Learn how to turn your passion into a stream of online income and create an abundance mentality
I’m always amazed when I hear success stories about the online income people are creating from blogging and other sources. It was just a couple of decades ago that the first websites were created, and it still feels like we are in the very early stage of the online revolution.
That’s why I love talking about new ways to make money online, interviewing people that have been successful and that can share their stories to help other people be successful.
I recently talked to one of my heroes in the blogging and online income space, Ryan Biddulph, to get his insight for new bloggers.
In this exclusive interview, Ryan shares tips on how to get started blogging and how he makes money online. He also talks about some of the biggest challenges people face with online income and how you can overcome them to be successful. I’ve transcribed the interview below so watch the video or you can read the transcription.
The video is part of our expert interview series on the Let’s Talk Money YouTube channel. I’m bringing you the very best experts in beating debt, making more money and making your money work for you. Click through to check out the other interviews and subscribe free to the channel.
Joseph: Today's interview is with Ryan Biddulph, the founder of the website bloggingfromparadise.com. Ryan is from New Jersey and has a story you'll probably be able to relate to.
He went to college, he started to work at a traditional job because that's just what you do, right? He bounced around to different jobs but he wanted something more. He wanted more of that freedom that I think we all want.
But he was programmed to believe that life was in that traditional job.
He decided to actually make that leap to freedom, into more freedom with an online income after his girlfriend, now his wife, started an online business.
That was about a decade ago. He struggled for a long time until he finally committed to his blogs. He started Blogging from Paradise in 2014 and it's been a wild ride since. In that time, he's lived in 42 different cities around the world. He has been featured on websites from Richard Branson's Virgin blog to Entrepreneur and Fox News and over 200 other sites.
Ryan, thanks for being with us offering to share your insight into your online income.
Ryan: Thanks so much for having me, I really appreciate it.
How Long Does it Take to Make Money Online?
Joseph: So let's get started. How long did it take you to start making an online income that would pay the bills? I think that's what a lot of people want to know when they’re looking at making that leap into the online world.
Ryan: Really, Joseph, it took a number of years, only because I was in it for the wrong reasons from the outset.
I was so heavily attached to outcomes that I was stuck in survival mode. And the thing is, it's kind of an energy thing, you're going to move into action, you're going to create, you're going to connect. But when you are doing it mainly to get something out of it, people kind of sense that and you're kind of going to have a difficult time moving up in circles and connecting with your folks, the clients, the prospects that will help you grow your business; so years of struggling.
Then I when I started to do it the right way, it took a good two to three years to really have everything come together for me to where I was doing at the whole time.
So it was a matter of time was a factor but the real big element was just being super focused on what I was passionate about. Because when I was, I didn't care about the outcomes, money, traffic, all that other stuff. And then that stuff works out really nicely when you’re focused on following your passion, learning blogging, and learning useful service and building connections.
The Right Way to Start Blogging and Making Money Online
Joseph: I think it's a great point. I think a lot of people are so focused on the money side, “What's in it for me?” So if you don't make it about someone else then it's real hard for them to even care.
I know that's important for new bloggers when they are trying to outreach with other bloggers, they're trying to get guest posts, they're trying to get links and just relationships with other bloggers. “What's in it for them?” is the more important question in building those relationships. It can really either hinder you or jump-start your online income.
So what's the right way then? The right way that you found that really got you that momentum?
Ryan: One of the things that really jumps out when you were talking about making money online is following your passion. If people are really passionate about what they do so when they are passionate the work is going to be the reward, so all the money and traffic and all that other stuff are like extra.
These folks devote their attention and energy to learning their craft, so whatever niche you are diving into, you've got to learn it inside-out, study from Pros. Then you are going to practice and you are going to create content and you are going to connect with the big ‘dogs and doggets’ of your blogging niche by promoting them, commenting on their blogs and not asking for anything in return. Because this create that level of detachment that shows that you are really interested in becoming friends with a person and this is the way you move up the blogging circles.
So really the right way is to follow your passion and to learn and serve and serve and serve. Because money just responds to our level of service. And the folks that are really generous and they are just making friends helping people, they will become the wealthiest people in their blogging niches and live the most dream-worthy lives.
So it's one of those deals where you focus really on giving, giving, giving, what's in it for them, guess what? The getting gets easier and then getting is the money.
What are the Best Online Income Sources?
Joseph: It is. And even for someone like ourselves who have been in it for a while, we're still trying to outreach and the connect with those bigger names and reach those larger audiences.
Like the saying goes, “Give ‘till it hurts,” because that really demonstrates your passion for serving your audience and your readers. And I think that expresson is contagious and other people really want to be a part of that.
So what sources of income do you use on a regular basis? Self-publishing, affiliates, other revenue sources? What do you focus on?
Ryan: I have now I think over 10 income streams set up on blogging from paradise.
Blog coaching is one of the streams. I also offer freelance writing services. I have written and self-published 126 bite-size ebooks that I have on Amazon. I have converted those, about 30 to audio book that I put an audible, iTunes and Amazon.
I’ve sold three blogging courses and do sponsored posts, advertising revenue, these are all streams for which I regularly make money.
Many of the income streams play a small factor in how much you make. It's the service and the value you render that really sets the table. I think sometimes folks really focus on the income stream, they're like, “Oh, all these people by your ebooks, they are best-sellers.” I'm like, “It really wasn't the ebook, it was the value of the ebook and also the trust but I built with my community for a number of years.
So really when you are thinking income streams focus heavily on the creating connections because then whatever streams you open, people run through a brick wall to get your latest blog post because you serve them and you have built a bond with them, they just buy it without even thinking.
Affiliates and sponsored posts are the most popular ways bloggers are making money according to our 2018 blogger survey but success lies in diversifying your income sources. Few single revenue streams are going to make you rich but combine several sources of online income and you've got a business.
Quick Strategies for Online Income
Joseph: I think it relates to how they say that to convert someone into a customer it takes like seven touch points. You're never going to make those sales, you're never going to reach where you want to reach by just trying to convert somebody into a customer without providing that value, establishing that relationship.
Is there a strategy that you would recommend for a new people, people thinking about starting with an online income source? What are some of the things that you would say to do first?
Ryan: The first thing I would say, especially with blogging, if you're getting to a blogging niche, really think long and hard about picking a niche you enjoy working, that you enjoy studying and learning about. Because this will help you focus on the process and not the outcome.
Because money is one of the outcomes, you have traffic outcomes, comment outcomes, social shares outcomes. But when you are focused really as a newbie on the process, you don't make the newbie mistake that 99% of newbie bloggers, like me a decade ago, that are based on, “I want my stuff,” and like we said before, “What's in it for me?”
So if you are a newbie, really get into something that you are passionate about. And then what you do, you tie that into a pressing problem, you could tie that to an idea to help someone with their dreams.
Like me, I saw a pressing problem with these travel bloggers who worked full-time, they had to come home and work jobs they didn't want to work to boost their savings. And I'm like, “Ugh!” even though I was in a different niche at the time, not in the blogging niche, I have been traveling the world.
I had retired to a life of island hopping and smart blogging years ago and that's when I created blogging from paradise. I was passionate about travel, traveling about blogging, but then I saw this problem where all of these travel bloggers are like, “Hey, I want to do this full-time.” So that's really helps to create something that's both profitable and sustainable over the long haul.
Joseph: When someone does start talking about or does start thinking about monetization, are there any income sources they can go after first that might help get them started? Is there something they should focus on first that are better than others?
Ryan: So much of it resonates with what you are passionate about, Joseph. I think some people try to chase the money. I hear, “Oh, I could open up Google AdSense really easily.” And I'm like, “Oh, that's fine. You get like 50,000 visitors a day and they are all hyper-targeted and you're going to make pennies or even less.”
So no, you don't want to chase the money. you don't want to think, “What's going to give me the biggest profit?” You really want to monetize along certain lines that you feel clear on and passionate about.
Say if you enjoy writing, start writing and start publishing ebooks based on your niche. Like I said 126 small ebooks so far. They’re bite-size, they’re helpful, just the stuff that I knew and I was passionate about so I was writing them.
So that would probably be my number one piece of advice to a newbie blogger who's thinking about online income. Think about stuff that you really enjoy doing.
You have to build your name up. That's when you are in it with that pure intent where you want to share your experience, then that stuff over time, months and then years, it does line up for you.
Challenges to Online Income
Joseph: What are three major hurdles that you faced, on the development side on building your online business and then what are hurdles people might face down the road. So hurdles for beginners, hurdles for people that have already developed their blogs and are looking for that next stage.
Ryan: Personally my biggest hurdle and the only one that could come to mind right off the bat was, that I was programmed to be an employee.
So I lived in survival mode. I thought, here's what my family, all my friends and society at large are doing. I was never around an empowering entrepreneur regularly.
I thought, “Hmm, you pretty much live to put food on the table and a roof on your head.”
You definitely want to get those down, I totally understand that. But then most of my energy was focused on just surviving and not thriving, not being free.
Purging a lot of those really fear-based, sheeple ideas. Empowerment-wise, I had to purge a lot of that stuff through meditation, through yoga, through making a lot of uncomfortable decisions. Because even though you were following your passion and doing what's fun to you, you are going to have to dive into your fears regularly.
I developed the quality of being comfortable with being uncomfortable. As a newbie blogger, that’s your biggest obstacle to overcome. Because most newbies do not want to, not only put in the work, they don't want to put themselves out there.
You have to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Then if you are more established, it's about making those freeing and again uncomfortable decisions that will help you raise the bar and don't let success sour you, don't let success spoil you.
Look at it as just, “I'm on the way and I can keep expanding.” The more you grow and succeed online with your blog and your monetizing, you're making more money, you realize that you will never be done. And that's not from a place of greed, that's just from a place of expansion and service and fun.
If you are halfway up, one of the biggest obstacles is the start making some dough and you get a little energetically fat and happy, you get that hunger and that fire back by realizing that you keep expanding.
That was one of the big things for me when I started learning and income online. I'm like, “Okay, you know, I always set up for the fun on the freedom, but I have to watch where I take my foot off the pedal a little bit when I'm getting the checks.” And I'm like, “Okay, let's get back to the fun and freedom and passion, make it about that.” And when I did that, then I started to really work my way up in my blogging niche.
Joseph: Yeah, I think there are so many different things you have to do to put yourself in the mindset, that success mindset. There’s a psychological hurdle called the Imposter’s Syndrome, those self-defeating voices that tell you, “Who the hell am I to be talking about this? Am I the expert that should be talking about this?” And you just got to get over those. You’ve just got to put yourself in the mindset to get out there and do it and make a plan.
Ryan: Exactly, exactly!
I want to thank Ryan for his insight into working from home and the financial freedom that comes from blogging or other online businesses. Don’t forget to click through and check out some of those other expert interviews and subscribe to the YouTube channel.