Case Study: How a “No Meat Athlete” Built His Profitable and Satisfying Business

Case Study: How a “No Meat Athlete” Built His Profitable and Satisfying Business

Reader Comments (35)

  1. It’s a worthwhile cause he’s doing it for, promoting vegetarianism, but it’s sad that it needs to be done. Over 400 million people are vegetarians in the world, and they work and run and play perfectly happily. Meat is actually a pretty poor protein source compared to rice+lentils. Anyway, I wish him all the best.

    • Thanks Jack; you’re right that it’s a shame what misconceptions most people have about vegetarianism and protein (and yeah, rice and lentils is a staple for me!).

      But just to clarify something, I never “promote” this diet in the sense of telling people to go vegetarian. I just give people lots of tools to help them eat healthily, and as much as possible I try to do things and highlight readers who are doing things that serve as examples of exactly what you said — working, running, and playing perfectly happily without eating meat. But I never tell anyone they “should” go vegetarian or vegan, and I think that’s actually a big reason for whatever success No Meat Athlete has had.

  2. Another example that if you follow copyblogger and put in the WORK, you can build a profitable business and add incredible value to others. It was a joy reading this interview to see what is possible.

    • Hassan, yes, no doubt it is work, and at times a lot of it. But it’s almost always exciting, and every day when I wake up I look forward to sitting down to do the work, which is such a difference from the alternative.

  3. I just have to say this was so interesting and incredibly helpful. (It does make me a little bummed that Third Tribe is closed to new members!) Sometimes I feel like I have so many options/ideas and so many things to do, that I have no clue what to focus on, but this helped to clarify a few things. Thanks to Matt for sharing so much helpful information!

    • Glad you found my answers helpful, Daphne! I still feel like there are always too many things to do and it’s hard to choose which to focus on — and instead of getting easier, it gets tougher as you grow and have more opportunities! I’m just starting to really understand that content is the single most important part, and to carve out time for that every single day. An hour spent working on a new blog post is so much more valuable than three hours spent in my email inbox. Much scarier and harder to actually sit down and do, but that’s a good sign that it’s what actually matters.

      What’s coming after Third Tribe sounds pretty great, from the little bit I’ve heard … 🙂

    • Stay tuned, Daphne – Third Tribe might be closed to new members, but the new program we’re announcing next week is going to be amazing! Check back next week for more information!

  4. Way to go, Matt! You’ve done an incredible job with your business and even though I’m a back-and-forth vegetarian/carnivore (man… just one of those things), I’m always following your site and stoked about all the progress you’ve made!

  5. Matt – I am Ruggero from

    Great article and I agree on many things: social media (the one where your readers are) as satellites to drive people back to the blog and the notion that many of the techniques preached by the big “make money online” gurus are depersonalized and short-termed. I respect my readers and I think it is a common thing in endurance sports. We truly are a community and only if you help the community honestly and with integrity you can survive.

    There’s a program we are thinking about with other large-ish running blogs, give me a shout if you are interested!


  6. I like your style of teaching people how to not to shove meat down their throats without shoving your position down their throats. Smart business right there.

  7. As a big fan of No Meat Athlete AND Copyblogger, I was glad to see this case study! No Meat Athlete really is a great resource and example on more than few levels. It shows people how they can thrive on a plant-based diet and push athletic limits, but it also is an inspiration to aspiring bloggers like me.

  8. Thanks for this inspirational post!

    No Meat Athlete is the perfect website for me. I became a vegetarian in 2010 and have been struggling with it because I live in what I refer to as a ‘carnivore’ state. I can count on one hand the number vegetarian and vegan restaurants and Whole Foods stores in the state. It’s been challenging. Thankfully spring is here, and I can get outside instead of being stuck in the house during the winter months. 🙂

  9. Great work matt, business building is like a marathon. Both need good planning, persistance and the ability to move sideways when necessary (and both can make you go a nuts!)
    Tip for Matt: Take the ‘bikini girls’ out of the car before you get into the car with ‘wifey’.:)

  10. By far the best article I’ve read on how to get started and keep going. Love hearing about your journey Matt and wish you continued success!

  11. I started writing about hypnosis for the same reason that Matt started writing about being a vegan athlete. I noticed a gap in the market and began to offer information to fill it. Very cool.

  12. Hi Matt I’ve just discovered No Meat Athlete and really enjoyed hearing your story. I think the combo of no meat and athlete really works to define your tribe and I guess your products. I’m just starting out with my blog and learning a lot from all you guys. Many thanks!
    PS I shared your 11 egg substitutions pic on my site – hope that’s cool!

  13. Awesome interview Beth,

    The last few lines is exactly what I found that worked for me.

    I went out and did something that I knew other people wanted to learn.

    I was shocked to find that the process of getting my CDL was harder than nearly anything else that I had tried.

    Once I completed it though I had no problem writing like water. This is also when I discovered why people suffer with writers block. You’re not doing anything. If you do something it’s easy to write.

  14. Very inspiring story. I think for me one of the key reasons behind the success of your site is that you have combined 2 of your interests (vegetarianism and running) and written about them from your own personal experiences. That comes across very strongly in your site content and means you have credibility with your readers. A lesson for us all…

    • Brian wrote an article about this strategy for choosing a niche a while ago, with a cool Robert Johnson intro.

      I read the article long after I had started No Meat Athlete, but it’s exactly why it worked. Another example is my friend Steve Kamb’s site, Nerd Fitness (, which mashes up fitness and video game geekiness.

      And the crossroads strategy is good strategy for choosing post topics too, not just a niche.

  15. What a cool interview. Sounds like a sweet niche market.
    Hearing about someone following their passions and making a business out of helping people with it is always inspirational. Thanks Beth for sharing your interview with Matt.

  16. Thanks for sharing this post. I think “No Meat Athlete” is a great name and a very specific idea. That in itself is a strength and predictor of success. I’m working toward finding a niche as a blogger. It’s hard for me as I’m a creative writer and love a variety of creative endeavors. Any ideas?

    • Right — the name certainly lends itself well to t-shirts, and is easy to remember. But I’ve heard Seth Godin play down the importance of names, so at times I wonder if the name being catchy really matters or if it’s just a nice bonus.

      My advice for choosing a niche is to start really, really narrow. When I chose vegetarian athletes, I thought it was too narrow to ever really amount to anything. I’ve been lucky that the niche itself has grown in the time since I started blogging, but I’ve also found that choosing such a narrow focus at first made it easy to get traction with a small, specific group of people who find you and say, “This is exactly for me.” Then, as you gain traction and your audience grows, you can expand into broader topics.

  17. Wow very inspiring! Sounds like has true passion. Awesome to know that you can eat healthy and still be physically active.

  18. Great stuff Matt! I don’t know which is more impressive, the guts and success with the business or the running and diet. Either way, keep it up, you are really inspiring and helping a lot of us.

  19. Amazing post for the day, after thinking so much about at work why I’m at a job which gives me less time to build my own tribe and the blog I always want. Really loved your story Matt and this something i would like to try. Start being an Vegan and keep on my daily running.
    Learned a lot and got a good motivation for blogging and make more time to grow the blogs. Well written and thanks for the share Matt.

  20. I think what makes this work is that it is very niche. Be honest, how many of us would associate vegetarianism with running? If Matt had set up a vegetarian blog or a running blog he would have had a lot of competition, which makes it difficult to “stand out from the crowd” and to write fresh content. But by putting the 2 together he can add his own unique personal perspective, write about his own experiences plus attract a core base of followers. The more I look at successful blogs the more I’m convinced you can never be too niche.

    • Hi Robert – I think a site CAN be too niche….I think entrepreneurs have to be careful that they aren’t picking a topic that is so small and specific that they don’t have an audience. You still need to make sure you have lots and lots of people who are interested in what you’re saying (and that have money to buy your products and services). Matt has done a beautiful job of picking a niche that’s small, but not TOO small.

  21. This was a very cool interview! I personally hate reading blogs as I usually find them pretty boring and lacking direction. Reading No Meat Athlete is not boring at all- I love the layout, easy navigation, and personal touches. I often point clients and friends to the site- I am a Registered Dietitian and counsel people with all types of health issues… I live in eastern NC so usually it’s weight loss. NMA provides awesome recipes and ideas to get away from all the bacon fat and butter used to cook in this area. Lastly, I’m so jealous you are in Asheville!!! I hope you’re loving it! 🙂

  22. Hey Matt, it was really great to read your story. I am also a vegan runner and I recently took up blogging as well. It is incredibly inspiring to see how you’ve gotten to where you are. I am a loyal follower of yours and hope that you make a stop in Winston-Salem, NC (right up the road) during your book tour. I hope to be able to build my site ( as you have done yours. I will be reading the free e-books provided by CopyBlogger. Thanks again for sharing your story and I hope to see you later this year!

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