Live with Kelly Co-Host Contest, Top 40 Contender: 2nd Video/Next Deadline, October 5th

Live with Kelly Co-Host Contest Top 40 Contender: 2nd Video/Next Deadline, October 5th

I am so grateful for everyone who has been helping me out by liking, commenting on, and sharing my 1st video; since I made it to the Top 40 for Kelly Ripa’s Co-Host for a Day Contest, last Friday. After all, my chances of winning are definitely based on how the free market (that’s you) reacts to my video on Kelly’s website.

On October 5th, we’ll all find out if I made it to the next cut; to the Top 20. So in addition to how well my 1st video does based on the public’s views, comments, likes, and shares, my success in the contest will be based on my newest assignment:

Make a video to showcase my ability to demonstrate how to do something in 60 seconds or less, which also features my personality.

I would have chosen to feature my adorable 5 month-old daughter in the video, using the angle on me being a daddy blogger.

However, no one under the age of 18 was permitted in the video.

So I decided the next best choice was for me to feature my “Manly Vegan Protein Smoothie” which I invented 3 and a half years ago, and have been drinking every day since then.

I chose this for a couple of reasons…

It gave me a reason to feature my Rubik’s Cube coffee mug. Who wouldn’t think that’s cool?

Plus, there aren’t a lot of vegan males out there. Being such a rare demographic makes me stand out from the crowd.

But ultimately, it’s not about a smoothie; it’s about me selling my personality in 60 seconds; to prove that I can be both classy and quirky.

So on October 5th, we’ll see if I’m worthy of the Top 20. I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes.

Remember that n the meantime, here’s a reminder of how you can help me out, if you haven’t already:

  1. Click on this link to visit the LIVE with Kelly Facebook page
  2.  Once you’re there, “like” my video
  3.  Next, leave a comment on it, telling everyone how you know me and specifically why I would be the best choice
  4. After you’ve done that, share that link, promoting me as your top choice on your own Facebook page
  5.  Also, tweet that same link on Twitter as your choice: @nickshellwrites

I, Nick Shell, Have Been Chosen as One of the Top 40 Contenders for the Live with Kelly and You Co-Host Search… Now I Need Your Help!

I, Nick Shell, Have Been Chosen as One of the Top 40 Contenders for the Live with Kelly and You Co-Host Search… Now I Need Your Personal Help!

I see myself as a pretty average guy, but fortunately, the producers for Live with Kelly disagree with me on that…

Because today, I received a call from Live with Kelly, asking me if I had heard the news on their show today, or seen the news on their website: I have been chosen as one of the Top 40 Contenders for the Live with Kelly and You Co-Host contest!

It was just two weeks ago that I shot my initial submission video in the park. To my amazement, the producers felt that out of all of America, I am worthy of being in the Top 40.

Yes, I admit, I’m currently in shock; at least a little bit. I’m so happy and honored just to make it this far; even just to have any producers at Live with Kelly know who I even am.

However, I don’t have much time to process this exciting news. Instead, it’s time for more work for me- and for you…

This weekend, I will be making my submission video for the next level of the contest; which if I made it through, I would be part of the Top 20; to further be decided by America.

Even now though, I need your support.

You can easily help me in a tremendous way by doing any (or, preferably, all of) the following things:

  1. Click on this link to visit the LIVE with Kelly Facebook page
  2.  Once you’re there, “like” my video
  3.  Next, leave a comment on it, telling everyone how you know me and specifically why I would be the best choice
  4. After you’ve done that, share that link, promoting me as your top choice on your own Facebook page
  5.  Also, tweet that same link on Twitter as your choice: @nickshellwrites

I need your help as members of family; as my friends; as members of my hometown of Fort Payne, Alabama; as fellow neighbors in my current town of Spring Hill, TN, which also represents Nashville; as fellow graduates of Liberty University; as blog subscribers; and/or as YouTube subscribers, to prove through your pro-activity in social media that America truly does support Nick Shell as the most-obvious choice for the Live with Kelly and You Co-Host contest.

Will you do that for me? I don’t need money. I don’t need you to buy anything. I just need you to help create and sustain a social media buzz to help “elect” me for Kelly’s co-host for a day.

I thank you in advance. Thank you for celebrating with me today that I even made it this far. I feel humbled, yet quite eager to prove myself to America!

For Aspiring and Beginning Bloggers: Six Tips on How to Have a Successful Blog Site on WordPress (My First 200,000 Hits)

Today as my WordPress site reached 200,000 hits, I received another email from a fellow blogger asking me advice on how to improve their site.  I am now briefly sharing the secrets of my success which I have learned through trial and error since September 2009 when I started Scenic Route Snapshots.

Use WordPress, not BlogSpot: I have never used BlogSpot, but I’ve noticed the more successful bloggers use WordPress, like Stuff White People Like and 1,000 Awesome Things; the authors of both of those sites received book deals based on their blogs and the books have gone on to be top sellers.  I believe that WordPress offers the best layouts and the best tools.  I love how I can easily see my top posts each day along with my top searched items through Google; that way I can capitalize on the things I write about the best.

Write nearly daily: Now that I have written just under 500 posts here on my site and have covered so many different subjects, the chances of anyone typing in any noun into Google and stumbling upon my site are pretty good.  Right now if you type in “banana” or “red panda”, you’ll find me easily.  Not only does writing daily increase the quality of my own writing, but it also increases readership, in the likeness of paying to have your name in the drawing 20 times as opposed to all the others who just paid for one time.

Use too many pictures: Yes, I meant to say that. Use too many pictures.  At first I wanted the satisfaction of knowing that readers who stumbled upon my site were doing so simply because of the quality of my writing.  But I was really being unfair to myself, because who would buy a magazine if it didn’t have an attention grabbing picture on the cover and constant pictures throughout its content? Pictures are the #1 way to market your blog.  Even more so than facebook and Twitter, I have found.  Out of my 800 facebook friends, when I publish a new post and it shows up on my facebook wall (I have linked WordPress to facebook and Twitter), at best I may get 40 hits just from facebook.   However, a good picture in a post can easily bring me 100 hits daily for months.  My rule for pictures is roughly “one large picture per every 12 lines of typing”.

Use too many words in your titles: For the most part, my more popular posts contain more than six words and consist of at least two nouns. In 2010, my most popular post was What Wile E. Coyote, Red Pandas, and U2 All Have in Common: They Still Haven’t Found What They’re Looking For.  While the content of that post was a bit abstract and even spiritual, the title was as cut and dry as I could make it.  Interestingly, that post was published in July 2010 (halfway through the year) and still managed to garner over 10,000 views by January 1, 2011 when I posted my Best of 2010 blog featuring it as my #1 most popular post of the year.

Write different series: As you find yourself writing about the same topics, turn them into a collection, then into their own page where readers can easily access them at the top of your page.  Take my dad from day one series, for example.  I literally have dozens of different posts in that one series.  Typically, if a person is going to read one of those posts, they are likely to read at least several more. That way, I’m turning one hit into seven.

Write about interesting stuff from an interesting perspective: Easier said than done, right?  Either you have the talent or you don’t. However, the fact that you are aspiring or beginning to write a blog says this about you: Like me, you find enough time in the day to write; meaning you probably have enough going through your head to write about; meaning you probably have writing talent.  To help you further, I’ve been documenting my viewership milestones into a series. I recommend you take the time to read it, as it includes other details to help you have a popular blog:

Nick Shell’s “10,000 Hits” series:

Being Down to Earth, Yet Never Really Touching the Ground: My First 10,000 Hits on WordPress

Being Original, Yet Never Really Breaking New Ground: My First 20,000 Hits on WordPress

Being Engaging, Yet Never Really Standing on Dangerous Ground: My First 30,000 Hits on WordPress

Being Excessive and Eventually Finding Coming Ground: My First 40,000 Hits on WordPress

Being Active in the Blogging World Yet Hanging Out in the Background: My First 50,000 Hits on WordPress

Being Offbeat Enough to Gain Steady Ground: My First 100,000 Hits on WordPress

If you have any other questions or want my advice on writing a WordPress blog, feel free to ask and I will be glad to help you.


Motivated Young Man with 5 Years of Sales, Marketing, and Writing Experience- for Hire Immediately

Now that I have moved my family back to my hometown, I am in need of a job within an hour radius of Fort Payne, AL; that includes Chattanooga, TN.  Many people say it’s all about networking and who you know.  If that’s the case, it won’t hurt to pass my resume along to the World Wide Web.  I am ready to be employed immediately.  Thanks for taking a look and  for keeping me in mind for anyone you know who would be looking to hire a guy like me, who has plenty of experience in communication, writing, sales, and marketing. Feel free to just copy and paste the link  to this page (http://wp.me/PxqBU-1WI) and pass it along to any particular person you know who may be interested.

Nick Shell

  • 256-996-6689         ·         nickshell1983@hotmail.com

Summary

  • Reliable, diligent professional who dedicates himself to his work.
  • Self-starter with an optimistic attitude that has proven to motivate others.
  • Prolific reader and writer who continuously seeks out information to back intriguing ideas.
  • Strong foundation in roles of management, with a particular interest in the area of marketing.

Professional Experience

Freelance Writer: September 2009-Present

www.ScenicRouteSnapshots.com created through www.WordPress.org

  • Create, design, and maintain all website content.
  • Content consists of 400 individual posts written since the website’s inception.
  • Received over 100,000 hits in its first year; currently averages between 500 and 1000 hits per day.

Sales Representative/Head Recruiter: January 2006- December 2010

Paschall Truck Lines, Franklin, TN

  • Recruit owner-operators and independent business owners to broker freight.
  • Perform and critically review background checks on all potential drivers.
  • Consistently meet and often exceed monthly quotas.
  • Assist in recruitment and training of incoming departmental staff.
  • Design advertisements sent to thousands of business owners nationwide.
  • Collect and report final recruitment numbers monthly for department.
  • Act as company ambassador at two trade shows per year.

Assistant to the Computer Administrator: July-August 2005

Fort Payne City Schools System, Fort Payne, AL

  • Assisted in installation, un-installation, and maintenance of computers and printers district-wide.

Shift Manager: August 2004-May 2005

LaHaye Student Center, Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA

  • Supervised and oversaw the performance of other student workers during shift.
  • Monitored and assisted incoming students using the facilities.
  • Responsible for the opening and closing of the building and the duties within that role.

Substitute Teacher: February-May 2002

Fort Payne City Schools System, Fort Payne, AL

  • Taught, assisted, and monitored students from grades K-12.

Student Aide Coordinator: August 2000-May 2002

Fort Payne City Schools System, Fort Payne, AL

  • Mentored and directed elementary students in their studies in the Extended Day Program.
  • Managed, evaluated, and documented the performance and work ethic of student workers monthly.
  • Coordinated snack time, purchased and delivered snack foods for over 120 students on a weekly basis.
  • Recruited substitute aides as needed.

Educational Experience

Bachelor of Arts, English, May 2005

Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA

Outreach Abroad

  • Volunteer ESL Instructor, Global English School, Bangkok, Thailand (June-July of 2003 and 2004)

The Return of the Small Town: Boom Days 2010 in Fort Payne, AL

A glimpse at the culture of Fort Payne, Alabama.

It can be common for people who grow up in a small town to want to move away as soon they graduate high school, as was the case for myself.  Since I graduated from Fort Payne High School in 1999, I have lived in Florida, Virginia, and for the last five years, Nashville.  That means for over 11 years, I have pretty much lived away from the hometown that molded me.  Now, I realize that a lot of this could be that I am married now and have a baby on the way, but I must admit, my old hometown suddenly seems really cool again.  Maybe it’s because the pace of my life is slowing down, compared to my single days and even my married-with-no-children days, and is now starting to match the speed of a small town and no longer a big city.  But I still think something special is happening in this small town, apart from my interference or commentary.

This past weekend my wife and I spent the weekend there with my parents, sister, and her husband.  My sister Dana had mentioned to me that there was this thing going on called “Boom Days” on Saturday in the city park.  She heard something about free pancakes and people dressed up like “old times”.  That’s all she knew.  I was way too curious about this possible Lord of the Rings picnic not to go.  So I went.

Turns out the pancakes weren’t free, but instead they were part of an all-you-can-eat-pancake-buffet for just five bucks, and the people dressed up were Civil War reenacters, not from Medieval times.  There was also a llama, a clown, a car show, a guy on a unicycle, horses, cool crafts exhibits, three concert stages, (four if you count two guys playing bluegrass on the sidewalk), a BBQ competition, and even a dog show.  I had originally only planned to check it out for a little while to say that I went, then leave.  But instead, I was there for over two and half hours and left with a slight sunburn.

In other words, I had a whole lot of fun.  It was a reunion of sorts: I caught up with some childhood classmates like Alex Igou and Tiffanie Baker Vincent, as well as our legendary elementary school librarian, Mrs. Jane Mauldin.  Boom Days 2010 was truly the kind of city wide event that had something for everybody.  I predict that like the days of June Jam (1982-1997), Boom Days will similarly help the culture of the town to resurface.

It wasn’t really until I was in college and started bringing friends home for the weekend that I realized that Fort Payne supersedes commercialized stereotypes of what a small Southern town is supposed to be like.  Fort Payne is not simply Country music, cows, and tractors- which are all good and necessary.  Being that when I was growing up I was constantly in plays and musicals, most of them written and directed by native Eddie McPherson, I was always aware of Fort Payne’s love of the arts.  It has to mean something when there are two theatres in downtown, on the same street, a block away from each other.

Fort Payne is also set apart from many towns in that half of the city is on a mountain and the other half is in a valley.  I grew up on the mountain side, sandwiched in between Little River Canyon, Little River Falls, De Soto State Park, and the artistic town of Mentone.  So while the valley half is where I learned to be social and outgoing, at school and at church, it was the outdoorsy mountain half that catered to my introspective and artistic side.  Simply put, Fort Payne is the perfect environment to yield well-rounded and level-headed people.

It takes a village.  Mine was Fort Payne.

All of the scenic route snapshots  used in this post were taken during Boom Days 2010, courtesy of Nick Shell.