Dear Holly: A Summer of Sunscreen (and Sunburn)

3 years, 3 months.

Dear Holly,

Thanks to multiple family members taking DNA tests, it is officially undeniable that you have a decent amount of DNA that is Italian, Mexican (Native American/Spanish), Sephardic Jewish, and West Asian (from Iran, Iran, Lebanon). But I don’t think most people would think that if they saw you, thanks to your blonde hair and blue eyes.

Your physical traits are more representative of the Norwegian and British DNA you also have.

While your brother was also born with blonde hair, blue eyes, and fair skin, his hair and skin have turned much darker over the years.

I am beginning to have serious doubts that your skin will get much darker because by the time your brother was your age now, he wasn’t still getting sunburned as quickly and easily as you do.

This has been a summer of sunblock and sunburn for you.

You are the white sheep of the family.

Love,

Daddy

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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!

Dear Jack: The Indoor Camp Out with Nonna and Papa

8 years, 3 months.

Of all Saturday nights for the power to go out for a couple of hours, it just happened to be the one where Mommy and I weren’t there.

We were staying at a hotel about 20 miles away, while Nonna and Papa were in town from Alabama to take care of you and your sister.

But the power outage was no problem- in fact, it was probably more exciting…

You and your sister got to camp out on the floor of the bedroom with Nonna and Papa; using blankets as sleeping bags, as you both held on to some of your favorite stuffed animals.

As you can see from this picture, your sister was proud to be a part of all the fun!

Love,

Daddy

Exactly One Year After My National TV Debut on Lifetime’s “This Time Next Year”, How is My Life Different? SEO Vs. TV

On February 27th, 2018, my secret was finally made public, when my year-long quest to find my doppelganger from a package of Campbell’s Soup debuted on a new TV show on the Lifetime Network, called This Time Next Year.

My episode was entitled, “Dudes from Different Latitudes”, which was based on the song I wrote and performed in front of the studio audience; near the end of the episode.

A year ago when the episode finally premiered, I was prepared for a huge jump in the number of visitors on my blog and viewers on my two YouTube channels. I was even anticipating the possibility of getting more opportunities to be on TV in the future.

Instead, my blog readers and YouTube viewers only knew about my TV debut after I brought it up. Even then, they had trouble even finding a way to watch my episode of This Time Next Year.

So how is my life different because of the show? I can’t say that it is.

But being on a nationally aired TV show did teach me this truth: TV is mostly irrelevant.

It is true that since the airing of my episode of This Time Next Year, that my viewership on this blog and my YouTube channels have dramatically increased; along with the revenue I make from these side hustles.

However, that had completely nothing to do with people seeing me on TV. Instead, people are discovering me, in growing numbers every day, thanks to the content that I as an individual am constantly producing.

In other words, the Internet is mightier than the TV show.

And that’s because the Internet is much more relevant than television.

So while it was fun to be on TV, I never needed to be on TV to find an audience; or to make money on the side.

I was not paid anything to be on TV. Meanwhile, I make money in my sleep from the thousands of videos that I have published on YouTube. Everyday, I receive emails from people across the world who offer to pay me money just to be featured as a guest blogger here on my site, so that they can include a link back to their website’s business.

When your audience is the Internet, they find you; despite who you are; not because of who you are.

It’s sort of like the opposite of being famous. They accidentally discover your content through a Google search without ever needing to know your name first.

I definitely wouldn’t turn down another opportunity to be on TV, but I no longer see it as the next big step for my creative career.

For me, though, the best part of being on TV was getting to meet my doppelganger, Steve. He was such a cool guy to hang out with and get to know.

If we lived in the same city, I know we would be friends. He was the best part about being on TV.

And Steve, if you’re reading this, just know I still feel you are the brother I never had.

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.

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.

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)