If you think you can’t make money with your blog, you’ve been listening to the wrong people.
Listen now to Ryan Biddulph, who turned his blog into a major revenue source and changed his whole life for the better. Ryan, a former an unemployed security guard in New Jersey, is currently a world traveler and blogger. He went from having a net worth of 4 cents to generating a steady cash flow online while living in tropical paradises like Bali, Phuket, and Hoi An.
Ryan was a contributor to my latest book, SEO Like I’m 5, and he recently authored his new e-book: Blogging from Paradise: How to Retire to Fiji through Smart Blogging, which I had a chance to read and review on Amazon:
There are many self-proclaimed blogging gurus on the Web, who are quick to give a lot of misguided advise to beginner bloggers. Ryan doesn’t just talk to talk like the 99% of bloggers out there – he walks the walk. He makes ‘real’ cash from his blog, creates ‘real’ relationships online, and lives a ‘real’ Internet lifestyle traveling around the world. If you want the ultimate freedom of working from home, making money online, and living your true dharma.
I was excited to invite Ryan back for his another Q&A with SearchDecoder. His latest book received a lot of attention on the Internet, including endoresements from New York Time best-selling author Chris Brogan and Yaro Starak, Millionaire Earner, Laptop Lifestyle Blogger.
Not bad for an unemployed security guard from the suburbs of New Jersey. Ryan choose himself through blogging, and he offered a couple of good tips for bootstrap bloggers and passive income chasers here. Read on!
Blogging from Paradise
What motivated you to write your latest book?
I scrapped my old blog about a month ago. I knew it was time for a big change, as my intuition had been pulling me in that direction for many months.
So I started BloggingFromParadise.com on an intuitive nudge and instantly felt a pull to write an accompanying eBook.
I also recalled so many bloggers asking me how in the heck I did it? How did I retire through blogging, so I could fund my travels and sock away money in savings and other investments through my blog?
Even super successful bloggers were a bit stymied. I mean, some of these folks made a handsome amount of money online yet wanted to know how I engineered my lifestyle.
After realizing these nudges, and listening to my audience, it made perfect sense. This is my life. This is the easiest way to share my experience with folks who either want to blog from paradise – full time – or who want to learn how to take shorter vacations to some of the amazing hot spots in the world.
How did you get Internet superstars, such as Chris Brogan and Yaro Starak, endorse your book?
Actually Matt I learned outreach from you. You’re a master in this department, because you’re the King of Reciprocity.
You’ve graciously interviewed me on a few occasions, and have shared my content, and even mentioned me in your latest Book, SEO Like I’m 5.
I feel inspired to help you out by sharing your content on my social networks, and by featuring you on my blog, and by writing reviews for you.
Blogging Success 101: Law of Reciprocity
— Chris Brogan (@chrisbrogan) August 7, 2014
As for New York Times best-selling author Chris Brogan, I did 2 things. I posted in-depth, helpful comments on his blog for months, a while back. I’m talking 5 to 6 paragraph, comments like content type pieces. I promoted him aggressively too on Twitter to show up on his radar.
I also subscribed to his newsletter. Each time he sent out an email I read it and responded with a nice compliment and shared my thoughts on the topic. Sometimes, CB responded within seconds. At other times, in like an hour. Either way, we built a little stronger bond through email. We’d go back and forth 2 or 3 times.
I then sent him the link to my eBook a few days ago. I did not ask him to a promote it; I simply told him that he played a huge part in inspiring me to create this product. He then emailed me back later telling me he’d tweet it. I was floored.
I posted REALLY in depth comments on Yaro’s blog and promoted each one of his posts for over a month. I popped up on his radar too, and he graciously responded with a kind testimonial not 10 minutes after Chris Brogan’s endorsement.
You talked on your blog about how leveraging online relationships got you to where you are at. What’s your secret sauce when it comes to outreach?
I’d say just helping people and cutting strings. Connect with niche authorities. Build bonds with the top people in your field, or in related fields. Do this by posting in-depth, comments like content, mini guest post style comments. Trust me, they notice, because they appreciate anyone who adds value to their blog, through commenting.
Retweet, Facebook Share or G Plus share the content. Do this for 2 months or more, and don’t ask for anything in return yet. Genuinely intend for their success. This feels great, and it’s fun.
Detaching Technique to Build Blogger Relationships
If you are promoting something and can use a hand, send an email to folks you feel you’ve grown close to, over months. Ask them if they could write an endorsement. Then stress that, if they can’t do so, no problem at all.
Then, ask them, whether they said “Yes” or “No”, if you can help them in any way; if you can write a review for their product after checking it out, retweet more content, feature them on your blog.
This is the great “secret.” This is where you’re totally detaching from your request, where you move away from he 1-for-1, competitive mindset, which kills most budding outreach campaigns.
Whether they can help you out or not, no worries. Ask how you can help them. This is a genuine way to detach from outcomes, and how to get the backing of one of the top marketers on the face of the earth, as well as one of the top bloggers in the world.
In your book, you write that ‘your friends build your blog’. What do you mean by that?
I think that without awesome guys like you, or my readers, or people who comment on my blog, or people who buy Blogging from Paradise, I would be writing a diary. I would publish a post, and nobody would be around to read it, to share it, to spread the word for me.
I like to say, no man is an island, and without the help of my friends, I wouldn’t be on a tropical island of my choice.
I’m gazing out on the bay here in Savusavu, Fiji as I type these words. It is a million dollar view, 50 meters high on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Thousands of people created this life for me; they promoted me, supported me, inspired me, provided me with invaluable feedback, and graciously hired me for my freelance writing or blog consulting services, or they bought my product.
Without my friends, none of this would have happened. BFP would be a diary. Not only that, I’d be blogging from central New Jersey, my home state. Which is a nice spot, but the view in Fiji is better 🙂
5 Practical Tips to Retire to Fiji through Smart Blogging
What 5 tips would you give to newbie bloggers who would want to live the life you live?
#1 Know why you want to blog. Build that emotion up – and tie it to some form of being free – to drive you through difficult times.
#2 Start a blog with 1 clear theme/topic and an ideal reader. For example; my ideal reader is someone who wants to retire to a life of island hopping through smart blogging. That’s who I write for, all the time.
#3 Pick a domain name relevant to this core idea, and make sure people can visualize it easily. We think in pictures; make your domain name easy to see, to make your reader’s job easier. Also, make sure your domain, title, tagline, posts, pages, and ads all completely align. Example; on my blog I don’t do Adsense, because many of the ads are not related to blogging, or blogging from paradise for that matter, so I ditched it to avoid confusing my audience and to fully align my blog and brand.
#4 Create 1 to 3 in-depth pieces of content each week. Consider 2,000 to 2,500 word posts if you are a pro. If you’re new to blogging, aim for 600 words. Push yourself. It may feel like a stretch, but if you ain’t stretching, you ain’t growing. You will thank yourself 6 months down the road, when you’re publishing 2,500 word, in-depth posts, and raking in subscribers.
#5 Connect with leaders in your niche. Outreach is the secret sauce that makes everything GO! Learn from their posts, take notes, study these notes, put the notes into action and immerse yourself in your niche. Leave 5 or 6 paragraph comments on authority blogs. Promote authority bloggers. Don’t look for anything in return, for at least a few months. Then if you ask for help in some way, also ask the person for 3 or 4 ways how you can help them, even if they can’t help you. Make friends with them.
If you enjoyed this post, check out Ryan’s previous Q&A with SearchDecoder: