If someone had of told me ten years ago that if I were to quit sugar and write about it I’d be a millionaire, I probably would have laughed in their face. Magazine editor Sarah Wilson did it, however, and now she’s laughing all the way to the bank.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Wilson’s I Quit Sugar empire is on track to make at least $4 million this year, after turning over $534, 000 in its first year alone. In case you’re not already familiar with her story, the journalist was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease back in 2008 that forced her to eliminate sugar from her diet. She then began blogging about her sugar-free lifestyle, before co-founding I Quit Sugar.com with former colleague Zoe Eaton.
So, what’s been the secret to her success? The health mogul attributes it to a gap in the market – at the time there wasn’t much out there about quitting sugar and she soon discovered via her blog that people were hungry for more information. “It just went mental and everyone wanted to know more,” she told Smart Company last year. “So I went off and researched. I interviewed experts and cardiologists, and tried to get to the bottom of the problem of sugar.”
This then led to the digital I Quit Sugar Cookbook, which was so successful it was picked up by book publishers and distributed across 43 countries. It even made the New York Times bestseller list. “I went from being a journalist, to making ebooks, and then the traditional book publishers approached me about print books. Usually it happens the other way around,” she told the magazine.
Now, with ten ebooks, a one million strong social media following and over 3 million visits to the website each month, I Quit Sugar is one of most successful self-funded health companies in Australia. What’s more, the website also runs three eight-week diet programs every year in which participants pay $150 to get access to dieticians, specialists and recipes.
Speaking with the Sydney Morning Herald, Wilson’s business partner Zoe Eaton admitted: “Our primary revenue is from the program… [and] the advertising revenue, while we don’t rely on it, is also a very important channel to have and produces really beautiful integrated sponsored content, which is quite often our most read content every month.
“We are in a nice place with that side of our business; we can pick and choose who we want to work with at the moment.”
So, why can’t people get enough of I Quit Sugar? Eaton pointed out to the paper that besides Michelle Bridges and Kayla Itsines, “there is no-one else really doing what we do.”