It’s time to kick-start 2014’s Fashionably Fab Female series with a woman who is full of inspiration, Nikki Novo. I first met Nikki in college, at FIU when she sat behind me in our International Marketing class. We would chit-chat before class at times, and coincidentally had social circles that integrated. Though we don’t see each other regularly and never became lifelong friends (this isn’t that kind of blog post), we keep up with each other via the wonderful world of Facebook. Nikki is an established writer and editor who has contributed to the Miami New Times, Daily Candy, The Huffington Post, and many, many others. She also runs her own site, nikkinovo.com, where she helps women discover their true purpose in life and most importantly, find a career filled with purpose. Whether finding a meaningful life for you is finding that perfect relationship, creating a career for yourself with flexibility, or just going to a 9 to 5 that you enjoy; Novo aspires to guide you along the way. Her website is chock-full of inspirational quotes, stories and advice. Let’s face it, this girl has had some great writing gigs and very relatable real life stories. We’ve all been there, searching for the love that we can’t seem to find, searching for a job that fulfills us and makes us happy, searching for something more to life than just the daily mundane. She took those obstacles and created the life she wanted to live. And just like that, so can you! Novo began her Charmed Life School classes in order to help inspire others achieve the life they’ve imagined. Keep reading for more information on that. But for now, let’s find out how Novo got her writing started, what inspires her, and what drives her creativity. I’m sure you’ll finish this interview with some inspiration of your own. Bella Vida Style (BVS): How did you get into blogging? Nikki Novo: At some point when I ventured into writing, I started a blog. The guy I was dating at the time told me that if I wanted to hone my skills as a writer, I should start a blog. Ah, the things we do for dudes we like. So I started a blog and it had absolutely no direction. And then the boyfriend broke up with me leaving me with this blog. My new situation put me in the perfect place to date and write about the experiences. It was through this process I began to discover my true calling. BVS: Why did you get into blogging? The ex-boyfriend! BVS: Other than your blog, and maybe your day job, what else are you involved in? I’m a mother of two, so that really occupies my time. I’m also involved with my husband’s business. I handle marketing, creating content, and on occasion I like to tell my husband what to do — which doesn’t go over too well. I’m also the co-president of Femfessional’s FemCity Miami. BVS: What pays your bills (what’s your “real” job)? I love to create, so I tend to have my hands in many things, which brings in multiple streams of income. I’ve been an editor and writing for many years. Until recently that was my main source of income. And then I branched off into personal development writing, teaching, and speaking, which is what I do today. I’m certified in hypnosis, so I work with a lot of one-on-one clients who are looking to find their purpose and break away from limiting beliefs. BVS: Why do you blog? I blog because it’s through that process I begin to understand myself and others. It’s a creative release for me. I also ask the universe every morning to use me. Call me a romantic, but a lot of what I write are messages for others sent from the heavens. I consider myself just a channel for the message. BVS: One gadget you couldn’t live without? My iPhone and my computer. BVS: Best app? Evernote keeps my life as organized as possible. BVS: What inspires you? People. And mostly women who love themselves enough to do great things. BVS: What do you do when you get writer’s block? I don’t believe in writer’s block. I know myself well enough to know when I’m trying to distract myself from the task. When I’m distracting myself it’s usually out of fear. Fear of not being enough to write something well. And then I remind myself that I’m simply a channel. The words flow through me, but they are not my own. I also ask Archangel Gabriel to guide me. She works with creatives. Try it. BVS: How do you come up with new and refreshing content? I just think of my reader. I try to be really in tuned with who my readers are and what they’re interested in. I write for them. BVS: How would you describe your blog in 2 sentences or less? Good question! It’s a personal development blog geared towards women who believe they were made for big things. The blog is a place for guidance, support, and inspiration for those who are looking to discover their purpose. BVS: What’s the best way to get more followers and/or get your blog exposure? Two things: Be consistent and love your reader. Make sure you’re posting on a consistent basis. I am definitely guilty of not doing this, but I can see the difference when I stick to posting once a week on the same day of the week. Secondly, you have to know who your reader is. You must know who you are writing for. If the reader feels like you’re writing for her, she’ll keep coming back. Narrow down to one reader. Don’t be afraid to leave people out. They’ll find somewhere else to go. Love your reader, and she’ll multiply. BVS: How can someone starting out figure out how to separate themselves from the rest of the blogs out there? Be yourself. It’s evitable that others will be doing something similar to you. But what attracts people to you is your style, your character, your beliefs. Get to know yourself. Ask yourself what do you believe in. What do you stand for? Now let that come out in the blog. Don’t try to be anyone else. And don’t be afraid if there are others doing what you’re doing. That only means there are people out there interested in what you’re doing. Some people will be attracted to you, while others will be attracted to person B. It’s like Apple and PC. One is not better than the other. They just believe in different things, and they make sure to communicate those beliefs every chance they have. Be you. Be weird. BVS: Some people think blogging makes you rich – what’s the truth? What’s the best way to monetize your blog? It’s very difficult to make money off the blog itself. It’s not impossible, but it is difficult. Think about it: The New York Times is still trying to figure out how to monetize its website. You would have to run ads and sell sponsorships, but in order to do so you have to have really great traffic on your blog. Blogging should be used as a marketing tool that complements your business. While I love blogging, when it comes to my business, my blog posts are considered marketing content. It’s weekly free content I give out to my followers in hopes of building loyalty. It also helps people get to know who I am and why I’m different from the other people who do what I do. If someone is ready to invest in personal development sessions or workshops, my hope is that they’ll come to me instead of Person B because I’ve been giving out free advice to them for months. Writers can use a blog to show off their style and attract more freelance writing gigs. Fashion bloggers can use a blog to get styling jobs, appearances, books opportunities, etc. That’s how blogs really make money. BVS: How can a blogger better work with brands? You’ll have to build your readership a bit before you approach brands. After maybe about a year, and your numbers are looking well, you can work on creating a media kit, which is basically like a little brag book. Then start reaching out to brands who share the same target market as you do. BVS: Any photography tips for bloggers? Use your own photos when possible. Original photos are always the best. But if you’re going to use someone else’s photo, make sure to give them credit on your blog. BVS: If you had to pick the best 3 devices for bloggers what would they be? A camera, an editorial calendar, and a notebook or app like Evernote to keep your ideas and inspirations. BVS: Many times I get told that a blog is a public diary, others think it’s a waste of time or just a hobby – Why do you find blogging important or of value? Why is blogging a priority for YOU? It can be a diary if there’s no focus. And that’s okay if that is where you are in your creative journey. Even if it is a public diary, it’s probably helping you learn something about yourself. You feel compelled to do it for some reason. What is that reason? Blogging becomes part of your business when you start thinking about your reader as a client and your work as something worthy of making money. BVS: What blog or person do you consider your example to push for better content or your mentor? I’m a big fan of what Marie Forleo does on MarieForleo.com. I’m also constantly in awe of the content ShopEthica.com puts out. The owner is my dear friend, Melissa Cantor. She taught me everything I know about writing. To this day, she is still the best writer I know. Her attention to detail is not seen anymore. And her love for her work is inspiring. Now we want to get to know YOU better, these are more fun, slightly more personal questions . . . BVS: Hometown? I was born in Long Branch, New Jersey, but I moved to Miami when I was seven years old. Miami is where the heart is. BVS: Age? 31 BVS: Current town? Miami, FL BVS: What do you love best about your city? I love that it is growing, and the people who live here are growing with it. BVS: City hidden treasure? I’m currently digging The Market in Coral Gables. It’s a juice/ healthy convenient market. Mostly everything they sell is locally made. The owners have a true love for good food that is good for you and the community. BVS: What is on your nightstand? Books, books, and more books. Plus a canvas painted by my daughter. BVS: What are you reading right now? Any good? I’m currently reading, “Start with Why,” “Flow,” “Daring Greatly,” and “Lightworkers.” Which basically sums up my interest: Business, the brain, self-help, and spirituality. BVS: What’s your vice? Chocolate chip cookies. BVS: Other than blogging – what hobbies do you have? Yoga and learning BVS: Favorite shopping site? Amazon, haha. Sorry. For clothes, I shop mostly at Savvy Girl in Miami. BVS: What is stylish to you? Someone who takes pride in their appearance and wears what makes them feel good — regardless if it’s on trend or not. BVS: Can’t live without beauty or makeup product? As a mom to a eight-month old, I’d have to say concealer.cu BVS: Favorite blog to follow? Cupcakes and cashmere. Love her style. BVS: If you have $100 right now what would you spend it on? A Reiki certification class. Or a night out with my husband. BVS: Tell us about Charmed Life? What is it? How did it come to be? For about six years now, I’ve been attracting people who are looking to find more purpose in their work. After a few dozen coffee meetings, I decided to listen to the universe and create a program for these people who were brightening up my life. I launched it last year, but it was designed more as a support group for girls who wanted to have more meaningful conversations. This year, I’m re-launching it with more direction in hopes that we can turn around more results. Charmed Life School is a 12-week program designed to offer ladies looking for their purpose the structure, support, inspiration, and guidance they need to get on a path that makes them feel fulfilled. Each class includes a series of exercises, lectures, and guided meditations. Plus special appearances by women who were my students’ shoes just a few years ago, and today are doing remarkable things.
Shameless plug: I’m hosting a free intro class on February 3rd in Miami. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to attend! BVS: What’s next for you? Charmed Life School is also a workbook. I hope to tour around the country (maybe the world!) and introduce the workbook to those who could benefit from using it. BVS: Social Media Links for followers? website: https://www.facebook.com/nikki.novo Twitter: @nikkinovo Instagram: @nikkinovo
Now, how inspiring was that? Do you feel your creative juices flowing yet? I’ll definitely be checking out Charmed Life School on Monday and most likely sharing more about it with all of you. This girl can use some help in finding her purpose too. Will you be there? Don’t forget to sign up! Don’t procrastinate the Miami way, you only have a couple of days and Monday’s class is FREE! If you decide to stick to the 12-weel program, each class is only $20 and the classes will be held in South Miami. Creative types have to stick together. Sometimes it’s hard to continuously find creativity, or to stay inspired. Creative types can be a bit fidgety because they have all these ideas in their heads going around. Maybe Charmed Life School can help you get those ideas into a plan that works for you! If you’re not that creative, don’t worry, this class is open to all who are searching for a purpose in their life and career. Let’s all get inspired! That’s what’s going to kick-start 2014 to bring great things your way (and hopefully mine too)! We’re all in this together. Now doesn’t that feel nice? What do you think your life purpose is? If you already know, how did you find your life’s purpose? What inspires you? What gets your creativity going? Did you just start a blog? Share it with us! What inspires you when you’re writing or blogging? Are these Fashionably Fab Females helping you on your blogging or creative journey? Are you still searching for your purpose? Is it love? Is it career? Let’s talk about it in the comments below! We’re all struggling with finding something. Will you be at Charmed Life School on Monday? If you have any suggestions for the next Fashionably Fab Female, let us know! We’re always looking for creative, inspiring, amazing women to share with our readers!