Equestrian Blogging with Raquel Lynn
Raquel Lynn is a successful equine blogger with not one but two excellent blogs. If you’ve ever made margaritas following the recipe on Horses and Heels or drooled over your dream barn on Stable Style, you’ve seen her work!
Equestrian Blogging with Raquel Lynn
Raquel Lynn started Horses and Heels in 2010 before blogging was a well-known profession. Inspired by the Pioneer Woman blog, she took out a journal and sketched out what she wanted her blog to look like and include.
For months, she planned and schemed and finally published her first post on blogger. WordPress wasn’t even well-known back then. Raquel had no idea what she was doing. She was having fun with a new creative outlet.
Today, she runs her two blogs, Horses and Heels and Stable Style, full time. Horses and Heels is a lifestyle blog. It has tons of categories, from horse girl style to recipes and backyard chicken keeping.
Stable Style is a deeper dive into barn design and décor. She started by grabbing the Instagram handle and posting her barn content. Once it caught on, she designed the blog and has been managing both blogs since 2016.
Monetizing Your Equine Blog
When Raquel first started Horses and Heels, she was making $50-$100 a month. She spent very little on ads and saw positive results but wasn’t lighting the world on fire by any means.
She experimented and tried new things until she figured out what worked. She sold private ads, signed up for the Amazon network and some other affiliate programs, but she didn’t know what she was doing…yet.
Today she has a stream of affiliate income from both blogs. She also sells sponsored posts with private advertisers on Stable Style (primarily foreign companies and builders). Each blog has a different revenue stream which is super helpful. When one income stream dips, the other is there to pick up the slack.
When you are building affiliate income streams, you have to be prepared for the unexpected. Companies can temporarily turn off their programs, and that affects your income. Raquel has had programs that make her $1000s of dollars pull their program, and she has had to learn to adapt and carry on.
Equine Affiliate Programs
When Raquel started Horses and Heels, there were almost no equine affiliate programs. Today there are a lot more available. Amazon has a lot of horse products, Etsy has a good affiliate network, and you can also find local stuff.
Raquel looks for large networks that she knows have the content her audience wants. Shee sometimes partners with smaller brands on a 1:1 level, but those are a lot more work to get set up and manage.
Today she relies on a core group of products that she repeats and recycles. Blogs are kind of like having a hit song. You have a few posts that are always doing well, and if you get them monetized correctly, you can make quite a bit of money from them repeatedly.
The Horses and Heels recipes do well on Pinterest. It’s one of the reasons it’s a lifestyle blog instead of just horse content. Horse content is excellent, but everybody eats. Raquel had a Brussel sprout recipe that went viral for over a year and brought her a TON of traffic. When you get tons of traffic to one post, it trickles out to your other content. People get to the blog to read about Brussel sprouts but stick around to check out what else is going on.
Another way you can get tons of traffic is by ranking on Google. Raquel was getting a TON of sales from an amazon affiliate and realized that her Stable Style blogs showed up #1 on Google. She managed to hold onto that spot for a full six months.
SEO for Horse Bloggers
Raquel thinks about the intent of her posts and who will consume them as she sets up their SEO (search engine optimization.) Stable Style typically does best on social media platforms, so she puts less effort into the SEO on those posts.
Product posts with lots of affiliate links have a high chance of ranking on Google, so those get optimized as much as possible.
With recipes, she is always thinking about keywords. Sometimes Raquel posts content just for fun, like an update about her chickens, and she doesn’t worry about SEO with those.
Stable Style the Book
Raquel has always been into books. She always does a book round-up on both blogs (promoting horse books via Amazon), and those posts perform well for her. She took that inspiration and made her Stable Style book.
It’s a hardcover coffee table book called Stable Style Barn Inspiration For All Equestrians. It was her pandemic project, something she had always wanted to do but never made the time for. She finally has a product of her own and matches the aesthetic of the blog perfectly.
Starting a Blog in 2021
If you are thinking about starting a blog, do it now. The longer you put it off, the harder it will be. Don’t worry about it being perfect at first. You don’t have to be a perfectly polished influencer to have a great blog. You’re going to grow and evolve, so just start and be consistent.
Decide if you’re going to blog once a week or twice a week, and stick with it. It’s super common for people to start a blog and announce that they are going to post five times a week. They keep it up for a month, and after that, it’s crickets.
They’ve burned themselves out and are not getting the results they think they should have gotten in their first month. A blog is not a sprint. It is a marathon. You’re constantly chugging along.
The best way is to start slow and stay consistent. Focus on building your newsletter right away. Raquel puts out two newsletters every Friday. She uses Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram to grow and nurture her audience. She treats them all differently because the audiences are different on each platform.
Catch the rest of the Episode by listening above!
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