"Don't take this the wrong way - but how do you make money?"
I got that message the other day from a childhood friend. He'd seen me talking about travel and working online, and was genuinely curious how I support myself doing work I love - online.
It's a common question - even among wellpreneurs.
It's obvious how you earn money being a massage therapist, acupuncturist or personal trainer. You deliver your service and get paid. But online business, well that's a bit less clear for most people.
Running an online wellness business can at first seem 'too good to be true' or like a magical money machine. Neither are the case. I hate to break it to you, but you don't get money simply by creating a website or blogging!
The most successful online health + wellness entrepreneurs, use one or more of the strategies below to earn money online. Your website, blog or podcast is simply a platform that builds an audience. Once you have an audience, you can start monetizing using these options below.
One of the best aspects of having an online health and wellness business is the flexibility to create multiple income streams. You're not limited to simply selling products or delivering your services. You can create a few different ways to get paid, which gives you flexibility and lowers the risk in case one of your revenue streams stops growing.
Start Your Wellness Business - from scratch!
How to Make Money with an Online Health and Wellness Business
Most online wellness businesses use multiple income streams from the examples below. There's no reason you need to do just one! Although I do recommend on focusing on one at a time to get them setup. Create the first revenue stream, get it working, then move onto the next.
Health and Wellness Coaching
Offering coaching services is an easy income stream to start, because all you need is yourself and a phone (or laptop!) Coaching is often offered in 30 or 60 minute blocks, delivered over the phone or video call. You can offer 1:1 coaching sessions, or even online group programs. There are many Health Coach training programs available, in person and online. Here's a sample health coaching class for the training program I've personally taken and recommend. While you don't need much online setup at all to start health coaching, you DO need to find clients. It's often quickest to find your first clients in person, and then move online as your website gains popularity. Here's some advice from 11 health coaches on how they found their first client!
Health and Wellness Consulting
Consulting is different from coaching. With coaching, you're asking questions to your client to guide them towards their best answer, and holding them accountable for the results. With consulting, you're providing expert advice and sometimes even doing the implementation for your clients. Once you have experience and good results in one area of health and wellness, you could consider consulting with other businesses. Many wellpreneurs also use consulting to 'bridge the gap' between their day job and their wellness business. For example, if you previously worked in accounting, you could offer accounting services or consulting part-time until your wellness business can support you.
Physical Products about Health and Wellbeing
You can sell physical products related to your health + wellness business on your website. Common examples are supplements, workout gear, essential oils etc. You could either sell an existing product (by becoming a reseller, distributor, or joining a multi-level marketing company), or you could manufacture your own products to sell. Don't assume you have to ship products either. There are options to work with drop-shippers to use Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) so you don't need to handle shipping yourself. Listen to this interview with Adina Grigore of SW Basics about selling physical products.
Digital Products for Health and Wellness
Digital products like e-books, audio and videos are a good option to add to your revenue mix because they're "passive income". That means, once you've created the digital product, you can sell it 24/7 without putting in extra effort. (As opposed to coaching and consulting, which are "active" income.) It's really popular for wellpreneurs to create an ebook (either in PDF format, or sold as a Kindle book on Amazon.) Digital products are also a great way for more people to be able to work with you at a lower pricepoint than your 1:1 services. Listen to this interview with Janet Kafadar about creating online programs.
Online Courses for Health and Wellness
Online courses teach a specific skill or achieve a specific outcome for the student. They're often combined with group coaching for a more complete experience - for example, running 10 or 21 day 'detox' or 'cleanse' programs is very popular. Online courses can be 'live' (meaning they start at a specific time, and everyone goes through it together), or 'self-study' (meaning the student can buy at any time, and works through the material at her own pace. Listen to this interview with Acupuncturist Kit Yoon about running an online program.
Workshops + Retreats
You can offer workshops and retreats through your website. Readers who might not be in your local area may travel for a special workshop or retreat to meet you. You can create a complete business out of running retreats, or you can simply offer retreats once or twice a year as an opportunity to travel and meet your clients in person! Listen to this interview with Trip Tribe about running retreats.
In addition to creating your own products, you can provide referral links to other people's products by recommending them, and get a portion of the sales price. This is a fantastic way to earn a little money off of products that you personally love and recommend, and are probably recommending anyway! To get started, you'll want to think about the products you already use and recommend, and then do a quick web search to see if those companies have an affiliate program. If so, you sign up to their affiliate program, and they'll give you a customized tracking link to use when you talk about the product. Every sale that goes through your link, will earn you an affiliate commission. Listen to this podcast episode for more information about affiliate selling.
Sponsorships / Advertising
Once you've built an audience around your health and wellness business, you can look at sponsorships and advertising. Companies want to reach your audience! You can receive sponsored products or run sponsored posts on your site. You could also run advertising, although this doesn't earn very much money at all until you have a lot of traffic to your website. For most wellpreneurs, sponsorships will be more lucrative, if you are careful to choose sponsors who align with your brand, and if you make it clear when a post is sponsored (to maintain credibility with your audience.)
There you have it! Of course there are other ways to earn revenue through your wellness business too. You could write books, or create an app, or run events ... the possibilities are endless!
What online revenue streams have you used in your business? What's working the best for you now?