Friday, October 31, 2008

Fitness Articles on Article Submission Sites

Why Write Fitness Articles for Free?

Dax Moy, a U.K.-based fitness pro, recently wrote a good post at about article submission sites. Successful fitness pros like Dax know that writing health and fitness articles advances your fitness career by leaps and bounds. It really does.

But something about Dax’s post got me thinking.

It seems a lot of personal trainers are caught up in contributing solely to article submission sites. These sites don’t pay for articles. In fact, sometimes you have to pay them to take your articles. In return, you get your writing (and your bio and links to your sites) distributed far and wide across the web. It's a good online-marketing tactic.

I recognize that a huge online presence is not only useful but necessary for many fitness pros these days. What I don't understand, though, is why so many fitness pros ONLY write for free. There's revenue in writing articles, too.

Do that many fitness pros feel their articles aren't worth money?

Some people may lack the confidence to take their articles from the free domain to the paid domain. Fair enough. But the skills you use to write articles for free should translate to writing articles for websites, newspapers and magazines that pay you for your work.

If fitness pros feel their articles are only good enough as free content and not high enough quality to be paid for them, well, that scares me.

You have to wonder why anyone would put those kinds of articles out there in the first place. Any article - paid or not - should be of a certain quality so it reflects well on the person who wrote it.

Bottom line (and this is my way of cheerleading for all fitness pros who write articles): If you've got the skills to get yourself into article submission sites, why not use those same skills to write at least some articles that put more money in your bank account?

Here’s one of my articles on a high-traffic site. I got paid, and they published my headshot, my bio and links to my website and blog. Now that’s a good deal.

How to get your health/fitness articles published in magazines and newspapers.

How to create compelling health/fitness articles that get the results you want.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Fitness Marketing Language

The Antithesis of a Testimonial

Once, a fitness presenter told me he got an evaluation at a conference that simply read, “I don’t like your personality.” Ouch! And how mean!

When you put yourself “out there” – whether it’s as a bootcamp instructor, presenter, fitness director or studio owner – you’re going to eventually face negative feedback from someone. It’s inevitable, really.

I imagine you don’t like receiving negative comments any more than I do. But what stings the most is when less-than-positive feedback is not constructive because it doesn’t help you improve in some way.

I am writing this post because I need your help!

Below is a note I got from someone who attended one of my sessions at a recent fitness conference. This person doesn’t like the way I represent myself. And since this person took the time to send me a few thoughts (to THREE of my email addresses, no less – thanks for that!), the least I can do is get a blog post out of it. Here's the note:

>>I would like to provide some feedback on your BCRPA conference
presentation, and on your self-marketing strategy.

Without doubt, you are very knowledgeable and experienced. However,
it is unwise to constantly remind everyone that you write for
Chatelaine, Self, Fitness and other trash magazines. If you want
people to respect and view you as a true professional, you should
write for intelligent publications, including peer-reviewed academic
magazines. Associating your business with bottom of the barrel media
does not add to credibility.

In your biography write up, you are using low brow, outdated, and
meaningless marketing gimmicks such as "51 free tips", "free ebook"
etc. These are mostly used by telemarketers, snake oil sellers and in
infomercials. Please respect the intelligence of your potential
readers! It is a real turn off when an educated person resorts to
dumbed down amateur marketing tricks. Thank you. <<

Well, I can’t do anything about the person’s first directive that I should write for “peer-reviewed academic magazines” instead of the so-called “trash” magazines I contribute to. Gee, if I could find a way to feed my daughter, pay for her daycare and keep on top of bills by contributing to all those academic journals that pay ZILCH, I’d jump right on that advice. Oh, except for the fact that I like writing for the magazines I contribute to.

Anyway, what I'd like your help with is this:

Please add your constructive comments here to help other fitness pros determine the most effective language for marketing their own fitness businesses.

And while you're at it, please save me from changing the name of my free e-book (51 Need-to-Know Writing & Marketing Tips for Fitness Pros) to something more intellectual, such as A Series of Grammar Lessons Fitness Professionals Must Study, Posthaste! … a digital document (aka: e-book) available to anyone who wants it (sorry, I don’t know how to make “FREE” sound boring).

Hey, if uttering the word “free” is tantamount to being a “snake oil seller” then the majority of successful businesses I can think of are in real trouble.

Call me defensive, but this has been cathartic!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a yoga book to ghostwrite about cultivating inner peace and an article to complete that will help personal trainers connect in a more meaningful way with their clients. Low-brow stuff, indeed.