My 5 SEO Side Hustles, Which All Made Me a Minimum of $1,000 Each in 2018; Creating Passive Income

What is SEO? It’s search engine optimization. SEO is knowing how to cater to the free market of the Internet by publishing articles, links, videos, and social media messages, based on what people are already searching for. It’s behind-the-scenes marketing knowledge and skills that allow people like me to make money on the side by helping other people grow their brand name online; as well as my own.

I remember back in high school (my 20th high school reunion is coming up this summer!) when I was planning my proposed future career: I wasn’t that inspired by the thought of making money, but instead, just to be “happy”. But several years later, having entered the work force with thousands of dollars of debt from college loans, then getting married a few years later during the Financial Crisis of 2008, I think it sort of scarred me. Or at least it rewired my brain in regards to how I perceive finances:

Use your time, energy, and talents to control money before it controls you, by default.

That serves as my SEO Side Hustler backstory. It explains why one of my superpowers is the ability and the drive to be constantly making money on the side; no matter how great my actual full time job. I’m sure there’s some psychology in there, that having felt helpless and hopeless with finances in my late 20s and early 30s, I now feel the need to reverse my role with money and instead be in complete control of my finances. I have basically adopted my Italian grandfather’s mindset, as he lived through the Great Depression as a 1st generation Italian-American in an orphanage; and was one of the most financial conservative men I knew. 

What are my hobbies, besides hanging out with my wife and kids? The answer: My 5 side jobs. 

My brain interprets these SEO side hustles as (mandatory) fun. Last year, in addition to my well-paying full-time job in HR at a Fortune 500 company in Franklin, Tennessee (though my wife actually makes more than me at her full-time job), I made thousands of dollars on the side by basically goofing off on the Internet after my wife and kids fell asleep each night. Granted, I don’t get a lot of sleep myself, except on Saturday mornings when my wife gets up at 6:00 AM with kids and lets me sleep in around 8:00 AM! 

Here’s how I made thousands of dollars, on the side through passive income, in 2018 by utilizing my knowledge and skill set of SEO; and plan to make even more in 2019…

#1 My 1st YouTube Channel:

Named after myself, Nick Shell is a YouTube channel with over 6,200 subscribers. I serve as a mentor who helps young men find their own masculine identity and confidence, despite their perception that early male pattern baldness takes away their value as men.

Thanks to the ads that play before each video, I made nearly $3,000 in 2018 from this channel; see below. It also helps that for 3 months straight in 2018, I kept shaving my head, which made me a lot of money as I have since then been able to casually yet effectively sell the electric clippers I used to do it, through the use of Amazon links. (More on that in a minute.)

#2 My 2nd YouTube Channel:

Named after this blog itself, Family Friendly Daddy Blog currently has over 1,500 subscribers. I named it after my blog, as a way of extending my brand name online. On this 2nd YouTube channel, I mainly talk about DNA test results and cultural perceptions of society. Some of my most popular videos are where I feature vehicles that car companies send me because of my blog. (More on that in a minute.) I have learned that producing nearly 3 videos per day, on each channel, grows my audience more than producing fewer, yet higher quality videos.

Quantity over quality is my formula. Even though I have the skill set to make polished, edited videos with music and words that pop up on the screen, I’ve learned that I earn more revenue from the dozen videos I can make in the same amount of time it would take to make one high-quality video.

#3 My website, Family Friendly Daddy Blog:

Yep, you’re on it right now. I created this website over 9 years ago and have regularly maintained it with new posts. (If nothing else, I publish 2 new posts every Thursday: A letter to each of my children, which I have been doing since my wife announced her pregnancy for them both, accordingly.) That’s one of the reasons it has such strong SEO; making it very easy to find when people Google nearly anything. My blog is a dragnet for search terms.

The name of this blog itself, while it may sound a bit corny, was something I strategically created for the purpose of SEO. Therefore, on a daily basis, I have requests from 3rd parties requesting to be featured as a guest blogger on my site, to boost their own website’s SEO. For the right price, I say yes. From these fees alone, I cleared well over $1,000 in 2018.

That’s not including the free vehicles my family was loaned, complete with a free tank of gas, for our family vacations: Mitsubishi sponsored our trip to Sacramento, Mazda sponsored us for Lake Tahoe, and Chevy took care of us for Destin. Plus, I got sent on an all expense paid trip to Florida for the Grapefruit League Baseball Series, thanks to Toyota. Additionally, my kids also get some free toys this year and our family is regularly offered free tickets to events in Nashville, like Frozen on Ice. And all of this is simply because of this blog’s very healthy SEO.

#4 Handling SEO for a major university in the Nashville area:

I’ll keep the name and dollar amount confidential on this one, but I serve as the behind-the-scenes SEO independent contractor for a particular department. I handle their Twitter account, I’ve produced promotional videos for their YouTube channel, and I manage an ongoing blog series which features its employees in a more casual light, so that people in the department can learn more about one another; while increasing the university’s presence online. 

#5 Amazon Associates:

Anytime I place a link to Amazon for a product like this really cool Mama Bear t-shirt for moms, whether it’s in a description for one of my videos on either YouTube channel, or in one of my blog posts, I get a cut of the sale that is made. Even if the person doesn’t buy the actual product, as long as they buy something while they are browsing through other suggested items, I still get a cut of that sale. It’s Amazon’s way of thanking me for directing a new sale to them. In 2018, I made right over $1,000 from these links; even though I didn’t even start the program until February. See below.

I am a huge fan of the book Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. The book focuses on the importance of creating venues of passive income; making money while you sleep, which is especially what my YouTube videos and Amazon links do for me. The author explains that it’s not enough to become and remain debt-free or pay off mortgage your early, but also to start making side incomes (ideally passive ones) and then investing that money. He presents that formula as the way to graduate from the middle class. So far, it’s working for me. 

At this point, our family could move into one of those McMansion homes in the next neighborhood over; increasing our square footage by 50%. We could afford it, but we instead choose to keep our current lower overhead and send the extra income towards paying off our mortgage early, building our kids’ college fund, growing our retirement, and focusing on our financial investments through Charles Schwab. I could also pay cash for a brand-new vehicle, trading in my old 2004 Honda Element with 180,000 miles and a salvaged title; and still have thousands more in the bank and investments. But instead, there’s a sense of pride in knowing I’m living below my means; not simply within them. 

So while I don’t get much sleep at this stage in my life, I can at least known that I am constantly making money even when I do sleep.

I am Nick Shell- and I am the SEO Side Hustler. 

Dear Holly: This is My Favorite Picture of You This Week, Lounging Like a Preteen in the Backseat

2 and a half years.

Sometimes after I take a picture of you, I see you in a different way than I have before. This was the case when I snapped a picture of you last week while we were on our family trip to Destin in the 2019 Chevy Traverse.

Even though you are only 2 and a half, in that picture, I easily catch a glimpse of you years from now:

Relaxed, having fun, just chilling out while looking so cute.

Behind my jacket which is hanging over the top of your seat, you can see some of our shopping bags from when we went to the outlets.

It’s as if I am seeing you a decade from now, on the way back from you getting to spend all your own birthday money on clothes.

I love this picture.

Love,

Daddy

More Stories from Our Family’s Road Trip to Destin, Florida in the 2019 Chevy Traverse AWD Premier

I have no problem admitting that the pictures and stories I share here on my blog and on my social media serve as my family’s highlight reel. There is no shame in that.

As the default photographer for my family of four, one of my roles in our household is to constantly create and maintain a collection of our best memories as they happen in real time. With all the chaos in this life, it’s important for us to celebrate what is good.

So no, you’re not going to see pictures of any meltdowns due to lack of sleep or food while on our family’s recent trip to Destin, Florida in the 2019 Chevy Traverse for my son’s 8th birthday. Nope, just the silly smiles and good times.

For example, I can’t stop thinking about how hours after the fact, I learned that my daughter had placed stickers on my butt.

That’s right. I had been driving around Destin and hanging out at Starbucks with my family, without realizing that dozens of tiny Paw Patrol stickers covered not only my shirt, which I was aware of, but also pretty much everywhere else.

While my wife had been scurrying around the LOFT outlet, I was keeping the kids at bay in the meantime. Fortunately, we made the right moral decision to allow our daughter to buy a package of over 300 stickers from the dollar aisle at Target earlier that day.

I just crouched there in the middle of the LOFT, sort of lethargically, while doing my best to keep the kids from getting into too much trouble.

Later that day, as we wrapped up our outlet shopping spree (amazingly only spending about $300 total), we finished up at the Bass Pro Shop. It just so happened that Santa was there too!

I loved how my daughter just walked right up to him for her free picture, with a huge smile on her face; not afraid at all. Granted, that didn’t mean she was going to actually smile for the picture though.

And speaking of free attractions in Destin, we couldn’t resist seeing the gators over at Fudpucker’s. Of course, my son did enough up spending some of his birthday money there at the souvenir shop.

The last thing we did before we headed back home to Tennessee was to visit one of my wife’s brothers (there are 10 kids in that family!) in Pensacola. We enjoyed lunch at Jaco’s, our token place to stop to eat in that town.

Afterwards, we walked around the marina for over an hour, allowing the kids to burn off as much energy as they could, before beginning the 7 hour return trip to the Nashville area.

It worked.

Much needed sleep was obtained.

Seriously, now that I’ve had a chance to look back on all these pictures and stories from our trip, I can clearly see: We truly had some good times as a family.

Thank you Chevy for helping make our trip so awesome!

Our Family’s DESTINation Family Road Trip for Our 8 Year Old Son’s Birthday, in the 2019 Chevy Traverse AWD Premier

My wife and I gave our son a choice: Would you want to have your 8th birthday party here in Nashville with your friends? Or… would you choose to go on a road trip to Destin, Florida with your family for half a week?

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Turns out, my son is a smart kid. Yeah, he chose the Florida road trip.

I admit: Being a daddy blogger has its perks- like Chevy loaning us a 2019 Traverse AWD Premier with a full tank of gas.

The very first time I worked with Chevy was 7 years ago when our family got to drive a Volt from Naples to Key West. That was also around the time Chevy sent me to Detroit with a bunch of other daddy bloggers to tour the facility where the Traverse is tested and built.

Seven years ago, my son was only one year old. Now he has a 2 and a half year old sister. Therefore, the Chevy Traverse is that much more relevant to our family. It just so happened that the main gift our son asked for was a new Kindle- and the Traverse came equipped with WiFi!

Perfect for a long road trip, for sure.

We totally appreciated all the cargo space, as we sort of overpacked by default, hauling not only swimming clothes along with winter clothes, but also our son’s birthday presents.

When we go on long road trips like this one (7 hours), the kids appreciate being in their own rows. Our daughter can fall asleep easier and our son gets to be in his own world. And up front, the parents actually get to have some uninterrupted conversations while SiriusXM’s Alt Nation plays in the background.

It’s always a gamble when staying in hotels overnight with a 2 and a half year old, but fortunately where we stayed at the Pelican Beach Resort, our daughter absolutely loved her “room”, as she called it: She occupied the bottom of the bunk beds which were built into the walls; each bed having it’s own TV.

Oh, and then there was the beach itself…

By the way, in case you didn’t catch it, the picture above is a play on words: Our last name is Shell and there are 4 of us!

Leading up to our son opening his birthday gifts, I hid a “gold bar” in the sand for him to find. However, he immediately figured out it was just a toy I planted there.

Here’s the video I made as it happened:

As for his birthday cake, we simply pressed the OnStar button and had the directions to Whole Foods sent to our GPS, and let our son pick out a gourmet cupcake for himself; meanwhile my wife and I shared one ourselves.

So this is what happens when as the parents, you decide that helping your child celebrate their birthday is more fun if you have a “DESTINation” road trip instead of a typical birthday party.

The right decision was definitely made here!

Thanks for reading my blog today. If you liked this story about our family’s recent road trip to Destin in the 2019 Chevy Traverse, stay tuned… I have a sequel blog post with more pictures and stories from our adventure!

2019 Chevy Traverse AWD Premier: 3rd Row Seat Space, Gas Tank Release, Opening the Trunk… Plus, Hidden Cargo Space!

For the past week, I have had the awesome opportunity to drive the 2019 Chevy Traverse AWD Premier. As a daddy blogger, there are particular questions I like to find answers to when I drive a new vehicle; as I have found them to be relevant here on my blog as well as its related YouTube channel.

First, I like to explore the 3rd row seat space, for an average size American person. (At least, let’s assume I’m average at 5′ 9″ and 170 pounds.)

Check out this video, where I do a quick demonstration of me sitting in the 3rd row seat. I was impressed with how much clearance I had above my head. With most other vehicles with a 3rd row seat, my head grazes the ceiling, but not in the 2019 Chevy Traverse.

Next, I like to show where to find the gas tank release; as it can be stressful when you’re already at the gas pump but don’t know how to get to the tank. In the new Traverse, it’s this simple:

Just press the gas tank door with your finger. It’s really easy.

And lastly, especially in an SUV, I like to point out how to open the trunk door. While there is a release button near the steering wheel, I found that it was more practically for me just to “double click” the button on the key remote. (Then just press the close button on the trunk door itself for it to automatically close.)

I particularly appreciated the hidden cargo space in the trunk. I was able to store so much in there on my family’s recent road trip to Destin, Florida; from the Nashville area.

Thanks for checking out my blog today on the 2019 Chevy Traverse. I am confident you’ll enjoy it as much as I did!

-Nick Shell of Family Friendly Daddy Blog

2015 Chevy Colorado Maxwell Air Force Base Road Trip

2015 Chevy Colorado Maxwell Air Force Base Road Trip

Three weeks ago, our family was able to drive a brand-new 2015 Chevy Colorado crew cab from our home near Nashville (TN) to Montgomery (AL) as we supported our nephew Matt graduated Air Force boot camp.

2015 Chevy Colorado Maxwell Air Force Base Road Trip

Though he’s from Sacramento (CA) where my wife is from, Matt’s boot camp was coincidentally assigned in Montgomery, which is in driving distance (about 4 hours) from where we live.

2015 Chevy Colorado Maxwell Air Force Base Road Trip

When Chevrolet found out we were going to be the only family members able to see Matt graduate, as the rest of his family is on the west coast, they jumped at the chance to provide a vehicle to help us make the journey.

2015 Chevy Colorado Maxwell Air Force Base Road Trip

Chevrolet is a big supporter of our military, providing discounts to Active Duty members, reserves, veterans within one year of discharge – including spouses of the U.S. Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines, National Guard and Coast Guard. The discount can be combined with most current incentives. Here’s a link to Chevy’s site for more on their military discount.

I have to point out that the general public was thoroughly impressed by the mere sight of the 2015 Chevy Colorado. During the week I drove it, I had people approaching me asking about it.

2015 Chevy Colorado Maxwell Air Force Base Road Trip

Here’s my walk-around video I made:

When you see the truck in person, it’s hard to look away. And not simply because it was yellow; but because it’s very clear this is a tough truck.

I filmed my son’s and wife’s first reaction to it when I pulled in the driveway. I promise I didn’t prompt them to say anything; I just let the camera roll. Their reactions are completely sincere.

2015 Chevy Colorado Maxwell Air Force Base Road Trip

On the way to our hotel near Maxwell Air Force Base there in Montgomery, we stopped at Mellow Mushroom to have dinner with our son’s good friend, Sophie, who coincidentally moved away last year from Nashville to Montgomery.

2015 Chevy Colorado Maxwell Air Force Base Road Trip

The next morning we attended our nephew Matt’s boot camp graduation. He happened to be at the end of the parade, holding a rifle, next the flag bearers, so I got a good shot of him for my video.

Afterwards, we had some time to hang out there on the base and catch up with him. The Chevy Colorado provided a much needed break from the heat outside, leading up until it was time to eat lunch there at the base.

2015 Chevy Colorado Maxwell Air Force Base Road Trip

But first, Matt gave us a tour of Maxwell, showing us on the jets, which my son was impressed to see.

Eventually, we had to say goodbye to Matt; though we should be seeing him again when we make our annual trip to Sacramento, next month.

2015 Chevy Colorado Maxwell Air Force Base Road Trip

It goes without saying we are more than proud to see Matt began a career that involves serving in our military. He has what it takes!

2015 Chevy Colorado Maxwell Air Force Base Road Trip

The road trip wasn’t complete without a trip back to my hometown in Fort Payne (AL), on the way back to Nashville.

2015 Chevy Colorado Maxwell Air Force Base Road Trip

Our niece Calla had her 4th birthday party! So to make things even more fun, our family shot a couple Jack-Man webisodes.

2015 Chevy Colorado Maxwell Air Force Base Road Trip

By the way, Jack-Man is a web series that my son Jack and I do, in which he is the superhero and I am the arch nemesis. For webisodes 14 and 15, the 2015 Chevy Colorado serves as part of the plot device.

So it’s apparent we had a wonderful road trip. We look forward to reviewing more Chevy vehicles in the future!

And now I will close with my video which features the events mentioned above:

2015 Chevy Colorado Maxwell Air Force Base Road Trip

2015 Chevy Colorado Maxwell Air Force Base Road Trip

2015 Chevy Colorado Maxwell Air Force Base Road Trip

2015 Chevy Colorado Maxwell Air Force Base Road Trip

2015 Chevy Colorado provided courtesy of Chevrolet for promotional purposes.

Dear Jack: Webisode 14 & 15 of Jack-Man, Featuring 2015 Chevy Colorado

4 years, 7 months.

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Dear Jack,

This past weekend we took a 3 day weekend to Alabama; not only for your cousin Calla’s 4th birthday party, but also to see your cousin Matt graduate Air Force boot camp in Montgomery; while we were there, we also got to hang out with your friend Sophie and her family at Mellow Mushroom.

We were able to drive a 2015 Chevrolet Colorado pick-up trick to review.  So I decided to feature it prominently in our newest couple of webisodes of Jack-Man…

In Webisode 14: “Shadetree Mechanic,” Green Meanie tries to sabotage Jack-Man’s chances of going to Super Calla’s 4th birthday party by taking a wrench to the Chevy Colorado.

It features my new song, “How’s It Feel To Be The Bad Guy?” which is the 1st song I’ve ever done that features Mommy singing too:

How’s it feel to be the bad guy?

How’s it feel to be so mean?

When all your best friends are all enemies?

Did you wake up on the wrong side

Of the cot maybe under a rock?

Do you need a hug?

Maybe you should change your approach? Change your approach

And in Webisode 15: “Birthday Party Crashers”, after Green Meanie sneakily hitches a ride in the back of the Chevy Colorado, he meets up with The Juggler (your uncle Andrew), then recruits The Street Sweeper (your Papa) to help crash Super Calla’s 4th birthday party.

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The new song featured in it is “Blow Your House Down.”

I’m gonna blow your house down

Feel my minty breath flowing through your hair

I’m gonna blow your house down

You can call the law but I don’t care

Uh-oh, I want to know what you believe in

Will you believe if you don’t see it?

Like the wind that blows so freely

From my lungs unto your ceiling

Uh-oh, I am not the wind beneath your wings

But I’m the storm with scary lightning

You’re not in Kansas anymore

I am knocking down your door

We also filmed 2 other Jack-Man webisodes as well. I can’t wait to edit them. It takes me at least 3 hours for every Jack-Man webisode I make!

Webisode 16 is about organic, non-GMO produce at Nonna and Papa’s garden, and 17 is a cool chase episode in the woods, leading to a huge rock. I’m really exciting to share them!

I’ll also be writing more about our visit to see your cousin Matt graduate boot camp, after I get a chance to put some videos together for that.

And… this weekend is exciting for Mommy and me because Sunday makes 7 years she and I have been married.

Love,

Daddy