Category Archives: Serendipity

Applying to College and Picking a Major

September 20th, 2017

How to apply to college and pick a major-9553Sweater c/o || Vest c/o || Purse || Shoes || Jeans 

I can vividly remember six or seven years ago submitting my Common Apps to fifteen colleges in total (oh boy). I had colleges in Boston picked out, colleges in Virginia and of course a few randos like Denver, San Francisco, and San Diego; and life just kind of sorted itself out for me. 

Recently I’ve gotten questions from younger readers asking to break down my experience with applying to college and deciding on a major, so this one goes out to you guys. 

Also before we start, you can read more about my college experince hereHow to apply to college and pick a major-9530

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Applying to college was a process I LOVED. I enjoyed touring the schools, I loved taste testing the food in the cafeteria, and I especially loved buying my college gear at the end of the tour. I was 100% on board with the entire process. 

So, being type A, I was prepared way ahead of time. When I applied for college there was a check-list and mine was checked off across the board. My SAT’s were done (I took them three times, once I even took them behind Matt when I had a nasty sinus infection and let’s just say…it was interesting) my essays were written and my Common App was all filled out. How to apply to college and pick a major-9634

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When November 7th came, I was ready in advance so submitting my applications for college, was basically stress-free.  In hindsight, I was very lucky to have applied to all fifteen schools because in total I only got into, seven of them…so just under half. My number one school at the time was Wake Forest, which didn’t play out for me but my second choice was San Diego for obvious reasons. 

I figured this post would be a good time to be brutally honest about the college application process…How to apply to college and pick a major-9651

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The truth is, you don’t know what’s going to happen. So it’s ALWAYS better to apply to more schools to give yourself the OPTION of choosing. I’ve seen way too many peers crushed when they only applied to schools they were ‘guaranteed’ to get into but didn’t, and I too experienced that. 

I can also remember applying to a ton of schools, all different ranges and the day before the deadline for Babson (which by the way is a very prestigious business school for entrepreneurs) my dad said just apply. So I wrote a mini essay about my love of New England and Red Sox and didn’t think twice. 

After getting a few no’s from schools that I ‘qualified’ for I got a letter from Babson saying I was in. I was shocked, I was under qualified, put zero effort into the mini essay, because I thought there was NO WAY I’d get in, and bang I did. 

So the one thing I took away from applying to college is ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN, so give yourself options and apply to a range of colleges. 

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The other popular question I’ve received recently, from those of you looking to pursue a college degree is how to pick a major. 

I’m going to come right out and say, I was very lucky. I always knew I wanted to do marketing/business, to be honest, I think I decided on it way back in fifth grade and from then on it never switched. 

For me it was as easy as picking a topic that I loved and wanted to learn about, however, there are what feels like thousands of majors to choose from today, so don’t get discouraged if nothing catches your eye right out of the gate. 

Your first year of college can be dedicated towards core classes, so use that time to meet with teachers, department heads and prospective mentors in fields you’re interested in. 

I’d also recommend keeping the following in mind when deciding a major: 

  • What do you want to do post-college? 
  • How will this degree/training help you get there? 
  • Is this something I’m interested in? 

The questions above should help you pick the right major for the right reason. I can’t tell you how many friends went to the school of business of accounting, for the sole reason of a large paycheck. In the end, many of them had to switch majors, because going into something for the idea of money…isn’t the best plan. 

So keep your ears open and your motives pure and you all will be fine. 

Okay, I’d love to hear what college you guys went to and which major you picked! I love learning about you guys, xx Aubrey 

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How to come up with content, for your blog

August 23rd, 2017
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The other day I was driving with my dad in the car, and he asked me a very important question. He asked me ‘how I keep coming up with new blog posts and when I think I’ll run out of content.’
 
Now content can mean many things, but in today’s Instagram focused world, I think people put too much value on pictures over written content. Today we are hitting the pause button on image based content and chatting about written content, which is really what allows readers to get to know us and even see themselves as part of the crew. 
 
Anyway, when my dad asked me this double ended question I knew I had to address it for fellow bloggers out there, whom might be struggling with creating content, so here are my two cents.
 
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Coming up with three to five new blog posts a week can be very daunting, especially when first starting out, but firsts things first make sure you have your designated ‘niche’ or theme to your blog. 
 
Whether you’re running a lifestyle, baking, travel, DIY or cat blog; it doesn’t matter what your theme is but having that theme picked out will help you brainstorm relevant content ideas. This step is really important as your content is essential to your brand messages, so make sure the product you are creating fits the bill. 
 
Now, I’ve been blogging for over four years and within my niche, I’ve totally felt writer’s block or a lack of direction. It’s completely normal and I think it’s something all bloggers have had to face, and whenever this strikes, I grab my laptop, get my tush out the door, and visit a New England town. 
 
Actually, on the day these images were shot, I was feeling quite uninspired. I was feeling tired, worn down, uncreative and it was raining, so I was feeling rainy day blues. Overall it was just blah, but I got in the car drove down to Westport and went for a walk. 
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One of my favorite things to do when writer’s block hits is going outside and looking at New England homes and waterfronts. It’s something that really inspires me and often gets me fired up again about New England living. The idea of running out of content is scary, however, it’s never been something I’ve worried about because my blog is about my New England lifestyle and just like everything else in the world, my lifestyles change over time. 
 
Your blog should reflect you and your journey, so as long as you’re still living life and experience it…DOCUMENT THAT and instantly you’ll have content. I think documenting your trips, life choices and style was really how blogging all started, and it’s by far the easiest way to never run out of content. 
 
So if you’re stuck on what content to produce or worried about running out of content, get out of your space and live your life…and trust me inspiration will strike. xx Aubrey
 
Photos by Carter Fish
 
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Is Sorority Rush Worth It?

August 9th, 2017
 

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Grab a cup of coffee and sit down for another taboo topic, highly requested by the TCC community. As always I’m happy to throw in my two cents and experience, however, I will start with a disclaimer. EVERYONE has a unique perspective on this topic, so just because my experience went a specific way doesn’t mean it’s the standard. 
 
Anyway, I’d love to hear your thoughts on sorority life and the process of rushing below. Also feel free to give any rushing tips in the comment section, for younger TCC readers interested in the process. 
 
Okay, let’s jump in. 
 
 Let me first start off by saying I was a part of a sorority in college; so I went through it all: rush, new member training, recruitment (well not really) and many many many mandatory events. 
 
So here is where I stand on sorority life as a whole: neutral 
 
I get a lot of emails asking if I would recommend rushing, and for me personally, it really didn’t have an impact on my overall college experience. If you specifically asked me, ‘would I rush again, if I could go back?’…well, yeah I probably would. However, to be fully transparent, sorority life wasn’t something I really identified with, even though I went into the process, thinking it would be. 
 
 
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So let’s break it all down, starting with my rushing experience: 
 
Step 1: Rush:
 
I can still remember going with my mom to J.Crew to pick out my green recruitment dress, still hanging in my closet today. I was sooo excited for the opportunity that came with rushing, it was never something I worried about or felt pressured to do.  
 
In the end, recruitment was a neutral experience for me. It was neither bad nor particular fun. Kind of like going to school after a perfect summer, you drag your feet all the way to the entrance, but once you’re there chit chatting with friends, you completely forgot how much you dreaded it. 
 
In terms of being a PNM (potential new member) and going through the rushing events, it was oddly nice. I met some amazing people and the environment was exciting.  I would stand by the rushing process and say it’s the perfect opportunity to put yourself out there and meet new people. You are likely to meet people you would have never otherwise met. 
 
Personally, I never experienced any of the rush horror stories you sometimes hear. My only negative association with the process was that it was long and tiresome, as you are constantly going between events and that can be exhausting. 
 

Overall Feeling of Rush: Neutral


 

Step 2) New Member Training (Pledging):
 
So let’s say you decide to pledge, what comes next you might ask? New Member Training. 
 
I LOVED New Member training, I got to meet so many new faces; many of which made delicious cupcakes and helped me with my course work. I got to go to events like Bingo, Pottery Painting, Movie Parties; and I was given the opportunity to learn about my sorority and its history. 
 
So cool! All was fun and super low maintenance, nothing like the craziness you hear on TV. 
 

Overall Feeling of ‘Pledging’: Fun and Exciting


 So now you are a member, what comes next?  

Step 3) Member Duties:
 
Sorority Meetings:
 
Like any organization or club on campus, you have to meet!
 
I’d say about 90% of meetings are about how we are spending budget, what merchandise is being designed and how we can better connect with other organizations on campus. Whether that means walking in 5k’s, raising money for a charitable cause, partaking in talent shows, intramural sports or attending other club events. 
 
Overall the point of being in a sorority is to really be there for your campus and fellow students. 
 
Events:
 
A big part of sorority life was hosting events. From hosting campus wide events, in order to raise money for our chosen cause, to hosting events with other sorority and fraternities; a big part of Greek life is mingling with other groups and members of your own sorority. 
 
Really a lot of energy and work went into all events whether it be a dance or renting out a movie theater for the newest Nicholas Sparks movies; there was always a group of gals behind the scenes making everything picture perfect. So overall I have to give ‘snaps’ to all the college girls that spend late nights planning such extravagant festivities. 
 
Retreats:
 
Like any institution, we have retreats; where we mix into groups of people we don’t necessarily know (mind you some sororities are 100+ people, so it’s hard to know everyone) and open up. 
 
It really is meant to connect and bond with your fellow group members; just like how the rock climbing club goes to the mountains for the weekend or the sales team goes to Atlanta to compete, spending a large quantity of time together; really does help you connect with others. 
 
Formal Recruitment: 
I personally never participated in formal recruitment. I was only eligible to take part in two recruitments however I was studying abroad during both given time periods. 
 
While I never participated in the experience, I actually heard a lot of positive things about the two-week madness that is formal recruitment. 
 
So those are the four elements of sorority life that you seem to rinse, wash and repeat. & here are my thoughts. 
 

Overall Feeling of Member Life: Meh


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I’m going to elaborate here because this is where you need to consider if Sorority Rush is Worth it. 
 
The Worst of Times: 
 
Everyone always talks about rushing being the ‘worst part’ of sorority life, but honestly, for me, it was keeping up with member life. 
 
In college I was: taking six courses a semester, working an average of 15 hrs at our college gym, working on two degrees, all while launching the Coastal Confidence. So did I have the patience or right mindset to sit at a retreat for 7 hours or go to a weekly meeting that could last up to one – two hours, NO. 
 
You know the saying… ‘WHERE YOUR ATTENTION GOES, YOUR ENERGY FLOWS’…well I honestly gave sorority life zero attention. I was more or less focused on my own thing; which I’m sure if you asked anyone in my sorority they would agree. I was the definition of MIA. 
 
I just didn’t consider the time and energy that goes into making these organizations flourish. However, if you love, running events, fostering community or group organizations; you’ll love sorority life. But for me as a whole, I don’t think it was worth it. I’ve never been one for group organizations, I’ve always been slightly selfish with how I spend my time; if there was no ROI or if it wasn’t something I was passionate about, I just kind of wrote it off. 
 
Okay, but now let’s talk about the good…
 
The Best of Times: 
 
When you asked if I would rush again, if I had to do it over…the answer is YES. 
 
Simple for the following reasons, the people I met. I was able to meet seniors, juniors, and even my roommates. I was lucky enough to have a role model G-Big and Big, and a passionate Little. I was able to meet the gals I’d end up living with for over two years and I was able to meet people in Connecticut at alumni events. 

Through and through, I’d say it’s an amazing way to meet new people and start up a conversation. For that alone, I’d do the process all over again. 


 
Okay, that’s my experience. What are your thoughts? 
 
Are you in a sorority? Do you have any thoughts or tips on balancing sorority life? I’d love to hear your thoughts below. xx Aubrey 
 
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Serendipity: August 2017

August 1st, 2017

What to Wear to Brunch at the Ocean House-9010Wow, it’s time to start wrapping up the summer of 2017, I can’t believe it. I would go on record saying this has been the most ‘unusual’ summer I’ve had yet, so I felt like it was time to touch base with you all.

For anyone new around here, “Serendipity’ posts are where I recap the latest happenings, on the blog (including sharing my most recent favorite posts) along with an update on my life. Think of it as a way for us to sit down and get the details on what’s going on in our lives. 

Anyway, let’s jump in! How to create the perfect name for your blog-9639

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read Tips on creating your brand’s name

A lot has happened over these past three months and I feel like I’m finally running the tight ship, I’ve always wanted for the TCC Brand. This serendipity post will be focused mostly on all the changes we’ve made, behind the scenes, dedicated to running the best brand possible. 

Running a blog is like running an amusement park, you have 1,000 different things to do all at once, however, none of them are particularly hard. For example: answering emails, answering brand calls, invoicing, tracking finances, content brainstorm sessions, editing photos, shooting photos, buying props, setting up shoot locations, hiring photographers and my favorite writing content. 

Nothing from the list above is rocket science, BUT it all demands attention, kind of like a water park. You have the wave pool, the slides, the food stands, the lifeguards (employees), the clients (aka visitors) and the bottom line. It all requires attention, and sometimes it all requires attention at the exact same time; and when this happens, it’s a long day. 

Overall, I use to constantly feel behind and overwhelmed; which often added a lot of unnecessary stress to my blog and life. 

The thing with blogging is, a lot of things are last minute. That’s just the nature of the beast, whether that means a brand cancels on a collaboration going live next week (leaving me limited time to brainstorm, shoot and produce a whole new post) or if a brand emails you Tuesday expecting a full draft (edited photos, written content, social promotions) within two days, yes that has happened to me, it all can just be a tad hectic.72 Hours in Westin-5159

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Summer 2017 Food Content: Samoas Cake Recipe // 5 Best Ice Cream Stands in CT

Which don’t get me wrong, I kind of love.

I love those close deadlines, it makes my job exciting and really makes me grow as a creative person and blogger; however, it also means a lot of things I had scheduled to get done, either get pushed back or don’t get done till days later; thus the always feeling behind feeling

So going into June, and after talking to my mentors, I decided to scale back on content. & maybe some of you have noticed. 

We use to publish Monday through Friday, but honestly, it was resulting in our crew publishing content that didn’t always speak to me, which I HATED, along with not being consistent in our publishing days (meh). 

So I took a breather and decided we’d only be publishing MondayWednesday, and Friday. By scaling back on two days, our team is now able to create better and more value based content, which by my analytics, I can tell you are all loving. 

So this summer, I learned QUALITY VS. QUANTITY. The Approach -9717 copy

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READ MY TRIP TO SAN ANTONIO

The next thing I learned was being self-aware of my strengths and weaknesses. & I think anyone can relate to this. 

As my brand and TCC crew grows; we aim to bring you the best content out there. We aim to bring you content that inspires you to embrace New England living within your own life, and that is our mission plain and simple. 

I’ve been working on being more self-aware in terms of what I’m awesome at (creating content, branding, styling, editing images, connecting with readers and showcasing New England lifestyle) along with some things, I’m not so good at (finances, budgeting, brand communication, spelling, and negotiation). 

So for those things I’m not so great at, I’ve hired on some extra assistance. The Approach -9094

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READ ABOUT OUR THOUGHTS ON THE ENGAGEMENT TIMELINE & OUR TRIP TO GRUENE TX

We have our TCC interns helping us communicate with brands, as sometimes it’s overwhelming tackling my inbox alone, and finally, I ‘promoted’, Matt to the head of TCC Operations. 

What that means is, Matt is in charge of budgeting spending costs, creating brand invoices, negotiating with brands and editing all written sections of my post. 

By really taking the time to meditate on what I’ve been struggling with, I was able to hire the best people for those days where the amusement park is at full capacity. 

I guess I learned that at some point delegation isn’t an option but rather the only solution, to making our brand work. 

Anyway, this summer has been mostly work and no play, so I’m excited to announce an upcoming trip Matt, my family & I have! Tee Time Toghether - How Sharing a Hobby is Fun in a Relationship-44

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Tee Time Together - How Sharing a Hobby is Fun in a Relationship

READ WHY SHARING A HOBBY IS ESSENTIAL

We are going to….

IRELAND! 

We leave late August for Kerry, Ireland and I can’t wait to bring you all along on the adventure. Please leave any recommendations you might have below, especially restaurants, food is my favorite activity when traveling.

Again, thank you guys, for listening to this rather rambling update. & I’m happy to report, fall is within our mists and I just can’t wait. We certainly have lots to look forward too, and by lots I mean, lots and lots of bath and body works candles. 

Anyway update me on your life below.

xx Aubrey 

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How To Edit Your Blog Photos

July 27th, 2017

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Dress (comes in white & navy) || Bag || Shoes || Sunglasses || Earrings

Matt & I receive one to three emails a day, from readers requesting a tutorial on how we edit our photos. 

I’ve kind of postponed sharing this topic on The TCC, because it can be quite cumbersome to break down and explain, via writing. 

At first, I was split, I felt like maybe it would be easiest to show you guys this process on Instagram live, although I wanted the content to be available to you all, later down the line. 

So I decided to write this blog post, and maybe I’ll do any Instagram live tonight of the process? Comment down below to let me know your thoughts on, whether you’d like an additional Instagram live of the topic or not.

Basically, I want to first start off this post by saying, editing is a VERY important part of your brand’s story.

A lot of brands and bloggers, our team included, use editing images as a tool in branding. I work really hard at capturing and emphasizing the color schemes of New England, throughout my editing process, to help my images capture our brand’s mission statement. 

The goal with editing is getting your photos to have a cohesive brand message. For instance, if you’re looking at my page, right now my brand message is to embrace the seasonal colors of New England summer, so that means browns, blues, and greens are all emphasized. 

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Our crew’s key goal when it comes down to editing is the following: Our editing process aims to diversify our content so that readers scrolling through Instagram, know when they are looking at a TCC image, versus another New England bloggers’ image.

So with that goal in mind, here is our 7 step editing process: 

1) The first step and most time-consuming step is to sit down and delete about 70% of the images on file. I would say as a whole, our crew ends up taking anywhere from 150-273 images per outfit, and only 8-12 of those images get published for your eyes to see. 

So my first job is deleting any pictures that are not up to par. This process alone is really nitty/gritty and can take me anywhere from one to three hours, per post.  

2) Secondly, open Lightroom. Once I have my eight to twelve images selected, I download them straight into Lightroom and start editing. I start my editing process by adding a filter to all images.

I currently use the VSCO Film Pack[vsco.co], pack 02 to be exact, as my go to filter. These VSCO Pack filters help to adjust the tones and colors of your images, giving them all a similar and distinguished look. 

3) Thirdly, adjustments. Once we have our filter on, our team will usually adjust the white balance, shadows, and saturation. We try to adjust as little as possible, as it’s important for us to capture the time of day and distinct weather, within each post. 

Once you start to adjust, brightness, blackness, and exposure you can start to lose the ‘realness’ of your photos. & by that I mean, if it’s super cloudy and kind of gloomy, we leave it that way! I think it helps bring relatability to your posts, if not every post is super bright, sunny and over-exposed. 

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4) Fourthly, I usually adjust the color balance to a warmer hue. I like my photos to have a warm hue to them, but you can also drag the color balance in the opposite direction, to give your image a cooler hue. 

5) Next, I like to adjust the hue of certain colors. I’m working with a very basic camera model[bit.ly], so it sometimes has trouble picking up the colors and tones of water, moving objects or stripes; so I’ll go into the hue section to color-correct any colors that aren’t accurately being showcased. 

I usually have to adjust the hues when it comes to photo shoots by water. I like to showcase the blueness in water, while my camera often captures water as white. 

6) Finally, sync the edits to all images. I usually make all of these edits to just one image, and I then go up into the menu and hit select all images. Once you do that, a little Sync button will pop up on the bottom of your screen. This will allow you to sync the exact edits you made on one photo to all 8-12.

This not only saves time but also helps your images look cohesive. 

7) Finally, label your images! I label all images, using the title of the blog post they’ll be featured in and save it to a folder. This technique of labeling makes it easy for me to find images, later down the line. 

& that basically sums up, how our crew edits our outfit and lifestyle photos, for la blog. 

I do slightly different edits for Instagram, so let me know below if you’d like a post focused on how I edit my Instagrams. & happy Friday guys! xx Aubrey

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How to create a media kit for your blog

July 19th, 2017

How to create a media kit for your blog - TCC Crew

Shop my favorite media kits, here

Matt & I have received endless questions from fellow readers and bloggers, wanting us to share tips and tricks on what it takes to blog full time. I always welcome these types of questions because I was once in your shoes, so NEVER feel awkward when it comes to reaching out. 

The blogging industry can be confusing and like a bad indie movie, hard to figure out. So I wanted to take some time to share one essential piece you’ll need to create, for your business, if you decide it’s time to reach out to fellow bloggers or brands.

Let me first start off by saying, I personally waited to take on my first paid collaboration until I had a steady blog following and an Instagram following of about 20,000-ish. Before that time I was strictly blogging for myself and getting to know brands as a fellow brand and not a marketer.

You have to really think hard about when you feel comfortable taking your blog to the next level, however, this post isn’t about getting a collaboration, it’s about creating a media kit that makes your brand shine. 

How to create a media kit for your blog - New England lifestyle

How to create a media kit for your blog - The Coastal Confidence
How to create a media kit for your blog

So shall we jump in? 

When I’m collaborating with other bloggers or brands, I’ll always send over my media kit. Which to put it frankly is a two-page PDF which sums up, The Coastal Confidence. 

However before you even sit down to make a media kit, I recommend blogging for a substantial amount of time, as you’ll need to showcase your work, brand mission, and statistics; which takes time to figure out, finalize and grow. 

The truth is, media kits are quite simple, they’re basically just a resume for your blog! But since a lot of blogger’s don’t touch on the topic, I can see how it can be daunting starting from scratch with little guidance. 

So, Matt & I took some time over the weekend, to break down our media kit & share some of our favorite media kit templates, with you all. When I first started blogging, I created a media kit, like you would a resume, on Word.

However, today, as blogging becomes more and more popular; you’ll start to see media kit templates popping up everywhere. The template I use today was personally coded for me; however, there are some more affordable options, that stand the test of time. For fashion bloggers, I love the look of this media kit, for a home or cooking blog, I love the colors and theme of this media kit, and finally, for travel bloggers, I love this media kit because it has sample slots to show off your travel photography work.

To be honest, if I was hunting for a new media kit I would go the Etsy route. You can view all media kit templates here, and I’d say the average price seems to be between $10 – $15.

 

So now that you have your media kit template let’s chat about the do’s and dont’s of media kits! 


 

DO: 

  • DO include images – Images say a lot about your brand, you work quality and your site’s aesthetics, so make sure to include images you are proud of. Select images that really uphold your blog’s ‘niche’, categories and tone. 
  • DO include your logo – I would 100% include your blog’s name and logo at the top of the media kit, this is important especially if companies print out media kits to have on file. Make sure to make it easy for them to find you!
  • DO include a paragraph about yourself – let’s face it, not every blogger or brand you’ll collaborate with, will have had the time to read every single post on your blog. So make sure, to sum up who you are and what you’re all about. I find including a backstory about yourself on your blog, helps start collaborations off on the right foot. 
  • DO include your blog’s statistics – 
    • This section could be a whole post in itself but it’s really important to provide value to whomever you want to collaborate with. 
    • Some things I’d recommend to include in your site statistics section: 
      • Monthly Unique Visitors – I would recommend using Google Analytics to get this number.
      • Average Time on Page – I would recommend using Google Analytics to get this number.
  • Oh, and don’t forget to include your social media following
  • DO include a little bit about your readers – I would recommend using Google Analytics to accomplish this, but it’s important to let brand’s know who your readers are. For instance, male vs female, age group, country location, langue spoken, etc. This will help the other blogger or brand decide if a collaboration is a good fit.
  • DO include your contact information – You never know what might happen, so make sure to include where they can find you on all social media platforms, along with an email & (if you want) phone number. 

Okay, so those are some of the do’s to consider when making a media kit, now here are some of my personal DON’Ts


 

DON’T: 

  • DON’T fake it till you make it in statistics – This is really important guys, a lot of companies will ask for images of your most current month’s google analytics, and that’s not a conversion you can fake. So make sure to keep your numbers legit, or else it will be hard to explain why your google analytics don’t match what you’ve listed, however, it is normal for analytics to change month-to-month, just keep it real. Always remember blogging is a LONG-TERM career path, nothing happens overnight (read more about that in this post) so make sure you’re honest with whomever you’re collaborating with. 
  • DON’T include your price list – Okay, this DON’T is really a personal preference, but for me, it’s a HUGE DON’T, for the following reasons. I have a price list separate from my media kit to send over to companies interested in collaborating. The main reason why I separated these documents was that I use my media kit for, WAY MORE than just locking down collaborations. I use it to show people how my site functions, I use it to gauge growth (which means I’m sending it out to interns, TCC employees, etc), I use it to send to hotels or restaurants if I’m traveling and want to shoot at their location, I even use it to send to other bloggers I’m interested in collaborating with. For me, it’s a good way to introduce myself to people, and I feel like including the prices would be ‘awkward’  and irrelevant in those situations. 
  • DON’T think longer is better – this isn’t a contest to see the exact amount of things you’ve accomplished in your life. Keep your media kit SHORT! My media kit is broken down into: one page filled with writing and images and the second page filled with statistics, my brand motto and pictures. That’s it. Keep your media kit short and to the point, because honestly, no one has time to read all the nitty gritty. 

Okay, that all we have for you guys at the moment. I hope this post clarified some of your deepest and darkest, blogging Q&A’s. Oh, & Matt and I have been working really hard on our weekly newsletter relaunching in August, so make sure to subscribe here. xx Aubrey 

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How I came up with my blog name, & tips on creating your own

July 12th, 2017
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How to come up with a blog name, seems to be the topic on everyone’s mind lately.
 
This is a reoccurring question that I see popping up on all my platforms. Whether it be Instagram comments, DM’s or even an occasional tweet, so many of you are reaching out for inspiration, which I LOVE to partake in.
 
However, from the few chats we have had, I think people seriously feel the pressure when considering what to name their blog. 

& I totally understand that! 
 

It’s not easy picking one name, usually just one to three words, that sums up your entire site. Oh, and not to mention, deciding a blog name can become even more difficult if you are wavering between niches.  

So I figured I’d write this blog post, so together we can openly discuss what works and what doesn’t when figuring out a name. 
 
I want to start this post off by talking about my personal ‘blog-name’ journey, or so to speak. 
 
It all started with the idea of a ‘coast to coast blog’, thus the word COASTAL. This all happened circa 2013 and at the time, I was living in San Diego while attending USD and often traveling home to New England for summers, holidays, school breaks and family occasions. 
 
What I found interesting was that both coasts were so different yet so intrigued with each other. Interesting right!?
 
 
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People on the West Coast wanted to learn more about our wicked cool coastline, as they pictured classic New England; while my New England friends wanted to know how my Malibu Barbie lifestyle was going on the West Coast. 
 
Each coast completely different, yet each slightly infatuated with each other. 
 
I can remember everyone saying: good luck in Cali, I’m visiting you in Cali, you’ll have so much fun in Cali; only to arrive in San Diego, to learn that, only people outside of California refer to it as Cali
 
LOL.
 
Each coast so different, in terms of lifestyle, but each wanted to be included in the others’. 
 
Sooo I decided to start a blog to capture that. I wanted to capture New England for my college friends and San Diego for my high school friends. It was honestly as simple as that.
 
I started with an idea of a bi-coastal lifestyle.
 

My step 1: I wrote down the word COASTAL. That was ‘my thing’ back in 2013. 


 

My Step 2: Adjectives


 
Secondly, I wanted an adjective to describe a principle the blog would expel. I didn’t want it to be too trendy; so I had my friends and I sit down and write adjectives on a piece of paper, I only picked words starting with ‘C’ as we were studying alliteration at the time in my marketing 300 class, lol.
 
So I wrote down the following on a word document.
  • Colonial
  • Charming
  • Classic
  • Classy
  • Confidence
  • Confident
  • Colorful
  • Charming
  • Cozy
Honestly, I let my California friends help me finalize the perfect adjective and we decided on confidence. They felt it was very New England aka me!
 

My Step 3: Finish it off!


 
I still felt like something was missing so… I went with adding a ‘The’ in front.
For some reason,  I just felt like it ‘matured’ the name a tad, if that even makes sense. 
 
Overall, that’s my brand name story. 
 
It wasn’t something I picked up one day and it just organically happened. For some reason, it was one of the easiest parts for me, in terms of building my brand.
 
I’ve had several people ask me if I’d think about changing my name to something even ‘more’ New England; now that I define my blog as ‘New England lifestyle’. I’ve gotten requests like N. England Coastal etc, but I believe in sticking with one name, because it’s your brand story! 
 
& evolving is GOOD! So don’t be afraid or put to much pressure on having one perfect name, till the end of time. Just go with what your gut is saying now and your name will grow with the brand you created. How to create the perfect name for your blog-9639
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Okay, so now some of my favorite blog name tips: 


 

 

1. Alliteration – I don’t know why but I LOVE similar sounding blog names. I bet if you write down your top ten bloggers at least half will have alliteration. Don’t ask me why, but brand names with alliterations are just so darn catchy #dunkindonuts.


 
2. Keep it Short & Sweet – The shorter the better, especially as word of mouth marketing is HUGE in blogging. Having a long or cumbersome name, won’t help you if people keep can’t spell it when searching for you online. 
 

So keep it short and keep it sweet. 


 

3. Root the name in ‘your thing’ – Niches are REALLY important. & having a name that shares a bit of your niche off, is essential.  

For example, if it’s a baking blog, include baking terms in the name, if it’s a home decor blog, include ‘home’ themed words. Show us your brand’s personality in the title, PLEASE!


 
4. Make sure it’s available as a URL – for me this was BIG. I wanted to have a name that I could build a site around. Having an awesome name but a completely different URL is confusing, so make sure you can buy your URL either off of GoDaddy or WordPress.com. 
 

This tip also helps to eliminate, showing up to the party with the same name as a fellow blogger. Awkward.  


 
5. Test the market – When I was finalizing my name I was between the word Confidence or Classy; so I went around asking all my friends, what they thought. A huge group of my friends said to avoid the word Classy, as there is already a big New England Blogger with the word Classy in her title. 
 
Which makes sense right! By having a different name it will help you long term in the SEO sector. For example, if I told someone to google me as The Classy Coastal, and they typed in classy coastal new England blog, into the search bar other bloggers instantly popped up. 
 
So by testing the market and getting that little input from my friends, I already have a better shot of sending people to my site while differentiating myself from other bloggers in the region. 
 

Does that make sense? 



Anyway, that’s my story and those are my tricks! I’d love to hear 1) what you named your blog, & 2) why you named it that in the comments below! Can’t wait to learn more about your amazing brands. 
 
xx Aubrey How to create the perfect name for your blog-9462
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Blogger Inbox: The Follow-Up Email

June 14th, 2017

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It’s been about a year and a half since blogging full time (wow) and I figured I’d just touch base with you all. I feel like a lot of you ladies either have a blog, want to start a blog or even just feeling, well, overwhelmed with how to start. 

From talking to you guys over email, on Instagram DM (which I love) and through blog comments; a lot of you guys are killing it, via your blogs’, but often you guys are reaching out to me because you feel stuck, stagnant or even ignored by the industry or brands. 

Here’s the truth or at least my truth when it comes to reaching out to brands in the blogging industry; SEND A FOLLOW-UP EMAIL! 

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You’d honestly be shocked if you saw how many times I’ve sent a follow-up email, and received an email back within the week apologizing for the delay. My rule is to wait 4-7 business days, and if mum is the word, send a short and sweet follow-up. 

Something along the lines of: ‘Hi, I wanted to touch base on my previous email, and see if your team had any questions. I look forward to chatting soon!.”

Short, sweet and just a friendly reminder, because guys we are all human, and I’m 100% guilty of missing an email here or there. 

I even had a collaboration fall into place today, after sending a follow-up email. As long as you are respectful and nice, there is nothing wrong with touching base. 

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Personally, I’ll hear a lot of bloggers say they are tackling their inbox, and when I first started blogging, I was super frustrated that I didn’t have an inbox exploding with emails.

Now looking back, I can see that tackling an inbox is way more than just receiving emails; it’s also sending follow-ups, touching base and being present! Which takes time and can be easy to forget. 

Which takes time and can be easy to forget. So if you have free time tonight, take some time and reach out to those loose ends. You know the worst they can say is no! xx Aubrey 

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Serendipity: Turning 23 & Birthday Week

June 1st, 2017

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Someone told me the other day that being 23 is basically the equivalent of freshman year but for ‘adulthood’. Just let that soak in for a second. 

Weird right? But it actually makes sense, because for my birthday I asked for gift cards to Anthropologie so I could buy a headboard. #adulting. 

Anyway, now that I’m officially being hazed into adulthood, I figured I’d touch base with you all through a serendipity post, and share five things I learned this year! 

For anyone new around here, “Serendipity’ posts are where I recap the latest happenings, on the blog and in my life. Think of it as a way for us to sit down and get the details on what’s going on in our lives. 

Anyway, let’s jump in! 

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GO ALL IN: 


 

Shortly after turning 22, I decided I would go ALL in on blogging. I knew I always wanted to blog full-time but actually doing it was another story. I just went for it, blindly to be honest with you all.  Trust me when I say, it wasn’t always easy, and it was often stressful when it came to budgeting a brand, living on my own and figuring out how to finance certain projects’ but looking back my brand has 100% grown the most this year. It’s one of those make it work or your screwed situations, and let’s all admit working under pressure is a sure fire way to get things done (plus or minus a few meltdowns). 

POSITIVE MINDSETS ARE EVERYTHING: 


 

This past year I’ve been all about ‘karma’ and keeping a positive mindset. Working on your own brand can be stressful, so why focus on the negative. I wake up every day and try to make the best out of the worst because making the worst out of the worst and wallowing is just for LOSERS. If Kim K can keep a positive mindset on her robbery in Paris, you can keep a positive mindset when you get stuck in traffic or someone shows up late for a meeting.

 By keeping a clean, positive, upward and onward mindset, I’ve been able to accomplish so much more. I’m still trying to convert Negative Nancy, aka Matt into a positive mindset mood, because no one likes a hater. 

EVERYONE DESERVES A BIRTHDAY WEEK: 


 

 If you follow me on snap chat then you know, I celebrate Birthday Week. What does that mean, you might ask? It means a whole week of checking off that good old fashion bucket list. My birthday falls 6 months after New Years so it’s a great time to reevaluate those New Year goals and check some off the list. For instance, Matt and I are headed to San Antonio this birthday week. Take the week and make time for you, even if it’s trying a new recipe, restaurant or workout routine. 

PUTTING YOUR FOOT DOWN, IS OKAY: 


 

I really mean this one! Blogging full time meant this was my full time job and I had to learn how to put my foot down, especially when it came to working with brands. Remember your time is valuable, and don’t let anyone push you around. A lot of the time I would spend several hours working on content for a brand only to find out they all of a sudden ‘didn’t have the budget’ or had to cancel the campagin. It’s sad that people and brands aren’t always transparent but it’s important to hold your ground. 

Stick to your guns, put your foot down and own your business. This was something I really struggled with because I really don’t love the finance side of this business, but the number of times people have tried to ‘con’ or ripe me off has taught me to be clear, professional and put my foot down when it comes to contracts, expectations, and salaries. 

HELP THE NEXT ONE IN LINE:  


 

This line is from the song Humble and Kind but one of my favorite experiences this year has been expanding The TCC Crew and working with aspiring bloggers, entrepreneurs and savvy ladies. It’s really important to share the tips and tricks you know with others, and by expanding my team I’ve been able to share my New England dream with so many others passionate about our community. 

So whether you’re a student, older sister, hustler or super health nut; spend time helping others eager to learn or looking for guidance, it’s the biggest motivator and even inspires the content I create here. 
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Anway, it’s my birthday so I’m clocking out for the rest of the night! Off to chow down on some BBQ, West Texas style. xx Aubrey 

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7 Tips on Moving to a New City after College Graduation

May 31st, 2017

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Outwards and onwards, am I right?

The other day I was chatting with my last intern, Logan, check out her blog here, and we were talking about how weird post-graduation can be. More specifically we were chatting about whether it’s better to look for jobs locally or just screw it and apply for a dream job, in another city. 

Hmm, good question right!? & maybe this is something you are currently struggling with, and trust me I get it. It can all seem so daunting. So I’m here to give you 7 tips on moving away from your hometown after college, 

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1. Remember it’s not permanent. – I think so many people put pressure on having to move away, but really it’s all always temporary. Let’s say you move and you ABSOLUTELY HATE IT. Worst case scenario right? Then you apply for a transfer, look for a job closer to where you want to be (now that you have corporate experience you might get that job) and just know nothing lasts forever. Matt & I are in Dallas for only two years, so even though I wasn’t thrilled about the location, I went because guess what two years goes by sooooo quickly. 

2. Starting from the bottom – It’s hard to get a job when you are fresh out of college with no experience, so don’t sweat it if nothing is falling in your lap. Now is the time to travel, experience new regions and get outside of your bubble. Don’t stress yourself out about getting the perfect location right off the bat.

3. Don’t sweat the logistics – Don’t worry about the small stuff, it will all fall into place. Moving even down the street is overwhelming so it’s natural to get stressed out about moving to a new city or region, but you can tackle the logistics one issue at a time.

4. Finding an apartment – the biggest question I get asked is how did Matt & I find an apartment in a city we’d never been to. Here is where Google comes in, I knew where Matt’s office was located so I went to Pinterest and Google to look up the towns around his office. I found a town I liked with a cute historic district and looked up apartments from there. Matt asked around at work, and someone recommended the apartment complex we live in now. 

5. No strings attached – now is the time to try a new city and aim for that dream job, because you have no strings attached. No kids, no house, no mortgage; just you and maybe a pet or two. If you had to pick up and move, now’s the time to get it out of your system. 

6. View it as an opportunity – so much about moving away from your hometown can be daunting but Matt & I view it as an opportunity. Every weekend we aim to discover a new city, town or tastes of Dallas. This weekend we visited local rescue horse farms, and just took in the rolling hills of west Texas. View moving with positivity and excitement.

7. Be Grateful – the fact that you’ve graduated college and are on the hunt for a job is something to be grateful for. Some people don’t have the opportunity to go to college and some people will never have the opportunity to move, so view your situation with gratitude and things will start to fall into place. 7 Tips on Moving to a New City after College Graduation-4974

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I hope this post helped either calm your nerves about moving, or inspired you to consider it. Be patient with job call backs, it’s a slow process and I can remember my friends sweating it out to the end. Just keep plugging along and enjoy! xx Aubrey 

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