As a fitness enthusiast, you’ve probably come across a number of fitness blogs offering tips on exercise and diet. You probably followed some of their advice and got good results. Maybe you were so happy with the outcome that you couldn’t wait to share it with others. If so, you may have wondered how to start a fitness blog yourself.
As most people into fitness know, fitness is not a fad but a way of life. The key to a lifetime of fitness is finding exercise routines and healthy food that you can stick with and incorporate into your everyday life. Long-lasting fitness is a personal journey and is often different from person to person. That’s why fitness bloggers will never really run out of things to share with other fitness fanatics.
In this article, we’ll explain why you should start a fitness blog and lay out the steps to do it. It’s really quite simple, even if you don’t have a lot of technical skills. There are so many online tools that make the process easy. And it doesn’t cost much money to get started.
Why You Should Start a Fitness Blog
If you’ve had success with fitness, you’ve probably shared how you did it with friends and family members. Maybe they’ve even told you that they’re tired of hearing about it! But when you’re enthusiastic about fitness, it’s hard to keep it to yourself. That’s why you should start a fitness blog.
A fitness blog can be such a great outlet for your passion. You can share your ongoing fitness journey with like-minded people around the world. You can explain how you achieved your fitness, offer tips and tricks for staying motivated, inspire others to get and stay fit, and build a supportive online community.
If those aren’t enough reasons to start a fitness blog, think about the earning potential. Because the fitness industry is so big and lucrative, fitness bloggers make more money on average than other bloggers. The average fitness blogger in 2022 earns between $32,210 and $116,290 per year, with an average of $67,814. Of course, it takes time to reach those kinds of earnings, but if you work consistently at it, you can make that kind of money, too!
9 Steps To Starting a Fitness Blog
Now you may be wondering how to start a fitness blog. Starting a fitness blog is simple and easy, and it usually only takes a few hours over a couple of days. You can also do it for less than $50. There’s really no reason to delay starting a fitness blog! Below are the nine steps that will get your fitness blog off to a great start.
1. Research a Fitness Niche
Because the online fitness industry is so huge, it’s very important to select a narrow niche to focus your blog on. If you try to appeal to everyone interested in fitness, you’ll end up not appealing to anyone. There are at least 2,300 fitness blogs with an active readership in North America alone. Standing out among all those blogs is key to building an audience, which we’ll discuss more below.
The fitness niche can cover some broad sub-niches, like weight loss, exercise, nutrition, and wellness. Try narrowing those down even more. For example, “weight loss” could be narrowed down to “weight loss for new mothers.” “Exercise” could be narrowed further to “yoga for busy moms,” or “weightlifting for greater muscle tone.” “Nutrition” could be broken down into keto or low-sugar diets, and “wellness” into “meditation.” We think you get the idea. If you’re stuck on how to narrow down your sub-niche, do a Google search on “weight loss sub-niches,” for example.
Keep in mind that it’s better to select a sub-niche that you are interested in and have experience with. That way, your passion, and knowledge will show through in your blogging, and you’ll have more credibility with your readers.
2. Choose a Name for Your Fitness Blog
Once you’ve selected your sub-niche, it’s time to choose a name for your fitness blog. When someone sees the name for the first time, they should have an immediate idea of what your blog is about. Don’t make it so general that searchers on your topic will be confused as to why your blog is coming up in their search. The name should also be short — ideally, no more than three words — and it should be closely related to your sub-niche.
The name of your fitness blog should be unique, too. This will be important in making your blog stand out. Uniqueness will also help when it comes time to select a domain name, or internet address because all domain names on the Web must be unique.
Do a Google search to see if your idea for a blog name is already taken. If it is, you can make slight changes to your name, like changing the subdomain from “.com” to “.net” or adding underscores between the words. It’s better not to do this with well-known blogs, however, because it’s likely to mislead searchers, which will hurt your Google ranking in the long run.
Your name should be clear enough, too, that it won’t lead to misinterpretations. For example, “childrenswear.com” could be read as “ChildrenSwear.com.” Read your name out loud to make sure it can’t be understood in multiple ways.
If you’re having trouble thinking of a name, consider incorporating your own name into the blog name, using a portmanteau (a combination of two words into a single, new word), or using a common saying. If all that fails, you can always try an online blog name generator like this one to get some ideas.
3. Purchase Your Domain Name
Now that you’ve chosen the name for your fitness blog, it’s time to purchase your domain name. The domain name is simply the internet address — the URL — where your blog will be reachable online. Buying a domain name is pretty straightforward. Just go to one of the two biggest registrars — Namecheap.com or Godaddy.com — and enter your chosen blog name. The site will tell you if it’s available. If it is, you can usually buy it for $12 or less for one year.
It’s possible that even if you didn’t find an existing blog for your chosen name, the domain name for it is not available. Why? Someone may have bought it and never used it. If it was a domain-buying company, it bought it hoping to resell it at a profit. In either case, it’s not really necessary to try to buy the domain from them. Just change your desired domain name to something closely related to your blog name. You might be able to get the “.net” or even the “.fitness” subdomain, for instance.
If your domain is available, go for the “.com” subdomain if possible. It’s the most widely used in the world, and it gives your blog extra credibility in the eyes of Google and online users. In fact, it’s better to have a domain name that’s slightly different from your blog name if it means getting a “.com” subdomain.
Now, a number of hosting plans, as we’ll see below, will give you a free domain name for a year if you sign up for their plan. However, I recommend buying your domain name outright so you’ll always have ownership of it and you won’t have to go through the time-consuming hassle of transferring your domain if you decide to change hosting plans later.
4. Pick a Blogging Platform and/or Hosting Plan
The next step in setting up your fitness blog is to choose a blogging platform and/or hosting plan. All websites require hosting, which is a service that stores all the website’s media and code and makes it available to internet users. A number of blogging platforms offer free hosting so you don’t have to worry about paying for a separate hosting plan. If you plan on becoming a professional blogger, however, you should consider paying for a hosting plan so you have more control over your blog.
This is where you’ll want to think about what kind of blog you want to have. Do you want a blog that can make you money with ads and affiliate links (more on that below)? Do you want your blog to be part of a bigger website that can make you money in additional ways, such as with an online store? Or do you simply want to write about your passion without turning it into a business?
If sharing your passion for fitness is your only goal, then all you need to do is choose a blogging platform that offers free hosting. WordPress.com, Blogger, Medium, and Wix.com, are some of the biggest blogging platforms out there. WordPress is the most widely used blogging platform in the world, hosting 43% of all websites on the internet. It has a steeper learning curve than other platforms, but it gives you more features and control over how your blog looks and functions.
Google’s Blogger is easy to set up and use, but you have little control over how your blog looks. Medium is the platform of choice for serious writers. Wix.com, which has one of the top-rated, do-it-yourself blog builders, offers the best blend between ease of use and control. Unlike the other three, Wix charges a monthly fee for its service, but it does include hosting.
Now if you plan to treat your blog like a business and want to have maximum control over it, then you should get a separate hosting plan. HostGator, Hostinger, SiteGround, A2 Hosting, and Bluehost are among the most established hosting providers around. Check out our guide on how to pick a hosting plan.
5. Choose and Install a Theme
Most blogging platforms will let you select from dozens, if not hundreds, of themes for your blog. A theme controls the fonts, layout, colors, and overall look of your blog. WordPress.com is great because of the huge number of health- and fitness-based themes available for it. To start your search in WordPress, go to Appearance ➜ Themes, then enter “health” in the search bar. You can select a theme then click on “Open live demo” to get an idea of what your blog will look like when it’s published. If you don’t see any themes you like there, visit ThemeForest.com to see many more. Note that some are free, but more are available for purchase. It’s not really necessary to pay for a theme at this stage unless you know you want your blog to be a business.
When selecting a fitness-based theme, look for bold fonts and colors that convey action, like red or orange on a black background. If your fitness blog is geared more toward diet and health, look for colors that connote healthy living, like green and blue. You can always change the theme later if you find you’re not liking your first selection.
6. Research Your Audience
Now that your fitness blog is set up, you’ll want to start thinking about content. But before you actually start writing and inserting photos or videos, it’s a good idea to research your audience. You’ll want to have a solid idea of the kind of content your audience is looking for so that you can tailor your content to their interests — and keep them coming back for more.
First, think about a typical member of your subniche or audience — your blog’s “avatar.” If your subniche is “yoga for busy moms,” what is the typical mom in that group like? What’s her age, income, and family size? Is she married or single? Does she live in the United States or another country? What kind of yoga does she do? What’s her daily routine like? What kind of challenges does she face when trying to do yoga to stay fit? What does she like to do for fun?
If you’re stuck on putting yourself in her shoes, think about your own characteristics, routines, and interests. Do some Google searches, such as “how moms do yoga.” Read other blogs in your subniche and subscribe to their newsletters. Look for relevant subreddits on Reddit.com. Read some books and listen to podcasts related to your subniche. Take notes as you do research, too. Before long, you’ll have a good idea of who your avatar is — and who you’ll be writing for on your blog.
7. Start Creating Content
While researching your blog’s avatar and audience, you probably got some good ideas for content. Go back to your audience research notes and start brainstorming ideas for posts. To start with, try to come up with at least 5-10 ideas for articles, images, or videos.
But before you start creating content at random, it’s better to have a plan. You’ll want to think about how often you want to post content. Consistency is more important than frequency, so if you have time for only one post per week, that’s okay. Just stick to that schedule as much as possible. Once you start to attract readers, they’ll come to expect content from you and may lose interest if you miss several weeks. Fortunately, most blogging platforms make it easy to schedule the posting of content, so you can create several pieces ahead of time.
Speaking of scheduling, think about the upcoming calendar. Are there holidays or events you can tie content to? For example, if your blog is in the dieting niche, your readers might appreciate articles about how to stick to a diet over gluttonous holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. If your blog is about training for marathons, your readers will want to know about upcoming marathons and how to train for them.
It’s also important to think about the type of content that your audience prefers. Are they mostly readers or do they prefer to watch videos? Exercise fanatics probably like to see a lot of exercise demonstrations on video, whereas those looking for motivation probably like to read inspirational stories.
A combination of different types of posts is also a good idea to keep your blog visitors engaged. Think about your strengths, too. If you’re a strong writer, you might lean toward writing more. If you’re a natural on video, then you can certainly aim for more videos.
Once you have your list of blog content and know when you want to post, start creating! Don’t worry if it doesn’t seem polished or professional. The more you do it, the better you’ll get at it. Don’t let “the perfect” be the enemy of “the good.” In other words, it’s better to create something that’s good enough right away rather than spend a lot of time trying to make it perfect. And the most important thing is letting your true self shine through!
8. Grow Your Blog’s Audience
Now that you’ve started creating content for your fitness blog, you’ll probably want to grow your blog’s audience. Seeing more people visiting your blog and commenting on your content can be a big motivator to keep it up. Reading and responding to your visitor’s comments is also a good way to learn more about their fitness goals and to tailor your content to them. And when you do that, Google will reward you with more visitors. It’s a virtuous cycle!
Another good way to draw more organic visitors is to incorporate SEO (search engine optimization) best practices into your content. That can be done by including a few keywords into the headings and paragraphs of your articles. You can do research on Google Trends to find out which search terms related to your niche get used the most. These will be the keywords to sprinkle throughout your content. Creating outside links to other relevant blogs and websites can also improve your Google ranking over time. You can track your audience growth using Google Analytics.
Finally, posting regularly to social media is a great way to quickly build interest in your blog and grow your readership. Just create new accounts related to your blog on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. If your blog has a lot of fitness videos, you should create an account on YouTube as well. Link each post back to your blog, and before you know it, your fitness blog will be getting more visitors. Create a schedule for posting social media content, too, to keep your visitors coming back for more.
9. Monetize Your Fitness Blog
If you wanted your fitness blog to be a business from the start, this is where you can start making money. Even if that wasn’t your plan from the beginning, you can still make money from your blog, especially if you’ve built a sizable audience. Many blog gurus say a good benchmark to aim for is 1,000 unique visitors per day. But it’s possible to make decent money with fewer visitors depending on the type of monetization methods you use. Let’s look at the most common methods:
Google AdSense: Signing up for Google’s online ads program is probably the easiest way to monetize your blog. After you sign up, Google places display ads on your blog, and whenever a reader clicks on an ad, you get a small commission. You won’t make a ton of money with this method until your blog starts getting over 100,000 visitors per day, but it’s an easy way to start monetizing.
Affiliate Marketing: After you’ve started getting regular visitors, adding affiliate links to your content is also a relatively easy way to monetize your fitness blog. First, research and sign up for affiliate programs related to your niche – nearly every company of any size has one. Then, when one of your readers clicks on the link and buys the product or service at that link, you get a commission. Commissions are more substantial with this method, ranging from 5% to 50% or even more, depending on the product. You can find a good list of fitness affiliate marketing programs here.
Allow Guest Posters: Once you become well known in your fitness niche, you may start to get requests from individuals and companies wanting to place guest posts on your blog. This is a good thing! Depending on the size of your audience, many are willing to pay you between $50 and $250 or more per post. Just make sure their posts are relevant to your readers so they don’t damage your credibility.
Selling Fitness Products: Later down the line, you might find your readers asking you for advice on fitness-related products and services. If you’ve already been posting with affiliate links, this kind of interest is a sign you have a ready audience for a profitable online store. The WooCommerce plugin for WordPress makes it easy to sell almost any product, subscription, or service online. It handles payment options and shipping for physical products, too.
Selling Your Expertise: Rather than sell fitness products, you could sell your fitness advice through a coaching program. If you’re spending a lot of time answering questions and giving advice, why not charge for your expertise? It takes more of your time, but you could potentially charge hundreds of dollars per hour. If you’d rather not trade hours for dollars, consider an online course that, once you’ve developed, can keep earning money on autopilot for years. Kajabi, Thinkific, and Teachable are the leading online course platforms to consider.
Starting a fitness blog is relatively simple and straightforward. If you follow the steps in this article, you’ve learned how to start a fitness blog and you’ll be off to a great start. The bigger challenge comes in keeping it going. It takes time and effort over the long run to make it successful. This is true whether you just want an outlet for your passion for fitness or you want to create a business that makes passive income for you.
It’s good to start a fitness blog with the right expectations. It’s unlikely that you’ll attract a huge audience overnight. It usually takes 6 to 12 months of consistent posting to generate a sizable audience. That’s why it’s important to not get discouraged in the beginning. Just focus on creating useful content for your readers, one blog post at a time, and success will come!