“He loves and hates the ring. As he loves and hates himself.” ~ Gandalf, The Fellowship of the Ring


Disclosure: I am a rabid LOTR fan. Lord of the Rings for all not in the know. I once looked like Gollum, the skinny, shriveled, slimy creature whose lone purpose in life was to secure the ring for himself.

I didn’t clutch the ring. It didn’t turn me evil, nor did it create an unending obsession in me to kill all who possessed it in order to take it for myself.

I looked like Gollum after a nasty case of giardia in India. I auditioned for his role. Look up top.

Anyway, the above quote was an eye-opener for me. I see parallels between blogging and movies. I see parallels between blogging and everything. I thought of how blogging reminds me of ghetto fish sandwiches – I may explore that one later – before I went with this post. That shows you where my mind is.

Long and short of it, Gollum is one of my blogging heroes. He’s also a blogging anti hero.

The above quote pretty much sums up why Gollum has helped me – and helps you – become a successful blogger.


Blogging from Paradise: The Shift


After a recent chat with Kelli I went into a bit of a tailspin. Turns out, Mr. Jolly Island Hopper was taking himself a little too seriously (come on in judgmental people, this is where you are supposed to chime in, and agree in the comments field, so we can all have a laugh at me, and then at ourselves 🙂 I didn’t poke fun at myself like I was apt to do. I wasn’t telling stories.

Kelli showed me this through an unrelated discussion. My feelings changed. I shifted. I went from a little too serious to a little more funny. I bandied about the idea of connecting a small impish, demon-like character, to blogging, and I even showed how once, when I looked like Gollum, a stiff 5 MPH breeze would have been an adversary for me.

As with everything on this blog, it’s my life. Really. I share tips that I use. I share stories that I live. I may even over share from time to time – lash me with a wet noodle if I’ve done that recently – but I am having a blast, even if I didn’t always enjoy the journey.

Gollum loves and hates the ring, but then again, he loves and hates himself.

Bloggers aren’t immune from loving and hating themselves. Even the successful ones. So let’s talk a bit about hating yourself. Wait a second! Stop the presses. RB, Mr. Paradise, Mr. Smiles, is talking about hating himself? Yes! Has the world gone mad? Does Ryan *still* like sh*tty SE Asian sweet treats? No and yes, to those, respectively. So hell hath not frozen over.

I’m being what we like to call in the blogging industry, “transparent”.


A Day in Bed


After spending a day in bed last week I watched a raging, roaring rapids of thoughts and feelings run through my mind. Mental diarrhea. Sounds funny, and it was….save for the moments of self hate. During those moments I embraced my lack of love, and decided to be a bit more mindful, of joking about myself in those moments of self-loathing.

I chose to be self-deprecating a bit more in those moments where somebody boosts me up, or speaks highly of me. Why? Because like most bloggers, much of my pain and suffering transpires – blogging-wise – when I take myself too seriously. Like, when somebody really pumps me up and I buy into the illusion that my self worth is based on their opinion, I set myself up for a fall. Then, when a critic comes along, the good old air is let out of the balloon.

But…..here’s the fun part. If I can laugh *with* both my fans and critics in a good-hearted, humble way, I become immune to criticism, and more importantly than that……I develop a more distinguished “laugh line crease” in my forehead….no, actually, I stop hating myself. I can love myself in these moments.


What I Mean by Hating


I’m not talking about cutting here guys. No deep depression, no loathing, nor am I a starving artist desperately trying my best to find myself in the center of Ubud (it’s a joke, ya Eat Pray Love’rs!). By hate, I mean those moments when you feel poopy about your blog, or, when you feel defensive/agitated/annoyed/like you want to stab critics in the eye with a freshly sharpened pencil….at the prospect of receiving criticism. Well folks, those are moments of self hate.

I could sugar coat things. But I won’t. Unless it’s a delicious Balinese sweet treat, like hot dog buns filled with chocolate cream – hold the dirty water job – and even then, I’d hold off on sugar coating the confectionary delight/nightmare.

Because the truth is your ally. No need to hide it. Unless you want to become prey to Gollum’s plight.

“He loves and hates himself.”

Gollum loves and hates himself. Every blogger loves and hates themselves. Everybody reading this loves and hates themselves. Unless the Dali Lama is reading. If he is, I’d appreciate a plug the next time you meet with a foreign dignitary in equatorial climes. Target audience.

Anyway, you bloggers love and hate yourselves at times. You can roll with it. Gollum did. He was comfortable being himself, because it was who he was. He was full of love one minute, whispering sweet words in the Hobbit’s ears, and the next minute he was ready to throttle those poor little creatures into oblivion. What a guy right?

But at least he was, who he was.

Gollum *should* be your blogging role model. Especially during your moments of self-hate. You will:

  • Be frustrated with your blog
  • Be angry with your blog
  • Want to punch and kick critics
  • Want to cry after critics lambast you
  • Be totally disgusted with your online endeavors
  • Want to belittle critics
  • Want to team up with people who hate your critics so you can unleash a Mordor style offensive on them (I got dibs on the Witch King of Angmar!)

If you attempt to deny that you experience self hate, the self hate will grow until you explode or implode. Either way, you’re in trouble. On the mild side of things, we’re talking about quitting blogging, or perhaps, a psychological meltdown which destroys your brand.

On the more serious side of things, bottling up your self hate, and denying it, is a gateway to many destructive and harmful negative activities, including various forms of abuse.

The question remains: If you feel these angry, negative emotions, and decide to accept them, as part of your blogging being – just like Gollum did  – how do you channel them? How can you turn them from hateful feelings, to positive deeds?

How I Deal with Blogging Self Hate


Recently I was experiencing some self-hate. Again, I was not perched on the second story of our apartment, contemplating a swan dive into the rice paddies, but I was bummed about my blog.

I recently published a blog post. Some may call it brilliant. Others, not so hot.

After Kelli lofted a nice, sweet comment complement my way, I responded with a light, funny, self-deprecating comment, much different than my normal comments. I instantly felt better. My hate was transformed into humor. Even better; I didn’t need to hear her comment, or any, to feel good about myself and my blog.

Even better; if somebody came along and skewered my blog with criticism….I could….gasp….even joke with them, and agree with them!


Kevin Duncan is a kind dude. He’s a funny dude too. He’s a clever, story telling dude too.

He recently was published on BoostBlogTraffic.Com, an authority, top shelf, kick butt blogging tips type blog. He was kind enough to link to my blog in the post but for some reason, they cut out my link/reference.

KD’s such a nice guy that he actually emailed me a long, thoughtful email letting me know what transpired. Goodness gracious guys, subscribe to his blog already!

I tell ya what the old me would have done: thanked Kevin so much, then, because I was such a serious, respected, successful blogger (translation: a stuffy jerk), then I’d let my blood boil. I’d be angry at BBT. I mean, I’d let the whole domain itself feel my wrath! Then I’d think of 116 reasons why they “rejected me.”

Ya see, my self hate was allowed to run wild. No reining in. My lack of self love manifested seriousness, which manifested spurned lover syndrome, which manifested these crazy thoughts.

I tell you what the new me did: I thanked Kevin so much, then I think that I made a light crack about “me not making the cut with myself, let alone not making the cut with BBT.”

(I probably should have caught myself before sending the pile of steaming Balinese street dog doo-doo to BBT headquarters….j/k guys! Love y’all over there!)

Maybe my blog isn’t link-to worthy? Maybe they have a vendetta against me? Maybe they know about my days in the wet works niche, in Cambodia (I watch too much Burn Notice)? It’s all moot, because I laugh at myself more these days, and because I love those guys at BBT!

That’s the thing though. We learn from Gollum, that not liking ourselves is a part of life. We are not light. We are not pure. So, when you face those moments of self-hate (hopefully these are few and far between), first, embrace the emotion. Like Gollum, your new blogging role model, *you will love and hate yourself.*

Accept this idea. Do not reject it, or fight it, or do not go into an aversive state. Feel the hate. Then, after you feel the hate for a bit, you’ll be at peace with those moments when:

  • Blogging critics annoy you, or anger you
  • You feel disgusted about some aspect of your blog
  • You hate blogging and want to quit

When you fully embrace the idea that you’ll feel like crap, you can do Gollum one better. You don’t need to fight your critics, nor do you need to beat them with rocks to steal their ring (oops, movie flashback), nor do you need to project your self hate on anybody else. Now you can do one of a few things:

  • Decide to be self-deprecating, with a twist of humor mixed in
  • Decide to step away from the computer
  • Decide to agree with critics
  • Decide to watch the latest Hobbit movie, and call it a day with your blog
  • Decide to knife through the feelings by exploring freeing, but uncomfortable, decisions
  • Laugh at your humanity
  • Make a blanket decision, to be kind with yourself, the next time you hate yourself or your blogging life

I can laugh at myself a bit more these days. OK, a lot more. I know that I will love and hate myself. I feel many bloggers genuinely, and fully believe, that this ride will be all sunshine and roses, as if we cast off our blogging shadows the moment we become full-time, experienced bloggers.

Unless you are prepared to walk for alms, for your morning grub, and unless you plan to meditate for 8 hours daily, in a wat, you’ll hate yourself sometimes…and that hate will translate to blogging anger, anxiety, frustration and depression…..and that’s OK! Me and Gollum (what a delicious duo) are living (well me at least) proof that as long as you’re alive, you’ll love and hate yourself.

Learning how to face, embrace and release the self-hate emotions, to channel them into humor, or into something high energy, to inspire your audience, is one path to freedom.


Gollum Was Single Minded


Gollum was singled minded. He lived for the ring. He lived for 1 thing.

You’re a bit smarter than Gollum (I hope?). You have subscribed to Blogging from Paradise. You follow the advice of a sometimes self-deprecating guy who travels the world and may know like 2 or 7 successful blogging tips. He may even know how to free you.

Sure he pulled the wool over Chris Brogan’s eyes, and he blindsided Yaro Starak with smoke and mirrors, to get their endorsements, and he may have used Voodoo dolls and a series of pins purchased from a SE Asian witch doctor to control a professor who offered him an opportunity to speak to his class at NYU….but he may just know a thing or 2 about blogging from paradise.

If he promises he can help you retire to a life of island hopping through smart blogging, he’s gotta at least knowing *something* about this, right?

That RB guy knows his stuff because he does one thing well. He’s single-minded. He focuses on 1 niche. 1 topic.

As a blogger, be as single minded with your niche. Don’t confuse your audience. Be known for 1 thing. This is 1 way through which you can be single minded.


No Distractions


So yep, when you want to blog from paradise, you’ll want to be single-minded at times. All distractions, gonzo. You’ll go into quiet. Gollum had his cave, you have your bedroom. Or maybe your backyard.

When it comes time to blog, you’ll blog. You won’t force work, but you’ll get work done. You’ll do the empowering thing, instead of watching TV (then you’ll forgive yourself for watching TV anyway). You’ll come back the next day, and you may churn out 200 words, of your next blog post. You won’t be entirely single-minded, because you’re a newbie blogger, but you’re getting there. You’re learning.

Like Gollum, you’ll experience moments where you focus on one thing. In your case, it’ll be to free yourself, and to free your audience, through blogging. How exhilarating! How freeing? What a RUSH!

You’ll learn to push yourself a bit, even when you feel exhausted, to free yourself. Just like Gollum did when the Hobbits dragged him around on the leash. You want the freedom (ring). You’ll do what it takes. Eventually. Through your single-mindedness.

You’ll notice your blogging intent change from time to time. Blogging for money. For comments. For readers. Blogging to network. (buy Adrienne’s networking program today)  Blogging to free yourself and your audience. Just like Gollum had those imaginary conversations in his head, when deciding whether to help or harm the Hobbits.

But in the end, you’ll remain true to your purpose. You’ll block out distractions. You’ll also come back to your senses, even if you lose your blogging way sometimes. In the end, you’ll largely be single-minded, focused and purposeful in all that you do.


Gollum Spoke in Stories


The Big G almost helped Bilbo Baggins meet his Maker. Gollum laid an ultimatum; if Bilbo could correctly answer his riddles, he’d be able to leave. If he couldn’t, Gollum would kill Bilbo. This wasn’t the only time Gollum spoke cleverly.

He also shared poems with Samwise and Frodo. The imp was a master storyteller.

Bloggers, if you aren’t telling stories by now I’ve no clue when you ever will. If 2 wonderful role models like Gollum and Ryan Biddulph – I feel honored to be lumped in with him – tell stories, you may as well hop on board.

Movies. Books. TV series. Plays. Stories rock. Stories are entertaining to follow. Any narrative sharing a hero, and a villain, or some story line, makes readers take notice.

Your story can be your life. How easy! Chat about the annoying azz traffic you hit on the way to work, or how your child’s recently illness taught you a blogging lesson, or share how your blogging success accelerated through a single RT or Facebook Share. Tell your story to reel in your audience.

All I do is tell stories on Blogging from Paradise.  I tell stories through my eBooks and blog posts and through my social media updates too because people love stories.


Gollum Knew the Direct Route (Even if it Was Dangerous….and Stinky)


Do you remember when Gollum took Frodo and Samwise through the swamp? If you don’t, unsubscribe from my blog, immediately.

Anyway, Gollum led the hobbit duo through a dangerous, stinky and murky swamp because this was the most simple, direct path between Point A and Point B. Point A being The Shire, and Point B being Mount Doom.

The road was rough. And dangerous. The hobbits fell into the water and almost died, at the hands of the dead (long story). But they made it across and shaved days off of their journey to Mount Doom.

Bloggers, going from Point A to Point B in as direct a fashion as possible sounds simple. In truth, it is simple, most of the time. Yet, that simple, freeing, time-saving decision will be uncomfortable in many cases.


Flight Story


My first plane flight was 23 hours long, from New York, JFK, to Denpasar, Bali. The flight was the quickest way from Point A to Point B. Other options included, taking a boat (somehow) – which would take weeks, or I could get used to flying by delaying our first trip to Bali, so I could take a series of 2 hour or 4 hour flights, in my home country, before doing the international bit.

I was excited to fly and damn nervous too. What the max height where I could bail and Halo jump off of the plane? Other thoughts flew through my mind as we waited to board the plane at JFK.


43 months later, I’m here in Bali. Traveling the world. After we arrive in NYC this Sunday I’ll have flown 55 times over the past 43 months. 55 times. I sure as hell am happy that I took that first flight. Going from Point A to Point B in a simple, direct, uncomfortable, freeing and time-saving fashion changed my life.

Blogging examples of going from Point A to Point B:

  • Buy a domain and hosting (to be taken seriously to succeed)
  • Publish your first post
  • Write your first eBook
  • Create your first service
  • Publish your first guest post

The list is endless. Right now, you may feel like a fraidy cat, explaining why you’re NOT taking the straight path from Point A to Point B. It may be too risky in your mind, or maybe you’ll fail, or you’ll open yourself up to criticism, but if you want to be free, you’ll have to do stuff that inspires you to break your bonds, and that bond-breaking process is uncomfortable.

Gollum was a good blogging role model, right up until now.

He jumped the shark early in his career. I extracted positive aspects of a wretched, greedy, murderous creature. I did some fine window-dressing of an amusing character.

Now we’ll dissect where Gollum screwed up.


Here’s the Counter Argument (if You Want Gollum’s Slim, Waifish Figure, Stop Reading Now): Why Gollum SHOULD NOT Be Your Role Model


If I attracted anybody who seriously wanted to look like Gollum, you need help. Seriously. (side note: cigarettes, salad – hold the dressing – and water should do the trick)

Back to the other Big G. Gollum screwed up. He was single minded but he focused on things. Or, 1 thing.

The 1 Ring to Rule them All.

Unless you’re living in Gollum’s cave or under a rock I don’t feel the need to issue a spoiler alert.  The ring led to G’s downfall. His endless, single-minded pursuit of something so destructive, well, it ended him.

Here’s the caveat; the ring could have been some*thing* much more positive. Maybe, a car. Or perhaps, a shiny new home. Or maybe, just maybe, that ring could have been money.

Perish the thought!

You haven’t heard any bloggers ask the question….”So, how can I make some quick money blogging?”….recently, have you?

9 out of 10 bloggers online who want to go beyond the “I’m blogging just to have fun” route move into the “I’m blogging to make money route”, and although they won’t wind up in the fiery lava of Mount Doom, you better believe that they’ll fail miserably. Blogging careers based on chasing “some thing, or some things”, are doomed.

“If you chase things, you manipulate people to acquire those things.”

I recall building a list – or attempting to do so – many years ago. Before I became wise enough to live in tropical paradises by punching keystrokes on a rectangular object I was dumb enough to live in tropical paradises by punching keystrokes on a rectangular object. I lacked experience, or I had experience, but refused to learn from it, so I got to thing chasing.

I was like a slightly more attractive, way more buff, Gollum. I chased a thing.


Opt-ins made my day or broke my day. If I received 5 a day, awesome. If 0, my day was a f*cking failure, the worst day ever, the most depressing thing that’s happened since the dawn of civilization, and I’m done. No sense moving forward. What I was doing, sure as hell “Was Not Working.”

I remember checking my gmail. Vividly. During the lean days. Or the Gollum days. My happiness rested on seeing opt ins after a hard day’s worth of work. If I saw a handful, or even 1, great. I was worth something. My blogging and online money making bit was still alive. If I saw none, well, it was time to remove all sharp objects and shoelaces and sheets from my room. I was toast.

I vividly remember wanting to punch people in the face after being disappointed at my opt-in count for the day. I also remember feeling as if I was the Second Coming after seeing a mere 5 or 10 opt ins.

Gollum-itis. Is a sickness. Plaguing way too many bloggers. During those lean, insane, frantic days, I made Gollum my role model for the wrong reason. I blogged for things. I blogged for opt-ins. I blogged for numbers….but…..

  • Things
  • Opt-ins
  • Numbers
  • Anything other than people

…..these inanimate objects are not the ideal readers. Numbers can’t become rabid brand advocates. Nor can opt-ins send you money. Things can’t promote your blog.

Things cannot bring you happiness. You, are the source, of it all. As in, you, as a blogger, are happy, or sad, from the inside out. You choose freeing or constricting motivators. Bloggers, you can choose to blog, to free yourself, and to free your readers, if you want to take a friendlier, happy, fulfilling path.

Don't ask.

From Koh Lanta, Thailand. April 2014. Don’t ask.

I sometimes (way too frequently) receive emails or comments or social media messages asking how I:

  • Attracted numbers
  • Attracted money
  • Attracted comments
  • Attracted things

I may answer with: “Know why you want to blog, and tie that reason to being free, and tie that reason to freeing your audience.”

I can sense the steam flowing out of “Gollum Style bloggers” who want things more than anything on earth. If they can just get 10,000 twitter followers they KNOW that fame and success will be theirs. If they can just make X dollars monthly THEN they will be happy. Hey, Gollum’s living proof. He found his happiness. He got his ring. Finally……then, at the very moment he had his ring, the one ring to rule them all, he…..

……fell into a molten lava pit, and to ashes, he went……

I really, as a former Christian/usually compassionate/sort of kind guy, hope that your attachment to things doesn’t lead to such a fate. You don’t deserve it. You probably didn’t murder anybody to get things – as Gollum did – and you likely didn’t bash Hobbits over the head to get your numbers/things/goals, but you will suffer, and worry, and strain and strive if you’re blogging to get things.


How to Avoid Gollum’s Fatal Mistake


I like stuff. I like things. I appreciate having a few clams in my wallet. I do genuinely enjoy food. I like my suitcase and my passport. Add a few other things/attachments to this list and you’ll see, I am no blogger Dali Lama. I am however improving at detaching from stats.

I have never checked my metrics on Blogging from Paradise. I probably never will. Because I am not blogging for numbers. I am blogging for people. Metrics focused folks, for business, you may check numbers and share numbers with clients to get paid. More power to you. Or stat checking may vibe with ya. More power to you.

Me, little old me, sitting in Bali, blogging from paradise, well, I don’t do the metrics thing. I may be making the biggest mistake in my life, by not checking stats, but I get the sneaking suspicion that I’ve stumbled into a pretty freeing way of living.

The simplest solution to the problem that led to Gollum’s demise, the Blogging from Things Syndrome, is to:

Blog to free yourself and to free your audience.

I still accept payments for my eBooks and services. I’m no detached being, a seer, a teacher. But darnit, I generally do not think about trying to get anything through blogging. I blog to free me and to free you.

Being free is enough. Freeing you is enough. Since I’m blogging to be free I ain’t looking much for numbers after publishing – or while writing – a post. I feel my sometimes level of full clarity around this blog is largely based on me telling my life story, about a passion of mine. Or about 2 passions. Travel. Blogging.


The Reward Is the Feeling


If you’re blogging to get something, when that something arrives, you’ll generally want more somethings. You’ll never be happy or contented. It’ll be an endless cycle of wanting, pushing, straining and striving, and you’ll wind up like a number of bloggers who crash and burn.

I liken these guys to the big old moths we see here in Ubud, Bali. Kelli and I watch them – along with some hefty, terror-inducing cockroaches (I’m not afraid of them until they make my headboard, home, then I stay up until 2 AM plotting their demise) – as they are drawn into the lights on our front porch each night.

Bright, shiny object syndrome. The moths are entranced. Captivated. Drunk, by the light. Of course, the geckos know the moths’ obsession well. Fish in a barrel time, as the geckos wait beside the lights each night and prey on the moths.

Bloggers whose primary motivators are to:

  • Make money
  • Get readers
  • Get more social shares
  • Become more famous

….are the moths. Father Time is the gecko; sure a few moths survive the gauntlet, but most are gecko food…..and Father Time preys on the blogger who blogs for things, as most of these folks quit, disgusted with not reaching their poorly chosen goals.

You are after a feeling. You want to be free. You want to set your own schedule, or you want to travel the world as a pro blogger, like Mr. Ryan Biddulph. Maybe you want to work from home to spend more time with your family. Maybe you love your full time job but want to open a steady income stream through blogging, to cover your bills easily, to pay off debts, and to be able to go to dinner and a movie on each Friday without worrying about the money you’re spending, to do something every family should be doing.

Hell, I’ve been there folks. I remember the days of chasing things, and of scaring away the exact things I chased.

Whatever you chase, flees. Including money, readers, subscribers and social shares.

If however you stop chasing and pick a purer intent, if you blog to free yourself and your audience, you’ll have the feeling you seek.

The reward is the feeling. I enjoy writing about traveling and blogging tips. I have a passion for both. I love the feeling of writing, and telling stories, so I already have my reward. So, the reward is the feeling.

I love being able to travel the world. I love living in Bali. I loved spending 4 months in Fiji earlier this year. It felt freeing. That’s what I was after, being free, but instead of chasing things like money to pay for the trip, or readers, to boost my ego, or social shares, to build up my trust factor, I set up this pretty neat life by….

….blogging to be free, and to take you with me to paradise.

The reward is the feeling. Pick a freeing reason why, and you already have your reward now. Blog your passion, and you already have your reward, now.

Here’s the great irony; whatever you want is an illusion. You want the feeling in the thing. Money is a dust collector; you want the freedom in the money. A sports car is a bunch of steel fused together; you want the feeling of zooming down the highway in such a piece of machinery. A big old home is wood, and a concrete foundation. The thing itself, ain’t really shit. Honest. But the *experience* or *feeling* of living in a home, if you want to live in a home, is what you’re really after!

Blog to free yourself. Blog to free your audience.


Chasing Things


Kelli and I have been having some wonderful chats recently. Well we always do, but I feel as we both maintain greater clarity in what we’re doing the quality of our conversations has improved.


Ryan Biddulph Bali RicefieldsCase in point; we recently chatted about how so many people set a money goal and work back from there. Like, the money, or acquiring some imagined number, would bring them peace, happiness, wellness, enlightenment and a *freaking crap load of cool things.* Houses. Cars. Etc. Etc.

Nothing wrong with that at all. But Gollum Syndrome is building. And no, not the good Gollum, role model advice I discussed earlier in the post. Not the whole deal with being at peace, with both you loving and hating yourself at times. Or, not the single mindedness on one purpose.

I’m talking about the one argument I pitched up top. Where Gollum teaches you how NOT to do things. Chasing stuff. Chasing things.

As Kelli and I chatted I mentioned how so many successful people destroy their lives through drug and alcohol abuse. From comedians to actors to other people who hone their talents, to inspire masses, many never learn the art of being happy now before going on their journey.


What Money Does….Really


The thing is guys, you could be suicidal in this moment. I could hand you 2 billion dollars. After the initial euphoria, and maybe some ridiculous highs experienced, that come with spending some serious coin, you’d have 2 billion dollars worth of activities and things, through which you could help yourself, kill yourself. As long as the feeling resides in you no thing outside of you will eradicate that feeling from within. Which is why so many famous folks become drug and alcohol addicts.

This is also why so many successful bloggers – God Bless ‘Em – can never make enough money, without wanting more, more, more. I am all for unlimited abundance. I am also for not pushing yourself to reach imagined numbers which you believe will bring you happiness. Some top earning bloggers are happy people. Some are successful people. A few of these happy, successful folks have asked me personally, how I’ve engineered this lifestyle.


My Guess…However Flawed


Methinks, if I can peak through my ignorance, and toss out a theory, that they are wondering how they can let go of chasing some things to be as free as Kelli and I are. Hey, I’m attached like any human being to stuff. Heavily attached. If someone threw my lap top into the pig sty next door – yes I am living beside a pig sty – I betcha I’d get down and dirty, slopping around with old Babi (Indonesian word for “pig”) to get the old Toshiba fired up again for my next blog post.

But one area I know pretty decently, is how to engineer a freeing lifestyle. I can inspire at least a few folks to blog to free themselves, as opposed to blogging, to get things, because as good old boy Gollum showed, that Boss Man of the Ring, if you blog to get things you’ll never be satisfied.  If you’re blogging to chase something outside of yourself, you could make a boatload of money yet you’ll still not feel satisfied.


Minimalist, Not By Design, But By…..


…damn. The other day, I thought about it. I own a few pieces of clothing. A suitcase. Wallet. Assets…..and nothing else. I may have some paperwork stashed away. How embarrassing, right? I own nothing. Yet, I’m free to go where I want, when I want to, for however long I wish to live there. I feel, for me, that this is being free. Everybody has a different definition of freedom, and everybody enjoys their attachments in a different way, but a strikingly high number of bloggers are obsessed with blogging to get stuff.

Some blog to make money instead of blogging to make a difference.

Some blog to bind themselves instead of blogging to free themelves.

Some blog to make money online not realizing that money is a poor audience.

Some blog to get readers not realizing that blogging to give something is the act that creates fortunes.

Some blog to engineer a freeing lifestyle, and, to inspire their readers to free themselves.

Hell, I vibe with the latter statement much of the time. Which is why I enjoy writing:

  • eBooks
  • 6,000 word posts (these days at least)
  • Thorough comments
  • Articles for freelance clients
  • Reports for coaching clients

If you’re blogging to free you, and to free your audience, you’ll become a minimalist by nature. I don’t much value stuff. I do value waking up in Bali today. I value waking up in Bangkok on Saturday, and I valued waking up in Fiji for 4 months, this year. Again, you can get all the stuff you wish to acquire, or you can let go the energy anchors/things you don’t really want, or that you’ve outgrown, by blogging to free yourself, and to free your audience, instead of blogging to get things.

The ironic part is, once you blog to free yourself and your audience you’ll make more money than ever. Then, you can buy more stuff, if stuff vibes with you. Then, you’ll let go the ring-chasing and you’ll set a different intention; you’ll focus not on chasing stuff, but on inspiring people to free themselves from bondage. This my friends, is where you can make the biggest difference.

I may have been a bit of a wild man over the years with my massive video post tsunamis of content and my hyper-caffeinated tweeting techniques, but I guess, even with my foibles, I deep down knew that pushing hard helped me release some of my mental poo –poo to clear the way for a guy who could make a little difference in the world.

Bloggers who blog to make a difference get this gig. They know how to play the game until, one day, it’s not a game whatsoever. It’s not really serious, either. It’s fun. It’s light. It’s airy. It’s blogging to give. To help others to give. And in the giving process, you’ll become more inspired, and free, than you can ever imagine.


I Swear to G-O-D


Lash me for being a heretic, but I had to swear. I did. I swear to The Universe, I am not important. I stare at a glowing rectangle. I tap small squares with my fingers. I live in paradise. If I can free a few more folks by doing what I do, great.

I will turn around and break all of my rules – for maybe seconds, or minutes – but then for much of the day, I’ll probably return to my core intent. I’ll go back to blogging, to free me and to free you. I’ll lust after sweets, and maybe, watching a bit too many episodes of Justified (y’all watch it my kin?) or It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, but in the end, I feel good about what I do. I want to take you with me. So I blog.


atlas moth bali indonesia blogging from paradise

That’s all this blogging deal is. If you stumble upon the post of a guy who lives an irregular life (that doesn’t include doing anything outside the bounds of the law), you may take notice. The gal may think differently and act differently than any bird you’ve ever know. For a good reason, too. How they think and act engineered their lifestyle. So you noticed, that this blogging deal seems to be about freeing yourself and freeing people around you, then, if you blog with this motivator, some of the time, then, most of the time, you can become a professional blogger.

You’ll stumble. You’ll fall. But in the end, that guy doing some neat stuff seems like he’s on to something.

So you bookmark Blogging from Paradise (had to do it) or wherever that cat happens to do his blogging business, and then you let he or she, grow on ya. You become clearer on your intent. You learn from weird, digitally-engineered movie characters, who are portrayed as both heroes and anti-heroes of successful bloggers.

One day, you’re sitting next door. We can grab a bite in Bali. Or we can fly to Fiji. Or maybe we can bond in Bangkok. I’m waiting. I’m here.

I want to take you with me.




Gollum was a good blogging role model, and a terrible blogging role model. I learned many lessons from the skinny, shriveled little imp who used to be much different.

I hope you enjoyed this read.

Please share it with all of your friends through twitter, email, Facebook and any other channel that vibes with you.


Your Turn


Do you like Gollum? Have you ever looked like Gollum?

What lessons would you add to this list?

Who’s your blogging role model?


Call to Action


I like writing eBooks. Or eBook-sized posts. I’ve published 10 eBooks in total, including a few combos.

Scroll up – and look to your right – to read my eBook reviews. Maybe I blinded some of these folks with my stunning selfies or maybe they really dig did what I had to offer.

If what these entrepreneurs say vibes with you and if you want to take your blogging game to the next level pick one – or 8 – up.

Buy Blogging from Paradise (not the blog silly, at least not yet!)

Share this post with your friends on twitter, Google Plus and LinkedIn if you enjoyed it.

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Ryan Biddulph

Ryan Biddulph is a blogger, author and world traveler who's been featured on Richard Branson's Virgin Blog, Forbes and Neil Patel Dot Com. He has written and published 126 bite-sized eBooks on Amazon. Ryan can help you retire to a life of island hopping through smart blogging at Blogging From Paradise.
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