Where I Ended Up Exactly One Year After Losing My Job: 6 Months In at a Fortune 500 Company, With a 62% Pay Increase

Today makes exactly one year since I lost my job in HR and Recruiting in the transportation industry, after working at the same place for over 11 years. The company essentially shut down an entire branch all at once, meaning that dozens of us left the office for the final time that day, with a 2 weeks’ severance pay on the way out.

For the next 6 months, I proudly adopted the title of “Stay at Home Dad”, as our daughter was only a year and a half. During that amount of time (and as I still continue to do now), I made a side income from managing my 2 YouTube channels along with this blog, as well as working as a contracted SEO Specialist for Vanderbilt University’s Biostatistics Department.

I also applied for 107 jobs, updated my LinkedIn, and prayed to God that I would find favor with the right people.

One of those jobs was for a Fortune 500 Company; right across the interstate from where I had worked all those years.

It’s funny because I had always dreamed of one day, being able to work in one of those half dozen identical 6 story buildings; not even knowing which employers were actually in them.

Exactly 6 months after losing my job, I received a call from that Fortune 500 company. I went in for the interview the day before my 37th birthday.

I didn’t realize what a big deal it was that I had more than a decade of recruiting experience specifically in the trucking industry and that I had even voluntarily took a course in HR a few years back; specializing in Emotional Intelligence.

But the manager did. And I was offered the job on the spot.

That was 6 months ago.

Since then, I have thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of applying everything I have learned over the years, here at my new job.

It’s pretty rewarding to think: There are a lot of things I’m not good at- but somehow, I am totally wired to be a recruiter; to handle the hiring side of HR.

I have a talent for managing chaos; which is ultimately what recruiting is, especially in the transportation industry. I am well qualified for a job that is well in demand these days.

Finally after all these years, I can feel that my English degree and my more than a decade of recruiting and retention experience has paid off… literally:

In a year’s time, I now make 62% more than I did at my old job, where I was actually in a management role.

Granted, my wife and I are Dave Ramsey followers. So we’re simply carrying over all our extra income into paying off the principal on our home mortgage, as well as savings.

And yes, that’s still the same old paid off 2004 Honda Element there in the picture behind me. (I’ve owned it since January 2006.)

Even though I could buy, in cash, the Jeep Wrangler that I have wanted all these years, it’s more important to me to manage this extra income wisely.

After joining the work force with thousands in student loans and getting married a few years later in 2008, during the recession, and learning to live off a lot less for so many years, it’s hard to imagine living any other way at this point.

So yeah… it’s been an interesting year for me.

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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!

 

3 Awesome Kid-Friendly Vegan Restaurants in New York 

By guest blogger Eathen Smith, as part of the sponsored Hotel Planner campaign.

The environmental, health, and social benefits of vegan food have never been more obvious to a new generation of health-conscious parents and restaurateurs. Both are on different sides of the restaurant counter but are equally determined in their efforts to promote healthy food choices for children.

Vegan menus for kids are still difficult to find, but there are numerous kid-friendly vegan restaurants in New York City. The number of hotels and transportation near some of the restaurants makes the city perfect for time restricted parents. Here are a few vegan-friendly restaurants found throughout the city;

Experience Convenience and Vegan Delights in Queens

Vegan-friendly, homemade, fresh, delicious, convenient, and attentive staff are all words that have been used to describe Bruno’s Restaurant. It is located near Howard’s Beach in Queens and is close to JFK Airport.

Large portions of food are the norm at Bruno’s Restaurant. The vegan-friendly menu includes fresh salads, pizza, pasta, and Italian desserts. Friendly staff also go above and beyond to provide a wonderfully warm and inviting atmosphere. There are plenty of transport options nearby, and taxis are recommended for late evenings.

Looking to stay nearby? Hotels are conveniently located all over Queens and can be reached within minutes.

Convenient Mexican Vegan on the Lower East Side  

JaJaJa Plantas Mexicana is a walk-in restaurant located on the Lower East Side of New York. The vegan menu rates highly among locals and visitors. There is a park across the road for distracting the kids while the family waits to be seated. The wait is worth it when the menu arrives. It is made up of unique Mexican food such as vegan chorizo, black bean burgers, and cauliflower rice. JaJaJa is located above a train station and car parking is plentiful making it perfect for a quick exit. The modern decor of JaJaJa is complemented by fun music, convenience, and an excellent location.

Upper East Side Vegan Experience  

Le Botaniste is for families with slightly higher budgets but provides delicious vegan food on the Upper East Side of New York. The restaurant offers a fast and convenient restaurant experience. There are lots of vegan food options at this restaurant, and a family with children can be in and out of Le Botaniste in minutes. The Tibetan Rice Bowl is a favorite choice for vegans. It contains coconut curry, brown rice, and veggies. Bowls of green vegetables, quinoa cookies, and assorted bowls of food are just a few of the other menu items.

Exceptional and tasty vegan food in New York City will continue to convert carnivores. The choices for kid-friendly vegan food is phenomenal, and there is something for every budget. The convenient restaurant locations near hotels and public transport make for an easy meal and decreased waiting times. Creative vegan delights from some of New York’s best have the potential to change a new generation of eaters and bring joy to conscious parents.

Image via Flickr by WoodleyWonderworks

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. This is such a hot commodity that I am currently able to charge $100 for this service alone.) 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)

SEO Spotlight Series: Legacy Coffee Co. in Spring Hill, Tennessee Uses Locally Roasted Beans (Featuring a Video Making an Iced Caramel Macchiato)

If you happen to be passing through Spring Hill, Tennessee, a must-stop place is Legacy Coffee Co. As a resident for 3 years now, I am well aware of the buzz about Legacy. It’s quite typical when I am getting coffee there, that I have heard the same reoccurring message from fellow customers:

“I would rather support local business. I want to contribute to our own community. Not to mention, I like the coffee here better anyway!”

I met the owner, Joshua Merrill, a couple of years ago when his coffee joint consisted of a pick-up truck pulling a tiny house that he built himself.

Fortunately, his business saw enough success that last fall, he was able to move in to some extra space at everyone’s favorite pizza place in Spring Hill: Viking Pizza Co.

Something that has become apparent to me when I visit Legacy Coffee Co. is that Joshua apparently knows every single person in town by name. He’s like the modern day equivalent of the owner of the General Store in town.

Except he runs a coffee shop instead.

It is obviously very important to the identity of Legacy Coffee Co. that they locally roast the beans themselves. This is something I quickly learned when I was shooting the 2 minute video promo of Josh explaining how he makes an Iced Caramel Macchiato. Check it out, and you’ll be able to catch a glimpse of Joshua’s passion for the art of making exceptional coffee.

And if you did just watch that video, you’re probably drooling right now for his hand-crafted Iced Caramel Macchiato. That’s what happened to my wife when she saw the video.

It’s no surprise that she actually just informed me we are making our way to Legacy Coffee Co. in the morning. So maybe we’ll see you there.

Want to see your business featured in my SEO Spotlight Series?

I am confident I can help boost your business’s presence online, thanks to hosting a special customized article (like this one) here on my website; which notably has great SEO. Plus, I also will shoot a special video promo for you, to host and share on my YouTube channel.

On top of all this, I am also convinced I can do this at a much cheaper price than any other media company could do for you. As of April 7th, 2018, I am starting out at the introductory price of $350.

Interested? Curious? Email me with the subject line, “SEO Spotlight Series”:

nickshell1983@hotmail

Google, YouTube, and Amazon: How People are Constantly Making Money from All 3 Forces of the Trifecta of the Modern Day Tower of Babel

Allow me to introduce you to the underworld of the Internet, where people earn passive incomes, thanks to the rest of the world constantly searching for answers on Google, products on Amazon, and education and entertainment on YouTube. These are the 3 forces that help sustain the modern day Tower of Babel.

I think of it as the perfect relationship between creators and consumers.

While it might make us uncomfortable to admit it, these 3 search engines combined serve as a man-made, all-knowing, instantly accessible, god-like entity with instant answers that people can literally see right there on the screen.

No praying required, no real faith involved here. Just type a few words and immediately become more enlightened.

It’s like we’re climbing the stairs to the top of the Tower of Babel, like finding our own way to Heaven; or at least to a more convenient version of life. But hey, if that thought really makes you feel bad; that in theory, we’re all participating in the the modern day Tower of Babel, just promise to never use Google, YouTube, or Amazon again.

Do you want to instantly know how to predict if a young man is going to go bald? Just Google it, and you’ll get to me.

Do you want to know what the best yet affordable espresso machine is on the market? Just Google it, and you’ll get to me.

Do you want to instantly know how to be cured of dyshidrotic eczema without depending on prescriptions from a doctor? Just Google it, and you’ll get to me.

Okay, so maybe you personally aren’t currently looking for answers to these questions. That’s okay. Because somebody else is. All the time. And I am getting a piece of the pie.

How so? This is a glimpse at the way it works.

Having an SEO rich website, for people to stumble upon while searching something on Google:

I own the equivalent of real estate here on the Internet. I have this blog you’re reading now, which has been around since May 2009, which contains over 2400 different articles, all of which contain a minimum of 300 words each. This serves as my dragnet to “capture” a decent portion of a great number of things people might be searching at any giving moment on the Internet. Every second of every day.

Because of this, and other secret reasons, my blog (this website) has good SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. Therefore, companies realize this when they themselves search for certain keywords (which I carefully implanted here on my website). They obviously want their product featured on easy-to-find platforms like mine, so they reach out to me; offering a free product and/or payment in exchange for being featured here on my “real estate”.

Having a YouTube channel with a decent amount of subscribers:

I have come to the realization that most people don’t realize YouTubers actually make money every time someone clicks on an ad that shows before a YouTuber’s video. With over 2,000 videos, and each one averaging at least 4 minutes long, I have a steady stream of newcomers landing on my YouTube channel each day.

The more who subscribe, the more views I get, the more money I make. From there, I make videos to coincide with certain blog topics that I write about here on my blog. That way, I can use both my blog and YouTube channel in connection with one another; potentially bringing my audiences together.

Having an Amazon Affiliate account to earn a commission from any items sold, from links I plant on my website and YouTube videos:

Fathom this truth… anytime you click on a link that takes you to Amazon and you end up buying anything, the person who put that link there gets a portion of that sale. The link you clicked may have been for a children’s booster car seat, but after clicking the link, you may have wandered off and instead, ended up buying organic vegan Ramen noodles. 

It doesn’t matter. Amazon rewards people like me who have popular enough platforms to usher people over to Amazon and buy a product.

So obviously, in each of my most popular blog posts and YouTube videos, as well as most of my newest ones, there is at least one link to an Amazon product; as I capitalize on the fact I have a decent sized blog, with an accompanying YouTube channel.

Now knowing this about me, do you think differently of this family friendly daddy blogger?

Am I a sneaky guy who preys on unassuming people who are casually searching things on the Internet?

Or am I just another business-minded creative personality who understands how the system works; that consumers are constantly searching for answers and that I might as well be the one with some of those answers. I have just enough answers to get more than a thousand people to stumble upon my website and YouTube channel each day.

So the next time you Google something random end up on someone’s website, think, “I’m improving their power and presence on the Internet.”

The next time you need to learn something by watching a YouTube video and click on the ad that shows before it, think, “I just made that person a fraction of a penny.”

And the next time you click on a link on a website than transports you to Amazon and you buy something, think, “Somebody somewhere is getting a percentage of this sale.”

You now understand the basics of the business model of the modern day Tower of Babel.