How I Left Work Behind and Built a Profitable Fitness Blog

Do what you love what you do

Tom: the following is a guest post by Henry Croft, the founder of a website you’re going to learn a lot about in this post. I’m seriously impressed with what Henry has managed to achieve in one short year – it just goes to show that blogging is far from dead as a means of making money online. Take it away Henry!

On March 17th, 2014 my fitness blog GymTalk celebrated its first birthday.

Over the last year I have managed to grow the website from something which started out life as a bit of a laugh into a profitable online business which can now support me financially – just about!

In its first year GymTalk achieved:

  • 420,996 page views
  • 2 Fitness Blogging Awards
  • £9,300 (~$15,000) turnover
  • 10,000+ followers on social media

Quitting my 9-5 job to earn a living online has been a tough journey full of missteps, sleepless nights and anxiety, but I do not regret a single day of it.

Although I still have a long way to go, the whole process has been a labour of love and doing something that I’m passionate about seven days a week has been a revelation.

The following is my story so far.

How I Created Paid to Blog Jobs [Membership Site Case Study]

Paid to Blog Jobs

I closed the doors on beta access to Paid to Blog Jobs just a few hours ago. In the four days that the doors were open, we managed to attract a total of 75 members, each paying $20 per month.

While it’s far too early to call PtBJ a success (my definition of which I’ll get into later), enough money in the bank to cover my financial outlay after the beta launch is a good start.

In this post I want to reveal the steps behind the creation of PtBJ. If you’re thinking about launching your own membership site, or are simply interested in knowing the process I went through, keep reading.

The Success (And Failure) of Paid to Blog

Signs to success and failure.

At the beginning of last December I re-launched my freelance blogging guide. What was once a PDF (originally launched in November 2012) became a fully fledged online course, re-branded as Paid to Blog.

My main reason for updating and re-launching the course was that I wasn’t 100% satisfied with the original. I wanted to create, beyond a shadow of my own doubt, the best guide available for aspiring and existing freelance bloggers. I felt I needed to get that monkey off my back before I moved on to other projects.

I wanted the course to be a “critical” success (and if the lack of refund requests is anything to go by, people are pretty happy). However, I’m not going to pretend that I didn’t want it to be a financial success too. If you’re interested in finding out how the re-launch affected my bottom line (and how you can learn from its successes and failures), read on!

5 Lessons Learned from My Failed Authority Blog Project


In my experience, a lot of people are under the impression that once you’ve “made it” as an entrepreneur (whatever that means), you stop making mistakes.

Well, I certainly haven’t. I’m probably making as many mistakes these days as I ever did. Fortunately, I’ve also had some success along the way to balance things out.

I don’t see failure as the enemy. Failure usually offers up huge learning opportunities. Furthermore, rarely is any failure a true “failure” in the literal sense of the word.

The failed project I am going to discuss in this post provides one such example of how beneficial failure can be. It has taught me an enormous amount and (to an extent) defined the direction of a major future project of mine. I for one am bizarrely happy that I was victim to such “failure.” Read on to find out why!

Email Marketing Best Practices (My 5 Step Guide to a Successful Campaign)

Email Me

The internet marketing world is packed full of catchphrases that tend to annoy me.

One such catchphrase is, “The money is in the list!” It really bugs me — especially because I relate it to those internet marketers who create the kind of contrived email autoresponder series that I hate. When I first launched this blog back in June 2011 I made a promise to myself (and my as yet non-existent audience) to not go down that road.

Which brings me to the present day and my email list. In my time I have created three different email autoresponder series (two of which I have scrapped) and ten different lists. At the time of writing I have a total of 3,668 subscribers, which may not be a lot but it is enough to make me a good income.

With that in mind, in this post I want to share with you a five step guide to email marketing best practices — the process I have followed (through trial and error) to establish what I consider to be a successful email list.