Rick on the Rocks is a popular Florida-based lifestyle and travel blog run by Rick, a middle-aged dad who loves exploring the Sunshine State with his family. With stunning photography, humorous storytelling, and valuable insider tips, Rick has built an engaged community of readers who love following along on his adventures across Florida.
In this article, we’ll learn about Rick’s journey from corporate accountant to full-time blogger, get an inside look into a day in the life of a travel blogger dad, and highlight some of Rick’s best lifestyle and travel content over the years. Whether you’re looking for inspiration for your next Florida vacation or want a peek into professional blogging, this article will give you a comprehensive look at Rick on the Rocks.
From Accountant to Full-Time Blogger: Rick’s Origin Story
Rick started his blog in 2012 during a transitional period in his life. After 15 years as an accountant, Rick decided he was ready for a career change. Though the job provided financial security for his family, Rick felt unfulfilled in his day-to-day work.
Rick loved exploring Florida with his wife and two kids in his free time, taking photos of their adventures, and writing about their experiences on a personal blog. As the blog gained popularity, Rick realized he could turn his passion into a full-time career. After discussing it with his family, Rick took a leap of faith, quit his accounting job, and dedicated himself entirely to blogging.
Taking the Plunge into Full-Time Blogging
The transition to full-time blogging was scary at first. Rick suddenly had to think about his blog as a business, focusing on growing traffic, attracting sponsors, and turning his passion into a steady income. He learned everything from social media marketing to search engine optimization on the fly.
Despite the challenges, Rick was determined to make it work. The flexible schedule meant he could be there for school drop-offs and sports practices. He could take impromptu family field trips without asking for time off. Ultimately, blogging aligned perfectly with Rick’s priorities and lifestyle as a family man.
Growing Pains and Hard-Won Successes
Of course, building a successful blog didn’t happen overnight. Rick struggled to attract readers and earn consistent income in the early days. There were months when money was tight, and Rick considered returning to accounting. However, with his family’s support, he pushed through.
Slowly but surely, Rick built up his blog traffic and revenue. He crafted compelling content focused on life and travel in Florida, establishing himself as a local expert. He expanded his social media presence and forged partnerships with tourist boards and brands relevant to his audience. Within a few years, Rick was earning enough income from his blog to support his family as a full-time blogger comfortably.
Today, a decade after that first blog post, Rick on the Rocks receives over 100,000 monthly visitors. Rick works with major brands like Visit Florida and Ferrari as a sponsored content creator and influencer. He has built his blog into a thriving business and brand, proving that you can turn a passion into a career with dedication.
A Day in the Life of a Travel Blogger Dad
As a full-time blogger, no two days are ever quite the same for Rick. But whether he’s creating content at home or traveling to an exciting new destination, Rick always brings his distinctive lifestyle blogger approach.
Balancing Work and Family
The flexibility of working from home allows Rick to balance business and family. He can break up his day by driving his kids to school, attending sports practices, and having family meals. He sets aside blocks of time for focused work but can take breaks to walk the dog or run an errand.
Rick can also travel frequently with his family for both work and pleasure. He takes his kids on weekend camping trips around Florida to scout new content locations. His family will even join on more extensive press trips when their schedule allows. For Rick, blending work and family time is one of the biggest perks of being a travel blogger.
Creating Engaging Content
Rick’s workday’s core is creating written content, photos, and videos for his blog. Typically, Rick breaks his days into project blocks:
- Mornings are for creative work: writing new blog posts or capturing photos and videos for upcoming content.
- Afternoons are for computer work: editing photos and videos, scheduling social media posts, and responding to emails and comments.
- Evenings are for research and planning: exploring new content ideas, mapping out an editorial calendar, and analyzing blog traffic analytics.
No matter what he’s working on, Rick approaches each piece of content with his signature informative but humorous style, blending helpful insider tips with engaging storytelling.
Managing the Business Side
In addition to content creation, Rick spends 5-10 hours per week on the business side of blogging. This includes pitching and communicating with sponsors, managing finances, and negotiating partnerships.
Rick also sets aside time each month for long-term strategy. He’ll survey his readership to inform content planning, research SEO and traffic growth tactics, and set new goals for the future. Treating his passion as a business has been critical to Rick’s long-term success.
Tourism Content: Inspiring Travel Across Florida
A considerable focus of Rick’s blogging is promoting tourism and travel within his home state of Florida. Rick creates numerous types of inspiring and informative content to showcase the diversity of experiences Florida has to offer.
Rick provides comprehensive travel guides for major cities and regions around Florida, including Orlando, the Florida Keys, Naples, and more. His guides share insider tips on the top things to see, where to stay, restaurants to try, and hidden local gems. For first-time visitors, Rick’s Florida city guides provide an essential introduction.
From kayaking the Everglades to beach camping on the Gulf Coast, Rick loves experiencing Florida’s natural wonders. He creates hiking guides, reviews campgrounds and state parks, and shares tips for planning outdoor adventures in Florida’s varied landscapes. This content is indispensable for nature lovers.
Road Trip Inspiration
Rick offers creative regional itineraries for road-tripping through Florida, like “A North Florida Road Trip” and “Southeast Florida Road Trip.” He highlights can’t-miss pit stops along the way, from quintessential small towns to roadside attractions. Rick’s road trip guides encourage readers to explore Florida by car.
With his years living in Florida, Rick provides an authentic local perspective in his travel content. He shares off-the-beaten-path spots, hole-in-the-wall eateries, and unique hidden gems that visitors won’t find in generic tourism content. This insider information lets readers experience destinations like a local.
Lifestyle Content: Everyday Life in Florida
In addition to travel content, Rick also uses his blog to share his family’s everyday life in Florida. Rick gives readers a peek into the realities of living and raising a family in the Sunshine State through these lifestyle posts.
As a dad of two, Rick is an expert on family-friendly activities in Florida. He shares amusement park tips, reviews kid-approved restaurants, and recommends can’t-miss events like local fall festivals. Rick’s advice helps parents plan memorable experiences for their families.
Home and Garden
Rick provides home and garden content explicitly tailored to Florida living, including landscaping with native plants, managing humidity, decorating for a coastal aesthetic, and more. He also gives tours of his own family’s Florida home and backyard. This content helps engage homeowners and outdoor enthusiasts.
Food and Dining
Whether he’s reviewing his favorite beachside seafood shack or sharing recipes for tropical cocktails, Rick provides tons of culinary content inspired by Florida. He covers the state’s vibrant dining scene, profiling classic Florida restaurants and emerging chefs. Foodie content is incredibly popular with Rick’s readers.
Local Events and Holidays
From art festivals to holidays like the Daytona 500, Rick covers the many events and seasonal celebrations that make Florida unique. His on-the-ground event coverage and cultural explorations give followers a window into the Floridian way of life.
By bridging travel and lifestyle content, Rick provides a comprehensive view of Florida destinations that resonates with visitors and locals.
Working With Sponsors and Tourism Boards
An essential source of revenue for Rick’s blog is working with relevant brand sponsors and tourism boards. Rick has developed partnerships with major brands that let him create content focused on Florida tourism and family lifestyle topics.
Rick works extensively with local tourism boards like Visit Florida to promote travel to Florida. Rick may receive a media trip to experience local attractions and events when partnering with a tourism board. In exchange, he provides extensive written and visual content that showcases the destination to his engaged readership. This is a win-win partnership that provides value to both parties.
Family Brand Partners
Relevant family brands also sponsor and appear in Rick’s content. Brands like National Car Rental, Denny’s Diner, and Walt Disney World Resort pay Rick to create custom Florida travel content that organically integrates the brand. Rick only partners with brands that authentically match his lifestyle niche. All sponsored content is disclosed.
For blogs focused on visual content, organic product placement is another option. Brands will send products for Rick to feature during his real adventures. For example, Coleman may send camping gear Rick will use and mention while camping in the Everglades. This provides the brand with authentic exposure.
No matter the partnership, Rick maintains editorial control over all sponsored content to ensure it aligns with his brand voice and audience. His success in collaborating with sponsors is a model for lifestyle bloggers.
Standout Content From Rick on the Rocks
Let’s look at a few examples of Rick’s most popular content to get a better sense of his blogging style and expertise:
A Weekend Kayaking the Everglades
This informative first-person travelogue recounts Rick’s family kayaking and camping excursion into the Everglades ecosystem. Blending helpful tips with engaging storytelling, the post inspires readers to try their outdoor adventure in one of Florida’s most remarkable natural areas. Vivid photography transports readers right into the scenery.
Sundae Fun-Day: Ranking Florida’s Best Ice Cream Shops
Rick assesses and ranks ice cream shops all over Florida in this entertaining post based on quality, uniqueness of flavors, atmosphere, and family-friendliness. Sprinkled with funny anecdotes, charming photos, and Rick’s family debate over the rankings, the content delivers valuable recommendations and a fun read.
The Ultimate Florida Keys Road Trip Guide
This extensive road trip guide covers everything from Miami down through the Florida Keys, providing helpful trip-planning advice and highlighting can’t-miss attractions. The beautifully presented content blends practical information like mileage and driving times with inspiring descriptions of each destination. It’s an indispensable resource for planning an epic Florida Keys road trip.
12 Quintessential Small Towns in Northern Florida
This photo tour of charming small towns is perfect for travelers interested in Old Florida’s history and culture. Rick highlights lesser-known rural destinations like Micanopy, avoiding overcrowded hot spots. With historical insights and travel tips, the post makes readers yearn to hit the backroads and explore authentic local culture.
Growing Citrus at Home in Florida
In this lifestyle post aimed at fellow Florida homeowners, Rick provides his best tips for successfully growing citrus trees like oranges, grapefruits, and Meyer lemons in a Florida yard. Blending gardening advice with personal anecdotes, the story is informative and engaging. The content helps strengthen Rick’s value for locals.
These examples demonstrate Rick’s skill at providing readers with a perfect mix of inspiration and information tailored specifically to the Florida lifestyle and travel niche.
Why Readers Love Rick on the Rocks
There are many reasons Rick on the Rocks has cultivated such a loyal readership over the years:
As a longtime Florida resident, Rick provides insider knowledge and hidden gems that visitors can’t find in ordinary tour guides. Readers trust Rick’s expertise.
Rick’s easygoing storytelling style and sense of humor make his content consistently enjoyable and entertaining to read. He has an engaging voice.
With stunning photography and videos shot entirely by Rick, his blog paints a vivid visual portrait of Florida’s beauty. Images do as much storytelling as his words.
By involving his family in content creation, Rick provides a unique, family-focused perspective that especially appeals to parents and kids.
Reliable and Relevant Content
Rick has established himself as a reliable source of inspiring and helpful Florida-focused content updated consistently. Readers know what to expect.
By leaning into these unique strengths, Rick has developed a beloved blog that keeps readers returning year after year.
Lessons From Rick on the Rocks
For over a decade, Rick has perfected his formula for creating a successful lifestyle and travel blog. Here are some best practices other bloggers can take away from Rick’s journey:
- Find a focused geographic or thematic niche and stick with it consistently. Become a trusted expert in your place.
- Share useful, practical information readers won’t find elsewhere, not just pretty photos. Offer value.
- Develop a distinct, engaging voice and storytelling style. Let your personality shine through.
- Invest time in professional, high-quality images/videos. Visual content brings destinations to life.
- Collaborate with relevant brands through sponsorships. But maintain editorial control.
- Interact with readers through social media, email newsletters, meetups, etc. Build community.
- Have a long-term business strategy.
Blogging is hard work, but Rick on the Rocks proves you can turn a travel and lifestyle blog into a full-time career if you find your niche, produce high-quality content, and stay committed long-term.
The Future of Rick on the Rocks
With a decade of successful blogging, Rick continues to grow the Rick on the Rocks brand and evolve his content. Expanding his YouTube channel is a current focus as video content gains more and more traction. Rick has also considered expanding into new mediums like podcasting.
On the content front, Rick aims to create more long-form resources like free downloadable Florida travel guides. He wants to build up a library of resources for readers. Raising his rates for select sponsored content partners is another revenue strategy Rick is implementing.
While the internet will continue rapidly changing, Rick plans to stay grounded in his core values of providing readers with inspiring and informative Florida-focused stories. The blog has become Rick’s lifestyle, not just a career. One thing’s for sure—there will be many more adventures to come for Rick on the Rocks.
Rick on the Rocks has come a long way since Rick’s early days of blogging for fun alongside his accounting career. Rick has built an influential and beloved blog by turning his passion for sharing his Florida lifestyle and travel experiences into a full-time small business.
With his skillful blend of helpful Florida-focused content, breathtaking visuals, and a warm, authentic voice, Rick has cultivated a loyal audience who look to him for inspiration and information. His collaborations with tourism boards and brands have allowed Rick to make blogging his livelihood and career.
Rick on the Rocks is an inspirational example for anyone dreaming of parlaying their unique passions into a career. He exemplifies many best practices—from choosing a defined niche to treating your blog as a business—that other aspiring blogger-entrepreneurs can learn from. Through hard work and perseverance, Rick was able to transform his Florida-focused lifestyle and travel blog from a side hobby into a full-time profession.
After a decade of growth, Rick on the Rocks shows no signs of slowing momentum. Rick continues to nurture his blog community while expanding into new opportunities like video, podcasts, and downloadable guides. One remains constant: Rick’s drive to share his authentic Florida lifestyle with readers. If the past decade is any indication, Rick has many more years of Florida adventures ahead.
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