Health and fitness is a competitive niche for bloggers, with thousands of blogs vying for those coveted first page Google rankings for popular keywords. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to grow a fitness blog these days. In fact, there are many effective blogging trends and tactics you can use to grow your audience, whether you’re just starting a fitness blog or you’ve been blogging consistently for a few months or years and want to start expanding your reach.
From guest posting on authoritative health and fitness blogs to inviting influencers to guest post on your blog, targeting low-hanging fruit by focusing on keywords that have high search volume but low competition, engaging in online communities, building an email list, and of course, leveraging innovative social media marketing tactics, fitness bloggers interested in growing their blog can implement one or more proven strategies to start building their influence and growing their audience quickly.
To learn more about the most effective strategies you can put to use to grow your fitness blog, we reached out to a panel of fitness bloggers and blogging experts and asked them to answer this question:
“What’s the number 1 thing bloggers can do to grow their fitness blog?”
Meet Our Panel of Fitness Bloggers & Blogging Experts:
Keep reading to learn what our experts had to say about the best things you can do to start growing your fitness blog today.
Hugo Guerreiro is the founder of Blog Biz Audit, where he teaches people how to start an online business.
“The number one thing fitness bloggers should do to grow their blogs is to create backlinks from reputable (high domain authority) fitness blogs. If they succeed with that, Google will trust their blog quickly, and they will rank for more competitive keywords. Without quality backlinks from other authority sites in your niche, you will grow your blog very slowly.”
Holden is the Founder and editor at PeachTown.org. They write about lifestyle and outdoor activities in Ruston, Louisiana.
“The number one thing bloggers can do to grow their fitness blogs is review fitness products. There are so many new fitness products coming out every day with customers looking for lengthy reviews outside of Amazon. Quality product reviews are a great way to attract online users, draw quality traffic, and grow your blog.”
Chris Taylor is the Director of Marketing at ProfitGuru.
“I think the best way to grow your fitness blog is to find your flock: hunt down your audience’s nest. When it comes to growing your fitness blog, it’s important that you’re strategic about where you spend your most time. While it’s better to establish your presence across a range of social networks, you’ll quickly burn out trying to excel with every social site.
Dip your feet and identify which social networks work best for you. Is your blog relying on the visuals? You’ll apparently want to set your sights on LinkedIn. Find the right subreddits and you could strike it big.
If you’re looking for seagulls, you go to the seaside. To drive blog traffic, you need to go to where your flock hangs out. Know where to find your bird of a feather. Learning about your audience is also essential for building strong referral links from relevant websites.”
Jamie Hickey is a Personal Trainer/Nutritionist at Truism Fitness.
“Two years ago when I started my blog, I thought I had to amass a huge social media following and spend hours upon hours getting backlinks. I now know the most important thing a blogger should pay attention to is creating the best content for the right keywords.
I don’t have any social media followers and have a minimal backlink profile, yet I average 23,000 visitors a month and make on average $2,000 a month, all from content creation.”
Tom is a blogger and fitness enthusiast originally from Toronto, Ontario. In his spare time, Tom enjoys hiking, playing guitar, and traveling wherever there’s warm weather.
“Actually test the products/services you write about (or find an expert). As a fitness blogger, it’s all too easy to write about the latest trend or product that’s catching everyone’s attention just for the sake of getting relevant content out to your readers. While this is a great strategy, sometimes it’s better to take more time and to truly test the products or services you’re writing about.
It doesn’t matter if you’re testing a fitness app, apparel, or new recipe; the best way you can set your content apart from most of the competition is to actually use it. Real-life photos and screenshots go a long way in keeping readers on your website longer, and Google can recognize this positive experience over time and help push your rankings higher. If you don’t have the time or budget to use a product or service yourself, try to interview subject matter experts or real users instead.
The idea here is to steadily improve your authority over time. While it might take longer to publish content, the extra effort will be worth it in the long run.”
Grant Aldrich is the Founder and CEO of OnlineDegree.com.
“To be successful in fitness blogging, the first thing people should do is set and commit to a schedule. The minimum posting amount should be about three times a week, but a blog will grow faster with more frequent posting. If you know your schedule is hectic, you can create blog posts in bulk and automatically set them to post.
I also suggest short, bite-sized articles of about 500-600 words. Readers appreciate a quick blog post that they can skim through in a few minutes. It will also make posting three to five times a week more realistic if the posts are shorter.
I also suggest creating ‘pillar content’ of about 2,000 words occasionally. For example, you could make a long-form blog post about creating an at-home fitness gym. These posts can include a lot of keywords that help your blog rank on search engines.”
Amanda Brooks is the author of the newly released Run To The Finish: The Everyday Runner’s Guide to Avoiding Injury, Ignoring the Clock and Loving the Run. With over 300 Amazon reviews, her advice is described as perfect for middle of the pack runners that are trying to do the best for themselves, stay injury free, and train healthy while still living their lives.
“One of the most important things bloggers should do to grow their fitness blog is to turn the focus away from you as a blogger and to the reader. What problem are you solving? How will taking the time to read your post help them? It seems so obvious, but many bloggers are still writing about their workouts and their food diary.
Readers want to know how to implement a workout or a visual of the workout that they can save to do themselves. While that’s the biggest one, the next is to continue ensuring that whatever you write is high quality. Take the time to link to good research about the best way to perform a movement or to provide something extra. That’s what will not only keep them on the page, but bring them back.”
Jacob Pinkham is the Founder and CEO of In Smooth Waters, a dedicated review site focused on water sports and activities.
“What I have found works well is to include already existing Instagram and YouTube visitors on your blog. First, you are introducing yourself to the best, most influential fitness bloggers out there. This is great for networking and for getting your name recognized.
Secondly, you are giving your blog readers something trustworthy. Displaying and sharing known and trusted content will in turn make you known and trusted.
And last, if you have built a good relationship with these influencers, you can always ask them to give you a shout out. For instance, on Instagram, create a post with their content, tag them, and send a message asking if they can include it in their story.”
Lindsey Wigfield is the owner of Sweet Home Marketing, a marketing firm that focuses on lead generation using search engine optimization and social media.
“Make Pinterest a part of your distribution strategy. You need to make sure that your blog is mobile-friendly, since most users browse Pinterest from their phone. Treat Pinterest like a search engine. Ask yourself: What would my target audience be searching for? Create the content they crave and you will be rewarded.”
Kevin Geary is the CEO of Digital Gravy, a web design and SEO company in Atlanta, GA. He’s been working to help grow small businesses online for over 20 years and is a sought-after expert when it comes to building websites that rank and convert.
“The number one thing bloggers can do to grow their fitness blog is establish clear EAT. EAT stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness and it’s one of the KEY ranking factors for blogs in YMYL (your money, your life) niches, such as health and fitness.
To put it simply, blogs that don’t have clear EAT signals will not rank well on Google. Back in 2018 when Google first rolled out an EAT-first algorithm, tons of health and fitness blogs suffered massive traffic drops. In order to rank well and compete with a health and fitness blog, bloggers must go the extra mile to establish EAT.
The best way to do this is to have a clear about page with a full bio. List all credentials if you have them. If you don’t have credentials, make it a goal to get the necessary credentials to speak on what you’re writing about or find someone with credentials to fact check or endorse your articles. Make sure every article you publish has your author bio that links back to this full author page.
By optimizing your blog for EAT signals, you’ll get a lot more organic traffic and grow much faster with the help of Google.”
Kevin Miller is the founder and CEO of The Word Counter. He is a growth marketer with an extensive background in SEO, paid acquisition, and email marketing. Kevin studied at Georgetown University, worked at Google for several years, is a Forbes contributor, and has been a head of growth and marketing at several top tier startups in Silicon Valley.
“In order to grow your fitness blog, you must implement a good SEO strategy that relies on high-quality content plus in-depth keyword research. If you do the legwork and use keyword research tools like SEMRush or Ahrefs, you can identify hidden opportunities and then capitalize on those opportunities by creating high-quality, keyword-informed content. We frequently use original research and data in our content. The data is fact-based and usually displayed in visual charts that tell a story. This makes it easy to convey the findings, and it is differentiated from normal text. The uniqueness is the key; it must add distinct value.
The key to great content, regardless of whether the goal is marketing or entertainment, is to understand your narrative. How should the consumption of your content marketing make your targets feel? What actions should the assets inspire? Knowing, ideally with data, how different groups of people react to your brand, learn your value proposition, and are motivated to take action is the best lesson I’ve learned. Since my company’s inception, I’ve formed a fantastic team of employees that help me create content as well as market it effectively. We have scaled quickly and seen tremendous growth.”
John Ross is the President of Test Prep Insight, an online education blog.
“The number one thing that fitness bloggers can do to grow their fitness blog is to write posts that have low SEO competition. If your blog is just starting out, or perhaps has been around but doesn’t have the strongest SEO profile, it’s going to be really hard to compete with established websites and bigger blogs on high-search keywords. If you’re trying to blog about the best at-home workout plan, there’s a very good chance your blog will be buried on page six of Google.
It’s hard to grow your blog when you can’t be found. You need to focus on finding keywords with decent search volume but that don’t have much competition. What that means is you need to find search terms that people are looking for in Google, but there aren’t many articles out there on these topics. This will generally result in prospective blog posts that are very off the wall and maybe even a little crazy, but you have to start somewhere. Do your research and find some niche articles to write that you know you can rank for on Google. Then put up a solid post about the topic, and let Google do the rest.”
Rok is a Certified Weight Loss Specialist and Certified Nutrition Coach at Lean High.
“After blogging in the fitness industry for over eight years, building my SEO traffic to over 100K monthly visitors, and then losing it all to a Google algorithm update, here’s my take on what bloggers should do to grow their fitness blog:
Build a sales funnel and optimize it to a point where it generates enough customer lifetime value (revenue/profit per lead) so you can afford to scale things with paid advertising (PPC).
At any given moment, you’re either scaling or you’re failing…and you’re failing until your CAC > LTV.”
Bryan Philips is the Head of Marketing at In Motion Marketing.
“The number one thing that bloggers can do to grow their fitness blog (or any other blog, for that matter) is to network through guest posting on other fitness blogs. This not only gets you links which are beneficial for SEO, but it also gets audiences of established fitness bloggers reading your posts. The more you write on other sites, the more you will draw readers to your own and build your subscriber list.”
Jeff owns his own fitness site, Sweat and Gear, where you can find all the latest on equipment, nutrition, and training advice.
“A common problem faced by some bloggers is that their blogs do not have enough updates. Here are a few ways you can keep your readers engaged in your fitness posts:
- Share what you are doing with your fitness lifestyle.
- Post about the different stumbling blocks you encounter, such as recipes, holidays, or traveling.
- Post about your fitness goals and ask for feedback from your readers and other bloggers.
- Host guest posts from other bloggers to keep readers engaged.
- Don’t get discouraged if your post doesn’t get as much feedback as you would like. Reply to all comments and respond to individual comments.
- Remember that it is the most important that you enjoy your fitness lifestyle, not what your other readers may think of it.”
Donald Damilola is the Founder of Omniconverts.
“The number one thing bloggers can do to grow their fitness blog is host webinars with industry experts. Growing a fitness blog or any type of blog requires tried and true strategies to constantly evolve among competitors and reach a wider audience.
One surefire approach fitness bloggers can take to exponentially grow their fitness blog by getting in front of new potential readers and customers is by co-hosting webinars with other thought leaders and well-known brands in the fitness industry.
Having a well-respected blogger, individual, or company share their knowledge and expertise would be a smart move for fitness blog founders to cross-engage and bring more value to both existing and new audiences.”
Vicky Adie is a Physiotherapist with a specialism in sports injury management. She is also an APPI certified Pilates Instructor. She runs a blog providing free online Pilates classes.
“Be community-spirited. For me, it is not about growing an online presence but helping others achieve their goals. I feel very strongly that you should seek to build a community, not seek to build a following. I love what I do, not just because I enjoy fitness and Pilates, but because I love sharing my passion.
In my day job as a Physiotherapist I see the benefits of exercise every day, especially the benefits of targeted movements, such as those you find with Pilates. The driver for me to start my blog, offering free online Pilates, was to make this accessible to anyone.”
Bart Turczynski is a career expert and the editor-in-chief at ResumeLab. His advice and commentary has been published by the Financial Times, Hewlett-Packard, Chicago Tribune, Thrive Global, and Glassdoor, among others.
“For most freshly-minted fitness blog owners, getting exposure to their blog might feel like climbing Mount Everest, blindfolded. But there’s a simple hack you can leverage that will help make your fitness blog stand out from the crowd.
One of the unorthodox methods of getting exposure to your fitness blog is to tap into the power of podcasts. While you don’t need to invest in a high-quality mic and start your own podcast, you can go on other people’s shows as a guest and share your fitness experience and/or expertise with listeners.
It will help you establish yourself as a fitness expert, gain a ton of exposure, and ultimately drive people to your fitness blog. On top of that, the show’s host will often be more than happy to link out to your site from the podcast’s description section, which will help improve your blog’s online visibility.”
Shiv Gupta is the CEO of Incrementors Web Solutions, a digital marketing agency that provides a wide range of services from SEO, web development, web design, e-commerce, UX design, SEM services, dedicated resource hiring and digital marketing needs.
“To grow their fitness blog, bloggers should engage with health communities. A great way to drive engagement, traffic, and new users to your health blog is to actively engage in important health communities. Look for related Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, and forums to share helpful information particular to the community.
Try sharing graphic quotes branded with your blog name and URL, answer questions in the community and include your blog URL in your signature, and ask for feedback on some blogs or subjects. Try to connect with other health specialists and collaborate on future content together. You can produce helpful content and access each other’s audiences for expanded reach. Find out which communities make sense to engage in and what their guidelines are for participating so you don’t get banned.”
Brian Ward is a home fitness expert and the founder of TheWorkoutDigest. Brian is an evangelist for home gyms and enjoys training people on staying fit at home.
“Starting a YouTube channel to promote your blog is the best way to grow a fitness blog. Many people use YouTube as a personal trainer, and fitness blog owners and use that to their advantage. You should publish instructional videos on workouts and drills with a callback to your blog in the description and channel branding. You’ll end up getting natural referral traffic from the YouTube channel and build strong brand awareness on YouTube. You can even hire a fitness professional to be in the videos if you want to showcase some workouts that you’re not yet adept at.”
John Fawkes is a NSCA-certified CPT, certified nutrition coach, and managing editor of blog-based wellness resource, The Unwinder.
“Join a paid online community dedicated to managing online businesses, not just managing a blog. This sounds a bit contradictory at first. Yet, dedicating yourself to viewing your blog as an e-business rather than just a blog you hope to monetize fundamentally changes your research, marketing, and management strategies.
I joined a paid community called Zero to Launch after several failed blogging business attempts in the fitness niche. Previously, I’d tried launching an online resource for selling dietary supplements, a blog based completely on ad revenue, and even some e-books. All of them sputtered and died.
None of them gained the traction. The Unwinder did, largely because that Zero to Launch community, which you gain access to only after a paid program membership, completely altered my approach from just running a blog into running a business. Basically, it changed my mindset from how I could automate making money online to how I can help people, then get paid for bringing them value.
I also recommend going with paid membership groups because then you weed out a lot of all the bad or out-of-date advice you get in free forums. If you stick with freebie groups, you’ll quickly become disillusioned with how much contradictory, irrelevant advice is out there. You really do get what you pay for.”
Ian Kelly is the VP of Operations at NuLeaf Naturals.
“A great way to grow your blog is to spend some time answering questions on Quora. This is a very targeted way to get new readers by answering their questions and linking to relevant posts on your blog. This not only will grow your authority as an expert on Quora, but it will also build your website authority as you gain more organic traffic.
I would also recommend finding ways to make your niche more specific. For example, we write exclusively about how to use our CBD products on our blog rather than broad wellness posts. It should be the same for a fitness blog. Find a niche and play within it: perhaps cardio, fitness for different body types, or training for marathons. Fitness is too general, so find an aspect or specialty of fitness that you are an expert in and blog about it.”
Priya Florence Shah
Priya Florence Shah is the bestselling author of Be The Expert, award-winning publisher of Naaree.com and Group Editor of SHEROES, a women-only social networking platform.
“Unless you’re a well-known fitness expert, growing a fitness blog with SEO is difficult today, as Google’s EAT (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) algorithm update prioritizes expert content, making it increasingly difficult for new bloggers to rank for health content in Google.
That’s why I recommend Facebook Groups and Facebook Ads as one of the best ways to help you grow a following for your blog and grow a subscriber list quickly, especially if you create epic and insanely useful content.
You can use your Facebook Group to host an event, such as a 21-Day Fitness Challenge, and advertise it on Facebook to build a large community quickly.
Keep in mind that you need to publish multiple forms of content (text, infographics, videos, podcasts, etc.) to grow a following on social media today.
Don’t try to get good at all of them at once. Focus on one form of content or one channel before moving on to the next, or hire someone to do it for you while you focus on building a brand.
Personal branding is the holy grail of marketing today, so work on building a personal brand as a fitness guru and you’ll find more people willing to work with you and collaborate with you as a blogger.”
Alex is the founder and CEO of Home Grounds, a website that helps people brew and enjoy better coffee.
“One thing I would suggest fitness bloggers do to grow their blog is to have an email list. Email marketing is a low cost and effective way to stay top of mind for your subscribers and can be a good way to maximize the value of your list.
SEO is important and is certainly great for getting first time readers, but email marketing can help you bring people back to your blog again and again.
Social media can also be used in the same way to post updates, new blog post announcements, and build a community.”
Jonathan Frey is the CMO of Urban Bikes Direct.
“There are two important things things bloggers can do to grow their fitness blog.
1. Reference and science and medical studies to boost your fitness authority.
As you decide on and develop a fitness topic for a blog post, search through online medical and life science journals for studies that can support or inform your content. For example, if you plan on blogging about high-intensity Tabata workouts, you might want to reference and link to the seminal 1996 study that laid the groundwork for that popular exercise routine. You can use Google to find fitness studies, but one excellent resource is PubMed.
Methods like this help build your blog’s authority as a fitness destination, likely boosting its Google search ranking. Excellent sourcing will inspire other blogs and websites in the field to link to you more often.
2. Reach out to credentialed trainers and fitness experts.
Similarly, consider using journalism sourcing platforms like HARO (Help a Reporter Out) to reach out to fitness experts for sage advice and quotes you can include in your posts. Try to seek out credentialed experts to boost your authority further.”
Jeff Parke is a fitness professional and the founder of Top Fitness Mag.
“If a fitness blogger can create their own videos and graphics to go along with their content, their will stand out above the rest. People love instructional guides, and if you can provide them as a fitness blogger, your viewers will be more inclined to become return visitors.
I’d recommend fitness bloggers put time into creating these assets in order to stand out above other similar blogs. Another bonus to creating these types of resources is the increased chance of having others include it in their articles or at least link to them for others to see.
Videos and graphics: that’s the key for fitness bloggers these days!”
David is the CEO and founder of My Mixify, a business that specializes in blogging and reviewing fitness equipment.
“The number one thing that a fitness blogger can do to promote business growth is to show that you’re passionate about it. Nothing inspires people more than learning how someone dedicated effort and time to something they love. That’s why I made sure to make my home page personal by adding a piece about who I am and why I love fitness so much.
Aside from your standard business checklist that you need to sort out when starting new, blogging about fitness differs from other topics in that it’s very personal. Content needs to be motivating, informative, and high-quality because that’s what people interested in fitness are looking for. But they also need individual stories of success that are inspiring.
It’s nevertheless paramount that you stay away from random blogs about anything related to fitness. You still need to offer content specific to one area in fitness to distinguish yourself from your competitors. Blogging is a tough business to start in because it relies so much on building your audience. You, therefore, need to clearly show what you have to offer.”
Alessandra Kessler is a Founder and a Blogger at Healthy Body Healthy Mind.
“Understand your niche. The first and most important step to growing your fitness blog is understanding your niche. Take your time to research the industry. Follow other fitness bloggers and notice the kind of content they publish. Search Google to find fitness blogs that are similar to what you will be offering and understand the content they are working on.
Look into which websites and blogs are ranking on the first pages of Google, because that is where you need to be, as well. Analyze their content and its length. Also, notice what keywords they are using. To get a better idea of the ranking keywords, use tools such as SEMrush and Buzzsumo, or even Ahrefs. The keywords with the greatest number of clicks are the ones you’d want to use for your blogs. Take inspiration from other influencers who are targeting the same audience as yours.”
One of the most effective ways to grow your fitness blog is to build an engaged community on social media. Install the POWR Social Feed to stream your most engaging social media content on your blog and start building your influence. Showcasing your best social media content on your blog will help you grow your social media audience and boost shares and engagement, helping you establish your expertise in the fitness world.