the media kit for your blog

By • May 9th, 2010 • Category: Lead Story, The Digital Strategist

The local blogosphere is an interesting marketplace at this point. Unless you’ve been a staunch international-blogs-only reader, you would’ve noticed the increasing number of local blogs whose first word is Advertorial. From a commercial standpoint, and indeed bloggers need money to eat too, I’m glad brands are recognising local blogs as influential media channels worth investing. From a consumer standpoint however, if the first word I see is Advertorial, I’ll probably skip the entire post altogether unless the product is, to begin with, of relevance to me.

For the Marketing novice, go do a little homework on how the word Advertorial was born. There is a reason why no existing publication worthy of its credibility will allow any brand to influence the editorial content. There is a reason why advertorials are written by salaried copywriters of agencies paid for by brands, and NOT the editorial team from the publications. For how advertorials have been redefined in the Golden Age of Social Media where bloggers are paid like salaried copywriters who demand editorial rights to say whatever they want… is interesting if not a little unreasonable.

I cannot imagine a copywriter telling the client, “No, Imma write whatever I want about your brand to retain my credibility with my readers, and you shall pay me $500 for my write-up”. Life is good for bloggers right now, eh?

Like anything that doesn’t make economic sense (read: credit crunch), it will come to a day where brands will get smart with which blogs they invest with. There will come  a day where brands will go:

1. Alright, your Google Analytics numbers are a given, but what’s your readership profile like?

2. Please don’t tell me Google Analytics provide demographic data. I want a credible audit by a third-party research house.

3. Aren’t the readership profiles for these two blogs similar? If so, I’ll just spend my money on one. Why waste time with the other when they attract the same pool of readers?

4. This blogger has been associated with too many brands in the past 6 months. You know it’s a bit like casting a model. I don’t want a model who’s been used too many times to be distinctive to my brand.

What will you do then, as a blogger? Actually, that question is irrelevant. You should be asking yourself what kind of blogger do you wish to be. If you have 50,000 unique visitors a day, chances are, you don’t need to worry about the first three points because there will always be stupid clients (rude, but true). If you’re one of the 3,000+ bloggers who have 1,000 unique visitors a day, you should bloody worry. I’m saying this not to undermine any blogger, but here begs my question:

What makes YOU stand out from the other 3,000+ bloggers who make a living from advertorials?

I’ve been working on blankanvas’ media kit for a couple of weeks now, having pulled a year’s worth of data from both my readership survey audited by Crowd Science as well as Google Analytics. I see value in blankanvas for brands, and I see opportunities for me to monetize the value. The media kit I’ve created is my way of respecting my existence as a blogger. I was previously asked by a friend if I was worried others will rip this off and create media kits too. Well firstly, the concept isn’t new – I ripped off from my knowledge of the traditional media industry (thanks guys). More importantly, as a digital strategist AND blogger, I want my social media community to grow, and not die from an overdose of advertorials.

So please, rip away and start producing your own media kits ok? ;)


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13 Responses »

  1. haha, I love this post Pat (and as an international reader, I can only laugh loudly)

    it’s obviously well done, clear, & powerful.

    If I were a brand with bollocks, I’d hire you.

  2. Merci, Laurent. Oh fly me over to Paris would you? Haha.

  3. Brilliantly written and concise content. Cheers !

  4. Good work Pat.

    I have a feeling it also has to do with the industry. Non-savvy clients are helped (non-savvy) media firms sharing the idea that advertorials work.


  5. Awesome! Love the content! Thanks fer sharing the amazing tip

  6. Wow, your blog entry makes me struck if advertorials by bloggers nowadays are credible because just recently, my friend from an airline PR tells me when will you actually believe in advertorials which are true !

    And media kits are good to sell ur blog ! :) Nicely done !

  7. Nice work! Actually you don’t need a media kit to sell your blog. I’m already sold! Which is why I have a blankanvas sticker on my Mac. Hahas.

    I didn’t know blankanvas is featured in Alltop. Which makes my sticker all the more significant. Lol.

  8. I wish what you said was true, but I’ve been editor of 4 magazines (3 in Singapore) and I’d have to ask, what editorial team for publications DOESN’T have to write advertorial? **sigh**

    Having said that… any decent publication will clearly separate and label it.

    The thing any mature and experienced editor will tell you, I think, is that it’s not an “us versus them” battle. Advertisers are valid sources of information for an article, just like anyone else. Often they’re easier to get to than other sources of information, because someone on the team has their phone number and a contact in their contact book. And often you know a bit more about them than you know about other sources, because you’ve got some kind of a relationship, so you’re getting their press releases, product samples and watnot.

    As an editor, that means when you need a gym, or a pair of spunky sports shoes, for a photoshoot you might get on the phone to the one that advertises with you, because it’s the quickest easiest thing to do. No conflict or harm in that.

    So yes, they need to pay for space where they want control of what is said and the purpose is to promote their product… and that needs to be labeled so readers know it’s paid space. But that wall between advertising and editorial is not made of solid brick… and that has advantages for both parties.

    I think the key is integrity. If you sell it then you’re nothing… so just don’t. If you don’t believe in something you write, then don’t publish it. If someone’s paying you to say something, then don’t deny it. Because if you lose the trust of your readers, then you’ve got nothing.

  9. [...] Life, the universe and everything – Unraveling Singapore: Can I Have My Personal Space? – Dee Kay Dot As Gee: The wonders of washing hands – blankanvas: the media kit for your blog [...]

  10. Love that media kit, Pat!

  11. I’m supposed to do one for my ezine but i keep procrastinating. Seems like I procrastinated enough to preview the benchmark u set again……………… i need redo. :(

  12. Very nice work there on the media kit for your blog. Its a good way to establish yourself differently from the rest of the bloggers out there.

  13. Very very very… kewl! And all the best!

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