10 More Lessons I’ve Learned From Horse Blogging

staying positive when training is not going well

Carrying on with the next 10 tips today.

As promised yesterday, here’s the rest from the original list.


10 more horse blogging tips for a reader friendly blog!

Dressage On A Dime A Horse For Elinor

Before we get in to it – remember to have fun with your blog! There’s really no true rules. As always, I’d love to hear what you have to say at the end! Share your own tips and pet peeves!

11. Consider the content in any picture before posting.

Readers will have a hard time seeing a quick image as something fleeting or temporary, or as something unusual.

If you choose to post pictures of your horse, let’s say lathered and with a rope halter rubbing off its outside eye on the lunge line, then yes, viewers will see this as a true representation of how your horses are normally handled.

Even if it was just one time. For 5 minutes.

Just that it was published on your blog draws a parallel, and sets a precedence.

Getting off track here… As you can tell below, I check every picture before posting to make sure everything is correct and in place. Right…

candid picture gone wrong

12. Ignore the statistics for now.

Hits of 2000 per month is insignificant, and won’t pull in any money. Just write anyway, have fun with it, and think of the reasons the blog started in the first place!

A way to document? An adventure? A chance to create a network of like-minded that could never happen in real life… Because we’re always too busy waiting for the farrier. Or run out of time cleaning tack, or fixing the broken hay net, again.

13. Spell check.

‘Nuff said. No grammar police, but a spell check is nice. I butcher sentences in my own special way and reverse the words to where the syntax is broken. More or less on purpose perhaps.

But a spell check is easy, and readers really do like it.

The easy part is pushing the square with ABC and a check mark, every time. Yes?

Benefits of hand Walking Young horses on trails

14. Imaging is king. (That’s not even a sentence, I’m lost.)

See 11 above – pictures mean a lot. Include a photo in every post.

We know content is king, but the eye is a cheat and an easy sell and will stay longer on a page with a picture.

Posts with no images get very little views. It’s simply how it works. You can read all sorts of marketing studies on this. Or just go with it – and break up those chunks of text.

Honorable mention:

Try really hard to use only your own images for at least 90% of all pictures on the blog. It makes a difference – the material should always feel as if it comes from you.

Hand walking green horse on trail

15. Page Backgrounds. Just. Don’t. Do it.

It should be illegal for themes with purple and pink paisley to even exist as an option.

No one does this any more. Right?!

16. Once-weekly posting may be enough.

Supposedly webcrawlers look for fresh content and it will help in search ratings if the website has been updated. If your site has new content, it will pop up higher/earlier in search engines. That’s all.

Excessive posting doesn’t really do anything. This blog is published more often, just because I like it… More posts doesn’t always equal more reader-worthy posts.

Cantering green horse

17. Answer comments on the blog. At some point.

I’m always incredibly grateful for reader comments. It’s fun, I love to interact, hear what others are doing and find out what they think about the post!

But there’s not law that says a writer has to be a slave to commenting right away. Many of us have an incredible long list of things that has to happen every day. (We’re horse people!) Taking time to write is huge.

Every one will understand if comments are unanswered for a couple of days. The less stress around anything with your writing, the more fun!

18. Quit it with the pop ups.

Unless it’s a cheesy self-help site. Or a scam. Or a virus. It feels a bit like click-bait…

Most of us are snake-fast with the “Back” button!

19. Focus on “Ease Of Use” for your readers.

The blog should be easy to read, access, and navigate! There are blogs where readers have to “click for more” to be able to read the entire post. Really? Come on! Many won’t click…

Don’t sacrifice ease of use just to get more page clicks and increased statistics on a page that doesn’t bring in any money in the first place. More “views” don’t make a difference in the larger scheme of things.

Readers will stay longer instead if the full post can be read upfront, and why not allow several, earlier, posts below it?

Maybe infinite scrolling of 5-10 posts? Sure, statistics will show more views if readers are forced to “click-through” to see each individual post.

But why??! I’d love to hear your feedback on this. Hit me!

cantering green horse and half halt

20. Reviews, and how they may, or may not generate more followers.

Write reviews because they’re fun and because you enjoy writing them. My posts with the largest statistics and the longest shelf life are all reviews. (Aside from a post with a tag Mount A Horse which keeps getting high hits, Germany every time. So wrong.)

The same goes for some shared posts and certain content found through Online Searches – they generate hits, but not necessarily new Followers.

Many come for the content, read, and move on. A view from Pinterest means just that – a view.

Just what everyone does when getting information, right? We don’t always take time to click-through past the article to find out who wrote it, what else is going on this site, and decide to Follow, Share, Like, Pin, or Forward it.

This doesn’t really change anything in the actual writing of the blog. Just more something to keep in mind – a blog can sit with lower followers and still have a huge reach.

Enjoyed the tips? Help your friends out, share your thoughts!

Dressage On A Dime A Horse For Elinor

20 Tips To Rock Your Horse Blog!

horse blogs 2017

Hey, this is really cool – I’ve had readers coming to me asking for “How To” tips.

This is not an expert site in any way.  But thing is, I’ve already got a list posted at the ready! If you’ve missed it, let’s get in to it right away.  Below is the first 10.5 tips.  Add your own at the bottom!  We need it – I’m not an expert or anything.


10 and 1/2 quick tips on how to make blog posts that readers will take the time to read.

There’s fantastic content out there, in all those blogs, some is really well worth a read!

But much of it doesn’t actually.  You know.  Get read.

Dressage On A Dime A Horse For Elinor

None of us are expert blog marketing gurus.  Let’s face it – we’d rather be in the saddle than reading up on mysterious ways to increase readership traffic on our little side-kick horse blogs.

Since we’re all in this together – today is all about sharing a bit of what I’ve learned from 3 years of blogging. (Actually 4 now since this is a re-blog.)

 

      1.     Fewer words.  So little time.

Many horse blog posts I’ve come across are simply too long.  Wordiness and endless blabber isn’t going to get much more than a click on the Back button.

Unless a post is documenting a very specific event, contains research, intricate discussion points etc.  (Forget this post – I’m already blowing it here by making it much too long.) it should be easy to keep it under 600 words.

Every time!

It will help readers actually make it through to the end.  Trust me on this one.

leading horse out from barn isle

     2.     Pictures.  Without them, no blog is truly alive.

Your posts need images that will anchor the text and the content, and offer a break for the eye.  Test your self when reading other articles etc.  Which ones do you find the easiest to read and follow?

Note how soon a picture will appear in the text, often very high up, and how a second image will make the post seem less “chunky” even if there are several sentences before and after it.

Experiment with your posts.  It’s a blog outlet, not a book 🙂

Close up picture of legs on cantering horse

     3.     Tag your images!

Google has a phantasmic way of sorting and organizing web content.  Take advantage of it!  All that’s needed:  correctly labeled pictures –  readers will find your content through images searches.  And find your blog, yay!

While there’s no proven way to make sure of a high rank in Google results, chances are upped by putting a tag on the picture.  If you don’t, Google will use the title of the image, which isn’t often as descriptive.

The more “unique” the content, the better chance of a higher search-rank result.

Your horse abscessed from a broken wine bottle opener, and you found the corkscrew poking out of the hoof wall?  Label the picture!

All bets are I’ll find it when I search for it.  Because that’s the sort of stuff that would happen to my horse!  And yep, you know I’d be up all night searching for a picture of it to see if this can actually happen…

"Elinor Yee"

     3 1/2.     Tagging posts.

Honorable mention for tagging the posts too.  From the WordPress articles I’ve read on this, depending on the content of the post anywhere between 3 to 10 tags is good.  11 we’re pushing it and the post may not even show up in the Reader.

Personally, since this is All Horse, All The Time, mine rarely go above 8.

 

     4.     Provide some space.  Avoid squashing everything together.

Many readers will come to your blog from a small phone, late at night, when the day is done and they don’t have the energy to read big blocks of text.  Again:  It’s a Horse Blog.

Sometimes posts are really good, but because they read like an essay, I just skim through the content.

Because they’re too long.  Too cluttered.  Too squished.

Couple of simple clicks on the space bar will make for easier breathing.  And reading.

Horse tail Horze Bridle Touluse Horze ear hood

5.     No need for Social Media Channel Overload.

How many channels do you absolutely need to post on to have a solid readership?

Your blog platform?  Facebook?  Twitter?  Pinterest?  Some other cross-posted platform?  Plus all the others…  Really?  Not sure I’ve bought this.

3 is OK.  Feel like you absolutely have to Tweet, Pin, flash on Insta, and schlep up on some other channels?  Fine.  Just know that it isn’t a requirement for having meaningful interaction with readers.

6.  Forget Diary Posts.  It’s so pre-2010.

Don’t have much to say today?  No need for a “just-because” post!  Also, no need for “catching-up” post content.  It often feels stressful to read, harried, egocentric, and irrelevant.

Everyone doesn’t have to read about everything that has happened.

That goes up on your Facebook feed instead!  And then friends can Unfollow you there.  True.

Elinor Yee

     7.    Be ready for the tone of posts to be misunderstood.  Roll with it.

Things will go wrong sometimes.  Or often.  English isn’t even my first language, so hey, there you go.

A focus on always creating flowy sentences or just the perfect intonation will pretty much kill off any creativity.  Too much pressure.

In the end, blogging will feel blocked.  And all those intentions to post will wane.  Some days, just post and be happy!

 

     8.     Cuss words may not be necessary.  Unless you’re incredibly funny.

This blog hasn’t been that funny yet.

Cantering without stirrups on white arabian

     9.  Write for yourself, not to please any particular reader.

Having a narrow niche blog is great.  And if you’re here, yours is probably about horses.  That doesn’t mean you have to appeal to a specific person(s).  Just something to keep in mind…

 

     10.     Count on possibly getting completely picked apart.

Picked apart is usually constructive.  Appreciate it!

On the other hand, getting attacked can only mean two things.  Either it’s from some troll, who should be ignored.  Or, your content is simply painful/neglectful/dumb-bottle-necked for the horses.

Post stuff like that and be ready to be eaten up.  And definitely Unfollowed.  I’ve avoided this category so far.

And trolling myself is not high on my “Let’s-make-time-for-this-today” list.  The Unfollow is much easier.

Elinor Yee Leading horse

As always, I’d love to hear your comments on this!

 Stop by tomorrow for the next 10 Tips!

Dressage On A Dime A Horse For Elinor

Guest Post – Pick Up Your Rabbits

Roadkill.

Their flattened, dried out bodies, small bundles along the roads.  Or the bumpier, more moist, fresher crop.  They’re always there.  I swerve around them, breaking.  Who’d want turkey, deer, racoon, opossum, fox, squirrel, coyote or skunk ground up in their tires..?

You wonder if it happened fast.  If they felt it coming.

Dark morning commute.  Blackish winter morning.  Another Jack Rabbit hit.  This one probably the biggest one I’ve ever seen.  The bright highlights of the car in front light up the scene.  Only differently this time.

Coming to a full stop, I watch the driver ahead of me, his car now pulled over next to the fake-fancy golf course, its water fountain spraying day and night.  Fountains and spot lights promise instant sophistication, never mind the rest.

The man walks across the dark road, lit water droplets glittering behind, to help take responsibility for his roadkill.

A sad heap almost in the middle of the road, the rabbit, still conscious, breathing, heaving.  My front lights shine at the two of them, a white half-circle in the dark blue, as he removes his shirt, wrapping its body into it, lifting it off the stage.

I thank him silently as he carries it off.  That’s all it takes.  Such a small act.

Pick up your rabbits.

 


Want to contribute a Guest Post or Ghost Writing of your own?  Feel free to share a link in comments below!  A one-time open weekend opportunity, yes without rules, on the blog.

Some Visitors For You To Check Out

guest posts on horse blog

Hi everyone!

Up for some guest posts?!!  Or just discover something new?  Then take a peek at these below!

Dressage On A Dime A Horse For Elinor

In no particular order;

A few readers & writers from your Horse Blog community –


Find her post on the latest lesson here:  January 30th Recap

Find her post on grateful Australian living here:  Happy Australia Day 2018

See some well-timed on flying changes in her post here:  Flying Horse!

She has a wonderful post on the importance of riding in life here:  NaBloPoMo Day 22

Read Cecilia’s post on pellets here:  Top 3 Alfalfa pellet feed for horses.

Give her some advice on Half Chaps here:  Let’s talk half chaps 

Here’s her latest take on Navy Blue:  Daisy Blue

Read her emotional closure on losing the gelding of her dreams here:  Backward or forward.


Discover something new and go take a peek at these writers!

It’s a Guest Post Weekend, so feel free to comment with a link to a post you’d want include if you like.

guest posts on horse blog

That’s all from us today!

Kicking Off February With Something Different!

guest posts and ghost writing on horse blog

For the first time –

Opening up for some guest, or ghost, posts!

Completely different format and content, just for fun.  Then back to horses of course, no worries.  Look, here’s a horse right now, to tide you over.

guest posts and ghost writing on horse blog

Peek in on Friday to see the guest post.

Want to take part with a guest post of your own!? 

Chime in below in the comments!  You can link up to your own content to share your own, or work from somebody else.  No rules this weekend!

Switching Pace

hiking with dalmatian dogs

That was a lot of “Short Read” Posts.

Because time has been.  Short.

Barn commute, still 2 hours out and back.

I’ve upped the long distance running a bit.  Still putting in hours at this beautiful breeding and training farm.  And riding Miss Dissatisfaction.

riding happy horse

And, taken on a second job.

That last one is the clincher.

Things have been happy, just much too busy.  Tiny amount of time left for writing.  But with you readers being so fantastic and checking in on us so often, of course you’ll get more updates on what we’re doing his fall!!

Just don’t hold your breath 🙂  .

Breathing.  Who’s got time for that?

 

Oh, and Dice says – “Hi!”  He still gets his outings.  I think we’re both a little addicted to Redwood trees.

hiking with dalmatian dogs