A Superior Blog for Superior Equestrians
When you present an audience with good content, you can’t go wrong. Since I began working with The Plaid Horse, we have had continuous year over year growth. Prior to my tenure, the blog would have sporadic content—sometimes five posts a day, others it sat idle. My editorial calendar posts 1-2 blogs a day, focusing on personal narrative, rider profiles, and opinion pieces. In addition, we publish press releases based on the current news cycle in the horse industry.
But a good blog is more than just interesting writing. The website needs a proper interface for readers where they can find everything they’re looking for. After re-designing the site to a responsive, modern WordPress theme, I re-categorized all blog posts since 2016 to make our informative, engaging content easier for our audience to find. Since the re-vamp, we’ve been able to reach new audiences and expand our overall readership.
Listicles for Horse Lovers Make Sharable Content
Following the style of popular content creators like Buzzfeed, I started creating photo-based listicles for The Plaid Horse. Ranging from exquisite farms to horse tattoos, these posts are easy to re-share throughout the year. They helped us reach new audiences, especially via Facebook, because they touch on themes that every horse owner appreciates versus some of our more targeted news content to specific shows. To create these posts I curated content, organized it into themes different horse lovers would relate to, and wrote click-bait titles get optimum social engagement.
The Equestrian Voices Creative Writing Contest
Recognizing that the horse industry contains a lot of talent, I founded the first literary horse-themed creative writing contest with The Plaid Horse. Offering prizes in creative nonfiction, fiction as well as a student/youth prize, authors from all over the world submitted their literary prose in hopes of winning a cash prize. The quality of the entries was so outstanding, that we not only published the winner in each category but also several honorable mentions. Writers were thrilled to have the story of their beloved horse published, and the magazine benefitted from a deep well of top quality writing to pull from for future issues. In addition to marketing the contest, judging finalists and coordinating final judges, I edited all of the pieces and worked with the authors for approval prior to final publication in the magazine.
Graphic Design + Creative Content = Increased Brand Exposure
With experience early in my career as a web and graphic designer, I have used my graphic skills to create a variety of content for The Plaid Horse that is unique in equestrian media. Embedded in blogs or shared direct on social media, these graphics keep The Plaid Horse brand fresh in our audience’s social feeds.
The Plaid Horse Adult Amateur Lounge Facebook Group
Facebook groups are becoming a major online social hub for many, especially TPH’s older adult demographic. Private, moderated groups give users a safe space to air concerns, commiserate about their troubles, or celebrate victories with like-minded individuals. Since they’re natively built into the Facebook app that most users already have, these social groups are rapidly replacing traditional bulletin boards for online communities. With that in mind, I created “The Plaid Horse Adult Amateur Lounge” Facebook group as a place for adult, amateur (non-professional) equestrians to bond over their shared experience with horses. In less than 60 days, it grew to 2,000 users solely off of member invites and word of mouth. Averaging 1,400 combined posts/likes/comments per day, this fully moderated group has continued to grow since its inception.