Nuts fell on her hair.
A veritable trail mix of cashews, Brazil nuts, peanuts and twisty thingees had showered the aisle about 2 hours earlier.
After a fit of light turbulence a spritzing of nuts fell upon this poor lady’s noggin.
I vividly recall the image; nuts fall from the sky, some 40,000 feet over the Pacific Ocean as we’re flying to Fiji. I felt embarrassed. The nut shower was my fault. All Kelli and I could do was laugh under our breath. But it felt awkward. Embarrassing and uncomfortable to me, for I was the source of the trail mix of tears.
The man beside nut shower woman looked at her quizzically as the cashews cascaded onto her head. No laughing. No seriousness either. Just a flummoxed, confused look as if to say:
“How in the hell would I know why nuts are falling from the luggage compartment?”
2 Hours Earlier
The flight attendant asked that I move our bags from beneath the chair to the luggage hold above our seats. We obliged. Of course, Kelli and I forgot that loose change, trail mix and a collection of God knows what else littered the front pouch of the book bag.
I shoved the book bag into the compartment. A few nuts, Thai currency, Malaysian currency, Aussie currency and various random items hit the aisle. The 2 unsuspecting folks in front of us barely seemed to notice though as we were all preparing for our flight from Sydney, Australia to Nadi, Fiji.
So 2 hours in we hit light turbulence and the nuts were a flying.
I felt like the paradise version of Mr. Planters.
All I needed was a snazzy monacle and top hat. Perhaps I could do a bit more work on my trunk and less on my legs and arms to create the vaunted Mr. Peanut physique.
But here I am. In the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
Watching nuts rain down on that poor woman and seeing the quizzically confused look both folks flashed at one another as the Brazil nut bombardment occurred from the compartment above, courtesy of yours truly.
I found the situation hysterical but in the same breath I was hellishly embarrassed.
Was the lady pissed off? I mean who likes experiencing a torrential trail mix downpour?
Was she annoyed? Embarrassed?
Even after both played possum – or maybe they truly had no clue in hell what was going on – or perhaps they were too excited to be going to Fiji to note the origin of the nut downpour………I still felt embarrassed, dishonest and a bit ashamed. Why? I can’t label the exact reason other than I felt highly uncomfortable in this situation.
I was way outside of my comfort zone because:
- we were jam-packed together on a tight flight
- we had hit a bit of turbulence on the way out of Sydney
- I had inadvertently caused a nut deluge to rain down upon the woman seated in front of me
…..and even though I had no reason to feel highly uncomfortable because each feeling was my reactive feeling and my resistance to these feelings caused a greater feeling of discomfort I felt…..well….uncomfortable as hell!
The weird thing is, the wide range of uncomfortable emotions I experienced during the Cashew Calamity was so damn consistent with the feelings I’ve experienced during my blogging career.
Making the transition from part time, novice blogger to full time, professional, “I don’t ever have to return home to make money for my travels again” travel blogger feels not too unlike those uncomfortable few moments when I saw a Nut Downpour occur by my hand.
…..and add about 4,375 other negative – and positive – emotions into the fray as you make the transition from part time travel blogger to full time income generating travel blogger.
Building a thriving, prospering travel blogging community, forging strong bonds with influential travel bloggers, creating thorough, in-depth value and effectively monetizing your blog can be a thrilling yet highly uncomfortable experience. When you’re trying to figure out how to start a travel blog your head will spin not unlike Linda Blair in the Exorcist….at least at the outset.
This is not an easy gig but it is a simple gig.
But if you are willing to embrace uncomfortable moments you can craft a freeing, exhilarating lifestyle through a simple, self-hosted WordPress blog.
Sound good to you?
Benefits of Reading this Post
Here are a few:
- learn how to become a full time travel blogger
- learn how to build a branded blog
- become a connected superstar through blog commenting
- grow thriving blogging businesses through intelligent monetizing strategies
I get that you may be lost. I get that you may be publishing boring ass posts because you have lost the fire. I have been in your shoes. I feel ya playa BUT I also know what you need to do to turn around your travel blogging juju.
I’ve read in my comments how some feels are yearning for more from the travel blogging niche. They are ready for a step up from the Plain Jane, workaday, vanilla posts littering the travel blogosphere.
In my eyes, there ain’t nothin’ worse in life than wasted talent and I know how terrified/depressed/annoyed that some travel bloggers feel when returning home to build up their cash reserves so I decided to write this post.
That, and yes, I was a bit bored here in Jersey. So for that reason too, I wrote this post.
Tips for Becoming a Travel Blogger
Let’s dive into the tips. We do have 13 to cover, ya know?
1: Learn the Art of Story Telling
“I once saw a sentient being do the best Jesus Christ Impersonation ever.
Sorry Pope. Sorry Dali Lama. Sorry holy men throughout the ages.
This lizard did something even the most devout believers couldn’t do.
I am embarrassed to say this….but…..the sentient being was more Christ-like than I am, yet it had 4 legs, a prehistoric aura about it and the darn thing couldn’t even speak.
Then again, the Christ-like lizard DID share the same name.
The Jesus Christ lizard RAN ON THE FREAKING WATER in Quepos, Costa Rica.
My jaw dropped.
Money skipped some 50 feet across a lazy little stream. Couldn’t believe my eyes.
I’d seen a miracle.
And to think that this taught me the most important of blogging lessons……”
“You need to learn how to tell stories to become a successful travel blogger.”
What lead in draws you in?
Exhibit A wins 99 out of 100 times, and the only vote going to Exhibit B was registered by a regular on The Walking Dead.
If you have a pulse you will pick a story over bored, tired, played out observations which have been blandly repeated only 543,453,532,908 times over the past umpteenth years of blogging.
Tell a story. Every post. Tell your story. Because nobody can tell your travel blogging story.
Travel bloggers, if you want to do the full time, Ryan Biddulph style, Blogging from Paradise bit you better tell stories about your travels.
Less boring observations. More inspired story telling.
Pull up a chair, let’s gather around the campfire and you do your travel blogging story telling stuff, so I can come to worship you, and to set up shrines to your blogging greatness….or so I can subscribe to you, and buy your stuff, and support you because I love ya.
If you want to meet a slew of fun story tellers visit my friend Will Hatton’s blog post at The Broke Backpacker.
He highlights the Top 10 Travel Blogs of 2015…..and as I am so shy and sheltered, and hate the limelight, I regret to inform you that I am #1 on that list.
Thanks Will I appreciate you!
2: Work on Your Money Mindset
My talent especial consists of helping you improve your blogging mindset.
Many travel bloggers can not only use a blogging labotamy but they can also do with a mindset makeover.
Here you go: spend 30 to 60 minutes daily working on your mindset by:
- reading self help books
- listening to subliminal audio files
As within so without.
Unfortunately for many travel bloggers the without rules the within. Many well-intentioned bloggers offer poor advice. The blind then lead the blind, doing stuff like attempting to build a full-time blogging career on sponsored posts and advertising revenue.
This would be like a morbidly obese person building their weight loss campaign on bacon, egg, and cheese burgers, chocolate milkshakes and coconut crème pies.
Ain’t gonna happen my travel blogging kiddies!
Hell, I *conceived of the Blogging from Paradise idea* originally over 17 months ago after speaking to a travel blogger depending solely on ad revenue and sponsored posts to bring home da bacon.
More on this mistake later but all ya need to know is once you clear your inner world of mental bullshit your outer world will come together quite nicely.
The Unlimited Power Hour
My personal development deal is all about the Power Hour.
On waking I:
- meditate for 30 minutes
- do 100 sit ups and 20 slow push ups
- stretch for about 10 minutes
- listen to 30 minutes of subliminal audio files for my morning hypnosis session
I also listen to an hour long subliminal audio file as I fall asleep so I can allow the affirmations to seep easily into my subconscious mind. Both audios are for Unlimited Wealth.
Do you guys like my results so far? I am an island hopping fool and I may just tell a mean story too, depending on whether or not you speak to readers whom I’ve bribed.
Work on your mental tools my fellow world travelers who are hellbent on building a full time, pro blogging career.
3: Trash Your Brand if You Need to Trash Your Brand
Letting go precedes growing.
Granted, I have seen a majority of travel bloggers with superstar, dead on brands but a few still suffer.
Ya’ll know how I created Blogging from Paradise. I trashed my old blog. Simple. Easy peasy.
Kelli wanted to strangle me on my breaking the news. How could I throw away 5 year’s worth of effort? REALLY???? I couldn’t blame her. Had the same fears/questions/worries/doubts myself.
But I trashed my brand and my blog went from 0 to 60 in about 3 seconds. Life changed quickly.
Hellishly Maddening JFK Holding Pattern
I remember circling JFK about seven times on our first trip home from Asia.
Kelli and I were ready to duct tape a small infant who’d been screaming bloody murder ever since we left the Orient for the Occident.
We were like 10th in the landing queue. We were in a hellish holding pattern, being desperate to exit the plane.
I was prepared to Halo Drop.
Travel bloggers may find themselves in the same holding pattern.
If you feel stuck, and are not fully clear on the direction of your blog and brand….well….you may need to Deep Six your brand…just saying.
Signs You Need to Trash Your Brand
- you hate blogging
- you’re in a holding pattern
- you’re sick of writing
- NMMS: No Money Making Syndrome
Spend more time in quiet. Listen in. I trashed my old brand after thinking through the idea at 3 AM in beautiful Savusavu Fiji, some 7 months ago. You may not be in Fiji but you can make time for quiet contemplation.
As a rule of thumb, unless you feel alive each day, working your travel blog, you’re almost always heading in the wrong direction.
Get inspired! Then, figure out if you should be heading in the same direction or if you need to take a U turn to head in another direction.
4: Stalk Hyper Successful Travel Bloggers
Guys like Nomadic Matt and Wandering Earl are hyper successful travel bloggers. Stalk them. Follow their every move. Within the bounds of the law of course, and if you do illegal stuff during your stalk make sure the transgressions are in international waters. (I am joking, Interpol!!!)
Some of these guys know that they’re branding and others, well, are being authentic and the brand bleeds through the blog as a force of nature. I myself am no travel blogger but I do help travel bloggers retire to a life of island hopping through smart blogging. I kinda intended to build a brand but my brand just….um…..happened, after I created Blogging from Paradise.
I gotta admit; after reading guys like Derrick 4Real (this guy’s a trip; make sure you read his harrowing tale: http://blog.theholidaze.com/2014/06/deported-because-of-a-tweet/) and admiring the hell out of their balls to the wall, real, authentic style I became more of who I am, online, just like I am offline. I allowed successful travel bloggers – or just plain successes – to influence me and to inspire me. You become who ya hang with my BFP kiddies.
Bald heads. No shoes. An orange robe. These kids were serious about their vow.
Actually these monks in training were serious about the vow they took to renounce a worldly life.
I mean, sure I’d seen some older monks on cell phones. I’d even seen monks smoking like chimneys in places like Laos. But these kids weren’t playing.
Some weren’t older than 6 or 7 years of age. Wow. Impressive.
Each day the little monks that could would head inside the many impressive wats, or temples, in Chiang Mai, Thailand for instructions/wisdom saturation sessions offered by the gurus, or the experienced masters. Morning meditation sessions, morning alms runs, afternoon prayer, evening chants, and all that good stuff in between.
It was enough to make me feel like a selfish bastard, a vain, egotistical fool and a glutton, each time I saw little, young monks stroll by in Pak Nam Pran, Thailand, or in Chiang Mai, or in Koh Lanta.
These young monks studied from wise, experienced monks, or spiritually advanced monks, to learn the ways of the holy men. Although there is no such thing as a successful monk you get the drill by now.
If you want to achieve something learn from someone who’s been there.
The little, cute monks would eventually become spiritual masters by learning from the spiritual masters.
My blog could be a sweet resource for any travel blogger who wants to retire to a life of travel as a pro, full-time travel blogger. I’ve been there. Done that. Now I want to free you as I continue to free me. I am no blogging master but I know what it takes to engineer a freeing lifestyle.
I can teach you how to become a digital nomad. Or, as some locals here in NJ may say, a bum with no job.
Surround yourself with gems to become a blogging treasure. Ha! I like it. I like it a lot.
On a side note I wonder how the monk-ees (slang for little monks) achieve such a close shave. Do they have access to Remingtons or other electric shavers in the wats? Or are they straight edging it? Or can the ethers just do the work for them?
5: DO NOT Rely Solely on Sponsored Posts and Advertising Revenue for Your Blogging Income
Let me tell ya ’bout a blogger named John Doe.
John Doe heard from fellow bloggers that sponsored posts and ad revenue is where the travel blogger money’s at. JD set up his blog, all excited, seeing himself diving into swimming pools filled with dubloons just like Scrooge McDuck.
He’s visualized himself carrying large Hefty bags filled with cold, hard, sweet travel blogging cash, into the local bank, a’la Tony Montana.
This dude’s gonna be rolling in it. Fast! Now…just waiting for those sponsored post opportunities to roll in….waiting….just waiting….a bit longer….hmmm…let him check out advertising opportunities…gotta figure the sweet ad money will be flowing in quickly….I mean, this IS what other travel bloggers preach to John Doe right?….waiting….waiting…..waiting…..still waiting.
Then after waiting for years to make enough money blogging to buy a plane ticket from Phuket to Kuala Lumpur (that’s a cheap ticket for all you non SE Asia travelers) good old Johnny Doe runs back home with his tail between his legs to work a job he would rather not work to save money for his travels.
Another potential full time travel blogger bites the dust.
I have heard this story about 43,546 times, give or take 30,000 stories, from various travel bloggers. I get it. Because I’ve been there.
I once attempted to force income to flow to me through 1 particular stream on my old blog. Of course I didn’t realize that money responds to:
- your feelings/beliefs about money
- the value you bring to the market
- the level of trust you’ve established with your audience
- the number and quality of your online – and offline – friendships
If you read really closely you’ll not see sponsored posts, ad revenue, or the idiotic strategy I attempted to use, to squeeze money through my blog, mentioned in the above bullet points.
Nope. Those are just channels to money. The money itself originates from Source, or from the Universe, and that money travels to you if you develop your prosperity consciousness and if you create value and if you establish a friend network/community of influential travel bloggers who trust you.
Oh yeah, it never hurts if you open up multiple streams of income and don’t get too darn attached to anyone.
The Take Away Analogy (with a Bolshevik Reference)
A newbie travel blogger who expects to make a full-time blogging income through sponsored posts and ad revenue – so they can become full-time travelers aka digital nomads aka pro bloggers – is like a first day Physics student who plans to earn a full time income as a Quantum Physics professor. Sure it’s possible, but I’m far more likely to get fat, to grow a beard (physically impossible I’ve tried) and to settle down in good old NJ for the reminder of my life.
Since I’ll be kinda ripped, looking unlike a Bolshevik and WILL be a full time, globetrotting, digital nomad for quite a while you best stop relying on those 2 income streams. You likely don’t have the reach, the audience and the quality of content to inspire advertisers to return to you 1, 2 or 6 times a week, to pay you for the privilege of using your blog as an advertising space.
Do the largest retailers and brands on earth pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to advertise at a local high school basketball game or at the Super Bowl?
Create value. Build a large network of loyal travel blogging buddies around you. Create eBooks and paperbacks to establish your authority. Open multiple streams of income. Then, you’ll see that money will flow to you through multiple channels and that sweet travel blogger dough can help you become a full time blogger.
Check out Will Tang’s inspired blog, Going Awesome Places.
He’s opened a whole slew of prospering income streams.
Well done Will!
6: Develop Blogger Loyalty
Friends make amateur bloggers professional bloggers.
- expand your presence by promoting you
- offer you inspirational ideas
- support you during rough times
- form prospering business partnerships with you.
Here are some of my blogging friends:
Each of the gems above helped create Blogging from Paradise.
Each person promoted me, or featured me, or flat out paid me to offer some service.
Friends makes amateur travel bloggers professional bloggers.
How do you build friendships with travel bloggers?
Well by being a loyal sonofagun, that’s how!
Phuket Chow Down
If I ate one more spicy hot cashew ball I’d be dialing for the ambulance.
Or in Phuket, I’d be driving myself via motorbike to the local Health Supporting Hospital (not kidding, this is the title of the hospital by our local haunt in Rawai Beach, Phuket…..great branding there).
My mouth was on FIRE.
But damn, I loved the food from this Buddhist vegetarian restaurant so much AND we became friends with the owner. S I was in.
She was a kind, pleasant Thai woman. She spoke fluent English too. So we went back to her. Again and again. Every day. For like months.
Like bees to honey. Or like white Farang to spicy Thai Curry.
We were loyal to her because we loved what she had to offer, food-wise, and it didn’t hurt that the location was great.
Her price was a bit more “expensive” than the local vegetarian spot some 200 meters away yet we went with our friend’s restaurant.
We could likely say that we were a bit short that day, walk out, and come back the following day with our Baht to pay for the prior day’s lunch and she’s be a’ight with it.
For those not in the know, most Thai have a relationship with money similar to small babies with rattles; pull it away and they’ll scream bloody murder.
In the Thai’s case they could commit murder.
We were loyal to her. She was loyal to us.
Here’s the kicker; our friend disappeared on our recent trip to Phuket.
Same restaurant but different ownership. The servings became smaller and smaller while the price remained the same. We stuck around for like 4 days before I said, “Bye Bye”, left that restaurant for good and started going to the spot down the block with better prices, more generous/”fatty Thai boy” (you’ll see many portly pepperpots in Phuket) style servings and hey, the woman were pretty friendly too.
No, not THAT type of friendly….you’re thinking of the bar girls, you silly readers.
When our friend left the loyalty factor left with her.
Hell, if she stayed, and if the servings shrunk, and prices remained steady, we may not have done the munch migration to the nearest Buddhist spot to save some spot.
Or maybe we would have….but damn it’d have been a tough decision because we were loyal to our friend.
Travel bloggers, you better be loyal to a group of travel blogging buddies by:
- promoting them on twitter, or Facebook or Google Plus….or heck all 3 sites
- commenting on their blogs
- emailing them asking how you can help
…..because these folks will remain steadfastly loyal to you through thick, thin and everything in between.
Murderous Greeks and My Close Friends
Ever see the movie 300?
If you haven’t you’ll have to suffer through the spoiler here, but basically this army of 300 Greek warriors defeated all types of hellions, barbarians, savages, and menacing adversaries because they were loyal to their leader and to one another, and they all died being loyal to their leader. Loyal to him, and to their friends, to the end.
I don’t particularly see me, Don and Adrienne marching to our deaths against a murderous hoard of savages (I’ll take the lead only because of my abdominal muscles and moderately sized guns) but I do see us supporting one another, promoting one another and helping each other prosper for as long as we’re blogging.
Visual break: wouldn’t it BE funny if Don, Adrienne and I did fight off barbarians, with sword and spear, 300 style? I have to talk to Phil about whipping up a graphic for that.
Promote your buddies. Comment on your buddies’ blogs. Feature them.
Rake in that sweet, sweet travel blog money as your friends inspire their readers to know, like and trust you.
7: Establish Blogger Reach
Imagine how ridiculously boring your life would be in you knew one person?
Like, if you knew, you?
Unless you’re prepared to live the life of a recluse – or a broke ass travel blogger – you better meet new, successful travel bloggers daily. Because as you fortify old bonds it becomes necessary to build new bonds, because this is one of the prerequisites for “being all over the place.”
Bloggers who are “all over the place” gain trust, and some coin, in the process.
Travel Bloggers and Cyber Caves
I’ve seen travel bloggers with rabidly enthusiastic communities built around their blogs. Bravo! So much easier to grow a profitable blog when readers are dying NOT to be late to your party.
BUT…..I have also seen a few bloggers living in cyber caves. Their own little hut, or haunt, where when posts are a going, the cyber tumble weeds are blowing.
If a blog post is published and nobody is there to read it, does it exist?
Because if you’ve no readers, you’re writing a diary. It’s kinda tough to develop loyalty and to gain trust and to make money if you’re the only one reading your posts.
Now building a loyal following will bring new readers to your blog. Your friends promote you to their networks and the whole referral thing happens. But if you want to really attract readers and expand your reach daily you’ll have to mosey on out of your cyber blogging cave to:
- comment on new travel blogs daily
- promote new travel bloggers daily
- form bonds with new travel bloggers daily
This ain’t a numbers game by any means but if you want to grow, you’ll be meeting new people on a daily basis. If you want to change lives and if you want to inspire folks to become travel bloggers and if you want to grow a profitable travel blog you’ll need to meet new, interested readers daily.
Here’s where you’ll meet a whole slew of inspired travel bloggers.
Clickie clickie my little chickies:
Click on the “Tribes” link at the top of the page.
Click “Select Category.”
Select “Travel” from the drop down list.
Request to join tribes. Actively share content. Go wild. Meet new travel bloggers. Grow your reach. Find more clients. Generate more traffic, more clicks, more scratch, all because you branched out.
Ryan Biddulph Being All Over the Place
Goodness gracious, I vowed never to Third Person myself but I just completed the despicable act.
Anyway, some say I appear to be “All Over the Place.”
I am not all over the place. I haven’t eaten that many Hershey’s Kisses™ – yet – so I haven’t become that rotund. When I do finish off the large bag of Hershey Kisses that was purchased for the pre-wedding hangout I could in fact “be all over the place” because my girth may expand to Jabba the Hut like proportions.
I’ll be like old Jabba save the tail.
Or I’ll lose 5 pounds because I’ll exercise 1-2 hours daily, but a bit more intensely (sorry to disappoint but I chose this option; Bali beach body here we).
All I do is this: build new bonds daily. I go into Triberr. I share new travel blogger posts and I comment on new travel blogger blogs. Everyday. I also set up a nice little travel blogger themed list on twitter – through Hootsuite – and find plenty of A 1 travel bloggers there. New travel bloggers.
Read. Comment. Share. New friends. New readers.
This is the idea of reach.
As you build loyalty with old buddies *reach* out into new networks.
Gotta go….time for a Hershey’s break……
8: Write Write Write….
OK I’m back, smudging my keyboard with chocolate covered fingers.
Write, write and write some more.
I write 6,000 words or more on most days. I kinda like living in paradise.
Built Like a Brick Shit House
I spoke to an expat in Bali who had the most dead on description of a local Balinese man. Said Balinese man was about 70 years old. His face spoke his age to a degree but his body was like a little Greek god.
Picture Bruce Lee meets Bali Grandpa.
This guy’s abs were ripped to shreds. I even grated my cheese on his serrated 8 pack.
The arms? Shredded to bits. Back muscles? Hell, they looked like a Christmas-tree.
I mean, who’d a thunk it? A guy who’s spent 7 days weekly, 12 hours daily, from when he was 5, some 65 years doing hard manual labor daily…..who’d have ever thought this guy would make Arnold Schwarzenegger give a nod of approval?
As the sarcasm slowly drips off of your monitor I know what you’re thinking; either you’re worried I’m a little too much into old muscular Balinese men – no worries Kelli – or you know I have a blogging tip for you.
Writing repetition, my travel bloggers, makes your blog attractive to money.
Just like the old Bali Brick Shit House repetitively worked his body to look like a Greek god so shall you write 2,000 to 6,000 words or more daily to captivate your audience. Write, write and write some more, because travelers who captivate their audience inspire their readers to:
- buy their books
- hire them
- click on their ads
- place sponsored posts on their site
Here’s how it goes: you practice writing, get really good – through repetition – at writing and inspire your blogging audience to buy your stuff or to hire you or to rent out your blogging space for ads or sponsored posts because you’re really good at what you do.
I retired to a life of island hopping through smart blogging. I became a smart blogger by writing my ass off. Sure I love writing like kids love sweets or like Ryan Biddulph adores Thai sweets (what did you say, Pandan?) but at times, I turn off my machine-like, cyborg-like, automatic writing tendencies and I get sick of practicing.
In these moments I keep writing. Not to force things. But to free me.
Re-read those last 3 lines if you want to know my secret to living a stupendously awesome life.
Hit your word count daily.
2,000 words, 1,000 words or 10,000 words.
Hit it no matter what. Make your desire to free yourself stronger than your fear of doing uncomfortable things. Then………write!
9: Let Go Whatever Holds You Back
Check out the title of this post.
I am helping you become a full time travel blogger.
Full time travel bloggers gotta learn all the practical blogging tips.
Got that covered. We’ll have more shortly.
I’ve identified one problem among struggling travel bloggers. They may be getting their finances in order. Some actually are rocking it out in most areas of their lives…..but they still find themselves scrambling to get home when they’d prefer a permanent life of island hopping through smart blogging.
Here’s why: you haven’t let go.
Stuff or People Holding You Back
Letting go precedes growing.
So, be honest my fellow who travelers – and aspiring pro bloggers – if you’re holding on to:
- worn out relationships (professional, domestic, whatever)
- an old way of living which no longer serves you
- more stuff
- even more stuff
Because this stuff is holding you back, keeping you tied to your old, worn out, way of living.
Bali and Banishing
I am somewhat of a tyrant. I admit it.
I may not be confused with Vlad the Impaler anytime soon (Google him at your own risk; shouldn’t the name been enough of a warning?) but I regularly banish, and sometimes, kill off, influences or things in my life that I no longer have use for.
I worked in the Vlad reference because I am ¼ Romanian BTW (Dracula jokes on the way because…..and I am being serious….my grandfather grew up in Transylvania) .
But here’s the deal: I am moving to Bali for 4 months very soon because I let go:
- my apartment
- my car
- old, worn out relationships
- a 9-5 office job
- all types of physical stuff
- old, warped, limited states of mind
….to make room for this spectacular, “you’ll probably only meet like 5 people in your entire lifetime who live like Kelli and I”, kind of life.
I let go the stuff, some 7 years ago, holding me back from traveling to Bali and other tropical paradises so I could think, feel and move into the actions consistent with someone who circles the globe as a pro blogger.
Does that make sense?
Releasing precedes acquiring.
I became the lean, mean, full time blogging, professional globe trotting, fun-loving entrepreneur I am today by letting go the old stuff that weighed me down.
Weighted Vest Swimming
Visualize yourself swimming in the Andaman Sea in Phuket, Thailand.
I once raced against a yacht in that very sea.
(I beat it.)
If you swam with a weighted vest you’d likely sink to your death.
Although there’d be no more beautiful a body of water to die in – during high season at least – it’d not be the happiest of endings.
Now, imagine if you just shed the weighted vest. You’d not only stay afloat, you’d be able to swim freely. Maybe you’d race yachts and beat the living stuffing out of them, like certain Blogging from Paradise blog authors who shall remain nameless, but who have lived on in the lore of the South Phuket locals, from Nai Harn to Rawai, who worship him and……OK OK I am sorry.
My point is this: all those old relationships you need to release, that are holding you back, and the cars and homes and all that stuff, is like the weighted vest, dragging you down to a slow, painful death.
If your case, “death” may mean not living your dreams. It’d sure as hell feel like dying to me, and it DID feel like dying, 6 years ago, when I held onto crap and worn out bonds I needed to release.
After releasing these weights your:
- creativity will blossom
- freedom will expand
- genius will grow
- cash flow will grow
- influence will increase
- life will become that of a full time travel blogger
….all this stuff usually happens progressively by the way.
After I sold my Beamer, I still was in the poor house but heck, I began to stoke my creative fire and felt that much freer because I released something which no longer served the lifestyle I was engineering.
Make a list of what you need to let go.
Sure, you may always want to have your home and car, but remember the theme/title of this post; we ain’t pussy footin’ it guys….we’re all in, full time travel bloggers here.
10: Subscribe to Blogging from Paradise
11: Obey the 100,000 Rule
I once read a travel blog that was pretty dang sweet. Said blog had it going on.
But I spotted a problem right away.
The blogger suffered from OPOS.
Wow….I felt bad for them. Brutal disease for someone who wants to become a full time travel blogger.
What is OPOS?
Obscure Product Offering Syndrome.
In truth, perhaps 100 people on earth – or maybe a 1,000 – would be genuinely interested in these obscure products.
I am *all for* drilling down a few niches to get your audience down pat.
OPOS is a very different animal though.
For example; if I created a product teaching travel bloggers how to rock climb in the jungles of Costa Rica, I better be National Geographic, with an audience of millions and millions of eager travelers, a tiny, small, handful of which may be interested in my offering.
You my friend – unless you are the inanimate brand known as National Geographic, and if you are, wow am I humbled to have attracted an inanimate brand to this post – don’t have that luxury.
Create a product that at least 100,000 people would see and say, “Damn, I gotta get me some of that!” Preferably 100,000 travelers of course.
This ensures that you’ll make some nice coin off of the product – if it rocks, and I know that it will, because you DID subscribe to my blog, right? – because it appeals to a wide enough audience to make that coin, yet it’s specific enough to stand out from the crowd of generic, boring offerings.
How to Retire to a Life of Island Hopping through Smart Blogging
I created the Blogging from Paradise eBook and paperback series because I believed that at least 100,000 people on earth would be interested as hell in learning how a bum ass, pasty, broke security guard from New Joisey became an inspired, somewhat tan, prospering, world traveling, full time, professional blogger.
I actually kinda feel 1,000,000 creatures may dig this idea.
Perhaps 10,000,000 life forms?
I think so.
So I’ll keep networking, and we’ll see where that goes.
Anyway, I avoided the OPOS thing because I created an authentic product, from my heart, and from my experience, AND I dwelt on how many folks may vibe with this idea.
Even if you feel uber passionate about rock climbing in the jungles of Costa Rica – and I’ve no clue if this even exists, like, do rocky ledges exist in la selva, in the land of the Ticos? – you need to remember: people need to buy the stuff you’re creating for you to get paid and for you to become a full time travel blogger.
- video courses
- coaching services
- freelance writing services
- membership sites
…..all from your heart. That’s step 1.
Then, make sure your audience does in fact love what you have to offer – and they will if your offering comes from your divine core – …..and make sure the offering has mass appeal.
A Bum to Globetrotting Pro Blogger
That story seems like a mass appeal deal to me.
I knew it’d vibe with you too. Or, at least enough of you so that I could grow a rip roaring community of minions here at Blogging from Paradise.
My Blogging from Paradise became blogging with parasites. But, like, good parasites. I see the symbiosis thing at play. Like you’re remorras, and my blog is the big old whale shark. You feed, I lose the dead weight. Or whatever.
I created products and services which appealed to a healthy number of folks.
Not Too Old Goats
Travel bloggers, you’d be wise to follow these guys, as they are really, really smart folks who’ve become prospering, full-time travel bloggers, or permanent digital nomads.
They’re just a bunch of young goats.
Take notes. Study their income streams.
These ain’t your normal, old goats. They got the travel blogging juju!
Like me, Nick and Dariece freelance but they’ve also opened a handful of other streams relevant to travel blogging.
On to the next tip.
12: Drill Down from the Generic Blog Topic
Isn’t running a full time travel blog fun?
I mean, the last tip chided you for not going the “mass appeal” route for product creation and now this dingbat Ryan the BFP guy is contradicting himself.
Or is he?
We’re talking blog topics now. Like, you may or may not need to trash your blog’s topic/theme after reading this post.
Case in point: let’s say you run a travel blog covering Southeast Asia. You chat about trips, culture and all that good stuff. Not a bad deal. I’m sure you do OK with it….but……how can you find the time to master the trip, culture and food storytelling angles? You can’t. Because foodie travel bloggers, or travel bloggers who focus only on travel logistics are knocking their posts out of the park.
Where your attention and energy goes, grows.
Specialize to earn:
…and as you know, trusted, credible, authority bloggers usually become full time, professional bloggers in any niche.
For example, instead of covering SE Asia through 3 or 4 topics focus on 1 core topic to become an expert in that particular area. Be a SE Asian foodie blogger. Or blog about your travels in Thailand. Sure some other travel bloggers may have covered a similar topic but your storytelling, your authentic voice and your focus on 1 core topic will result in you creating a freaking smashing travel blog.
Siam will confuse you.
Case in point; the infamous “5 in 1” stores.
In Bangkok you may see a store advertising:
- motorbike rental
- internet cafe
- long distance phone call
The store is about Hobbit-sized. That means, no bigger than a moderately-sized living room in many cases.
I mean hell, good on them for convenience.
I can get my back rubbed, my feet scrubbed, my laundry done, my passport copies made, my motorbike rented for the month all while I enjoy a delicious, steaming hot bowl of mixed vegetable curry in The Land of Smiles.
Unfortunately for you unclear, non-specializing travel bloggers most people don’t visit a travel blog looking for 5 to 10 different topics/services. The average visitor wants to learn 1 or 2 things about a particular location.
Maybe they want to learn more about the dining scene in Danang, Vietnam.
Or perhaps they need to understand the visa situation after leaving Van Vieng, Laos for a trip to Thailand (that was us 3 years ago).
Specialize by drilling down 1-2 levels from a generic topic.
Example: I chose the generic topic of blogging. I drilled down to “blogging from paradise.”
Then I drilled down a bit more in the tag line: “how to retire to a life of island hopping through smart blogging.”
I stand out from the crowd, branding-wise, I learn my niche inside-out to establish my authority and I appeal to a market of aspiring and current bloggers who want to/have already retired to a life of island hopping through smart blogging.
That my friends, is how you can build a smart blog, or, a full time income generating blog. Said blog being a fine match for any aspiring full time travel blogger who wishes to change time zones indefinitely, and who wishes to become a citizen of the world.
13: Take Advantage of House Sits and Favorable Exchange Rates
I remember doing a podcast last year.
One caller asked if making X number of dollars would allow them to travel through Japan for so and so months.
I had to smile. I do understand that exchanging salt or sheep for goods (note: salt and sheep were once as reliable as good old fashioned dollars for a means of exchange) isn’t nearly as popular these days as using good old fashioned Green Backs, or Baht, or Ruppiah, depending on where you are in the world.
If I paid someone in Fiji for a Fiji bitter beer with a ram’s head I’d either be:
- slapped in the face or
- thanked for offering up dinner
I know that Fijian dollars are the preferred currency.
Having said that I also know the podcast person above asking about how much they’d need to make to travel somewhere is missing the point.
House sits. Favorable exchange rates. Inexpensive flight tickets. Inexpensive lodging. Etc, etc, etc…..all allow an “on the come up, still trying to generate that full time income” travel blogger to become a full time digital nomad.
OK, pardon my French, in advance.
At at early point during our world traveling adventures Kelli and I lived off of – as she dubbed it – the Broke as Fuck Diet.
We feasted on the BAFD in Laos. $1 lean submarine (hold the meat, and just about everything substantial) sandwiches/French style rolls with mayo/lettuce/tomatoes for lunch and a $2 or $3 – back me up on this wifey – vegetarian buffet for dinner.
We made poor financial decisions at this point in our lives. We were BAF. BUT, I thank the lucky stars and demigods out there that we became BAF on the road, in Laos. Because again, with our favorable exchange rate and with some bargain basement accommodations we kept our travel dream alive….albeit in shitty conditions.
Warning: I do not suggest that you eat from troughs alongside pigs and cram into Taiwanese style cages just to make your travel dreams come true. Unless you mind not living the “pigsty lifestyle” or you’ve overcome your fear of claustrophobia you’ll be a miserable SOB living – and traveling – like this. Focus instead on building a profitable blog by following my tips AND look for house sits AND travel through areas where you’ll receive a favorable exchange rate.
In Chiang Mai, Thailand, Kelli and I spend $2 together for a filling, healthy, nutritious vegetarian lunch.
We also rented a luxury, spacious apartment with poolside views for $650 a month. As a frame of reference for my Western or Tri-State compatriots, we would have paid $2500 or more per month for the same apartment in a place like Hoboken, NJ.
Yeah, it was damn sweet. The real deal!
Anyway, when you start crunching numbers you can quickly see a few things:
- Chiang Mai may just have the lowest cost of living compared to a high quality of life compared to any moderately-sized city on earth
- it *pays* to travel to places where your net worth jumps 5 to 10 times as soon as you land at the airport
In a few days we’re traveling to Jimbaran, Bali for a 4 month house sit. 4 months of rent free living.
Travel bloggers, take advantage of house sits. Take advantage of favorable exchange rates. Boost your savings as you steadily boost your profits and cut your expenses. Kelli and I work our businesses and cut our expenses to prosper.
Make more money. Stretch out each dollar. Cut your expenses.
I refer to this as the Holy Trinity of full time, professional traveling blogging.
Check out this rocking site for house sits in your paradise of choice.
Do I have to? 13 tips? I shall…
Learn the art of storytelling, work on your money mindset and trash your brand if you need to trash your brand. Stories sell, money flows to the abundant FEELING person and hey, if your brand is whack, toss it out back. (who knew I’d be spitting from Central Jerz?)
Stalk successful travel bloggers, establish a few streams of income and develop blogger loyalty. Rake in that paper by learning from the pros, by opening a few prospering channels and by fortifying your friendships.
Establish blogger reach, keep writing and let go whatever holds you back. I meet a gazillion new folks daily (or far fewer), I write 6,000 words daily and I had to let go the old and worn out life I lived to make room for my current, full time traveling, pro blogging lifestyle.
Subscribe to my blog and obey the 100,000 rule. Never miss a Blogging from Paradise update and create authentic products with mass appeal.
Drill down your topic to become a specialist. Specialists get paid.
Cash in on favorable exchange rates. Cut your expenses with house sits. Become a full time travel blogger.
Are you a full time travel blogger?
How’d you become one?
Or are you still working toward becoming a full timer?
Hey you can do it! I believe in you!
Call to Action
Becoming a full time, professional blogger has been the most freeing and uncomfortable achievement in my life. By far.
I know how terribly frustrating this gig can be BUT I also know how incredibly freeing this gig can be when you reach the promised land of the full time income blogging bit.
I can help you make your blogging dreams come true in 2 ways.
#1 – I offer blog coaching services to help you grow your travel blog into a full time income generating, lifestyle freeing vehicle.
#2 – I have published 10 eBooks and 4 paperbacks to help you retire to a life of island hopping through smart blogging. Each Blogging from Paradise eBook covers a different area of blogging, networking or product creation that will help you bring your blog and brand to the next level.
Click here to learn more about my blog coaching services.
Oh yeah, after you check out my blog coaching page buy an eBook here for a neat, comprehensive, value-packed Blogging from Paradise study guide.
Read the book a few times. Study it. I made ’em meaty yet bite-sized because they are workbooks designed to help you make your blogging dreams come true. Share this post on Twitter and Facebook to spread the word too, my kiddies.
Until next time…..enjoy paradise!
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