Syed Naimath 2 years ago

Everybody knows Ryan Biddulph. The true digital nomad who is seen blogging, writing eBooks, commenting, and helping others.

But this wasn’t always the case.

Ryan had a very simple lifestyle before he embarked himself on his blogging journey and started living a digital life.

In this interview, Ryan shares his unique journey from being a security guard to a successful blogger. Read on to learn what all he has to say about blogging, influencer marketing, writing 7000+ words per day and a lot more about bloggers.

1. To begin with, can you talk a bit about your journey?

Basically, I started this gig about 8 years ago. I was an unemployed security guard and was fired because they downsized. My then girlfriend – and now wife – Kelli, told me that we can make money online. That was completely new to me and I had no idea if could do that. It was something that I had no knowledge of: blogging, or any of that stuff.


I bought my domain and hosting. And overtime I had to struggle for many, many years, and started to put together a little bit of a recipe – or a blueprint – for building a successful blog. I made some money with blogging and freelance writing, which is how we started our trip – almost 5 years now to the day – and started traveling around the world.


As that journey unfolded, I shifted from a make-money-online blog, which was CashWithATrueConscience, to the current Blogging From Paradise, which I found about two years ago in Fiji. From there things really took off. It’s been a really interesting journey because I didn’t know what a blog was 7 years ago. I knew what was, and just knew how to check my email.

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2. Why did you get into this kind of lifestyle? Did you always want it? What were the initial mental challenges you faced and how did you overcome them?

My family never travelled. We didn’t do a lot of going around travelwise. So I really didn’t envision this lifestyle. And really the biggest mental block and the biggest mental challenge was realizing the fact that it was even possible, because I would take out one or two days in a year when I was a security boy, and everything was based on overtime at the shipping terminal. I had Sundays off and usually worked Saturdays for overtime too.

 I was in that mindset, that you have to keep working harder and harder as far as putting in your time, and just get money for the time you put in.

That was the only paradigm in my mind: the only way to live. When I figured out that you could actually do something online and get paid money without haven’t to trade time for money, I was like, oh, I could travel, and I could do all the other stuff – but just the mental block kept me thinking it wasn’t possible. It was such a huge struggle for me. And with that I ran into financial difficulties, and $70,000 into debt.

I had all types of nightmares . My family didn’t really support me. They loved me but they thought I, being an office worker, should continue to be one.

Really the biggest mental block was thinking that it was even 0.00001% possible.

The rest of my consciousness, my mind, was saying “No way, Ryan. You’ll always be an office worker, you’ll always be a security guard, what makes you think you could travel the world and make money from blogging?”

But I always knew why I wanted to do it, and I wanted to be free. More than that, I feared being uncomfortable, to experience and learn things, and to dive into circumstances. Over the years I have just made having fun my biggest driver. I think when you do stuff for fun and freedom you’ll do things that the old you would be stunned that you are doing. So I think that’s the biggest thing. I always wanted to be free more than I feared doing that uncomfortable stuff. So I did it.

 Over the years I have just made having fun my biggest driver.

And then the fun was as I was on the road; I was like, oh, wait a second, I was  blessed to be on Richard Branson’s Virgin blog not long ago.

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So I decided to have fun following my passion, and not just think about money and not just think about subscribers. The more you add energy to your work, the more you smell the connection and you create the content that allows money to come to you. And that’s about it.

Overcoming that mental block and thinking that it was possible – that was a shock. I mean the old me would think there was no way I’d be doing things this way.

3. You talked previously about getting the inner clarity. What do you mean by it, and how do you achieve it? 

For me personally there’s a few things that I do everyday day that help me quiet my mind a little bit more. Those things that help me gain, are of greater priority.

I think that every human being is like a snowflake. There’s trillions of snowflakes that have very fallen on earth. All unique. Even though we are all connected we have individual paths.  

For me, meditation is huge. I meditate for 20 minutes every morning, sitting quietly. That helps me clear my mind and gain greater priorities so that I can listen to my intuition. I trust more that there’s a bigger power out there that I believe in personally. Helps me follow my fun because when I am clear on following my fun, is when I do only what’s fun to me. And I know that sounds to crazy to a lot business people. In my experience, the more things I enjoy, the more I let people into my life. Me creating things I like, and connecting with other people. That helps me live my dream, make the money, gain influence, or other important stuff.

I am also big on exercising. We usually have our last meal at 8pm, and at next at 12 pm on the next day. So for 16 hours we are fasting everyday. Also I take icy cold showers for about five minutes, which is very intense. These have personally for me helped me clear my vibes to be be able to take that fun, free direction. It helps me connect with so many folks who also want that fun and freedom in their life. Then we all connect.

So it’s more about working on yourself. To get that clarity you have to start working on yourself.

Yes it really is. And when you are reading the books and moving into action, it seems like you are in a really stuffed zone. Just keep going with it. Sometimes you have to look outside of yourself, and I think we need to do that. The more you go with it, with meditation, with a quiet room, writing out, the better.

You start to realize that the stuff that you read really helped. That it could lead you in a proper direction, but you have to work it out yourself. Answering “What do I really want out of life? Where am I going?” Outside stuff, it’s not a crutch. It’s not something you need – it’s something that you could use for a boost. So I keep that inside of myself through meditation, observation and exercise.

And then you realise this helps, but I always thought I had power with me because I’m here – I’m breathing, I’m alive. That’s a big thing. It helps you through the resistance. Like for many folks, for years I was a permanent student. I wasn’t a teacher. So I learned, and put it in my blog. I am always learning through experiences. When you move to teaching mode, right away you feel better, and have more posture. And that’s really helpful too. You start thinking, “I’m not just a student, I have lot of power, let me teach and get paid.”

4. From a security guard to a professional blogger – is a drastic shift. What was your approach towards learning about blogging? What were some of the resources and people that you followed?

The first couple of years were harsh because I didn’t go to these resources. I just wanted to make money online, and I struggled. Then when I moved into blogging, I picked a couple of top blogs like Darren’s


That was my favourite. I’d just read the posts everyday and study them, even if I screwed up – which is okay – because we are all are learning even if things don’t seem to go perfectly well. I’m really good at learning something. I’m in the run, and put into practice immediately – and that was probably my biggest teacher. I picked Darren’s blog,and Zac Johnson’s too. I would read, and then I would study – and put it into action right away. And even if I had failed or struggled, it helped me grow the confidence up to where I’d hit the publish button.

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It’s like that saying, “Put yourself out there”, whether it’s products, or content. So I moved into that action on a couple of blogs and published, published, published. Publishing regularly gave me the confidence to say, “Hey, I know what I’m doing a little bit”, and I gained more experience and more knowledge. I knew more and more. I just needed to get that confidence to say, “Hey I know this blogging thing.”

That helped me connect with folks, to say “That’s a pretty cool blog you have, [and] a cool message.” – and that’s how everything starts. I was looking at a couple of blogs, not too many. No information overload. Read, study, and write away. I don’t live life on the sideline. I really, really dive in when I read something like a blog post.

[Highlight] Learn about blogging a little bit, and then become a teacher – even if you are a substitute at first. Keep teaching, and everything comes together. [/Highlight]

Syed: A lot of people get into this zone of reading and reading. Then when they apply it, things get out of control – and that’s where real understanding and awareness comes. In my opinion, that’s when you get whether it will work or not. That’s something I have experienced as well.

It is. It’s the experience of acquiring knowledge and implementing it. When you share it, you gain confidence because it’s like an offline teacher. A lot of times I talk about this to Kelli a lot, that the online and offline world seem like such different worlds.

When we get online we get into this mode where our mind stops working. It should be – “You teach! You teach!”, and that’s how I think it gets into your mind, and how you start to have more and more success and reach more people. Get rid of the sidelines. The fear is strong and that’s what pulls you down. The fear of failure, of wasting your time – which I have experienced at least once over the past.

I know so much of it is enjoyable and anytime I would publish a post or an idea I have this fear that I’m going to be criticised. That I am doing too much, that I’m wasting too much. So I feel the fear, but I do it anyway. When you feel that fear I think, “I gotta help. I gotta teach, so let me just dive into that.”

5. What are some of the biggest misconceptions about leading a completely lifestyle?

The biggest misconception about digital lifestyle is that it’s expensive. Everybody thinks that you have to be rich, and have to save so much money. You really don’t. Kelli and I, we do house sits most of the time. Sometimes we rent places, apartments – which in lot of cases are affordable. We watched people’s houses for free and look after their pets. We lived at the bay in Fiji for four to six months, rent-free.


I remember a couple of years ago when I flew to Bangkok and Thailand. We flew on Air India, which is round trip from New York to Chennai or Mumbai for $550. The point being – air fare could be more for some people. About rent and eating: same where the locals eat. It’s not that expensive, and that’s the biggest misconception.

The other misconception is that living a digital lifestyle is something that only special people could do.

Not even about the money. They think, “I am not here to travel, I can’t travel, I am not someone who’s into that.” They have these ideas that everything out there is so dangerous.

I grew up in America, New Jersey, so many people here think that so much of the world is dangerous because they base their view on CNN. Only 50% people of this rich country have a passport – which is insane.

They only travel to Mexico and Canada.That’s the biggest misconception, to think that you have to be wealthy to do it and on the of top that, that every other place is dangerous. I have been around a lot of the world most places are safe, and people there are friendly. So these are two of the biggest misconceptions. You just have to get on a plane or a bus or whatever.

6. How do you manage your time between travelling, writing, commenting, networking, etc.?

I do a few basic things. I always follow my fun. So I think back on the days when I was doing stuff that I didn’t enjoy. But when you do enjoy it, you can leverage your time well. Right now I’m focusing on promoting my ebook. I really enjoy promoting ebooks. When you focus on two or three things – for me now it’s primarily promoting the ebook, a little promotion on Twitter, and publishing videos on my blog – you have so much more time to do what you really want to do. Travel and experience.

Finding that balance is about you, and put up with meditation or a cold shower, or whatever it is, whichever is fun to you. Limit your focus to two or three things, learn them well, and enjoy them. That helps you do the travel stuff. Of course, focussing on these also helps you generate higher profits and income through them, so you can keep your lifestyle going.

Once my focus was writing long form posts, each of 7000 words.

For 3 months in a row I wrote 6000-7000 word ebooks and published every single day, and that’s all I did during that time. 

I thought to myself, this is what I’m doing now, and that’s all. I do this for a number of hours of a day, and travel. That’s why I travel – I’m not travelling to be in front of computer.

Syed: Keeping it simple is the mantra right?

It is. It really is.

You do a few things and you keep focusing on it. When you feel like you’re wandering off to something else, put a rubber band on your arm and snap it. Or some type of signal or red flag, to stop it and to stick to what you were doing. I love doing what I do. I am learning. I am getting better at it. And it helps me enjoy the travel. That’s what I wanna do ultimately while travelling – use that to put you on course.

7. How have your travelling experiences helped you as a blogger?

R. I have really colourful travel stories. I don’t how many ebooks/blogs/videos I have done on them. You get so many stories, so many experiences, and you dive into so many fun and uncomfortable situations.

Almost died in India, had a really rough experience with that. That was such a blessed experience, and even though it was terrifying, I got some colourful stories out of it. I had a rough experience in Bali too, with a motorbike. I have amazing experiences, like the most beautiful beach in the world – in Fiji. Which is like out of a movie, and in Bali and Thailand too. All these stories and experiences put you in situations that are uncomfortable, and help you face your fears.

When you face those fears regularly, you can take inspiration from being at these stunning places, and it makes you unstoppable. Across your whole life, relationships, online stuff, blogging.

The biggest benefit of travelling a lot, is that you’ll move out of your comfort zone. And once you do that, you roll smoothly like a wheel. 

8. What’s the strategy behind launching small eBooks? Tell me something about the monetization options that you explored before.

It didn’t start with a strategy, it was just intuition.  I was sitting quietly, and the universe or God or whatever they call it, said, “We know you have been so afraid to write. So write what feels fun to you.”

To me 7000-15,000 words feels fun. Anything beyond that feels like an energy anchor – my creativity wouldn’t flow. So it’s that initial intuition, which made it come down to the fact that I was writing these 7000 word blog posts, so why not put them in an ebook? Now I have something I can promote to the world, on my blog. So that was it, as far monetizing. I still do a bit of blog coaching, and bit of freelance writing, and made some good cash with those. Affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, paid tweets, and other stuff – those were stuff in the past, but not now.

Syed: Are the sales from your ebooks your number one source of income right now?

Now, yes. They have become my number one income generator. Before I didn’t really promote them, but I did put them out there, but now I priced them higher. I have a fascinating story. Really so much of what people are buying is what’s premium. I think in the past it was 99 cents or 2.99 dollars, but I thought, wait a second – I know how to live in Fiji. How many people can say that in the world? Wait a second, I have been on Forbes. How many people could say that, and also say how to live in Bali for a year?

So I started raising the price, and the sales have started to come in. But in the past it was freelance writing before I did the ebook, and that was another stream. Any stream you have fun working in, and practice because you enjoy, is rewarding.

9. How do you manage to write so much? What’s your writing process like? Take us behind the scenes of coming up with an eBook idea, and then writing it.

Sure. I think the thing that got me started is the intent. It’s something I had fun doing – writing – for a long time. So that sets the table to help me kill it – to write 6000 words a day. Like I said, I couldn’t have done writing 6000 words a day, writing it for 3 months and then doing the formatting unless I really felt the inspiration from within.

For me it was an inspirational, or an intuitive nudge from within.

That is the big point as far getting the energy. You have to have the energy to write. And as far as the topics go, I have done a lot of networking over the years, with reading so many blogs. Just through the power of observation and meditation, helped me a lot. Just the observing and watching.

I would see and comment on Problogger and other places. I got social media hits from the author of the blog I’m writing on. So the topics are just there. About the research: since I did so much reading over the years and so much studying and learning, I had it up there and it helped me to not to just read, but act on it. And since I’ve acted on it, I developed all these practical tips; and along with the colorful stories from travelling, the content just flows.

And a really important point that I wanna make is that during this period this is all I did. Sometimes I finish an ebook in four hours, or three. I wrote that much in such a short time because I was in Bali at that time, and that really helped. I went into complete silence for two or three hours in the morning, sometimes even longer hours at night. When it’s quiet, you get that energy. Go into quiet and get all the energy, do anything if you really want to, and do it quickly in that time. The energy really has to be there – you gotta really enjoy it, because it’s tough to force it through if you having a rough time after just 200-300 words.

It sometimes is frustrating. I felt like that too but that was years ago. Just remember that you love writing, and even though it can get tough, keep writing everyday for an hour or two and don’t do anything else for your blog. That’s the practice – and that’s when the words will flow and you’ll be able to write an ebook in just a day.

Syed: Also, that you want to truly want to help your readers – I think that really helps.

It does. You can’t really move in that creative space if it’s all about you. Energy won’t flow like that, because you are thinking inward and even though so much of our power comes from within, it just flows so freely when you’re helping. It’s fun to help.

You may have faced the same problem. I remember when someone emailed me asking, “Hey, how do you guys pack?” A good friend of mine in NY who I met in Bali ironically, and talked for the first time, she’d asked us, how we pack. She did a lot of travelling to India and other places, so the next day I sent her my Amazon ebook link in which I wrote 2000 words on How a Digital Nomad Packs To Travel The World.

Whats in my suitcase.PNG

There’s these chapters that show you this is how we do it, in the long term you’ve got to get rid of this, and that if you are going to do this, you are going to send an email, you get an BPM and login to US sites for banking situations, and PayPal – I was just breaking it all down. In case you need it and don’t know how to do it. So I had come up with an ebook idea right away. When you put up a lot of free stuff out there, people will say thank you by clicking on the buy button and paying money. It helps everybody.

Syed: And all the advice that you’ve written in your eBooks is based off of personal experience. You’ve benefited from listening to your own advice. I think that makes it all the more valuable.

Authenticity helps a lot. For a lot of folks, an ebook is a big thing because they are starting on something and they have to go down the ebook-writing road – and it’s okay to go down that road. They have to do a lot of research. So if that’s the case, then you are learning your niche. But when you have the authentic experience, that’s when people do bold stuff.

When you do that you have the experience, people are gonna look at you and think, “Wow this guy was broke, he was a security guard, but now he’s in Fiji, and a bestselling author.


He was on Richard Branson’s blog – lemme hear his story.

It adds so much stock or trust on you because of authenticity. I can only be me and share my experiences – what’s worked for me, and that how it works for more and more folks.

10. What are some of the marketing strategies you used to promote your eBooks?

Blogging. Definitely blogging. Blogging is big because it is the one-stop shopping for your readers and potential customers. They can see that I’m doing a blog coaching program, and they could become an Amazon affiliate and make money with me because I have a fast process set up for that.

You could create a podcast, or videos articles to put on your blog. Other than that I have used Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and still use them lightly – but I’m more focused on Twitter.

On any platform, engage and chat with people, build bonds and create content. That’s the simple strategy and you’ll be able to market anything – whether it’s an ebook, or another one of your services.

Another key point is Amazon Kindle. I still use it today, and every Friday I do a free ebook giveaway on Blogging From Paradise. I’m currently focused on putting out all the eBooks on there. So people can come in and download them, which is how I get a couple of downloads. I’m just creating so many videos and not even worried about promoting. Just put it up, and meet more folks – that’s something I really enjoy. These marketing strategies have really worked for me.

But one thing I want to stress is, you really want to learn [the marketing strategies] well, yes, but market along the lines of whatever feels fun. If something feels like a total drag for days and weeks, you’re not gonna have success with it.

 I’m not into working – I play and get paid on the internet. 

That’s when you get that down, that’s the secret sometimes I work and sometimes you just wanna focus on marketing and stuff. That’s where the magic happens.

11. Tell us something about your most popular eBooks?

I have had a few, really the flagship one is How to retire to a life Island hopping through smart blogging.

Island hoppin.jpg

That is my flag ship one, where I break it down step-by-step how I did it – how I went from being a security guard to an island hopper. How To Find Your Writing Voice is another popular one that got a lot of hits and buys. Those are two that really helped me.

How To Build a Blog Empire Through Commenting was also popular. Creating The Mindset Of a Successful Blogger is another. Those are the ones that really jump out. There’s a list of about 125 ebooks, when I start to think about it. When I get to them, and as I’m putting them out now, and they are getting more hits. Like How Two Thai Ladyboys Prostitutes Taught Me 6 Blogging Lessons, and that’s interesting because I was attacked by prostitutes in Thailand.

It is funny to have these experiences, and I have a gift that I am blessed with to observe, and turn these crazy experiences into blogging lessons. So I’m just really starting to dive into it. But those eBooks are ones that really jump out.


12. You seem to have the knack for building great relationships with influencers. How do you do it? Could you give some actionable tips for our audience?

Sure. The first thing that you have to do that’s uncomfortable, is to be clear about your individual self-esteem, because most people look at someone like Zac Johnson and put them on pedestal. “He would never talk to someone like me.” If your energy is like that, he never will. Not only that, you’ll never be bold enough to reach out to him. So think, “Like me, Zac Johnson puts on pants one leg at a time and I admire the heck out of him.”

But that’s what it is, Tony Robbins and Richard Branson they are all human beings, and you can contact them. Once you got that down, you learn and help. I helped as many people as I could, in as many ways as possible. Chris Brogan who is a New York Times best-selling author, tweeted and endorsed my ebook.

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All I did was comment on his blog for a couple of months. Now that comment was in paragraphs, but you can help in any way possible. Send them a personal email, “You really inspire me. Thanks so much for helping me.”

First you write an email and comment on their blog, and then you tweet at them. This is exactly what I did. As you work on your blog and get clearer and clearer on your content, the quality will improve and you’ll have fun with it. You can then build a friendship with them and create a strong bond there. You can get endorsements, interview requests, testimonials, etc. I once ghost-wrote an entire ebook – and that was lot of freelance writing. It became a bestseller for a friend of mine. I also spoke at NYU. Help them in as many ways as possible. Tweeting, Facebook and Google+ sharing, sending an email, commenting on their blog – but first, get your self-esteem up. Most people don’t even get to that point. They think, “Why would I tweet him? He doesn’t care about me. He’s never gonna know me. He’s so famous.” But you’ve got to go there and do that work.

You have to look at yourself because the only reason why we would reach out is because of some limiting belief in our mind. Think – “Let me just reach out.”, and you’ll find more and more confidence and people will respond to you. And as they respond to you, you’ll be like, “I could reach out to anybody.”

Just the other day Richard Branson tweeted me – which I would never imagine in a million years. Gary Vaynerchuk, who operated next to me in New Jersey – I don’t know him personally – but he liked my stuff. I just shared stuff and I tweeted at them. You could approach anybody in the world and ask, they might not respond but almost never take it personally.

People should have the boldness to say, “Let’s say hello, let me reach out and see what happens.” So many people are timid, but being timid will get you nowhere online. You have to be bold and just go for it. If these people become successful by being really nice and helpful, they really are awesome people.

13. What difference do you see between influencers like you, and most others who struggle? What key points do you think new bloggers should do?

Number one, clarity is a huge thing. I think it’s really important to be clear on why you are doing what you are doing. You want to be someone who is really fun and free. If you are really in love with an idea, then you are going to find yourself pulled into really uncomfortable circumstances. That’s the big point.

Number two, do something well. Do something well that you really have fun doing. So one thing is you know why you’re doing what you’re doing – whether to have fun or to free yourself or inspire people – then focus on doing one thing. So that people know you for one thing. Like Zac Johnson for blogging tips on Bloggong Tips, Darren Rowse’s Problogger. Me – I’m the Blogging From Paradise guy who retired to a life of island hopping through smart blogging – I talk about smart blogging and sell my travel posts.

 To have clarity and be good at something is very important for new bloggers.

So when you have those two things down you’ll have energy to keep going because most people quit. I think that’s the reason why they can’t be coming in because they are a newbie. They’re like, “I’m not gonna try, nothing’s gonna happen anyway.”

Have drive or passion, and do one thing everyday that you love so that other folks can look at you and say, “Hey, he’s an influencer in his blogging niche” or like, “Hey, he knows how to island hop and he has these colourful ebooks and videos.” That’s how you keep at it and that’s how you get known for one thing for weeks and months and sometimes years, a lot more in my case. People should look at you and be think that this guy knows his stuff, and that he’s an influencer.

Those are two things that beginners wanna a look at. Follow your fun, follow your freedom.
That’s the energy that makes it happen – and focus on doing one thing well. You wouldn’t walk into a doctor’s office and say, “Do me a favor, look at my foot. I have a problem with my foot and could you also give me law advice? Are you a lawyer too?” No! A doctor won’t automatically also be a lawyer. The really good ones are going to do one thing at a time. And people will trust that guy. So do that one thing and that’s how you develop name, and find your niche and have that energy.

14. Where do you see Blogging From Paradise a few years from now?

Hopefully Times Square NYC. (laughs) I have dreamed of it. We are just beneath New York and it’s thirty minutes to go downtown. But really I don’t have a long term vision so much, I just really focus more on the moment and enjoying myself, having fun, freeing myself and freeing people. My intent is to create as many fun blog posts as possible, and connect with as many folks as possible, and just take it from there. Making this fun, free energy as my driver. I am trying to become famous, but if I did it wouldn’t surprise me because I know that I have something authentic that I bring to the world, that can inspire a lot of people – and I already have inspire many. That’s more significant than anything.

Whether tomorrow or next year or ten years from now, just keep having fun and enjoy the process.

The more I can do that, the more it moves me away from outcome and it keeps my energy high. The more folks I can help to island hop through blogging, makes it worth it. It’s all worth it anyway but it’s so much more enjoyable and so much more fun. Ultimately, it’s an exciting journey and has been one already.

About Syed Naimath

Syed Naimath is Co-founder and Growth Hacker at Plugmatter, a WordPress plugin development startup passionate about creating products like Optin Feature Box, Document Importer and Pricing Table to help WordPress community.

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  • Sue Anne Dunlevie

    Loved hearing more of Ryan’s story, Syed!


    • Ryan Biddulph

      Late to this @sueannedunlevie:disqus 😉 but thanks much for reading! And thank you Syed for the kind feature 🙂


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