You’re a fitness professional with a website and an intent to share your information with the world. You want to help others and make some money in the process. Nothing wrong with that. But there might be something wrong with your approach. Here’s a list of five writing mistakes you should never make. Note that many are said in jest and that I’ve been guilty of all of them myself.
1) Don’t Use Weak, Timid Language
For people to believe what you write YOU actually have to do so first. If you write in a wishy-washy style and tell people that “this could work and that could work but neither has been proven by studies, blah, blah, blah,” they’ll leave your site quicker than a hiccup.
That doesn’t teach anyone anything. It only confuses them.
Here are a few examples:
Weak Message- “Well, you could eat breakfast if you want or you could skip it. At the end of the day we’re going to be looking at total macros, which may prove to be the most important factor. More studies are required, however, so we can’t say for sure.”
Strong Message- “Breakfast sucks.” – Martin Berkhan
Weak Message- “Well, you can eat grains and dairy if you really want. Everything in moderation, as they say. People have survived for many years eating these foods. It won’t kill you as long as you do some exercise and eat enough fruits and veggies.”
Strong Message- “Grains and dairy suck. Surviving is not thriving.”- Mark Sisson, Robb Wolf, Art DeVany
Weak Message- “The best training system is the one you aren’t doing,” or the equally as bad, “Everything works for 6-8 weeks.”
Strong Message- “One set of rest pause is THE supreme way of training.” – Dante Trudel
Note: Those are not direct quotes from the guys above but rather a summary of their message.
If you actually want to help people you have to believe in and SAY SOMETHING!
Don’t be a limp dick. No one’s a fan of that.
2) Don’t Use the Phrase “In the Trenches” in Your Bio
I’ve done this in the past and consider it one of my bigger regrets, right up there with drinking an entire blender full of margaritas two hours before our “we’re-selling-the-house-and-moving” party started. If my friend, Kyle is reading this, I apologize for the malicious intent to puke in your hair and, again, thank my other friend Mike, for stuffing my naked carcass into bed at 8pm that night.
Here’s another buddy of mine, John Romaniello explaining why the use of this phrase is just awful:
“If there was ever a stupider, lamer, more obnoxious way of saying, “I’ve had this job for a while, now,” I really don’t fucking know it. Every time someone says this shit, I feel my brain cells committing suicide. You’re a fucking trainer—and unless you were training clients on the Western Front of Germany in 1918, you’ve never been in a trench. So, in the interest of me not wanting to kill myself and you not sounding like a douchebag, please, please for the love of God, go to the About page of your site and delete this shit immediately. “
While you’re deleting that you might want to get rid of the arms folded profile pic too and come up with something that hasn’t been done to death (see the played out, unoriginal pose I speak of, below in my footer banner).
3) Don’t Get Too Technical
It’s been said that if you really know a subject well you should be able to explain it in two minutes to a ten year old in language he or she would easily understand.
When you start breaking out all the scientific mumbo jumbo just to sound smart you have failed to help your audience in any appreciable way. You may have impressed your colleagues but you haven’t made anyone’s life any easier or better (which should be your main goal when taking pen to paper, or finger to keyboard).
If your business model and blog is based solely on writing for other fitness professionals then feel free to make it as Einsteinian as you’d like. But don’t expect Sean Hyson and Lou Shuler to be putting you in any books or magazines any time soon.
4) Don’t Feel Like You Have to Justify Everything You Write
Write only to help people who know less about training or nutrition than you do. Don’t feel the need to justify every statement you make because of the possibility that Eric Cressey (injury related stuff) or Nate Miyaki (nutrition related stuff) or Dave Tate (powerlifting related stuff) may be reading it.
You’re not writing for those guys (who are all buddies of mine so don’t Tweet them and say I challenged them to a fight; a dance off maybe, but not a fight). You’re writing for the less informed.
Genuinely good guys in the biz will never call you out so don’t worry about it. Worry about helping people who need help.
5) Don’t Promote Crap But Don’t Be Scared to Promote
Some guys make the mistake of garnering a following and then getting in too much of a hurry to monetize their blog. So they start promoting every product that ever comes out, every week of the year. This is a great way to kill your reputation and your readership.
Instead, give people good information on a regular basis and when something comes out that you truly believe in and have used yourself by all means promote it if you think it will help your readers.
You don’t have to be scared to promote something you like if it’s going to genuinely benefit someone.
Which is what I’m doing right now…
Lou Schuler, Sean Hyson, and John Romaniello just announced the release of their new product, How to Get Published: Writing Domination in the Fitness Industry.
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It’s an awesome course that will help you increase your exposure and grow your bank account.
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If you’re a fitness professional it’s an investment in your career that you can’t afford not to make.
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