HERE WE WILL GUIDE YOU AND ANSWER ALL OF THOSE QUESTIONS
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Starting an equestrian blog is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Through this site, I’ve helped fund horse shows, improved my horsemanship, met a supportive community,
and improved my marketing/communications skills that have led to professional success.
That’s a pretty big statement to make — how can a blog really accomplish all that? Especially one like this, because I can promise you there a lot bigger equestrian blogs than this one. So let me break it down for you:
This blog has helped me pay for my horses. We all know it’s expensive to buy and keep horses, and showing at any level compounds these expenses exponentially. I started out with ads on the website, branched out into an online store and finally added affiliate marketing. These income streams have made me more than $1,000 per year for several years now. While that’s not quit your day job kind of money, in the world of horses, every little bit helps.
This blog has improved my horsemanship. By reading other people’s journeys I’ve learned about other disciplines, found different ways to approach the same problem and so much more. I’ve never dealt with anhidrosis in horses personally, but I’ve read about personal experiences. Knowledge is power, and I’ve learned more from blogging than some people do in a lifetime.
I’ve made lifelong friends through blogging. Through my equestrian blog, I found an amazing, supportive group of adult amateurs. I’ve met some in person, relied on some to help me when I needed it most, and learned that there is nothing we can’t do when we come together. The horse world can be tough and cruel, but through blogging, I’ve found it can also be fun and welcoming.
Finally, I’m marking and communications professional — this blog is an amazing creative outlet for me where I can try new things, learn new skills, and motivates me to stay at the forefront of changes. This has benefited by professional career beyond measure.
I know there’s a ton of advice out there about how to start a blog, but the equestrian niche is small — and there’s not a ton of advice out there for the US. What works for travel bloggers might not work in this niche. So here’s how to start an equestrian blog:
- Find the Perfect Name & Design a Logo
- Set Up Hosting
- Install WordPress
- How WordPress Works
- Download a Theme & Install Essential Plugins
- Start Writing
- Start Building Your Audience
- Implement a Monetization Strategy
Don’t make the mistake I did and decide after 2-3 years of blogging that you want to change your name and re-brand. It’s a pain in the ass to do and will confuse people. So take your time and come up with something you really love that suits you. Here are a few do’s and don’ts to get you started:
- DO find a way to stand out — Names like “Diary of X” or cliches like “From the Horse’s Mouth” are overdone and won’t be memorable to your audience
- DON’T be shortsighted — Naming your blog after your current horse might be great now, but when you sell him/her or s/he crosses the rainbow bridge, it might be painful for you to keep the name
- DO keep it classy — If you’re looking to monetize, ask yourself if your blog’s name is something you’d be proud to put on a business card and show to Beezie Madden
- DON’T be long-winded — The most memorable brands have short, simple names; err on the side of too short than too long
- DO check availability — Before you decide on a name, check to ensure the .com domain is available, as well as social media handles
Once you have a name picked out, you’ll want to design a logo. Unless your an OCD graphic designer like me, you probably don’t need to spend a lot of time or money on a logo at this stage. Think about 1 or 2 colors you like, as well as a graphic you think would represent your new brand well. Maybe search Google for some inspiration. Then utilize one of these resources:
- Canva: Canva is a free web-based graphic design program for beginners. It’s a great resource if you want to make something yourself (and learning this tool will benefit your blogging overall since you’ll inevitably need graphics at some point). Canva has free templates you can customize, making designing really easy.
- Fiverr: If you’re not comfortable designing your own logo, check out Fiverr — just read reviews and check out samples before you pick which offer you accept.
Ok guys, here’s the truth. If you want to monetize your equestrian blog, you need to have your own .com domain (which means your own website). It’s a little overwhelming at first, but I promise it’s not that expensive or difficult and I’m going to walk you through step by step.
Hosting is space on a server that houses the data needed for users to be able to view your website. I’ve used several different companies for hosting throughout my time as a blogger, and by far the best I’ve found is Bluehost*. Not only is Bluehost one of the cheapest options, but their live chat support team is also exceptional, you can usually get your domain name for free and they make setting up WordPress a breeze.
Okay, so if you’ve chosen to use Bluehost*, here’s what you need to do:
- On Bluehost’s homepage, hit the green button that says “get started now”
- You’ll be automatically redirected to an outline of the various hosting plans Bluehost offers. I’d recommend the cheapest “Basic” plan — you can always upgrade later on if you need to. Hit the green “select” button
- Now it’s time to register your domain name. Type your blog name into the box on the left (TRIPLE CHECK YOUR SPELLING!!) and hit the “next” button. If you’ve already purchased your domain name somewhere else, use the box on the right 🙂
- On the next screen, fill in your name and address, as well as your package information and method of payment. Here’s what I select when starting a new website:
- Now that you’ve signed up for hosting, it’s time to install WordPress. After finishing your Bluehost purchase, you’ll be asked to choose your password for WordPress:
- Then Bluehost will ask you to pick a Theme. Don’t worry very much about this — it’s not permanent and we will use it as a placeholder for now
- Next, Bluehost will prompt you to start building!
- Woohoo! You’ve successfully installed WordPress! Now there are just a few more steps to get everything step up. First, you’ll be asked whether your site is business or personal — if you’re planning on monetizing, select business
- On the next screen, fill in your blog’s name and slogan. Don’t worry too much about the slogan — you can change that easily later
- The next few pages ask you a series of questions, just answer them honestly since they’ll help Bluehost set up a few things in WordPress to maximize your website for what you’re trying to do (ie start a blog vs a company website or eCommerce store).
- And now you’re all set and ready to get to work in WordPress (don’t panic, I’ve got you covered in the next section)
- First, you need to login to WordPress. You can either do that through Bluehost by logging in to your account there and selecting “launch WordPress” or you can type www.yourdomainname.com/wp-admin into your browser (which is what I do) and you’ll see this screen:
- Type in your username and password. The screen you see now is your WordPress Dashboard. Down the left-hand side, you’ll see all of the important sections to run your website:
- Posts (where you write articles)
- Pages (where you manage static pages like about, contact, etc.)
- Comments (where you approve, spam or reply to reader comments)
- Appearance (where you change the look of your website)
- Plugins (where you add additional features to your website)
- Settings (where you change your site’s settings)
Okay, so stay with me. Take a deep breath — I know this is a lot to take in! But we’re going to go step by step to get everything done together!
It’s time to start making your website pretty! The first thing we’re going to do is find a theme. I’d utilize one of these resources:
Once you’ve chosen a theme and downloaded it, you’ll need to upload it to your website through WordPress. Themes will come with installation instructions, so just follow those and you should be good to go!
Usually, you’ll download the installable WordPress file to your computer. Then you’ll log in to your WordPress dashboard, go to Appearance > Themes > Upload, and choose the theme .zip file you just downloaded. And voila!
Okay, now that you’ve got your theme in place, it’s time to add some extras to your website. WordPress plugins help improve the functionality of your website and give you access to tons of features without having to know ANY code! Here are a few of my favorite plugins:
- Wordfence Security: This plugin protects your WordPress website from hacks and malware — which is absolutely essential, plus there’s a 100% free version (which is what I use).
- Yoast SEO: To help you get traffic, Yoast SEO handles the technical optimization of your site and assists with optimizing your content for search engine optimization (I use the free version).
- Google Analytics by MonsterInsights: This plugin easily adds your Google Analytics code to your website so you can see your traffic stats, demographics, and more.
- Sumo*: To help you grow your email list, I suggest Sumo. It’s a plugin on my website that integrates with MailerLite* (my email marketing platform) to drive sign-ups to my list through pop-ups.
First, I’d recommend you create four static pages for your equestrian blog:
- Homepage: Remember before when we selected a “static page” for your homepage? Now it’s time to decide what content you want on the page and design the aesthetics. Again, Google is your friend, so look for examples you like!
- About: I’d also set up an About page, with some basic information about yourself, your riding resume, and about your horse(s)
- Contact: You should also create a contact page so that in the future other bloggers and brands can get in touch with you.
- Blog Page: This is a blog, so you’ll need a page that houses all of your blog posts!
Once you set up WordPress and install your theme (as I’ve outlined above) some of these pages will be created for you automatically by WordPress (like the homepage and blog page), but you can still customize them so they suit your brand.
And now, you need to get writing! This is your blog, so talk about things important to you. Some people begin with an “about me” post, some people keep a training journal — the possibilities are endless! Just remember, this is YOUR blog so talk about things you’re passionate about and let your personality shine through — the readers will come.
Honesty has always really resonated with my readers — sharing the highs and lows of riding and owning horses is something we can ALL relate to, so don’t be afraid to write about those “oops” moments too.
As I mentioned at the beginning of his blog, there’s an amazing group of equestrian bloggers that supports each other. When I first started blogging, my first readers came from commenting on other blogs. There are a ton more than this, but here are a few to get you started:
- Horses & Heels
- Saddle Seeks Horse
- The $900 Facebook Pony
- Poor Woman Showing
- The East Coast Equestrian
- Paperchases & Petticoats
Publishing consistently is key in the equestrian blogging niche. Most successful bloggers publish 3-5 per week. The important thing is that you publish quality content, that’s well-written, free from errors, and relevant to your audience. I’d rather post less (which I do!) and post high quality than just throw something up to meet a “quota.”
The other really effective way to drive traffic to your website is through Pinterest. When you write a blog post, use Canva to create a Pinterest graphic to go along with it, and post it to Pinterest. Once you get a bit more advanced, you can join group boards on Pinterest and Tailwind Tribes* to get your articles in front of other equestrians and equestrian bloggers!
So if you’re interested in making money from your equestrian blog, you need a plan. I highly recommend starting with writing a business plan (you can find templates on Google). Even if it’s short, it’s a way to get organized and thinking about your blog as a business. Next, you need to decide how you’re going to make money. Here are some of the things I do:
- The easiest way to begin making money is by putting ads on your website. I started with Google AdSense, placing ads in my sidebar. It doesn’t generate a ton of income (because I don’t have a ton of traffic), but I usually make upwards of $100/year.
- Affiliate marketing is another great way to generate income. There are numerous affiliate networks you can join, but I’d recommend starting with Amazon Associates. It’s easy to sign up and anytime you mention using a product in a post, you can include a link that helps you earn commission on sales.
- E-commerce: Finally, you can sell products to your readers. I have an Etsy store, and that’s how I generate a majority of my income.
One thing you need to be cognizant of when monetizing an equestrian blog is Amateur Status rules (if they apply to you). Please read the rules of the association(s) you are a member of, as accepting remuneration in the form of discounts or free products in exchange for reviews and social media spotlights MAY violate your amateur status. So, read the rules and email your association and/or organization with any questions!
How do I start my own equestrian business?
- Step 1 – Find a Profit Motive. …
- Step 2 – Come Up With a Business Plan. …
- Step 3 – Get Feedback. …
- Step 4 – Be Different. …
- Step 6 – Market, Market, Market.
What is a good budget for a horse?
How do bloggers start out?
- Choose your blog name and get your blog hosting.
- Start your blog by adding WordPress.
- Pick a simple theme to make your blog your own.
- Add two key blogging plugins to find your readers and track stats.
- Write compelling content to create a blog that your readers love.
How much money do you need to start a blog?
What is the highest paying equine jobs?
- Equine Veterinarian.
- Equine Pharmaceutical Sales Representative.
- Equine Dental Technician.
- Mounted Police Officer.
- Feed or Product Sales Representative.
- Equine Insurance Agent.
Do I need a license to board horses?
What is the cheapest way to keep a horse?
TIP 1: Choose a Self-Care Boarding Option
These expenses can quickly add up to thousands of dollars each year. A Self-care board is an option that someone on a budget should consider. Self-care boarding fees run between $100 – $200 a month. This is a much cheaper option than full-care board and even pasture board.
Do you have to be rich to own a horse?
Where is the cheapest place to own a horse?
Do boarding horses make money?
Do equestrians make money?
How much does boarding a horse cost?
What is the cheapest horse?
How much does it cost to feed a horse per month?
What is the most expensive horse?
What kind of blogs makes money?
- Finance Blog.
- Fashion Blog.
- Travel Blog.
- Marketing Blog.
- Health and Fitness Blog.
- Mom Blog.
- Food Blog.
- Lifestyle Blog.
Does blogging really pay?
What is the happiest job in the world?
What are the best equine jobs?
- Equine Veterinarian. The doctors of the equine world, veterinarians treat injuries and illnesses. …
- Equine Veterinary Technician. …
- Farrier. …
- Mounted Police Officer. …
- Product Sales Representative. …
- Equine Insurance Agent. …
- Equine Nutritionist. …
- Riding Instructor.
How do I start a horse boarding facility?
- Step 1: Market Demand. The “build it and they will come” strategy does not work well when it comes to boarding horses. …
- Step 2: Zoning. …
- Step 3: Facilities. …
- Step 4: Horse Management. …
- Step 5: Accommodations for the Horse Owner. …
- Step 6: Risk Management. …
- Two Perspectives.
Is boarding horses a good business?
How many acres do I need for 2 horses?
How many times a day should you feed a horse?
When feeding the horse, there are three general guidelines one should follow. Feeds should be fed at least twice a day. Feeds should be fed in equally divided amounts. Feeds should be fed near to or at the same time each day and at even intervals throughout the day.