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5 Benefits of Creating a Personal Blog with Tamara Sykes

5 Benefits Of Creating A Personal Blog With Tamara Sykes

On this month’s profile, we are talking with Tamara Sykes, a PR Manager at Postali. Tamara’s digital marketing background and extraordinary communication skills are instrumental in earning press for individual lawyers and mid-sized firms. She helps clients create the ideal public persona that supports their digital and traditional marketing.

In addition to being a PR professional, she’s also a content creator herself and has found joy in creating family and style content. With this experience, she has also helped aid others in learning more about SEO and how they can apply that to their own personal websites, blogs, or newsletters.

Within this interview, we discuss what it takes to create a personal blog, why it’s beneficial, and the reasons why it’s important for creating relationships with journalists. Read below for the entire interview with Tamara Sykes:

1.) You started your career in Marketing and then later transitioned into PR. How did that come about? What made you make that shift?

It was a natural shift! I’ve become very skilled at SEO, PR, and Content Strategy throughout my career. That combination is an excellent mix for businesses that need Digital PR. So when the opportunity presented itself to have a PR title that reflected the storytelling and link building I loved to do, I went for it.

 

2.) How has marketing shaped how you work as a PRo? Have the skills you’ve developed as a marketer helped you in this regard?

My marketing background’s most significant impact is that I always look at the entire marketing strategy rather than only focusing on what works in a traditional PR. Here are two examples. (1) I always use the jobs-to-be-done theory to generate content ideas. It helps my clients create content that addresses social and emotional issues vs. just sharing a solution to a problem. It allows me to tap into the entire story. (2) I’m a firm believer in the PESO Model created by Gini Dietrich. There are times when an effective PR strategy may only consist of traditional tactics. Still, there are other times when the plan should incorporate community service, organic social media, and reputation management, to name a few.

 

3.) We’ve seen a lot of fellow PRos who are starting their own blogs and newsletters in recent months. For those who have yet to jump on this train, what are the benefits of creating a personal blog outside of work?

When you create a blog outside of work, you’re able to build your personal brand. Whether you realize it or not, you have one, and capitalizing on that is wise, whether you want to build a business or not. Other benefits include:

1.) Learning new skills, which helps you become a T-Shaped marketer.

2.) You expand your network.

3.) You establish yourself as a trusted authority in your industry.

4.) You become a better writer.

5.) Most importantly, you get to express yourself and do something that adds fulfillment to your life!

 

4.) You’ve grown your blog from double-digit views to 5-figure views! What tips do you have for those just beginning a blog? How do you figure out what topics to discuss?

Thank you! From my experience, if you want to start a blog, do the following:

1.) Start with outlining who you want to reach.

2.) Finalize your branding.

3.) Create a content marketing strategy. This includes creating a content calendar, choosing a way to share your content with others, and tracking how it all performs.

Once you start with those basics, you’ll grow with hard work and consistency.

As for how you choose what topics to write about, it starts with your target audience. Think about the problems they face, the help they need, and what they desire most. Then write topics that address those things, using SEO research and the language your audience uses. That is a winning combination for an impactful website.

 

5.) You have a knack for building strong relationships with those around you and it’s evident! What made you start Baydian Girl and what can people expect for those who don’t know what it is?

Lol, yes I do! I really enjoy building relationships with others. It’s the most fulfilling feeling to understand what motivates someone and makes them a superstar. As for Baydian Girl, it began because of my love for style and has blossomed into an impactful lifestyle platform. The brand’s mission is to help ambitious women of color live a full life and get found in search results. In 2022, people can expect to see a refreshed website with elevated branding, content that will help millennial women navigate the awkward quarter-life crisis, and a clear way to work with me as a small business owner.

 

6.) In your Twitter bio, you say your mantra is “Relationships are more important than how many pitch emails are sent.” What do you mean by this?How has having your own blog reinforced this?

It’s a reminder to focus on long-term collaboration rather than what you can get from a journalist at the moment. Sometimes what’s timely or important to a journalist is not your story, and that’s ok. It doesn’t mean your message isn’t necessary, and it’s best not to take it personally. Instead, stay in contact with the journalist. Follow them on Twitter. Support their work. Think – could you get to know them better? Intentionally investing in that relationship could result in a future placement. Of course, this is within the context that what you offer aligns with what the journalist writes about.

 

7.) What has been your process for building relationships with journalists before pitching them?

I read, engage and connect. I read their articles, engage with them on social media and via email, and eventually connect with them via video chat or phone. It’s a simple yet effective strategy.

 

8.) You talk a lot about the different ways you can have, and create, a fulfilling life outside of work. How has your professional life changed as you’ve learned how to have a healthy work/life balance?

Well, I’m fully aware of what fulfills, recharges, and drains me. Knowing that has helped me determine what matters most to me to bring my best self to work. For example, I work best in a hybrid work environment. When I’m in the office, I can enjoy connecting with teammates, and when I work from home, I can focus in solitude and recharge. Another example I love to share is I learned the importance of enlisting help, and so far, I’ve practiced that by hiring a local meal prep service to help my family eat healthily. Not to mention, I’ve been able to sleep in and live life during the hours I’m most productive. No more 4 AM meal prep mornings for me!

 

9.) In an industry like PR where it’s increasingly difficult to “turn off,” what are your favorite ways to detach?

Ah yes! Our line of work is tough to “put down.” I have found resuming old hobbies and creating time for leisure very helpful. If I’m not working, I’m usually reading a fiction book or doing a thousand-piece puzzle. I’ve also picked up coloring. These activities help me get lost in something and away from my phone.

 

10.) What’s the best piece of PR advice you’ve received that you want to share with others?

The best PR advice I’ve received is, “Try to connect with journalists outside of their crowded email inbox.” I learned this from Michael Smart and see it practiced every day by my #PRLunchHour co-hosts, Michelle Garrett and Tonya McKenzie.

 

BONUS: We saw that you’ve had several FABULOUS different hair colors. What color has been your favorite and why?

Funny you ask! I’m actually thinking of changing my hair color right now. Anyway, my favorite is my signature purple. It’s a true reflection of my personality – creative, dependable, and someone with a quiet charisma :)

 

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Want to learn more about the benefits of personal branding? Michelle Garrett talks about the benefits to using Twitter in the PR world, why it’s important, and the ways you can start your own valuable Twitter account!

Like this series and have a guest you think would be a good fit? Shoot us a Twitter DM or email us at info@onepitch.co and let us know who you’d want to see featured next! PS: you can recommend yourself too.

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Kendall began her journey at OnePitch as an intern in January of 2019 and is now the Marketing Manager handling all of the marketing efforts ranging from social media to content, and emails. She studied communications at San Diego State University and enjoys drawing, being outside, and practicing yoga in her free time.

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