Whether you’re an athlete, fitness buff, or just like the idea of staying healthy, the fitness industry is a hot market for entrepreneurs.
The fitness and health sector is a $30 billion industry with consistent growth every year.
If you’re hoping to cash in on that growing market, you have options. From owning a gym to working as a personal trainer, learning how to make money in the fitness industry can be confusing and competitive.
Affiliate marketing is an alternative to a hands-on fitness business. It’s something you can do with little upfront cost.
It takes time to build up your affiliate income, but it can be a lucrative option.
Check out our guide for making money with affiliate marketing in the fitness industry.
Understand Affiliate Marketing
Before you can be successful with affiliate marketing in the fitness area, you need to fully understand what it is.
When you use affiliate marketing, you’re not promoting your own product. You’re promoting someone else’s product.
This is how it works.
The creator of the product decides to use affiliates to increase sales. Affiliates are often influencers, bloggers, or publishers in some way.
They promote the product to their followers. When a follower buys the product using a unique link or code, the affiliate gets a percentage of the sale.
It helps the product creator by increasing sales and reaching new audiences. It benefits you as the affiliate because you earn income without creating your own product.
Affiliate marketing is a way to earn passive income. You create content that promotes the product and can earn unlimited income from the piece of content.
Someone could find your blog post or social media post while you’re sleeping, click the link, and buy the product. And you just earned money while you’re sleeping.
Affiliate marketing takes work to build your reach.
Select Your Fitness Niche
Fitness is your general category for your business, but you need to narrow it down to a smaller focus to be successful.
Trying to reach every person who’s interested in fitness waters down your content too much. You’ll likely end up having a smaller audience or less engagement with the followers you have.
Finding the right fitness niche helps you tailor your content and find the best products to promote.
You can speak to a very engaged audience that actually cares about the things you’re sharing. This increases the chances of them being interested in the products you promote through affiliate marketing, and that means your income potential is higher.
When choosing your niche, think about your fitness expertise.
Do you have previous or current experience in a certain area?
Maybe you do fitness competitions or competed in a collegiate sport.
Perhaps you run marathons or do triathlons.
If you’re a PE teacher, you have expertise in child and family fitness.
Your niche could relate to a particular audience. If you’re a busy mom yourself, you can relate to other busy moms who feel like they don’t have time for fitness.
Don’t choose your fitness niche based on what you think will be the most profitable. There needs to be an audience and the potential for income. But if you’re only in it for the money and don’t have any real knowledge or interest in the area, it’ll show.
Pick a niche that you can write about knowledgeably and that you’ll want to create content about over and over.
The best option is where your fitness passion and knowledge intersect. Your passion gets you excited about creating content.
Your knowledge lets you come across as an expert, so your readers trust you. If you speak knowledgeably about how nutrition impacts fitness and then you promote a nutritional product, your audience will trust that what you’re promoting will help them.
Identify Your Target Audience
With your niche in mind, you can drill down to the type of audience you’re targeting.
Knowing your audience is crucial in choosing the types of products to promote through affiliate marketing. If you don’t understand what your audience wants and needs, you can’t recommend things they’ll actually want.
Think about the characteristics of your ideal follower. Break down the types of fitness concerns and needs that person has.
Use that information to shape your content and decide on affiliate products.
Build Your Site
You’ll need a website to serve as your home base for promoting your affiliate marketing products.
WordPress is a common platform used for creating blogs. You can easily add affiliate marketing links to your WordPress site.
Choose a theme that’s clean and professional. You want your content to be the focus.
Avoid adding lots of ads. You want your site to be informative, useful, and authoritative, so people trust the content that you produce.
If you’re not interested in creating the website yourself, you can hire a developer to build your website.
Create Useful Content
Once your site is running, you don’t just want to slap a bunch of affiliate links on it and hope you’ll make money.
You need a library of content that creates value for the reader. It should relate to your niche to bring in interested readers.
To rank well with Google, your content should include keywords and be easy to digest. Break up your content with subheads, and use short paragraphs.
It also needs to be quality content with valuable information. Creating lots of short, thin articles to bulk up your website won’t help your Google ranking.
It also won’t do anything to keep readers on your page or convince them to come back for more.
Content can be traditional blog posts, videos, infographics, and other sources of information relevant to your fitness niche.
Video can be especially powerful in building an audience. YouTube users watch over 1 billion hours of video daily.
Integrating video into your website or creating a YouTube channel can help you grow your following quickly.
You might include videos of workouts or tutorials on making health protein shakes for your workouts.
Choose Products That Meet Needs
You’ll also need to find the products you want to promote through affiliate marketing.
Think about the fitness-related products or services you already use. Which products get you really excited? Would they be a good match for your target audience?
If so, do a little research to see if they offer an affiliate program. Brands of all sizes offer affiliate programs, so you’ll likely find some of your favorite products that do
Before you start promoting those products, make sure they’re something your audience would like.
If you create content for busy college students who want to improve their fitness on a tight schedule, a protein product designed for big-time muscle builders probably isn’t a good fit.
If you’re targeting hardcore fitness enthusiasts, a basic fitness product likely wouldn’t resonate.
Refer back to your target audience profile to think about the needs they have. Then, find products that align with those needs.
Test Out the Products
If you’re promoting products you already use and love, you have this step covered.
But if you find something new that seems like a good fit for your audience, try it out first.
Affiliate marketing needs to be authentic to be effective. If you don’t really know the product, it’s difficult to convince other people they should buy it.
You also run the risk of promoting something that really doesn’t work or isn’t worth the money.
That can break the trust you build with your followers. They’ll be hesitant to buy anything you recommend in the future.
Read the Fine Print
When you find one or more affiliate programs that fit your niche, do your research before starting.
Understand how much you’ll earn from each sale. It could be a flat amount or a percentage of the total sale.
Digital products, such as courses and ebooks, tend to have higher commissions. That’s because the creator produces the product once and uses the same thing for everyone.
Physical products are usually a much lower commission. The company has costs associated with creating the product, so there’s less profit available.
The advantage of many physical products in the fitness market is the customer reorders frequently. They need more supplements, protein bars, or other similar products, which could mean ongoing income.
Affiliate program requirements vary. You might need a certain amount of traffic to your website or a certain number of social media followers.
Review the requirements and application process to determine if you qualify.
It’s also important to verify how and where you can post your affiliate links. Some programs restrict how and where you can promote the links.
They might not allow you to include them in emails or on social media platforms, for example.
Talk About Products Naturally
You want to incorporate your affiliate products naturally into your content to encourage your followers to buy.
If you just say, “Buy this product. It’s great. You’ll love it,” you probably won’t get much response.
People don’t want you to sell to them. They want to feel like they’re making the decision to buy.
Mention the products naturally in an article or video about a related topic. If you’re talking about how to fit workouts into a busy schedule, you might mention a subscription-based workout program that you can do from home.
If you’re writing a blog post on good post-workout snacks, you might include an affiliate link to your favorite protein bars or shakes.
Another effective strategy is a review of the product. Always give your honest opinion about the product, even if that means talking about the things you don’t like.
Disclose Your Affiliate Links
Even though you want your affiliate promotion to feel natural, you still need to let people know that it’s an affiliate link.
Include a disclosure that explains that you might use affiliate links in your posts. Many blogs create a disclaimer page to cover this, as well as including a statement on each blog post.
Some affiliate programs have specific disclosure wording or requirements. Verify that you meet those requirements to prevent getting kicked out of the program.
Engage Your Followers
Building a community around your fitness topic can help improve your affiliate marketing income.
That engagement gets your followers to connect with you. They buy into you, not just the products you sell.
Creating social media accounts to go along with your website is an easy way to do this. You can interact directly with the people who follow you.
Your social media platforms also give you a good way to promote your content, especially the blog posts and videos with affiliate links in them.
Creating a sense of trust with your followers is important in affiliate marketing. If they have no connection to you and don’t believe that you’re trustworthy, they won’t likely click a link you promote.
The best way to build trust is to be honest in all of your communications. Avoid scammy promotional tactics to get people to click your affiliate links.
Provide real value to your readers, so they know you’re not just out to make quick money.
When you show that you’re a trustworthy publisher, you’re more likely to have loyal followers who stay with you. That means they may potentially earn you affiliate income in the future.
You also increase the chances of your followers sharing your content or recommending you to other people. This continues your growth for improved income.
Use Email Marketing
As you’re growing your audience and establishing your online platform, work on building an email subscriber list.
This list lets you send content directly to your subscribers. Email marketing can be a powerful part of your affiliate marketing strategy.
You might send out an email newsletter talking about a related topic. You can then include a link to a blog post with your affiliate link.
When using email marketing, make sure your emails follow the CAN-SPAM Act regulations. You can get hit with massive fines if you don’t follow the rules.
Some of the key requirements include listing a physical address in emails, giving subscribers a clear and easy way to opt out, identifying who you are, and using clear subject lines.
It’s important to understand all of the requirements before using email marketing to ensure you’re being compliant.
Learn How to Make Money in the Fitness Industry
Figuring out how to make money in the fitness industry doesn’t have to be complicated. Using affiliate marketing the right way is a low-investment option with the potential for big returns.
Strengthen your fitness affiliate marketing strategy with our free affiliate marketing ebook.