Welcome to the Successful Blogging team, Ryan!
First off, Sue Anne, thanks so much for sharing this opportunity with me!
My name is Ryan Biddulph. I’m a 39-year-old internet lifestyle junkie, blogger and freelance writer who owns Blogging from Paradise.
Thanks! Now, let’s get personal! Where do you live? Do you have a family? What do you do for work and play?
Wow, that’s a tough one to answer. I’ve traveled the world for the past 39 months. Now I’m living in Savusavu, Fiji for 4 months. Next stop, Ubud, Bali. I’ve lived for months in places like Thailand, Costa Rica, Malaysia, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Peru, India and Sri Lanka. I did live in New Jersey until 3 years ago, but have only returned for a month or 2 during our world travels.
I have a loving fiancée named Kelli Cooper who’s a blogging dynamo in her own right. No children, but honestly, my online and offline buddies are family to me.
For work, I own Blogging from Paradise. I am a ghost writer and also sell my eBooks to generate online income. I’m also an affiliate for a few products I use. Work is like play for me because I blog from paradise; it’s tough to feel like I’m working now, because I’m 50 meters above the Pacific Ocean in a beach front home in Fiji as I write these words, gazing out on the crystal clear waters.
I play by: exercising daily, sometimes doing touristy-type stuff in our tropical hot spot of choice, going to the beach, working on my mindset (I find that quite fun), traveling to some really neat spots, petting 400 pound tigers (in Thailand), feeding monkeys from our deck (in Costa Rica), watching TV shows (online in most tropical islands with no English channels) and connecting and chilling with the local people, wherever I may be.
What’s your blog about? Who reads it? How long have you been blogging?
People who want to retire to a life of island hopping through smart blogging read my blog. Also, folks who dig their 9-5 job but want practical blogging tips along with a ton of inspiring travel pictures to build their part-time blogging venture.
I started Blogging from Paradise only 3 short weeks ago; I also ran a successful blog for 4 years focused on the make money online niche which I've since closed out. I've blogged for about 4 years.
How often do you update your blog?
I used to post 5 to 30 times daily – not a typo – on my old blog, publishing mainly short and punchy videos, but have changed my strategy dramatically. On BFP I publish three, 2500 to 3000 word posts each week. Quality beats quantity by a landslide. Most people are looking for resources, not a hit-and-run, short and punchy approach, to solving their problems. At least from my experience.
Where do most of your readers come from? Google search? Social media? Other sites? Guest posts?
Most of my readers come through social sites or through other blogs, as I’ve engaged in an aggressive outreach strategy focused on blog commenting. I've seen nice traffic through guest posting but nothing compares to blog commenting.
More bloggers from top sites have asked to interview me based on my comments than you’d believe. It’s amazing how simply treating comments like content, sharing your thoughts to add value to a post, opens doors for you and drives traffic to your blog.
I've been active on Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus for a minute. The social media Golden Rule has worked well for me; I promote others to help them generate traffic, and others promote me to help me generate traffic.
I’m also seeing a huge influx of traffic through Triberr. Awesome community for meeting and forming bonds with like-minded folks, and for leveraging each other’s presence.
What are the three most popular posts on your blog?
Far and away, my most popular post on BFP involved sharing 13 successful bloggers to follow. This one generated over 3,500 social media flares, or shares, in about a week’s worth of time.
One other popular post involved explaining how Fijian fruit bats can teach you to become a better blogger. Weird comparison, but intriguing, as I watch these mini-Cessna sized creatures with 5 foot wing spans raid the papaya trees on the front lawn/cliff here in Savusavu nightly.
A third popular post was related to making your blogging outreach campaign work well. Outreach makes or breaks a blog. With no outreach campaign, you may as well write a diary, because you’ll be the only person reading your blog….along with a symphony of crickets chirping in the background.
I’d love to hear more about your blogging successes so far. What kind of good things have come to you from blogging? Please tell us your blogging success story.
More than anything Sue Anne, my #1 accomplishment is that I've traveled all over the world and have funded the trip (and have socked away savings) through my blogging income. To go from being a broke, unemployed security guard five years ago, to living for 4 months in a home with a multi-million dollar view, 50 meters up on a jungle cliff, in Fiji, is a pretty crazy life change.
Living in Bali for 5 months, Thailand for 16 months, and seeing places like Malaysia, and Costa Rica, and Sri Lanka, all through blogging exploits, is my #1 achievement.
My #2 achievement has been inspiring my readers to do the same. Even travel bloggers, and many other lifestyle junkies, are still trying to figure out how to both generate enough income and engineer their lifestyle to be able to do what Kelli and I do. Some folks are already coming along for the ride and many others are well on their way to retiring to a life of island hopping through smart blogging.
Other neat accomplishments: being interviewed on brand.com and being asked to speak at prestigious NYU. If/when I get back to New Jersey, I intend to take up the asker on their gracious invitation. It certainly won’t hurt the resume, adding a “spoke at NYU” qualification.
Do you have any special blogging tip for new bloggers?
Know why you want to blog. Make that reason “why” pure, like to be free, and to inspire people. You will face blogging obstacles and life obstacles; goodness knows I did. Blogging obstacles can be stepping-stones or road blocks; if you are blogging to be free, and to inspire other people to be free, you’ll step on, and over the obstacle, because your positive vibes, devout desire to be free, and doggedness won’t allow you to quit.
Write the reason “why” on a tiny piece of paper and carry it around with you, everywhere, as a little compass, and as a kick in the tush when times get tough.
Where can people find out more about you? Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I’d just add, anybody can become a pro blogger. I knew how to do 2 things online 5 years ago; check my email and visit espn.com, and now I’m traveling all over the world, retired from my job and blogging from paradise. If I can do this, anybody can.
Sue Anne, thanks again for the gracious invitation.