Hey folks, first of all it’s been a long while once again since I published a great blog interview, so I hope you’re sitting comfortably. It gives me immense pleasure to have been able to interview this guy, he’s a pretty busy guy so I can’t thank him enough for taking the time out to do this interview. You may of course already be familiar with him and his blog, so without further ado, give a warm welcome to Ryan Biddulph from Blogging from Paradise.
#1 Welcome to Magnet4Blogging Ryan, once again thanks for taking the time to do this interview, firstly tell us a little a bit about yourself and your background and where you’re from?
First off, thanks so much for sharing this opportunity with me Fabrizio. I’m a 39 year old blogger from NJ but I’m a globe trotter. Right now I’m living in Savusavu, Fiji. I own Blogging from Paradise, where I share tips to help you retire to a life of island hopping through smart blogging.
#2. What inspired you to start blogging?
I hated working jobs. I didn’t like folks telling me when I should wake up, or when I should take vacations. During my last job as a security officer I had 5 vacation days each YEAR. Well, I’m wrapping up my 40th straight month of traveling all around the world. I prefer the 40 month working vacation.
More than anything I always wanted to be free. I was tired of being bound, or stuck to schedule. That’s what drove me to start blogging.
#3. Absolutely inspirational stuff, so how did you make your first dollar as a blogger / entrepreneur, and share with us how you felt?
Wow that’s so long ago. I think I made my first dollar through ad revenue but I’m not sure. The only thing I recalled is seeing money, feeling awesome, brimming with joy, and realizing, “Hey, I can do this!” When you see money trickle in at the beginning you gain more faith in yourself and your blog. Don’t give up guys. You’ll succeed. I really celebrated that small victory, and that celebrating spurred me on to where I am today.
#4. You heard the man, DON”T GIVE UP! OK so what are the most important lessons you’ve learned so far as a blogger Ryan?
Be comfortable with being uncomfortable and you better love being free more than you fear being uncomfortable. The thing is Fabrizio, most bloggers want practical tips, like creating content, and connecting with leaders. 90% or more of bloggers out there fail miserably, because they completely ignore good practical advice, because their mindset is poor.
Blogging success is an inside out game, meaning how you choose to feel creates thoughts, and those thoughts lead to actions, and those actions lead to success or failure. To get your mind right requires being in absolute love with being free, because you have to want to be free, to do freeing things, more than you fear doing uncomfortable things.
Most bloggers fail, predictably, because they have no strong reason WHY they’re blogging. Figure out WHY today, and tie it to some form of being free, and you’ll win.
#5. OK Ryan, share with us three things that you do to encourage relationship building on your blog over at Blogging From Paradise?
I post 4, 5, 7, or 8 paragraph, in-depth comments on relevant, authority blogs. I give whatever I’d like to have. So if I want a large, thriving, supportive community I help other bloggers establish large, thriving, supportive communities. It’s karma, or the golden rule, in action.
I respond to every comment on my blog. This shows that I’m listening to my audience, and any blogger who listens can build a large, engaged, supportive community. It also shows that I care, and that I appreciate my readers.
More than anything, my readers are my friends. I visualize me responding to their comments, or thanking them on social networking sites, one to one, sitting in my living room here in Savusavu, Fiji. Adding warmth, and a personalized approach to engagement – always using first names to address my friends – strengthens our bonds.
#6 Wow, I think we can all take something valuable away from your approach and apply into our own methods, great stuff. OK so what are your 3 favourite, or I should say, the most useful WordPress plugins that you’ve found and used on your blog?
I’d say Tom Ewer’s Evergreen Post Planner, Akismet and nRelate related content. plugins are the most useful. I send out related posts, keep spam in check and conclude each post with related posts, with these plugins. Not too much of a tech/plugin guy overall, although I appreciate what these tools do for me.
#7. Asides from blogging what other content marketing platforms do you enjoy using to promote your brand?
I use eBooks – or right now, an eBook, although I’m writing 2 more as we speak – to add to my content marketing campaign.
I recently released: “Blogging from Paradise: How to Retire to a Life of Island Hopping through Smart Blogging” to help folks become pro bloggers, so that they can travel anywhere or simply work from home to be with their families.
The eBook received an endorsement from New York Times Best Selling Author Chris Brogan, who also serves as a business advisor to Tony Robbins, Richard Branson, Paulo Coehlo, Google and Disney. So far, so good.
I love video and have been using youtube to spread the word. Video is the great trust building agent; nothing like seeing a living, breathing person speaking to you, to gain trust in that person.
#8. OK Ryan, so what area of ‘blogging’ do you consider yourself to be an expert in, or what area do you feel that you’re most knowledgeable in?
I know a good deal about how to engineer a freeing lifestyle. The proof is in my experience.
I learned how to go from broke, laid off security guard to world traveling, island hopping, professional blogger. I share – through my personal experience – exactly how you can engineer a freeing lifestyle through blogging. I went from New Jersey to places like Bali, and Savusavu, Fiji, and Costa Rica, by learning how to create targeted content, how to build connections with blogging authorities, and how to monetize my blog intelligently.
So if I’d be considered an expert in anything, it’d be how to take your blog and turn it into a tool that could allow you to live anywhere in the world, whether in a tropical paradise, or in your hometown (if it’s not a tropical paradise.).
#9. Great stuff, I love that. Right, OK let’s imagine someone comes up to you and says; “I want to start a blog and make money, I want to succeed like you have Ryan”, if there was one single piece of advice you could give them, what would it be above all else? I know there probably would be a lot of advice you could give.
Know WHY you want to blog, and tie it to some form of being free. Money is an outcome. Money is a thing. If you’re blogging for things, things can’t send you money. People send you money. People don’t like bloggers who are out to make money, only, because if all of your attention is spent on making money, and making money is your sole driver, how can you listen to, care for, and help people?
Your attention can’t be in 2 places at once.
Blog to be free, and to help you audience become free. That’s exactly how you can be like me, and that’s exactly why I’m blogging from paradise.
I always wanted to be free, and I want to take you with me. That’s my why, and if you mimic that WHY, you’l become really successful.
#10. So asides from BloggingFromParadise.com what other websites are you currently working on or running Ryan?
No other sites, because where my attention and energy goes, grows, Fabrizio. I decided to devote all of my creative energies on 1 site to grow that site quickly, to epic proportions, so I can be known for doing 1 thing: blogging from paradise. This is my brand, my message. No diluting, no confusing.
Fabrizio: I agree with you completely Ryan, I think a lot of bloggers after a while, what they try and do is spread their resources thinly across too many blogs, they start around half a dozen blogs and every single one of them flops. I’m talking from experience a little bit here too. I love your concept of focusing on growing one blog successfully.
#11. So tell us which social networking site, or sites are you most active on right now?
I’m very active on twitter. I have almost 30,000 followers and many of my followers engage me. I also enjoy interacting on twitter; forces me to be creative.
I’m active on Google Plus and Facebook, but if I’d suggest any social site/community, definitely go with Triberr. Awesome spot for making friends, building bonds and growing your blog.
#12. So who are the top 3 most influential bloggers / entrepreneurs for you and why?
#1 Chris Brogan, and not just because he endorsed me (without me even asking him to do so!). He’s humble, he’s helpful, and we email each other back and forth after his latest newsletters. He’s brilliant too. You’d think he is such a normal guy – and he is – yet, he’s one of Richard Branson’s business coaches, and helps Tony Robbins, and is a business advisor for Microsoft, Google, Coke, Disney, Sony and Cisco. He’s so humble, helpful, down to earth, and brilliant, and he’s my role model.
#2 Adrienne Smith is a talented, caring, loving blogger who taught me how to comment. Without me asking her, she proof ready my entire eBook after I asked her to review it and she wrote a thoughtful, supportive review of my eBook. She’s a kind person, and the best networker I know of online.
#3 Matthew Capella is a brilliant digital marketing pro and NYU professor who’s taught me a bunch about blogger outreach. He’s a super high energy marketing wizard who’s inspired me to learn more about marketing channels, branding and how to grow a massive network of supportive friends.
He’s also blessed me with the humbling opportunity to speak to his class at NYU. My eBook chapter on blogging monetization is part of his class’ curriculum, and I’ll speak about it in December.
#13. OK Ryan, would you encourage kids to start blogging, and if the answer is yes, at what age do you think is appropriate?
Yes, definitely. I’d say that when kids are emotionally ready to put themselves out there, and when their parents say that it’s OK, too. Probably early teens, but every kid is different.
#14. If you could start your blogging journey all over again, what would you do differently this time around?
Nope nothing. My struggles early on made me who I am, and my awesome, humbling successes made me who I am too.
We all take the perfect journey in each moment of our lives; we just need to see it.
Fabrizio: Very good answer Ryan
#15. So what has been your biggest achievement so far in blogging or entrepreneurship would you say?
Traveling the world for 40 months straight through my blogging exploits has been my #1 achievement, by far. Living in Fiji, Bali, Laos, Thailand, Costa Rica, Peru, India, Nepal, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia and Sri Lanka for months at a time has been my greatest success.
Honorable mentions: being endorsed by a New York Times Best Selling Author and being invited to speak at prestigious NYU.
#16. So what’s the next move for Ryan Biddulph?
Writing more Blogging from Paradise eBooks, traveling to Bali next month, and helping as many folks as possible, to become free, to travel to paradise as they become pro bloggers, with me.
#17. Finally Ryan, where and how can people reach you?
You can reach me through my blog:
Fabrizio: Ryan man it’s been an absolute pleasure interviewing you, I know there will be a lot of bloggers reading this and taking notes, and hopefully bookmarking this interview for the future. I know I’ve made a few notes from reading your interview.
Ryan: Thanks so much Fabrizio!
OK Folks hope you’ve enjoyed the interview, don’t forget to check out Ryan’s book “Blogging From Paradise: How To Retire To A Life Of Island Hopping Through Smart Blogging” which is available from his website mentioned above, and of course from Amazon.
If you want to check out more inspiring blog interviews check out our blog interviews category.