So you’ve started your fitness blog and want to build a fanbase of loyal readers and attract paid opportunities – BUT how on earth do you do it?
There are thousands of online fitness bloggers and with so much noise on the internet it can be hard to stand out from the crowd and build an audience.
Don’t worry, I’ve been exactly where you are and know what pitfalls to avoid and how to build a successful fitness blog.
In this post i’m going to share what i’ve learned over the last 6 years of fitness blogging to help you…
My sole intention is to help! I don’t want a single penny for it! maybe just contact me (email@example.com) to let me know that this post helped you – that would mean the world to me!
Why trust me?
I started my fitness blog around 6 years ago on my personal training website www.lepfitness.co.uk , and there are now over 700 articles on my site!
My fitness blog has gone from strength to strength. Over the last couple of years it’s allowed me to get between 20-30 new enquiries per month for my personal training business which is based in Sheffield.
I also get between 30-40 new enquiries per month where people ask to write for my blog, or ask me to write for their fitness blog. I also get asked to promote products (protein shakes, supplements, gym clothing) and write product reviews in exchange for free products and payment for my time.
Over the years i’ve seen a big increase in not only traffic but also paid opportunities. Last year I made just over 10k thanks to my fitness blog. I never started the blog to make money, in fact it was more for fun, but the fact that it now pays is an added bonus!
Nothing happened in the first year…
When I first started fitness blogging I made a promise to myself to blog at least once per week, and for 52 weeks a year! If I missed a week due to holiday or sickness, then i’d have to write 2 fitness blogs to make up for it! I also said that I would give it at least 2 years before giving up – that’s if nothing happened and I stopped enjoying writing.
After my first year of blogging recreational I didn’t really notice much of a difference, ok I attracted a few more people to my site, and my SEO improved i.e. I went up the google rankings for certain keywords like ‘personal trainer sheffield’ and other local searches.
I was slightly disappointed to be honest. I’d spent 2-4 hours per week writing content for my site, for 52 weeks in a row (approx 150 hours of work!) with very little to show for it!
That said I knew that if I persisted it would pay off and it has! It probably took about 2 years of blogging for me to notice a difference and since that time it’s continued to grow and grow.
I think one thing you have to realise is that there’s no quick fix to success, most of the time (99.9% of the time!) it’s hard work, patience, persistence and being adaptable – changing your plan if something isn’t working.
That said there are some things to help you get there quicker, and things that I wish I knew before starting my fitness blog! and that’s why i’ve written this post, to help you prevent the same mistakes I did, and to also help you grow your fitness blog quicker and more efficiently…
8 Steps To Grow Your Fitness Blog…
#1 Find Your Niche
What are you passionate about? Is it the fitness side – like workouts and weight training, or is it the nutritional side – recipes, meal plans, diet trends, etc – maybe it’s about the mental side, writing about psychology, and improving your mindset. Or maybe it’s a combination of them all?
You’ve got to enjoy what you’re writing about, have knowledge on the particular subject(s) and be passionate about helping people! Otherwise you’ll quickly lose motivation when things don’t go the way you want!
For me, my main aim of my fitness blog is to provide value and to help people lead a happier, healthier and better quality of life – not only physically but mentally. As long as I believe the topic that i’m writing about can help somebody (physically or mentally) I will go for it. I therefore write about lots of different things: diets, supplements, weight training, cardio, but I also write lots on psychology, spirituality and a whole host of other deep stuff!
#2 Write Consistently
Like I said earlier it’s typically going to take some time before you notice a difference to website traffic and paid opportunities. But if you are passionate and enjoy writing anyway that’s the main thing, the money and opportunities will come at a later date. Anybody starting blogging for money and fame are in it for the wrong reasons in my opinion and will drop out quickly when they realise it’s not easy!
Commit to writing at least one piece per week, make it at least 500 words per week (ideally 1,000). If you can write more then do so!
#3 Track Analytics
One thing i’d recommend is using software to track your website data. That way you can see what blogs are being viewed on your site, what’s working and what’s not. I use both Google Analytics and Google Webmasters to keep on track of the data.
#4 Plan Your Content In Advance
I recommend planning ahead for the year if possible, write about topics relevant to each time of the year. For example around Christmas time you could write post like “how to keep the pounds of at Christmas without dieting” or topics similar that will encourage people to tune in as it’s relevant to the time of year. When it’s getting close to summer you could write post such as “how to get a beach body in the next 12 weeks with these 6 tips” – hopefully you get the gist?
As well as having a plan about what you write about throughout the year I think it’s also important to allow for improvisation, you’ll get different ideas throughout the year, things that you want to write about – when the ideas flow, put pen to paper, or hand to keyboard…and write.
BONUS TIP: I also recommend having either a pen and paper or having a ‘phone note’ with all your blog ideas – I tend to get most of my blog ideas either first thing in the morning or when i’m on a walk – walking boosts creativity. I then write them down and return to them when it’s time to write. If you don’t write them down you’ll forget! trust me! lol!
#5 Schedule Your Fitness Blogs
My site is built on WordPress, which has a feature that allows you to schedule your blog posts. For example I schedule most of my blogs to go live on Tuesday at 7am every week – I don’t know why? I just ended up making that commitment to myself! lol.
If you can… schedule a bunch of blogs in advance to get you ahead of the curve and to take of some pressure when you’re sick, or on holiday. At the moment I have 20 blogs (next 20 weeks worth of content!) all written, scheduled and ready to go! I don’t need to worry – unless my website crashes!
#6 Be Patient
Like i said earlier think of blogging as a long game, and be in it for the enjoyment, anything that comes is an extra bonus. Commit the next 2 years to blogging once per week and improving your writing skills and good things will happen.
#7 KPI – Key Person Of Influence
A way to speed up the growth of your fitness blog is to collaborate with KPI – Key Person Of Influence, these are people who are popular and have lots of followers.
For example you could write a blog for a company in your local area who has a big following – maybe there’s a health restaurant with 5k followers in your area, so you reach out, offer to write a blog for them and advertise one of their products on your site, in exchange for a mention on their Twitter, Instagram or Facebook…
This is just a general idea but hopefully you get the gist? basically… it’s about offering value to people with a bigger following than you, in order for them to give you an opportunity to reach a bigger audience. Create a win-win for all parties involved.
#8 Share your content on social media
Once you’ve written your content it’s important to share across your social media platforms. You can schedule in advance on Facebook which is helpful, and use resources like the Buffer App – which allows you to schedule content across multiple platforms all at once, which saves lots of time and effort.
What did you think of this post?
I hope you found this post helpful, if you did please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know what you thought of the article?
Also, if you’d like to write a fitness blog for my site or for me to write a post for your site…then give me a holla and i’ll get back to you asap!
Thanks again, and wishing you the best of luck on your fitness blogging journey!