Join The 21-day Content Creation Challenge

November 30, 2017

Fitpro-ho-hos! (Too early?)

Who wants to do a MASSIVE push on content in December?

I’m running a free, informal 21-day content creation challenge.

Want to join in?

  • accountability
  • practical support
  • help with ideas
  • feedback and critique from me
  • a boost in visibility and activity

Plus you’ll get..

…BETTER at writing
…MORE CONFIDENT about posting
…and PAST the annoying procrastination you have about content

All you have to do is commit to posting ONCE per day from 1st-21st December. Yes, we start tomorrow. If you’re in, you’re in! Just get started – I’ll help with the rest.

It can be on FB, Insta, your blog, to your email list… whatever is most relevant to your audience.

This is for you if:

– you’re a fitness professional
– who wants a big push on content in December
– to get ahead of the “New Year rush”

Get in touch on Facebook, or leave a comment here, and I’ll message you with the next steps.

==

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist with 13 years experience in writing content and direct response copy for the fitness industry. Get in touch via Facebook, by sending a message here.

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Fitpros: Do You Know How To Use Info From Press Releases For Your Own Content Marketing?

August 22, 2016

fitness pro use press release for content ideas

The other day, I shared a press release I’d been sent in a fitpro marketing Facebook group. Some of the fitpros in the group asked me how they should use the info in that press release. Here’s what I told them.

First up: what’s a press release?

A press release (or news release) is a document sent out from a business to members of the media. Any business or organisation with news to announce can send one: brand, business, organisation, charity, NGB, sole trader, or the PR people who look after them.

Press releases are typically sent to journalists (in house and freelance), editors, and bloggers. But there are plenty of ways to access them (or get them delivered to your inbox) if you’re a business owner who writes their own content.

There is tons of info online about how to write your own press release. But what about using other people’s press releases as a useful prompt for your own content? With 26 gazillion (<< estimated figure) press releases being generated every day, why not use the info! Here’s how – and why – you should.

What kind of press releases have useful data/stats in them?

Most press releases will be about product news or business announcements. But some will be story-led (particularly in the fitness industry), and others will use data/research/stats as the “hook”. These are going to be the most useful ones for you as a fitpro in constant need of content ideas!

But I’m not a journalist or content writer like you… how can I access press releases?

Here are some resources – visit the sites, see if they distribute press releases in your industry (but do think outside the box, too), and sign up

e releases
PR newswire
PR web
PR genie
ResponseSource
Sport4Media

I’d also recommend signing up to email/newsletter lists. Fitpros could try signing up for latest news from NGBs (national governing bodies) in sport, sports organisations like UKActive and Sport England. PT and fitness training companies are another great source (the type that deliver training to fitpros). It is also worth trying to get on the email list of leading sport and fitness PR companies (like Promote PR) as they will regularly send out useful news about clients and industry research.

Finding your own best sources of industry news is a bit like building a great swipe file. It takes time. You’ll need to keep an eye out for sources, and then bookmark/sign up to them. It will be an ongoing process. But stick at it and before too long you’ll have a valuable resource.

OK. Got it. So how, when, and why would I use “stats” type press release info?

As a fitpro, you need to generate content, right? (PS If you don’t have time, or hate doing it, I can help << click 😉 ) Blog posts, Facebook posts, ideas for emails, newsletter articles. Every hook and idea helps.

Most of the press releases you’ll get won’t be helpful in this regard. But some will contain stats (from a study or survey), data, or industry insights. And you can use those as a hook for your own content.

Here’s an example:

You get a press release from a PT training company who are promoting their qualification for training older gen pop. As a hook for that press release, they have done a survey into attitudes and misconceptions about fitness. In the release, they give a load of stats from their in house survey.

>> 75% of women over the age of 55 have never gone into the free weights area of the gym. 63% of over-60s believe that lifting weights overhead will damage the spine.<> “Did you know that 75% of women over the age of 55 have never even set foot in the free weights area of a gym? That’s according to new researched published by XX Training Company, who recently surveyed XX men and women aged 50-70.”<<

(Then you'd add your own content, about how you can help older people train safely and with confidence… or whatever it is you do.)

You need to credit the course, and say where the stats are from. All the information you'll need will be on the press release.

Is that helpful? If you have any questions about using press release information for your own content, or about writing and circulating your own press releases, get in touch. I can help!

TheFitWriter Nicola Joyce on Facebook

Fitpros: Do You Know How To Use Info From Press Releases For Your Own Content Marketing? is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.


Help! A Local Newspaper Has Asked Me To Write For Them!

February 5, 2016

fitpro writing for local newspaper

A local newspaper has asked me to contribute regular articles. Help! What do I do next?

I had a call from a fitpro today who was asking for my urgent advice. Months ago, he’d contacted various local newspapers and magazines, offering to write one-off or regular editorial. Life got in the way, he didn’t follow up. (Hey, at least he pitched them! It’s more than most fitpros do!)

And then, today… after all these months… one of those local newspapers emailed him. “Hi, if you’re still interested in writing for us, we’d love you to contribute fitness articles…”

Here’s the advice I gave to that fitpro.

What To Do If A Newspaper, Magazine Or Online Publication Asks You To Write Something For Them

(PS: Dont’ forget, I wrote a blog post about exactly how fitpros can get featured in their local lifestyle magazine)

1. Do a happy dance
2. Email them back.
Say something like:

“Hi [name],

Thanks very much – yes, I’d be delighted to write for [publication name] and would be able to supply great content every [week/fortnight/month*] to meet your deadline.

For this first article, can you let me know:

– word count
– deadline
– do you have any topic in mind? or would you like me to send a couple of ideas?

Moving forward, I’d be happy to send you over a few ideas at the start of every month if that would help with your editorial schedule.

Best wishes,

[you]

*depends on whether it’s a weekly/monthly/other publication

3. Wait for them to get back to you. If you haven’t heard within 24 hours, give them a call. It’s fine, after all they offered you this opportunity, so they’ll want to hear from you.

4. If they ask for ideas before you submit your article, think about
– the readership
– the other kind of content they cover in the publication
– topics relevant to the area and community (assuming it’s a local magazine)
– wider topics (health and fitness awareness days, health and fitness topics in the news)
If it’s a weekly publication, remember that they’ll like things which are as timely as possible, or which are pegged to something which has happened or been discussed very recently

5. Once you’ve got the go-ahead, make sure you submit your article:
– on time (never ever miss their deadline)
– with minimal fuss
– in the exact format they require (if you are sending it as an attachment, don’t label the document “Article for paper.doc” or “Fitness article.doc”. Name it the agreed title of the article.
– with any extras they’ve asked for (high res image, headshot, your biog)

6. Don’t send them something you’ve already published elsewhere (like on your own blog or your Facebook page). Use your own blog posts as ideas, sure. But don’t duplicate. If the publication happens to be following your blog, and see the duplicated content, they might feel it devalues their own published article.

7. Don’t forget a call to action. Obviously you won’t be able to put in a strong sales-type CTA. But add something at the end of your article: a question, an invitation to leave a comment or engage with you (or the newspaper) on Facebook, or something to make the reader take some action – even if that action is pondering a question you’ve posed.

8. Send as much of a biog as you can. Be a bit cheeky here – include your name, business name, title “local weight loss expert” or “town-name’s top personal trainer”, and even include your website and social media links. They can always leave them out, but they won’t put them in fi you don’t send them.

9. Ask if it will also be used online or on their Facebook page. Then keep an eye out for it and like, share, tag and link – make the most of that online content.

10. Get hold of a copy of the article. Consider scanning it in and using it on your website or social media. Or just keep it and build up a portfolio.

11. Don’t use it to line the guinea pig’s cage.

Help! A Local Newspaper Has Asked Me To Write For Them! is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.


Send Your Social Proof Hero On Fiction’s Most Famous 12-Stage Journey

January 13, 2016

the-heros-journeyThe “hero journey” concept (or “monomyth”) is central to story telling. It’s been described by Jung, Joseph Campbell, and plenty of others.

Think about the latest film you saw, or TV series you watched, then take a look at the 12 stages on this image. The “hero’s journey” is present in the best, most compelling, most memorable stories.

And it’s SO relevant to the fitness industry, isn’t it?

Do you use the idea of a “hero’s journey” in your content?

It could be for your own story or – more likely – your clients’ stories.

Here are the 12 stages of the “hero journey” (with my own thoughts about how it applies to fitness industry content):

1 = Ordinary World

Where your client is before he finds you. He’s safe, but bored and oblivious of what awaits him on his journey. We get to know all the details about him at this stage. He’s human.

2 = Call To Adventure

Something happens to launch our hero onto his adventure (journey/transformation). Is it a threat to his health? A wake up call? It’s something that disrupts the safety and comfort of his Ordinary World. What is the challenge or quest that presents itself?

3 = Refusal Of The Call

Your hero might want to accept the challenge, but he’s got fears/doubts. There are barriers. He refuses the call… and suffers (again) in some way. Does his health suffer? Or his self-confidence? How do things get worse (and why did he refuse)?

4 = Meeting The Mentor

Here’s where you come in! Your hero needs expert guidance… and finds it. For the fitness world, the “mentor” he meets is in the form of advice, training, and practical guidance. He now has the strength and courage to go on his journey.

5 = Crossing The Threshold

Our hero is ready to go on his journey to better health and fitness. He crosses the threshold from his old, familiar world, to this new one: the fitness lifestyle. What actions does he take to signify his commitment? Where does he go?

6 = Tests, Allies & Enemies

The middle of the story. He’s out of his comfort zone but he’s not yet at his destination. There’s plenty to threaten him, tempt him and derail him. External sources (environment, foods, lack of supportive peers) and internal (self-doubt, dip in motivation, lack of self-belief). What tests does he face? What obstacles? Which os his skills are tested? How does he overcome (and how do you help him)? He finds out who can be trusted (…you!)

7 = Approach To The Innermost Cave

The “inmost cave” in our fitness context could be mindset, belief, eating issues, prior failures with diet or training. It will be a huge internal conflict and something which lots of your readers will also recognise in their own story. As he approaches the mouth of the cave, your hero once again faces his biggest personal battles. He’ll need to call on everything he’s learned. This is a chance for a pause in the story to recap on where he’s come from, how he got here, and what he learned.

8 = Ordeal

This is the ultimate test in your hero’s journey. It could be a big physical test (useful for fitness stories) or a massive emotional/psychological crisis. His biggest fear, or his most terrifying enemy. He needs to face it, and he needs to face it now. It’s time. Through this ordeal, he will be “reborn” and the new version revealed. This is the high point of the story, but everything is on the line.

9 = Reward

The enemy (within or without!) has been defeated. Your hero has been transformed (<<< ooh, what does THAT remind you of in the fitness industry?) He emerges stronger. And with a reward. The reward in our context could be better health, improved home life, or a better body (very visual and easy to use as social proof).

10 = The Road Back

Your hero is ready to return victorious. He’s not anticipating any threats or battles. Instead he is looking forward to some form of vindication. What would that be for your hero?

11 = Resurrection

Oops, there’s one more challenge for your hero to overcome before the end of his journey. He will face up to something bigger than himself, and the victory will have far-reaching consequences that leave an impact beyond his own journey. Your readers need to feel part of this: his success (or potential failure) will have a real emotional impact on them.

12 = Return With The Elixir

Your hero is back home, a changed person. He’s grown (maybe literally, in our fitness context). He’s learned plenty. He’s changed. He is the person he always dreamed of being. He is a hero. What does his journey mean to others? Hope? A solution? Proof of what is possible?

Remember the structure of the “hero journey” next time you’re writing some story-style content. If I can help you brainstorm ideas, structure content, or write copy, get in touch.
Chat with TFW on social media
Here’s where you’ll find me:
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

Send Your Hero On Fiction’s Most Famous Journey is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.


Step-by-step guide to getting featured in local magazines

January 10, 2016

How would you feel about being the health or fitness expert in your town’s local lifestyle magazine? Pretty good, right? Imagine it: a page (or a double page spread) every month with your words, your logo, your business name.

How can that local health and fitness column be yours?

Novemberweb

I’m going to show you. You might think “why me?” Well, why not you. You’re good at what you do, aren’t you? And you genuinely want to help people in your local area with health, fitness, nutrition?
Plenty of fitpros want to be in their local magazine. But hardly any of them will actually take action.

Here’s how to get your content published in local lifestyle magazines.

1) Get The Magazines

Firstly, you need to actually get hold of physical copies of local magazines. Go for a wander round your town, look in dentists’ reception areas, hairdressers, health food shops, railway station waiting rooms. Maybe your town has a local magazine or two put through the door – great, you already get those. Keep hold of them. Ask local friends and family which lifestyle magazines they receive or read, then find a copy.

2) Read The Magazines

Crucial step! What content is already in them? What type of person reads them? Will it be a worthwhile use of your time?  If they already have a health/fitness contributor, they probably won’t want another (but if you’re very niche and think it’s still a fit, go for it, just be very clear on why you should be featured). Familiarise yourself with the topics, style, angles and type of content they feature. Get to know the magazine, audience and advertisers.

3) Check Out Their Online and Social Content

Now you’ve narrowed it down to 2 or 3 local magazines. Go and find their Facebook page, Twitter feed and any other socials. Look at their website. Aim to familiarise yourself as much as possible with the magazine’s content and ethos. Now, when you make contact,  you look like you’ve done your homework and you can speak their language.

4) Find The Correct Contact

This is the easy bit. The editorial staff will be listed in the magazine and/or on the website. If there’s a health/fitness editor, contact them. It’s unlikely, though. The team is probably pretty small, so contact the editor.

5) Get Your Ideas Together

What can you offer this magazine? You need to show that you will be a never-ending source of good content. You’ve read the magazine, you’ve looked at their online content. It shouldn’t be too difficult to come up with 3 or 4 ideas for a column. Think about your local demographic. What will they want to know? Think time of year, local events, awareness days, hot topics, things which these people will be wondering or talking about. Present your ideas as solutions to things readers want to know.

6) Write An Intro Email

There are a number of ways to actually get in touch. But I think the best way is to send an introductory email to your editorial contact. Just as with your own email marketing, think about email subject line. Then simply introduce yourself and say what you want to do. Be clear, concise and polite. If you need some pointers on this, I can help so please get in touch Here’s a rough outline:

  • you notice they don’t currently have a health/fitness contributor
  • you’re a local expert with XYZ credentials
  • local people are currently talking about XYZ
  • you would love to contribute monthly content to the magazine
  • here are a couple of examples
  • you can quickly provide compelling, engaging and accurate content on an ongoing  basis
  • and you can provide high res images

7) Send It, Then Follow Up

Follow up with a very short email after a couple of days. Then a phone call if necessary. Keep a note of responses. Start a spreadsheet of magazine, editor, contact details, when you got in touch and what the outcome was.

8) Be On The Ball

Editors need contributors who are reliable. Make sure you give them exactly what they ask for in the brief (no more and no less). Meet their deadline. Provide logos, images and whatever else they ask for. It goes without saying that you’ll need to make sure your copy is accurate, so check for typos and errors.

9) Didn’t Work? Try Another Magazine

If your follow ups lead to a “no”, move on to the second magazine on your list. Simples.

10) Still Didn’t Work. Have A Plan B

If you’ve exhausted all the relevant online and print magazines in your local area, there’s one more thing you need to do. Do not let that content go to waste. You came up with several ideas for articles. So use them: on your own blog, Facebook page, in emails, as video…. just use them.

11) It Did Work: What Now?

Now you’re the magazine’s go-to fitness expert, how can you make the most of this valuable relationship? Who’d like a blog post about what to do once you’re an established contributor?  Let me know.

Here’s another blog post from TFW which might help: How Fitpros Can Connect With Editors/Bloggers/Media

I hope this works for you, or at least gives you some ideas (or a kick up the bum!) Let me know how it goes. You can get me here in the comments section or at Facebook
or Twitter.

Step By Step Guide To Getting Featured In Local Magazines is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.


Mini-Interviews With Successful Women In Fitness (International Women’s Day)

March 6, 2015

Sunday is International Women’s Day and the theme for 2015 is “Make It Happen”. Here are four amazing women who are making things happen in the fitness industry: specialist coaches, women’s ambassadors, academics, authors and pioneers who are shaping the industry, making it a better place for women to train, learn, work and compete.

Thank you, ladies!

(I didn’t have room to feature all the women I admire in the industry. In fact, this series of mini-interviews are ones which had to be (ruthlessly!) cut from a blog post I wrote for a copywriting client – you can read it here. Who would you include in your own list of Successful Women In The Fitness business?)

Molly Galbraith women in fitness industry girls gone strong
The women’s ambassador
Molly Galbraith’s website
Molly Galbraith
is a strength and conditioning coach and co-founded Girls Gone Strong (GGS), a website dedicated providing women with the absolute best health, wellness, nutrition, training, and lifestyle information. A former gym owner, she now focuses full-time on GGS and her personal work. She fell in love with health and wellness while finishing her business degree at the University of Kentucky and had the opportunity to study under some of the best and brightest strength coaches and trainers in the industry. So, as well as getting her MBA in 2007, she is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach (CSCS) through the NSCA in the USA.

“I’ve been involved in lots of different ventures and encountered many ups and down in the industry, from a failed nutrition and training software business, to the successful 7500 sq. ft. private studio gym I recently stepped away from, to the my information products that have sold in over 45 countries, and of course the phenomenon that is Girls Gone Strong. My main focus is the continued success of Girls Gone Strong, and sharing great information with as many women as possible.”

sohee lee walsh women in fitness industry interview
The physique specialist
Sohee Walsh’s website
Sohee Walsh
(formerly Sohee Lee) is known for her work around reverse dieting and specialist physique transformation coaching. Sohee is also a published fitness writer and co-hosts a popular podcast with Dr Layne Norton. She studied Human Biology at Stanford University and is an NSCA-Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. The route to SoheeFit Systems, LLC includes an Internship at Cressey Performance and coaching roles at Tyler English Fitness and Peak Performance NYC.

“My niche and passion is teaching women how to eat right, lift hard, and thrive in their daily lives. I got to where I am today with hard work, focus and a lot of time learning the basics with the best in the business.”

Jen Sinkler women in fitness industry
The Fitness Writer
Jen Sinkler’s website
Jen Sinkler
is an established fitness writer and personal trainer who has been writing for a range of health magazines since 2003. Jen authored Lift Weights Faster, an online library of over 130 conditioning workouts, and Lift Weights Faster 2 (due for release on March 10th 2015).

Jen is listed in Huffington Post’s “20 of the Best Fitness Experts Worth Following on Twitter”, Shape magazine’s “Top 30 Motivators of 2013”, Greatist’s “15 Must-Read Trainers Rocking the Web in 2013” and was named one of the “100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness” in both 2014 and 2015.

As well as a professional writer and editor, Jen is a certified RKC 2 kettlebell instructor and holds coaching certifications through USA Weightlifting, Primal Move, Progressive Calisthenics, Onnit, TACFIT, CrossFit and DVRT (Ultimate Sandbag). During her undergrad studies, she did an editorial internship at the North American Review, went on to become communications specialist in the marketing department of Marsh and McLennan, then joined Experience Life magazine, where she served as the editorial director of fitness until she left in 2013 to start her own company.

“Through my writing and coaching, I’m intent on shifting the way women view strength and fitness, The mantra running throughout everything I do is embracing an unapologetically strong approach to training and life. I aim to expand my female clients’ capabilities in a safe and supportive setting. I see a small number of private clients and co-coach the women-only strength training class at The Movement Minneapolis, (the gym I co-own with my husband). I also present at health seminars across the U.S. and run private workshops at host gyms.”

Headshot Gillian Mandich
The academic
Gillian Mandich’s website
Gillian Mandich
is a PhD(c) in Health and Rehabilitation Science at Western University, certified yoga and Yoga Tune Up® teacher. She co-hosts the Holistic Health Diary podcast and TV show, teaches health promotion at Western University, and sits on the Advisory Board at Examine.com where she is also a reviewer. Gillian also hosts and produces Health Science Radio and writes for numerous print/online media. And she is President of the Western Chapter of the Canadian Obesity Network.

“I work really hard to have my brain, skills and talents (and how I help people) speak, instead of how I look, and I love surrounding myself with other women do the same. I got to where I am today with hard work, persistence, and an unwavering belief that anything is possible.”

Mini-Interviews With Successful Women In Fitness (International Women’s Day) is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.


Should a fitness copywriter have writing experience, fitness experience, or both?

January 5, 2015

The internetwebs – particularly social media – has flattened the landscape somewhat. It’s democratised things. Instagrammers with a good set of abs and a frisky amount of followers brand themselves “fitness models”. Clients no longer necessarily need to see their PT. And prefacing your online biography with the word “[aspiring]…” seems enough to do away with the need for a portfolio, qualifications, or real-life experience. In any sphere.

I feel I may have got off on the wrong foot with this one. So, before you all think I’ve got an axe to grind (I haven’t – if I had, I wouldn’t waste time grinding it, I use it to tackle my garden), I’ll explain the context for today’s post.

My client-now-friend Mike Samuels of Healthy Living Heavy Lifting recently posed a question to his Facebook followers: “do you need to actually train people to coach online and write about fitness?”

The video post prompted responses from trainers, coaches, PTs and PT clients. And from me. I responded as a copywriter. More than that, as a copywriter who specialises in writing about, and for, fitness businesses.

So, of course, my reply to the writing portion of the question was a resounding “no”. Although I do have extensive experience of training, being coached, and even competing in various sports, I don’t think this is a deal-breaker. After all, I also write for a funeral car company, and I’ve never designed a car, driven a hearse, or arranged a funeral. My fitness clients include businesses whose niche is running (I haven’t run properly for years) and post-partum yoga (I don’t have children, and corpse pose is my favourite because it involves lying down and having a nice sleep).

Now, granted, the context of Mike’s question was a PT who had approached him, asking about moving into exclusively online coaching and writing about fitness, rather than face-to-face PTing.

But it got me thinking.

In this online age, where boundaries get blurry and self-styled job roles merge, what do clients actually prefer?

A copywriter who can write about fitness?

Or a fitpro who can write?

Does it no longer matter? What’s more important: official training and experience in writing, or hands-on experience of the topic being written about?

Can a writer understand enough about a topic to be able to write about it with authority? And can a topic-expert know enough about how to get inside a reader’s head to write content which persuades and engages?

I don’t know. But I’d love to know your thoughts, particularly if you have ever commissioned anyone to write content for your business (or publication).

*No axes were ground during the composition of this blog post*

Should a fitness copywriter have writing experience, fitness experience, or both? is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.


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