Goodness, time sure does fly by when you’re having fun. I can’t believe that I have already been blogging for two years on Coffee With Summer. I’m completely ecstatic that I’m still with it and more passionate about blogging and social media than ever before. I love this wild ride!
It’s unreal how much I have learned about myself and passions throughout this blogging journey so far. On this day in the summer of 2014, I posted my first post here on Coffee With Summer. To be honest, I had no real plan on what CWS would become, but the one thing I did know was that I wanted to this to be an open and authentic place.
Authenticity is an important part of who I am and what I believe in, and that passion was stirred up years before CWS existed. Before CWS, I blogged for many years through the mirco-blogging site, Tumblr. All throughout the end of high school and through college I unexpectedly grew a very large following of over 35,000 through my Tumblr. I was constantly being flooded with messages about how my authenticity is what drew people in, and it never failed to leave me completely humbled. Even those who didn’t completely agree with my views or beliefs still enjoyed following my Tumblr blog because I didn’t sugarcoat anything; I always tried my best to remain raw and real. After God used those people to show me how needed authenticity is, it then began to take root as a deep passion inside my heart. We need people to be real and I want to use my voice both online and in real life as one that encourages others to be authentic and to own every part of it. It’s so freeing.
Anyway, back to CWS. Though I started blogging seriously two years ago today, I really didn’t get a clear vision of what I wanted my blog to become until about a year ago. Around this time last year I started to really see CWS as a way to monetize. At first I thought that it was so neat to be able to have a profitable hobby, but before I knew it, I realized that blogging wasn’t just a hobby for me, it was a passion that I wanted to pursue professionally. So, I started working with small businesses on collaborations and soon branched off to pitching to brands and applying for paid sponsored posts. I got my first ever paid sponsored post last December and since then I have worked with numerous brands that I love. Monetizing a blog isn’t easy or for the faint of heart, but it is so rewarding and SO possible, my friends.
One thing that I really aim to be clear is that even when I share sponsored content it’s only ever content that I genuinely do use or believe in 100%. I will never share anything with you if I didn’t back it up completely. I know some people don’t like when bloggers post sponsored content, but that doesn’t make sense to me, as this is literally a job for us! Why criticize someone’s work when it’s not what you do? I’ve learned to forget the haters and I haven’t looked back, nor will I.
I am proud of myself and how far I have come in such a short time. I am always striving to push myself out of my comfort zone. Sometimes I succeed and other times I fall short. I once passed up an amazing opportunity because I couldn’t do a Google Hangout interview, as I let my anxiety take over me. That completely sucked and it got me down for awhile, but I learned from it. But on the other side, I have been stepping out and pitching to brands and have been able to work with most of them so far, which has been so exciting. Blogging (and social media) has been such an enormous confidence booster for me, which is just one of the reasons why I know I should be pursuing this so seriously. Blogging has been a huge blessing for me, as I am always learning something new and achieving another goal. Both aspects are so important. I never want to stop learning.
Coffee With Summer has been a place where I have learned to rock out my voice more and more than I ever thought possible. I finally feel like I’m doing something right with my life. I finally feel like I belong.
Without launching CWS two years ago, I wouldn’t have the supportive blog friends and community that I have now. They’re seriously some of the best friends I could ever have (shout-out to my Blog Passion Project admins – love you, ladies!) And you, yes you, are part of one of the best communities on the internet. I wouldn’t be where I am today without your readership and constant encouragement! Your support has immense power. Thank you for that.
Over the past two years, Coffee With Summer has seen so many successes and I am eternally grateful for them all and left humbled. From working with at least 25 brands, to growing a great blog sponsorship program, to learning how to own my blog’s focus and mission…I’m just blown away. I can’t wait for what the future has in store! Here’s to growing and growing even more.
Again, thank you all for your support over the past two years! I wouldn’t be here without you. I am so excited to see what the new few years hold! I’m hanging on for a fun, wild ride. Are you going to stay and ride along?