More suggestions from blogger Elinor Yee!
Elinor Yee follows up her original 10 Tips For Keeping a Horse Blog with more sage advice!
Originally published at Elinor Yee’s blog 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!
1. 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…
2. 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.
3. 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?
4. Imaging is king. (That’s not even a sentence, I’m lost.)
See #1 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.
Aim 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.
5. 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?!
6. 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.
7. 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!
8. Quit it with the pop-ups.
Especially if 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!
9. 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 up front, and why not allow several, earlier, posts below it?
10. 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? Chime in!
Help your friends out and share your thoughts. Of course I’m all ears for your ideas to help make this blog easier to read.
Go blogging, and go riding.
Elinor Yee is a dressage enthusiast originally from Sweden who trains and shows her young mare on her own. She is striving to get to 3rd level and writes about the journey to get there and about anything “Dressage On A Dime.” Oh, and she very rarely falls off.