As a fitness professional, getting new clients can be a tough task, especially in the beginning of your career. There are numerous ways to get new clients and build up a reputation, but we’re not here to talk about all of those methods, we’re talking about how running a fitness blog can be a great way to build up your reputation quickly and with authority.
Running a blog can be time consuming and hard work, but if you’re running a Personal Training Business or simply want to build up a reputation, it will give you more benefits than most other forms of advertising you do. The results aren’t as quick, but once you build up steam, it should be a driving force.
The benefits of running a fitness blog are huge, if you commit to it and do it well. Each blog post you write will gradually build your website’s traffic, and as time goes on you’ll get a compounding effect, resulting in free traffic from all of the old posts you’ve written. But to get to this point, there are a few things you need to do.
- Make sure you’re qualified
The first step to building a credible blog is to make sure you have the right credentials. If you’re going to be preaching all things fitness, it’s good to have the qualification to back up your opinion and writing. Qualifying as a Personal Training is the best way to begin your journey. The nationally recognised qualifications for becoming a Personal Trainer include the Certificate III in Fitness and Certificate IV in Fitness. Once you have these, you’ll not only gain a wealth of education and knowledge to write about, but you’ll be in a position to talk with authority.
My biggest tip is to start your blog as soon as you can, the sooner you start the sooner Google will take note. If this means starting the blog at the same time you start your Personal Training course, do that. As long as you’re upfront that you’re a student of fitness, it’s a good way to show what you’re learning. Often, you’ll find a good amount of your audience will be in the same spot as you, or slightly behind you, and will want that information as you deliver it. It might also inspire others to follow in your footsteps.
A side advantage of this approach is that it will do wonders for your ability to learn and retain information. With that in mind, don’t simply copy what you learn word for word. Learn the information and adapt it to something personal or relevant to both yourself and the audience you’d like to reach. For example, if you’re learning about a particular exercise, and you want to write about running, you can use the information you learn to link the two.
- Decide on a subject/niche to write about
Write about a subject that you have a genuine passion for and differentiated view of. Why? Well it’s important to write as yourself, with your own opinions and using your own voice. If it is a subject you don’t care about, it’ll often come across as forced and disjointed, and readers won’t stick around for long.
When writing about your subject, it’s great to have an opinion but that opinion should be backed up with at least some studies and research. However, to keep your writing engaging, don’t get too bogged down with these studies, use them for the numbers, but it is your approach to writing and opinion that readers will find engaging.
- Choose the right platform to blog on
Starting a blog on the wrong platform can cause you a lot of headaches down the line. You might, for example, want something super simple to begin with. Nothing flashy, just somewhere to write. This is great and will expedite the set-up process, but if you grow, you may find you don’t have a great deal of flexibility and will eventually need to transfer all of your posts to a new platform. This can be a long and difficult task.
My recommendation is WordPress, the largest blogging platform on the internet, and for good reason. There is a huge community of experts willing to help and support, and the platform is extremely flexible. Although the platform is free, you can pay for WordPress themes to make your blog look professional and stand out. There are thousands of good quality themes to choose from that won’t break the bank. I’d suggest buying from a reputable WordPress theme market, like ThemeForest; look at the reviews and what the theme is built for.
Eventually, when you have a good amount of traffic, you’ll be able to start monetising your blog through advertising, which WordPress makes easy through plugins.
- Set up analytics to analyse your posts’ performances
It’s important to understand what posts are working for you and what content isn’t, and the best way to do that is to look at the numbers. Which posts are people spending most time on? Which posts are driving the most traffic? Where is the traffic coming from?
If you’re interested in doing this, the best tool to use is Google Analytics. This is completely free and used by any website serious about analysing their performance. If you’re using WordPress, it’s as simple as adding a plugin and following the instructions. If you’ve used another platform, they might either have Google Analytics integrated or have an easy way to get it up and running.
It’s a good idea to read up on the platform and how to navigate through it, but essentially what to look for is how each post performs. To see this, go to your Google Analytics, then on the side choose “Behaviour > Site Content > All Pages”. You will then be able to see the URL of each page. So as long as your blog is set up to have clear titles in the URL, you’ll be able to see each post’s performance.
We’ve covered enough to get you set up and started, in the next part we’ll go through producing content for your blog as well as getting it read.
We also have an Online Marketing for Personal Trainers online workshop that goes through some marketing techniques and how to set up a website.