My Blog Website is Now 10 Years Old: Getting Published as a Daddy Blogger, Making My National TV Debut, and Becoming an SEO Side Hustler

It was exactly a decade ago today that I published my very first blog post here on this website. It was called, “Snail Trails: Your Memory May Be the Only Proof an Event Ever Happened.”

For the first year of my blog, I was just writing about random thoughts that went through my head; much like the kind of topics I cover on my YouTube channels now.

But about a year into blogging, my wife and I found out we were going to be having our first child. I decided to start writing a letter to our child at least every week.

Just a few months into my new series, I was featured in American Baby magazine. And a few months after that, I was chosen by Parents Magazine to be their official daddy blogger for the next 4 years.

This led to me being given dozens of opportunities to feature brand-new vehicles on my blog, as companies like Lexus and Chevy often sent me cars for a week at a time; even sending me and family on trips as well.

After my time at Parents.com ended, the next venture was been hand-selected by one of the scouts for Lifetime’s upcoming TV show, This Time Next Year. My national TV debut took place in February 2018.

Since then, I have been using my blogging experience and SEO knowledge to operate a few different side hustles to generate passive income, like placing Amazon links in my most popular posts and regularly selling guest blog posts to companies.

True story: I just bought a brand-new stereo for my Jeep based on my most recent Amazon payment I received.

It’s true I love writing and I love documenting my life on my blog, as it’s my way of keeping up with my own journey of life.

But I also don’t mind the fact that this blog has provided me opportunities that wouldn’t have happened otherwise.

Thank you to all my readers for being a part of my blog- and my life!

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Tips on Taking Control of Your Energy Bill: Unplugging Devices When Not in Use

Almost one out of three households in the United States struggle to pay their energy bills and as electricity costs are predicted to continue increasing on through 2020, this pressure could get even worse.

Generally, most of what we use electricity for is on necessities. Over 60% of energy consumption goes to powering appliances like refrigerators, keeping the heat and air conditioning on, and interior lighting. The other 40% goes to non-essential and luxury items like game consoles and TVs. Yet, one in ten households are kept at unsafe temperatures just to save money and one in five will go without other basic necessities as well, effectively overlooking simple ways to save. Turning down the thermostat is a good way to scale back high bills, but it certainly isn’t the only option.

From resealing doors and windows to switching to LED light bulbs, even small changes can add up to big savings on electricity. Ready to wrangle your family’s energy usage? See this infographic for more.

Yes, I Accept Guest Blog Posts, If You Can Afford My $35 Fee to Help Boost Your SEO (3 Steps to Getting Published in 3 Days or Less)

If you are a fellow blogger, or you manage your own small business and would like to boost the SEO for your company or brand online by linking it to a website has healthy as mine, here’s your opportunity.

After constantly receiving inquiries all last year, and having to go through the arbitrary process of negotiating my fee with each potential client, I’ve now looked back on what ultimately was the going rate in 2018: It was $35.

So in 2019, I want to make this simple for both of us and save us a bunch of time. Here’s how to get your guest blog post published here on my site:

1. Write an informative article like this one with links back to your website, as well as links to larger websites. Ideally, you will want to have a number in your title. (For example, “5 Ways to…”) This is ultimately a parenting blog, so your content should be somewhat relevant to a family lifestyle.

2. Email me your article to nickshell1983@hotmail.com, with a relevant copyright-free photo attached, with this as the subject line: “$35 Guest Blog Post”. Also let me know the name of the person, blog, or company you would like to see credited as the author.

3. Pay me the $35 fee within 7 days. Once you complete the previous step, I will review and publish your article, sending you the link for your review along with an invoice through PayPal for $35. If payment is not received within 7 days, I will delete the blog post.

So it’s that simple. There is no need to send me an initial email to start the process or to try to negotiate the rate.

Just complete all 3 steps and within 3 business days, your guest blog post will be up live on my website, and shared through my website’s Facebook fan page, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.

I look forward to working with you.

And if you can’t afford my $35 right now, I have a free SEO starter kit for you right here.

3 Places to Stay Just Outside of Dallas, TX 

Dallas, the ninth largest city in the United States, is often called the commercial hub of the North Texas region. Featuring a variety of museums, sporting venues, and cultural events, the city is home to a variety of activities that make it a great place to visit for people of all ages. While most travelers to the area plan to stay near the downtown area, venturing out to the smaller towns surrounding the city can provide a unique glimpse into the region and is often more affordable.

Lancaster

Located about 5 miles from Dallas, Lancaster offers visitors the opportunity to see attractions they would probably miss if they stayed in the city. Lancaster’s Commemorative Air Force DFW Wing is a small museum that allows visitors to see, touch, and explore planes from World War II. The museum is open on the weekends and staffed by former military members who provide visitors with intriguing history lessons they won’t soon forget.

Visitors to the area will also enjoy exploring Lancaster’s Bear Creek Nature Park, which is home to a butterfly garden, rock climbing wall, fishing pier, and multiple hiking trails.

Lancaster is a vibrant community that travelers will enjoy exploring. By taking advantage of the hotel accommodations available in Lancaster, visitors will have access to the unique attractions mentioned here as well to the variety of restaurants and shops in the area.

Plano

Situated less than 20 miles from Dallas, Plano features a diverse assortment of attractions that visitors to the area will enjoy. Nature lovers can explore Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve, which features 3.5 miles of concrete trails and 5 miles of soft surface trails. Kayaking and paddle boarding are also available at the preserve, and visitors should check out Go Ape Zip Line and Treetop Adventure for a one-of-a-kind experience that will have them zipping through the forest canopy. The preserve is open from dawn until dusk.

Plano’s Heritage Farmstead Museum is another must-see attraction for travelers to the Dallas area. This living history museum gives visitors a first-hand peek at what life was like on the Texas Blackland Prairies years ago.

Garland

A quick 30-minute drive from Dallas, Garland features several unique attractions, including Hawaiian Falls Garland, a large water park, and Spring Creek Forest Preserve, a natural area that’s perfect for spending a relaxing afternoon outdoors.

Hawaiian Falls features a lazy river, numerous water slides, and a 16,000 square foot wave pool. Kids and adults alike will enjoy spending the day at this thrilling water park. If you’re looking for a more laid-back way to spend the day, Spring Creek Forest Preserve is a city-owned nature preserve featuring short, easy hiking trails that allow you to experience the region’s beautiful scenery.

On your next trip to Dallas, consider staying in one of the nearby towns. You’ll discover new areas to explore and save a little money at the same time. This vibrant part of Texas is sure to provide visitors with memories that’ll last a lifetime.

Image via Flickr by awsheffield

Yes, I Accept Guest Blog Posts to Boost Your SEO. I Charge $100. Email Me.

You just Googled, “bloggers who accept guest blog posts” because you are needing to strengthen your website’s SEO. On a daily basis, I get requests from people asking me about this. That obviously proves my website has amazing SEO.

The answer is yes. I do accept guest blog posts. I also accept $100, to be paid via PayPal.

I have the SEO platform you need to link your site to. You have the $100 that I would like to link to my wallet.

So if you’re interested, send an email to nickshell1983@hotmail.com with this headline:

SEO $100

Make sure that you include a photo, as an attachment, not copied and pasted, to accompany your article; which needs to a be minimum of 300 to 400 words and somewhat relevant to the topic of parenting and family.

Also let me know how you want to be listed in the byline, so I know which person and/or brand to draw readers’ attention to.

The concept with your guest blog post is that you want to answer questions that people are already Googling, but you will be using my popular platform to do it, which will refer people back to your website.

Here’s a recent example of a guest blog post here on my site, where someone paid my $100 fee:

And yeah, I get it…

If you’re just starting out, you likely don’t have the budget to afford my service. That’s the paradox:

Larger companies can afford to pay for SEO, so they stay large.

Small companies can’t afford to pay for SEO, so they stay small.

If you can’t afford my $100 free to be featured as a guest blogger on my website, I can at least leave you with a complimentary parting gift, which is my SEO starter kit.

Yet still, it’s inevitable: You can’t get around the fact that you’ll need a stronger website like mine to attach links back to yours.

How much time are you willing to spend searching for other websites that will accept guest blog posts cheaper, or ideally for free?

You have to decide: Is your time worth $100?

Perhaps you’ll decide, like Billy Joel said back in 1977:

I might as well be the one.

Examples of Nick Shell’s SEO Work for The Biostatistics Department for Vanderbilt University: 9 Video Promos and an ENAR Blog Post

On my LinkedIn profile, I focus on my SEO skills most of all; how I have been hired by multiple brands like Primrose Schools and Moe’s Southwest Grill to write articles and create videos to promote their presence online, as a 3rd party. As I pointed out in my recently published article, SEO Starter Kit: 5 Free Tips, being an SEO specialist goes way beyond an active Twitter and Facebook account.

I am publishing this today to provide a candid look at some of my work as a freelance SEO specialist. For the past couple of months now, I have been producing content on a reoccurring basis for Biostastistics Department for Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. I am the one they contract to create the content many people see; even if my name doesn’t show up in the bylines or the credits.

Ultimately, the main purpose of my work for them is to further promote and grow Vanderbilt’s presence online; using blog posts and YouTube videos, as vehicles of promotion.

Back in March, I was responsible for creating a 9 collection video promo series; where I interviewed professors and students. The collection played on a big monitor at their booth at the ENAR 2018 Spring Meeting in Atlanta. (ENAR stands for Eastern North American Region.)

So for any prospective students who visited Vanderbilt’s booth, they had no option but to catch a glimpse of my video producing and editing skills; where my work even included original music that I composed and recorded to accompany the interviews.

This project also required me to go to downtown Nashville and capture some footage of Broadway, to help illustrate why Nashville itself is a fun place to be.

After the event in Atlanta was over, my collection of video promos were then uploaded to Vanderbilt Health’s YouTube channel, where they can currently be seen by the free world; I am including all 9 videos at the bottom of this post.

Additionally, I was responsible for writing a related article for Vanderbilt’s website, to basically create a permanent reminder of Vanderbilt’s presence at the ENAR 2018 Spring Meeting in Atlanta.

But first, I realized it would be important that I created an all new blog platform for Vanderbilt’s Biostastics website. So I did. I appropriately named it The Biostatistics Blog.

And that’s where you can find the very first blog post I wrote for it, entitled, Vanderbilt University’s Biostatistics Graduate Program Takes on the 2018 ENAR Spring Meeting in Atlanta.

As you can imagine, I am proud to be deemed as worthy enough of my SEO knowledge and skills to be an ongoing contractor for a legendary establishment like Vanderbilt University. I guess choosing to be an English major back in college wasn’t so crazy of an idea after all.

Thanks for checking out my work today!

 

SEO Starter Kit: 5 Free Tips to Build Your Company’s Presence Online Without Having to Hire Someone to Do It for You

You just Googled something like, “SEO tips for my company”.The fact that you ended up here on my website, compared to some other random site you never heard of, should serve as an immediate confirmation that I must know at least a little about what I’m talking about; even if you have no idea who I am. It was neither fate nor an accident. It was SEO.

Of all the articles that exist on the topic, mine is the one that showed up high enough in your Google search and it was one that you yourself decided to click on.

That wasn’t coincidence. And I spent no money to make that happen. I just wrote an article with good SEO: search engine optimization.

And you want some of what I got. I want to help and I know how important this is to your business.

So let’s make that happen. I will provide you with this complimentary “SEO starter kit”, which is the proven thesis of my success so far:

  1. Begin publishing a minimum of 3 WordPress blog posts per week, between 300 to 500 words each. Publicize each one on your Facebook fan page, your personal Facebook page, Twitter, and LinkedIn. These serve as free advertisements to build your brand and your site.  (However, do not pay to publicize the posts on Facebook; as they recently changed their algorithm to where now, it’s just throwing money away.)
  2. Be sure each blog post contains a minimum of 3 photos; ideally in the form of a collage. (I use Fotor.com.)
  3. Make sure the titles of your blog posts are long and wordy, as the title itself is all many people really read anyway, but at least it counts as a visitor on your site when they click; which strengthens your SEO.
  4. Find websites that already have good SEO that are willing to allow you to do a “guest blog post” on your company (which is very difficult), that will place a link to your website in their post. I currently charge $35 per post. Here is an example, which will take you to the website of Stackhouse.life, which is a tiny house company. 
  5. Create a YouTube channel in which you publish no less than 3 videos per week. Most of the content will be you answering questions that people are already searching on subjects related to your business.

My message to you is this: SEO isn’t necessarily about being the biggest; which is what most SEO experts who charge more money want you to believe. It’s about being seen by the right people in your niche, who are already searching for you, without them actually realizing they’re searching for you; and being the best-looking and most fun and most informative source on the material.

Hungry for more? Check out my 15 minute tutorial in the video at the very top of this post.

Plus, I’m including some links below so you can see some more examples of my work. Thanks for “accidentally” finding my website today!

A “Work Date”with My Wife at ENAR 2018 in Atlanta (Featuring the 2018 Mazda CX-5)

My Family’s Road Trip to Rock City in Chattanooga in the 2018 Mazda CX-5 (Featuring the Original New Theme Song I Wrote)

My Road Trip with My Son to Ruby Falls in Chattanooga in the 2018 Mazda CX-5 (Featuring the Original New Theme Song I Wrote)