Selling a horse is not an easy thing. At Equine Now, we try to get your horses the most exposure and attention we can. However, you'll get the best results if you take extra steps to market your horse. We've compiled some suggestions and steps you can take to get your horses more attention. In addition we have a short article with tips for creating your ads.
Use Flyers to Market Locally
There are lots of people who don't use computers or look for horses for sale on the internet. To reach these people, you'll need to take extra steps to get their attention. When you place an ad with us, there's a free printable flyer version of the ad. Consider printing one out and posting it at your local tack shop, feed store, training facility, race track, horse show, etc. This will help you connect with two important audiences; those that don't have computers, and also people who live close to you with an interest in horses.
Network with other Farms in your Area
Getting to know other people who breed, train, raise or board horses in your area is very important. Oftentimes these are the very people who may be interested in buying or trading for your horses or they may run into someone looking for a horse. One of the most powerful forms of advertising is word of mouth. If someone comes to you looking for a specific type of horse which you don't currently have, you may end up refering that person to someone else you know. The same thing can be true for others. So, it's important to network, introduce yourself and make friends with others in your area who do the same thing you do.
Use Online Horse Classified Sites
In addition to Equine Now, there are many other horse classified sites on the internet. Consider taking the time to post your ads on these sites as well. These are the main ones that we think you should look into, please keep in mind this isn't a comprehensive list.
- Horse Clicks - Formerly NetEquine.com, the site has undergone a recent name change and has had to start over from scratch in the process. Clean and simple design gets a fair amount of traffic...and they offer free photo ads. While there are some bigger sites on this list, none of them offer the value of free photo ads and decent amounts of traffic like Horse Clicks does, so we're putting them first.
- Dream Horse - They've been around the longest and were until very recently the largest horse classified site online in terms of traffic. They still get a lot of traffic and have a really loyal group of followers. Many of the people who use this site are trainers or people who've been associated with the horse business for a long time either showing or breeding horses. You'll need to pay though if you want to place an ad here and for many people, it'll be worth the price.
- Equine.com - They advertise themselves as "the world's largest horse marketplace with over 50,000 horses for sale". We think that's probably exaggerating a bit, but they do have a lot of horses. The most important thing about placing an ad on Equine.com is that it will get you exposure through a big network of affiliated sites such as the AQHA, The United States Equestrian Federation and Equine Insite. (Complete List of Affiliated Partners). They have a very professional site and the affiliate network makes Equine.com an ideal spot to advertise your horses. Placing an ad here will cost at least $20 for three months.
- Horsetopia - Horsetopia is like Equine Now in lots of ways. They feature free text ads, and various paid photo ads ranging in price from $10 to $25. They also get a lot of traffic and do a very good job getting exposure on search engines which drives buyers to look at ads.
- Equine Hits - Offers free text ads and gets a good amount of traffic because they are positioned well in the search engines. They are owned by the same company that runs horsetopia even though they are separate sites. A clean and functional design means a good amount of traffic too.
- Horseville - Ads range in price from $9 to $26. They have an affiliate program which means that they get traffic from sources that some other sites don't and they do a good job promoting horses for sale via google. Their traffic levels have declined a bit in the last year, but they are still worth a mention.
- HorseFinders - Affiliated with Ride Magazine. We've been noticing that this site has been gaining marketshare lately. While it's still fairly small, we think they are doing a better job growing than most other sites.
- Buyhorses - Formerly Agdirect.com. This used to be a nice place to list your horses for free, but they've ewitched to a pay only format and have lost a lot of traffic that they used to have. We think they've lost a lot in the move to their new design.
- Equine Now - Doing this list again made us realize that there aren't many good free options out there for people selling horses. We're proud that we offer free photo ads and it looks like Horse Clicks is now the only other major classified site that also offers free photo ads. We recently became the largest online classified site in terms of traffic overtaking Dream Horse at the end of 2009. We've spent a lot of time building a clean site that'll position your horses well in the search engines to help you connect with buyers and hope to continue improving.
- There are a number of sites that are breed, discipline, or location specific. Depending on where you live or the type of horse you are selling, it may be important to list your horses at one of these sites. A couple examples of sites like this include: Arabian Sites, Barrel Horses.com, Ocala4sale.com, Virginia Equestrian. There are many more and you may need to search for them via google. Doing a quick google search for something like "Draft Horses for Sale" should help you find any sites that relate to your horse. We also have a list of horse classified sites in our link directory that includes some sites not mentioned above.
Those are the main horse classified sites online, there are a few others that deserve an honorable mention. They are: MyHorseForSale.com, FreeHorseAds.com....are there any others that we missed? Let us know.
Create and Clean up Your Farm's Website
To connect with potential buyers, your farm or business should have its own website or page with some crucial information. You don't need to be fancy with it or pay a lot of money. Oftentimes simple farm websites are better than cluttered ones. At Equine Now, we've seen and dealt with many farms and their web sites. Here are some suggestions we have for your web site.
- Get your own domain name. Having your own url like www.stagerockquarterhorses.com gives your farm some credibility.
- Have a contact or about us page. Dedicate one page on your site to let people know how to contact you. This should have phone numbers, e-mail addresses, a short 1-2 paragraph description of your farm and also the name of the person who runs the farm or you'll be contacting. As a potential buyer, it's much easier to talk to someone when you know what they do and also their first name. Many farms neglect this simple step.
- Make sure there's a place where people can easily find all your horses for sale. Create a page dedicated to your horses for sale where you give multiple photos, and even list horses that may no longer be for sale but have already been sold. Showing your old 'sold' horses gives people a sense that you've been in business for a while, successfully sold horses before, and also may give more of an idea about a specific stallion or mare on your farm.
- Add a link page for links to other sites. While it may seem counter-iintuitive to send people who visit your site to other sites, a link page can be a valuable tool. One thing it can help you do is network with other farms in your area. Often times farms will trade links with other farms. To learn more about why link exchanges are an important online marketing tool, read our short guide on reciprocal link exchanges. If you have a links page, you can trade links with Equine Now on our link page.
Use Non Horse Sites to Market your Horse
Craig's List is a great place to reach local buyers. It's the original site that many people use to post free classified ads online and the one we'd recommend. Many buyers may look here first if they don't know where else to go. There are others as well, while we don't think it's really worth the time to add your horses to these, we'll list some of the more notable sites: Kijiji, Windows Live Expo, Google Base, and Live Deal.
Post Videos of Your Horses
Video sharing websites like YouTube allow you to post your horse videos for free. Take advantage of that and post short 2-3 minute clips of your horses. Many potential buyers will ask to see a video of a horse before getting serious. In addition, you can link up your YouTube videos to your horse ads on Equine Now. Here are a couple tips for creating good YouTube videos:
- Keep Videos Short - Two to three minutes at most is all you need. People won't have the patience to watch a long video and most buyers only need to see a horse for a few seconds to get an idea.
- Add Information Slides - An information slide at the beginning and end of the clip is useful. It should contain a horse's name, sire & dam, gender, age, etc. You can also use this to insert your contact information or web site.
- Midpoint is Important - The footage shown at the midpoint of your video is important. This middle slide is one of the slides that YouTube can use for your video's thumbnail. The thumbnail will be how people will see your video before deciding to view it. It's nice to make sure there's a closeup shot of the horse or good thumbnail image in the middle.
- Add Description - Add a nice description including your website with the full 'http://' part in front. This will make your link clickable in the more info box from YouTube if someone views your video.
- Think about Keywords and Tags - The title of your video should be keyword rich and you should pay attention to your video's tags. Try to include the breed of your horse, and the words "horse", "for", "sale" and perhaps a discipline like "dressage" or "roping". Colors & Markings work well sometimes too.
- Use Music - You can often add music for free to your video and it just makes it easier to watch. Videos with bad audio can be a painful experience.
- Join YouTube Community - Participate in the YouTube community. At the very least, go to Equine Now's YouTube Profile request to add us as a friend.
Equine Now has a presence on many of these sites and we encourage you to join us. Join us on these sites to help promote horses for sale or network with others interested in horses:
Facebook, Myspace, YouTube, MyBlogLog, StumbleUpon, -->
Things we do for youEquine Now takes a number of steps to market your horses for you when you post them on our site. Many of these things are beyond the reach of small breeders and horse owners. Here's a list of some of the more important things we do for people selling horses.
- Equine Now syndicates its data and ads for other sites.
When you post an ad on Equine Now, we take the information you give us, repackage it and distribute it to other sites. Some of the more important sites include Oodle.com. These sites are aggregators of classified ads and they'll repackage and syndicate ads from a number of sources to third parties. For instance, Oodle's ads get distributed to local newspapers like the San Diego Union Tribune. If a horse ad is local to the San Diego area, we'll send the data off to Oodle, who will in turn send the information to the Union Tribune and within a couple hours of posting an ad on Equine Now, the ad would also show up on Union Tribune's classified site.
- We optimize our site for major search engines.
Equine Now puts a lot of work into making sure that our pages and ads show up when people use search engines like google. When someone goes to google and searches for Horses for Sale, Thoroughbreds for sale, Horses for Sale in California, Grey Horses for Sale, etc. We want to show up and make sure that the ads people post on our site show prominently in google. By taking the time to streamline our site, we help to connect people looking for horses with sellers.
- The most important thing is that Equine Now provides a clean and easy to use website for buyers looking to find horses for sale. We've taken a lot of time building what we consider functional and useful site. We hope you enjoy it and tell others about it too.
Tips for Selling Horses on Equine Now
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