Salon Blogging – 101 Beginners Tips

After @thephorestword video blogged Is It Time You Started A Salon Blog? and missed out the: “lots of points on how to get your blog started, and pros and cons…” I thought I’d write: Salon Blogging – 101 Beginners Tips.

  1. My Number One Salon Blogging tip is Content. Content is the all-encompassing most important part of any Website or Blog. If you want your readers to return, give them high quality, readable and entertaining Content (that doesn’t necessarily mean funny).
  2. Registered Domain Name or Blog Name, you need one to look professional.
  3. There are four opening set-up considerations: the domain name, hosting/blogging platform, your topic and your target audience. But what comes first, the chicken or the egg?
  4. Your best domain name (URL), if it’s available, is usually or or Mine is:
  5. You need a short-ish, memorable URL; important: pick a name that is obvious to those who already know you.
  6. Get a top level domain extension like: .com, .net, .org or – it’s what everyone expects.
  7. Never encroach on an individual’s or a company’s copyright or trademark – calling yourself “Maccy D’s” would end in misery and maybe litigation.
  8. Obviously you need a name that is available for social networking. Before you sign up to Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin… you should visit Namecheckr – it’s a handy social username availability checker.
  9. When setting up a blog you need a Host! You can host it yourself or use a third party.
  10. There are two main blogging platforms: WordPress and Blogger. I recommend WordPress. is for people who want to host the blog themselves, and is a free blogging platform which is easy to set up if you want to try your hand at keeping a Blog!
  11. It’s a good idea to get a blog anyway, because then you can use the extensive Jetpack plugin – You need a account to use the plugin if you are hosting a WordPress blog yourself.
  12. I started my first DIY SlashHair blog in the winter 1997-1998. Then in 1999-ish I used LiveJournal – I don’t use it now – but as LiveJournal is a bit of a trailblazer and an ‘old boy’ I thought I’d include it.
  13. Tumblr is very easy to set up and use, but for some reason has a slightly awkward feel for me! Maybe that’s because it has a strong social networking influence? Tumblr is a popular free blogging platform with artists, musicians, bands, photographers and fashionistas.
  14. Medium (I quite like the look of Medium) is aimed at people who want to ‘expand’ from Twitter’s microblogging platform, to something a little more than 140 characters!
  15. There are quite a number of blogging platforms, choose one; don’t make the mistake of trying to be everywhere, you’ll end up being nowhere!
  16. Hair and beauty bloggers use a lot of images and videos, and often use Instagram, a photo and video social networking service, as a blogging platform to share their work on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Flickr.
  17. The best option in my opinion is to host a WordPress Blog yourself (, and use the WordPress content management system (CMS) to create your Website – they’ve got a lot of free themes/templates. And a brilliant help forum.
  18. When You host your blog yourself, You Own it, When Tumblr hosts your blog, They Own it!
  19. You can post what you like on your own blog.
  20. What is your Salon Blogging Topic today? Hair and beauty? Keep on topic!
  21. Blog what you know – it’s good if you can find a ‘Specialist Niche.’
  22. Should A Hairdresser’s Blog Be A Hairdressing Blog? Maybe! What’s a hairdressing blog?
  23. The reason I blog is to relax my visually creative mind. My blog is a reflection of myself and the diverse conversations I have day-to-day – it’s not all hairdressing and fashion, and I rarely blog about product.
  24. Salon Blogging should be wide-ranging, multifarious, but still concentrated on the salon’s chosen topic – The classic mistake is to focus all the attention on Product; especially, selling product! And that can be a massive turn-off.
  25. A classic topic solves a client’s / reader’s problem, like: how to save money, where to get help, what’s the best course of action if such and such happens…
  26. Ask yourself the question, “who am I writing for and what am I aiming to achieve?”
  27. Who is Your target reader? You need to create a ‘basic’ Target Reader Profile to help you write perceptive and directed blog posts.
  28. A salon’s blog is clearly aimed at different groups of people who you want to attract; by understanding them, their needs and desires, you will have more success attracting the right groups of people. Focus on specific individuals, your current clients, and create a target reader profile.
  29. Select about 10 loyal, regular clients (who use the internet) and create a target reader profile of your ideal client by investigating their similarities and what makes them tick. Simply by talking to them you will build up an intimate understanding of your target reader.
  30. Where do they live, is location important to you? Postcode information can be helpful!
  31. Where do they hang out on the net? Birds of a feather flock together.
  32. What about climate, is the weather an issue?
  33. Age (average & range 25 – 60), sex (males% females%) and marital status?
  34. Occupation and education? Income is difficult to acquire!
  35. And other demographic factors like, habits, attitudes, tastes and moral standards?
  36. What is their fashion style? Where do they buy their clothes?
  37. What is your target reader’s general personality like?
  38. Their behaviour and life-style choices – do they buy hairdressing products from the internet?
  39. Are they consistently active users of social media, do they have a favourite like Twitter or Facebook?
  40. How many friends/followers have they got?
  41. If they work, are they on the net at lunchtime, what time, when?
  42. When (what time of day) are they active on social media?
  43. What type of internet connection are they using – What devise do they use?
  44. How did they find out about your Salon – is there a third party online/off-line who recommended them?
  45. Did they recommend you to their friends or talk about their hair on social media?
  46. I think the first task is to find out where your target audience hangs out on the Internet, and then join in!
  47. Learn to understand your potential audience – the better you know them, the easier it is to communicate with them.
  48. Write for yourself, your existing readers and your target reader – that’s more difficult than it sounds!
  49. Ask for feedback when you are up and running – act on advice promptly.
  50. You are going to need some Online Resources to make blogging life a little easier.
  51. MailChimp – a free email marketing and email list manager that allows you to design, send and track HTML email campaigns.
  52. Google Alerts – emails sent to you when Google finds new results (i.e. on websites, blogs etc.) that match your search term (i.e. your salon’s name); so you can monitor the Web and find out what is being said about your salon.
  53. Google Analytics – so you can evaluate your progress. Keep track of your website’s statistics and social analytics.
  54. Google Adsense – so you can evaluate your progress financially – there is a caveat with this: don’t post ads on your blog until it is established.
  55. Google FeedBurner – for spreading the word!
  56. SiteTrail – find sites you find interesting and compatible with yours and “trail” them. Then see an aggregated news stream of all the sites you’re trailing – interesting and helpful!
  57. BTW, as a sort of footnote, I like these WordPress Plugins: Contact Form 7. Disqus Comment System. Facebook. Google Analytics. Google XML Sitemaps. Hupso Share Buttons. Jetpack by Twitter Cards. WordPress Newsletter subscription Opt-in for SendBlaster (if you don’t use MailChimp). WordPress SEO. WP Video Lightbox. [I may write a separate post about plugins]
  58. Salon blogging can be very beneficial, as long as you remember CONTENT is the key word.
  59. Salon blogging isn’t about writing tomes; many fashion bloggers only blog images – however, I think you need some text, even if it’s only captions!
  60. The average length of a post should be between 200 – 400 words, which takes on average between 1 to 2 minutes to read.
  61. People don’t like to read these days, they scan; keep your blog short.
  62. Write in short succinct sentences between 8 to 10 words, and short paragraphs of about 3 sentences – if you do, your readers will understand 99 percent of your blog post – What I’m saying is: be brief and clear and they Will get your message.
  63. Use expressive, catchy titles, subtitles and bullet points to help scanners find what they are looking for, and at the same time pick up your message.
  64. Use a large-ish font size (over 12px) – and I’d say black on white, blogs need to be clearly legible.
  65. Five images, each with a 20-30 word caption, would make a good salon blog post (even though it is Under the recommended word count of about 300).
  66. Re-blogging is re-posting other people’s content (usually images) and personally, I find bloggers who continually re-blog Very Lame – blogging platforms with a social side, like Tumblr, encourage re-blogging!
  67. Re-blogging is ultimately Very boring, leans towards: anti-individualism, blatant copy-catting, even plagiarism and in the end will cause you to fail.
  68. There is a special place for re-bloggers who get fixated on re-blogging a particular person – Blogging Hell!
  69. And You Know You’re In Blogging Hell When You See: A re-blogged beauty product advert. Latest blog post: 6 months ago. Egotistical self-admiration vomit…
  70. Don’t be somebody else, find your own niche and be yourself – do your best to come up with useful and original ideas.
  71. You will want your readers to follow your recommendations, therefore build a reputation for telling the truth. You want people to trust you, Don’t Lie.
  72. In blogging there is something called: Finding Your Voice. It means: to discover a way to communicate your ideas so you can connect with your reader. And it is very important, but it does take time to find sometimes.
  73. You’ll know when you’ve found your voice as soon as your readership starts to grow.
  74. Be Yourself!
  75. Remember, good content supports and promotes your salon and its brand, poor content reflects very badly on your salon and its brand!
  76. What to write? Content ideas can be tricky; get thousands keywords ideas in a minute with Übersuggest, the amazing keyword suggestion tool: Übersuggest is Google Suggest on steroids – that’s what they say anyway!
  77. It’s a good Idea to ask your clients and readers for blogging ideas.
  78. Read lots of other salon blogs and write the occasional follow up post – it’s an unusual and appreciated way to interact with other salons; it often gets results.
  79. Hair and beauty salon blogs use lots of images – it’s best when they are Yours!
  80. Don’t steal images or infringe copyright.
  81. Creative Commons (CC) is a brilliant website (that I support) to search for copyright free images: Search Creative Commons for copyright free images on: Flickr, Google Images, Open Clip Art Library and Pixabay.
  82. CC disclaimer:   Please note that is not a search engine, but rather offers convenient access to search services provided by other independent organizations. CC has no control over the results that are returned. Do not assume that the results displayed in this search portal are under a CC license. You should always verify that the work is actually under a CC license by following the link. Since there is no registration to use a CC license, CC has no way to determine what has and hasn’t been placed under the terms of a CC license. If you are in doubt you should contact the copyright holder directly, or try to contact the site where you found the content.
  83. Should your salon be blogging for money? NO, not to start with!
  84. Don’t try to make money from your blog until it has become established.
  85. Plugging product looks spammy and is a turn-off – never do it!
  86. This post, Salon Blogging – 101 Beginners Tips, is a general look at blogging and not a how to make money! However, the key factor in making money from your salon’s blog is lots of repeat traffic; marketing and sales are a numbers game. A commercial blog has to attract repeat visitors in order to make a profit. First time visitors don’t usually buy, second and third time visitors are much more likely to. You get the visitors to return by giving them high quality content and by creating the right environment. Simple – Ha ha.
  87. Build an email list – use MailChimp. Contact your readers (emailing list) with priority offers and information.
  88. The Mailing List – a mailing list is the ultimate marketing, promotional and money making tool, it goes together with a website and blog like a shampoo and set. The main purpose of a mailing list is targeted communication by email, thus keeping your clients and readers informed. It will pay big dividends by boosting online sales and by increasing your audience size.
  89. When a visitor signs up to your mailing list, they are HOT and are likely to be the most responsive – if you reply promptly. Your most valuable asset is your hot list. A mailing list takes a lot of looking after if you want results. Spend as much time as possible tweaking the list – you’ll never get it perfect!
  90. Google Adsense is the premier Pay Per Click network – I think we’ve all seen an Adsense ad. Google match the advertisement to your blog’s content, you earn money every time your visitors click on them. The fact that the ads are relevant to your blog’s content means that your readers should find them useful and probably click on them.
  91. From selling products (direct method) to getting new readers who turn into clients (indirect method), salon blogging can be very productive.
  92. As soon as you’ve written your first blog post you’ll want everyone to read it – We’re talking Blog Promotion.
  93. Content is always the keyword in website and blog promotion. Good content means other websites will want to link to you.
  94. Aim to write two to three blog posts per week.
  95. Work out how people will discover you and how they will make their way to your salon’s blog; there are three usual ways (each with multiple-criteria): 1. By searching in a search engine (involves search engine optimisation SEO). 2. By clicking on an incoming link (Back Links). 3. By typing your URL directly into the address bar (maybe the result of Real World Advertising).
  96. Link to other blogs in your blog posts who use Trackback. Trackback will summarise your blog post and will usually look like a comment at the top or bottom of their Comments section.
  97. Comment on other blogs and encourage your readers to comment on your blog.
  98. If you can’t afford to give stuff away, give your knowledge and experience – and over deliver.
  99. At the start, do not synchronize your blog with your social networking sites. Synchronizing social media is a very dangerous thing to do, especially for hairdressers, who have a tendency to spam product ads everywhere, day after day. Even exciting and informative news can still look spammy when synchronized.
  100. Each social networking platform, be it Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or dare I say it, Your Website – Salon Blog, has its own niche, an identity created by its owner for its users – Facebook isn’t Twitter isn’t Linkedin isn’t your Blog – the differences may seem subtle sometimes, but they are very important to the individual user. Always use different content on the different social networking sites, so when people click around they don’t read the same mind-numbing bollocks over and over again, because that’s boring, disengaging and a massive turn-off – even for the client who loves you!
  101. The true promotional value of social networking is always measured by what you have to say! Syncing will hurt you in the end. I’d just like to add: focussing on using the re-blogging technique coupled with synchronisation of social media platforms can have a very negative effect on ones target audience.
  102. Always connect with your audience and fellow salon bloggers when ever you get the opportunity; don’t underestimate the importance of networking.
  103. Blogging needs plenty of motivation and inspiration; if at first you don’t succeed, don’t just give up. If you stick with it you’ll win.
  104. A hackneyed cliché: you can’t please all the people all of the time… you will get critics, don’t worry that’s healthy, normal and necessary.
  105. Blogging Netiquette: Like real life etiquette it’s good manners, polite behaviour.
  106. Try to be nice, don’t get nasty.
  107. Never spam, don’t repeatedly post the same hair and beauty product ad.
  108. Always be appropriate for your audience, remember children may read your posts.
  109. Don’t post other people’s copyrighted material – Always ask first, they usually say yes.
  110. “As a net is made up by a series of knots, so everything in this world is connected by a series of knots. If anyone thinks that the mesh of a net is an independent, isolated thing, they are mistaken. It is called a net because it is made up of a series of connected meshes, and each mesh has its place and responsibilities in relation to other meshes.” The Teaching of Buddha by Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai, Buddhist Promoting Foundation.

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Written by Ian Robson
SlashHair the sex, politics, religion and philosophy of the fashion industry, from the perspective of session hairdresser & stylist Ian Robson – “When you look good, I look good.” Find Ian on Twitter – @SlashHairNet. © SlashHair is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License, which means: quote me and steal my images, but give me credit by Linking Back.