Marketing Experiment – Starting from Scratch

A few months ago I put together a blog focused on one of my biggest passions, the sport of horse racing. My hope was to turn some sporadic writing and photoblogging habits into something more consistent that could provide me with a small sandbox in which I could experiment with basic content marketing and social media strategies, SEO, keyword research, PPC ad campaigns, and then study the analytics to measure results.

I chose horse racing because I already possess a great deal of knowledge about the sport, I am familiar with a lot of the influencers in the industry and social media presences, and most importantly, I feel there is a niche that I can fill. While there are a lot of news and handicapping sites associated with this sport, there are not a lot of bloggers who focus simply on enjoying not only the sport, but its history. As I have archives of photos that lend themselves powerfully to narrative stories, I felt that I could not only add to the conversation already taking place, but do so with attractive visual media that can make those stories stand out more in marketing channels.

I started with a basic setup on a free WordPress site to get a feel for the process before committing the funds that would be needed to get access to ad campaigns and better analytics. First on the docket was choosing a name. I went with Bourbon and Bluegrass, because while something more friendly to SEO may have been wiser, it was also a pretty dull title. In the end this might be a rookie mistake, but considering the market competition for this corner of the internet is so small, I’m fairly certain it won’t be a hard problem to overcome.

A blog home and a title doesn’t mean much without content, so I placed the majority of my initial focus on creating entries rather than concerning myself with site traffic or marketing strategies, aside from posting links on Twitter and Facebook. This initial foray into content generation is going to be difficult due to time constraints on my end, but once this particular life knot passes in a few weeks, it’ll be time to hit a goal of two consistent posts per week: one feature (likely focused on the fall Breeder’s Cup championship, or racing’s Super Bowl) and one ‘Throwback Thursday’ post, in which I loot my plentiful archives for good stories worth telling.

Let’s make something happen.