9 real ways to make money in fitness (besides coaching)

By Ritvars Lauza read
01 Nov, 2023
9 real ways to make money in fitness (besides coaching)

With over 180,000 fitness clubs worldwide and an estimated $84 billion in revenue from memberships alone, it’s safe to say that the fitness industry is booming and it’s only going up from here.

The rise of popular health movements such as veganism and CrossFit means people are getting more concerned about their health and weight. In a world where everyone is so intimately connected through the internet, people want to look and feel good, making fitness a great industry to break into.

If you’re interested in making money in fitness, however, you’ll need to get creative. Coaching is arguably one of the most popular and straightforward ways for fitness enthusiasts to make money, but it’s also a highly oversaturated market.

Luckily, we’ve got you covered! We’ve rounded up our top 9 ways to make money in fitness without having to slave away in a gym coaching new people every week. Read on to find out more.

1. Sell workout plans

sellfy creator Ron Jones

If you want to make money in fitness, selling fitness plans can be one of the most profitable ways to do so. Known as a digital product, fitness plans can be created in the form of a video or PDF and then be sold as a download through your online store.

Sellfy is a platform where fitness experts can create an online store to sell their workout plans and the potential for income is far greater than simply coaching clients. Because it is a passive income source, you are not limited by however many hours you can work. Instead, the only limit you have is how many units you can sell.

Selling a workout plan is a lucrative way to make money in fitness. Just take a look at Chris Guzman’s store! Chris became an internet celebrity after he built a following of over 700,000 subscribers and then released his signature workout plan, Summer Shredding, as a pay-what-you-want product on Sellfy with all proceeds going to various cancer organizations.

What many people don’t realize, however, is that selling a workout plan is not as simple as creating it and waiting for the money to roll in. People will only care about your product if you make them care, meaning you will have to build a solid fanbase who will be interested in your product. Half the battle of selling a workout plan is promoting it.

However, if you have an active audience who is interested in your product or you are good at promoting and marketing yourself, selling a workout plan can be one of the best ways to make money in fitness. Once you’ve done the legwork, you will continue to make a profit for as long as people buy your workout plan.

2. Create a fitness app

In this digital age, people love to track and plan their fitness goals through their phones and apps make it quick and convenient for them to do so.

Let’s take a look at Freeletics. One of the most popular workout apps available, it has over 10 million downloads just on Google’s Play Store. The revenue you can bring in from advertisements alone through your app, never mind any paid features you might want to offer, is worth quite a bit.

When creating a fitness app, there are several different directions you can go including:

  • Meal planning
  • Custom workouts
  • Healthy recipes
  • Step tracker
  • Membership forums
  • Fitness goal management

You can incorporate one, some, or all of these features into your app and then use them as a way to generate income, both passive and active!

3. Sell meal plans and eBooks

Sellfy store example - Tahlia Skye
Fitness instructor Tahlia Skye is selling healthy recipe cookbooks in her Sellfy store.

Vegetarianism, the Paleolithic Diet, the Atkins Diet… With the recent surge in popularity of healthy living, people care about what they eat and they’ll pay money to make sure that what they eat is healthy. This is good news for you if you have specific culinary or fitness knowledge!

Another digital product, meal plans, and eBooks are a popular staple in the fitness industry right now and there are several different topics you can cover in this genre. From the science of nutrition to diet-specific recipes, you can take your eBook in any direction or even create a whole series focusing on different aspects of fitness.

When creating meal plans and eBooks, there are 3 things you’ll need:

  • The content: Whether it’s customized meal plans or a scientific look at the effectiveness of the Paleo diet, you’ll need written content for your customers. Take a look here for a step-by-step guide on how to finish an eBook in 30 days.
  • Professional images: People tend to process visual information better, so it’s important that you fill your eBook with high-quality pictures and images. If you can afford it, consider hiring a professional photographer.
  • A kickass eBook cover: A good eBook cover can make or break you, so make sure you come up with a good one. Check out our post 8 Free and Paid Ways to Create a Kickass eBook Cover.

Once you’ve got your eBook ready to go, you can create an online store through Sellfy to sell your product. Sellfy is already a popular platform for meal plans–check out Lauren Gleisberg’s “Eat Your Way Lean” for a neat example of a popular ebook.

4. Sell fitness products

Gyms aren’t the only way to get fit anymore. With so many fitness apps, online workout plans, and digital coaches, more and more people prefer to workout from the comfort of their own homes, making this a great market for you to enter.

The possibilities for fitness products are endless. You can find some examples below:

  • Fitness tracker
  • Jump ropes
  • Resistance bands
  • Exercise balls
  • Fit boards
  • Foam rollers
  • Pre-workout supplements

Just take a look at Fitbit, the tiny watch that keeps track of your activity, exercise, and diet, among other things. With over $1.6 billion in revenue from 2017 alone, it’s obvious there’s a market for fitness products.

However, creating the product is only half the battle. People will only buy your product if you can get it out there and get them interested. One of the best ways to do this is through social media, and Instagram is a particularly good platform since many of its users are a part of the healthy living community in one way or another. You can find some great tips on how to sell your fitness products in this article: How to Sell on Instagram.

5. Organise fitness seminars

Sellfy store example - 1-on-1 calls
Our friend Ron Jones offers this service in his Sellfy’s fitness studio.

Fitness seminars can be an incredibly profitable way to make money in the fitness industry. You can host your own seminar at a location of your own choice or even give a presentation at popular trade shows and conferences, which can snag you a lot of publicity.

Seminars also have the added benefit of providing material for your future money-making efforts. You can record them and use them to market to future customers, raise brand awareness, or even sell them through your store Sellfy. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!

If you’re new to the idea of a fitness seminar, head over to Perform Better and check out their seminars. They offer sign-up information for a seminar near you and also have highlights from past seminars uploaded to their website, so you can get a better idea of what a well-planned seminar should look like.

6. Become a brand ambassador

Promote digital products on YouTube

If you have a decent following, whether on social media or your own website, consider becoming a brand ambassador. While many people write off social media influencers as a way to make money, it can actually bring in a nice bit of income. Just take a look at Maryana Dvorska, a popular fitness Youtuber with over 270,000 subscribers who have landed sponsorships with big-name companies such as Gymshark and Women’s Best.

Brand ambassadors promote other brands in their niche on their social media pages or websites and then receive either free products, a percentage of profit from products they promote, or an agreed-upon flat rate.

If you have the following to become a brand ambassador, check out Aspire IQ, an online platform that connects brand ambassadors with brands. It’s quick, convenient, and created with novices and social media veterans alike in mind.

7. Create a blog

While not the easiest option on this list, creating a blog is one of the most lucrative. Once your blog is up and running, you can use it to make money through your personal services, paid membership forums, advertisement space, brand partnerships, affiliate marketing, and more.

Be aware however that blogs are long-term business strategies. It may take a year or longer before you start seeing a profit. But, the possibilities are endless once you’re up and running. You can head over to Natalie Jill’s popular blog to get an idea of what a successful fitness blog looks like and begin planning your own!

8. Write about fitness

Sellfy store example GlowBodyPT
Selling digital downloads is more suitable for professionals who have a particular knowledge set or have a specific idea for a product in mind.

Okay, maybe running a blog isn’t for you but that doesn’t mean you can’t write for one. With so many fitness websites, magazines, and journals, fitness writers are in hot demand and can command between $25-$60 an hour on average.

Fitness writing is fairly easy to get into since you can work as a freelancer and get gigs through platforms like Upwork and Fiverr. You can build a portfolio this way and then approach real companies for more high-paying work.

9. Offer custom meal plans

Sellfy Store example - Emilio Born

If you have a background in culinary, offering custom meal plans could be a great way to make money. Custom meal plans differ from selling meal plan eBooks in that they are specifically customized for each client to take into account factors like age, weight, and taste.

Custom meal plans tend to take up more time than meal plan eBooks because they have to be created weekly or monthly for each client, but this also means that you can make more money off of a single customer. It’s a nice little perk since it means you’ll always have a general idea of how much you’ll make every month.

You can offer different options when creating custom meal plans such as grocery pricing, delivery, and health goals. You can check out Platejoy for an example of a phenomenal custom meal plan business and take some notes.

FAQ: How to make money in fitness

How to make money by selling fitness plans?

You can make money by selling fitness plans through various avenues. Consider creating and selling digital fitness plans, workout guides, meal plans, or online training programs. Platforms like Sellfy offer an easy way to set up an online store to showcase and sell your fitness products to a global audience.

Can I sell workout plans without being certified?

While certifications can add credibility, selling workout plans is generally permissible without specific certifications. However, it’s essential to provide accurate and safe information. Focus on showcasing your expertise through success stories, testimonials, and quality content to gain trust and attract customers.

How to make money as a personal trainer?

As a personal trainer, you can earn money through in-person sessions, group classes, or online coaching. Additionally, selling digital fitness products like training guides, ebooks, or video tutorials can create passive income streams. By leveraging online platforms like Sellfy, you can expand your reach, sell digital products, and monetize your expertise beyond traditional training sessions.

Related topics

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Ritvars is the marketing lead at Sellfy. With over 6 years of experience in online marketing & eCommerce, Ritvars shares his knowledge in Sellfy blog. He is inspired by the success of Sellfy creators and is passionate about finding new ways how he can help them succeed.