|Hi all, this guest post is from Karol K. who often blogs about small business online. Don’t be turned off by the niche, if it’s not your specialty. I admit I was skeptical when Karol first came to me with this idea. But Karol includes some juicy tips that are applicable to any niche. And if you’re looking to diversify, this may be just the item you’re looking for.|
Hold on! Before you leave, let me just explain why I’m creating this article around weight loss.
The weight loss niche is by far one of the most profitable for a small business online. There are actually only two other niches that are in the same league: relationships (dating, finding a partner, solving relationship problems, etc.) and making money (every possible form of money making).
What this means is that there is a great big market out there just waiting for you to cater to it.
Of course, it’s always way easier to say something than to actually go out and do it, but if you manage to build a brand, you can really bring in some great profits, despite the big competition waiting for you in the niche.
Now, this isn’t a scheme or anything. I don’t have a product to sell here, or some services to advertise. I just want to give you genuine advice that you can use to build a successful small business online in the weight loss niche and market it.
Keep in mind that most of the work is still on you, and any overnight success won’t happen. Sorry, I’m just being honest.
The siteâ€”your small business online
Like always with any small business online, everything starts with a website.
In order to do business online you have to have a website. Period.
Thankfully, these days you can do this on a budget by using WordPress. The platform itself is free and you only have to invest in a domain and a web host (minor investments).
Now, the technical side of the installation process is not the topic here, so I won’t get into detail.
What I do want to mention quickly, though, is choosing your site’s domain name.
It can’t be too pitchy or too SEO-focused. People in the weight loss niche will not trust such a site. For instance, some examples of bad names:
- HowToLoseWeightQuicklyOvernight.comâ€”too SEOd.
- MagicBulletWeightLossâ€”too pitchy.
Quite simply, make it natural. Make it something you’d want to do business with.
By far the most important question in business: What are you going to sell?
Not surprisingly, this is something you should find out as soon as possible. But notice that I don’t actually say you should know this even before you start … because you don’t.
Your product is something you can figure out along the way. Remember that it’s a lot cheaper to operate online than it is in the traditional brick-and-mortar style business. Sometimes you can even do it for free.
Therefore, what you actually need is passion. Yeah, I know, it sounds like a clichÃ© of sorts, but it really is the most important bit in your portfolio.
And what I mean by passion is the passion to learn about the niche you’re in, and to notice things that are going on.
So how to figure out what you’re going to sell? The best moment to decide is after launching your site and being present in the niche for a while. The possibilities I list here are within reach for every small business online, but various audiences will be more receptive to some of them than others.
- Workout equipment (as an affiliate).
- Diet programs (as an affiliate or your own creations based on advice from professionals).
- Food (home delivery services affiliate).
- Weight loss advice/education (your own information or affiliate products).
- E-books and online publications (probably the safest bet).
There are a lot more approaches you can choose from, but the ones mentioned above are a nice starting point. Mostly due to their simple nature. None of them require any big investment, especially when done on an affiliate basis.
Let me elaborate on the last item (e-books) a little more. They are often one of the best kinds of weight loss related products. Apart from the fact that you can be an affiliate of tens of publications, you can also create your own.
It really doesn’t take much. For instance, whenever a given diet gets popular, you can gather 10â€“20 recipes for meals in tune with that diet and then release a recipe book (like “15 Paleo Dishes You’ll Love,” for example).
One of the biggest issues in the weight loss niche is becoming a credible source.
There’s just so much fake stuff circulating around that people no longer feel they can trust every new small business online that comes by.
This means you have to convince them that you are honest, real, and willing to provide quality.
Here’s a handful of things you can do to achieve this:
- Use your actual real name. No one likes people hiding behind brand names, especially in the weight loss niche. As a business person, you shouldn’t be afraid of letting people know who you are. Always do business as yourself.
- Be part of the community. There are various weight loss, dieting, and fitness forums. Join them and be active.
- Try conducting some interviews. Once you have a website you can interview some respected personas in your niche and publish the interviews on your site. You can reach out to trainers, dietitians, nutritionists, etc. You can publish the interviews as text, if audio/video is a little scary.
- Guest post. Either write weight loss articles yourself, or hire someone to do this for you. Send the articles to relevant and popular blogs as guest posts. Include a link back to your site.
- Use trust elements. When you score some guest posting spots, publish an “as seen on” block on your site. This is where you can mention some big sites in your niche to create additional trust (by association). For instance, you can display something like: “as seen on Site1.com, Site2.com, Site3.com.”
Advertisingâ€”is it worth it?
Ads are probably the most basic way of making money online with any website in any niche. But is it the most effective approach for weight loss?
In my opinion it isn’t.
The fact is that you rarely have full control over what ads are displayed on your site. And quite often those ads will be of really low quality or even deceptive. This won’t help you build credibility.
You’re a lot better off publishing affiliate links here and there. Affiliate links are something you can control completely, as they are placed manually only in places where you want them.
Focus on different types of value
This is the final piece of advice I have for you today. The basic idea is simple. Content in the weight loss niche needs to be diverse.
Only sites that are catering to the audience’s different needs can experience success. Therefore, aim at doing as many things from the following list as you can:
- Interviews (already mentioned above).
- Reviews (weight loss products and publications).
- Random pieces of advice.
- Bonuses and coupons (you can get those if you reach out to various merchants).
- News (you can mention something that’s been published on other sites).
- Educational articles about weight loss (either write them yourself or find a freelance writer).
- Lists and resources (links to things that can be valuable to your audience; like for instance, “7 Best iPad Apps for Weight Loss”).
In the end, being present in the weight loss niche is all about credibility and actually caring about the people you’re talking to.
This can’t be done overnight, but I’m confident that there’s still place for new people who get it and want to join the game.
Let me say this again because it really is that important: If you fail to build credibility in the weight loss niche, nothing else will matter, you won’t be able to sell your products, nor send people over to affiliate offers. In weight loss, credibility is king.
The approach presented in this post is surely something you can take and use as a starting point, so I encourage you to do so. Also, feel free to let me know what you think about the weight loss niche in relation to small business online.