It's no secret we love creating awesome content here at That Clean Life. We pour our hearts into creating blog posts, books, free classes, and all kinds of other good stuff for our community. We do this because we truly believe that the most successful professionals give their best stuff away for free.
We were so excited to sit down with Rachael Hunt, queen of all things gluten-free and full-time blogger. Rachael launched her blog GlutenFreedomInc.com in 2013 and it has since become an incredibly popular resource for gluten-free eaters in Toronto. She also co-hosts a podcast (they featured our co-founder Abigail on this episode), and works with new bloggers to help them turn their blog into a full-time business.
Because Rachael is so deeply involved in the wellness industry, we sat down to pick her brain and get some blogging tips for wellness professionals. Whether you want to use your blog to get more clients or you want to open up another revenue stream in your business by blogging, she had a lot of great advice to share.
First things first: what are the top three must-haves for a wellness professional just getting started with blogging?
1. An attractive website.
“You have to think of your blog as more than a blog. It should be a full site with a blog element. Make your blog a tab on your website, maybe include the last few posts on your homepage.
Like it or not, esthetic is such an important thing. If you go to a professional's site and it doesn’t look good, you’re not going to trust that person.”
Rachael recommends using Wordpress.org to build your website and investing in a professional template. If you don’t have the budget to pay someone to set this up for you, there are tons of YouTube videos and tutorials online to help you do it yourself.
2. A strong message.
“People who have a focus, a niche, are really valuable.
Even if you have multiple passions, it’s important to have a consistent message. Pick three pillars, or focal points, that you will focus on. I’m more likely to trust a wellness professional who is talking about the same topic over and over, sharing more information each time. I’m more likely to turn to you when I have that issue or to refer someone else who is having that issue.
A huge issue I see nutritionists struggle with is that they’re trying to be everything. So they are everything, but then they’re nothing.”
Answer these five questions to get clear on your own niche.
3. Get a freaking mailing list!
“You need a mailing list and you need a newsletter. I thought I didn’t for the longest time, but if you’re thinking of your blog as your business or a part of your business, it needs to be more than just a blog.
I have a plug-in for a pop-up on my website to get email list sign-ups.”
Having a newsletter is going to drive sales, keep your audience engaged and make sure that your blog posts are actually being seen! Rachael uses MailChimp. It’s super easy and anyone can set it up in a matter of a couple hours.
If someone has $500 or less to invest in building a great blog, where should they put that money? What investments are most “worth it”?
"Pay for an upgraded Wordpress template. I recommend picking one out from ThemeForest and then hiring someone to walk you through the template and how it works. You don’t need to pay thousands for a custom site, but consider spending $150 to $200 on a professional template. Then, pay for a few hours of consultation time from a web designer who can teach you how it works, especially SEO. This is a small investment that most people can make and will really benefit from.
And once that's done, there's one more thing you should really consider investing in...
"Photography is the other investment that is so worth it. Get someone to take great photos of you! Some lifestyle shots, maybe food shots for your recipes. It will be a game changer for how others see you and also how you perceive yourself.”
If you’re getting ready to invest in some brand photography, check out our post on how to prepare for your branding photoshoot.
In the last 5 years, what has been the biggest mistake you’ve made with your blog?
“Not placing an importance on aesthetics from the beginning, and not valuing that investment. I kept thinking ‘I don’t really want to pay $200 right now’ but looking back I wish I had seen the value in that sooner because I think it would have helped me grow faster.
I also wish I had understood the importance of SEO, and of optimizing my site to reach beyond my own social platform. When I finally had a strategy for that, I saw a big difference in my website traffic.”
On the other hand, what is the best decision you have made for your blog?
“Taking it more seriously. When I pivoted my mindset and started thinking of it as a business, not a hobby, and finally invested in it... that changed everything.
When I took myself seriously, other people started taking me seriously too.”
When you look at all the wellness professionals around you, what is the biggest mistake you see them making that you wish you could call them out on?
“Trying to do too much.
Trying to be everything.
A lot of wellness professionals are trying to talk about wellness, and fitness, and lifestyle, and recipes. I get it because it’s exciting and there are so many cool opportunities out there… but you need to stay in your lane!
Going back to my three pillars, you should be focusing on just a few things so you can really become the expert in those areas.”
Let’s talk about actual content. How often should we be posting?
“Quality over quantity!
Writing blog posts takes a lot of effort, so if you can do one post a week, that’s amazing. And if you can’t do that, re-promote old posts! Not everyone sees things the first time you post them.
I’m also big on batch writing, so I’ll write three to four blog posts in one day and then I don’t have to worry about it for the rest of the month.
And what type of content should we be sharing as wellness professionals?
People love ‘list-icles’ where they can skim headings and then read the sections that most interest them. Focus on your niche, and write short and to-the-point posts that your audience will actually read and get value from.
Find a way to tie your blog posts into your lead magnet so you can get email sign-ups right from the post. If your lead magnet is ‘5 Hormone-Balancing Recipes’ then, for example, write a post called ‘Top 10 Reasons You Should Balance Your Hormones.’
If you don't have a lead magnet yet, here's how to create one ASAP.
I think a lot of the time people are scared that if they give too much information away, no one will hire them but it’s actually the opposite. The more you give, the more credibility and clout you’ll gain, and the more likely you are to actually sell to your audience.”
What are some ways we can look at can earning money through our blogs, beyond booking clients?
“Sell digital products!
Whether it’s a meal plan, recipe book, or detox/reset nutrition program, you can have an online store. Especially if you have good SEO, you will be attracting new people to your site to possibly purchase something. This is a great way to supplement your one-on-one consultations.
You can also do sponsored content and collaborate with brands to help them get their message out by leveraging your own platform and expertise.”
A lot of wellness professionals want to collaborate with brands, any advice on that?
“Definitely don’t just wait for brands to reach out to you. Get out there and introduce yourself. You have to think of it like this is your job. You wouldn’t just sit around and wait for a job to fall in your lap. No. You get out there with your resume!
If there’s a brand you want to work with, send them an email (you can find anyone’s email these days) and say:
- Who you are.
- What you do, and what you’d want to do with them.
- Let them know you want to connect further.
- Lead with what you can give to them, not what you want from them.
- Wait for them to come back to you with interest before you ask them about their budget for a collaboration.
Make sure to check out Rachael on Instagram @glutenfreedomrach. And if you have a blog focusing on health and wellness, we’d love to check you out! Leave us a comment below with a link to your site.
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