Business Name: The InkSpot and 8515
Social Media Links:
Book Title: #MakeUrPenLOUD: How To Be A Lifestyle Blogger
NFAA Chapter Location: Dallas, TX
NFAA Meetup Group Link:
Tell us a bit about you. What kinds of writing do you do and what do you do for work?
I am a Dallas based Lifestyle Blogger, Editor, Stylist, Publicist, Co-Founder of 8515, CEO of The InkSpot, and Author of #MakeUrPenLOUD: How To Be A Lifestyle Blogger.
I have two businesses, The InkSpot, a lifestyle production company and 8515, a lifestyle marketing & PR agency. Over the past seven years, I have gained extensive experience in lifestyle blogging, writing, editing, publishing, production, marketing, social media, public relations, creative direction, styling, brand management, and event planning.
Since I have two businesses, I create different types of content. For The InkSpot, I write blog posts, magazine articles, eBooks, and books. For 8515, I write press releases, media pitches, social media posts, marketing strategies, website copy, and more.
As far as what I do for work, that just depends on the day, lol! I love what I do because no two days are the same. But basically, I run my own businesses which means I manage and oversee all projects. For The InkSpot, I am working on developing new products. And for 8515, my business partner & I are working on expanding our client roster and developing new campaigns. In essence, my daily tasks are planning new projects, pitching to new clients, updating my online magazine, posting on social media, sending emails, etc.
What are your publishing-related goals?
My publishing-related goals are to publish more books and launch a digital/print magazine! I am in the process of expanding The InkSpot by publishing work by other writers via a collection of books and a digital/print magazine called LOUD Magazine.
Why motivated you to want to run a local chapter for NFAA and what do you hope to accomplish with your chapter?
I am motivated to run a local chapter for NFAA because I think this is something Dallas needs. There are so many bloggers, writers, and creative entrepreneurs in Dallas who would find value from being a member of the NFAA. In essence, I want to give back and help others. When I was writing and publishing my first book, I had no one to turn to ask for help and advice. So I want other writers (published and unpublished) to have a community where they can come together to connect, exchange ideas, and share resources. We are stronger together than we are alone.
I would like Dallas to be more well known in the writing community as far as it being a city that’s known for having great writers. When most people think of great writing, they think of New York, L.A., London, Paris, I want them to think of Dallas. The city has such potential to be a hub for writers but not without communities like NFAA.
What advice would you offer to fellow writers?
My advice would be to self-publish. I truly believe that self-publishing forces authors to be a jill/jack of all trades and be involved in all aspects of the publishing process. As a self-published author, you have to write the book, hire an editor or do it yourself, launch marketing campaigns, plan events, etc. It’s definitely more work but it allows you to get your hands dirty and really master the process. You also get to reap benefits like earning more book royalties, having full creative control over the book’s content, release date, marketing, etc.
Another thing is the average person/consumer takes you more seriously. Most of the publishing world will tell you that self-publishing is looked down upon but most readers couldn’t care less who published your book, all they care about is if it’s good or not. And when they find out you published the book yourself, they have more respect for you because they know you’re truly committed and serious about what you do.
The other piece of advice would be to figure out a way to develop multiple streams of revenue. When I first published my book, I thought the profits would be enough to live off of. Sadly, that hasn’t been the case. In essence, I would advise that you do consulting, speaking engagements, or write multiple books. This way you have multiple streams of income and you don’t have to depend on one thing. Think of yourself as McDonald’s, they don’t just sell cheeseburgers, they sell salad, coffee, dessert, etc. So ask yourself, what can I sell or make money off of besides my book?
Please list any favorite books, tools, or resources you would recommend for fellow writers.
I recently read “How To Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie and that book was awesome! It’s a classic book written in the late 1930s but so many of its lessons ring true to this day. It’s about how to connect with people and build relationships which is such a key skill to have as a writer. Although most of what we do is behind the scenes, eventually you will have to do interviews with the media and meet your readers. In essence, you need to learn how to win friends and influence people, lol!
Other resources, I would recommend are Evernote, Basecamp, Expensify. Evernote is for note taking/project management, Basecamp is for managing projects and to do lists, and Expensify is for tracking business expenses. For a full list check out my book, #MakeUrPenLOUD: How To Be A Lifestyle Blogger.
What do you do for fun?
I don’t have much time for fun but when I do, I like the simpler things in life. Watching movies, eating, sleeping, listening to music, hanging out with friends and family.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I am originally from Cincinnati, OH but I consider myself to be from “everywhere”. I’ve lived in Cincinnati, Hampton (VA), New York, Houston, and now Dallas.