As you know, our Facebook page has over 900,000 members, our Instagram has over 500,000 followers and our Pinterest page has a tad more than 70,000 followers. So, it takes a lot to run this mini empire of health and wellness, and we thought we’d take the opportunity to share some of the things we use to keep this site going and to keep bodies healthy.
First of all, if you are ever featured on our Facebook page, and if you’ve experienced a major weight transformation, get ready to receive some attention. When your profile is posted, you may receive a number of likes and/or friend requests from other members who may want to know how you did what you did. This can be a great opportunity to be an inspiration to others who may be struggling with weight loss issues. And, you may also attract the attention of other external media outlets (see about Myya Mixon, one of our members who was featured in in both People and Good Morning America after People magazine contacted us). So, you have to get ready for all the attention you may receive and you may want to start the process of branding yourself and your weight loss efforts. Here are a few things you can do to effectively establish an online brand for yourself while still maintaining the privacy of your Facebook profile.
- Start a Facebook fan page for yourself and have people “LIKE” the page… by doing this, you can maintain a separate personal account but you still have a way to communicate with people who are interested in following you.
- Create a Google Plus account and a page, and have people follow you.
- Create an Instagram account and create a photo diary of your daily life.
- Start a Youtube page and post videos of your workout and/or daily video blog entries.
- Create a Twitter account for people to be able to follow your micro-blogging efforts.
- If you are a small business or perhaps you’re a personal trainer, you may even consider setting up a LinkedIn account. It’s essentially social media for small businesses, where people can post testimonials and refer your business to other potential clients.
- And, if you can, most importantly, create a website, and pull all of your social media resources together in a centralized place. There are plenty of free services out there… WordPress.com, Blogger, Tumblr, Wix, but honestly, you’ll have more control over your site if you create your own stand alone hosted site. If you do that, you can grow without worrying about going over your “free” site’s limits, and you can easily pull all of your social media resources together in one place
Web Site Hosting
For web site hosting, we currently are hosted by InMotion Hosting. The reason why we went with InMotion is because we needed an affordable and reliable VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting solution for our site… we get a LOT of traffic due to the size of out social media connections so we needed something that could handle the bandwidth. If you’re starting off with just a simple site, you don’t need VPS hosting. With websites, you should never buy more than you can afford to pay or get back in return for your overall efforts. InMotion also has basic Business Class hosting for 6-14 dollars a month. If you need to upgrade to a better solution because you’re quickly outgrowing your website, then you can move up to VPS hosting, which is almost like having control of your own personal server. You can even hosting other people’s sites on the same server and become a virtual host to other other websites.
Another great hosting solution is Bluehost.com. We host a number of our other lower trafficked sites on Bluehost (actually, Bluehost has a great feature that allows you to host multiple sites on the same account, and it also has a number of unlimited features, like no limits on bandwidth, disk space, or web sites). And they have a great introductory price of 4$ a month for hosting. Hosted with them for 5 years, and had very few problems, so if you’re just starting out with a website it’s a great place to go.
Last but not least, there’s Siteground.com. Siteground.com has great pricing and great customer service. If you want one of the best deals for hosting with pretty decent customer service, then Siteground is for you. As far as customer service is concerned, they have ticketing, live chat and 24/7 phone support, and a great uptime rate… and they also specialize in WordPress hosting, so if you need a quick website right out of the gate, Siteground.com is the way to go.
We often talk about green smoothies, clean eating and other ways to help you out with your weight loss journey. We’ve also tapped into a valuable resource for weight loss meal plans. We’re quite serious about providing you with as many options as possible to help you lose weight, and these are things that have help us out in our own individual journeys.
For smoothies, you need a blender of some sort. Most people simple just go out and purchase cheap blenders, and then they try to do something crazy like chop up carrots or other hard vegetables and the motor burns out and the blender breaks. So, you need something that lasts, and we use the cadallac of all blenders… the Vitamix. Dear Lord, we love our Vitamix. It dices and slices, it purees and pulverizes, it makes soups and churns butter from raw nuts, creates raw ice cream from frozen bananas, and, mostly importantly, it makes the BEST smoothies EVER! The container is large enough Each Vitamix comes with a ridiculous warranty, a recipe book, and a lifetime of healthy joy. Did we mention we LOVE my Vitamix?
Have you ever tried a raw food diet.. or maybe you practice a raw food vegan diet already? In other words, mostly fruits, vegetables, nuts and nothing cooked over 105 degrees. Some folks scream at the possibility of doing this, because the thought of leaving “real” food behind scares people. But we’ve tried it and it’s the most effective diet we’ve ever done. (like losing 2-4 pounds a week) With that said, that “no cooking food” thingI mentioned means no stove top cooked food or baked food… so what’s a person to do? You dehydrate your food, and we use Excaliber Food dehydrators when we want to make raw kale, zucchini, or sweet potato ships… or even faux crab cakes and raw bread and cookie recipes.
Sometimes we’re in a hurry in the morning, and we don’t have enough time to fire up the Vitamix. But we’re still in the mood for a good simple smoothie. Nutribullets are perfect for creating quick smoothies any time of the day and they’re easy to clean and maintain (good for making homemade baby food too). We’ve also feature Nutribullet giveaways on our site from time to time.
Books and Publications
In this book, you’ll learn a lot about green smoothies, but the most important thing that I hope you’ll take away is that something as simple and easy to prepare as a drink can literally change your life. You’ll not only lose weight, but also feel better than you’ve ever felt, have more energy than ever before and wonder why you haven’t been eating this way for years. Click here for more information and to purchase the book.
In this book, I show the benefits of Clean Eating and how to go about eating this way. You may ask, “What is Clean Eating?” Basically, When you eat clean you will be eating unprocessed, whole foods that are prepared or cooked in ways that don’t add extra chemicals and toxins. We are talking about fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, lean meats, meat substitutes like tofu, soy, whole grains, lots of water, healthy dairy and fresh juice. The clean in clean eating means that you are cleaning out highly processed, negative impact foods from your regular diet. Click here for more information and to purchase the book.
Black Weight Loss Success T-Shirts and Merchandise
We are proud to have a line of custom designed t-shirts and other apparel through our online merchandise store. We have partnered with Spreadshirt to provide you with the best quality merchandise possible and we also have most of our designs in 3xl and 4xl.
Looking for shoes for running or working out in general? We have a great partnership with Zappos.com. They sell everything from Nike’s to New Balance Shoes. Every so often they’ll run a special or let us know about any exclusive promotions they may have. Zappos.com also has the best selection of shoes and handbags anywhere with over 1,300 brands, 140,000 styles, and more than 10 million products available for purchase! They also carry clothing, bags & handbags, accessories, baby, beauty, entertainment, eyewear and housewares.
Shoebuy.com is another great discount shoe vendor that we have a partnership with. They don’t just sell shoes, by the way… they also sell accessories, handbags, socks, belts, watches, sunglasses, and number of different things. So, don’t be fooled by the name. They do sell more than shoes. And they also have a number of free shipping offers on most of everything they sell.
Everyone knows Amazon.com right and Amazon has, well, pretty much everything you need. Not just shoes, but Zumba gear, weights, yoga apparel, athletic clothing, whatever you need. And, if you can afford it, go for an Amazon Prime account, which provides you with free shipping on a number of items as well as other exclusive offers. (geez, no one sells just one type of item anymore… it’s crazy! But you have to love variety)
People LOVE Zumba! Zumba features a sassy dance moves and a funky latin beat to dance to. A number of our featured women have lost weight with Zumba and you can either do a Zumba workout with dvds or by participating in a local class.