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How to Start an Online Fitness Business in 2024

How to Start an Online Fitness Business in 2024

Posted by Tyler Spraul, Certified Strength and Conditioning SpecialistĀ® (CSCSĀ®) on January 31, 2024 ā€” Updated on February 22, 2024

To learn how to start an online fitness business you need to identify your niche, build your brand with a platform like Exercise.com, create engaging content, and cultivate a supportive community.

How to Start an Online Fitness Business

Starting an online fitness business opens a world of opportunities for entrepreneurs passionate about health and wellness. With the rise of digital technology and an increasing interest in maintaining fitness from the comfort of home, launching an online fitness platform has never been more timely.

From offering personalized workout plans to hosting live fitness classes and engaging in one-on-one fitness coaching, the scope is vast and promising. This guide will walk you through the essential steps to start and grow an online fitness business (and you can even start an online fitness business from home), emphasizing why platforms like Exercise.com are your go-to solution for a seamless, cost-effective, and comprehensive online fitness business setup.

Fitness Income Ideas

Using a platform like Exercise.com can significantly enhance your ability to create and grow a profitable online fitness business, thanks to its comprehensive suite of features tailored specifically for fitness professionals. See why using the best online fitness coaching software and the best apps for online fitness coaches can add rocket fuel to your online fitness business income.

From running online fitness challenges, to creating one of the best fitness influencer apps (check out the best white label fitness app software), to selling workout of the day memberships, to learning how to create a fitness app, to much more, there are many ways to make money with fitness, and with the Exercise.com platform you have the best online fitness coaching software and the best software for fitness influencers all in one! (Not to mention the best gym software and the best personal training software).

Sell workout plans online.

Sell Workout Plans

Run online fitness challenges.


Create and sell fitness memberships, products, and digital offers.

Gym Payments

Manage, message, and market to your leads and followers.

Gym Marketing Automations

All from your very own custom branded fitness apps.

Custom Branded Apps
Our overall experience with Exercise.com is a breeze. We love how easy it is to integrate this app with our current workflow while providing great fitness programs for our customers and save us time in the process.
Julie Ledbetter
Owner, Ledbetter Fitness

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Step #1 – Identify Your Fitness Niche

Before diving into the digital fitness world, it’s crucial to pinpoint your niche. Whether it’s high-intensity interval training (HIIT), yoga, Pilates, or specialized training like CrossFit, identifying your niche helps tailor your offerings and attract a dedicated clientele. Consider what you’re passionate about, your qualifications, and what unique angle you can bring to the online fitness market.

  • Research current fitness trends to see what’s in demand.
  • Analyze your competition to find a gap you can fill.
  • Understand your target audience to tailor your services to their preferences.

Choosing a fitness niche isn’t just about following your passion; it’s about combining what you love with what’s viable in the market. Once you’ve honed in on your niche, you can start creating content and programs that resonate with your target audience, setting the foundation for a loyal online community.

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Step #2 – Develop Your Brand and Online Presence

Your brand is your fitness business’s identity; it’s what sets you apart in the bustling online fitness space. Developing a strong, relatable brand involves choosing a memorable name, a striking logo, and a consistent aesthetic that reflects your business’s ethos and appeals to your target audience.

  • Create a compelling brand story that connects with your audience on a personal level.
  • Design a professional website that showcases your services, credentials, and success stories.
  • Leverage social media to build a community and engage with potential clients.

A robust online presence is non-negotiable in the digital fitness industry. It’s your primary tool for marketing, engagement, and client retention. Utilizing platforms like Exercise.com, which allows for complete brand customization, ensures that every aspect of your online presence, from your website to your custom-branded fitness app, aligns with your brand identity.

Read More: Fitness Brand Name Ideas

Step #3 – Choose the Right Platform to Host Your Services

Selecting the right platform to host your online fitness business is pivotal. While the idea of building a fitness app from scratch might seem appealing, it’s often time-consuming, expensive, and technically challenging. This is where Exercise.com stands out as the optimal choice for fitness professionals.

  • Custom-branded fitness app: Exercise.com offers a fully custom-branded fitness app that reflects your brand, providing a seamless experience for your clients.
  • Comprehensive business management tools: From selling workout plans and fitness memberships to scheduling classes and managing client interactions, everything is integrated into one platform.
  • Cost and time efficiency: Compared to developing an app from scratch or hiring a development company, Exercise.com is a more affordable and quicker solution.

While you may not be able to learn how to start an online fitness business for free, using Exercise.com, you can focus on what you do bestā€”delivering exceptional fitness trainingā€”while the platform handles the technical complexities. It’s designed specifically for fitness businesses, incorporating industry-specific features like workout logging, fitness challenges, and a gym studio POS system, making it a comprehensive solution for starting and growing your online fitness business.

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Core Online Mobile Fitness App
“My custom-branded apps have made my life easier and helped streamline my online training, which in turn has transformed into a pretty awesome additional revenue stream for me and my family.”
Tony Gentilcore
Founder, Core Online

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Step #4 – Create and Market Your Fitness Content

Content is king in the online fitness world. High-quality, engaging fitness content not only attracts clients but also retains them. Develop a mix of pre-recorded workout videos, live classes, fitness blogs, and nutrition guides that reflect your expertise and your brand’s unique voice.

  • Diversify your content to cater to different fitness levels and interests.
  • Use SEO best practices to improve your website’s visibility on search engines.
  • Engage with your audience through newsletters, social media, and personalized fitness challenges.

Marketing your online fitness business effectively requires a strategic approach. Utilize social media advertising, email marketing, and partnerships with influencers in your niche to broaden your reach. Platforms like Exercise.com come equipped with marketing tools that allow you to target leads, send out promotions, and track the effectiveness of your campaigns, ensuring your marketing efforts drive results.

Read More:

PJF Performance
I sold a workout program and matched my yearly salary of in-person training within two weeks of selling to my community!
Paul Fabritz
Founder and BS, CSCS, NSCA-CPT, ACE, FMS, PJF Performance

Get a demo now!

Step #5 – Foster Community and Client Engagement

Building a community around your online fitness business can significantly enhance client retention and word-of-mouth referrals. An engaged community not only supports each other but also motivates members to stay consistent with their fitness goals.

  • Host live Q&A sessions to interact with your clients in real-time.
  • Create online workout groups for clients to share their progress and challenges.
  • Offer personalized feedback and modifications to foster a sense of individual attention.

Using a platform like Exercise.com, you can easily message clients, run fitness challenges, and offer personalized workout programming, all of which contribute to a vibrant, engaged online fitness community. It’s about creating an inclusive environment where every member feels valued and supported in their fitness journey.

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Start Creating Your Online Fitness Business

Starting an online fitness business is a rewarding venture for those passionate about health and wellness. By following these steps and leveraging a platform like Exercise.com, you can streamline the process, ensuring a professional, branded experience for your clients. Exercise.com not only simplifies the technical aspects of running an online fitness business but also provides the tools you need to scale, from workout programming to comprehensive business management. Embrace the opportunity to transform your fitness passion into a thriving online business, reaching clients worldwide and making a significant impact on their health and well-being.

Des B Fit
I am grateful to have been able to create an app for my online family to grow with, and be able to support a business that I believe in.
Desiree Pfeifer

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How do I start an online fitness business from scratch?

Are you thinking of starting an online fitness business from scratch? You’re not alone! The online fitness industry has seen tremendous growth in recent years, and there are plenty of opportunities for new businesses to succeed. In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps to learn how to start your own online fitness business from scratch, from understanding the industry to developing your fitness programs and services. Learn everything you need to know to start a fitness business.

Once you learn how to create an online fitness business from scratch, then if you want to run an online fitness business with the best software for personal trainers and the best software for fitness influencers, then see why Exercise.com is the best software to run your entire fitness business all in one place. You can sell workout plans online, run online workout groups, start fitness challenges, do online personal training, and more, all from your own custom-branded fitness apps with the best apps for online fitness coaches.

Get a demo now!

How to Start an Online Fitness Business From Scratch in 7 Steps

Starting an online fitness business from scratch is an exciting venture that can be incredibly rewarding. Whether you’re a seasoned fitness professional or just passionate about fitness, taking your skills online can open up numerous opportunities. This 7-step guide offers a clear path to establish your online fitness business: identifying your fitness niche, developing your services, creating a gym business plan, setting up your online presence, promoting your business, delivering your services, and evaluating and growing your business. Leveraging tools like Exercise.com can streamline this process, helping you create a fitness app and automate many business processes, ultimately setting your fitness business up for success.

1. Identify Your Fitness Niche

Your first step is to determine what kind of fitness business you want to start. This will depend on your skills, interests, and the market demand. You could specialize in weight loss, strength training, yoga, Pilates, or high-intensity interval training, among others.

2. Develop Your Fitness Services

Once you’ve identified your niche, the next step is to develop your fitness services. This could include online personal training, group classes, workout plans, nutrition coaching, or a combination of these. Determine what services will best meet the needs of your target audience.

3. Create a Business Plan

Next, create a business plan outlining your business’s structure, goals, target market, and strategies for reaching your target audience. This plan will serve as your roadmap as you start and grow your business.

4. Set Up Your Online Presence

Set up your website and social media profiles. These will serve as your online storefront, where potential clients can learn more about your services, sign up for classes or training, and contact you for more information.

5. Promote Your Business

Start promoting your business to attract clients. You can do this through social media marketing, content marketing, email marketing, and collaborations with other fitness influencers.

6. Deliver Your Services

Once you have clients, it’s time to deliver your services. Use live video for classes or one-on-one training sessions. For workout plans, you could deliver them via email or through a platform like Exercise.com.

7. Evaluate and Grow

Finally, regularly evaluate your business’s performance and look for ways to grow. You could expand your services, target new markets, or use a platform like Exercise.com to create a custom-branded app and streamline your business processes.

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Starting an online fitness business from scratch requires a lot of hard work and dedication, but by following these steps and using tools like Exercise.com, you can set yourself up for success.

Our overall experience with Exercise.com is a breeze. We love how easy it is to integrate this app with our current workflow while providing great fitness programs for our customers and save us time in the process.
Julie Ledbetter
Owner, Ledbetter Fitness

Get a demo now!

Understanding the online fitness industry

The online fitness industry has been growing rapidly over the past few years. With the current global pandemic, more and more people are turning to online fitness services to stay healthy and fit. In this article, we’ll explore the market trends and opportunities, as well as how to identify your target audience and niche selection.

Market trends and opportunities

The online fitness market has seen a surge in demand due to the pandemic. People are looking for ways to stay active and healthy while staying safe at home. With the convenience of online fitness services, it’s no surprise that the industry is expected to reach $59.2 billion by 2027.

One of the significant trends in the online fitness industry is the rise of personalization. People are looking for customized workout plans and one-on-one coaching to help them achieve their fitness goals. This presents an opportunity for fitness professionals to offer personalized services to their clients.

Another trend is the integration of technology into fitness services. From wearable fitness trackers to virtual reality workouts, technology is playing a significant role in shaping the future of the online fitness industry.

Target audience and niche selection

When starting an online fitness business, it’s essential to identify your target audience. Who are you trying to reach? Are you targeting beginners or experienced athletes? What age group are you catering to?

Once you’ve identified your target audience, it’s time to narrow down your focus to a specific niche. For example, if you’re targeting beginners, you may want to focus on creating workout videos that are easy to follow and require minimal equipment. If you’re targeting experienced athletes, you may want to offer personalized coaching and advanced workout plans.

Another way to narrow down your niche is to focus on a specific fitness category. For example, if you’re passionate about yoga, you may want to create a yoga-specific online fitness business. Alternatively, if you’re interested in strength training, you may want to offer strength training workouts and coaching.

In conclusion, the online fitness industry presents a significant opportunity for fitness professionals to offer personalized and convenient services to clients. By understanding the market trends and opportunities and identifying your target audience and niche selection, you can create a successful online fitness business.

Creating your business plan

Starting your own online fitness business can be an exciting and rewarding venture. However, it’s important to have a clear and comprehensive business plan in place before launching your business. This will help you stay focused, organized, and on track towards achieving your goals.

Setting clear goals and objectives

One of the first steps in creating your business plan is to define your business goals and objectives. Ask yourself, what do you want to achieve with your online fitness business? Do you want to help people achieve their fitness goals, promote a healthy lifestyle, or create a community of fitness enthusiasts?

Once you have a clear understanding of your goals, you can then set specific and measurable objectives for your business. For example, if your goal is to help people achieve their fitness goals, your objectives may include increasing your client base by a certain percentage each month, or launching a new fitness program every quarter.

Identifying revenue streams

Another important aspect of your business plan is identifying your revenue streams. This will help you determine how you will generate income for your business. Will you be selling fitness programs and services, advertising on your website, or promoting affiliate products?

It’s important to choose revenue streams that align with your overall business goals. For example, if your goal is to help people achieve their fitness goals, selling fitness programs and services may be the most effective revenue stream for your business.

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Budgeting and financial projections

Creating a budget and financial projections for your online fitness business is also crucial. This will help you determine your startup costs, including website development, marketing, and equipment. It will also allow you to estimate your monthly expenses and forecast your revenues.

When creating your budget, be sure to include all necessary expenses, such as website hosting fees, marketing costs, and equipment purchases. It’s also important to consider any unexpected expenses that may arise.

Financial projections will help you determine the expected revenue for your business. This can be based on factors such as your pricing strategy, the size of your target market, and your marketing efforts. By forecasting your revenues, you can create a realistic budget and determine the profitability of your business.

Overall, creating a comprehensive business plan is essential for any startup, including an online fitness business. By setting clear goals and objectives, identifying your revenue streams, and creating a budget and financial projections, you can set your business up for success.

Building your online presence

Building an online presence for your fitness business is crucial in today’s digital age. Not only does it help you reach a wider audience, but it also allows you to connect with potential clients and build a community around your brand. Here are some tips to help you build a strong online presence:

Choosing the right platform

When it comes to choosing the right platform for your fitness business, you have several options to consider. A website is a great place to start, as it allows you to showcase your services and programs, and provides potential clients with a way to contact you. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are also great options, as they allow you to connect with your audience and share valuable content.

When choosing a platform, it’s important to consider your target audience and which platform they are most likely to use. For example, if your target audience is primarily older adults, Facebook may be a better option than Instagram. On the other hand, if you’re targeting a younger audience, Instagram may be the way to go.

Designing an engaging website

A well-designed website is essential when building your online presence. Your website should be visually appealing, user-friendly, and easy to navigate. Make sure that your website showcases your services and programs, and don’t forget to include a call to action! This could be anything from encouraging visitors to sign up for a free trial, to offering a discount on their first session.

When designing your website, it’s important to consider the user experience. Make sure that your website is optimized for mobile devices, as more and more people are accessing the internet on their smartphones and tablets. You should also consider the loading speed of your website, as slow loading times can lead to a high bounce rate.

Read More: Best Gym Website Builder Software

Creating valuable content

Finally, creating valuable content is key to building a strong online presence. Your content should resonate with your target audience and provide solutions to their fitness problems. Consider publishing blog posts or workout videos that address their needs and offer tips and advice. Engage with your audience through social media and create a community around your business.

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Remember, building an online presence takes time and effort, but the rewards are well worth it. By choosing the right platform, designing an engaging website, and creating valuable content, you can build a strong online presence for your fitness business and attract more clients.

Developing your fitness programs and services

Developing fitness programs and services is the core of your online fitness business. It is important to keep in mind that workout plans should not only be effective but also enjoyable for your audience. The more they enjoy it, the more likely they are to stick to it and recommend it to others.

Crafting effective workout plans

When crafting workout plans, it is important to consider your target audience and niche selection. For example, if your target audience is beginners, you may want to focus on basic exercises and gradually increase the intensity over time. On the other hand, if your niche is focused on weightlifting, you may want to incorporate more strength training exercises.

It is also important to consider the equipment that your audience has access to. If they are working out from home, they may not have access to a full gym, so you may need to incorporate bodyweight exercises or exercises that can be done with minimal equipment.

Read More: Personal Training Workout Templates

Offering personalized coaching

Personalized coaching can help differentiate your business from competitors. It allows you to provide individual attention to your clients and cater to their specific needs. Consider offering one-on-one coaching sessions or tailored coaching programs that focus on specific goals, such as weight loss or muscle gain.

When offering personalized coaching, it is important to establish a strong rapport with your clients. This can be done by regularly checking in with them, providing feedback on their progress, and adjusting their workout plans as needed.

Incorporating nutrition and wellness advice

Nutrition and wellness advice can complement your fitness programs and services. By providing your audience with information on healthy eating habits and self-care practices, you can help them achieve their fitness goals more effectively.

Consider developing nutrition plans and wellness advice for your audience that aligns with your target audience and niche selection. For example, if your niche is focused on veganism, you may want to provide plant-based meal plans and information on the benefits of a vegan diet.

It is important to note that while providing nutrition and wellness advice can be helpful, it is important to stay within your scope of practice as a fitness professional. If you are not a registered dietitian or healthcare professional, it is important to refer clients to the appropriate resources.

Kellie Davis - Fit Thrive
With Exercise.com, I’m able to reach people around the world with the programs that I design, implement, and push out. You donā€™t have that opportunity working in a local gym. So that’s been huge.
Kellie Davis
Founder/Trainer, Fit Thrive

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What equipment do I need to start an online fitness business?

Starting an online fitness business requires minimal equipment. A laptop with a good internet connection, a quality webcam for recording or live-streaming workouts, and any fitness equipment you’ll use in your sessions are a good start. Utilizing a platform like Exercise.com can simplify the process by allowing you to host your workouts, manage clients, and process payments all in one place.

How can I identify my target market for my online fitness business?

Your target market will depend on your expertise, passion, and the needs of potential clients. Consider demographics such as age, gender, and fitness level, as well as interests, goals, and the types of workouts they prefer. Market research, such as surveys or social media polls, can help you gain insights into your potential clients’ needs and preferences.

Do I need certifications to start an online fitness business?

While not a legal requirement, having a fitness certification can boost your credibility and reassure potential clients of your expertise. Some popular certifying organizations include the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and the American Council on Exercise (ACE).

How do I price my services for my online fitness business?

Pricing can depend on several factors, including the type of service (e.g., group classes vs. one-on-one training), the length of sessions, your expertise, and the market rate. You could start by researching what other online fitness businesses are charging for similar services.

How can I promote my online fitness business?

There are many ways to promote your online fitness business, from social media marketing and content marketing to partnerships with other fitness influencers. Providing valuable, engaging content can help attract potential clients, while platforms like Exercise.com can help you manage your marketing campaigns and track their effectiveness.

Start an Online Fitness Business From Scratch

Overall, developing fitness programs and services that cater to your audience’s needs is key to running a successful online fitness business. By incorporating effective workout plans, personalized coaching, and nutrition and wellness advice, you can help your clients achieve their fitness goals and establish a strong reputation in the industry.

How can I start an online fitness business?

To start an online fitness business, identify your niche, obtain relevant certifications, develop a business plan, create a website or platform to host your content, design your fitness programs or services, and utilize social media and digital marketing to reach your target audience.

Are online fitness businesses profitable?

Online fitness businesses can be highly profitable due to lower overhead costs compared to traditional gyms and the potential to reach a global audience. Profitability depends on the quality of your offerings, effective marketing, and your ability to retain clients.

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How can I make money online fitness?

You can make money in online fitness by offering personalized training programs, subscription-based workout plans, hosting live classes, selling fitness e-books or courses, affiliate marketing with fitness products, and through ad revenue on fitness content platforms.

Read More: How to Make Money in Fitness

How much should I charge for an online workout program?

Pricing for an online workout program can vary widely based on factors like program length, content quality, and your credentials. Rates can range from $30 to $300 or more for multi-week programs, with some premium or highly specialized programs costing more. And don’t forget to consider a membership for recurring revenue!

Read More: How much should I charge for an online workout program?

How do I get clients for online training?

Getting clients for online training involves building a strong online presence, leveraging social media platforms, offering free trials or content to attract interest, engaging with fitness communities, and utilizing email marketing to convert leads into clients.

Read More: How do I get clients for online training?

Are fitness apps profitable?

Fitness apps can be profitable, especially those that offer unique features, personalized experiences, or niche content. Profitability often comes from subscription models, in-app purchases, ads, and premium features.

Read More: Are fitness apps profitable?

What is the most profitable fitness business?

The most profitable fitness business models often include boutique fitness studios, specialized online fitness platforms, and fitness apps that offer unique, high-quality content and services to a dedicated niche audience.

Read More: Most Profitable Fitness Business Models

How big is the online fitness market?

The online fitness market has seen substantial growth, especially post-pandemic, with projections reaching into the tens of billions of dollars globally. This growth is driven by increasing demand for accessible, flexible fitness options.

Can you make 6 figures as a personal trainer?

Yes, it’s possible to make 6 figures as a personal trainer, especially if you expand your services online, offer high-ticket personalized coaching, create and sell digital fitness products, and build a strong personal brand.

Read More: Can you make 6 figures as a personal trainer?

What fitness app pays the most?

Fitness apps that typically pay the most are those with a large user base, offering premium subscription services, personalized training plans, and additional in-app purchases. Earnings can also be significant for apps that successfully implement ad revenue models or affiliate marketing.

How much do online fitness influencers make?

Online fitness influencers’ earnings can vary widely, with top influencers making anywhere from $50,000 to over $1 million annually through sponsorships, brand partnerships, selling their fitness programs, and merchandise.

Read More: How much do online fitness influencers make?

How to start a fitness business with no money?

Starting a fitness business with no money involves leveraging free platforms like social media and YouTube to build a following, offering services that don’t require upfront investment, like virtual coaching or classes, and gradually building up to more substantial offerings.

Read More: How to start a fitness business with no money?

How does an online fitness business work?

An online fitness business works by delivering fitness content and services digitally, through platforms like websites, apps, and social media. This can include pre-recorded workout videos, live classes, personalized coaching, and fitness communities.

Can you make good money as an online fitness coach?

Yes, you can make good money as an online fitness coach by offering personalized training, leveraging your expertise to create digital products, and reaching a broad audience through effective online marketing and brand building.

How do I start an online fitness challenge?

Starting an online fitness challenge involves setting clear goals and guidelines, creating engaging content and workouts, promoting the challenge through social media and email marketing, and providing a platform for participants to track progress and engage with each other.

Read More: How do I start an online fitness challenge?

How can Exercise.com help me run and grow an online fitness business?

Exercise.com can help run and grow an online fitness business by providing a comprehensive platform for managing clients, delivering workouts, tracking progress, processing payments, and more. With custom branding and a range of integrations, it offers the tools needed to scale your business efficiently while maintaining a high level of service and engagement.

Jimmy Myers Relentless Sports Performance
If you want to offer an elite service for the end user you need to get with the times and use elite level software that is intuitive, visually appealing, and effective. That is exactly what Exercise.com delivers to its clients.
Jimmy Myers
Owner/Trainer, Relentless Sports Performance

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Tyler Spraul is the director of UX and the head trainer for Exercise.com. He has his Bachelor of Science degree in pre-medicine and is an NSCA-Certified Strength and Conditioning SpecialistĀ® (CSCSĀ®). He is a former All-American soccer player and still coaches soccer today. In his free time, he enjoys reading, learning, and living the dad life.
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