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How to Start a Fitness Blog

Starting a fitness blog may start as a hobby but can quickly become a money-making business!

Ever since getting out of the Marine Corps, I’ve been deeply interested in fitness and exercise. I’m not alone, three-of-four Americans say they want to exercise more and live a healthier lifestyle.

Whether as a hobby or a full-time business idea, becoming a fitness blogger can be one of the most rewarding and fun types of blogs you can star. You’ll not only make more money than you thought possible but you’ll get in better shape yourself and build a community around your message.

This post will guide you through everything from starting a fitness blog to making money but there’s one thing I want to get out of the way first. You do NOT have to be a fitness guru to start a fitness blog!

In fact, some of the most successful bloggers I know started a blog in a topic they wanted to learn about. They grew amazing communities of followers because they were able to take people on that personal journey of learning.

So even if you’re not in the best shape yourself, you can be a successful fitness blogger. Your message is going to be so much more powerful because you’ll have that story of learning and transforming your own life!

What is a Fitness Blog?

A fitness blog can mean a lot of things from covering healthy eating to exercise. Even if you’re only posting once a week on your blog, that’s going to mean hundreds of articles over a few years so you’ll have plenty to talk about. It’s why you see so many fitness bloggers start out focusing on a specific topic like cardio or weight-lifting but then evolve into talking about everything under the fitness topic.

Some topics within fitness you might consider for your blog include:

  • Healthy eating is a popular subject and one that a lot of fitness bloggers don’t think about if they’re planning just an exercise blog.
  • Dieting is related to the healthy eating topic but separate enough that you could create a blog on dieting ideas all on its own.
  • Running and jogging are often a blog on its own but can also be included on a fitness blog.
  • Exercising is what most fitness bloggers cover but even this can be broken down into multiple topics like weight-lifting, cardio, or crossfit-types of exercise plans.

When starting your blog, it helps to try focusing on a specific niche or topic. Instead of talking about everything fitness-related, start with a smaller topic like exercising or focus on a demographic group like millennials or Gen X. This is going to help you become an authority in that narrower topic, get found faster in Google search and you’ll be able to expand into that more general fitness topic later.

But let’s back up because I see a lot of you out there saying, “Yeah, I know what fitness is…but what’s a blog?”

A blog is just a website that isn’t built around a specific company or product. It’s more of a content site sharing views and information rather than selling one product…though that doesn’t mean you won’t make money.

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How to Become a Fitness Blogger

Setting up a fitness blog is easy and will take a few minutes. I’ll list out the steps here but keep reading for the planning you need to do to get started right.

  • Sign up for web hosting and register your blog name. This is all done through one step on Blue Host which offers a free domain name and other extras for less than $3 a month [special negotiated offer only through this blog].
  • Pick a theme from the free themes available or buy a premium theme. Themes are the layout of your blog and the free ones are fine to start.
  • Download some basic plugins. Plugins are software that lets you do things like remove spam comments and protect your blog from hackers.
  • Set up an account with an email service provider to start growing your list. I use ConvertKit because it makes sending out regular newsletters and emails automatic. Get a 14-day FREE trial and start building your list with this offer.

Once you’re set up and online, it’s really just a matter of sharing your stories and ideas with people on the web. Google will pick up on your blog articles and will show them when people search for a topic related to your post. This is how the majority of people find your blog, through Google search, though we’ll talk about a few other ways later.

For a more detailed article on setting up a blog, including the free plugins you should use, click through to this five-video series.

How Much Do Fitness Bloggers Make?

There’s a saying online when it comes to making money. They say if you want to make the most money, find something in health, wealth or romance. These are the topics with the highest-paying advertising and where people are ready to pay the most for services.

Makes sense, right? Health, wealth and romance are pretty much the most important things in most people’s lives…you would expect to pay more for products and services.

What’s special about the topic of fitness and health in general is that it can be so much more important than money. You can have all the money in the world but if you don’t have your health; you’re miserable, in pain and may not have much time left anyway. That’s a pretty strong argument when trying to convince someone of the value in your fitness blog.

Bloggers do make money (though it might take a while to convince your mom it’s a real job). In a survey of 130 bloggers from different topics, more than one-in-three (36%), said they make over $3,000 a month from their blog. Check out the different ways to make money below, really grow your site and you can easily break into the one-in-five (23%) of bloggers that make over $5,000 a month.

how much do bloggers make each month

In fact, not making as much in ads from a fitness blog compared to the money topics like finance and insurance isn’t as big a deal as you might think. I don’t run ads on my blogs because they just don’t pay as well as selling my own products or promoting affiliates (and that’s in those prized money niches).

How to Start a Fitness Blog

We covered the technical stuff about starting a blog, setting up your website and getting web hosting. Now let’s get more into the conceptual and talk about picking your fitness blog topic and getting things rolling.

Again, you’ll want to pick a niche or narrow focus within fitness for your blog. It doesn’t mean you’ll never be able to talk about ideas outside that focus but try staying within this niche for at least six months to a year.

Some more ways to focus your blog topic into a narrow niche

  • By end result like building muscle, losing fat or toning
  • For different types of people like the overweight, younger or older generations
  • By types of exercises like cardio, weight-lifting, body-weight exercises

During that time really focusing on your niche, you can reach out to other bloggers in the broader fitness and health genre. Since you’re focusing on a smaller, specialized part of the topic, you are going to be the expert in that niche and can get guest posts and mentions when other bloggers talk about it. Believe me, it is much easier to build authority for your blog when you’re focused on one idea rather than an entire topic.

A plan on how you’re going to make money is also essential from day one. A lot of bloggers will tell you to grow your blog first and wait to make money…NO WAY! Waiting to make money on your blog, and all the hours you put into it, could mean you don’t get that motivation to keep posting and give up.

You might not make a lot of money on a new blog but it’s going to be something and that can be just enough to keep you motivated. Blogging is a business just like any other. Part of being a business is having a plan to make money.

You’ll also need a social media strategy for growing your blog. Fortunately, fitness blogs are some of the most popular on social media and I’ve got some tips to help you spread the word.

Growing a Fitness Blog to Make Money

Growing the community around your fitness blog, it’s important to remember that you’re not really talking about the exercises or fitness but the emotions around them.

  • The endorphins and general feeling of happiness people get from exercise
  • The self-confidence people get from looking their best and being able to perform athletically
  • The ever-present fear of our own mortality and the promise of a longer, healthier life

It’s these emotions that draw people to a healthier life and your fitness blog. While you’re writing posts or making videos, try to work this into your content.

Spreading this message is done primarily in two ways, through social media and getting ranked on Google with search engine optimization (SEO).

Fitness bloggers are extremely popular on social media because it’s such a visual topic. Not only can you share images or videos of the exercises, which also makes it much easier to teach, but pictures of someone exercising are motivating for readers.

There are a few things to keep in mind to grow your social media following and traffic back to your blog.

  • Focus on two or three social platforms at the most. You need to really engage to build a following and that takes time. You don’t have time to do that on four or five platforms. I would suggest starting with Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.
  • Put together a strategy for sharing,
    • Share your own posts once or twice a week
    • Share posts from other fitness bloggers once or twice a week
    • Share a motivational quote or image
    • Ask a question or start a conversation directly on the social platform
  • Join groups and engage with other fitness bloggers on social. This isn’t about promoting your own blog but about contributing to the conversation and being a resource. Eventually, you’ll build the authority and will be able to promote your own blog as well.

The social platforms want you to grow your community on their site, not send everyone to a blog off the platform. That means you need to balance the posts where you’re promoting your blog with other posts engaging and starting conversations directly on Facebook or Instagram.

SEO and getting your blog ranked on Google is always a scary subject for new bloggers. They assume its too technical or too much work. Nothing could be further from the truth and a good SEO plan is critical to your success.

Ninety-percent of SEO and getting found on Google is just getting links from other websites to your blog. That means first writing quality content that is worth of mention. Then you need to spread the word about your blog to get the mention.

Some of this will happen through your social media plan. You’ll be sharing other fitness bloggers’ content and that will put you on their radar to share as well. You’ll get some links and visitors but you also need a more direct approach to SEO if you want to really grow your blog.

One tactic you can use, after you’ve built a relationship with other bloggers by sharing their blog posts and engaging on social media, is just to email them about a great article you wrote and ask if they’ll mention it on their blog. Now we’ve all seen the spam emails that try this…what makes your effort different is two things.

  • You actually took the time to write an amazing article that explores the topic in detail and has unique data that a blogger would want to share
  • You know the other blogger because you’ve taken the time to share their posts and engage on social media

You won’t get a link from everyone you email but what most people don’t know about SEO is that it can take as little as a few links back to a blog post to shoot it up to the top page of Google.

Another tactic to get your fitness blog ranked, and one of the easiest, is by writing guest posts on other blogs and linking back to your blog. Yeah you’ll have to take the time to write another article but you’re providing some quality content to another blogger so it’s usually an easier ask than just emailing for a link.

With guest posts, you’ll still want to develop that relationship through social media first. This will make it easier to get the go-ahead to write a post and the blogger is more likely to allow a link.

Starting a Fitness Channel on YouTube

I got my start as a blogger and love it as an easy way to start an online business…but video is where you need to be! I’d say ‘video is the future’ but that future is here. The internet is shifting to video and you don’t want to be left behind.

You’ll have an easier time making that personal connection through video and you’ll be able to grow your following faster. It’s much easier to demonstrate exercises and other ideas through a video than through text and there are ways to use a blog along with video to leverage both.

Want more proof? I doubled my monthly income the first year after starting a YouTube channel and I now reach more than five-times the number of people I do just through blogging.

DO NOT AVOID VIDEO as part of your fitness blog strategy!

Some tips to get started as a fitness channel on YouTube include:

  • Don’t wait for your videos to be perfect before getting started. Just get started shooting videos with your phone while exercising. You’ll get better at editing and producing videos as you go.
  • Pick a few fitness vloggers on YouTube to see what they’re doing and what’s worked. Not only will you pick up ideas for making your videos look better, you’ll also get lots of content ideas.
  • Sponsors love video. Reach out to all your affiliates and sponsors for a video promotion. Having a budget to make your videos can really help jumpstart the production quality.

I see too many would-be fitness YouTubers create and delete dozens of videos because they think it needs to be perfect before uploading. My challenge to you is to shoot a video of your next workout or just sit down in front of the camera to talk about a subject for five minutes…then post it on YouTube. Don’t worry about editing or graphics or anything, just get your first video done.

Click to reserve your spot at the FREE YouTube Quick-start Webinar! I’m sharing three strategies that helped me grow my YouTube channel and double my business income and I guarantee they WILL work for you. Seats are limited for the webinar so make sure you reserve yours.

Ways to Make Money as a Fitness Blogger

I make money through seven different income sources from sponsorships to affiliates, my own products and books. As a fitness blogger, your income will only be limited by the number of ways you can develop these ideas into an income stream.

Most bloggers make far more money through their own products and services so let’s start with that.

Membership Sites – this is a great idea for fitness bloggers, creating a password-protected area of your blog to share special content and access for a monthly fee. People will pay for that special attention and the extra information. You can combine some of the other money-making ideas like printables and consulting with your membership site levels.

Printables and Self-Publishing – printables are an easy one for fitness bloggers because you can create a quick one-page guide to a workout routine, then sell for a few bucks directly on the blog. Self-publishing a larger book on Amazon is also a possibility though a little more difficult if you need to show visual instruction (images are a pain to get right on Kindle). Still a book about healthy living or a cookbook of diet recipes would be a great idea.

Become a virtual personal trainer – You can meet with people once a week over Skype, help them track their progress and just offer general motivation for hundreds a month. Take it to the next level and start a mastermind group where you can serve multiple clients in the same amount of time.

Merchandise is another great idea for fitness bloggers from your own line of workout clothes to equipment you sell through Amazon FBA.

Sponsors and affiliate partnerships are an easy one to start and this is probably where you’ll make money first from your blog while developing these other income sources. Check out the products and services other fitness bloggers are promoting then reach out to the companies. Join an affiliate network like CJ Affiliates and search for fitness and health-related programs.

Starting a fitness blog for a lot of people is just a way to share their hobby and make extra money. For more than one fitness blogger, it’s turned into a full-time business making six-figures or more and a lot of fun. Health and fitness is such an important part of our lives that you’ll have a ready audience waiting to follow your experience and can grow your blog into the millions of followers fast…but first you have to get started!

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