10 Priceless Blogging Lessons I’ve Learned from the Jolly Locals Here in Stunning Savusavu Fiji
Author: Ryan Biddulph | July 25th, 2014 | 33 Comments
blogging tips , blogging from paradise, blogging lessons, fiji
No worries folks.
My main man William McPherson told Kelli and I not to worry after we chatted for a few minutes at his computer store in Savusavu, Fiji. We were ordering a computer and told him it’d be at least a day before we could pick it up.
He didn’t mind.
KC and I are living here for another 3 months; 1 down, 3 fun months to go in what may be the most beautiful place on earth.
I don’t know if it’s the awe-inspiring beauty of Savusavu, or the fact that the locals are so isolated from much of the world, but they get it.
I’ve soaked up more blogging lessons here in a few short weeks than I’ve picked up in months while visiting other tropical hot spots.
Beauty, Silence and Blogging
I’ve been imploring my friends – that would be you, my readers – to spend time in silence each day, by meditating, or by observing nature, or by simply sleeping more frequently. Silent moments have the supreme potential to wind up as “Eureka Moments.”
Being detached, calm and at peace inspires one to create good things for others. Your most inspired moments are usually borne of a chill, still mind.
Well, our multi-million dollar view from the porch here – overlooking Savusau Bay – is about as good as it gets when it comes to observing beauty and being in silence.
I feel grateful to be here, but more importantly, I view this trip as my responsibility to create in-depth, inspiring, helpful pieces of content to bring you along for the ride.
Living in paradise has taught me a lesson; admire beauty, and spend time in nature’s silence…..and as you’d imagine, the Fijians are quite adept at following this tip.
On to the lessons.
Do Not Worry
Don’t worry, William stressed. We noted how we couldn’t walk back into town later in the day. We already walked 10 miles on a prior day and 5 miles was enough for this day, so we promised we’d be back bright and early the next day to pick up Kelli’s new computer.
Don’t worry. No worries. William drilled home this point. The Fijians don’t worry much, and for good reason; being surrounded by pristine, clean, awe-inspiring scenery instantly dissolves anxieties and kills stress.
Bloggers, worry does you no good. Worry kills your creativity and stifles your inspiration.
Don’t worry.If you feel worry coming on, do one of a few things. Laugh. Smile. Take a break. Spend time with the family pet. Help someone. Do whatever you must do to stop worrying. Be at peace. Proceed to create inspiring posts, and to connect with authority bloggers.
Sunday Is God’s Day….or Simply Take a Break
Fijians set aside Sunday to visit church. The locals head out to church early and stick around for most of the day. Sunday is a day of rest.
Fijians also take nice, long, relaxing lunches to sit beside stunningly beautiful Savusavu Bay. I see more than a few locals chowing down or enjoying some Fiji Bitter while soaking up the beauty during my walks into town.
Resting is as important as working. Taking breaks is as important as posting. Why? Breaking frequently calms your mind, relaxes your body and makes you receptive to creative ideas.
I took a 2 hour mid day nap today. On waking I generated 2 creative blog post ideas for Blogging From Paradise. This is one of them.
Take off 1 day a week from online work or if you do work daily, spend 2, 3 or 5 hours offline enjoying the day away from your laptop. Watch how quickly your creativity increases.
I recall the scene well. Kelli and I were sitting in Nadi, Fiji, waiting for our flight to Labasa. A Fijian lady sat down by us. She offered us her coffee. No, not a cookie, nor did she offer a sip of her coffee before she downed it. She offered us the coffee she initially purchased for herself.
We found out from our British ex-pat buddy Malcolm that sharing in this fashion is common among Fijians. What’s theirs is yours.
Yesterday a few guys noshing by the bay asked me to stop by for a bite to eat. Yet another instance of genuine Fijian generosity.
Be a generous blogger. Think of the blogging Golden Rule. Give freely to receive easily. Promote authority bloggers from your niche freely. Publish generous, in-depth, insightful comments to add value to authority blogs.
Simply give what you have to never want. Does that make sense? Bloggers who never want aren’t greedy for money or traffic or comments because:
- They’re too focused on giving to be worried about receiving
- They’re receiving quite enough traffic, and comments, and money through blogging, due to their generosity
Help freely to receive easily. The Fijians I see are damn happy because they give freely of themselves, and this giving leads to a certain feeling of joy which can’t be reproduced through any other means.
Generous bloggers get requests to be interviewed – just like this interview I did with Catherine Holt earlier today – and expand their presence quickly by giving freely.
OK, maybe I learned this lesson from me. Some bloggers feel I’m eternally happy. False. I am sad like a few minutes here and there but if ya ask Kelli, I am happy and smiling, and joking, and laughing, most of the time.
My Fijian neighbors are jolly folks. Kids, adults, teens, older women, senior men, and just about any Fjian you come across will offer you a smiling, “Bula!”, when you pass them on the street.
I even started chatting weather with a Fijian man the other day.
These folks are genuinely, authentically, happy. They aren’t happy to influence you to give them money, or to influence you to hire them for some job. Nope. They’re just happy, kind individuals.
Being around their happiness is quite contagious.
My fellow globe-trotting, island-hopping bloggers – and aspiring GTing, IHing bloggers too – be happy. Good things flow from being happy. Success flows from maintaining a cheery, positive frame of mind.
I’ve been writing for my freelance clients and have been publishing three, 2500-3000 word posts weekly and have been networking aggressively for a good 2 weeks since Blogging From Paradise went live.
How do I do it? I’m happy, positive and cheery. Happy, positive, cheery bloggers attract happy, positive, cheery circumstances.
Be happy, just like my Savusavu neighbors.
Take Care of Your Body
It’s been said that health is the first wealth. Well, some of my Fijian friends are REALLY healthy.
Rugby is the sport of choice here. A fair number of dudes are football-built, muscular as hell, jacked-up, physical specimens.
Then, you watch these dudes sprint on the rugby field for hours on end. Me, being a workout freak, well I stand in awe as I see people who’ve made a lifelong commitment to taking care of their body.
How does taking care of your body relate to blogging tips? It is THE blogging tip.
If I were sick or overweight, or not well, no way in hell could I raise my level of vibration high enough to:
- Be prolific
- Run online businesses
- Run this blog
- Travel all over the world
- Publish three, 2500-3000 word posts each week
- Network like a pro
You must feel good to accomplish good things. You must take care of your body to create a fertile ground for your mind.
Whether you’re physically challenged or more free of movement, taking care of your body will make you a better blogger.
KC and I purchased 6 large, ripe bananas for 1 Fijian dollar today. That’s roughly 50 cents, USD. Not bad. Not bad at all. Sure we’re in a spot with a lower cost of living but the women at the market offer you some serious bargains.
We also buy a medium-sized bag of tomatoes for 1 FJD each day. Not bad, again. Shopping at the market has introduced us to the concept of over delivering. Most Fijians are not into driving hard bargains.
We paid 4 FJD for a taxi ride to our home, from town, and have noted that outside some expensive imported items – like the $45 USD, 2 pound canister of mixed nuts – that most Fijian products in the market or grocery stores are inexpensive, yet of high quality.
We dig that. Everybody likes receiving serious value at a discount. Everybody likes folks who over deliver, and the Fijians, well, they over deliver.
Bloggers, over deliver by:
- Creating in-depth, helpful blog posts…I mean, resource, pillar-style posts
- Creating thorough, insightful newsletters
- Posting colorful, attention-grabbing imagery to your blog posts
- Publishing in-depth, thorough comments to authority blogs
- Giving more and more value each day
Then, after you’ve over delivered, you’ll note some cool things happen. You’ll attract more readers and more sales and more interviews, and you’ll grow your blogging community, and success will snowball throughout your blogging life.
It’s that good old Golden Rule, again. Over deliver. Give freely. Receive easily.
You Better Be Social
Did I mention that if I really got going, chatting-wise, I’d never arrive anywhere in Fiji? Fijians are really social. I’ve chatted weather, life, vacation talk, travel talk, where we’re living – the house, “way up on the hill” to many locals – and just about anything with passerby on the street.
Granted I do a ton of walking. Kelli and I cover 5 miles daily. Some days, if we do 2 trips into town we cover 10 miles. So we do see many folks yet I’m a social animal and many of my Fijian brothers and sisters are social too.
Because they’re social I learn so much more about them, and they, about me, and we form a nice little bond because we both open up.
We build a connection because both parties open up and chat.
If you want to succeed, fellow bloggers, you better get social in the comments section. You better share your thoughts on social networks, through emails and through newsletters. You may not be the most social person on earth but being shy, or a shut in, is absolute online suicide.
People will fuel your blog’s growth. If you don’t talk to people you’ll be publishing a diary instead of a blog. Talk to people to grow your network and to become successful.
Be social to gain readers.
I’m blogging from Fiji now not just because of my efforts alone but because of my blogging buddies too.
Slow It Down
Fijians move slowly. No worries of course, and no hurries either. Just today I recall walking back from the town center in Savusavu. Things were slow. I mean, the guy in front of me was moving at a snail’s pace.
Since I get my cardio in during my 5 mile run-jog-walk I high tailed it and passed him but you better believe I’ve learned my lesson.
Slowing down helps you see where you’re screwing up as a blogger.
As a Fijian, or a human for that matter, slowing down helps you enjoy the ride, and it helps you savor the moment, and it prevents all manner of mistakes which lead to unpleasant situations.
As a blogger I really screwed up for like, 5 years. I had success for sure but I made 1 fundamental error; I was in a rush. In a rush to publish my next post, and to share it.
****I did not proof read posts.****
Re-read that line. A pro blogger – allegedly – didn’t proof read his posts. I can only imagine how many errors I made in my mental hurry. My readers were either kind or blind.
Either way, my hurry, which I’ve largely conquered, caused me to miss out on so much traffic, and so many sales, because I missed all the juicy details.
Now I slow things down. I proof read posts once or twice. I promote posts intelligently, writing longer lead ins on sites like Facebook or Google Plus.
I pay more attention to detail to simply become a more aware, calm, focused blogger, who’s enjoying the ride more than ever.
Don’t Panic when the Black Out Hits
OK, here’s the deal; we are located in a remote area of a remote island chain in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Sure, people are around, but there ain’t too many of them.
To make things interesting, there are no street lights. We’re 50 to 60 meters above the bay, on pretty much a cliff, and at night, if the moon isn’t shining, we’re living in pitch black conditions when the lights go out.
We’ve had one blackout so far. It was interesting. I’ll leave it at that.
Yet the Fijians walk back and forth some 50 meters below on the road, at all hours of the night, and when I’m saying it’s pitch black down there, I mean it’s pitch black!
These folks don’t panic though, laughing, taking their time and simply strolling down the dark, well, PITCH BLACK road at night.
Bloggers, you know when a blackout hits.
You experience the white screen of death. Or you delete all of your comments, or you delete your theme, or your database is gonzo, deleted.
We’ve been there in some way, shape or form.
How do we cope?
Handle the blackouts. Don’t be afraid of the dark. Don’t fear failure. Don’t fear everything going wrong at once, because whether you fear it or not, it’s gonna happen.
The only way you don’t experience blogging blackouts is if you never start blogging, and if that’s the case…..why are you bothering to read my blog?
Embrace change. Change is the one constant in life. Each blogging blackout, or scary, seemingly dark moment, carries opportunity with it. Each obstacle is borne with seeds, for you to harvest and grow into spectacular blogging wins.
Just last week I learned more about blog themes and coding than I ever learned before. How? I updated my theme, making a boneheaded mistake, and erased all the neat customizations I had designed by my developer Phil.
So instead of flipping out, I learned more about my mistake, and possible ways to solve my theme problems, so I could become more well-versed in explaining and possibly solving the problem.
As I hear the bay gently lapping the beaches of Fiji across the street, I’m learning to admire the beauty here more than I ever have. I’m seeing a pristine, pure, clean, jaw-dropping paradise for the first time, in that this place REALLY IS pristine, and clean.
I’ve seen other stunning spots with breathtaking views but none has been so unspoiled.
The Fijians know this. They treat their islands with respect and can often be seen simply staring out onto the bay, admiring the handiwork of the Universe. They admire beauty, and beauty expands in their lives.
Bloggers need to admire beauty too before they can grow, and progress, and evolve, and succeed.
Take a moment to admire the beauty in:
- The fact that you can reach the entire online world at the click of a “publish” button
- Your blog comments
- Your blog design
- Your readers
- Your loyal subscribers
- Anything related to your blog
Can you see it? The blessing in blogging? You can never grow AND be happy as a blogger until you appreciate your blog, and the beauty in all things blogging.
I’m stunned at how much I’ve changed over the past 4 years. To think I went from fired security guard in Jersey to guy living in a home with a million dollar view, on the ocean in Fiji, is overwhelming. I tear up thinking about this sometimes.
How did I do it?
I was a grateful sonofagun, and admired the beauty in my blog, and all things related to my blog. Doing so inspired me to act, to create and to connect, and of course, more beautiful things moved into my life as I admired the beauty around me.
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Have you learned any lessons from my Fijian neighbors?
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He's also a blogger, traveler and internet lifestyle junkie.
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