want to think about:

Your keyword phrase. This is the phrase that when searched in google, you would want YOUR blog post to show up nice and high in the results. Make sure your phrase isn’t too long, but also specific enough. If you were writing a post about a paleo chocolate cake that uses zucchini (does such a thing exist?), you would want to have the keyword phrase be “paleo zucchini chocolate cake recipe” instead of just “chocolate cake recipe”, where your competition is going to be much higher. Make sense?

You want your keyword phrase to be included somewhere near the top of your post (first paragraph is good), in the title, in the URL, and elsewhere in your post if possible.

Your title. As much as it might be cute to have a title with a funny pun, you want to have a title that is explanatory and grabs peoples’ attention. That fine line between being both educational AND interesting / thought provoking. When you show up in google, you want the title to encourage folks to click over. Something like “Friday Faves” doesn’t tell you anything about the post. I’ll admit – I struggle with titles! I feel like it’s a total art that I definitely haven’t mastered yet. Here is a good article on title creation.

If you use WordPress, there is a plugin called Yoast SEO that I really recommend. It takes the guesswork out of SEO tagging and gives you a green light once you have “good” SEO. I use it for each and every blog post I write. It’s especially perfect if, like me, you don’t totally understand all the nuances of SEO but want to make sure you are going to rank well.

There is WAY more info you can learn on improving your SEO, but that’s a good place to start.

 

5 // MAKE SHARING EASY

Having other people share your content is one of the absolute BEST ways of getting your content out there. You need to make it super easy for people to do this. Make sure you have social sharing buttons placed in a really obvious spot in or throughout your post so that your readers are encouraged to click on them. When someone hovers over an image in your post, the social icons should pop up for the reader to click them (hover over any of the images in this post to see what I mean).

There are tons of plugins that you can use to make this possible. I keep hearing and reading great things about SumoMe, both for sharing buttons and email sign-ups. I’m just getting started with it on my own site, and will report back if I notice a huge leap in sharing!

the-7-things-you-need-to-do-in-each-of-your-blog-posts-to-make-them-go-viral-get-shared-and-boost-your-traffic-click-through-for-the-article-and-free-worksheet

 

6 // AMPLIFY ACROSS SOCIAL MEDIA

Speaking of social media, you need to make sure you share each and every blog post you create across your own platforms. Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Google +, and wherever else you and your target audience hang out.

Now, I don’t just mean share it once and call it a day. The best thing you can do with your blog’s social media strategy is to continue to share these evergreen blog posts for a long time to come. That’s why we are making sure they are valuable and comprehensive … because those posts ain’t going to go out of style!

There are loads of tools out there you can use to schedule your social media updates. What I recommend is keeping a record of all of your blog posts in some kind of document (like a Word doc, even). Have the link, title, and short description saved and build it up over time with all of your posts. That way you have this amazing document you can pull all of your old blog posts from to schedule into your social media.

For scheduling, these are the software tools I recommend as I find them to be the “smartest” and least time consuming for me (but there are tons of others too, like HootSuite and Tailwind):

pinterest-profile

7 // HAVE A CONTENT UPGRADE

What is a content upgrade? It’s the “freebie” you sometimes see at the end or within a blog post available for instant download. The blogger has thought about the reader and created some kind of ‘extra’ to give them. Like I mentioned above, it’s allllll about creating value for your readers to get your post shared and folks coming back for more.

You always want your content upgrade to be related to your blog post’s subject matter (having it be totally un-related would be a little weird). Some content upgrade ideas:

  • Cheatsheet (like a one-pager that summarizes your post content)
  • Workbook
  • Checklist
  • Resource List
  • Worksheet / Assignment
  • Guide
  • Printable
  • Podcast
  • Case Study
  • Templates
  • Course
  • eBook
  • basically whatever you think your readers will dig!

Content upgrades not only increase the sharing of your post, but they are also a great opportunity to collect email addresses and turn those readers into subscribers. Building up your email list is really important for your blogging biz, so you want to use this as an opportunity to land some new folks on there.

 

So that’s a wrap. Start doing those 7 things with each and every blog post you write, and I PROMISE you are going to see a boost in traffic. You’ve got this!