Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Fitness Marketing: A Lesson in Originality from the Vancouver Olympics...eh

With the 2010 Olympics in full swing, there's a party happening here in Vancouver. The downtown streets are packed, and it looks as if every second person is wearing one of those CANADA hoodies from The Bay. If not the hoodie, then the oh-so-cute maple-leaf mittens.

In addition to Olympics fashion, we Canadians celebrate every medal with extreme excitement and even surprise. That's because it's not a national given that we kick butt and dazzle the world like some other countries do (hi, America!).

That's What I'm Talkin' Aboot
It's interesting to see your country and city through the eyes of those who are watching the Olympics on TV from afar.

Amid the international party here, it's more ridiculous than ever when people drudge out the same old tired Canada jokes. It sounds funny when we say "about." (What aboot it?) Canadians are polite with good manners. (No shit.) We've got Canadian bacon. (Yawn. How is Canadian bacon different from regular bacon anyway?)

What does this post have to do with my blog's theme of fitness writing, marketing and publicity?

Well, I'd like to make one mild-mannered suggestion: Be careful not to fall back on lame cliches with your marketing and publicity endeavours.

Ensure that whatever idea or concept you're promoting to others--whether it's in a brochure or a publicity pitch--is as fresh for them as it is for you. Otherwise, your efforts come across as uninspired as a Canadian-bacon joke.

And if you really want to poke fun at Canadians, razz us about our national adoration for Tim Hortons coffee. Or how curling works.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Is Your Blog Really Promoting Your Fitness Business?

I just launched a new blog over at FitnessTestDrive.com (my first self-hosted Wordpress blog!), where I review assorted fitness products, such as books, DVDs, clothes, gadgets and gym equipment.

I thought I had my goals for setting up the blog all sorted out until I got an email that stopped me in my tracks.

Just after I'd written the About page for Fitness Test Drive, a blog post landed in my inbox from Copyblogger. It made me kick myself for overlooking such an important and obvious element on my blog.

I forgot that I had a business first and a blog second. Oh yeah ...

I'd been focusing pretty heavily on the blog's design (the green header looks good, eh?) and what kind of writing style to use. Along the way, though, I'd forgotten to reinforce what I wanted this blogging endeavor to ultimately accomplish.

Fitness Test Drive is meant to share vital information--in a lighthearted tone--about the scores of fitness products on the market. It's there to help fitness consumers and fitness pros cut through the hype and quickly size up what's new.

From a purely business perspective, however, one of the driving goals of Fitness Test Drive is to build on my platform as a fitness authority and writer. Why? To generate more interest in what I offer as part of my "real" job: magazine writing, book authoring, consulting, ghost writing/blogging, fitness presenting and instructing.

After reading the advice in "Could Your Blog Be Ruining Your Business?" by James Chartrand, I quickly logged back into Wordpress and sprinkled in a few "nudges" toward hiring me, as the author suggests.

What about your blog? Is it clear to readers what products and services you're in business to sell? What techniques do you use to communicate that information to readers?

If you're ready to get a blog online (or you have one but you're not sure how to make the most of it), send me an email. I offer consulting services for new fitness bloggers and ghost writing services for reluctant bloggers.