July 21st, 2020

Everything You Need to Know About Writing About Health and Fitness

Cat icon

Written by Rebecca Van Laer

Isolation tanks. Aerial yoga. Fasting. Jade eggs.

The $80 Billion health and fitness industry has come a long way since the days when Nordictrack and the Atkins diet ruled the land. Today, it’s crowded with more players and trends than ever before. As people look for new ways to care for themselves, reach fitness goals, and improve long-term health outcomes, the health and fitness industry skyrockets. 

Yet carving out your niche requires you to create and deliver high-quality blog content to your target audience.

People look to health and wellness blogs to provide accurate, reliable information that improves their mental and physical health. How can you balance this important responsibility with your brand voice and long-term goals? This is your guide to blog writing on health and fitness.

Balance Voice and Accuracy


As a health and fitness blogger, it’s important to stay true to your brand’s voice while providing accurate information to the public. 

While a fashion blogger may have wide leeway to say whatever they want about a recent runway show, a health and fitness blogger’s words can have a greater impact on people’s health. 

As such, they’re subject to more regulation (as we’ll discuss in the next section), and require different strategies. 

But before we get into what you can’t blog about, let’s talk about some must-dos for blog writing on health and fitness. 

Steps For Success Health and Fitness Blogs

As a health blogger, it’s important to:

  • Identify your audience – Are you speaking to Gen-Zers, or people going through menopause? Fitness buffs looking for their next biohack, or an audience ready to take their first step off the couch? You may even be marketing to a niche audience of people with a particular long-term managed illness or wellness hobby. Get as specific as possible about who you’re writing for and the particular lifestyle they live. 

  • Establish a voice – Once you know who you’re talking to, consider how you want to present your health and fitness blog posts. Are you a health authority? Or flirting with fitness? It can be helpful to look at similar blogs in your space and brainstorm ways in which your voice is different. Maybe you offer more thorough, scientifically-backed research—or maybe you spice up your posts with more puns.

  • Draw on research – No matter your brand’s voice, it’s important never to spread medical misinformation that can damage people’s health. Before blogging about a new dietary supplement, fasting trend, or exercise routine, make sure you have a clear understanding of why it might work, who it’s safe for, and what potential risks exist.

The Art of Hedging


When you’re drawing on research to create your articles, it’s important not to overstate researchers’ claims.

Say you’re writing a post on the benefits of yoga with cats. Maybe your studio is even introducing a new class in collaboration with a local animal shelter. As part of that post, you come across a piece of research that says:

“dog and cat owners make fewer annual doctor visits and are less likely to be on medication for heart problems and sleeping difficulties than non-owners.”

Say you want to include this research in your article. There’s a right and a wrong way to do it:

  • Very wrong – Cat yoga combats heart disease.

  • Wrong – Time with a cat will decrease your medical bills this year.

  • Right – Some studies show a correlation between time with animals and positive health outcomes. Don’t have a pet? Cat yoga is a great way to meet some new feline friends!

Qualifiers like “some” and tentative verbs like “suggest” help you hedge rather than making claims you can’t really support.

Learn the art of hedging while blog writing health and fitness content to generate posts that engage your target audience without any harmful misinformation. This is essential both for public health, and the health of your blog—serious inaccuracies could in some cases land you in hot legal water. Which brings us to...

Understand Regulations


In addition to the above steps, it’s important to understand any regulations that may apply to your health and fitness blog posts. 

If you blog about healthy living, you have a responsibility—and depending on your specific focus, several kinds of regulations could apply to your blog posts. 

Let’s take a look at each.

FTC regulations


The Federal Trade Commission ensures truth in advertising. They ensure that promotional content (including blog posts) follow two broad rules: “Advertising must tell the truth and not mislead consumers. In addition, claims must be substantiated.”

FTC regulations apply in the following cases:

  • You’re a fitness retailer whose health and wellness blog directly promotes your products. Claims you make about your product’s efficacy are subject to FTC regulations.

  • You’re writing sponsored blog posts to promote a weight loss supplement. While you can talk about your personal experience, broader claims about the product might be subject to regulation.

Keep in mind that FTC regulation applies to all advertising, so if your health blog posts promote a product or service, they apply.

FDA regulations 


While FTC guidelines are broadly applicable, the Food and Drug Administration plays an additional role in making sure certain products come with accurate, scientifically-backed claims about their benefits. 

You’re probably used to the long disclaimers at the end of pharmaceutical commercials. As you can tell from these, the FDA has a list of regulations for prescription drug manufacturers. These companies hedge, too: they say that a product might help rather than claiming it’s a miracle solution. 

In addition, they provide a long list of potential side effects.

To avoid issues with the FDA, it is sometimes best to avoid the mention of any specific disease when advertising an FDA-regulated product. 

Other sectors regulated by the FDA include:

  • Dietary supplements (i.e. vitamins, fiber, probiotics)

  • Foods that make health claims (i.e. specific ingredients or superfood blends like smoothies)

HIPAA and HITeCH Compliance


The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act ensures that medical patients’ privacy is protected.

If you’re blogging for a medical practice, hospital, or other HIPAA-regulated organization, that means you have to make sure none of your posts contain information that could breach a patient’s privacy.

Vary Your Post Type


Once you’ve figured out how to balance accurate, regulation-compliant information with your unique brand voice, you’re ready to take off running. 

But what should you write?

If you’re creating a company blog, your audience will get tired of repetitive posts promoting your product.

If you’re an individual blogger, you can only write so much about your personal experience without losing readers’ interest.

It’s important to have strategies to create unique, organic content that readers actually want to engage with. Try out the following blog writing techniques to keep readers engaged:

  • Do a series – Rather than coming up with health or fitness topics for stand-alone posts, do a deep dive into a blog topic related to your industry. Are you a fitness coach? Consider a multi-part series on the relationship between mind and body to talk more deeply about the role mindset plays in achieving long term goals. A vitamin startup? Spend a series of blog posts breaking down the organ systems, and how vitamins support each.

  • Conduct interviews – Adding an expert’s perspective can be a great way to brainstorm and create new health and fitness content. Because you write an intro, ask the questions, and edit the responses, you have the power to shape the piece and make sure it aligns with your brand and goals.

  • Include listicles – Longform pieces aren’t the only way to blog. List-based articles on topics like “Top 10 yoga poses for building strength” and “5 natural ways to improve your mood” can attract new readers (and give you a way to promote your own products and services, too). Also, consider link round-ups in this category.

  • Highlight recent news – Try detailing a single scientific study or a recent trend in your community. Be sure to keep your audience in mind, translating the blog topic into language that’s easy to understand. Highlight the parts of the study or trends that relate to your own brand or services.

The more blogs you write, the easier it is to generate fresh topics and keep the variety coming. 

Look Out for New Trends


As a blogger, part of your job is to stay ahead of the curve. Not every trend is relevant to your audience, and some are medically unsound. 

However, keeping your finger on the pulse of healthy living can help you identify new areas to build content. 

If you try out a new blog post on Ayurveda and functional movement, you might hear crickets in the comments—or it might introduce you to a whole new user base.

Since most successful bloggers post bi-weekly or more, you have plenty of room to experiment. 

What’s stopping you?

Copycat Copywriters


Are you looking for fresh content for your health or fitness blog? Connecting with your audience, complying with relevant regulations, and coming up with new blog content can be a tall order. At Copycat, we have the health and wellness expertise to create research-based articles that satisfy everyone from picky regulators to curious readers.

Our writers have a wide range of critical and creative backgrounds they can put to use in your health and wellness blog.

Curious to see what we can do? Request your free piece of content today.

Sources: 

F45Invest. Why the fitness industry is booming. https://www.f45invest.com/blog/why-the-fitness-industry-is-booming

Social Indicators Research. Health Benefits and Health Cost Savings Due to Pets. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1023/A:1006892908532

Federal Trade Commission. Advertising and marketing on the Internet. https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/advertising-marketing-internet-rules-road

CHPA. Advertising dietary supplements. https://www.chpa.org/DS_Advertising.aspx

Copycat Copywriters © 2017 - 2020