Think fast: what’s the one kind of book you’re guaranteed to find on almost all bookshelves? Sure, John Grisham will probably be there, one or two Tom Clancy’s, maybe even an old book of dirty jokes.
I’m sure you’ve guessed it: the kind of book I’m talking about is a diet book. And that’s why today we’ll be discussing how you can cash in on this huge and profitable market.
Wait, I’m Not Talking about You Writing a Book!
While diet books routinely top the bestseller lists, there’s a much easier and quicker way to profit from this incredibly rich niche: building a website devoted to the diet and exercise market.
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Let’s be honest: how many of us would like to shed 10 pounds? Fifteen, maybe? I know for myself, I wouldn’t mind losing about 20!
The reason I’m bringing this up is I want to demonstrate to you the value of the diet and exercise market. I defy you to find me one person that doesn’t want to lose at least a pound or two. Even the fittest of athletes are always on the lookout for some new way to shed pounds, burn calories, tone muscles, and get more energy from the food they eat.
That’s where you come in.
What I’m talking about is setting up a website that contains helpful diet and exercise tips.
There’s no need for you to get certified as a dietician or a fitness guru or anything like that to profit from the diet and exercise market. You just have to know where to pull information, gather it up neatly, and tailor it to all the folks out there looking to lead healthier, better lives through diet and exercise.
Setting Yourself Up as an Expert
Sure, an interest in health and fitness is a plus in setting up a business like this. But it’s not necessary.
The first step is to start educating yourself. Start reading a lot about diet and exercise. What are the hot trends? What are the popular supplements, diet aids, exercise programs, etc.?
Then you should pick a specific niche in the broader niches of diet and exercise on which to focus your business. It should, of course, fit into one of the hot trends you’ve discovered in your initial research.
For example, it could be weight loss with a vegetarian or vegan diet. Perhaps, losing belly fat and toning muscles through body weight exercises. Yoga for new mothers. Natural organic supplements. The sky really is the limit here.
In my case, if I was to start a business in this niche, I might do something about fresh fruit and vegetable smoothies. Here in Costa Rica, the local farmers’ markets have a great selection of fresh produce, and I’ve gone crazy with the blender. I feel great, and I know there are health benefits from this habit as well.
Once you have your niche, start researching the specifics here so you can be informed on the very latest news and products in this area. This will help you as you start creating content for your website. But first we need to handle the technical side.
The Nuts and Bolts
First, you’ll want to set up your website. As I’ve gone over in past articles, my go-to place for a website domains (URLs) and hosting is www.godaddy.com (where you pay a small fee for your own unique .com address and a monthly fee to put your site online) or www.blogger.com (which is free but requires an appended .blogspot.com to your domain name).
The name for your website should relate to the niche you’ve chosen. Be simple and straight-forward and don’t use more than three words in web address. A good one might be: thevegankitchen.com or yogamoms.com.
Once you’ve picked your domain name and set up hosting, it’s time to design the look and feel.
How you design your site depends entirely upon you. Have a look at some of the diet and fitness websites already out there and borrow the things you think they do well as far as colors, format, pictures, graphics, menus… You’re not copying, just drawing inspiration.
Maybe you want to have a review section where, for example, you go over the different “celebrity” diets such as the South Beach Diet, Nutrisystem, and the Caveman Diet, and show the health benefits of each.
Do you want to start a blog and update it regularly?
Set up an online forum for your customers?
Those are all up to you.
Really, the design of your website should be whichever way you can best deliver the best content to your targeted niche!
Creating Content and Making Money
Useful, actionable content is what’s going to attract prospects to your online fitness and/or exercise business. And you have several options here.
1. You can write your own content. You simply take everything you’ve been reading about your particular niche and put your own spin on it. You could write product reviews, stories about your experiences following a diet or exercise program, top 10 lists (top vegetarian diet breakfast foods, for example), commentary on industry trends, etc.
In the same vein, you could create your own videos, starring yourself or friends and family. You could demonstrate exercises; prepare healthful recipes… whatever is appropriate for your niche.
2. If you’re not much of a writer, not a problem. You can use the work of others. At www.ezinearticles.com there are free articles you can post on your website written by people around the world. The only requirement is that you include a link to them in your article.
You could also hire freelance writers on sites like elance.com to write articles for you. The cost should be just a few dollars for a short article.
Add content to your site regularly and your site will soon appear in the search engine rankings when web surfers are looking for information on your niche. Those people are prospective customers. And that’s where the next part comes in…
It’s time to make money.
It’s easy. All you have to do is find products like books, ebooks, online programs, and more to promote as an affiliate.
Clickbank is great here. It has thousands of information products in their catalog.
Just head over to Clickbank.com and browse or search by keyword for products in your niche. Then sign up for Clickbank account and start promoting the product on your site. As an affiliate you can get up to 75% of the sale price every time somebody buys a product from you. Just include your affiliate links to the product in articles, in product reviews, or even ads on your site. Often the owner of the product will have sales copy you can use.
You could even promote books and other diet and exercise products you find Amazon.com.
For example, if your online business has something to do with yoga, you could offer yoga mats and other accessories on your site. Content-wise a great way to promote them would be to review several different yoga mats in an article or blog post, including affiliate links for each.
Or you could offer reading lists for your niche. Each book mentioned would, of course, have an affiliate link.
If you’re into supplements, there are a ton of companies that will allow you to promote their supplements on your site with a drop shipping or affiliate arrangement. A simple Google search of the top supplement online stores will yield many hits for affiliate programs.
Now that you’ve built your website, it’s chock-full of great tips and info about your fitness and exercise niche, and you’ve started to promote affiliate products… you’re ready for the next steps.
You can really super-charge your business by adding to your marketing efforts in several ways.
1. Build an email subscription list by asking your visitors to your site to sign up for a free, informative newsletter.
Other diet and exercise websites will be glad to partner with your website once you’ve demonstrated you have the reach and influence and respect of the fitness community.
2. Increase your social media presence. Set up a Facebook and Twitter account for your business and send out regular updates that direct subscribers and followers to your website.
Offering special discounts on products to only your Twitter followers, for example, is a great marketing trick and it is sure to boost your social media presence. Also, try offering daily inspirational messages via Twitter that will help people keep motivated and excited about their exercise routine.
Same with Facebook. Link to health-related articles; build your friends list with like-minded people, companies, and websites, and keep active, active, active.
3. Getting local is another of my favorite themes when it comes to business, so ask around at your local gyms or training boot camps about offering special offers to customers you drive their way. The exposure will be great for you and the extra advertising dollars that will start flowing in doesn’t hurt either!
Be the Best You Can Be
Remember, when you enter the diet and exercise market, you automatically have a certain amount of respect “grandfathered” in. It’s sort of like being an organic farmer or a green-sustainable company. In this health-conscious age of ours, where everyone is looking to be the healthiest they can with the least amount of work, operating a website dedicated to giving fitness information puts you in a very enviable and trustworthy position.
So don’t let your customers down! Instead of advertising every new health supplement that’s begging to plaster banners all over your site, do your due diligence and research the things you advertise. If you find a certain supplement makes outrageous claims that can’t possibly be true, it will be to your advantage – both financially and in terms of respect – to write up an expose of the supplement and review it negatively.
You’ll gain the trust of your community and nurture the growing dependence your visitors have on your site. Remember, the decision to live a healthier lifestyle and change some of our very basic habits such as diet and exercise is a major event for most of us. Yours will be the hand that helps them stay on the path to fitness and better health.
I know you’ll do great.
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Best of luck!
P.S. I’ve just given you the tip and tricks of the trade to get into the lucrative business of fitness and diet advice. But here are a few more resources to help you get started and stay inspired.
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