Sound good? Before you begin, Mae, Suttles and other beauty bloggers point out some common DOs and DON’Ts:
To optimize your blog, i.e. draw the biggest audience, you need to use the words and phrases that readers are currently entering into their search engines, says Michael Butera, general manager of MODERN SALON’s www.beautyschooladvisor.com and search engine marketing manager for Vance Publishing, SALON TODAY’s parent company. “Most people would be using a search engine, such as Google, Yahoo, or MSN to explore the Internet,” Butera says. “You can tap into tools, such as www.wordtracker.com, to discover the key phrases that people are searching. Then use these key phrases in your title where you can and repeat them in the first and last paragraphs of your blog.”
Noori Daili, owner of Next Salon in Santa Monica, hired a computer consultant for $85 an hour to research popular search phrases for the blog she hosts on her website, www.nextsalon.com. “It’s really important to us to have the right marketing person to help us identify phrases,” says Daili. “For example, two years ago we did a blog on eyebrow threading. We were the only ones to have a blog that explained this service and it brought us so many new clients. Some of our other successful blog topics have been eyelash extensions, beach weddings and waxing.”
If you can type—and even if you can’t—you can blog. Linda Reagan, owner of Linda’s Shear Spirit in Mason, Michigan, freely admits she’s not very computer literate. “I have enough trouble with my clippers, but even I saw that blogging was a way the younger girls are communicating with each other and thought it was the way to go for our salon,” she explains.
Reagan started her blog (www.lindassalonblog.com) last fall after experiencing a devastating walkout of 15 staff members. “Our clients were very upset when they were contacted by these staff after they took their personal information from our salon files,” se says. “First we mailed a letter to clients explain the situation, but then we started the blog to communicate them.” Today, Reagan uses the blog to inform clients about product specials, introduce new staff members, share her staff’s educational experiences, describe new products and keep clients posted with news about a staff member currently serving as a missionary in Africa.