So you’ve started a health and wellness blog. (Or you’re thinking about starting one.)
You’ve heard the stories of bloggers making a full-time income through their websites – but you’ve always wondered…
How do you actually make money blogging?
If your blog is up and running, you might have already discovered that:
- Just because you start a blog, doesn’t mean anyone is reading it.
- It costs a bit of money to run a blog, and you don’t automatically earn anything just from writing it!
I’m asked all the time by members of the wellpreneur community (and friends and family) how you actually can make money by blogging about health and wellness. So I figured it was long overdue to write it all up, in this ultimate guide.
To be clear, you don’t need to do all of these options I’ll describe below! The most successful online wellpreneurs I know, have multiple income streams in their businesses. But that doesn’t mean that they do ALL of these options. And it doesn’t mean they started them all at the same time.
My advice: Read through this guide to understand all the options available to make money through your wellness blog. Then check in with your gut. Which feels the most fun and easy for you? Which fits with your desired type of business? Pick one option to monetize your wellness blog and start there. You can add others over time.
Here are the methods to make money off your health and wellness blog that we’ll cover in this guide:
Coaching and other Services
Information Products – ebooks, online courses, checklists, workbooks, toolkits
MLM / Network Marketing
Write a Book!
Monetize Your Wellness Blog: Coaching and Other Services
Selling your coaching services through your wellness blog is one of the most popular ways that wellness entrepreneurs bring their businesses online. If you’ve got expert skills that you can offer as a coach, mentor or consultant, and you don’t mind spending the actual hours working with clients, why not offer your services through your website?
Selling coaching through your website can be very simple or complex. At it’s most basic, you’d just need a webpage describing your services, with an easy way for clients to buy from you. Many coaches use a PayPal button on their webpage, or simply have a contact form for interested clients to sign up for a free session (often called a “discovery session”, “strategy session”, “clarity call” etc.) If coaching becomes a key part of your business model, over time you might evolve into using an all-in-one coaching platform, creating a coaching waitlist, and an automated workflow for clients to book sessions with you.
I’ve personally been selling coaching services through my website for four years, and have helped numerous health coaches do the same. And I want to tell you the truth about this revenue stream.
Just because you put a coaching page on your website, does not mean you are going to get clients!
It’s extremely rare that someone will come to your website, and book a coaching session. So while online coaching is absolutely a viable income stream, it needs to be part of a bigger online marketing strategy (mainly, growing your email list, keeping in touch with them, and making offers!)
Monetize Your Wellness Blog: Affiliate Products
This is one of my favorite ways to make money through your wellness blog – because once it’s setup, it’s almost totally passive income.
Here’s how affiliate products work:
- Sign up to be an ‘affiliate’ for certain products that you love and use.
- Share about these products on your wellness website, including your special ‘affiliate link’ for each product.
- When someone clicks through your unique affiliate link, and makes a purchase, you receive a commission payment for that sale.
Commission payment for affiliates can run from 2%-50% of the sale price. It really depends on the product and the terms of that specific affiliate program.
An easy affiliate program to sign up for is Amazon. Amazon only offers a small commission on each product, so you won’t be able to replace your full time income this way, but it could support your own Amazon habit.
The most lucrative affiliate programs are different for each wellness blogger. You’ll want to think about products that you already love and use, and then search to see if they have an affiliate program. To do this, just Google “product + affiliate program.” There are affiliate programs for physical products as well as digital information products. The best affiliate program is going to be one that is totally aligned with your content topics and with your audience. So if you’re writing about making natural beauty products, you could be an affiliate for natural beauty books, and the ingredients that go into those natural beauty products. You might even find a larger business who sells a “make your own beauty products” online course, and become an affiliate for their course.
For more information, have a listen to this podcast about affiliate marketing for wellness businesses.
Monetize Your Wellness Blog: Information Products
I believe if you’re building a health and wellness business online, you WILL want to create your own information products at some point.
Creating your own products and programs is an amazing online revenue stream, because they’re hard to duplicate. You put your knowledge and your system into the products – and no one else has that!
Information Products (or “Digital Products”) for your wellness business could include eBooks, online courses and programs, checklists, workbooks, toolkits, downloadable audios or meditations, video classes, online workshops and more. They’re really any combination of written, audio and video digital content, that you combine in a way to deliver a specific result for your customers.
Once created, digital products are easy to deliver at scale. It doesn’t matter if 1 person buys or 100 people buy, all of the material is delivered electronically. This makes a much more scalable business than selling 1:1 coaching services, where you only have a limited amount of hours to work with clients.
There is a myth online that information products are passive income. My experience? That’s sort-of true. But not really.
Delivering the information product is passive, especially once you get it into an online course system or membership site.
But selling the information product? That takes some effort.
There are a few ways you can sell your information products online:
- Launch Model – this means that you make the product available a few times per year, via an online launch. This is really effective but a lot of work to run a launch! It’s a big marketing event that happens several times per year.
- Evergreen Model – this means that your product is always available to purchase, usually as part of an automated sales funnel (which is a sequence of emails sent to your potential customer.) Once this is up and running, it’s mostly passive. However getting an effective evergreen sales funnel setup happens over a period of months, where you’re constantly testing and adjusting, to figure out what works for your business.
- Affiliate Model – you can combine one of the models above with enrolling your OWN affiliates. These affiliates will promote your product to their list in exchange for a commission. Although this again sounds like passive income, the reality is that to run an effective affiliate program you need to train, motivate and manage your affiliates throughout the sales process.
The easiest way to get started with information products for a wellness entrepreneur is to create your own product, list it for sale on your website, and then promote it to your audience through your email list or social media.
Monetize Your Wellness Blog: Advertising
Running advertising on your wellness website is a passive way to generate revenue. Many new wellpreneurs sign up to an ad network and quickly put ads on their site. I think this is a mistake.
Advertising does generate revenue for your wellness website, but only very small amounts for each ad displayed or clicked. If you want to make real money through advertising (more than $50/month) you need to have a big audience, with thousands of website visitors everyday. Most wellpreneurs will never have that type of traffic to their website.
When you put advertising onto a website, it hurts the user experience. Always.
So there’s a tradeoff. Are you going to earn enough revenue through the ads, to make it worth the inconvenience to users?
In my opinion, most health and wellness bloggers who get less than 15k visitors per month to their website, are better off focusing on building their email list and engaging with their audience (and even offering their own coaching, information products, or affiliate products), than putting advertising on your site.
Monetize Your Wellness Blog: Sponsorship
As a wellness blogger, you can find companies who will pay to have a “Sponsored Post” published on your blog. You can also agree to a sponsorship deal with a brand, where they might provide you with free product, in exchange for writing or sharing about their brand on your platform. This works for podcasts as well as blogs.
Why would companies pay you to talk about their products? Because they want access to your audience.
If you’re regularly blogging about health and wellness, you become a trusted expert in the eyes of your audience. Brands want to leverage that trust you’ve built, to have you talk about one of their products, and hopefully have your audience buy it.
Now you might think you need a huge audience to get a sponsorship, but that’s not always the case.
Brands are looking for health and wellness bloggers who have a great relationship with their audience, and who often have a very specific niche. So if you’re targeting general health and wellness, you probably do need a large audience. But what if you niche WAY down. What if you have THE site about a very specific niche, and an engaged following of readers? In that case, you can find brands who really want to target that specific niche, and who will consider sponsorship, even if you don’t have a huge blog following.
As your website grows, you’ll find brands contacting you about sponsorship. But if you have specific brands in mind that you’d love to work with, you can certainly reach out to them and inquire about partnership opportunities. They might be up for a sponsorship, or sending free product in exchange for a review, or even have an affiliate program you could join.
Just remember that your relationship with your audience is the most important thing! So you ALWAYS need to disclose when you’re being compensated to promote a product or service. If you have a sponsor, you need to be clear that it’s a sponsored post.
Monetize Your Wellness Blog: Physical Products
Does your wellness business have ‘accessories’ or products that your customers would need? For example, a yoga teacher could sell yoga props, yoga clothing, post-yoga tea, aromatherapy products etc. A gym could sell water bottles, fitness gear, mats, healthy snacks. A health coach could sell healthy skincare, healthy food, supplements etc.
You could sell other people’s products or you could create your own.
You could also decide whether you want to sell products directly on your website and handle the shipping yourself, or whether you want to send your orders to a drop-shipper or simply do an affiliate model (as discussed above) and refer sales to another website.
In this podcast interview I interview two wellpreneurs who sell physical products through their website.
Monetize Your Wellness Blog: MLM / Network Marketing
Essential oils, skincare, supplements … these products have become hugely popular among wellpreneurs to complement their other income streams. Multi-level Marketing (MLM) or Network Marketing sometimes has a bad reputation (think of Tupperware parties, Amway or Avon), but depending on the company, it can actually be a really positive experience. It all comes down to the quality of the product. If it’s a good product that you personally believe in and that makes sense in the context of your business, then this can be a good type of product offering to explore.
Monetize Your Wellness Blog: Write a Book!
What if you condensed your wellness knowledge and your method of working with clients into a book? Writing a book is a huge authority builder, and not only generates revenue through book sales, but also drives sales of your other products and services. But you don’t need to wait for a book deal with a traditional publishing company to see your name in print. You can self-publish your book through Amazon, and get both digital and physical print copies of your book to sell yourself or online via Amazon.
I wrote my own book, Wellpreneur, in 2017, and we’ve also covered book writing several times on the podcast. You might enjoy listening to these interviews: Writing a Book that Builds Your Business, How to Publish a Book, and my own interview where I share what I learned from self-publishing my book!
Monetize Your Wellness Blog: Donation
Finally, if you build a large enough audience who finds value in your work, you can accept donations through your website. The original way to do this was simply to put a PayPal button on the side of your site asking visitors to “Buy me a cup of coffee” – but today there are many more options. One of the most popular ways to accept donations through your website is through Patreon, a crowdfunding site where visitors can sponsor you at different levels. You can choose to provide different rewards or benefits based on their level of donation. For example, you might offer extra bonus content for lower-level subscribes, a monthly-group coaching call for higher subscribers and even a 1:1 coaching call for your premium subscribers, it’s completely up to you!