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The Dos and Don’ts of Weight Loss Blogging for Beginners

This guest post is by Karol K.

There’s a popular trend on the internet these days among people who have taken upon themselves to lose some weight. I’m talking about starting a weight loss blog.

The idea in itself is perfect. You get a place to document your progress, talk about the things you’re doing, get additional motivation by interacting with other people through comments (also great for getting additional tips from them), and finally, you’re making your journey public, which is sure to improve your success rate all by itself.

There are some problems, though. The weight loss blogging space is really heavy on purely promotional sites, deceptive sales messages, or even scams desired solely to earn some quick money.

All this makes it really hard to build a credible brand that stands out from the crowd.

That’s why I decided to create this quick tutorial to show you some things you can and should do ASAP, as well as other practices that are better left alone—unless you want to be mistaken for a spammer.

The light side of the force

Before I get to that, let me take a minute to list some people who do this the right way. Here’s the light side of the force (so to speak), just as an example on how weight loss blogging should be done.

  • MindBodyGreen.com: MindBodyGreen was founded by Jason Wachob, Carver Anderson, and Tim Glenister—all wellness experts and enthusiasts. Their team is one of the best in the business. From top yoga instructors to wellness gurus, and weight loss experts, there’s something for every interest and ability level on this blog.
  • NowLoss.com: A very successful blog in the weight loss niche by Andrian Bryant. NowLoss.com now helps over 1.5 million monthly visitors look good naked by losing weight, getting curves, and/or building muscle. NowLoss.com is the #2 weight loss website in the world behind commercial giant Weight Watchers.
  • WorkoutsForHome.com: In her blog, Susan invites us to join her in Operation Awesomeness and lose weight fast, right from home. She is here to teach you everything she knows about becoming awesome…
  • Does This Blog Make Us Look Fat: A blog founded by Rebecca Regnier—an Emmy-winning television journalist and author of “Your Twitter Diet,” available on Amazon. The blog’s mission is to teach you how to lose weight in a way that’s suitable for you individually (whatever weight loss steps you take, Rebecca supports you).
  • A Black Girl’s Guide to Weight Loss: A blog where you can join Erika in her journey from 330lbs to personal trainer. Everything she shares comes from her personal experience. An great blog with lots of personal touches.

Now, let’s focus on how you can join the ranks of these quality weight loss blogs.

Do use your own name and personality

These days people don’t have that much trust reserved for websites talking about weight loss. With so many poor affiliate blogs around—blogs publishing low quality content purely to promote other products through affiliate links—you never know who’s for real and who’s in it just for the quick buck.

One of the common things such marketers do is that they never use their real names. Instead, they showcase some lame brand name, like LoseWeightTacticsBlog, or something.

The easiest thing you can do to differentiate yourself from this crowd is to prove that you’re a human being by using your real name. Then, go one step further and display some actual photos of you (either taken by you or your friends; nothing too professional-looking).

When your audience sees your face on the blog, they will know that you are a real human being who genuinely cares about the content they publish.

Don’t promise

Whenever you want to endorse something (a product or service) be careful about promising any kind of results. This is something spammers do every day. They publish loads of promises, great looking success stories, and even fake before-and-after pictures.

People are very careful now when it comes to believing any sort of promises. Whenever you say that something will bring massive results you’re immediately becoming suspect.

Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t endorse anything. But do it only when you are absolutely sure that the product is of great quality. You have to experience the results yourself, otherwise you won’t be believable.

Do pick the right name

This is about the name of your site.

Now, you can take one of two possible paths here:

  1. Get a custom domain at godaddy.com (or some other registrar) and your own hosting account.
  2. Register your blog at wordpress.com and get a free subdomain.

Both approaches have their pros and cons. The first one is obviously more expensive. You have to spend $10 a year for the domain, and around $6 per month for hosting.

But what you get in exchange is better credibility and a more serious look from the get-go.

The second path is quick and cheap. You can set up a new blog within minutes, but its address will end with .wordpress.com.

This is up to you, but make sure to go with a good name. Whatever you do, don’t make it seem spammy. For instance, WeightLossTacticsBlog is spammy. MagicWeightLossToday is too. LosingWeightWithKaren is not. There’s no rule of thumb here. Always go with your gut feeling.

The consequences of getting this wrong can be serious. If people see your blog’s name as spamm—as a hidden marketing pitch of sorts—they won’t believe a thing you’re saying.

Do build credibility

As I said before, trust is the rarest commodity in weight loss blogging. If people don’t trust you, they won’t listen to your advice, and might even find it hard to believe your stories.

There are some ways to boost your believability rate, so to speak, and your trust:

  • Use your real name and display pictures of yourself (already discussed).
  • Try storytelling and sharing personal insights. This is where you get to describe genuine stories that are taking place in your life (related to weight loss, obviously). People love stories, and it’s the ultimate way to prove that you are real. If people can relate to what you’re saying, they will surely pay attention. Make every post you publish personal to some degree.
  • Display trust elements. “Trust elements” sound fancy, but what I mean is quite simple. Whenever other website mentions you in one way or the other, put their logo in your sidebar and label it “Websites talking about me” or something similar. The point is to prove that other sites see you as a real, credible person. If you don’t have any of those yet then don’t worry, the day will come.

Don’t talk only about good things

One of the main giveaways that we’re dealing with a weight loss marketer rather than a real person is the fact that each post only touches upon the positive side of things.

As in life, in weight loss, too, there are good and bad days. Good and bad products. Good and bad people.

You can create much additional credibility when you share a message that’s not that positive, but is still 100% real.

Only the strongest people are able to share a negative story and be confident about what they’re saying at the same time.

Don’t use too many ads

Advertising is the most intuitive way to monetize a website. Essentially, I’m not against advertising. If there is a possibility to earn a couple of bucks from your blog then I believe you should take it.

However, be careful not to make your blog overloaded with ads. Such situation will bring your credibility down very quickly. Just one block for AdSense ads (or any other provider) in the sidebar is really enough.

Do publish only real reviews

You can skip this if you’re not planning on publishing any reviews. If you are, keep reading…

The main problem with reviews online is that a big chunk of them is simply fake. Every day countless marketers publish reviews of crappy products without even having those products in their possession.

This is especially visible in the weight loss space where, as we all know, there are hundreds of products available … pills, diets, training programs, training equipment, DVDs, you name it.

That’s why if you’re going to write a review, you should remember a handful of things:

  • Always list the bad sides of the product (there surely are some).
  • Provide pictures of the product taken by you (or better yet, pictures of you using the product if that’s possible).
  • Get in depth to the core benefits the product delivers.
  • Don’t quote any of the information from the product box or the official website.
  • Give an honest final opinion.

Do publish different types of content

Most of the time, spam-bloggers publish only simple 400-word blog posts providing no actual advice. You can differentiate yourself pretty easily by looking at the topic of blogging much more broadly.

Some examples, besides the traditional blog post:

  • Your progress update. If you’re on a weight loss program yourself then you can share your weekly progress updates. I guarantee that your readers will love those.
  • “Meal of the week” or something like that. Provide a complete recipe.
  • “Task of the week.” This is where you can set a goal for the week and update your audience on how well it went. For instance, your goal could be to exercise at least 20 minutes a day.
  • Interviews. If you can have a talk with someone knowledgeable about a given weight loss-related topic, your audience will surely be glad you shared this.
  • Reviews, as discussed above.
  • Off-topic posts. This is where you get to connect with your audience more broadly, by sharing something that’s not related to weight loss, yet still relevant to you as a real person.
  • “Ask the readers.” This is where you ask a question and your readers respond through comments. Then you can round up the most interesting answers and publish them in another blog post. You have to have a big enough audience to make this work, though.

Now it’s your turn. What do you think about using a blog as a way to document your weight loss story? Are you a weight loss blogger? What tips and advice can you share?

Karol K. teaches how to save on the popular Flex Belt, and discusses the basics of TRX training (learn more). He contributes articles on fitness training, working out, and losing weight in general. He also enjoys writing occasionally for WeightLossTriumph. He’s a fan of healthy living and being in shape no matter what. In his personal life, he proves that one doesn’t have to struggle to be healthy.

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Comments

  1. Nice post Karol! I appreciate your effort on sharing these valuable tips.

    Though I’m not at the weight loss niche blogging field, it seems very profitable. Would you recommend newbie bloggers to enter in the weight loss niche in the case they’re not expertised or has no good experience at all?

    Thanks,
    Anup

    • Deni.S says:

      Nice question Anup. I have the same question too.
      My friend asking me about is it good to starting the weight loss niche blog although he has no experiences on that field.
      Though while I’ve have stepped up and decided to recommend him to get a book to learn.

    • Karol K says:

      You can join the niche, but getting the initial credibility can be difficult. If you can reach out to someone who has some interesting insights and will agree to share it on your blog, you’ll have a much easier time.

  2. Rahul says:

    very nice tutorial these dos and dont’s very helpful in blogging thanks for sharing…

  3. Jon Rhodes says:

    It would also be a good idea to do a weekly video blog post. People will then get to see that you are a real person behind the blog and they can see your gradual weight loss for themselves.

  4. Trevor says:

    I’m no weight loss blogger, at least, not specifically so. But . . .

    I have been writing a series, updated every Sunday, chronicling my successes and struggles (mostly struggles) with my current steak and eggs diet.

    I hear what you are saying. Every Sunday, I post my overly revealing, yet unflattering, progress pictures for all the world to see. It’s not easy. And I sugarcoat nothing.

    If we can’t be honest and transparent, how can we ever expect to build trust with our readers?

    I’d rather be a spectacular public failure than a lying, scheming, money-grubbing marketer just out to make a quick buck.

    Your advice is sound. People will look to our sites as a tool to help them change their lives. That’s a heavy responsibility.

    Don’t blow it.

    Cheers!

    • Karol K says:

      What you’re saying is right, and it’s never an easy thing to do. Good luck with your “steak and eggs diet.”

  5. prince says:

    thanks this was a great post for beginners, i appreciate the post and it was informative

  6. Thank you for this article. Right now, I’m in the process of creating a blog to document and share my weight loss journey. I especially appreciate the example sites and the tips on types of content.

    ~ Ramon

    P.S. I picked http://www.StrongLeanHealthy.com for my domain name because it’s what I want to accomplish myself.

    • Karol K says:

      I personally think that documenting is the most significant success factor in anything. Weight loss. Making money. You name it.

  7. Thank you so much for the mention. I’m in good company with these terrific bloggers.

    Rebecca

    • Karol K says:

      Hi Rebecca. By the way, I actually sent you a guest post proposition for your blog. I hope it didn’t get lost in the spam folder or somewhere. :)

  8. Thats Good Idea,very helpful in My blogging. Thankyou

  9. Loving the tips Karol.

    Post your picture at least a few times on your blog. Build trust and increase your credibility. Also take the time to create an engaging, transparent about me page. I receive hits each day and many of my opt ins noted my about me page and said how they resonated with my story.

    Testimonials are huge. Of course, you need to bring the goods. Share real, authentic weight loss stories to only draw in honest, genuine people who are not looking for a quick fix but rather a lifestyle change when they are visiting your blog.

    Remain persistent in adopting this transparent approach and you will stand out quickly from the weight loss crowd. Thanks for sharing!

    Ryan

  10. Rick says:

    Great post, and I hope “professional” spammers (oxymoron, I know) and ad-wh*res actually read this. This article helps not only with weight loss blogging actually. In fact, I could apply what I’ve learned here in my everyday blogging. Thanks a lot. :)

  11. Deni.S says:

    Interesting points Karol!
    Do agree with it.
    Especially for “Don’t promise” point. Exactly, do not promise something you do not actually know the surety, or may be out of your control.

  12. Paul says:

    You can actually apply what you have posted here to any niche blog online. Many seasoned marketers are teaching the “Don’ts” of this post. Excellent piece and high fives for you Karol.

  13. Martin says:

    On my weight loss and fitness blog I don’t have any links of my own to anything, there are too many links out there promising you things that are just not true and don’t belong in a realistic world. I started my blog as my lady has had a problem all of her life, so I though she can’t be the only one so I started to blog about it. I do have ad-sense on my site, I believe a bit of income for our hard work is OK.

  14. Nancy says:

    Good points, Karol.
    I’d add one more: Don’t advocate, or appear to advocate, any diet or exercise plan involving radical or risky change, or sudden significant changes, without a prominent consult-your-doctor warning. This is to exercise social responsibility, and to protect yourself. Even mentioning a plan or behavior change could be construed as a recommendation.

    In fact, I recommend installing a permanent statement in your About and at the bottom of your homepage. Consider putting one at the end of posts, including posts on your progress on a diet or exercise plan. You may say, “I’m only talking about myself!” – but you need to look at the bigger picture.

    Never overestimate your readers’ knowledge or prudence.
    Always err on the side of caution!

  15. Joe says:

    Just started a weight loss blog back in August. Some really good tips I can use right away. Thanks!

  16. Arbaz Khan says:

    Great post Karol.
    The timing that I stumbled upon this post is superb as I just got started in weight loss niche. I know that weight loss is the most competitive niche but I have understood how it can be scaled and can be turned into a profitable niche, at the same time providing the readers what they want.
    Will take all your tips into consideration to get noticed in the crowd.

    Thanks once again :)

  17. John says:

    Excellent post Karol.
    I think that most of the new bloggers should concentrate on posting new and quality stuff. they should concentrate on making new and unique content rather then income from Blogging. If you do blogging to give benefits to others then you can make money using blogging.
    Excellent post and you have given a nice post on new bloggers. :)
    Thank you

  18. Kurt says:

    Very insightful. I currently run a health/nutrition based blog, but recently, I have been posting weight loss-related content (no promotional stuff, just informational).

    I have been thinking about this type of blog for a while now because of its earning potential, but at the same time, I don’t want to turn off my regular readers either. You’ve given me some ideas to perk up my blog & improve my reader’s experience as a whole. Thank you I plan to use your suggestions asap.

  19. Phil M says:

    nice post, there are a load of nice tips here for the new blogger. I personally think that using your own name is one of the most important factors to a blog as you want to be able to establish yourself as an expert and this is very important in niches such as weight loss.

  20. Saif @ SEO says:

    Hey,
    Excellent post. I will say that do not leave comments to get back links, we must add value to other blogs :)

  21. Natasha says:

    It’s disappointing to hear that the niche is labeled as “weight loss blogging” when not every blogger would be talking about losing weight per se.

    That’s a societal issue, perhaps? Not everyone needs to lose weight: there’s gaining muscle mass and reducing body fat percentage.

    I’m about to jump into the fray with, ahem, “fitness blogging” along these lines. A lot of Karol’s tips are great reminders and there were some good new ones too. Thanks!

    I’d add a careful consideration of social media: you can only be so many places at once. For this niche, a lot of it is “seeing is believing” so image and video curation sites like Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr should be prioritized/optimized.

  22. Ted says:

    Nice post Karol. I even feel that niche together with web hosting are the most over saturated niches today. Oh well

  23. Gold says:

    For past centuries people have been loosing weight and then finding it (the lost weight that is) and putting it back on.
    What is needed is a way or life long resolution to control one’s weight!

  24. Nikola says:

    It’s rare for me to be able to contribute something relevant here, but I actually have been losing weight for the last year or so and I do have something closely related to a blog about it. The thing is, It’s been extremely inactive because I have no idea what to write about. The process of weight loss can be hard for a lot of people, but it’s not complex in any way. I guess my blog can be an example of how to not really do it? Any tips?

    • Nikola says:

      I’m sorry to “edit” my comment like this, but I just wanted to clarify, by “any tips” i mean “any specific tips”. Naturally, I read through the tips in the article.

      • Natasha says:

        You’ve made a lot of progress, Nikola! First, kudos. It’s fascinating that you often repeat how easy it is for you…to the point where it sounds like you’re bored :) If you’re bored or lack excitement about your fitness journey then it’s hard to bring others in with you.

        I don’t think there’s many people (and CERTAINLY not businesses) who think weight loss or general fitness is simple. It’s beneficial to their bottom line to make it seem complex.

        So…if you have a mindset that makes the fitness journey easy…then that’s what you can share. You seem very adaptable (like your recent job move which meant you had to switch up your diet). How do you do it? If you are a low-stress dude (and it seems so), then how do you do that?

        I didn’t read many posts but there are questions like:
        - what’s he going to do when he reaches he weight goal?
        - does he have a favorite exercise?
        - will he switch to building more muscle at some point?
        - when’s the last time he had a doctor’s visit and did he share results (blood pressure, fasting glucose, etc)?
        - what’s his daily routine like?

        On and on it goes. By all means, keep that chill attitude: that’s you! But get more excited about your progress and/or your ability to share healthy lifestyle tips with your readers.

        • Nikola says:

          Thanks for that. Those were some very good tips and you gave me a couple of nice ideas on an article. I’ll use this over the next couple of days.

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