9 Bloggers You Should Follow Who Helped Me Retire to Paradise
Do you think my outreach campaign is working?
This morning, New York Times Bestselling author, world-renowned speaker and digital marketing superstar Chris Brogan tweeted my Blogging from Paradise eBook link.
10 minutes later, million dollar earner and internet lifestyle icon Yaro Starak wrote me a kind testimonial.
In the past 3 weeks I’ve been interviewed by, reviewed by, or have had my guest posts accepted by:
The Real Deal on Blogging from Paradise
Here’s the deal; not only am I eternally grateful to these kind folks, I know each person has played a chief role in my success….and I do mean, “chief.”
I wouldn’t be here in Fiji without my friends and loved ones.
You know how they say that no man is an island? Well, this man wouldn’t be on his island of choice unless he surrounded himself with people who inspired him.
I released my new eBook a few days ago titled:
That’s my life guys. I blog from paradise. I island hop. All because I’ve funded my travels and saved some scratch through my blog.
My friends made my blog. Without having my friends and loved ones around to inspire me, support me, influence me, and to offer suggestions and feedback I would be writing a diary for myself.
My friends and loved ones are the reason why I’m living in Savusavu, Fiji, in a home with a million dollar view, for the next 10 weeks.
I was looking at Blogging from Paradise the other day and thought to myself: where would I be unless I met the people or was inspired by the people who I list below?
How have these bloggers changed the course of my life?
I’d likely have little to zero confidence in myself as a blogger if I hadn’t received their support. I’d still be using the same old, humdrum theme unless I received a nice little nudge here and there.
I wouldn’t be engaged in an aggressive blogger outreach campaign unless I was exposed to that idea by good buddies.
I certainly wouldn’t have released my new eBook or have had a monster platform through which I could publish my posts and market my eBook unless I crossed the paths of some of the kind, generous people I mention below.
So, without further delay….let’s meet the 8 bloggers who you need to follow, the same folks who helped me retire to paradise.
Kelli is the #1 person in my life. She’s my fiancée. She’s my partner. She’s my best friend and most of all, she has seen everything over the last 7 years of my life and has supported me through all of the peaks and valleys we’ve encountered together.
She knew me back when I was a stranger to all of you, during the days I was a security guard. She knew a very different Ryan; the guy who’d rush to her place after the 2nd shift on Friday night, in his pier guard’s uniform, so we could watch a bit of TV after a long day.
Kelli told me about the online gig bit 5 years ago. She noted how you could make money online – hazy mystery to me, at that time – and I had to learn a bit more.
After some research, I plunked down $500 to get started, and since cutting my teeth through this first venture and other opportunities, I’ve since changed my direction.
The guy you’re looking at today didn’t take a vacation in some 20 years before Kelli planted the seed in my mind. She was a world traveling fool, someone who’d visited Europe, and Central America, and South America, and she was the person who inspired me to travel, to cross the world with her, to visit Bali.
She also inspired me to push through when times got tough, and she helped to support us financially during some very, very difficult times.
Kelli has been a rock for me so in return, I’ve develop a sense of calm, patient confidence in all that I do, to be strong for her in her moments of need.
I obviously would be sitting in a shipping terminal in Newark, NJ, struggling like hell to make end’s meet while working part time after being fired, if I hadn’t met Kelli.
She was the inspiration, the spark, that started this wonderful chapter in my life and she supported me through the darkest of days so that I could be here, helping to inspire you.
Here’s the thing about KC; she’s a pretty private person (Mr. Social Butterfly is coaxing her out of her shell, so the world can get to know her)….so she rarely airs her life’s news, but she’s dealt with some serious blows in her time.
We met during the summer time 7 years ago. Obviously, this was about the biggest HIGH of our lives, each of us finding THE match when we met….and we knew it immediately. Anyway, I was still doing the security guard bit and Kelli had a chance to visit Europe for a few months after we met. This accentuated her high. She was elated.
When she returned home, she found out her dad had stage 4 terminal lung cancer. He passed on about a year after we met. It was crushing, devastating, and honestly, I know most people go into a shell for years after being exposed to such mental and emotional trauma on the heels of a life-affirming, joyous high.
Not Kelli. She grieved, all while she doubled down on her personal development, and she made more courageous, brave choices to be free, and she inspired me to start traveling. This is the woman in my life, and this courageous, compassionate, inspired person simply molded me into the person you see today.
She used tragedy to reach new levels of greatness. That’s the sign of an exceptional person. That same exceptional person has made me push myself to the limits, to overcome my tragedies, to become triumphant.
Without her, I am not here. I mean, I am NOWHERE near Fiji or any tropical paradise for that matter.
Kelli is an accomplished blogger in her own right, and as far as her freelance writing business, I frankly don’t know of anybody who’s written more articles or who has pulled in more serious scratch through writing articles. She’s a rousing success, and if you need a veteran writer for creating content, she’s your woman.
If you love my blog and lifestyle, Kelli’s the person who inspired me and who keeps me in line when I’m losing focus or am not being true to my highest vision.
Visit Kelli’s blog here.
What else can I say? The man is one of the top marketing minds on earth, a New York Times bestseller, a dude who’s personally worked with superstars like Tony Robbins, and Paulo Coelho, and I wake up this morning to him tweeting out my eBook link.
Not only was I humbled and floored at the same time, but I also had a moment of clarity. I thought back to the many months I published epic, in depth comments on Chris’ blog, back when I was running my old blog.
I thought of our personal email exchanges over the past few months.
Guys, Chris is as REAL a superstar/famous person/celebrity that you’ll ever meet. At times he responds to my emails in seconds. Yes, seconds. Why? We’ve built a nice little cyber bond over the years.
He inspired me to be real, authentic, genuine, helpful, and just plain down to earth.
Visit Chris’ blog here.
Amal is a young budding blogger who’s attending university currently. If you want to know the guy who first convinced me to change my design, and who changed it from the old, unbranded theme to a branded theme, that’s your guy.
Amal had been suggesting for years that I change my design. He’d send small Facebook messages here and there, nudging me in the right direction. Finally I broke down, gave up and gave him the keys to my blog.
3 hours later he had developed an absolute masterpiece, the basis for the current theme you’re seeing today. He thought of the black and white image of me along with a similar banner and he cleaned things up amazingly quickly.
That simple little/big change helped my brand take off. I was interviewed by brand.com and bloggingtips.com after receiving a renewed burst of confidence through his brilliant design.
Amal also gave me a nudge in the right direction to write my first eBook. Even though we never partnered together like we intended to on the sale of the product, it pushed me to do something highly uncomfortable at the time. His suggestion also helped me lay the groundwork for my new eBook.
So, one guy pushed me to change my theme, my brand, and to publish my first eBook, to get the ball rolling. He was that guy.
Amal also helped me out a ton when I had a serious illness in Muhamma, India. I met him by his hometown and he hooked me up with so many homeopathic treatments which I deeply appreciate.
Get to know the guy…I see him as an up and coming online star.
Visit Amal’s blog here.
PD. My good friend, developer, designer and all around great guy.
I’ve been gushing about Phillip Dews for a while. Phil designed this blog, crafted my eBook cover design and put out more backoffice fires than I can count.
Phillip is kind, generous with his time and a funny dude too. He helped move my old blog – all 3400 posts – from host to host, a project that took an immense amount of time to complete. He didn’t complain once nor did he charge me a fee. He did it gratis, because he’s that type of good, close, trusted friend.
Phil has always been quick to respond to my questions and he’s well-versed in all of the latest and greatest development and design news. If you dig this blog, and my eBook’s design, he’s the guy you need to thank.
The thing about Phil is he knows the concept of paying it forward inside-out. I mean, he’s becoming more and more successful each day with his web development business and all but he’s so quick to help me out, and to help other people out, and he finds great joy in being of service to others.
As I noted before, the man transferred my old, monster blog between providers for me, and he’s spent hours on end, helping me out, and he never asked for a freaking dime. In return, I was so happy to give him a designer for hire page on this blog and designer credits on my new eBook.
I have no doubts that Phil will become more wildly successful as more folks become introduced to this skilled, creative, caring guy.
Visit Phil’s blog here.
Jeff Bullas helped inspire me in so many ways. He shared his story from failure to success and I based much of what I did with my new eBook on his presentation.
He’s achieved some heady numbers and has the backing of a large, loyal, quite rabid following.
Definitely a guy you need to follow.
I don’t have as much to say about Jeff because I don’t know him personally but his creativity and delivery pushed me to release my eBook with confidence, and with full clarity in how I wanted to distribute the eBook.
Visit Jeff’s blog here.
I count Matthew Capala as a great friend and brilliant bootstrapping digital marketer. He’s come a long way since coming to the United States from Poland a number of years back.
Matt has a unique talent for making complex concepts sound simple, then he follows through on his presentation by actually MAKING complex ideas, simple ideas.
He’s an SEO Dynamo who was so gracious to mention me in his new eBook.
Buy Matt’s eBook here: SEO Like I’m 5
He’s built a huge, loyal network by mastering the concept of outreach. Much of what I’ve done in the outreach department is based on his effective techniques of reaching out to authorities in your niche and building bonds with them.
I also learned how to pay great attention to detail from Matt. His blog posts, books and heck, just about each piece of content he creates over multiple platforms are all well-researched, clear, concise knowledge bases which are presented in an entertaining manner.
Visit Matt’s blog here.
Dino Dogan rocks. He’s a fellow New Jersey guy and is about the coolest dude I’ve met online.
I’m indebted to Dino for much of my blog traffic because he’s the creative genius behind the website called Triberr.
For those not in the know Triberr is simply the most powerful tribal blogging community on the internet.
I registered Blogging from Paradise on Triberr a day after I went live with my first post. I saw an instant jump in social shares. I mean, I was getting like 15 or 20 social shares on my old blog a few hours after publishing a post.
On BFP I saw 40, 50 or even 70 social shares within a few hours of publishing my post. Dino, your brainchild had a ton to do with that.
Dino’s a really interesting dude. He’s an accomplished speaker and just a plain funny guy who tells it like it is.
Here’s something that really inspired me. I’m the type of guy who sees someone from New Jersey, or my home town, and I realize that if they could do it, becoming successful, I could do it.
I gained inspiration from guys like former Duke and Chicago Bulls basketball star Jay Williams – who’s from my hometown of Plainfield – as well as online entrepreneurs like Dino from NJ. He helped inspire me during the lean days, and I am eternally grateful to him.
Visit Dino’s blog here.
John Paul Aguiar
JP, as I call him, has been the most loyal long term social media supporter of my blog. Really, the dude has been there since the early days on my former blog. If I didn’t receive his Retweets, or LinkedIn likes, or Facebook Likes, when NOBODY else was giving me any social proof or support, who knows where I would have been?
He’s as loyal and supportive a guy as there is online. He also runs a kick ass blog.
JP’s a super inspiring person; are you seeing a common thread here? All these folks are beyond inspiring.
John Paul recently suffered a horrific accident. He just returned online a few days ago. He was also on dialysis for years, for a kidney disorder, yet he never complained about it.
He just ran a kick ass blog and generated a monster – and responsive – twitter following while dealing with some serious resistance.
Again, other than Kelli, this guy has been supporting me on social networks when I was a broke-ass nobody from nowhere. Thanks JP. You too had a massive hand in me blogging from paradise because you inspired me to blog when I thought my only subscribers were loud, harmonious crickets.
Visit John Paul’s blog here.
Here’s what I have to say about Adrienne Smith: she’s about the most mindful, thoughtful and helpful person I know.
After asking her to review my new eBook she graciously accepted.
A few days later she wrote back that she had finished the interview, and emailed me a thoughtful few paragraphs which were perfect to me.
Here’s the kicker; Adrienne also noted that she attached a Word doc of my eBook, with highlighted typos.
She proofread my ENTIRE eBook and provided me with FREE copywriting/proofreading services for an ENTIRE eBook, no questions asked.
She did it out of the kindness of her heart.
I was absolutely floored. I mean, not only did she read the entire eBook, she checked it for typos or other errors, and she took the time, and energy, to highlight each error, and to place the eBook in a Word doc, then she sent the eBook back to me so I could make these edits before the eBook went live.
What does that tell you about Adrienne?
Is it any wonder then why she’s the networking superstar, the relationship-building maven, a community building dynamo and darn fine blogger in her own right?
By the way, I know you’re wondering how many errors she found: 2.
Page by page, she read, reviewed, and word by word, scanned the eBook.
And all I asked her for was a review.
I’m still floored by it, and I feel eternally grateful for her service, and heck, just visit her blog now, subscribe immediately, and hop into the commenting fray.
She’s taught me all I need to know about building friendships, thoughtfulness, kindness, and how to grow a large, supportive, rabid community of folks around your blog.
Visit Adrienne’s blog here.
Do you know any of these wonderful people?
Who inspired you to grow your blog?