How to Get Over the Blogging Hump
Blogging is a way to have influence beyond the salon. I wrote about how to develop new content ideas with ease earlier. However, I realized from talking to some stylists recently that just getting started is a big hump for many folks.
Let me share the story of another newbie, my dad. He just became a blogger this year. As his defacto blogging coach, I have encouraged him to create his own voice. At 68, he enjoys expressing his pearls of wisdom on life and his profession of over 30 years, real estate. At first, he doubted whether he could keep up with this blog thing. Now, he gets very passionate whenever he gets a new idea for a post. He pauses in mid-conversation and says, “I should write a blog about that.”
I use my dad as an example of someone who just needed to get started with blogging. Here are a few tips for those of you who need a push to get started or to gain more momentum with your blog.
1) Pick a platform that fits you best. The first critical decision that you need to make is where to publish your blog. Luckily, there are a few budget-friendly options. First, you can set up a free blog site on WordPress or Blogger. I have a bias toward WordPress for business blogs but many people also use Blogger. I prefer WordPress because you can pick from tens of thousands of templates (and even build a complete business website).
For those that want to start with a focus on photos, Tumblr may be a good option for you. Tumblr is called a micro-blogging service. It is designed to showcase shorter posts so for those intimidated about the prospect of writing a 500 word post can exhale. Here is an example of a tumblr site for salon that mixes tips and photos.
Or you can vlog (video blog) on YouTube. You can actually encourage people to subscribe to your YouTube channel the same way readers subscriber to get the latest posts of your written blog.
2) Merge your blog with your website. If you already have a website, it is very common to create a new subdomain like blog.YourSalon.com or YourSalon.com/blog to host your blog. This allows you to still take advantage of the user-friendly WordPress templates without changing your main website. I like Ted Gibson’s blog (built on WordPress).
2) Tell your clients that you have a blog. Most new bloggers forget this part. When you first get started, many send one email out to announce the birth of the blog. Then, newbies sit back and wait for the flood of accolades but instead hear crickets. Until you get some momentum going, you will have to continue to remind your clients where they can read more of your product recommendations and tips.
3) Make friends with beauty bloggers. Most of the dominant bloggers that write about all things beauty have never seen the inside of a cosmetology school (I probably could do a whole post about the role that beauty bloggers play in the beauty industry today). You can promote yourself or your salon as the “go-to” beauty resource by getting to know the non-professionals who live and breathe beauty, too. A few influential beauty bloggers who speak about African American women and hair, specifically, are: afrobella, curlynikki, and Blaq Beauty Vixen. Here is a list of some of the top style blogs in 2011. Pay special attention to the bloggers who live or write about happenings near your business for even better results.
The Final Scoop:
Blogging is a great way to differentiate yourself. You can start slow and build momentum. Just get going!