Health + Wellness
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Health + Wellness: Comparing Three Successful Content Creators in a Thriving Category

Whereas many lifestyle content categories are crowded and faltering — the paying markets shrinking, the powers-that-be unsure where to pivot — Health/Wellness flourishes. It has for centuries, in fact. A search for vintage ads proves that people were searching for a lot of the same things that consumers are today: weight loss hacks, better toothpaste, proof that wine is good for you.

As the volume of products, experts and consumers has increased over the centuries, so has the amount of content. Whereas other types of content struggle to learn which distribution channels work best and have longevity, Health/Wellness is able to connect with an audience in just about every space. Be it YouTube or fitness DVD, a new gym or a bootcamp, an Instagramming meal planner or a charismatic doctor — if the content is appealing, the audience will come. And this audience is voracious to sample more programs and product.

Which is why competent content creators in this category not only stay busy, but are often able to hone in on a specific sub-niche that suits its to their expertise. Also, people who are true niche experts in Health/Wellness often balance their writing work with an actual wellness practice.

Today we’re looking at three content creators who have taken three specific approaches to their work within Health/Wellness.

Amy Gorin, MS, RDN, owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in the New York City area

Health + Wellness

In the broad spectrum of Health/Wellness, describe your specific expertise and key differentiators, i.e., what makes you unique/more qualified for certain projects?

I’m a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). I’m also a freelance writer and a former magazine and web editor for Prevention, Health, Parents, American Baby, Weight Watchers Magazine, and WeightWatchers.com. So I use my expertise in nutrition to write magazine and website content focused on nutrition. I also create and photograph recipes for my blog, Amy’s Eat List. Additionally, I use my skillset to co-run a media training e-course called Master the Media for registered dietitians and health professionals.

What was your process to discover this path?

I started my career in magazines, and my very first job was at Preventionin the nutrition department. This is when I experienced my “aha” moment that I wanted to delve deeper into nutrition. I spent over an hour interviewing a scientist about the omega-3s EPA and DHA. When I got off the phone, I thought that I wanted to understand all of that info in a minute, not an hour! I then started looking into pursuing my RDN credentials. The process to become an RDN took about six years of part-time school, while working full-time. Then there was a full-time, seven-month dietetic internship, but I did it! When I finished school, I thought it would be exciting to start my own business. I never looked back, and marrying my love of journalism with my passion for nutrition has been such a wonderful experience.

Do you have your own blog/web publication? How do you leverage it to get paying projects?

I do! I write a blog, Amy’s Eat List, that’s focused on healthy vegetarian recipes and nutrition news. I also publish a weekly newsletter that highlights timely nutrition news as well as healthy recipes. Visitors to my site can subscribe to my newsletter directly at my site or by downloading a free download, “25 Ways to Cut 100 Calories.” I put a lot of time and passion into creating content for my blog and newsletter, and it definitely pays off with paid projects such as recipes, blog posts, and newsletters that are sponsored by my brand or commodity board clients. I make sure to balance sponsored content out with plenty of unsponsored content.

Do you try to do a lot of personal PR opportunities or get “media mentions” or speak at events to raise your profile?

Yes, definitely. I spend about a half day a week responding to reporter inquiries, and I also do several speaking engagements each year. As an entrepreneur and business owner, I know the importance of continually getting my name out there to build my name and credibility. This is also the essence of the Master the Media e-course that I co-run, and my business partner and I run several free webinars each year to teach other health professionals the importance of getting your name in the news and the step-by-step process on how to do so.

Can you, in broad strokes, describe a typical workweek?

There isn’t really a typical workweek, and that’s what I love most about my job. I’ll usually write a couple of articles a week for publications such as FoodNetwork.com, NBCNews.com, and EverydayHealth.com. I’ll also create articles and recipes for my own blog and newsletter, and I’ll answer as many reporter queries that come my way. These are for publications like Self.com, MensFitness.com, ReadersDigest.com.

I consult for food brands and commodity boards (for both nutrition and media), and I also do nutrition spokesperson work that ranges from recipe development to speaking engagements to targeted social media such as Facebook Lives of recipe demos or nutrition Q&As. I spend a good amount of time networking, either in person or via phone calls. And then I spend time each week managing the media training e-course that I co-run — whether that’s creating new content, marketing plans, or providing feedback to students in our private Facebook page.

I sometimes travel for my job, whether that’s for a speaking engagements on nutrition or media training or to conferences to keep myself up to date on all things nutrition.

Zlata Faerman – FODMAP Ambassador, Clean Beauty Publicist

Health + Wellness

In the broad spectrum of Health/Wellness, describe your expertise and differentiators. 

I’d say that health and wellness is important to me in a variety of genres. For starters, food and diet. I have IBS and started living low FODMAP in 2014, after accidentally discovering it when no doctors could help me. At the time, there was no information on low FODMAP, so I took the role of being an ambassador for the lifestyle, hoping it would change other people’s lives the way it changed mine.

I was the first U.S.-based writer to publish content about the diet in this country, and even started my own blog and private Facebook group to educate others and provide them with recipes. There was extremely limited information, and I was so happy to be able to be the catalyst for positive changes in other people’s lives. I’d like to say I’m modest about this, but I’m definitely not: I was the pioneer of the FODMAP community in the U.S.

Clean beauty is also very important to me. I straddle the fence of lifestyle writing and being a publicist, and I’m really proud to say that the beauty brands I work with are all clean and healthy. Pai-Shau, for example, is the first of its kind tea-infused haircare brand. Their Signature Tea Complex is five steeped teas, each with their own important function for optimal scalp and health. I also work with Ta-Ta Towels. Originally created to wick away perspiration from under the breasts and behind the neck, the product has received worldwide feedback about being useful for cancer patients, the elderly, pregnant and postpartum women, women who have undergone surgeries, and the list goes on.

Do you try to do a lot of personal PR opportunities or get “media mentions” or speak at events to raise your profile?

I’m the type of person who would rather help other people for the greater good than help myself. For example, when there are gut-health, IBS, or FODMAP-related leads from publications, I certainly feel qualified enough to comment on it. However, because I am not solely focused on FODMAP, and it’s a way I make money or build my name, I give all of these leads to someone I truly respect in the FODMAP community, Kate Scarlata. I basically do her PR pro-bono, if you will, because I know her answers will help others.

There are times that I’ll happily provide quotes if I think it will help, but it’s never for selfish reasons. I just know how it is from both sides as a journalist and a publicist. It’s not always easy to get sources, so I’m happy to help whenever I can.

Can you, in broad strokes, describe a typical workweek?

I am a professional multi-tasker. I can (and have to) do several things at once, and my work very often parallels itself. A work week involves staying on top of emails, staying on top of Facebook groups, pitching for my clients, pitching editors story ideas for my journalist side, planning out initiatives, doing the work, and taking care of my household.

I feel like there’s way too much social media to keep up with these days. I mentioned Facebook because I don’t use it as a way to socialize. Facebook is actually where and how I work. Lots of leads, networking, communicating… It’s a really important tool.

And I have a lot of lists. Like, a lot.

Do you enjoy the career you’ve carved out?

I can honestly say that I do. Landscapes are always changing, from PR and digital to social media, so I’m constantly shifting with those changes. Relationships are 100% consistent and constant. I really try to nurture my relationships, and it happens naturally and organically for me because I actually care about the people I have relationships with.

Ko Im: In-house content editor for a major outlet by day, wellness guru by night, and writer sometimes

Health + Wellness

In the broad spectrum of Health/Wellness, describe your specific expertise and key differentiators.

I discovered yoga in college. Something resonated with me at the time. When my freelancing career was at a slower pace and there were major changes in my personal life, I returned to yoga by delving into teacher training and began teaching as a paid hobby. I also worked for a meditation start-up on the events and content side.

More recently, I went through meditation and restorative yoga certification. By trade and by choice, I’m a practitioner and an “expert.” When the opportunity came to volunteer for a new venture of NY Yoga + Life magazine, I stepped up, and now serve as Deputy Editor.

What was your process to discover this particular career mix?

I’m naturally curious, and media opened up doors for me to explore a variety of topics. This has shaped me in a well-rounded human being — I hope! I started writing for my hometown Gannett newspaper in high school, and the independent paper in college. After Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, I worked my way up TV markets as a general assignment correspondent. When I moved back to New York, I started returning to my love for editorial writing and also penned/authored an e-book through Millennial publisher Thought Catalog. I’ve covered everything under the sun for Yahoo! Odd & Weird News, Bustle’s beauty section, and USA Today Travel.

I started consulting and working with media brands while continuing to build my teaching/workshop/retreat portfolio (aka yoga resume), too. I gradually transitioned into working with clients full-time and have stayed the path, with teaching as a form of self-improvement and storytelling in my free time.

You seem to be focusing a lot of your side hustle efforts on NY Yoga + Life. Is your endgame that it would become so successful that you wouldn’t need other freelance writing work? Or is it just a particular focus of yours right now?

Right now, more of my creative juices are flowing at “real work.” The hustle that needs amplification, though, is NY Yoga + Life. I feel like bylines for me come in waves — I go live life, and then have something more significant to write about (personal essays are my favorite).

Through the magazine, I enjoy working with writers and words and event curation for the wider community. I love my students and seeing them grow, or going with them on retreats. That’s not to say I don’t have a personal essay anthology or fiction book within me, or a big corporate step up the ladder ahead. It feels good to be in this established space where I’m slowly but surely growing and thriving. I’m enjoying the journey without really thinking about the destination, which was a past habit of mine. My past informs my present, but does not determine my future.

How do you balance a demanding day job with a thriving yoga practice — the multi-day retreats, special events etc.?

I try to be more zen at work and work through anything I need to work through onto the mat. Mental management and maintaining my own physical health are very important. My own yoga practice is not the same as outwards yoga teaching! My yoga practice fuels my creativity and my meditative moments focus my attention.

Do you see a lot of people from other business sectors that also make this mid-career migration from an 80-hour office workweek over to a split focus on their day job and a yoga or fitness practice?

People get burnt out from being on a hamster wheel. Many fitness folks have interesting background stories — yogis I know come from all walks of life. You might come across a fitness instructor who is really good at marketing himself because he was a sales guy, or someone who holds a wealth of anatomical knowledge because she worked with scientists.

Lena Katz

About Lena

Lena Katz's credits as a development producer, casting producer and locations manager include cable TV (WEtv, Revolt, HGTV), and digital-first productions (WhaleRock, mikeroweWORKS, Tastemade). She worked directly for major brands including Suzuki, Hormel and Brown-Forman. Learn more about her company at Variable Content.

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