How to Start a Fitness Blog
It seems that almost everyone has had some sort of health and fitness struggle at some point in their lives. If you’ve got it all figured out, starting a fitness blog could be the perfect way for you to earn some extra cash and even learn more than you do now about a subject you find interesting. Let’s go over the basics with this step-by-step guide of how to start a fitness blog so you can change people’s lives by acting like a personal trainer with helpful workout techniques without having to visit a fitness center.
Branding and Strategizing
There’s no one “right” process for fitness blogging, but starting with a basic concept is a good first step. Who do you want your target audience to be? Do you want to focus on diet (or plant-based diet) and exercise or just exercise alone for a healthy lifestyle? Are you concerned with providing tutorials for people to actually use or do you simply want to document your own journey as a way of inspiring others? Are you looking to start a self-hosted blog and domain name? Asking questions like these can help set you on the right path to creating a focused and cohesive blog.
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These questions can also help you figure out your branding strategy, which itself relates to the design and appearance of your blog. If you’re planning on offering multiple different kinds of content, for example, you’ll want to take that into account as you choose your platform. You’ll need the proper support if you plan to embed videos and create text posts and both of these content types can be useful for creating an informative tutorial blog.
Branding can also help you better reach your target audience. If you’re going after men looking to bulk up in their 20s and 30s, for example, the font and graphics you choose may be dramatically different than what you’d choose if you’re targeting post-menopausal women looking for a way to stay fit and healthy. Narrowing your focus to a specific audience this way may seem counterintuitive, but it actually makes digital marketing, including social media efforts, a bit simpler. Make sure you consider your target audience when you choose a name for your blog. Plus, if the information you’re providing is relevant, even readers who don’t necessarily fit into your target demographic may stumble upon it through an Internet search or links from someone they know.
Researching and Setting Content Standards
The relevancy of the information you provide is another essential facet of starting a successful fitness blog. There’s a lot of bogus information out there and identifying correct information is often the key to providing good content online. Health and fitness is an area that’s particularly rife with inaccurate information, misinterpreted studies, and, ironically, just plain unhealthy advice. You don’t need to start doing grade-school-level research, but it is important to learn how to search for reputable sources and identify misinformation when you see it. Check out my post about writing good content here.
Why is this important?
Well, for one, it’s hard to build a dedicated following if what you’re saying is obviously untrue. Most people would probably like to believe that you can get fit while eating candy bars and not working out, but if what you’re saying doesn’t actually deliver results, you probably won’t get as much traffic to your blog as you’d like. Providing useful, realistic information is the best way to secure a dedicated audience that grows incrementally over time. Plus, you could theoretically open yourself up to some liability issues if you aren’t careful with what you say online.
Getting Visitors To Your Blog
Accuracy and good writing are also important because search engines like Google do seem to take informational and writing quality into account in their page rankings. Time was when you could just stuff a bunch of keywords into an article and call it a day, but that kind of writing isn’t satisfying to a reader at all and it’s not good business for a search engine to refer their clients to bad results. Professional marketers pay attention to metrics like bounce rate, the percentage of people who leave a site after reading just one page, and you should too. Your search engine performance is essential in getting new people to your site, which is an especially important consideration when you’re just starting out and don’t yet have a strong social media following. As you expand, search engine performance stays important because it’s one of the metrics you can use to prove your worth to brands that might want to partner with you for some sponsored content or giveaways.
So, overall, it pays to actually create useful content for your fitness blog. What qualifies as “good?”
Well, what makes sense to you might not make sense to everyone. So, before you start posting a bunch of content to your blog, you should write a sample post first and send it either to a professional editor or a few trusted friends whose feedback you can trust. There’s a certain art to explaining things clearly and if you want your readers to actually be able to use the workouts you’re suggesting, you’ll need to explain your process so even a complete beginner can understand it.
As part of being clear with your content, providing visual details can also be essential. You’ll want to give yourself a decent photography setup for this. The good news is that most gyms are so well-lit and provide such a natural background for fitness photography that you can probably just shoot photos on a tripod in your gym. Make sure to check with management first, though, since some chain gyms may have policies against letting members film or shoot photos on-site. If you attend a small, independently owned gym, you can talk to the management and offer to promote the gym on your blog in exchange for being able to shoot photos there. Plan your photo shoots or recording sessions for a slow time of day so you aren’t inconveniencing anyone or having to jostle to find room.
Of course, social media a huge way for fitness professionals to promote their blogs. If you haven't already, setup an account on Instagram and a vlog on Youtube that matches your blog's domain name.
This foundation will make it easy to get your fitness blog up and running, but the hard work is up to you. Luckily, you’re already dealing with a topic that relates to discipline so it should be no sweat!
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