Wish you were here? I sure do! This week we chat to Ryan Biddulph who has just launched his new site, Blogging from Paradise.
Ryan teaches fellow online entrepreneurs the steps to creating a business that allows you the freedom that you’ve always wanted, and is targeted at “the successful, driven blogger who want to embrace the internet lifestyle to its fullest”.
For Ryan, that means a life of blogging, connecting and living in some of the most stunning places on earth. Sounds good right? Want to know how he did it?
Read on, young adventurer!
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Ryan Biddulph. I am an internet lifestyle junkie, blogger and freelance writer who owns bloggingfromparadise.com. The tagline to my blog sums up my purpose: I help folks retire to a life of island hopping through smart blogging. I’ve been circling the globe for 39 months and wanted to share my secrets about how to go from a 9-5 job to being a professional blogger, and an island hopping one at that.
Tell us about your journey and how you got started.
I was fired from my job as a security officer 5 years ago. My fiancee told me about working online so I decided to do some research. After buying a domain name and hosting I was off to the races. Of course, it took me about 3 years to really get things in order and to start seeing some consistent, solid results.
Where does your inspiration for blog content come from? Any particular favourite places online that you can share with us?
Really, my travels fueled my inspiration. One of my friends designed my header but the travel pictures I post to my sidebar are products of my trips around the world. I must admit, my Savusavu selfies (snapped here in Fiji) were particularly fun to publish online as my readers seem to love them.
How have you built up your fan base and online presence? Any particular tools that you’ve come across that have really helped?
Helping other people is the easiest way to build up a friend base. I promoted other bloggers and persistently commented on authority blogs, adding value wherever I popped up. Whatever you sow, you eventually reap.
I’m in love with Hootsuite Pro because the tool has saved me 2-3 hours a day. I can post to multiple groups on Facebook and LinkedIn plus I can engage freely through the app. Being a world traveler, I need tools to share my latest blog posts at the right time for my target audience.
Are there any particular challenges that you’ve faced along the way that you could share with us?
Attracting return readers was a problem for me until I engaged in an aggressive blogger outreach campaign. By commenting on my friend’s blogs – typing 5 or 6 paragraph, in-depth comments – and promoting my friends I built strong bonds and as my friends promoted me, they expanded my presence.
This expansion combined with my persistence helped me draw in return readers, which helped me grow my freelance writing business and boost my eBook sales.
What practical tips can you give our readers about growing an online business?
Follow the 2 C’s: Create and Connect. Create pillar-style, resource-type, in-depth content for your audience. Do so through a blog. Blogs are content central, the ultimate branding tool that exposes you and your brand to targeted customers. Post videos, reviews and articles to establish your authority.
Connect by promoting authority entrepreneurs in your niche and by helping them without looking for anything in return. Eventually, you’ll build bonds with the industry pros, and more than a few will readily write endorsements for you. This will boost your trust factor and business prospects tremendously.
Have you had any stand out moments?
More than anything, traveling the world for 39 months while funding my travels through blogging has been the standout moment of my life. Living here in Fiji, and also, in Bali, Phuket, Koh Lanta, Malaysia, Costa Rica and a bunch of other places for months has been amazing.
I’ve been interviewed on brand.com and have been asked to speak at prestigious NYU. If/when I head back to New Jersey I’ll follow through on the invitation. As for now, I’m too busy island-hopping.
Also, releasing my first product, Blogging from Paradise the eBook, has been an amazing experience for me. (Check out the preview of the book in this video!)
What does a typical day look like for you?
I wake up and meditate for 20 minutes. I do about an hour’s worth of outreach, commenting on blogs and promoting bloggers from my niche.
I’ll write articles for clients over the next few hours. If it’s a post day – I currently post to Blogging from Paradise 3 times weekly – I’ll write my post, edit it, re-read, and schedule it to be published.
Here in Savusavu it takes us about 2 hours to walk into town, do some light shopping, and then return home. I may also do an extra 30 minute’s worth of exercise.
I’ll do 1-2 more hour’s worth of outreach later in the day and I may also write a bit more. I then spend an hour or 2 responding to requests on social networks.
I’ll read each night, some personal development and some light reading, and I may watch a comedy DVD to stay light.
My time spent working varies from day to day. Overall, I just focus on writing daily, connecting with blogging authorities and working on my mindset.
What would you say to others who are thinking about taking a similar path?
Know why you want to take this path and allow that emotion to dominate your mind. Anybody can do this but you need to be super clear on wanting to be free, or wanting to inspire others to be free, and that emotion has to be stronger than your fear of failure, or your fear of criticism.
What’s next for you?
I just started my new blog – Blogging from Paradise – 3 weeks ago, and I’m releasing my eBook by the same name today so I’m diving into these projects now, and for the foreseeable future.
Want more from Ryan?
Check him out at Blogging from Paradise and Twitter.