Today’s interview is going to be with Ramsay, one of the most popular bloggers in Australia and most definitely a big figure in the blogging world as well. He is also known under the name Blog Tyrant, name by which he existed on the net and gained his huge reputation and authority in the internet marketing niche.
Currently you can find him on his site Blog Tyrant, where he teaches people how to blog their way up to a decent income, create a stream of passive income, as well as attain a lifestyle which, when created, will allow them to enjoy life while doing what they are most passionate about.
I’ve read many of Ramsay’s articles, and the freedom part of blogging that he so nicely advocates captivated me to say the least.
But enough with the introduction, let’s ask him couple of questions.
First of all Ramsay welcome to Lifestyle Updated, I’m sure our readers are thrilled having you here as our first guest.
Thanks for having me. It always feels strange that people want to interview me but I’ll do my best!
Being a lifestyle blog ourselves I think that asking you how blogging affected your lifestyle is as good a place to start as any.
What changed? Are you surprised now connecting the dots in retrospect or you did see it coming?
I think a lot of bloggers (myself included) sometimes paint a picture that blogging from home as a full time job is just sun and flowers and birds singing and everything is always perfect. Realistically though that isn’t the case.
The major changes to my lifestyle were that I initially got a lot less sleep from working so much and put on a lot of weight from not exercising or eating right. So it was mostly negative.
But part of working for yourself is actually learning to run the business in a sustainable and healthy way so now I turn off the computer at 4:30pm every day and go for a run or play tennis with my brother.
That being said, there are a lot of perks like being able to pursue other interests in the middle of the day, take breaks, etc. You are also able to focus on growing assets that you own totally and that is very important to me.
How did things start at first? Were you actively pursuing this lifestyle from the start, or did you figure things out while on the run?
What was your motivation in order to get here?
I always wanted to work for myself. I remember as a kid listening to my parents talk about different bosses or workplace stresses and thinking to myself that I would never go through that. So in some sense I was always trying to set myself up as being self-employed.
But it has never really been a clear path for me. While I was setting up my online businesses I worked a morning shift from I think 6am to 10am cleaning a gym in order to pay the rent and then spent the rest of the day working on my websites. A lot of the time I didn’t think I’d make it and used to get really frustrated at myelf.
But at one point I remember my girlfriend pointing out that I need to try not to get distracted by “paying the rent” all the time and just focus on doing what I loved and was good at. That was a big turning point for me – learning to back myself.
If you were to pick your favorite aspect of blogging, what would it be? Can you try and put the perks into one sentence?
Helping people. Without a shred of a doubt it is the most rewarding thing seeing comments from people who feel like I’ve helped them.
I love the community at Blog Tyrant and honestly don’t feel like I’ve seen it anywhere else. Almost every post gets 80 or 100 comments from brilliant folks who just love helping each other out.
Blogging becomes quite personal in terms of connecting with the audience. You were blogging anonymously for the most part of your online career.
Was this the reason why you decided to unmask on ViperChill, and how this affected your presence on the net?
It was a big reason. The anonymous thing worked extremely well as a marketing exercise in that it created quite a lot of buzz around the place. But one day I got an email from Glen from ViperChill (long before I started up there) asking my name because he thought the anonymous thing really held me back.
That really got me thinking about it and I started noticing how weird it felt that my readers would call me BT or Tyrant in comments and emails when I knew their real names and felt quite close to them.
The final straw was when Glen asked me to write for him I told him that I wanted my first post to be the “unmasking”. He wrote back that he had the same idea and was thrilled that I was opening up like that.
I can’t definitively say that showing my face has been the reason things have gone well since then but subscribers are up, comments are up and I seem to be making a lot more business connections than before.
You are now, if we may say, all in into blogging. What motivates you to create such great work over and over again?
Where does the creativity come from and is it tightly connected with the passion you have for what you are doing?
I have to say, I don’t feel like it is a result of passion because some days I absolutely hate the topic! I sometimes go weeks at a time when I really wish I didn’t have to write about blogs or social media or anything like it. But I always seem to come back to it.
I think writers need to learn how to create when you don’t feel like creating in the same way that a professional boxer needs to learn to train when he/she doesn’t feel like training. If you have decided that this is your work then you need to work.
Does the passion for your work come to a plateau, or does it only increase over time and with more knowledge attained?
I constantly feel like I am at a plateau (as weird as that sounds). Sometimes I publish a post that I think everyone has heard before and it gets 200 comments and great feedback and then that shifts my motivation again.
I play a lot of sport and I’m really competitive. Like, when we lost a soccer grand final I was miserable for months when everyone else forgot about it after a few hours. And while that is a terrible quality to have, I think that the reason I’m like that is because I don’t like letting people down and I really don’t like not performing my best.
So a lot of the time I feel like plateaus get broken because I don’t want to feel like I’m letting my teammates down.
What does a usual day in the shoes of Ramsay look like? We paint the picture in our heads imagining the freedom that blogging offers. What’s it really like?
Blogging does offer a lot of freedom that other jobs don’t while at the same time restricting you in ways that other jobs don’t.
For example, if I want to travel I can do it whenever I want and take my laptop and work on the road. But at the same time, I often can’t clock-off at 5pm like a regular job if there are deadlines or problems with a server.
A regular day for me usually starts later than most because I stay up reading pretty late. I usually read at least a couple of books a week. I try to start the day by doing a bit of exercise because it seems to give you more energy and lifts your spirits a bit. I usually work from 10am to 4:30pm on various projects – these days mostly related to Blog Tyrant – and then sometimes a bit more work after dinner.
I try to stick to regular routines but never seem to make it happen. If I really get into the groove on a post or something I’ll often just work straight through dinner and late into the night.
We cannot let you go without asking about other segments of your lifestyle. What about your hobbies? What else do you enjoy other than blogging?
I’m a massive Battlefield 3 geek so I’m often running around Caspian Border sniping terrorists! :)
Other than that I love tennis and soccer and will watch it whenever it is on or play it whenever I get the chance.
Being a blogger I guess that you are comfortable with adapting and evolving over time. What about other aspects of your life? How prone to change and improvement are you?
How do you approach that area?
I’ve been trying to quit coffee for about 10 years now so the answer to that would be: slowly.
It was a huge pleasure having you here Ramsay.
I thank you in both my name and the name of my audience for finding the time to be our guest, and wish you the best of luck for your future work, which we all know will be great.
Thanks a lot. Any time.