7 Blogging Lessons from the Jungles of Costa Rica

  December 12, 2015 blogging tips 🕑 15 minutes read
Mountain Man! Me trekking through the misty jungles of Buena Vista, Costa Rica.

Mountain Man! Me trekking through the misty jungles of Buena Vista, Costa Rica.


I just walked Thunder here deep in the jungles of Buena Vista, Costa Rica.


She’s a 90 pound Rhodesian Ridgeback.


Lion hunter.


All around badass.


Ridgebacks were bred to hunt down lions and to keep them at bay before the riflemen came in to finish the job. Thunder is true to her breed. She bolted like a bat out of hell after the neighbor’s pigs. She craved to sprint out deep into the jungle night to get her hunt on. She even skipped over a poison dart frog without a care in the world.


Hold on a sec; please re-read that last line.


Poison dart frog.


The poison dart frog has one of the highest toxicity levels of any creature on earth. Hell, these suckers need not bite or sting to administer their lethal venom. They wear it. Literally. Through both a mucous-like poisonous film on their body and through their bright, vivid colors – the 4 I’ve seen in the past week were bright red – these guys simply say:


Stay the Eff away!”


Yes, I’ve seen 4 of them in under a week. Rare creature. Deadly creature. And I see ’em almost daily here on the grounds. That goes to show you how deep in the jungle we are.


I’ve seen:


  • dozens of bullet ants (insect with the most excruciatingly painful bite on earth)
  • centipedes
  • scorpions
  • toucans
  • oropendolas
  • Capuchin monkeys
  • woodpeckers
  • owls
  • hummingbirds
  • gorgeous blue morpho butterflies
  • parrots
  • bats (which live inside of the house)


It makes sense though. Seeing all of these animals.


Kelli and I were transported here via a 25 minute ATV/quad ride through at times impassable roads. Last stretch of the journey is impassable to all vehicles. Ya do it by foot. We’ve walked into and back from town. Total walk time: 5 hours.


Imagine a walk back through 4 jungle streams – which are running powerfully now due to heavy December rains – and a mile long hike UP a mountain. Tack on a few miles through rugged jungle terrain plus a long walk on a rocky road into town and you have an intense, adventurous, freeing experience here.


I’ve learned these blogging lessons by living on the frontier.


These could be SUPER helpful for you, so listen on in!


1: Double Check to Save Yourself Some Pain (Scorpions)


Before I strap on my clod hoppers – rubber boots – to slop through the jungle terrain I do a double check. I shake out each boot. I look inside. Same deal with my clothes. Double checking those suckers, I turn pockets inside out and often inside out the entire article of clothing.


No, I don’t have some weird, jungle-induced ADD. I double check because scorpions enjoy chilling in cool, damp spots. Since a little scorpion hopped out of my undies – thank God, NOT when I was wearing them – and since I’ve seen hefty scorpions inside the crib this verifies that being cautious can save you a nasty sting.


We save ourselves pain here. Have done so at least this far into the trip.


We double check.


Blogging Lesson


Double check your blog post before going live.


Success sprints from the careless blogger.


Be mindful.


Double check aspects of your blogging campaign.


Double check blog post titles.


Make your blog POP. By being a little more cautious and mindful than the average blogger.


2: Heed the Warning Signs (Poison Dart Frog)


My jaw dropped when I saw this little chap.


And to think, the guy wasn’t but 8 feet away from the house.


The bright red, tiny little frog looks harmless and perhaps “tropical” to the average bystander.


Thank the lucky stars I spent hundreds of hours watching nature shows on weekends when other folks my age were out getting soused.


If THEY run into a poison dart frog in the wilds of Costa Rica those drunk skunks may try to touch it. Which would likely mean a quick and painful death. But me, being Mr. Wildlife Nerd, knows all about predators and prey and most importantly, the Warning Signals given off by unassuming but highly lethal animals.


The poison dart frog advertises its highly venomous skin – deadly to the touch – with its vividly bright, “the only way you’ll freaking miss me is if you’re Stevie Wonder” type colors. The dozen or so (yes I have seen 12 or more already) I’ve peeped so far here are bright red. Brilliant red.


Meaning “Stay the frick away if you want to live!”


If the little guy touches me, I’m toast. And they hop cockily around, in full view of predators, knowing only the brain dead or suicidal would dare touch that lethal little body.


The Blogging Lesson


I wanted to let out a primal scream.


But some of me KNEW that making this change would give me clarity, peace of mind and a renewed vigor for my online businesses.


When living in Savusavu, Fiji in 2014 my host pulled my blog. Suspended. Either I delete 1,000 posts or the blog doesn’t go live. Ever again. After 5 minutes of gut-wrenching thought, regret, anger, fear, hope, peace and…..mental chaos…..I trashed all 3400 blog posts from my old blog. Gonzo. Basuro.




I had seen the Blogging Warning Signs for YEARS. YEARS. See how brilliant I am? I knew deep down that trashing the blog and niche and income streams YEARS ago was the clear thing to do but I largely ignored warning signs, like:


  • my blogging income being about as consistent as the wild, erratically spectacular weather patterns here in the jungle
  • feeling a general unhappiness with blogging
  • feeling a total and utter lack of clarity with my old blog
  • feeling terrified to promote some of my old cash flow streams
  • the clutter and “Amateur Hour” look of my old blog


Hey, I am no Blogging Big Dawg now. All I do is type words into Word, copy and paste to my WP backoffice thingee and publish. Not a big deal. Yet I can spot Blogging Warning Signs quickly and easily these days. I feel lack of clarity. I sense a disconnect quickly. I feel when I move away from having fun to blogging for traffic or money or whatever.


What grabbed by attention back in Fiji? The Ultimate Blogging Warning Sign: my blog was yanked. Suspended. Pulled down. Instead of fighting this allegedly grave injustice I surrendered into the flow. Which is code for:


I trashed the old, worn out blog to do what I clearly most enjoyed doing: blogging about blogging tips and travel.”

Blogging from Paradise was born.


And I ain’t never looked back.


Bloggers, look out for these warning signs:


  • feeling unclear or confused on some blog topic OTHER than your passion
  • vanishing blogging income….or….
  • seeing no blogging income for months on end
  • commentors treat your blog like the plague
  • tumbleweeds roll in when you check your list growth
  • you are unhappy with blogging for weeks or months (we all get down here and there, on certain days)


3: Be Unmissable (Bullet Ant)


The ant was steroids.


I dubbed thee, “Antold Schwarzenegger.”


Picture a large, imposing black ant over an inch long.


Then, imagine said ant being a heat seeking missile, intent on doling out vicious punishment to any life force which is unfortunate enough to cross its path.


As our host said, “Bullet ants bite first and ask questions later.”


Ya just can’t miss ’em.


Knifing through streams in the wilderness. Should have seen this one last week. More roaring rapids, less kiddie pool. Me gusto mis botas.

Knifing through streams in the wilderness. Should have seen this one last week. More roaring rapids, less kiddie pool. Me gusto mis botas.


As I’ve cruised through the jungle I have noticed bullet ants in different environments. On leaves, on trees, by the outhouse (now THAT was a quick trip to the throne) on the jungle path, on the dirt road into town. Always traveling solo, always standing out like a sore thumb due to their formidable size and terrifying jaws.


Bullet ants possess the most painful sting in the insect world. Being bitten by a bullet ant feels like you got shot.


Thank the Universe that Nature makes these critters unmissable.


If you walk around the jungles of Buena Vista for 10 minutes you WILL see a bullet ant or 5. Impossible to not notice these bad boys.


The Blogging Lesson


I feel honored, humbled, and like my bribes are paying off when I hear readers say:


Ryan, I knew you wrote this guest post before I saw you sign off on it. It sounded like you.”


Ditto when folks share that they have not seen a blog anywhere online like Blogging from Paradise, to the layout, the writing voice and all the unique crap I jam-packed into this little space.


Hell, I’m just being me. Genuinely. Authentically.


If you met me offline you’d say to yourself, “This guy is JUST how I envisioned him being offline by reading his blog.” I make that statement with clarity because enough folks who’ve met me offline have said this.


The trick is, not trying to be unmissable. Just be yourself. Write informally. Piss off the Grammar Police. Put the stick a bit farther up the butts of writing purists. I may not have writing finish BUT I have spent more time in the tropics than dengue fever….have you, Mr. or Mrs. Blogging Purist?


To make matters worse, folks who try to be perfect either come off as lame or stiff. Or, they see success, but never feel happy about it, because they are being someone else, not themselves.


Meanwhile, me and my inspired readers are becoming more unmissable because we’re just being…..us.


How to Be an Unmissable Blogger


  • morph into an inch long ant, travel to the remote jungles of Costa Rica and develop the most painful sting in the insect world
  • write in your voice, by writing how you speak (this one is SO easy if you read your posts back to yourself and SO difficult if you try to be a perfectionist blogger)
  • eat more beans
  • throw salt over your shoulder once in the morning and once in the evening
  • add your personal flair to your blog design
  • design – or hire someone to design – a clear, clean, simple blog theme (you can add flair and keep things simple)
  • post pictures of yourself throughout your blog, adding an unmissable human element and personal signature that your readers will love


Just do that stuff.


You’ll stick out like a priest in a whorehouse.


4: The View from the Top Is Sweetest (But it Takes a Sh*tload of Inner Clearing to Get the View)


Kelli and I walk for 3 hours to get home.


1-1.5 of those hours is spent hiking up a jungle mountain.


This work gets easier with each hike but it’s a gut-busting, ass-burning, leg-wobbling, “are we nutz for doing this” challenge.


This is about the most difficult workout I’ve had – performed regularly – and this from a mental patient who formerly waited to run until between 2- 3 PM on summer days. When heat indexes reached 110 F or more in my native New Jersey.


Engaging in this intense, grueling workout required me and Kelli to clear out a ton of mental crap to better handle the physical challenge.


We look down at the ground versus up at the path ahead, letting go the deep desire to get home fast (hint; ain’t gonna happen anyway).


We take short, frequent breaks to rest up, versus trying to get home fast (ain’t gonna happen anyway).


We play fun mind games and breathe deeply to be present during the arduous, kick ass journey through:


  • town
  • 4 jungle streams
  • little hills
  • 1 big ass mountain
  • nearly impassable terrain as we descend deep into Dante’s Inferno…I mean, the jungle house where we’re staying…..dodging limbs, plodding through muddy road, ducking stinging nettle and other jungle plants which will flat out ruin your day if you touch them, all while keeping an eye out for fer de lanzes, coral snakes, eyelash vipers, scorpions, and the dreaded bullet ants which all seem to vacation and live deep in the jungles of Buena Vista


Now…..part and parcel with these obstacles, and with all this mental and physical clearing, are:


  • the best freaking views I’ve had ANYWHERE save Fiji (and these views may surpass those in Fiji)


Stunning. Jaw-dropping. Mesmerizing. Picture deep jungle expanses opening up to lush green mountains, mysterious mists and dramatic views that will leave you in awe.




Blogging from Paradise is loving the views in Buena Vista, Costa Rica. Enjoy!

Blogging from Paradise is loving the views in Buena Vista, Costa Rica. Enjoy!


During our walks through the jungle we’ve seen:


  • Capuchin monkeys
  • many different toucans
  • oropendola
  • centipedes
  • bullet ants
  • parrots
  • and other stuff I’m likely forgetting


If you want one of the best views on earth, first, you do the inner clearing. Gotta dissolve those limiting beliefs. Then, the light, calm, appreciative, fun action follows….then you’re treated to something only a few people in the world will ever see.

The Blogging Lesson


All of my happiest, most fun, most enriching, most successful moments online were preceded by inner clearing, then, action.


Most bloggers don’t get it; until you clear out your mental poo poo, your limiting beliefs, your fears, and your terrors, worries and anxieties, you can’t act successfully. It’s like wearing Ray Charles’ thick, dark glasses and expecting to see a bright, sunny day. Ain’t gonna happen. But if you remove the glasses (do your inner clearing)….voila! The day instantly gets brighter. And this bright new reality inspires you to move into fun, largely detached actions, which bring you stupid fulfillment and yes, success too.


How to Do Inner Clearing


  • meditate
  • engage in deep stretching
  • engage in deep breathing
  • work slowly
  • dive slowly, and patiently, and lovingly, into fun, inspired, and sometimes, hellishly uncomfortable actions


Follow each tip above. At times, you will feel like you’re going mad. Good! Welcome to being free, to traveling the world, and to becoming a kick ass blogger despite having the grammar game of a 2nd grader (that’d be me). Ya see guys, I do the inner clearing. Before I touch my computer. Then when I act, I generally come from a fun, pretty detached, chill, playful space. Which is why I’ve been blessed with my blogging success AND which is why I’m living in a spot with one of the best views on earth.


Kelli and I have manifested a 55 month trip traveling through tropical paradises by doing the inner clearing BEFORE we act. Largely. Which means that our actions are helping to manifest more fun for us, because we aren’t paralyzed by fear or other crap which besets most bloggers….most bloggers NOT doing the inner clearing.


5: When You’re Done Blogging, Wrap it Up! (Laptops and Jungle Humidity)


I cover my lap top in a plastic bag. Then I toss that bad boy into my backpack. Then I make sure the backpack sits flat on a big old log, between 2 windows in our bedroom. Ensures a steady flow of air through the area, keeping the laptop dry. The plastic bag and backpack keep the laptop free of moisture.


If I didn’t wrap my laptop up it would become ruined.


Jungle humidity ain’t no joke!


I sop with sweat 3 minutes into my walk with Thunder. Humidity don’t go away here. Moisture is forever with you so I better wrap up my laptop unless I wish to buy a new one in a few weeks.


The Blogging Lesson


This one’s a play on words but…..when you’re done blogging for the day, wrap it up and put it away. Until tomorrow. Not because you live in the jungle. But because your energy demands you to have fun blogging, then, to cease blogging for the day, to do something else fun. The detached 5 or 7 or 10 hours spent away from the laptop allows the Universe to work its magic. And these hours allow you to blog from a fun, pretty detached, calm, confident and peaceful space….which manifests sick success for you with like 1/50th of the effort compared to most bloggers.


Blog for like 4 or 6 or maybe, 8 hours daily.


Then get off the damn computer.


Go do something else.


Trust in the Universe to keep setting things up when you’re away from the laptop.


Or trust in the process if you’re an atheist.


6: The Journey Gets Easier When You Shuffle Step (1 Mile Climb)


During our mile or hour long climb up The Mountain, Kelli and I shuffle step it.


Baby steps win. Over lunges. Because the tortoise beats the hair.


We’d blow our wads, otherwise.


Being a former athlete I assure you, the top athletes see the game in slow motion.


Even sprinters come from a place of mental calm, clarity and focus because they know having inner peace eases your journey.


We take 1 baby step at a time up this impressive hill because power attracts and force negates. Taking it easy is using power, and using power makes your journey easy. Using force (jogging or taking huge steps up the mountain) would cause us to become exhausted quickly. We’d get frustrated. We’d quit. But no, we’re patient Mfers. Kelli and I are. So we shuffle step, slowly, casually, and calmly, and our journey becomes much easier as we ease into it.


Irony Alert; we’ve reached home in successfully quicker times by taking shorter steps and more frequent, relaxing breaks. Power versus Force.


The Blogging Lesson


  1. decide why you want to start a blog
  2. blog your passion
  3. pull out your credit card
  4. buy a domain and hosting
  5. subscribe to my blog (or Pro Blogger or Blogging Tips Dot Com)
  6. read, study and apply what we share
  7. buy a theme
  8. design a simple, clear, clean blog
  9. write daily
  10. publish 1-2 posts weekly
  11. and on, and on, and on….baby or shuffle stepping your way, easily, through this fun, enjoyable journey


When you do not Bidd-ulph (hehe) more than you can chew you enjoy the journey. And the blogging journey gets easier. When you sprint, you’re f*cked. Take it from a guy who’s been in both spots. So much easier – albeit a little uncomfortable at times – to shuffle step up the blogging mountain because most of my actions these days make an impact, are fun, are kinda detached, and they’re pretty successful too. Because I am in no hurry. No rush. Just being, relaxing, letting it all flow to me, having fun.


7: Take a Vacation from Blogging to B*tch Slap Your Ego a Bit (You Play a Little Role in the Blogging Success Equation; Something Infinitely Bigger Runs the Show)


After taking off 1 week from blogging while in the jungle house I noticed something funny; I look philosophical with a beard. Other than that I spotted 4 new, unknown blogging income streams pop up in the 1 week period.


During the 2nd week I took off from blogging, superstar blogger Neil Patel mentioned me and Blogging from Paradise on his blog, noting my disciplined habit of writing a ton of words daily.


We travel to nearby Puerto Viejo (well, it’s not TOO nearby) once weekly to check email and publish our blog posts. After doing literally nothing online all week 4 income streams found me.


Kinda makes ya think: the ego can’t figure out what the Universe Knows.


How did I do it?




Guys, consider taking a full week off from blogging. Go offline. Go into seclusion. Take a freaking vacation. As your neediness, desperation, or simple “I need to be in full control of my blogging day” energies dissolve, you’ll let in:


  • money
  • powerful blogging partnerships
  • readers
  • blogging goodness


The Universe will bring this sweetness to you, while you’re detached from the internet. Since you’ll be so appreciative of everything, all of it will feel like extra. Then, miracles happen. Magic happens. Stuff you couldn’t have envisioned falls into your lap. Blogging-wise. Life-wise. Because you did not need it. Then, when you return to your daily blogging tasks, most of what you do will feel more and more fun, light and airy. Like, you need not do it, to get anything. This type of attitude has helped me work 1/10th to 1/20th less time to get equal or even greater results.

  1. Ryan Biddulph says:
    at 5:06 am

    What lessons did you learn from my jungle stay?

    And….am I nuts for living here?

  2. Elena says:
    at 1:09 pm

    I wonder how Cahuita would work for you. We’d been there last June during the wet season that was quite intense due to El Nińo. It was… interesting. Cahuita was great: the beach, nature, people, food – absolutely enjoyed it. Flooding was awful: our house was completely flooded, some bridges washed away, mudslides on the highway to San Jose… I would love to go back there during sunny days.

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 12:59 pm

      Heading there for a 2 month house sit in March Elena, will let you know! Sounds like an intense time when you visited. Tons of rain here at times and we saw a few mudslides heading up to the jungle house.

  3. David The Good says:
    at 3:05 pm

    I just shared this post on Twitter. The nature you’re encountering is incredible. You may be nuts, but it’s the good kind of nuts. I’d love to wander through the rainforest with a huge plant guide and see what I could see.

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 12:45 pm

      David thanks! Endless plant species here. I know you’d spot gems.

  4. Elvis Michael says:
    at 11:55 am

    Dammit Ryan, i’m here freezing in Boston and you’re in Costa Rica!
    I once went there with a girlfriend, though i didnt go as deep as the jungles or anything.

    Beautiful place, though. There’s so much more to explore in this world, and you’re a constant reminder 🙂


    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 12:44 pm

      Oh it’s super cold up there Elvis? I knew a few weeks back it wasn’t too brutal in New Jersey yet as I was chatting with family. Gorgeous place indeed. Lots of sun and fun here. Oops. Sorry 😉 Thanks for reading!

  5. Rosa @ Cat Lady Confidential says:
    at 9:51 am

    Ryan I love reading about your adventures. Costa Rica is one of my top countries to visit, so I’m feeling quite jealous of you right now! As for blogging lessons, what I learned is that you shouldn’t compare yourself with other blogs all time. Constant comparison can be demotivating. So, I’m trying to avoid it and focus on my own goals and my readers.

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 12:42 pm

      Super lesson Rosa and hey, we’re down here until June, with a quick trip to Panama in between. Maybe we can meet up and make your dream come true.

  6. Brent Jones says:
    at 12:07 pm

    Hi Ryan,

    I love that you were able to draw so many great blogging lessons from your travels.

    But if I can be honest, those poison dart frogs sound terrifying.

    I consider myself to have above average attention to detail… but I guess that’s the true test, isn’t it? Whether or not I could make it out of thick jungle without being eaten alive by bullet ants.

    I definitely find your style of writing entertaining. It makes things interesting.



    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 12:41 pm

      Brent, I think lack of oxygen in the jungle canopy has cleared my judgment LOL. I need to keep being vigilant so those lil darties and bullet ants don’t do a number on me. Thanks SO much and have a fab weekend!

  7. Don Purdum says:
    at 1:39 pm

    Hi Ryan,

    I hope your enjoying your journey through the jungle. I have a dear friend who just built an incredible house in Costa Rica overlooking the Pacific ocean. My wife and I can’t wait to go down with him in the late winter.

    You bring up some excellent points and of course you know how I feel about clarity. However, I also think your ideas around how you brand your message and voice are important as well.

    I too love it when someone reads an article on another site and comes to the end and realizes that their suspicion was right; it was me. lol…

    That means we are really branding through out message, tone, and choice of words we use on a regular basis that identify us.

    Fantastic post Ryan and congrats for being spotlighted on Neil Patel’s blog. Way cool!

    Have a great week.

    ~ Don Purdum

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 12:39 pm

      Really Don? Wow that’s awesome! The Pacific side is gorgeous too. So many gringo retirees head that way. I see the same thing happening with you; I know your fingerprints are all over an article before I see your name, when you’re guest posting and the like. Now THAT is branding. Thanks much!

  8. Glenn Shepherd says:
    at 1:50 pm

    Hey Ryan,

    As usual, an informative, helpful, entertaining post filled with value!

    You’re so right that you need to check your blog for nasties. Of course, there’s no need to become all ADD about it, but equally there’s no room for laziness or sloppiness. Otherwise one could end up getting stung in the whatsits and that wouldn’t be fun!

    I especially identified with point 3 as this is something that I always emphasise to other bloggers – you absolutely must be yourself and never try to be something you’re not. I actually spoke out this very point a couple of weeks ago on a coaching webinar when I told the attendees: “Put as much of YOU into your blogging as possible.” And you know what? When I think about this aspect of blogging and talk about it with others, you are the person who usually pops straight into my mind. In fact, I often tell bloggers that if they want examples and inspiration as to how to do it, they should go check out your blog.

    I’m certainly very glad that you’re not Stevie Wonder and that you can spot those deadly frogs – a handy bit of knowledge there, I’m sure!

    Thanks for the great post Ryan, I always enjoy reading your content as you know. I hope you’re both keeping well out there. Have yourself a great week, buddy. 🙂


    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 12:34 pm

      Glenn, appreciated that dude! You really do rock and I love your delivery as well. It is you. All the way. And you’re blogging what you preach because you put yourself 100% into your blogging stories, every post. Your blog bleeds YOU and all our blogs should bleed us because when we’re being authentic, we’re at our most powerful.