Fitness influencing has exploded in popularity over the last few years. As more people focus on health and wellness, there‘s a massive audience hungry for motivational yet educational fitness content. As a fitness influencer, you have immense potential to build a personal brand that monetizes your audience.
I have been working in the social media marketing space for over 5 years, helping fitness professionals grow and monetize their influence. With the right strategy, fitness influencers can earn anywhere from $40,000 to $150,000+ per year. However, you need the tools and knowledge to convert your hard-won followers into paying customers and clients.
In this comprehensive guide, I‘ll share the 5 most effective methods for fitness influencers to make money in 2023, according to data and my own experience.
1. Sponsored Content Deals & Brand Partnerships
Hands down, sponsored content is one of the most lucrative ways for fitness influencers to monetize their audience. Social media has made influencer marketing a multi-billion dollar industry, and health & wellness brands are hungry to partner with fitness influencers.
As you likely know, sponsored posts involve creating branded content to promote a brand‘s product or service to your audience. The key is partnering with relevant brands that genuinely align with your niche – this helps influence your followers to make purchases without damaging your credibility.
Relevant Sponsored Content Opportunities
Supplement Brands: Protein powders, pre-workouts, vitamins
Athleisure Brands: Gymshark, Nike, Lululemon
Health Apps: MyFitnessPal, Fitbit, Peloton
Fitness Equipment: Tonal, Tempo, Mirror
According to Mediakix, the average cost companies pay for a sponsored Instagram post are:
|Cost Per Post
|1,000 – 10,000
|$100 – $250
|10,000 – 50,000
|$250 – $500
|50,000 – 100,000
|$500 – $1,000
|100,000 – 500,000
|$1,000 – $5,000
|500,000 – 1 million
|$5,000 – $10,000
As you can see, fitness influencers can charge premium rates from brands thanks to their hyper-targeted reach on valuable health-conscious consumers.
And sponsored posts are just the start. As you grow your following into the high millions, you become eligible for long-term sponsorship deals, ambassador roles, and partnerships that involve developing your own lines of products. Top fitness influencers like Kayla Itsines have landed deals worth multi-millions per year!
My #1 Tip: Partner with relevant niche brands first to build your portfolio and experience. This will equip you to negotiate larger contracts over time.
2. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is a scalable method for monetizing your audience through content recommendations rather than direct promotions.
For context, affiliate programs allow you to earn commission when you refer customers to a brand. This usually involves sharing special tracking links and discount codes for products – if readers purchase through your link, you receive an affiliate commission.
Commissions vary hugely between 5-20%+ depending on the brand, allowing for excellent earning potential, especially given most programs are free to join. When leveraged across your blog, social channels, and email lists, affiliate links can earn $1000s per month quite easily.
Here are some great fitness affiliate programs to consider:
Gymshark – 10-15% Commission
Women‘s Best – 20% Commission
Onnit – Up to 20% Commission
OYO Personal Gym – $200 Commission
The key is showcasing brands you actually use and love – this builds trust and increases conversions from your valuable audience.
Pro Tip: Install affiliate link tracking software like Impact or Commission Junction to reveal your top converting posts and maximize your earnings.
3. Digital Products & Services
Creating and selling your own fitness products allows you to tap into the surging health & wellness market, while leveraging your expertise.
There‘s no shortage of potential products you could create, including:
Online Training Programs
Custom Meal Plans
Virtual Coaching Packages
Online Fitness Courses
Digital products mean very low overhead costs, allowing excellent profit margins. They also provide great flexibility – as long as your website or sales platform remains online, you can run things remotely while passively earning.
Set up your own online store using platforms like:
Or sell through your website using plugins like MemberPress.
Promote your products organically through your social channels and email lists. Successfully fitness influencers make 6-figures+ from digital product sales alone!
4. Paid Subscriptions (Patreon, OnlyFans, etc)
Paid subscription platforms allow you to offer exclusive content and added value to your most engaged followers – for a monthly fee.
Options like Patreon, OnlyFans, and Memberstack help you bundle together "extras" that delight subscribers, incentivizing them to pay for access. Possible perks include:
- Exclusive workout videos
- Live streams
- Weekly meal plans
- New recipes
- Discounts & early access
Top fitness influencers leverage subscriptions to earn predictable, recurring income each month. But more importantly, this model allows you to better reward your most loyal fans.
Pricing strategies vary greatly, but often start around $5-20 per month for entry access tiers. Top creators can charge far more for things like personalized coaching. Some pointers:
- Offer clear value in exchange for a subscriber‘s money
- Provide tiered plans to cater to different budgets
- Send surprise perks to bring delight
Subscription income can really compound thanks to the retention and referrals from devoted subscribers.
5. Brand Sponsorships & Long-Term Partnerships
As fitness influencers enter the elite ranks with followers in the millions, larger sponsorship deals open up. We‘re talking 5 and 6-figure contracts from major sportswear brands.
In many ways, you become a celebrity brand ambassador at this tier, landing deals to exclusively promote athletic apparel brands across your channels. Think sponsored content on steroids.
For context, fitness influencer Jen Selter landed a 5-year sponsorship deal with Puma estimated at $4 million. Social media fitness queen Kayla Itsines has brought in multi-millions promoting gym brands like Sweat.
Landing contracts like this takes years of hard work building your audience and crafting your personal brand. But fitness influencing can absolutely pave the way for major sponsorship deals and partnerships in time.
My advice – focus on nailing your niche, creating viral content, and developing clear branding. With millions of engaged followers, major sponsorship deals will come knocking!
The Takeaway: Diversify your income streams for maximum earning potential as an influencer. Start with what you can control – your content, product, and audience – and let the big deals unfold naturally in time.
Effort vs Reward Breakdown
To succeed financially as a fitness influencer, it‘s crucial to focus your limited time on money-making activities that yield the highest ROI. Here‘s a comparison:
As shown, sponsored content provides exceptional value relative to the time investment needed. Partnering with brands to promote relevant products to your audience takes some work, but generates excellent earnings.
Comparatively, creating your own digital products and programs takes vastly more effort but also unlocks higher profit potential long-term.
My advice – begin monetizing with simpler income streams like affiliates and branded content. Allow the passive revenue to finance creation of your own products.
Final Takeaways: Start Monetizing Your Influence
Becoming a profitable fitness influencer boils down to 3 key steps:
1. Build your niche audience through valuable fitness entertainment and education.
2. Diversify your income sources using this guide‘s money-making strategies.
3. Provide more value than you ask for by overdelivering on helpful fitness content.
The potential to build both a personal media brand and thriving business in fitness is immense, thanks to the global demand for health guidance.
I hope this guide has outlined actionable methods for you to begin monetizing your expertise and making great money with your influence.
If you have any other questions on executing the strategies outlined, don‘t hesitate to reach out. I‘m always open to helping fellow fitness influencers succeed!