Most personal trainers and strength coaches think there’s no need to try to write blogs (and articles – blogs often lead to articles) unless you selfishly seek industry credibility.
In this post I’m highlighting six great reasons why every personal trainer should write a blog that go beyond simply trying to make a name for yourself.
1. To help people beyond those in your local area
All trainers and coaches want to help people improve their health and lifestyle by becoming better students of nutrition and building an interest in regular exercise. Well, if helping people is your goal than why not do everything you can to have as many people exposed to your work as possible? Writing a blog gives you the opportunity to help far more people than you ever could by limiting yourself to only those in your local community.
Here’s something else to think about:
Let’s say you train a client or a group of clients from 10am – 11am on Thursday. After that session is over and done with, what you did is now a ghost. It’s a memory to only you and the clients involved. And, probably not a very strong memory at that because it’s a normal occurrence for all involved.
However, if you write about all of the great things you did in that session, it’s no longer a ghost. It becomes alive to you and to the rest of world! Now that session you wrote about has it’s own piece of Internet real estate that can only go up in value. In that, it can be seen by an ever-growing number of people (from all over the world) and potentially serve as a valuable resource to them. A resource that may influence them, inspire them and that they’ll share with other like-minded people.
That said, it’s obvious that writing a blog doesn’t guarantee that it will be widely influential, but not sharing your voice and information online does guarantee that it won’t be. Talent finds attention. So, if your information resonates with people, it will find attention. And, that attention will build on itself through word of mouth.
2. To help other like-minded fitness professionals
Sure you might be getting better as a trainer or coach, but are you helping other trainers and coaches get better around you?
You see, a great personal trainer or strength coach is first and foremost a great teacher. And, as a teacher, if you’re most proud of anything it’s the accomplishments of your students. You’re proud to be associated with them and proud to be a part of their journey. Well, writing blogs (and articles) gives other trainers and coaches the opportunity to be your students, and allows you to help them in their own accomplishments; to be a part of their journey.
Your best friends in this game are those who bring out the best in you. By sharing your experiences and perspectives via writing a blog, you let other like-minded trainers and coaches know that they’re not alone in how they think and feel. That breeds confidence and community. And, those two things help to bring out the best in people.
3. To not just exist within your field but also add to it
Piggy-backing on what I’ve discussed so far, the more personal trainers and strength coaches you’re able to help, the more impact you can have on improving the field in the ways you feel it needs.
This is where many trainers and coaches can’t seem to get out of their own way. In that, they love to complain about all of the things they think are wrong with the professional fitness & conditioning field, but they don’t want to step-up and make their best attempt at trying to provide solutions to the problems they see by putting their own voice and information out there. That’s what writing a blog allows you to do! It provides you a world-wide platform to share your knowledge and perspectives, and to model the behavior you wish to see in others.
In other words, if you don’t like the way something is done or you think something important is being left out, speak up and tell us about it! We all want to get better. So, if you have something that you think can help us get better, let us know about it in your blog. In my book, the times you see a problem that you’re capable of trying to do something about and you still don’t try to do anything, you lose the right to complain about it.
Talk about working towards something that’s bigger than yourself! How about trying to give back to the field that’s given you the ability to do what you love. To make your best effort to leave the field a better place than when you came into it by providing the industry with the tools and resources that you wished were available to you. That’s what I’m all about! I want my work in the field to become my legacy; to overshadow any training hours I did as my job.
4. To be a better communicator
Training and coaching (i.e., teaching) are all bout communication. This is because it’s not just having knowledge; it’s being able to effectively communicate that knowledge to others in a simple and clear manner that they can understand.
Many trainers and coaches can do things intuitively but they have difficulty communicating it to others. That said, sharing your perspectives and practices through writing blogs (and articles) forces you to (better) organize your thoughts, which allows you to continually learn how to better communicate your intellectual material to others.
My teaching style has a lot to do with improving how knowledge/information is communicated. Writing has helped to be a complex professional with simple messages. And, I’ve become a much better trainer and educator from it.
5. To be a better personal trainer or strength & conditioning coach
We’ve all heard the saying, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t know it well enough.” Not only does the thought organizing that comes from writing help you to be a more effective communicator, and therefore be a more effective coach or trainer, but it also helps you to better get to know your own material.
It’s no secret that continuing education is a crucial part of our professional growth as fitness and conditioning professionals. However, all of the things we associate as continuing our education (e.g., books, courses, etc.) are simply information gathering. That said, the thought organization (i.e., information organizing) that writing forces you to do provides you with an extremely valuable type of learning that you can’t get from any book, course or conference.
To put in another way, when you read books, take courses and attend conferences you’re accumulating education dots. On the other hand, the thought organization that comes from writing is about connecting those dots. It’s about evaluating how to best take what’s out there, what you’ve had success with and how you’re going to continue to build on that. More specifically, it’s about being reflective about what you do and why you do it in order to develop your philosophy. And, it’s your philosophy that gives you stable ground on shaky topics and provides you (and others you teach) with clarity and simplicity.
Writing constantly is like training consistently: Each day you do it builds on the next. You’re stacking days! So, work to get 1-percent better today, not just in your physical development but also in your professional and intellectual development. It will take 100 percent of your energy every day to get just 1 percent better. But it is energy well spent because you don’t really know what your point of view is until you’ve experienced it through constant self-reflection and evaluation. That’s the reason why you have to put in many hours of constant writing, constant thought organization – to find and continue to refine your point of view.
6. To gain more perspective
At restaurants, you’ve seen your friends who were servers themselves start doing server-type things at the table (e.g., stacking the empty plates and organizing the used silverware). As funny as that observation is, it’s also a glaring example of someone having more perspective, better perspective (than others who haven’t had that same experience) on what goes into you getting your meal at a restaurant because they’ve been on the other side of things. And, from having that perspective, they don’t just see the meal, they see of all the hard work servers have to put in, which usually makes them a more understanding and appreciative customer. From this perspective, they also don’t only see the interactions the server has with your table, but they also see all of the assholes that severs have to deal with on a regular basis, which usually causes them to act less-entitled and more respectful towards the server.
Well, it’s the same for being a blog/article author. In that, being on the content creation side of the equation gives you a different perspective on things – a better perspective that you wouldn’t usually have unless you’ve done it yourself. And, knowing what it’s like on the other side of things enables you see that many of the judgments and critiques made towards training blog/article authors that are based on what seem obvious, seem like common sense to non-authors are actually based on their misunderstanding, unrealistic assessment or downright ignorance on the matter. That’s why gaining more perspective, better perspective on the content creation side of things tends to make you less entitled and judgmental, while being more understanding, appreciative and respectful towards others who are in that same position.
A word on Young Trainers and Experience
Many passionate and bright young trainers are worried about starting a blog thinking that people will claim that they’re too in-expereinced. I address my thoughts on this topic, which may surprise you, at 17:30 mark of this interview I did with Joe Drake for Axiom Fitness.
As I said in my article, 10 Tips For Writing Better Fitness Articles:
“If you want to influence people, you have to know what’s already influencing them. We know that people are going on the Internet to get information – you reading this article is evidence of this reality. That said, many health and fitness professionals get hung up on the fact that there is already so much (conflicting) information out there, with much of this information being of poor quality and coming from unreliable sources. This makes them question whether they should even bother writing blogs and articles of their own.
Put simply, of course you should bother writing blogs and articles because the answer to having lots of blogs/articles from unreliable sources certainly isn’t to have zero blogs/articles from reliable sources; it’s for reliable sources to write more blogs/articles – better blogs and articles!”
The job of the fitness professional and strength coach is as difficult as it is rewarding. The same can be said for writing blogs and articles. So, it’s important to have compelling reasons for doing it. What’s more compelling than 1) being able to help more people, both inside and outside of your field, and 2) developing into a much better trainer or coach while 3) gaining some important perspective that helps you to become a more respectful and appreciative human being.
Maybe the work you’ve done for those reasons eventually awards you with a name in the field, but it’s really about what you’ve become known for based on how you’ve gone about it. You are what your body of work says you are. And, the value of becoming known as a person of character and integrity is priceless.