Many Health Coaches have taken their nutrition and wellness knowledge to the web, using blogging as a platform to connect with their clients and other interested readers. It’s a great way to share recipes, advice and daily reflections, but with so many wellness bloggers out there, how can you stand out?
One way is to have a great story, like 2011 Integrative Nutrition graduate Jessica Ainscough. After being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called Epithelioid Sarcoma, the Australia native took it into her own hands to get better. She had no option but to trade in her fast-paced lifestyle, complete with cocktails and microwaved dinners, but as she says, “it turned out to be the greatest blessing.”
Now an incredibly successful blogger with three e-books and a digital transformation program in the works, Jessica is truly a wellness warrior. Since graduating from the Health Coach Training Program, she is able to focus on something other than her health and treatment and work towards a greater goal. Read more about her journey and how she built her blogging business!
What were you doing prior to enrolling at Integrative Nutrition?
I was a year into Gerson Therapy, an intense two-year, all-natural treatment modality that I used to heal myself from a rare form of cancer. I finished the two-year process in April. Now, I am on a modified, less intense version of the program. Gerson included hourly juicing, up to five coffee enemas each day, three huge plant-based meals, and a heap of supplements. Due to the intense regime, I was pretty much house bound. I had to give up work as the online editor for Dolly magazine (a teen magazine here in Australia) to dedicate my life to healing. I also was writing my blog.
What made you decide to treat your cancer naturally?
I had no other options. My doctor told me that my only chance of prolonging my life was to have my arm amputated at the shoulder, but that even if I did this there was a high chance that the cancer would come back somewhere else in my body. I decided that this wasn't good enough, and started searching for alternative options. What I discovered is that our bodies have an incredible ability to self heal - as long as we provide them with the right environment to do so. So, this is what I did.
What was the process of healing yourself like for you, and how did you stay positive?
Because the Gerson Therapy schedule was so strict, I couldn't really go out much. I just took it one day at a time, and made sure that I kept the bigger picture front and center in my mind. There were a few pity parties, but most of the time I was able to see that everything was happening for some perfect purpose.
What led you to explore the Health Coach Training Program?
My blog was gaining a lot of popularity, and I was also thinking ahead about what I would like to do after my cancer treatment was finished. I knew I wanted to write books and be a health educator, so I thought that the Integrative Nutrition course would be the perfect way to gain more education and credentials.
Which course concepts or speakers impacted you the most?
I loved them all, but the teachers I loved most were Dr. Bernie Siegel, Lyanla Vanzant, David Wolfe, Howard Lyman, Dr. Neal Barnard, Donna Gates, and Dr. Mark Hyman.
What has happened since you graduated? What are you up to now?
I run my website, where I write daily blog posts. I have also launched three e-books, my latest being Make Peace With Your Plate. This one was very successful, selling 500 copies in just two weeks.
What are your plans for the future?
I am working on a digital program called The Wellness Warrior Lifestyle Transformation Guide, which I will launch in September. It is so much fun to work on, and I think it’s going to be really amazing. It's a 12-step program, including videos, audios, interviews, mini e-books, and worksheets, designed to take people from wherever they are to wherever they want to be along their wellness path. At this time, you can sign up for updates on the program.
How do you measure the positive impact your website has on others?
I have a lot of involvement with my readers. They write to me in my comments on my site, on Facebook, on Twitter, and via email. It's this correspondence that makes me realize that what I am doing does have such a positive impact in people's lives. It is really what makes it all worth it. I am so blessed to have such an amazing, supportive community on my site and I am grateful for each and every person who takes the time to write to me.
With so many health and wellness bloggers out there, how do you stand out?
I guess I am a living example of just how powerful natural health and wellness is, and this gives people hope. I am very real as well, no subject is off limits and I don't censor anything. I even did a how-to video on coffee enemas (PG, of course!) I try to inject humor and fun into all of my topics, and my goal is to leave people feeling inspired and empowered.
You’ve turned your blog into a business. What advice can you offer to Health Coaches who want to increase their income by blogging?
Turning my blog into a business was such an organic process for me. I blogged every day for about 18 months without monetizing at all; I was doing it because I love writing and I love sharing my experiences, not because I wanted to make money. The money has only come along fairly recently, and I think that is because I spent so much time building trust and loyalty among my readers. I treated blogging like a job from day one, never missing a day, but cashing in on it was never a priority. I think when you have that attitude, monetization is much easier and enjoyable.
What do you love about your work?
So many things! I love that I can work from home on my own terms and own hours. I love that I get to spend all day writing and researching topics that I am so passionate about. Most of all I love that I am able to inspire people to make positive changes in their own lives, just by sharing my experiences.
Connect with Jessica!
On her website