How To Start a Health Blog

Starting a blog is one of the best ways to build an audience, get your ideas out into the world, and possibly make some (or a lot) of money while doing what you love. Everyone has different reasons for beginning a blog and different goals in mind when they do so. Your personal path will dictate some of the choices you make along the way. One thing that is true for everyone, however, is that the only way to succeed is to get started.

Taking that first step can be a huge challenge, but by the end of this article, you should have the tools you need to feel confident and prepared to start your health blog today.

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This article is a great place to learn the strategy of a health blog. If you want step-by-step instructions on how to start your own health blog, check out our free blogging course. 

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What Is Your Blog About?

The fact that you are reading this means you are planning on starting a health blog. But knowing that enough? Ideally, you should try to go a little deeper with your concept. You should know what, specifically, you want to accomplish with your blog. Do you want a blog about health for teens? A post-menopause health blog? A healthy nutrition blog?

Knowing on a deeper level what you want to create with your blog will help you focus. It will also ensure that you write content that will help you stand out.

There’s a quote that fits this situation perfectly:

"If you try to be everything for everbody, you will be nothing to no one."

Establish Your Niche

When creating a new blog, you need to find your niche. This is the corner of the market that you have the most knowledge about, the place you can establish yourself as an absolute authority. If you try to take on Healthline all at once, you will have a difficult time making headway. You will also probably become extremely frustrated.

Your goal is to find a subject that is more narrow than “health”, but broader than “health benefits of cashews”. If your topic is too broad, you will not be able to stand out. If it is too narrow, you will quickly run out things to write about or find that your audience is not big enough to support your blog.

Some examples of niche health blogs are:

  • Nutrition Advice from Twins Blog - Nutrition Twins
  • Being Kind to Your Body Blog - Body Kindness
  • Health Topics for Men Blog - Men Alive

Name Your Blog

Once you’ve found your niche, it’s a great time to start brainstorming a name for your blog. You’ll want to pick a name that’s brandable and available. Use our domain name tool to check if your name is available. If it is, scoop it up before someone else gets to it first.

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Finding Your Audience

Having a good sense of who is going to be reading your blog is one of the best ways to know what type of content to create, how to shape it, and, ultimately, how to grow your following. With a clear understanding of your niche, understanding your audience should come more naturally.

Finding your target audience - the people you want hanging out on your blog - isn’t only statistics and demographics. It requires a deeper understanding of who these people are and what they want. Your target audience is the people you’re writing to when you write your blog.

Are you writing for an audience who is really struggling with living a healthy lifestyle, or are you writing for an audience who is already healthy, but looking to take it to the next level? No matter what the core focus of your blog is, considering the people you are trying to reach will make it much easier to set a specific tone for your content and ensure that you write about what your audience wants.

Create a Persona

One way to understand your audience is to create a persona of your perfect target audience member. This essentially means creating a mock-up of the ideal person you hope to reach with your blog.

Here is an example of a target audience persona:

Sarah Sanderson Persona

Having a persona for your perfect audience member helps you to visualize and understand who you are writing for and provides important direction to your content.

Be Your Own Persona

Another popular way to find your perfect target audience is to be your own persona. Many of the best products and services come from scratching your own itch. It’s possible you’ve searched for the perfect health blog to read, came up short, and decided to create it yourself. This makes you the perfect audience member for your own blog.

This can be a great strategy for creating highly effective content. If you’ve noticed a meaningful omission in blog content, chances are you are not alone. By writing personally satisfying content you are likely to reach an audience in search of the same things.

Where Is Your Audience Hanging Out?

No web content exists in a vacuum. While you should strive to create uniquely entertaining content for your blog, your target audience is almost certainly already out there reading other blogs, engaging on specialized forums, and using social media. Finding the sites where your audience already mingles is a great way to discover what topics they are most interested in, what language they are using, and what valuable content you can add to that mix.

Some examples for your health blog may include:

  • MedicalNewsToday.com
  • HealthNet.org
  • HealthTalk.org
  • MayoClinic.org

Visiting these sites is also a great way to begin engaging with your audience before your blog has even gone live. Jump into conversations on forums and in comments sections and get to know the people you’ll be writing for. This is a great, organic way to build relationships and direct people to your blog in its early days. Sharing your passion with like-minded people will make them more excited and passionate about supporting you in your blogging endeavor.

How Will You Present Your Work?

Traditionally, when most people think about a blog they picture written content on a page. However, there are several different ways to present your ideas on your blog, depending on your subject matter and target audience. Every blog will thrive with different formats, so it’s important to think carefully about how to best showcase your content before you start.

There are several effective methods of presenting the material on your health blog. They include:

Evergreen Articles

As the name suggests, evergreen articles are composed of content that lasts. These articles are designed to have a long shelf life and continue drawing readers to your blog over time. They are typically long-form, text-based articles that delve more deeply into a particular topic.

One excellent option for evergreen content for a health blog is book reviews. The kinds of books you review will depend on your niche and focus, but you can almost certainly find a variety of books related to your blog. Whether general health, health for women, health for men, or something else, there are both new books and classics that you can review. Classics are particularly useful for evergreen content because people tend to search for them year after year.

Videos

While the video format is not new, the explosive growth of YouTube and the advent of new and innovative video-based tech like Snapchat and TikTok have shown the true power of video as an online medium. While you may think that creating video is much more difficult and expensive than writing your content, you have access to all the technology you need to make high-quality video content right on your smartphone.

An easy idea for health-related video content for your blog is how-to videos – depending on your niche, you can make how-tos on cooking health recipes, healthy grocery shopping, workout routines, and more. You can plan your how-to videos around your blogging topics, such as writing a blog about a favorite new workout and then making a video covering that routine. There are challenges that every new video maker faces, so do not get discouraged if your videos are not at the level of quality you want when you begin. Over time, you will get better at it!

News-type Articles

News articles or other “announcement” type content can be a great way to gather new readers. One benefit of news content is the short-term but powerful increase in search volume during an event. While this bump may be temporary, it can be a great tool for grabbing new readers who end up coming back for more.

Writing about current events or new happenings also means there will typically be less competition for readers. Other blogs and media sources are all getting the information as it develops. Since the base of knowledge available is smaller, this gives you a good opportunity to add your own flavor to the article.

The downside to news-type articles is that they tend to lose popularity much more quickly than evergreen content. While the interest for an event may be very large one day, the next day people may already be moving on to the next shiny object.

You are probably going to be conducting regular research to come up with topics for your blog. During your research, you will find a lot of ideas for news-type articles – like new health products coming out, new studies reinforcing or refuting common health knowledge, and health events you are interested in. You can write news-type content about all of these things and anything else that interests you.

Image-heavy Content

While most people expect to be reading when they visit a blog, image-heavy content can be very appealing and break up your text-focused posts to keep people’s attention. Depending on the topic of your post, displaying multiple images per page on a single subject can give your audience a better sense of what you are trying to convey.

While some topics may take to images very easily, like a car blog or a celebrity gossip site, others may require some deeper thinking to make this strategy work.

You can become skilled at producing image-heaty content for your health blog with a little practice. As you plan your blogs, you should keep an eye out for images that you think will make the blog better. Some bloggers focus more on collecting existing images online, while others tackle photography to produce their own images. You can use one or both of these strategies.

When you go to health-related events, like marathons, seminars, and other events, you can take photos to include in your blog. When you write how-to articles, you can take photos to document the process and provide visual guidance for your readers. As you try your hand at gathering and producing images, you will find that you develop a system that ensures most of your blogs have plenty of images.

Mix and Match

The vast majority of successful blogs utilize a variety of content delivery systems, and yours should too. You may have a preference for content types, especially when you are just starting, but it is worthwhile for you to branch out and try new things. Take a stab at photography, videos, and anything else that interests you. Eventually, you will be able to choose different content types with confidence.

How To Make Money From A Book Blog

One of the main reasons people start blogs is to generate some sort of profit. Whether you’re looking for a few hundred dollars per month or a job-replacing income, blogging is still an excellent way to make those dreams a reality.

There are a few great ways to make money from a health blog:

Display Ad Networks

Display ads are the simplest way for websites to generate any sort of income. Ad networks, like Google Adsense, are fairly simple to be accepted into, and implementation onto your site is streamlined and clean. If you’re just beginning to see some traffic to your blog and want to turn this into dollars, display ads are where most people start.

There are a few downsides to display ads, however. The first is that some feel they detract from the user experience on your blog. Most people have been to a site where large ads pop up and block the content in the middle of reading. This can be distracting, frustrating, and even drive people away from your blog. While it’s possible to clean up and control the type of ads you use, it can be a constant battle to balance effective ad placement with aesthetics and readability.

The other main downside is that they don’t pay a lot. These networks generally use a pay-per-click (PPC) model which, depending on the niche, can pay anywhere from $0.01 to $1.50 per click, most on the lower end.

While display ads are a great way to make your first dollars, you’ll want to make sure any negatives they bring are worth the profits they provide. Once you develop a solid following, you can consider moving on to more lucrative and effective profit-making options.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing programs like Amazon Affiliate have become much more popular over the past few years, as they take the payment model from pay-per-click to cost-per-acquisition (CPA). This means you can refer as many users to an advertiser’s product as you want, but will only get paid when the user makes a purchase.

Both advertisers and publishers benefit from an affiliate marketing setup. The advertiser pays nothing until a sale is made and the publisher enjoys much higher commissions than the pay-per-click model.

The Amazon Affiliate program perfect for a health blog. Not only is it easy to set up, but it will also pay you for every product sale you help facilitate. That is why so many health bloggers take advantage of this program.

While writing your health blogs, you can incorporate links to products on Amazon related to your blog. Whether you are writing about health books, cookbooks, exercise equipment, or even recipe ingredients, you can probably find a product to link to on Amazon. Every time a reader clicks your link and buys that product, Amazon will give you a cut from the sale.

Many health blogs start with Amazon Affiliates as their first source of income because it is such an easy way to make money from a blog. Small blogs may pull in a few dollars, but larger blogs can make thousands from this model.

Sell Digital Products

Digital products are an online entrepreneur's dream. You create the item once, then sell it as many times as you can, with little to no cost of reproduction. This means that you can scale your business to infinity.

Examples of digital products are:

  • Ebooks - A piece of writing, generally in PDF format. These can contain literally anything that your audience would want. They can either be true book-length all the way down to a few pages of content. Depending on your niche, audience, and subject, these can run from $1 to $100 per sale fairly easily.

  • Gated Content - This is content that is served on your website just like any other article, except that is behind a “paywall”. If you are creating content that you don’t want to be released to anyone but your true followers, you have them sign up for an account on your site and charge them a subscription fee for access. Generally, authors charge anywhere from $5 to $200 per month for access to gated content.

  • Online Courses - If you can teach a skill that your audience wants to learn, you can create an online course to sell to them. These courses can be formatted in whatever way makes the most sense to you, but most nowadays are video courses. Online courses can sell from $10 to well over $10,000 per course, obviously depending on the subject matter and audience.

A great example of a digital product that a health blogger could sell is an online course on improving your health. If you have made your own health improvement journey and talk about it on your blog, you readers will likely want to replicate your results. You can ask your readers what they struggle with the most and then design your course around those answers. Your course can take them from unhealthy to healthy over a reasonable time frame. A well-produced course in this niche could easily sell for $200 or more.

Sell Physical Products

Selling physical products is the original money-making strategy. You gather an audience that is hungry for something, you sell it to them, and everyone wins. You don’t have to be an inventor, designer, or manufacturer to sell products. Sites like Alibaba and AliExpress import already-made items into the United States and sell them for a markup.

The two main methods for the distribution of these items are: dropshipping and self-fulfilled.

Dropshipping is a method where you advertise a product on your site that you do not own. Once you make the sale, you inform the manufacturer, who will handle the shipping and handling to the end-user. While this is simple because you don’t have to worry about storing or shipping any items yourself, you’ll find that the margins can be quite slim.

Self-fulfilled sales are much more of a hands-on approach to sales. You buy the item from the manufacturer, store it, then ship it to the end-user once you have made the sale. While there is much more work involved, you’ll find that the margins per sale are much higher.

Product sales through a health blog should be based on the niche you cover and what your audience is likely to find desirable. If your blog covers superfoods, for instance, you could sell your own superfood line on your site. If you write about exercise, you could sell branded exercise apparel or even develop your own exercise products.

While it can be very profitable when done well, selling products is not generally recommended for the beginner blogger. It’s best to secure an audience that you know will be receptive to the product before making a large investment in product development or acquisition.

Create A Service

Providing a service is another very basic money-making plan. If you can provide a service that you know your audience needs, you have a viable business on your hands.

Whether this service is delivered through one-on-one interaction with the user, through a piece of software that you develop, or by directly completing a task for the user, this is a great way to monetize your skillset and your blog.

As a health blogger, the services you offer will spring from the topics you cover and your own interests and skills. You could offer coaching services for exercise, diet, or overall health. Or, you could develop your own seminars to teach a group about your chosen topic.

The thing to remember about services is that they can quickly overwhelm you if you overextend yourself. While you can charge a premium because of the popularity of your blog, you only have so much time – and you need to devote a good portion of that time to keeping your blog up and running. You will need to find the sweet spot between serving your audience with your services and bringing in business over time with your blog.

Next Steps To Get Your Health Blog Started

Now that you have the strategies in place to build and grow your own blog, check out our free course: How To Start A Blog.

This course includes all the essentials on how to get your blog out of your head and onto its own website. Starting a blog is simple and inexpensive, so there’s no reason that you shouldn’t start today!

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