How to Become a Digital Nomad: How I Went from Pier Guard to Blogger

  May 6, 2015 blogging tips πŸ•‘ 6 minutes read
how to become a digital nomad

Quepos, Costa Rica


Figuring out how to be a digital nomad seems difficult enough. Amid dazzling images of bloggers lazing in infinity pools, where are proven, practical tips for becoming a traveling blogger? I intend to share a few solid tips for my transition from employee to traveling entrepreneur.


Step 1: I Wanted to Be Free More than I Wanted to Do Uncomfortable Stuff


The guy said I had the posture of an earthworm (perhaps he was thinking about his peckery). This old f*cking fossil was attempting to ream me out over the phone. I had a few bucks at the time. Pretty broke. All the while, this guy was telling me why I would never do anything in life. He was an alleged home business coach….who didn’t give out his name. I wished eternal excema on him, got off of the phone and laughed. Even though I was disgusted a bit, being able to take crap from a nasty person, when you have the appearances of poverty and struggle around you, is about the most freeing and empowering feeling you can generate.


I gotta say, it was a turning point for me. I learned in that moment, and saw again and again, that if I wanted to be free more than I feared doing uncomfortable stuff, I would be free.


I could have hung up on the alleged success coach, when he started his hard sell. This would have been avoiding an uncomfortable situation. But there was freedom in that call. I learned that I’d NEVER, EVER, be like that asshole. Ever. I’d be nice, kind, and although firm, and a butt kicker, I’d do it with compassion. I’d uplift folks.


Also, I tweaked that old fart at the end of the call, which wasn’t particularly the right thing to do, but it not only felt empowering….it showed me my posture was improving, and that I had some authority, some confidence, which was sweet, and which formed a springboard for me.


I was faced with countless uncomfortable situations over my career. During my lean years, I ducked them and fell flat on my face. During my successful, happy years, I almost always dived into them to free myself.


If you want to retire to a life of island hopping fall in love with being free more than you fear doing uncomfortable things. You’ll thank yourself… and later. Which reminds me of a sweet treat. Off to buy some pandan rolls/aka cream buns….see you later!


Step 2: I Created Even when Nobody Listened


Few folks know that I’ve published well over 2500 Youtube videos during my career. Most have been yanked from the channel in Vaudevillain cane style. Some dodo bird flagged ’em , years ago, and Youtube shut me down. My current channel boasts a healthy video count, I reckon. The thing was though, I saw a few views if that per video when I was creating thousands of videos. I wasn’t attached to outcomes. I was attached to creating. I was attached to practicing, because I needed practice, to become a natural on camera.


But anywhooo, to make the leap from broke and depressed to prospering and happy you’ll need to create when nobody’s looking, meaning, you’ll:


…even if it appears nobody’s looking. That’s how the game is played, playa, and that’s why nearly every successful blogger on earth starts off as a nobody. Almost every successful person starts off as a nobody. A few child prodigies exist, including The Golden Child – which made for wonderful Sunday afternoon, 3 PM viewing on WPIX Channel 11 for all my fellow Tri-Staters – but most folks on earth need to create when an audience ain’t around, to become successful, to break the chains, and to free themselves.


Success is a progressive deal. As you earn your stripes, freeing yourself, helping folks, and persisting through it all, more and more folks will come to know, like and trust you….and a rabid fan or 2 or 2,000 or 2,000,000 may just follow ya along the way.


Step 3: I Guarded my Time Brutally


If you’re in the crowd wondering how in the Hades I appear to be in 1000 places at once, here’s my filthy little nasty secret. I’ve guarded it for years. That secret led from broke, snack eating joke, to professional blogging island hopper. This secret affords me the ability to live a charmed life.


I viciously guard my time. Really, I mean, I am hellishly brutal with my time, meaning that I let few people in.


If you’re one of the legion of folks – I love you all – who regularly ask me to to Skype, to chat on Facebook and to bullshit regularly, this one will be no news to you. Really, I have little time to chat with anybody for more than a few times a month, if that, because I have:


  • 1 eBook to publish weekly
  • One, 5,000 word post to publish weekly
  • a freelance writing business to run
  • a blog coaching business to run
  • a blog commenting campaign to run
  • a social media campaign to run
  • offline stuff to do in paradise: exercising, touring, going to the beach, etc


I also do other stuff, namely: eating, sleeping. Promise I do!


Step 4: I Made Personal Development A1


Imagine this: a self-conscious, depressed, lost security guard with severe anger issues – think The Hulk, sitting in a subway station, in NYC, being poked and prodded with tiny pins – yeah, imagine this guy turning into a:


  • supremely confident
  • happy
  • purposeful and free
  • driven
  • energetic dynamo being
  • professional blogging
  • island hopping


Anyway, I am freer and freer by the day because I religiously stuck to a personal development regimen, to clear out the old, nasty, constricting negative energies in my being and to make room for the freeing, positive, inspired energies in my being.


Step 5: I Developed a Product AND Service


Products make you stand out. Check out this library:


OK, now that you’ve got your BFP fix for the day – you have 23 books to choose from, so go wild – think about it: if I sold someone else’s book, here, why go through the middle man? Or, if you still would buy the book from me, how would I establish my authority selling OTHER people’s products? Gotta get your own product, and gotta create that bad boy, if you plan on retiring to a life of island hopping through smart blogging.



  • establish your credibility
  • build your authority
  • elevate your trust factor through the roof
  • are fun to create
  • boost your online income streams


Products are kinda like a vetting tool. Someone visits your blog. Sees an eBook or course with your John Hancock on it, on the blog sidebar, and reader or visitor gets an idea that you know what the hell you’re talking about. Products give you clout. Products can move you from the realm of struggling to the realm of succeeding.


Oh yes, the service bit. I suggest offering a product and service, to be a boss of blogging, to go from newbie, to seasoned veteran, and to establish full time income through your blogging efforts. I was big, really big, on honing my writing skills over the years. I also kept an eye on the top blogs I followed, seeing what worked, and what didn’t. SO….because I am a smart cookie, 2 minutes out of the day, I established freelance writing and blog coaching services. I charged money to render a service. Makes sense, eh? If you’re offering something helpful, give some offerings away for free, and charge for other offerings. Lawyers may do some pro bono work, but daddy’s gotta pay for that Lambo, so you better believe they are charging to the hilt, per hour. I know they do, I watch Suits, dammit!


At the end of the day, figuring out how to become a digital nomad requires you to make freeing but uncomfortable changes. Making these changes challenges all but the most stout bloggers. Follow these simple tips diligently. Going from employee to entrepreneur is about facing fear to release your old life in order to make room for your new life.

  1. Camille says:
    at 6:38 am

    That’s quite a title and a post! I’m at the stage where I’m trying to develop and monetize my blog & co, so I’ll keep referring to it πŸ™‚

  2. kelli says:
    at 8:49 am

    Hey Ry
    Great tips but I am sure you know which one I liked best..personal development is key to success in any arena, but especially in this realm. To succeed as your own boss in an online business, you need to develop a mindset that most of us don’t naturally have, one that is very different than one of an employee.

    It can make all the difference in the world.

  3. Joe Huebner says:
    at 12:15 pm

    Hello Ryan,

    Awesome post Ryan and THANKS for the information. I was immediately drawn to it, since I’m a fan of Little Debbie’s Swiss Rolls too!

    I’m glad that I’ve found Your website and will check out some of Your books from Amazon later today. I would like to learn how to blog for my online marketing business.


  4. Phillip Dews says:
    at 3:41 pm

    Aha did he really say that RB? Posture of an earthworm! Wow what an insult if ever there was one dude. especially (in a non gay way) for a guy with your physique!
    Agreed with you though I took the desicion to become a self employed web developer 10 years ago when I quit my high powered career as a pub manager to become what I am today. Agreed that at the time it was the scariest thing I did but I am glad I did RB.

    One of my best friends Matthew Bailey is prob one of those guys who has an uncanny knack of uplifting peoples spirits like that as well, one helluva nice guy and one I hope for you and kelli to meet up with one day! I think your both very similar in outlook on life dude! Especially as he has been through hell and back and I have been there to pull him through.
    BTW what are these Pandan Roll’s made of and why does Kelli gag at the thought of them?

    I remember that YT account from long ago. Wow what a world away that was. I seem to remember you making a few in your car like John Chow does but I think that the subject matter was a helluva lot different than what it is today now hey dude.

    Aha another one! dude I got this post open on 2 screens so that I can comment after reading a paragraph, I now goto the JC one and I mention him above, seems to me great mind’s think alike. I am a meeting people wh**e in real life. Last week when in Espania my dad just wanted me to goto pub after pub with him, yet thats not me, as I prefer to visit pubs with character like the ones in the Old Town of Benidorm. Dad’s pubs are full of Yobo’s and Chavs, which is what he likes and thats fine for him but not for me! I made a load of real friends and had some great times and conversations last week!
    That said I really need to KMP online in order to become the #DigitalNomad like yourself. I had a taste of it last week and now im hungry for more..

    Hmm time, yep agreed our most precious commodity and one we all need to cherish! I often wonder why it takes you a while to answer my queries but I know that I would not send them unless they were important, btw sent you a few today along with another awesome kick-butt cover to add to the library!

    So did God unsubscribe then dude? Let’s hope not hey! Yea I get loads of these thoughts aswell when i wake up but I usually visualize what my day ahead will consist off and thats what gets me on track to be more productive. Top paragragh dude and one I can really relate to! Makes me become that little bit more productive hey.

    Loved that about creating a pleasant experience. I agree it can be a daunting experience trying to set up a self-hosted WordPress Blog for anyone who loved to write on blogspot blogs, hell even they can be difficult to set up. but thats where I come in and make it as easy as possible for tham as possible! My cousin had a problem today with her Tipi’s site being down because her domain registrant tried to charge her for hosting (yet the site is on My KRYSTAL Account). anyway I moved heaven and earth to get it all sorted! How dare they anyway! My reputation is built on providing exception customer service and putting out those fires and making the process as easy and simple for that person to blog to their hearts content.

    What an awesome and inspiring post dude! I just love coming here not only to put out those fires as I did today but to read your epic stuff! thanks a lot matey.
    Sharing shortly from rainy brum (to be clear though I do love the rain at times, especially if their thunderstorms as it’s very cleansing I feel, Im a fool by runnin out in the backgarden barefoot and with shorts and t-shirt at times but hey thats just me and it’s what makes me different).

    Anyway I thought it best to leave a long comment today as the ones above look like drive by sooting comments from the look of it and I wanted you to get your teeth into this one…
    Enjoy Paradise dude.

    – PD

  5. Glenn Shepherd says:
    at 7:18 pm

    Hey Ryan,

    Thanks for the endorsement, it’s much appreciated! πŸ™‚

    The point you made about creating even when no-one’s listening is very, very important. Not only are you getting valuable experience, but the likelihood is that more people are paying attention than you may think. Just because you’re not seeing things happening up close and personal doesn’t mean that they aren’t. I’ve had people coming up to speak to me at live events who say that they know me from my blogging and blog-hopping, yet they have never once left a comment on my blog, written to me or connected with me in any way at all. Yet, in those cases, the people told me that I had made an impression.

    I’ve had the same experience with sales, having made sales without any prior connection with the person and when I’ve asked them why they bought it’s always been the same story – they’ve been following my blog and/or my e-mails and even through they’ve never spoken to me they’ve been impressed and have gotten to know, like and trust me.

    So, you should never assume that what you’re doing is not being noticed or getting results – there is likely a lot going on in the background that you don’t see, especially if you’re doing stuff properly and ethically.

    Guarding your time is another essential for sure. I’m generally pretty brutal with that myself. When I’m working I unplug the phone, won’t answer the door, won’t reply to social media and so on. When I’m buys working then that time is sacrosanct. It has to be. I can’t allow anything to pull me off course. I do fail in this at times, but generally, when I’m working I’m working – leave me alone! Of course that’s not to be rude or unkind, but people wouldn’t disturb me left, right and centre if I was working in an office somewhere, so it shouldn’t be any different just because I’m at home. If you’re serious about working for yourself then you have to be serious about working for yourself (there’s a profundity for you!).

    Blog commenting is an essential part of what I do. Just the same as with blogging, even if I don’t see people coming back to my blog as a result of my commenting, I’ll still do it. It happens that way sometimes. It could be easy to think, “Well that person didn’t come and leave a comment on my blog so I won’t bother doing it anymore” but it all comes down to the ‘why’ issue again. Of course it’s good to return the favour if someone takes the time to visit your blog and leave a comment, but if the primary reason you’re focusing on is to get visitors and comments as a result, then you run the risk of disappointment if it doesn’t happen as you’d like it to. I always say: if you focus on being honest, ethical, giving good value, being selfless and always endeavouring to give good value and be helpful when you can, all the other stuff will largely look after itself. It might not happen overnight and it might go through phases of ups and downs, but if you do it consistently you will get the benefits.

    Thanks for a great post, Ryan, and thanks again for the mention. πŸ™‚ Have a great rest of the week, mate.


  6. Rosa @ Cat Lady Confidential says:
    at 10:25 am

    Hello Ryan,
    Your story is so inspiring – it’s the proof that we can change our lives if we work hard and never give up. I don’t plan to retire to paradise, but I plan to grow my blog and I find your posts so inspiring.
    And you talk about not having problems and I totally agree with you. Sometimes we are always complaining about small things, not realizing how lucky we are. There are very dangerous places to live and millions of people live in poverty – so, our problems are nothing compared to that. But I guess that’s human nature, we are never satisfied with what we got. You seem to be and I admire you for that.

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 7:33 am

      Rosa, wow that’s true. We’re really blessed, all us with First World Problems πŸ˜‰ Thanks so much, and happy and excited to see your journey unfold!

  7. Meg Jerrard says:
    at 10:35 pm

    Ryan, I’m so impressed with you and everything you have achieved – normally when you’re in a low stage of life it’s very hard to find the motivation to pull yourself into a better place, and it’s incredibly inspiring that you’ve found that motivation and matched it with a determination to succeed to live the life of your dreams.

    You’re a true inspiration, and I admire you immensely πŸ™‚

  8. Olayinka says:
    at 8:26 am

    Hey Ryan,

    Very interesting and informative, inspirational post as usual.

    What amazed me is your writing skills, which make you stand out of others — Kudos to you on That.

  9. Hiten Vyas says:
    at 1:58 pm

    Hi Ryan,

    I really enjoyed reading this article and learning more about your story. What you’ve done in your life is truly inspirational!

    Thank you.

  10. Ben Drake says:
    at 2:42 am

    Hey Ryan,

    Thanks for Your insightful post, really appreciate Your blog. Just love the area about getting busy and showing that You are busy that You personally rarely have time to sit down for chit chat. Its a area that needs work within own business and truly appreciate that.
    Thanks Heaps,

  11. Marie says:
    at 2:13 am

    You’re a mad man!!! LOL! Wow the things you’ve done and places you’ve seen. Amazing!

    I’m on my own journey and have had some great success (well, great to me). I continue to seek new ways to make money to support my lifestyle, you’re tips are not just fantastic but inspiring. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Jon says:
    at 4:56 pm

    “even if it appears nobody’s looking.” I was gonna post a long-winded disagreement with this… then I noticed the word appears.

    I’m still not sure this is the best strategy though… if someone’s trying to build a business.

    If you’re trying to perfect an art, yes, practicing that art and doing so relentlessly and consistently is the only way you can. However, with building an online business, blogging on your own site with almost no traffic is like a teacher teaching to an empty room. (To quote Jon Morrow)

    Strategic creation on the other hand, guest blogging, webinars, interviews, being on podcasts etc. will allow you to actually have an audience when you start to create on your own platform.

    Now, you’re the one making a living off of your blog, writing, coaching and ebooks, so who am I to talk about that business model because I’m building a totally different business model with Podcasting Press.

    So… I love your concept of just falling in love with the creative process, and it’s obviously working for you very well.

    I would love to see those videos that were getting you flagged. What the heck were ya doing? Showing off that bod?

    Anyways mate, loving the long-ass posts and your energy as always. The meditation and deep stretching is probably the biggest tip anyone could pick up from this just to improve the quality of their lives.

    Talk soon,


    PS. You’ve probably read this, but this is one of my favorite posts from BoostBlogTraffic, rank #2 for “Make Money Blogging”

    PPS. You should guest post on BoostBlogTraffic. You’d contribute a ton to that audience no doubt.

  13. steven erlick says:
    at 3:43 pm

    What an inspiration.So honest and full of useful information for the self-publisher. I Live in Torquay in England, not quite a paradise but …..

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 12:21 am

      Hi Steven,

      Awesome πŸ™‚ I’m happy to have shared my journey to inspire other self-publishers out there.

      Torquay sounds A-OK to me. In truth, paradise is where we have fun, spread love and enjoy life, so this is anywhere on earth potentially.

      Thanks for commenting πŸ™‚


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