How to build a location independent business?
Ryan Biddulph is the globe-trotting and island-hopping founder of Blogging From Paradise. Ryan has traveled the world for over 3 years visiting places like Bali, Thailand, India, Fiji, Costa Rica, just to mention a few. In the following interview Ryan shares how he is building his business and the positive impact “Clarity” had on his business.
Success Harbor: What were you doing prior to starting Blogging From Paradise?
Ryan Biddulph: Thanks so much for sharing this opportunity with me George.
Prior to running my current blog I ran another blog that I saw some success with. Prior to that blog, I was a laid off security guard in New Jersey, living on unemployment. Quite a reach from my current pro blogging days in Fiji, right?
Anyway, after prospering through a few online channels and gaining greater clarity in what I wished to do, I started my online gig, then, a number of years later, I found greater clarity and Blogging from Paradise was born.
Success Harbor: How did you get the idea for Blogging From Paradise?
Check out Ryan’s book “27 Influential Bloggers You Need to Follow“.
Ryan Biddulph: I observed my life. I simply decided to tell a story about my experience. I’d been traveling the world for about 35 months and knew that my old blog didn’t tell my story accurate. I trashed it – 3400 blog posts, and 360 days’ worth of work, yearly, for 5 years – and in that moment, I decided to tell my life story.
I felt, what better guy to share tips for retiring to a life of island hopping as a pro blogger, than me? So I ran with it. I was blogging, and in most cases, from some tropical paradise. I ran with it and haven’t looked back.
Success Harbor: What were your goals and expectations when you started Blogging From Paradise?
Ryan Biddulph: I am free to travel, and I want to take people with me. That’s my intent. I don’t set goals, and I have detached from expectations, because when you hold and intent, and are present, and open, your manifestations FAR outreach any goal or expectation our puny minds can make up 😉
Success Harbor: What were the biggest challenges during the first year of blogging, what did you do right and what would you do differently if you had a chance to start over? (Please don’t spare us from the gory details.)
Ryan Biddulph: My first year was a total struggle. My biggest challenge was having zero clarity in doing what I did. I wanted to make money online and I didn’t put in the time to create value and build relationships.
Reaching out and asking for help was too uncomfortable for me. So I struggled.
As for hardships, a few years into my blogging career I found myself $50,000 in debt and I had 4 little pennies in my pocket. I went horribly broke. Financially, I was living on a bed of pins and needles, and as you may imagine this ain’t the best environment for creating inspired, helpful blog posts, and eBooks, nor is it helpful to hobnob with big dawgs when you feel like a broke joke.
I don’t do the regret thing. I’d do nothing differently. Everything happens at the perfect place/time. so I cherished those days, because without them, I’d still be working a 9-5 bit in NJ, comfy, and unhappy.
Success Harbor: In one of your blog comment responses you wrote “my website took 5 years to be close to awesome lol…..tons of struggling along the way, to get clear on why I wanted to live my dream, but when I did get clear, magic started to happen.” Can you explain what “clear” meant and what “magic” started to happen?
Ryan Biddulph: Getting clear means knowing why you want to blog. For me, it meant, I am blogging to be free, and to take everybody with me. When I wake up, I am free here in Fiji, and a month from now, I’ll be free in Bali, and I want to take everyone with me to Fiji and Bali. so we can all be globe trotting pro bloggers. Holding that intent detaches you from trying to make money, trying to be famous, and trying to blog for self-serving purposes only.
New York Times Best Selling Author Chris Brogan endorsed the first TWO eBooks in my Blogging from Paradise series. He’s a business advisor for Microsoft, Google, Disney, GM, Richard Branson, Tony Robbins, Paul Coelho, other luminaries….and he also loves Ryan Biddulph’s Blogging from Paradise eBooks 🙂
I was asked to speak at NYU (this December). The monetizing chapter of my first Blogging from Paradise eBook is being used as a study guide for students in an NYU marketing class.
I finally fully realized my life: I saw the truth, that I went from broke, fired security guard in NJ, to professional blogger living on the bay in Savusavu, Fiji, for 4 months.
My blog’s popularity took off, with some posts generating over 3,000 social shares.
I was featured on over 35 authority blogs in 3 months
I have successfully published 3 eBooks in 3 months (writing #4 as we speak)
All pretty magical things….the power of clarity.
Success Harbor: How did you promote your blog in the beginning?
Ryan Biddulph: In the beginning I wrote a blog post – 5 years ago – pressed “Publish”, and watched TV.
I’d repeat the same thing the following day.
I’m not kidding.
As for my current blog – Blogging from Paradise – I promote other bloggers and post 5 to 8 paragraph, in-depth comments, on relevant, authority blogs. What you give freely returns to you easily.So by helping folks and promoting them, they promote me, and my presence expands.
Success Harbor: What are the most effective ways to promote your blog today?
Ryan Biddulph: Blog commenting, blog commenting, blog comment, and using social media to promote other bloggers.
The 2nd eBook in my series explains how you can build an online empire through blog commenting.
I mean, how else could I make cyber friends with one of the great business minds in the world? Or how else could I gain an invite to speak at NYU?
Comment freely, promote others, write really in depth content, and your blog will take off over time.
Success Harbor: You mention on your “About” page that you have received 7,000 comments. What impact comments have on your blog and how does it help
Ryan Biddulph: Comments are vehicles through which you build friendships with bloggers, and blogging buddies promote you, expand your brand and grow your business. So comments help you connect with friends, and friends help dictate whether your blog succeeds or fails.
Comments are social proof. If someone reads a post with 20, or 50 or 100 comments, they’ll want to know what everybody’s talking about and they’ll also be keen on joining the fray to build your blogging community.
Success Harbor: Can you describe the different ways that you monetized your blog?
Ryan Biddulph: I wrote really, really, really in depth content. Content monetizes your blog. That’s where the money’s made.
Now, I’ve opened income streams like writing eBooks, and offering my blog coaching, and freelance writing businesses, and I’m also an affiliate for Hootsuite Pro because I use it and believe in it, but without good, in-depth comment, I’m not giving people value, so they’d never give me value aka money, in return.
Before anybody monetizes, they should look at their blog and say: “Why would someone buy from me? Am I knocking their socks off with 2500 word, in-depth posts?”
If you’re really impressing the heck out of folks, then open up those income streams. If not, focus most of your creative energies on publishing super in-depth posts to impress people. Impressed people send you money for your services, eventually….so then, get to writing eBooks, and consulting, and being an affiliate and you’ll make money through your content.
Success Harbor: What other income do you have from sources other than Blogging From Paradise?
Ryan Biddulph: Savings interest income, growing pension from my pier guard days, IRA, a few other little offline income streams too.
Success Harbor: At what point did you decide that you were ready to monetize your blog and what advice do you have for others to start monetizing their own blogs?
Ryan Biddulph: I started from Day 1, 5 years ago. It was a mistake.
I’d suggest making your blog “cool” before monetizing. In the movie “Social Network”, Sean Parker suggests to Mark Z that he shouldn’t go to investors, to get paid, because Facebook wasn’t “cool” yet. If he could hold off on monetizing, Facebook would be worth billions and billions, instead of worth a few million.
Mark Z, listened to Sean P, Facebook became Facebook as we know it, and Mark is one of the richest men in the world, because he was in no rush to get paid.
Offer a superior product – your 2000 to 3000 word posts, published 1-3 times week – for a month or 2, then monetize. Your content is the NUMBER ONE monetizing factor, of your blog, NOT channels like affiliate stuff, or writing eBooks, or consulting stuff.
Success Harbor: What is your process of creating great content, something that stands out?
Ryan Biddulph: I meditate for 20 to 30 minutes daily. I clear out all of the mental junk, then I observe my day.
I tell stories based on my daily experience and link them in to my blogging tips.
Other than that, I write 4000 to 6000 words daily between my eBooks, blog posts, comments and articles for clients. The more you create, the easier it becomes to create effortlessly.
Success Harbor: What are the reasons you have managed to build a successful blog with substantial traffic?
Ryan Biddulph: I created really in-depth content and I made friends with powerful, successful bloggers who expanded my presence.
Traffic responds to value, and to the quality and number of your relationships.
Success Harbor: What challenging and uncomfortable things do you push yourself today,to take your blog to the next level?
Ryan Biddulph: Writing 6000 words on many days is a bit uncomfortable, all while networking aggressively, and still doing fun offline stuff in Vanua Levu, Fiji.
I’m blogging from paradise, so getting in the blogging and paradise bit is freeing and uncomfortable, but I value blogging from paradise, and I want to take you with me, so I set aside 45 minutes to do your interview George ;)…..even though I have thousands of words to write…..because I want to take you and my audience with me.
I value freedom, so doing uncomfy stuff here and there ain’t no biggie.
Success Harbor: What mistakes do you see bloggers make the might prevent them from success or slow their progress?
Ryan Biddulph: No mental homework. All bloggers should spend 30 minutes daily working on their mindset, either meditating, or reading self help books, to learn how to feel good most of the time. When you feel amazing you’ll pick a blogging niche with clarity, and you’ll know why you want to blog, and as you work on your mindset and purify that intent, you’ll see greater and greater success.
Thanks again George!
Say hi to Ryan at bloggingfromparadise.com.
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