“How can I get more traffic on my blog?” I asked. “Well, your blog is not a lifestyle blog, or a fashion blog or a food blog, it’s a horse blog. That’s a niche market.” This was my daughters reply. She had a very successful lifestyle blog and now is program manager of social media and marketing at a consultancy firm. So, I believe she knows what she’s talking about.
Niche: adjective, denoting products, services or interests that appeal to a small specific section of the population.
I had started my blog site Horse Addict and had it up and running for a couple of months and was wondering how I could get more readers. Now, I knew I had a “niche” market I was writing for. I also knew that most of my readers were likely to be amateur riders like myself. In the US there are about 43,000 amateur members of the US Equestrian Federation of which 9,500 are dressage riders. I am a dressage rider and that is the discipline I was writing about. So, this was a pretty small niche market.
I have now been blogging for just over a year and here are some of my stats (as of May 9, 2017) .
Views per month in 2017: 4,000-4,500
I am very happy with those numbers. How did I get there with blogging for a niche market?
1. I took the Word Press blogging and branding courses. Lots of great help at Word Press.
2. I joined several dressage Facebook groups. I would post links to the groups and see which ones reacted to my posts. I now have the larger number of groups down to three who always read and respond to the posts that I share.
3. I have my blog linked to a Facebook page, Horse Addict Leueen, that is all horse related. I also share things, photos, videos from other horsey FB pages to my page to keep it active and every time I post on my blog it is automatically shared the page.
4. I write about my own horse and my training and competition but I expanded to other horse topics as well. I have done interviews with veterinarians, Olympic Dressage riders, Paralympian riders, and Grand Prix dressage competitors. I have reviewed books on horses, and horse training and horse health. I have written about the Horse Guards in the Queen’s Household Cavalry in England. I have written about horses in war, race horses, jumpers….horses! I now have a regular Monday feature called the Monday Minstrel that has short pieces, photos, humor, and quotes about horses. Also, my horse Biasini “speaks” and has a post once a month. My advice is: write about what interests you. The chances are good that if you write about what you have a passion for others will enjoy reading it too.
I realized after about six months of blogging that several of my followers and readers were not horse people. So, I made sure that when I wrote about my training or about competition that I explained something of what I was talking about. I don’t expect a person who has never been on a horse to understand what a half pass is or a canter zig zag. So, I would give a brief and basic description of that for the non-horse readers. This seems to have been successful as many of my most loyal followers are not riders or horse owners. Many of them ask interesting questions about horses and I am very happy to answer them. It gives me great joy to think that others are interested in horses and want to understand them better.
- Observing Blogger Etiquette. I do my best to keep up with the blogs I follow by reading and reacting. I also try to keep up with the bloggers who are following me. If they leave a comment or a ‘like’ I will take a look at a recent blog post from their site and leave a ‘like’ or a comment even if only once a week to keep in touch.
Finally, I think the most important thing is to write about what you love and know something about. It would be ridiculous for me to write about fashion, or new trends in false nails. Use Social Media wherever you can. Upgrade skills that may improve your blog. I took an online horse photography course and it made a big difference to my photos. And, very important, complete the information on your blog site. Put something in the “About” section don’t just leave the WordPress default text. Make sure it is easy for readers to find their way around your site. Word Press Community can help you with this. Enjoy your blog writing and blog following. If it is not fun then what’s the point? I am not making money from doing this so my payment is enjoying the writing and enjoying finding other bloggers from all over the world, reading their work and learning of their lives. So if you are blogging for a niche market ….carry on and have fun!
I’d love to hear from you!