I’ve been tinkering around the fitness niche these few days after reading an article about marathons. It got me thinking – is running a popular activity and can you monetize from this sport in the online world? As it turns out, you can and there are many opportunities to do so.
This article isn’t just about showing you how to start a running blog, but also sharing a few tips on how to make it profitable. Having said that, the information will be most helpful for people who are into running (i.e. Marathon enthusiasts) or active within the sports niche (i.e. Fitness trainers). If you are one of them, make sure to read this article until the very end.
The Running Niche Insights
Before going into the process of setting up a blog, let’s have a look at what’s happening in the running niche.
First of all, we know that it’s a simple sport that doesn’t need a lot of equipment. According to a Fitbit survey, running is the most popular activity for men, women, Millennials and rank just second for baby boomers. This wide age group made up to about 65 million people who are currently active in running or jogging in the United States.
Products that are commonly related to this niche can be divided into a few categories;
- Shoes – Running shoes, insoles and etc.
- Apparel – Running tops and bottoms for different gender group.
- Wearable technology – Fitness trackers, GPS watches and wireless earbuds – just to name a few.
- Food and beverage – Food and drinks that boost stamina and improve fitness.
- Skills development – Tutorials or exercise programs that help with better running skills.
With that in mind, the next question to ask is which product interest you the most? Do you know a lot about running shoes or perhaps the fitness regimes? Or maybe you are an expert in all the subjects? Either way, choose something (or some combination) that you are knowledgeable about and that shall become your targeted niche moving forward.
Basic WordPress Blog Setup
Blogging is a great way to share information online through the search engines and social media, but you also need to use a publishing platform that has good SEO settings otherwise, no one will ever find your blog on the internet. For that purpose, I prefer to use self-hosted WordPress and the first thing you need to create is a custom domain name.
Remember the niche that you’ve selected earlier? The domain should contain words that more or less reflect what you want to share with the audience. For example, womensrunningshoes.com is pretty straightforward what it’s all about, while runningforfitness.com is more like a combination of topics under one roof.
When purchasing a domain name, try to always go for top-level extensions such as .com, .org and .net as they are easier to remember. It would also be great to have privacy and email support included as it provides more credibility and professionalism for your blog. At SiteRubix, you can get all these features for an affordable price starting from $13.99.
The next step is to connect the domain to a WordPress hosting and while many companies provide detailed guidelines on how to do this, it can still be quite a technical task for some people. Fortunately, if you bought the domain under SiteRubix, you can launch a WordPress site in less than one minute with just a few clicks.
Inside the WordPress editor, the first thing to set up is to find a theme that corresponds with the niche. To do this, go to Appearance => Theme and enter a keyphrase like ‘sports’ in the search themes column. This will reveal more than 80 free themes to use, but you are certainly not limited to these choices. As your blog expand with more content, you can always switch over to a premium theme that suits your need.
After installing a theme, we’ll need to set up the site for search engine optimization and that can be done using the All in One SEO plugin. As the topic is quite extensive, I’ve written a step-by-step tutorial just for this purpose, so make sure you check it out.
Ok, now that your blog is all ready, let’s find out how you can start making money from a running blog.
The affiliate income model is one of the most easiest ways to start a business online. You basically make sales commissions by referring new customers to a merchant site and that means, there’s no need for any inventory management or processing customers orders. All that is required is a blog and I’ve just shown you how to do that.
Since the running niche is a growing market, there’s no shortage of brands or products that can be promoted through your blog. The key is to find out if they offer any affiliate/referral programs on their sites. You can usually search for them at the footer of the company’s website or simply type “X brandname affiliate program” on Google to see if they return any results.
To save you time from searching, here’s a list of some physical products that you may already be familiar with. I’ve also included their program offers for easy referencing.
- Nike – UK only, commission range between 1% – 9% with a cookie period of 30 days.
- Brooks Running – Earn between 5% – 7%. Has a network earning score of 4/5. Sign up via Commission Junction.
- Asics – UK only, commission baseline starts from 6%. Has a cookie period of 30 days. Sign up via Awin.
- New Balance – UK only, earns between 1% – 8% commissions, 30 days cookie. Sign up via Awin.
- Saucony – Get 4% – 7% commissions, 30 day cookie window. Sign up via Rakuten Linkshare Network.
- Columbia Sportswear – Earn 8% in sales commission, 21 day cookie window. Has a network earning score of 5/5. Sign up via Commission Junction.
- Under Armour – Available in the US and Canada, get 5% commission within 30 day cookie. Has a network earning score of 5/5. Sign up via Commission Junction.
- Altra Running – Earn 8% on every referral, 30 Day Cookie. Sign up via Avantlink.
- Athletic propulsion labs – Get 10% sales commission, 14 days cookie. Sign up via Rakuten Linkshare.
- Jack Rabbit – eCommerce for a variety of running gears, earn between 3% – 6% commissions. Sign up via Rakuten Linkshare.
- Amazon Marketplace – Get 4.5% from any sports item sales, but you’ll also earn extra when customers purchase from other product categories. Sign via the Amazon Associate Program.
- Fitbit – Get 10% for every new referral within a 45 day cookie. Has a network earning score of 5/5. Sign up via Commission Junction.
- Misfit – Earn 10% for every new sale. Has a network earning score of 3/5. Sign up via Commission Junction.
- Polar Electro – Generate 10% commissions for every sale with a 30 day cookie. Rank as the top 1000 merchant. Sign up via the ShareASale affiliate network.
That’s quite a long list of brands, but that’s just the part for physical products. If you are interested in promoting online guides or fitness regimes, take a look at these two programs instead.
- Kinetic Revolution – Coaching and training resources for building better runners. Earn $29.99 per sale for their online courses and $22.49 per sale for their Knee Rehab Program.
- Weight Watchers – Comprehensive exercise and health programs to improve general fitness. Earn $10 for every new membership subscription.
Use Keywords to Get Traffic
Blogging blindly without knowing what your audience is searching for is like dishing out information that people don’t want to read. On the contrary, if you target the right keywords for the blog topics, you’ll attract more readers and better yet, rank higher on the Google search result page.
Here’s how it works. Search for descriptive keywords that’s relevant to this niche that has fairly low competition. You can usually find them through Google Suggest and refine through using a keyword tool meant for organic search.
For example, when I type “how…running shoes”, Google has a way of showing me other relevant queries that are taking place in the search engines. That tells us that people are actively searching for these topics and hence, there’s a ‘demand’ for such information to be published online.
Following that, pick a keyphrase and check for its competition level using the Jaaxy keyword tool. It’s easy to use and generates results instantaneously. I discovered these low competition keywords within minutes, so if you like, you may use them to create content immediately for your blog.
- best long distance running shoes for women
- neutral running shoes with a wide toe box
- how to choose good running shoes
- running shoes fitting guide
- can you wear running shoes for walking
- warm up exercises before running
- how to start running to lose weight
- marathon training plan for beginners
- best shoes for trail running
- trail marathon training schedule
- asics running shoes review
- adidas running shoes for men
- how to clean running shoes
Have a keyword idea in mind that’s not in the list above? Just enter it in the search box below to find out.
Ready, Get Set and Blog
So there you have it, the process of segmenting the niche, how to start a running blog using WordPress and finding targeted keywords to generate relevant content. Based on the market trends, I think there’s a lot of potential for this niche going forward so I hope you’ve found this brief tutorial to be both useful and inspiring with new ideas.
If you like to learn in details the art of making money with affiliate marketing, please visit my recommended training platform here for more tools and training guides.
Have some questions in regards to this topic? Just leave them in the comment section below and I’ll be more than happy to help you out.
You may also be interested to read;