For The Stylist

Why Salons Should Have a Blog

blog
Online marketing is an ongoing quest. There's always some new platform, some new technique and trick, and tons of things you're told you should be doing to make your salon stand out in the online crowd.

But the tried and true technique that seems to be standing the test of change is an awesome blog to draw in potential new clients and serve your existing fans.

I know, I know, you're probably thinking, "But I'm not a writer! I'm a hairstylist/salon manager/salon owner and I don't have time for that!" Sure, there's some time involved, and it may take a little work to get started, but adding a blog to your online presence will be a boost to business. Plus, if done right, there's ample room to have fun with it!

To learn more about why having a blog for your salon is a great idea, we contacted Abbi Achterburg of Tipping Point Marketing to get the professional scoop on why you should embark on the blog path and how to do it:

Why is a blog valuable to a small business?

A blog is a great way for you to demonstrate your expertise on a topic. Writing a blog on a variety of topics allows you to share knowledge of the industry that people may be searching for online. It also showcases your knowledge base to your readers. If your readers post comments it allows you to communicate and interact with them in a new, convenient way. The goal is to be a resource for your readers so that when it comes time to purchase they think of you first. Another benefit of blogging is that, when done consistently, it can boost your search engine rankings.

Most people have no idea where to start when it comes to launching a business blog. Any tips on how to find ideas content ideas, especially for a salon or stylist?

Read other blogs in the industry. This can lead to a flood of ideas for your own blog. As you continue to blog and create a library of posts it is always acceptable to reach into your archives to put a new twist on an old idea. Most businesses start with a wide net in terms of blog topics, especially in the beginning as you find your blog voice. A salon or stylist could focus on benefits of certain products, new accessories, or celebrity cuts as starting points for topics.

What type of frequency should they strive for when starting out, and how should should that change down the line?

A great frequency to start with is posting one blog post per week. This is by no means the rule. I use it as a benchmark to gauge readership. If your audience is very engaged consider increasing the frequency. If you're struggling to reach an audience, one tactic to consider might be to blog less frequently. Blogging every day is not always the answer. I really prefer to let the audience tell me how frequent I should post. The most important thing here is that each post should be quality. Do not sacrifice quality just to stick with a posting schedule or frequency.

As Abbi explained, it can take a little time to find your voice and get on a roll. But it's definitely manageable! Remember that your blog should showcase you and/or your salon's personality, giving potential clients an idea of who you are and whether or not they'd be a good fit there. Find a good balance between beauty related topics--such as reviews of products like CHI Infra Treatment--and showcases of your work or special promotions. In addition, consider asking each stylist to contribute thoughts, ideas, and posts to vary the voice and skill. For instance, if one stylist is great at short hair cuts, another is an expert at coloring, while a third does a great job with chic formal styles, use them to cover those areas (or offer dictate advice to the person writing the blog), showing the wide variety of services and expertise you offer.

A few other things to remember:
1. Share! Be sure to use your social media channels to share your new posts, helping to generate more traffic and following. In addition, always include links to your social media channels and regular website on the blog. It's also good to make sure you have sharing buttons on the bottom of posts, as well, so readers can easily send them out via Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and email.
2. Always have an image. People are visual creatures, especially in today's digital world where attention spans are short. Make sure every post has at least one photo to break up the text.
3. Use different styles. Speaking of breaking up the text, it's important to have a variety of different styles of posts. These can include: straightforward articles with paragraphs, lists with bullet points, Q&A style posts, and photo essays with little text.Still not sure? Consider these two blogs as inspiration:
Screen Shot 2013-06-02 at 7.00.28 PMThe Beauty Blog: Tips and Clips from Andre Chreky is the blog counterpart to Andre Chreky: The Salon Spa in the Washington, D.C. area. Andre does a great job of carrying a variety of content, including promotions, new products, tips on topics like parting hair, and info on other local businesses (like the opening of a new Nordstrom Rack). He also throws in some personal posts, such as one about a book written by a high school classmate or his experience doing a Bikram Yoga challenge. The variety is great, and I also like that the visual look of the main website carries over to the blog with the same color scheme.Screen Shot 2013-06-02 at 7.11.15 PM

The M Salon blog of M Salon in Houston feels much more like an online magazine than a salon's blog. It's full of images--an absolute blog must!--and tons of fun posts. They offer tips and tricks--like how to add volume to your hair or household products to avoid for healthy hair--on top of personality-filled posts about new stylists, salon etiquette tips, and hair inspiration. The tabs at the top make it easy to navigate the blog by topic, always a user-friendly attribute.

Ready to get posting? We thought so! We recommend starting out on WordPress.com (for free, standalone blogs), WordPress.org (for blogs attached to a domain name), or Blogger, the most popular blogging platforms. They're all user friendly, making it easy to get a blog up and running with a few clicks of the mouse.

Blogging is an ongoing process, so don't get discouraged in the beginning. Eventually you'll settle into a routine, sprucing your blog up as you go to reflect your style. And as you watch your traffic grow, you'll be glad you got started!

MORE: CHI Infra Treatment, starting a blog, small business blogging, creating a blog, Chi, business blogging tips, blogging tips, blogging for stylists, blogging for salons, blogging