Jeff Lewis, CEO of itsOnlyEntertainment, was a star of the blogosphere right from the start of his blogging career in 2009, quickly becoming one of the most influential bloggers/pop culture commentators in New York City, cranking out eagerly awaited original content and conducting celebrity interviews for many well known online publications.
Not content with his successful blogging, Jeff soon ventured into digital radio to co-host for Mics and Models on BlogTalkRadio.com with Doll, winner of VH1’s “Real Chance At Love”. A highlight of his many guest interviews was Raz B, of the popular boy band B2K, airing allegations molestation against Chris Stoke and Marques Houston.
Jeff has continued expanding his presence in entertainment media with itsOnlyEntertainment.net, a leading site for celebrity news, and D.N.A. Media (Digital Network Authority), a digital social media company. We asked Jeff Lewis about his journey, how he got where he is now, and his goals moving forward.
GD: What motivated you to begin blogging when you started in 2009?
Jeff Lewis: What motivated me to start blogging was the reaction I was getting from people online. I would post these tweets that were my raw opinion and everyone loved it so I decided I would start blogging about pop culture and celebrities. Once I started that celebrities and influencers would retweet my blog and next thing I know I was being emailed by managers and publicists to cover their clients. I really had no clue what I was doing but I knew this is what I prayed. I started doing my research and reading as much as possible about making a blog successful. I would be up for days with no sleep looking up useful information.
Lots of people start blogs, but usually it’s a side gig, at most. What were your goals when you started?
Jeff Lewis: My goals for itsonlyentertainment.net was for the website to be the media empire it is today. I knew that if I stayed consistent it would be more than a hobby or a side gig. I wanted to be at the red carpet events, album release parties etc. I wanted to interview the hottest celebrities and deliver quality content. But most of all I wanted to keep people entertained. I wanted to make people laugh and feel good. Which is why a lot of times I would be sure to include some type of humor in my blog post. My goal was also to do things my way. I wanted to be sure that my voice was authentic.
Tell us about what led you to launch it’sOnlyEntertainment?
Jeff Lewis: I had been doing freelance work for so many publications but I already had a site of my own called the society that was doing very well. I was a star blogger for InteractiveOne and I was developing this hot topics show over there which led me to reach out to James DuBose about a show idea I had. I pitched him the idea about a magazine style show for black celebrities and he loved it. So originally it’s Only Entertainment was supposed to be a TV show. I still remember the day I came up with the name which I just shouted out to my team as we were brainstorming in the office. I was like “it’s Only Entertainment that’s it!” That’s the name. It just sounded like something great. However, things didn’t work out so I continued on with the website and things just took off once I launched with the exclusive that Omarion would be signing to Rick Ross’s Maybach Music label.
What are your future plans and goals for the website?
Jeff Lewis: My future plans and goals for itsonlyentertainment is to stay relevant and continue to grow with the culture. I want the IOE to continue to stand for the rest of time. I have seen so many urban media publications come and go and I plan on making sure we stay relevant as times change. There are so many streams of income you can take advantage of when it comes to being an entertainment website and I plan on taking advantage of all of them. I want to curate signature events, have a popular merch line and then some. I honestly feel like the possibilities are endless.
What’s your advice to someone ambitious who is just getting started in media and marketing?
Jeff Lewis: Don’t give up! Stay consistent with your content and never take no for an answer. Find another route to get a yes. Don’t be lazy and don’t get caught up in the hype of being in the mix. You must take the time to do the work. Remember the real shakers and movers are in the office making deals not at the hottest parties all the time. You have to be disciplined enough to know when it’s time to stay home and get their work done. Don’t get caught up in trying to be popular that you miss out on doing the real work behind the scenes that the people don’t get to see. Don’t worry when they see the results you will still get applause.