6 Things to Keep in Mind When Launching a Weight Loss Blog

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Karol K
Karol K. (@carlosinho) is a blogger and writer for hire. He has his work published all over the web, on sites like: NewInternetOrder.com, Six Revisions, Web Design Ledger, Lifehack.org, Quick Sprout, ProBlogger, Writers in Charge, and others.
Karol K
Karol K
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At first, building a weight loss blog doesn’t seem like a particularly different task than building any other type of a blog website. So, let me be the one who breaks this to you … it is actually very different.

Okay, the technical part remains the same. That’s mainly because WordPress is perfectly capable of running any kind of blog (actually, any kind of website), and weight loss is not a challenge at all. So when it comes to getting a domain, a web host, installing WordPress, handling the initial settings, and so on. It’s all the same story.

However, the part that’s very different is the approach you’re going to take with the niche, the type of content you’re going to publish, and the type of relationship you’re going to build with your audience.

1. Getting this initial credibility

The weight loss niche is a difficult one due to one main downside.

Any wild guesses?

People interested in health and weight loss are naturally less trustful. And it’s quite understandable, actually.

Let’s take a look at a completely different industry to explain this.

If you’re in the space of “blogging about blogging” then credibility is not that important. I mean, it will surely help you attract more visitors, but when it’s all said and done, if you can craft good enough advice and share it with people, they will pay attention.

In weight loss, things are a lot more difficult. Weight loss advice usually involves doing something specific to our bodies, which is very personal.

The best way to gain credibility is to get featured (via a guest post, for example) on some semi-popular or popular blogs and then list them in a custom “as seen on” block. That way, anyone visiting your new weight loss blog will immediately notice that other sites in the niche are already paying attention to you.

2. Careful on the affiliate products

Affiliate marketing is one of the top methods for bloggers to make money. Even though I’m not here to undermine the power of the practice itself, I do advise you to take it easy in your beginning months of weight loss blogging.

There’s a ton of affiliate programs in the weight loss niche, but there’s also a ton of scams. This poses two dangers:

  1. If you’re just starting out, you don’t know which products are quality yet (and they all have great marketing materials). You simply don’t want to end up promoting something crappy by accident.
  2. If you promote too much stuff, your readers will get the impression that you’re only about making affiliate sales. This has bad impact on your credibility and can result in losing your audience.

Affiliate products work great in many niches, but in weight loss, it’s best if you build a relationship with your audience first, and only then start to mention some promotions here and there.

3. Share your own story

If you’re going to be the main writer of the blog, you need to make things personal and not hide behind any nickname or the overused plural form “we.”

First of all, use “I” a lot.

Secondly, share your own story related to weight loss. If you don’t have any, get in touch with someone willing to provide articles for you and get personal articles from them.

Weight loss is a very personal niche by default. Essentially, no one cares about some brand talking about this or that. What matters are people and their own methods/tricks/approaches at successful weight loss.

4. Be careful with email marketing

Email marketing is often treated as the holy grail of building a website-based business. In theory, all you need in order to succeed is a website with some search engine traffic coming in, and leading to a landing page where you convince the visitors to sign up to your email list. And then you have a never-ending possibility to constantly nag them through email.

It’s actually quite scary how many marketers still attempt to monetize their sites this way.

Anyway, there’s a much better method, and it’s called planning out your approach in advance and delivering real value up front. Here’s how it’s done.

First, divide your newsletter messages approach into four types:

  • (a) Pure content delivered on a regular basis. This is about your standard newsletters – full of usable content – sent out manually whenever you have something interesting to share.
  • (b) Promotion delivered on a regular basis. Similar to the above, but this time it’s about promotion sent out manually whenever you have something to share that could benefit your audience.
  • (c) Pure content sent out at pre-defined intervals. This is content designed to resonate with a fresh subscriber – someone who subscribed this week.
  • (d) Promotion sent out at pre-defined intervals. Promotion designed to resonate with a fresh subscriber.

Then, create your newsletter delivery sequence. Here’s how I like to align it myself, but feel free to make your adjustments:

  • Day 0 (when the person subscribes): (c).
  • Days 1-4: (c) each day.
  • Day 5: (d).
  • Day 6: (c).
  • Day 8: (c).
  • Day 10: (c).
  • Day 11: (d).
  • Days 12 and up: (a) and (b). Make sure to send at least five (a) messages for every (b) message.

The next step is to create all those (c) and (d) messages and put them through an autoresponder sequence – a mechanism that will send out those messages automatically at set intervals.

The technical side of things is really simple so you don’t have to be a web expert to make it happen. Luckily, there are many tools available that you can take advantage of here.

If you’re on a tight budget, check out SendinBlue, which is the only major email newsletter service offering autoresponders as part of their free plan. As far as I can see, everywhere else (MailChimp, AWeber, GetResponse) you have to pay to get the feature.

There’s one more crucial piece of the puzzle here. If you want to make email effective, you need to create a valuable and enticing enough incentive for people to join your newsletter. But that’s a topic for whole other post, so let’s not get into it here.

5. Follow multiple paths

This sounds a bit vague, so let me elaborate. What I mean by multiple paths is multiple angles at weight loss.

For instance, I’m sure you’re doing a lot of keyword research if you’re in a big niche like weight loss. In such a case, you might end up with a range of keywords like (mind this is just an example and I have no information regarding the potential value of these keywords):

  • “how to lose weight fast”
  • “weight loss in the new year”
  • “weight loss for beginners”
  • “weight loss advice”
  • “weight loss tips,” and so on.

The worst thing you can do is create individual posts for each keyword, but provide the exact same information in all of them. For example, it’s really difficult to make a post titled “Weight Loss Advice” significantly different from one titled “Weight Loss Tips.”

A lot better approach is to tackle this from multiple angles, focusing on different aspects of weight loss, such as:

  • dieting,
  • working out,
  • weight loss programs,
  • calorie counters,
  • weight loss equipment,
  • kitchen appliances,
  • weight loss friendly meals, and myriads of other things.

All of the above are your different paths to take.

6. Use diverse content types

Weight loss is such a big area that you can easily incorporate different types of content into your offerings. Here are some possibilities and remember to stay consistent:

  • standard text posts,
  • infographics (and other visuals – you can create those with a tool like Visme pretty easily and quickly),
  • tutorials,
  • recipes,
  • videos (workout instructions, etc.),
  • audios (e.g. podcasts),
  • interviews (if you’re having trouble finding experts, you can sign up to MyBlogU – one of the modules there is designed to help you get input from other people in the niche),
  • pictures (before and after, etc.),
  • news (whenever something new gets released),
  • reader stories (whenever someone emails you and shares their own weight loss adventure).

I’m positive that there are much more possibilities waiting for you out there than what I’ve mentioned here (in terms of content types), but this list should be more than enough to get you going.

This actually concludes what I have to say, so now I encourage you to take the floor.

Is there anything you’d like to ask? Are you planning to launch a weight loss blog in the near future?