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Getting readers on my equestrian/eventing related blog?

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  • Getting readers on my equestrian/eventing related blog?

    Does anyone have any ideas for attracting readers to my equestrian and eventing related blog? I had quite a few for a while but now my views are steadily decreasing. Help! I put so much work into my articles and don't know what to do anymore. I really enjoy writing about horses to, but I don't want my work to go unnoticed so I figured I'd take to COTH.

    Thank you to anyone that reads this. Also, here's the link for those of you that want to get a better understanding for what my blog is all about

  • #2
    I had a quick look. It looks like you have put lots of thought and detail into the articles but a couple suggestions.

    1) it’s super text heavy. I’m on my phone and it’s just a wall of text. Maybe more pics?

    2) maybe a slight webpage format change so you don’t have to read every article.

    P.
    A Wandering Albertan - NEW Africa travel blog!

    Comment


    • #3
      For formatting, I agree with Polydor that you need to add a bar/menu with the blogs listed by Title so someone can select the blog they want to read, and not have to scroll through all of them like a story. You might want to break up your text into smaller paragraphs and yes, add more (smaller) pictures - like the section on bits and spurs, maybe add a few images of different types. You might try changing the font of your paragraphs to arial/helvetica - its easier to read when there is a lot of text close together.

      Are you linking your blogs to other social media accounts - like Twitter or Facebook? Like advertising prior to the release of a new blog or teasing your audience about the content of the next one you're working on? Are you members of special eventing groups on either platform where you're permitted to link your blog? If you go to horse shows or hunter paces or 3 day events, you could make little index card "flyers" about your blog to hand out to people and/or speak to the prize committe about having them add to winner's loot bags.
      ~~ How do you catch a loose horse? Make a noise like a carrot! - British Cavalry joke ~~

      Comment


      • #4
        I'd also recommend switching to a format that has a list of articles with a summary on the main page, and then to read the full text you click and go to a page with that one article. You're using Wordpress, there are a million themes and things you can do with it.

        ANY writing is good practice, so don't take this as a reason to stop this kind of article, but... a lot of it is dry and instructional, as if these are essays for a school assignment. It wasn't until I scanned down to "Moving Barns: A First Hand Account" that there was a more personal angle. That's the kind of thing I enjoy in a blog.

        The problem I see is that there is no way to 'subscribe' or get notifications. People aren't going to _remember_ to come back to your page. They need to see it in their Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter feeds where they can click on it. Every time you post an article, also post something to all of the social media platforms. (This can be automated.)

        (The blog _does_ have an RSS feed, I've added it to my Feedly so I can read it, but I'm in a minority using that format. Still, you should have a link to the RSS/Atom feed that is obviously being generated.)

        Start collecting email addresses. More than likely there is a Wordpress plugin for this, that will put them into Mailchimp. (which is free for the first 2000, when you get past that, celebrate and start paying them. ) When you post a new article, email it (or a summary with a link) to those people.

        Hope that helps!
        -Wendy




        --
        Wendy
        ... and Patrick

        Comment


        • #5
          I manage multiple professional blogs across multiple websites and industries.

          First things first: the name of your blog itself "Everyday Life – Equestrian insite and the daily struggle of life and school."

          One, there is a glaring error in your title. There is no such thing as insite. I think you mean insight. Two, it's a boring title. I don't want to read about "everyday life". If there are truly insights to be had, drop the first part.

          I made it through one post, and there was no insight to be found. It was too text-heavy and very basic. Little flair to the writing and no hooks to keep me scrolling. When you look at your analytics, what is your bounce rate and time on page? Those are good indicators of engagement or lack thereof.

          As others have suggested, you need to change format so the main page is an index of articles with image, headline and intro blurb with link so I can select articles of interest. This will also enhance your SEO because you can work in more keywords. Are you tracking keywords and working them into your copy and H1 tags?

          Personally, I would fix all of these other issues before I try to promote. If you once saw good traffic and it is dropping off, the usability and engagement factors identified here are very likely contributing to that stat.

          Feel free to PM me if you'd like more pro advice

          Comment


          • #6
            Everyone's suggestions are far more educated and contemporary than mine. However, as the daughter of a journalist who wrote a weekly column for 50+ years, my ma used to say that the readership slumped in the summer (this was the days of newspapers). She generally received numerous (she kept count) old-fashioned hand written letters about each column (loved it or hated it and sometimes questions or suggestions for future columns). In the summer, the number of letters would drop significantly. Ma used to say, "It's time for the dogs vs the cats." She'd write something that was clearly controversial (and sometimes was as prosaic as "Cats Make Make Better pets than Dogs." Then she would sit back and watch the fur fly (sorry, had to get that in there) as readers wrote in support and dis agreement with her column. After a couple of columns defending her first position, Ma would write one that acknowledged she might have been wrong --again --people wrote in support and disagreement. But her ploy got her readers back and kept her earning her living. Of course in today's electronic media, one might want to do this with a gentle hand ---I don't think I'd put "The case for the Western Pleasure Horse in Eventing" as a title, but you could find something that makes people sit up and take notice ---and respond and share! Even a provocative head line -Is the Rollkur a Bad Thing? followed by a column that explains why it is, from your point of view. . .

            Finally, as a teacher (now retired) of 40+ years --if you are writing for today's audience [the computer generation] --Keep It Short. In my day reading a 5-6 page magazine article was nothing special --but I found that with today's high school seniors (and most parents) if anything went over 1 page (250 words) what was on the second page wasn't read. I tried putting cartoons and jokes at the end of the second or third page, but soon students were turning immediately to the last page . . .sigh.

            This is just from me personally as the daughter of successful columnist . . .Ma strongly discouraged me from following in her footsteps. She said: "It's easy the first year --just about anyone can come up with 45 ideas for a column. But then the second year, you'll need 45 more, and the third . . .on into infinity." Ma kept files of her columns and would sometimes rewrite something ---but coming up with that much copy each week was a full-time job for her. So when you are considering a successful blog---look at ones you admire --some of my favorite start with 300 blog posts the first year, 150 the second, 12 the third, and only one the 4th year --then silence. Pace yourself, or acknowledge that this is, at best, two year commitment.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Thank you to everyone that responded to this thread. I'm getting started working on all these changes that y'all have suggested. I really appreciate all of this advice and will take it into account

              Comment


              • #8
                A few things stand out to me.

                Proofread your posts better. Nothing turns me off a blog more than misspelled words

                The first few posts I scanned were all very generic with no personal insight at all. There was nothing different that isn't already on the internet a thousand times over.

                Better pictures would help as well. Again, they all just looked like poorly done stock photos. The allure of blogs is being immersed in someone else's experience. Blah photos and generic text do not help with that.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I've cultivated a small blog myself. I've just let my domain name lapse, but it was much easier to find on searches when I was strictly .com rather than .wordpress. With purchasing the domain you have a lot more features and better free formats to use. (You can also monetize your website and accept paypal payments.) I gain most of my followers and readers from my other social media pages, mainly instagram. (IG clairecumbee) This takes a lot of work. If I'm not posting every day, every other day I begin to lose interaction. I've just learned how to really utilize the analytics feature of Instagram and can pinpoint exactly what my followers react to. Through Instagram, Im able to interact with my followers, ask what they want to see, and over the past few years learn what topics activate interest.

                  I'm like you. I like to write a lot. For me, writing through my-day-to-day struggles is therapeutic. Some of my posts are more for me than my followers. That's more important anyways.

                  So it is a balancing act. Of course I want to have a lot of readers who pat me on the back for the great things I write. I want them all to purchase the products I advertise so my sponsors are happy. But, a professional authenticity goes a long way, I think. If you believe what you are writing is important, write it!

                  There are lots of social-media classes online and workshops in bigger cities.

                  Feel free to check out my blog. I write about horse topics and personal mid-20s struggles and concerns. The latter is usually infiltrated with equestrian themes.

                  www.clairecumbee.wordpress.com

                  I also can't spell. I write exactly how I speak. I think writing what comes off your brain to keyboard is endearing and a style I've embraced. But, proof-read after! I've mis-used hear/here and there/their so many times! It does give the reader an impression of lack of education.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You also need to follow and comment on other related blogs. The horsey blog community is pretty close and tight knit, with us all supporting each other in comments and shares, and in things outside the blogging world.
                    Boss Mare Eventing Blog

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Thank you again to everyone that’s commented! I’ve already made some changes, feel free to check them out

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Lack of navigation and the overall design will make me pass over this blog. The site just doesn't flow - photos are very large and take up an entire "scroll area" for me. The text is large and just very very texty. For a visual example I really enjoy how Hunky Hanoverian (who is also one of our COTH posters) has set up their blog. I keep going back to it because it is pleasant to the eye, easy to navigate, and she will carry on conversations with readers in the replies which is nice.

                        Once you've got design down, you may also want to start up an Instagram for your blog. You can take photos from your blog and do a little blurb and have a "link in profile" to go to posts in your blog. You can hashtag those instagram posts up and it will attract new viewers. Whether the viewers continue to be viewers will depend on your site design and content.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I feel like blogs that are very heavy on "how to" type stuff don't tend to be that popular. Maybe try mixing personal content in there, about you and your horse, competitions, what you're up to, etc. Just scrolling through, I didn't feel like I got a good idea of who you are or what you're doing, and there wasn't much personality to it. People aren't going to keep coming back unless they feel like they know you, and are interested in what you're doing, or understand where you're coming from. Repeat readers come from people that feel invested in you and your journey.

                          It's also important to put yourself out there by commenting on other blogs, having some linked social media, etc. If people can't find your blog, they won't read it.
                          http://the900facebookpony.com/

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Needs a better title. One that invites readers in not just riders going to school. Think about that. Career jobs create as much conflict with horse time as school does, why just ask current students in ? They’ll age out on you.
                            When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                            The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I don't have anything to specifically add about your blog, OP, that hasn't already been mentioned. I personally feel like there are way too many blogs/bloggers currently in the blogosphere, and they are all competing for limited screen space. I am not just talking about equestrian blogs - I'm talking about cooking, crafting, decorating, hiking, travel, etc. etc. etc. For me to read and come back to a blog, it has to be very, very compelling - good writing with unique perspective and insight on a topic that I really am interested in reading about. Very, very few check all my boxes. And they ALL royally piss me off when the first thing they do when I hit their page is drop a box to try to get me to subscribe.

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                I appreciate everything that’s been adding to this thread! I’ve made some changed & hope you all enjoy. There are also lots of new, personal type articles in the works. Thank to everyone that’s contributed
                                Last edited by abequine; Feb. 11, 2019, 08:44 PM.

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  @MsRidiculous
                                  I took your advice & just wrote an article about my OTTBs first show experience.
                                  Last edited by abequine; Feb. 12, 2019, 12:21 AM.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Check your grammar and spelling (too spelled wrong, sentence doesn't make sense "simple dressage test we to complete", Diamonds should be Diamond's). I feel like it is a lot of sentences put together, but no story to be had. We did this. And then this. And this was ok. And then this. It just doesn't grab the reader and draw them in. Instead of "Diamonds first show as an OTTB" maybe introduce your reader on how you found Diamond and what you have been working on together. At the end you bring in that she is anxious, but nothing in the intro alludes to that. Why weren't you prepared and why did you feel "screwed"... what is the story here?

                                    Tell a story, not a timeline of events, to keep readers interested, engaged, and wanting to know more about you and follow your... you guessed it... story/journey/etc. Instead of just throwing in descriptive or "big" words actually describe things in your own words. I feel like there are a lot of catchphrasy words, but no actual story/describing/etc. These are the ones that stood out as words that could have been chosen better or elaborated on instead of just placeholders (this is how I see it, but I come from a writing background so others may not take issue with this) "boatload", "ludicrous", "dreadful", "undeniable", "monstrosity". I would suggest thinking of your sentence structure and rereading your post back to yourself - and if you have a friend (even if they don't know horses) read it as well.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Think more about semantics and sentence construction, seems picky but when you don’t, you derail readers interest. You don’t want your reader to say Huh? and stop to figure out what you meant, you can’t say “You know what I meant” to a reader like you can when speaking to somebody, the reader can’t say Huh? so you can pause your narrative to explain. Readers can get tangled in the language and are just a click away from something more entertaining and easier to read.

                                      “Diamonds first show as an OTTB”, besides the misspelling , is really awkward. Diamond IS an OTTB and has been for some time. He’s debuting as a show horse.

                                      Sorry, but my BA is in English and some things are like fingernails on a chalkboard, You can’’t ask your readers to sort out what you are trying to say.

                                      I am long out of school but enjoy some blogs by younger people, particularly those with a fresh, positive outlook and a dose of humor I don’t have to subscribe to.

                                      Back in the day with writing projects, I wrote out an outline then a rough draft. You know, like on paper, I’m sure you could use a computer but you’d need the word processing function/ capability and a bigger screen then a cell phone. Then edited the rough draft and redlined at least half if it, corrected what remained.

                                      Realize blogs are more informal but the most successful ones are very well thought out, edited and corrected. They are easier to read and enjoy and that’s what you are competing with for readers.
                                      When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                      The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I've never used Wordpress, but it the text editor isn't catching spelling and grammar errors, type your blog in a word processor, like Microsoft Word first. Get it all edited and proofed, then copy and paste into Wordpress for your blog.
                                        ~~ How do you catch a loose horse? Make a noise like a carrot! - British Cavalry joke ~~

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