How To Start
Your Horse Blog In 2023
(In 8 Simple Steps)
If you're a horse lover & love to write, why not start your very own horse blog?
Blogging in the hobby niche is actually a very lucrative way to make extra income.
You could potentially also turn your horse blog into a full-time equestrian business.
Most horsey people I know list their equestrian products or services on third-party platforms like Amazon or Etsy.
These platforms, of course, have lots of traffic, but the downside of selling on these platforms is that they will take a commission on everything you sell through them. You're also competing against everyone else who's also selling similar items to yours on those sites.
So why not start your very own horse blog? That way you'll:
- Have total control over your blog/website
- Can sell your equestrian products or services directly to buyers
- Can build an email list of customers who like your products (and resell to them again and again)
- Use your own marketing tactics to reach your customers
- Have no third-party fees to pay when selling your products
- Amass additional income through Affiliate Marketing, Creating and Online Course or having paid advertising on your blog.
- Build your own digital asset that'll be worth quite a bit in this digital era we're living in!
If all this sounds a little too complicated for you, don't be intimidated!
My wife was a newbie at this just a few years ago. She had no idea what any of this meant, but with a bit of research, trial & error, she managed to have her own crochet blog that's her me oodles of joy and is helping so many around the world find answers to their crochet questions.
What I can offer you here is that I will guide you and show you the exact step by step you need to take to start your very own horse blog and sell your equine products or services without depending on other platforms & paying commissions.
Why Blog About Horses?
When my wife first started to crochet, she was dumbfounded by how exciting and relaxing this hobby is. She was pregnant with my daughter at the time and wanted to make her a special baby blanket that she could wrap her in when she was born.
She started to research how to crochet online and slowly but surely got the hang of it. She'd stay up for hours at night to figure out all these beautiful stitches and see these written patterns come to life! She was overjoyed!
After she dove down the rabbit hole of crochet for a few years, she because quite good at it and started making amigurumi toys for my kids. There were so many possibilities of lovely things to make out there on the internet. She wanted to keep track of them all.
She started making lists of all the patterns she still wanted to try out and all the stitches she wanted to explore. My lists started growing and growing and as I discussed her crochet journey with her friends, she realized she wasn't the only one that's so excited about this awesome yarn craft!
At some point, she decided she'd document her learning journey, lists and all the things that had baffled her & she figured out how to do. After a discussion with me one evening, I suggested I start a crochet blog!
She honestly had no clue how to even start with something like that, but with a little bit of guidance from me, she was able to figure it all out. And this is what I'm here to help you with.
How To Start A Horse Blog Step-By-Step
1. Choose Your Host (Blogging Platform)
Think of your host as the piece of land you'll be building your blog/website on. There are several options to choose from like wordpress.com or blogger.com, but a word of advice from me is never to build on someone else's "land".
This is why it's best to start right off the bat with a self-hosted site on wordpress.org (I know it's a bit confusing that there are 2 wordpress hosts, so make sure you choose the one with .org in the end. This is the one that'll allow you to be "self-hosted".
If you want to dig deeper into the differences between wordpress.com & wordpress.org, check out this article.
Why I recommend choosing wordpress.org?
- It's FREE to use because it's open source
- It's been around forever & a day
- It's the most popular blogging platform
- It has a whole industry of designers, plugin providers and developers around it that can help you turn your blog into a money-making machine
- You have complete control over how your blog will look & operate
2. Pick A Hosting Plan
The next step you need to do is choose a hosting plan. If you don't already know what this means, web hosting is basically a service that stores your web files & images and makes your website available on the internet.
There are several options for hosting plans you could choose from, but after some research, I personally decided to go with Siteground. I chose it because it had a few features that made it stand out:
- Great for beginners & allows you to install awesome website builders instantly
- Reliable customer service/support (24/7 Live Chat, Phone, Knowledge Base)
- Good pricing (Starting at $3.99/mo (renews at $14.99/mo))
- Fast page load times (Find out why this is super important here)
- Super Caching feature which speeds up your WordPress blog significantly
- Free SSL Certificate to make sure your site is secure
- 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
3. Choose Your Domain Name
Your domain name is basically the address or URL your visitors will use to access your blog.
If you chose Siteground as your host, then buying your domain name will be super easy because this option is included right in your setup.
Spend some time choosing an appropriate domain name for your blog, but make sure you don't spend TOO much time dwelling on it. You just need to make sure it's a name that matches what your blog is about or if you want to match your personal brand or make up a word altogether, that's an option too.
You'll find that as you type in the name options you come up with, some might already be taken, so you'll get other suggestions of similar names to choose from.
You'll notice that there are extension options like .net or .co, for instance, which you could choose from, but it's still better to find a domain name that ends in .com because that is simply what people are most used to and will be easier for your visitors to remember.
One important point I want to mention here is to consider what exactly you want to do with your blog in the future. Do you think you'll be blogging for the rest of your life? What will happen to your blog if you decide to quit one day?
Think of your blog as an asset that you're building on the internet. If you decide to sell it one day, it would probably be best not to attach it too much with your personal brand.
4. Enter Your Details
Once you've chosen your domain name (name of your site), you should fill out your account details including your username and password (make sure you write down your password somewhere safe for future reference!).
Fill out your contact info and payment details and select your hosting period. The longer hosting period you choose, the cheaper the offer gets.
5. Install WordPress
Once you've filled out all your forms, you need to install WordPress. The simplest way to do that is to check the "help section" from Siteground Support.
What you need to do now is click the "question mark" on the top right of your dashboard.
From the "Get Quick Help" question mark (shown above), you type "wordpress install on new domain" and follow the instructions given.
If you have any trouble at all, you can always open a "support ticket" in the "View Help Center" at the bottom of the page. You'll get a pop up window with someone asking what you need help with and they'll guide you through the process step-by-step.
6. Choose a Theme For Your Blog
Now we get to the fun stuff! After spending some time doing all the technical steps above to set up your blog, you can finally start seeing your blog come to life once you choose a theme for it.
Your theme is what gives your blog its visual appearance, its style or look. Initially, you'll see a default theme installed on your site. This theme is ok for starters, but you'll definitely want to switch to a wordpress theme with more features so you can convert your website visitors into paying customers eventually.
To do this, you'll want to log into your Siteground account and click on "My Accounts". Then click on the "Go To Admin Panel" button at the bottom right corner.
From your site’s Dashboard, select “Appearance” and “Themes.” Then, click on “Add New.”
My recommendation for a wordpress theme that has all the features that make it fast & easy for you to visually edit the front-end of your blog + be able to create everything you could possibly need to turn your blog into a money-machine, without having to spend a fortune buying every single feature separately from different developers, is definitely Thrive Themes.
Not only does Thrive Themes have an impressive set of templates that you could simply drag & drop into your blog, but it's also very intuitive and easy to use. You definitely don't need to have any coding experience to use it!
Drag & Drop
Take total control over your entire WordPress website.
The header, footer, pages, blog posts, side bars, social shares, lead generation forms, quizzes, courses, tests, buttons, sales & landing pages templates.
With the FREE Thrive University & our coaching you get personalized help, tutorials to guide you step by step through the process to create an entire website with a sales & marketing machine ready to make you money online in just a few hours.
What really sets them apart from other themes is their efficient support system & Thrive University, where you can learn everything you need to know to make your blog function super well. Have a look here. You'll need to register with your name & email, but it's 100% Free to join!
7. Write Your Core Pages
There are certain "Core" pages you'll need to write at the beginning of your blogging journey. Spend some time figuring out some very important things before you start blogging because this will determine the success of your blog:
- Who is your ICA (Ideal Customer Avatar)
- What problem are you trying to solve for her?
- What solutions can you offer your customers that'll solve their problem/s?
Once you've figured out these 3 questions, you can start writing you core pages. These are
Write Your "About Me" Page
One of the first places to start is the "About Me" page. Here is where you'll want to upload a photo of yourself and write a few sentences about yourself and why people should come visit your blog. Best thing to do is not write too much about yourself as such, but to write clearly how you can help your visitors and what makes you special, or different from everyone else out there.
Design Your Homepage
Your homepage is where you want to grab the attention of the reader and let them know at-a-glance what your website/blog is about, who it's for and what problems it'll solve for its readers.
There are beautifully-designed templates that are ready-made for you by Thrive Themes. You don't need to be a designer at all for this! All you need to do is change the photos & text of the template and you're good to go!
Write Your "Contact" Page
This is the easy part. You need to add a contact form or simple name, address & contact details so people can get in touch with you.
Write Your Website Legal Pages
8. Write Your First Blog Post
One piece of advice I can give you when thinking of what topics to cover in your blog posts is not to rely on what YOU THINK people will want to read. You have to keep in mind that your blog is about a topic that interests you, but you're actually writing it for other people (your readers). So what you need to focus on is what THEY WANT, not what's on your mind only.
The first thing you need to do before even contemplating writing a post is doing some "Keyword Research" to figure out what the hot topics are.
There are several ways you can do Keyword Research. You can research manually, use free websites, tools & chrome extensions, or you can go the paid route, which is obviously the most effective. More details on these below.
The Difference Between Blog Post & Page On Your Blog
Ok, so if you're a total newbie, this might be a question you're asking. Basically, your Blog is your website. Your Pages are the one-off pieces of content that are static, or not time-sensitive. You won't be updating your Pages very often.
So what's a "blog post"? You could think of these as the articles you are writing/blogging about. They usually revolve around a specific topic and have a date on them to show when they were written.
Posts also have "Categories", which allows you to organise your blog into specific sections. This will make it easy for your visitors to navigate your blog.
You could also add "Tags" to your posts for even better navigation. As your blog grows and the number of blog posts you write increases, you'll want to make sure that you have a good organizational system for all the content on your blog.
How To Do Keyword Research
Manual Keyword Research
You can manually research what topics come up on Google when you type in a specific word. Just scroll down to the bottom of the page and check the "People Also Ask" section to get some inspiration.
You can also use Pinterest to find trending keywords. Type in your main keyword and you'll find all the related topics will pop up in the search bar.
Free Keyword Research Tools
Another method of finding trending keywords is to check out Google Trends. Type in a couple of keywords in your niche and see which one is trending more. Then continue your research on that word using "Answerthepublic", a free site that'll give you tons of insights into what people ask in the topic you are planning to write about in your post.
"Keyword Research Tools" like Ubersuggest, or Keywords Everywhere.
Paid Keyword Research Tools
A lot of the paid keyword research tools also have free trials, so it's great to get started with these and when your blog grows, you can upgrade to the paid version.
How To Write A Blog Post
Step 1: Decide What Type of Blog Post You Will Write
You first need to decide what TYPE of blog post you're going to write. You see, there are several types of blog posts that serve different purposes. At the beginning, you'll want to write at least 3 "Pillar" posts before you launch your blog. These posts will hold up your blog so you have a strong foundation to build on later on.
What I mean by a Pillar post is a very helpful & in-depth piece of content that answers the basic questions a visitor to your blog might have about the topic you are covering. You'd want to answer the 5 Ws (Who, What, When, Where & Why) of the topic.
You mission with this post is to help a horse lover, rider or owner achieve a goal or solve a specific problem by reading what you wrote. You might show them the exact steps to start learning how to crochet a horse ear bonnet for your horse, for instance.
So once you have a couple of pillar posts done for your blog, you can start writing some other types of blog posts. Here are some examples:
- A post with your horse ear bonnet crochet pattern + helpful information
- A curated list post (best of, gift guides)
- A how-to post (an instructional post to help someone figure out how to do something)
- An Ultimate Guide (long post covering a certain topic in-depth)
Step 2: Write A Compelling Title For Your Post
When choosing a title for your blog post, make sure it's something that will entice the reader to click on it. Boring titles won't generate significant clicks, so try to find some winning blog post title formulas that'll get you more traffic.
There are tools that can help you with that like Headline Studio from Co-Schedule, a chrome extension that helps you write excellent headlines by giving you tips and suggestions on how to improve them.
Step 3: Outline The Most Asked Questions
Once you've done your research and decided what type of blog post you're writing, then start writing your outline (based on the research you just made).
Pull out all the relevant questions people are asking about your topic, write them in your outline, sort them in a cohesive way and voila, your outline is done!
If for any reason you can't find enough questions in your google search, just click on the most relevant "People also ask" question, and you'll see more related questions popping up.
Once you've picked out the most relevant questions for your outline, make sure to format these as H2 headings so that the Google algorithm can find the answers to those questions on your blog. This is part of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) so that your blog starts to rank well on Google when someone searches for the terms you just included in your H2 headings. Your H1 Heading is the title of your blog post and you should only have one H1 heading per post.
Step 4: Write The Content Of Your Post
Start with a short introduction to your post. You know people's attention-spans are short these days, so don't go rambling on with a long intro.
Keep your intro short & sweet, showing your readers how exactly you will help them solve a problem. It's nice to pull the reader in with a quick one or two sentence story.
Then go through your H2 Headings (the questions you pulled out from your Google research) and find answers to these questions that will be helpful to your readers. Write these answers in your own words as answers to the questions in your outline.
Step 5: Organize Your Blog Post
Organize your content in a way that makes it easy to navigate for your reader by adding H3 and possibly H4 headings.
It's also a good idea to include a Table of Contents to your blog post. That way people can easily find the section they're looking if they're trying to find something specific.
Step 6: Write A Conclusion To Your Blog Post
Instead of just abruptly ending your blog post, write a conclusion to summarize what you stated in your blog post in a few sentences. You can also ask a question at the end of your post to get people to engage with you. This helps both SEO and helps you find out if people have further questions you could answer for them.
Another useful tip is to add a CTA button (Call to action) where you ask your readers to either subscribe to something you're offering on your blog, lead them to another relevant page on your blog, or give them a freebie (a free resource that would be useful for them to download).
Here's an example of a freebie for you!
How To Start a Blog on the Side, Build It in the Background & Turn It into a Little “Machine”
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