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How to Start a Fitness Blog (7 Steps)

In order to share your passion for health and wellness with the world, it’s important to understand the technical side of how to start a fitness blog or website. In talking with other fitness bloggers, we can agree that the technical side is the most daunting — I waited years to start this fitness blog because I was overwhelmed by the idea of setting one up. To be honest, setting up the back-end of the blog is a challenge, but once you get a few key elements in place, the blog can work seamlessly in the background, so you can focus on the fun stuff, like posts and photos!

I want to share my experience setting up a fitness blog, so you can avoid the obstacles I encountered, and take advantage of the tricks I learned along the way. Here’s an in-depth guide for how to start a fitness blog.

How to Start a Fitness Blog Step 1: Research, Prep, Plan

Before you dive into building the back-end of the blog, do some research to see what other fitness bloggers are doing to make sure your blog name and URL will be original. Brainstorm what makes your passion for fitness unique, and use that to set your fitness blog apart from the rest. Enter the URL in your browser’s address bar, and also search it on Google and Bing to make sure nobody is using it already.

I’ll also add that once you’ve done your research, pick a blog name and URL and run with it. I spent a lot of time being indecisive, feeling like these were imperative to get right, and I’m realizing that they’re not as important as they seem to the overall success of your blog. It’s more important to just start posting consistently.

How to Start a Fitness Blog Step 2: Choose Your Blogging Platform

You’ll want to do some research on the different blogging platforms out there before getting much further. Blogging platforms are the software or service you use to publish your content online. Popular ones are WordPress.com, WordPress.org (yes, there are two WordPress options), Blogger and Squarespace. Here’s a helpful link comparing some of the most popular platforms. I’ve chosen WordPress.org, because I can use a custom domain name (URL) and all the plugins, plus I have experience using it in my day job.

How to Start a Fitness Blog Step 3: Choose Your Hosting Platform

Websites are “hosted”, or stored, on servers around the world in order for them to be viewed on the internet. Many of the blogging platform options have hosting included. If you decide to go with WordPress.org like I did, you’ll need to select a hosting platform.

This was one of the biggest decisions I had to make, because there are a ton of hosting platforms out there to choose from. When I first started, I went with Hostgator’s WordPress starter package. At first, I did not know what I was doing, so I didn’t know I was missing out on so many capabilities. The biggest issue was that their starter package did not come with cPanel. I learned that cPanel is super important for managing the backend of your blog.

For example, there’s no way to create backups of your site without cPanel, unless you spend hours chatting with tech support to work around it (like I did). When I wanted to switch hosting platforms, not having cPanel made it more challenging.

Now, I use SiteGround web hosting services. I’ve selected the GrowBig package for three years based on my site’s needs. Even the StartUp package comes with cPanel, which is great. I switched to SiteGround to get access to cPanel, and also because reviews online were really positive. SiteGround typically gets less spammy bot traffic than Hostgator, and is fast and reliable. I’ve really enjoyed my experience with SiteGround, and would recommend to anyone interested in setting up their own fitness blog.

How to Start a Fitness Blog Step 4: Purchase Your Domain

Once you’ve picked your blogging platform and hosting service, you’ll want to purchase your domain. Some services like SquareSpace will include the domain with your package. When I signed up for the SiteGround hosting, I was able to purchase my domain right in the setup process, this makes it easy to manage the domain and hosting all in one place. However, you can also purchase domains separately from a site like GoDaddy.com (Note: I’ve never used GoDaddy.com, so not sure what the user experience is like).

How to Start a Fitness Blog Step 5: Point Your DNS Servers to Your Blog

When I first was learning how to start a fitness blog, I was able to successfully fumble my way through all of the steps above. When I completed all of those steps, I couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t type in my domain name (URL) and see the site.

Here’s the reason: I needed to point my DNS (domain name servers) to the blog address. What this means is that I have the servers that I’m using with my hosting package, but they are not automatically connected to any websites. So, I need to go in and tell my URL to go to those servers so my content will show up.

I know that sounds complicated, so here’s a step-by-step guide with pictures for how to point your DNS using SiteGround.

First, go to your hosting site and find your DNS. If you’re using SiteGround, go to My Accounts and click on cPanel.

How to Start a Fitness Blog and Point Your DNS to the site (Part 1)

Once you’re in cPanel, on the left column, you’ll see account information. In that box, find name servers.

How to Start a Fitness Blog and Point Your DNS to the site (Part 2)

Leave that tab open, and open up another tab to manage your domain. Go to the site that’s managing your domain, if it’s SiteGround, go to My Accounts, and click “Manage” under the domain section.

How to Start a Fitness Blog and Point Your DNS to the site (Part 3)

Then, enter in each DNS in the “Your Domain DNS” and click “Update”.

How to Start a Fitness Blog and Point Your DNS to the site (Part 4)

It can take a few days for the DNS servers to be updated, so hang out, write a few blog posts, and then check back in the next few days to confirm that it works.

How to Start a Fitness Blog Step 6: Select a Theme & Customize the Layout

Next you’ll want to select and install a theme to personalize your fitness blog. There are a bunch of free themes out there you can download and add to your site. SiteGround has a helpful article listing each step to setting up a theme on your blog.

How to Start a Fitness Blog Step 7: Post!

Now, you are ready to post. Especially when first starting out, you may want to spend time up front creating pages, like an “About Me” page and “Contact” page. Then, you can jump in to posting blogs as often as you’d like.

Check out my other posts on how to start a fitness blog here. Also, let’s connect on Twitter @GroupXMich.

 

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Fitness Blog Post Ideas to Wow Readers

Group fitness instructor reading fitness blog post ideas

Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about starting a fitness blog. I’m happy to see many fitness instructors interested in creating a professional website, blog or social media profile, because these will help strengthen relationships with existing members and provide a way to meet potential new clients. I have a lot of experience with blogs. In my day job, I launch and grow company blogs in a wide range of industries. Couple that with my experience writing for you here at GroupXFitnessTips.com, and I have many tips, tricks and fitness blog post ideas to share for anyone looking to start a blog.

So, I’ve decided to pull back the veil and add a new category to the site on starting a fitness blog. I’m going to be writing advice posts and lessons I’ve learned along the way. So, buckle up — fitness blogging is truly a wild ride!

For my first post, I thought I’d share fitness blog post ideas to wow readers, because oftentimes brainstorming topics is the hardest part. I like to plan ahead, and map out the posts I’ll write each month. Of course, the schedule almost always changes, but it’s helpful to plan ahead and adapt, as needed.

Before we dive into fitness blog post ideas, I want to share a few general tips for writing engaging blog posts people will actually want to read. No matter what topic you choose, you’ll want to make sure you follow these tips for Grade A quality blog content.

  • Share the bad stuff — obstacles, challenges, mess ups. People want to hear about the times where you overcame difficult times in order to succeed, or the times where you screwed up and learned from it. If you stick with just the good stuff, nobody will care enough to read it. When you think about the stories you read or movies you watched growing up, they revolve around a conflict. There’s always a whole lot of stuff that happens before the fairy tale ending, and that’s the stuff people want to hear.
  • Only post things you would actually read. This one seems like a no-brainer, but sometimes we have to take a step back to ask ourselves if we would actually read this stuff. If not, why would you expect anyone else to read it? Think about what you’re clicking on throughout the day. You may notice some themes about the types of stories and articles you like. Are there ways you can mimic those stories? That’s a good place to start.
  • Make sure the topic aligns with your passions. Do not try to start a blog or write a post about a topic just because you think people will click on it. Click-bait doesn’t work, and these posts come off as inauthentic. When you enjoy writing about the topic, your content turns out much better. And besides, blogging can be grueling. It’s better to blog on a topic you love.
  • Proofread your work. Now I don’t mean just read the post through one last time at the end before you post. Write up your post, let it sit for a while, then come back to it with fresh eyes to review another time before you post it. This will take your writing up a notch, and will help prevent ramblings, errors, confusion, etc.

Without further ado, here are 5 fitness blog post ideas to wow readers.

  1. The NSFW songs you secretly play when you work out. Whether it’s Kanye or Eminem, we all have that song we love but would never be caught dead playing it in a Group X class. Although we can’t play songs with foul language or bad lyrics in class, that doesn’t stop us from having that jam we like to throw on when we’re working out on our own. Share those songs with your readers, and you’ll likely be surprised you’re not alone.
  2. What you do when you don’t feel like working out (or other common challenges in the fitness industry). There are a handful of issues a lot of people face in fitness: finding time to work out, finding motivation to work out, building confidence to step foot in a gym, learning the exercises, etc. Think of unique solutions to these problems you can share. Keep in mind we’ve all heard the cookie cutter answers to most of these, so you’ll need to find a way to bring new advice to the table.
  3. Your 5 most embarrassing gym moments, and how you survived them. Have you ever ripped your pants while teaching and wanted to sink into the floor? Everyone has had their own mortifying moments at the gym. Share the ones you’re able to laugh about now, and ask readers to chime in with some of their own.
  4. That one exercise that’s always been a challenge for you. Sometimes we look at fitness bloggers and it seems like they have it all together. It’s nice to see that they’re just like us, and also have things they’re working on themselves.
  5. Your No. 1 guilty pleasure food and five healthy alternatives. Here’s a chance for you to show your human side. Give readers a peek into your own honest food regimen, and share advice for health options.

Again, you have to ask yourself: would you read a blog post on these topics? I certainly would, but you need to make sure you would too before setting up to write one of these fitness blog post ideas. I’ll be posting more advice soon on how to start a fitness blog. In the meantime, check out more group exercise tips here.