Category Archives: Blog Life

Why Strategic Goal Setting Is Key: For Your Business & Life

April 16th, 2018

successful goal setting and to-do lists New England The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow

Happy Monday. I feel like this is the perfect Monday morning post to read and hopefully, it will get you excited and motivated for the week to come. Today I’m sharing some #tbt images with you all as the weather hasn’t been coroprating with our recent photoshoot schedule. But we are just going to roll with it, and sit down with you all to talk about the one skill you need to master to turn your side hustle into a successful business, so pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee and take notes. When push comes to shove running your own flourishing blog, brand or even life comes down to being able to effectively create and manage a to-do. It’s honestly as simple as that, think I’m wrong? Well, below we will dive into why it’s important to implement to-do lists within your business and how to create an optimized to-do list of your own. 


 

Why…


 

I know what you’re thinking, Aubrey, you’re putting way too much weight on a silly to-do list, but give it a chance, and stay with me. A classic handwritten to-do list is how I’ve not only successfully learned to manage myself, but also each member of the TCC Crew, and it’s been a game changer when it comes to our performance, communication and meeting brand timelines. If that hasn’t sold you on creating a to-do list of your own, here are specific examples of why you should. 

+ My Unpopular viewpoint on goals: Goals are the first step in turning your idea into a business but don’t stop at the first step. I’ve been blogging for over five years now and in that timespan, I’ve seen so many acquaintances start blogs and brands, to only quickly abandon them within the first year. I’m very transparent about how slow growth can seem in the digital space. Yes going viral overnight and waking up to millions of subscribers is #goals but it isn’t realistic. If you are serious about taking your passion project into something more you really need to set up systems, aka goal based to-do lists. Goals just don’t happen, recognizing the endpoint is important, but to accomplish the goal you actually need to put in hard work. Whenever our crew comes up with a goal we make a to-do list to support it. The to-do list usually includes three to seven steps we need to take to reach that goal. Without our to-do lists, our goals would honestly be less likely to accomplish due to the fact that goals can seem overwhelming or impossible at times. Which brings me to my next point. 

+ Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.” —Newt Gingrich: I mean that quote basically sums it up. When you are trying to launch a new brand, business or trying to finish college with a four-year degree on time; at some point in your journey, you are going to feel overwhelmed with all that has to get done and the amount of work on your plate. This is where to-do lists really come in handy. When you are a student or self-employed you are single handily in charge of managing yourself and meeting your deadlines. No one is telling you how to spend your time, which is a blessing and a curse. You could work all day and binge The Crown at night or you could sleep all day and work all night; it doesn’t matter when you do the work it just has to get done. This is something I thrive on but it also means I’m responsible for making sure I have all my deliverables ready for multiple deadlines, that can get overwhelming at times. To-do lists help me stay on track and work as a buffer to my deadlines. I make sure to complete everything listed on my to-do list within the day before clocking out. No excuses! I stop working when my to-do list is done for better or for worse. 

+ Accountability: Finally I share my to-do list with my entire TCC Crew and their to-do lists with each other, for a few important reasons. My favorite part about to-do lists is the simple fact that either you did the task or you didn’t do it. No excuses. It makes tasks black and white while holding everyone accountable for their part in completing a goal. Together we revisit our to-do lists, as a crew, weekly and break down what we completed and what we didn’t. Being accountable to my crew, sharing the list with your friends, mom, sisters, whoever; makes your to-do list a done list quicker than you would think. 

Okay so if you have something you really want to accomplish first sit down and write down your goals followed by a goal system to-do list. Trust me when I say, this will make all the difference in not only making your goals a reality but also seeing results in real time instead of expecting all your goals to be accomplished overnight. Now let’s jump into how I create my to-do lists. 

successful goal setting and to-do lists New England The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow
successful goal setting and to-do lists New England The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow
successful goal setting and to-do lists New England The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow
summer
successful goal setting and to-do lists New England The Coastal Confidence Aubrey Yandow


 

How…


 

+ Write It Down: Recently I’ve stumbled upon this productivity planner, which actually inspired me to write this post. Now normally I would use this exact system within a dollar store notepad, I try not to spend too much money on notebooks as I often lose them, but I decided to splurge on the planner in hopes of inspiring you all to get your to-do lists in check. First and foremost, writing down your goals is really important to actually achieve them. I mean who hasn’t ended up on Facebook after opening up their computer to do a specific task. By writing down your goals and keeping the notepad visible throughout your day helps you regain focus when focus has been lost. 

 

+ Ranking Tasks: I love this productivity planner because it ranks tasks in order of importance. This organizing system has helped my to-do list become at least twice as efficient as before. Naturally, you want to get the easy tasks done with first, for instance, writing next week’s blog posts are always on my weekly to-do list but they aren’t necessarily something I need to tackle first in order to move my business forward. I mean, I know I’ll get them done but do they need to be completed bright and early on Monday morning? Not really. Take time to prioritize your tasks and tackle harder tasks earlier in the week helps me keep up the blog’s momentum and also gives me extra time if my first tactic to completing the task fails. 

 

+ Reflection: It is super important at the end of the week to reflect on your to-do lists/goals. Did you not check something off of your list because you didn’t try? Or because the tactic you were using to accomplish that goal failed? It’s important to reflect and pivot your to-do list in order to keep yourself aware and in charge of your goals. If there’s a will there’s a way right!


 

Ending on that note, I’m off. Matt and I are currently in Costa Rica, so make sure to follow along with our adventures over on Instagram. Oh and you bet I brought my to-do list book to Costa Rica, I love working while traveling, I always think of the best ideas…am I the only one? Anyway, leave a comment below if you love or hate to-do lists. I’m interested to hear what you guys think of them and have a great week. 

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5 Reasons You Should Take Your Coffee Break Outside

November 3rd, 2017

5 Reasons You Should Take Your Coffee Break OutsideDress (sold out, similar version without zippers linked) || Coat (ON SALE) || TIghts || Boots ||  Necklace

You guys, it’s here, well not quite but it’s right around the corner…it’s ALMOST the busiest time of the year. It’s not only busy for retail employees but for basically everyone. From workers (the TCC Crew is jammed) to students (finals and term papers); to say this time of year is exhilarating is an understatement but don’t let the craziness of this holiday season wear you down. 

& while I’m 100% one to dive headfirst into overloading on work, I have to say recently I’ve discovered a new trick to rejuvenating my work ethic. It’s super simple, but recently I’ve been stepping outside for my 15 min schedule breaks and it’s been a game changer.

As many of you know, I work from home which is both a pleasing and a curse. Personally, I thrive on deadlines and structure, so I created a scheduled workday, from the minute I get up until 5:30 PM I’m go-go-go and because of this I often found myself skipping lunch and limiting my productivity.

One day I was so run down, I knew this had to stop, so I decided to start including three fifteen-minute breaks throughout the day. These breaks were mainly meant to reset my eyes from the constant glare of a computer screen but quickly developed into much more. Over the last few months, I’ve been stepping outside for my three breaks and to be honest it’s resulted in a HUGE improvement in my productivity. 

5 Reasons You Should Take Your Coffee Break Outside
5 Reasons You Should Take Your Coffee Break Outside-3394
5 Reasons You Should Take Your Coffee Break Outside

5 Reasons You Should Take Your Coffee Break Outside
5 Reasons You Should Take Your Coffee Break Outside

The goal of our TCC Crew is to bring you content that inspires you towards living a New England lifestyle, which of course means being the most productive version of yourself, so we had to share why these outside recess times improved our workflow, along with 5 reasons you should take YOUR coffee break outside. 

 

1) Produces a Clear Headspace: I often find that taking a 15 min break, in your workspace limits your ability to reboot. Ideally, when the time has arrived for me to take my break, I make sure to get outside and change my scenery. Whether that means going for a walk or running to Dunkin Donuts; by getting outside an interacting with people outside of my workplace, provides me with a new sense of determination and clarity. 

 

2) ‘Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy’ – Elle Woods:  Now, I’m not a fan of running, in fact, I’m not quite sure if I could even squeeze in a full mile during one 15 minute break, but what I do know is that I spend each of my breaks moving. I’ll spend that time outside running to a coffee shop, walking around my yard or if it’s raining walking on a treadmill. By moving my body and getting my blood pumping, I can really feel those endorphins kick in and any stress I had previously start to release. 

5 Reasons You Should Take Your Coffee Break Outside-3372

5 Reasons You Should Take Your Coffee Break Outside
5 Reasons You Should Take Your Coffee Break Outside

 

3) Speaking of Stress: Recently, I’ve been overwhelmed with my inbox. When I first started blogging, I really disliked when bloggers would say their inboxes were stressing them out. Personally, I figured a full inbox meant lots of collaborations and thus a highly profitable business. However today, I realize that my inbox is 20% official collaborations, 20% reader questions, and 60% emails I need to politely decline. 

 

A huge chunk of my time is spent going through my inbox and saying ‘no’ to companies, brands or even events that just don’t make sense for the TCC brand. Saying no to brands, even huge brands that we personally love, but just aren’t the right fit is hard, can be really hard. So by getting outside and turning my data off, it gives me time to process the no’s we’ve given and received. Not only does it give me time to process but also allows me to refocus on our brand’s end goal. Going outside creates a buffer between admin-work and creative work

 

4) A New Perspective: My favorite Gilmore Girl once said ‘Perspective is the most important thing to have in life.’ and I literally couldn’t agree more with Lauren Graham! A change in perspective and scenery is really important in gaining new insights. A lot of what our TCC Crew creates and writes about is by getting in the car and going. Whether that means traveling to a new town in New England, to feature in our TCC Newsletter or by even asking readers’ their opinion; these tiny acts and outside perspectives, honest to God, shape our brand every day! Get outside and refocus, re-shift and reprioritize your perspective! 

 

5) Just breath:  Okay this might sound weird but there is nothing I love more than stepping outside and breathing in that crisp autumn air. I’m the first to admit that working at home often means getting cozy with my laptop, under a mountain of blankets and with the thermostat set at a solid 72 degrees; doesn’t that just sound perfect?! 

While it sounds perfect it often puts me in a lethargic mood, so my last reason for taking your coffee break outside is to re-energize your body with fresh air. I know it might be a little chilly outside, so grab your jacket and maybe a scarf (learn how 5 ways to style a scarf here) and hit the road. Trust me your creative juices will start flowing. 5 Reasons You Should Take Your Coffee Break Outside

5 Reasons You Should Take Your Coffee Break Outside
5 Reasons You Should Take Your Coffee Break Outside

Okay, that’s all I got! I’d love to hear from you guys. Do you like taking your breaks outside? Let me know your thoughts on this post below! xx Aubrey. 

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When to say no, in business & life

September 15th, 2017

When To Say No, In Business & Life | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
When To Say No, In Business & Life | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

Jean Dress (on sale for $99!) || Shoes || Jacket || Necklace || Camera

Overall, I love every aspect of my job and I’m very fortunate for that. This doesn’t mean that I’m good at every aspect, but I love being challenged. Whether that means learning a new photo editing tool, researching a new social media platform or dipping my toes into vlogging; my job is interesting because it challenges me, and boy did it challenge me the other day. 

A big part of my job is working with PR firms and brands, both of which I love doing. I would say 99% of my interactions with PR firms and brands are fun, exciting and most importantly mutually beneficial. 

The other day though, I cracked.When To Say No, In Business & Life | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

When To Say No, In Business & Life | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
When To Say No, In Business & Life | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
Recently I’ve had a few encounters in my inbox where I look at Matt and sigh, YOU HAVE TO BE KIDDING. 

Before I go in any further into this topic, I want to start by saying I’m not naturally a pushover but rather I’m an aggressor. I like to take a problem or a challenge and tackle it head on, I like to talk things out in person until it’s done and I’ll admit sometimes I have to go back and beat a dead horse, but it’s my way of processing and in the end, I do give and take. 

So when someone emails me wanting something, instead of just ignoring it (passive) or saying YES to EVERYTHING (pushover), I try to find a common ground. 

My goal is to always be rational and kind. I try to use phrases like ‘mutually beneficial’, ‘I see where you’re coming from’ and my favorite line ‘I understand’ because the truth is, I do get it. 

But recently, I’ve had to learn to stop beating a dead horse and just say NO sometimes. & guys this has been really hard for me and I’m sure many of you can relate.  Saying NO to a possible long-term collaboration or job offer is horrifying especially if it’s with a brand or company you love, but in life knowing when to say no is essential. When To Say No, In Business & Life | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

When To Say No, In Business & Life | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
When To Say No, In Business & Life | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

Anyway, back to my story, so I was chatting with a firm that reached out to me representing a brand I loved and I really didn’t want to turn them down. I was basically jumping through hoops, spending hours pitching ideas, making budget sheets and being over accommodating which sometimes isn’t a good strategy. 

& the emails I was receiving back basically had no regards for my time, the energy I’ve spent on the project or the money I would have to spend to carry out the collaboration. 

To sum it up, it was TOTALLY a one-sided deal and when the twelfth email came back with just a quick four lines and a passive aggressive … ending, 

I cracked. I had tried every angle to make it work, and instead of wasting any more of my energy, I turned down the collaboration. 
Not only was the overall conversation tone belittling towards my blog, brand and myself; & it reminded me that IT’S OKAY to stand up for yourself, to stop jumping through another hoop; it’s okay to say NO sometimes. 

When To Say No, In Business & Life | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
When To Say No, In Business & Life | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

So after experiencing similar encounters more and more frequently, I wanted to touch base and talk about it. Let’s talk about how I decided when to say no, in business and life. 

NO in Business:  When to say NO in business is when a deal is not mutually beneficial. 

I can’t tell you the amount of times, I’ve had brand’s ask me to create high-quality content for them with no ROI. Now ROI doesn’t always mean money, sometimes it’s product, sometimes it’s attending events and sometimes it’s as simple as creating content for exposure or to get reposted. 
But no matter how big the brand or boss is, don’t feel like your time isn’t valuable. If your gut is saying, you’re being taken advantage of, it’s time to step up to the plate and say something. At this stage in my career, I’d rather lose the collaboration and maintain the quality and aesthetic of my content; then be pushed around. 

NO in Life: When to say NO in life is when you’ve encountered a TAKER. 

I’ve talked about takers before in this blog post, but basically, it’s okay to say NO to a friend, extracurricular or event if they are running you dry. 

What I mean by that is, you should surround yourself with people and things that inspire you and fill you up with energy, life, and excitement. Don’t constantly say YES to getting coffee with a friend that spends the whole time talking about how amazing they are or how much they get paid. Blah.
Time is your most valuable resource, so it’s okay to say NO to situations with bad energy. It’s not worth wasting your time on, to be honest. 

THE DELIVERY OF NO – Most importantly let’s talk about the delivery of NO. It’s all in the delivery/approach, so keep it short and simple. For business, I usually say: ‘Hi, At this time our crew will have to pass. Thank you for thinking of us and I hope to collaborate in the future.’ Short, simple and sweet; we aren’t looking to burn any bridges here. 

Personal NO’s can be a little more difficult to construct and really it depends on the person you’re dealing with. Overall I find coming from a place of transparency is a good place to start. 

Okay, now I’d love to know what cracks you to the point of NO? Let me know below. xx Aubrey 

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How to come up with content, for your blog

August 23rd, 2017
How To Come Up With Content, For Your Blog | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
How To Come Up With Content, For Your Blog | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
 
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 3creating content, so here are my two cents.
 
How To Come Up With Content, For Your Blog | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
How To Come Up With Content, For Your Blog | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
How To Come Up With Content, For Your Blog | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
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. 
How To Come Up With Content, For Your Blog | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
How To Come Up With Content, For Your Blog | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
How To Come Up With Content, For Your Blog | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
 
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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How To Edit Your Blog Photos

July 27th, 2017

How To Edit Your Blog Photos Like A Professional | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

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. 

How To Edit Your Blog Photos Like A Professional | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

How To Edit Your Blog Photos Like A Professional | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
How To Edit Your Blog Photos Like A Professional | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

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. 

How To Edit Your Blog Photos Like A Professional | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

How To Edit Your Blog Photos Like A Professional | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
How To Edit Your Blog Photos Like A Professional | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

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

How To Edit Your Blog Photos Like A Professional | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

How To Edit Your Blog Photos Like A Professional | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
How To Edit Your Blog Photos Like A Professional | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

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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 | The Coastal Confidence by  Aubrey Yandow

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 | The Coastal Confidence by  Aubrey Yandow

How to create a media kit for your blog | The Coastal Confidence by  Aubrey Yandow
How to create a media kit for your blog | The Coastal Confidence by  Aubrey Yandow

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
How to Create the Perfect Name for Your Blog | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey YandowFlutter Sleeve Dress c/0 (similar color on sale here)|| Sunglasses || Shoes || Bag
 
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!?
 
 
How to Create the Perfect Name for Your Blog | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
How to Create the Perfect Name for Your Blog | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
How to Create the Perfect Name for Your Blog | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
 
 
 
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 | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
How to Create the Perfect Name for Your Blog | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
How to Create the Perfect Name for Your Blog | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
 

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 | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
How to Create the Perfect Name for Your Blog | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
How to Create the Perfect Name for Your Blog | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
 
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Blogger Inbox: The Follow-Up Email

June 14th, 2017

How To Write A Follow Up Email | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

Linen Embroidered Shirt || Shorts || Bag || Necklace || Earrings || Shoes || 

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! 

How To Write A Follow Up Email | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
How To Write A Follow Up Email | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
How To Write A Follow Up Email | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
How To Write A Follow Up Email | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
How To Write A Follow Up Email | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

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. 

How To Write A Follow Up Email | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

How To Write A Follow Up Email | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
How To Write A Follow Up Email | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

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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Why You Need Business Cards To Grow Your Business

April 24th, 2017

Why You Need Business Cards To Grow Your Business | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

Basic Invite Personalized Business Cards || Basic Invite Gorgeous Thank You Cards

I often get asked, how do I grow my following, which basically equals how do I grow my business in terms of blogging. People often want a short easy fix to growing their blog following, Many people ask which #hashtags to use, what time to post pictures on social media channels and even questions about purchasing followers (yuck). 

To be completely frank THE BEST way to grow your business is by always having business cards on hand! Now this may seem silly in the day of digital everything, but the most loyal followers and customers are gained by word of mouth.Why You Need Business Cards To Grow Your Business | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

Why You Need Business Cards To Grow Your Business | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
Why You Need Business Cards To Grow Your Business | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

Every marketing teacher, book and even internet articles will tell you that. “word of mouth marketing” is the best, end of story.

 Let’s face it if your friend tells you to follow this amazing blog, your more likely to check it out than if you see an instagram ad. & this is where business cards come into play. 

Matt & I will usually be out shooting, shopping or prepping for a blog post; when someone will ask what are you doing. I’ll usually explain that I have a blog and before they can even say ‘cool, I’ll look it up.’ I pull out a business card. 

Now my business cards aren’t your typical cards. Instead of position titles, office phone numbers and fax numbers; I simply list my instagram and Facebook handle along with my email. 

This makes it easy for them to find me, ESPECIALLY if the don’t have their phone on them when we are chatting. I’d say 98% of the business cards I hand out, end up following me on one of those platforms along with one or two friends. A few even comment on my photos saying where they met me and thanks for connecting! Why You Need Business Cards To Grow Your Business | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

Why You Need Business Cards To Grow Your Business | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
Why You Need Business Cards To Grow Your Business | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

You guys build your business the old fashion way and INVEST IN BUSINESS CARDS! I’ve tried a few different stationary companies when it comes to designing my cards as Basic Invite is by far the best. For a few reasons: 

  1. They have many different color options which you can instantly preview online. I’m super picky with business cards because I want them to represent the TCC brand so I was super happy that I could change the colors of each element on the card, making it easy to customize. So basically, no graphic designer needed. 
  2. You can order a printed sample! I’m super nervous about pulling the trigger especially when I want to buy a large quantity, so I liked that I could order a preview, bye bye order anxiety.
  3. I’m really bad with technology, and I loved that they had people I could live chat with! I was having trouble fitting all my content within the printable line, so it was nice to go back and forth via a chat box with a real employee. 
  4. What you see is what you get. My online mock-up looked exactly like the product I received in the mail! So get creative, design something fun and don’t stress about the printing part. Why You Need Business Cards To Grow Your Business | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
    Why You Need Business Cards To Grow Your Business | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow
    Why You Need Business Cards To Grow Your Business | The Coastal Confidence by Aubrey Yandow

One last thing guys, while we are talking about stationary can I just say, Thank You cards are essential to growing your business too.

I probably send out three to twelve thank you cards a week, whether it be to brands I’m working with, readers who reached out or even to my friends and family; if you run a business or just want to show gratitude to those who care, buy some thank you cards!  

Trust me, a handwritten note goes a long way, especially in today’s world. & if you are preparing for an upcoming graduation, I’d say it’s about time to make some custom thank you cards; I think I sent out 78 thank you cards to family and friends post-graduation #bigfamilyproblems.

Anyway, I’d love to hear your thoughts on business cards below! 

Thank you, Basic Invite, for sponsoring this post. 

Working from the Coffee Shop

January 14th, 2016

new england lifestyleblogger officebreakfastcoffee shotcoffeetory burch work stylework flatswarm cup of coffeehenri bendel breifcasej.crew jacketnew englandoffice stylekiel james patricksconemadewell jeansnew england coffee shop

Blazer || Shirt || KJP Bracelet || Watch || Jeans || Purse || Shoes

Being a blogger and running a small business consists of a lot of computer work, think a ton of emails & a lot of hunting for the next place to take photos or the next fashion trend. No matter where I go, I’m always working and searching for inspiration. Now that I’m blogging full time, I’ve made a mini schedule so I always know where I’ll be each week. Monday through Wednesday I spend the day working from home, responding to emails and sending out TCC mugs. On Thursday I spend from 9:00am – 11:00am in the office and then leave for the day to take outfit pictures with my wonderful photographer (aka mom). Finally on Friday I spend the day working from the coffee shop. 

I have a few favorite coffee shops close to my house but if I feel like leaving my town and getting out of my little bubble, I always go to Dom’s Coffee. This place is beyond perfect and the definition of instagram worthy. So on Friday’s I charge my laptop and head on over for a warm pastry and a huge cup of coffee. If you’re ever there & see me, make sure to say hi! I love meeting all of you. 

Anyways whether I’m working from home or at a warm and cozy coffee shop, I always try to dress professionally. I found that when I slack off and wear leggings, I some how end up working 100x slower. If you’re a working girl than you need to have a blazer in your wardrobe. I love this J.Crew blazer, between its tailored lines and its affordable price tag; this item is a working girl’s best friend.

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