Stacey Blog

Indianapolis, born, bred and raised thriller author, Stacey Carroll is known for her unique perspectives on life and fiction. Influenced by Anne Rice, Stephen King and the Grimms Brothers, combined with the pure hatred of Disney endings, her novels are equally gritty and sexy with well-developed, realistic characters.

Additional influences on writing are her degrees. She has a Masters in HRD, a Bachelors in Aviation and a Computer science minor. All of these factors and her experience in flying Cessna 152s, 172s, King Airs and Piper Senecas have resulted in fiction novels that feature satisfying mature content emphasizing the characters.

 

If you would like to know more about blogging or how to blog, check out these books from Amazon:

 

 

Being that I am self-employed with no health insurance or sick days, I have been staying up-to-date on the potential coronavirus epidemic that started in Wuhan, China in December. It’s important to understand that coronaviruses are responsible for the common cold. COVID-19, however, is a super-cold, so to speak. To date, the new COVID-19 has spread to most countries, including the United States. My concern increased on March 6 with the first reported case in Indiana. To be quite honest, this initial Indiana case infuriates me, and in my opinion, the male quite deliberately caused his exposure by traveling to Boston for a convention where numerous people have also developed the illness. You couldn’t pay me enough to get on an airplane and go to a convention right now, so this guy’s logic completely eludes me. However, this guy isn’t the only person to blow-off this illness. I know many others, including members of my own family, who are not taking this seriously.

Logistics, Shipping and the Coronavirus

Let’s assume you are taking proper precautions to limit your exposure to the coronavirus, like washing your hands often and not going to crowded places. Even if you manage to avoid this super-bug, it’s still likely to impact you in the form of reduced availability of goods. If you’ve looked on Amazon lately, you’ll see the price of hand sanitizer is through the roof. I’ve seen hand sanitizer listed for as much as $150 and sometimes higher. That’s called price-gouging. What I’ve heard in the circles where I roam is that hand sanitizer as well as other types of antibacterial soaps are selling out. When I tried to order items from Target the other day for delivery, I found them out of 1000 sheet toilet paper (I won’t use anything else), antacids, Anti-Diarrheals and allergy medicine, at least as far as what I buy on a regular basis.

MarketWatch predicts that Target and Walmart will be the first to start selling out of certain goods. They are the two retailers that most heavily rely on Just-in-Time deliveries. These are deliveries that are only placed when stocks are reduced to X level. Then, just enough product is shipped to fulfill demand for three to seven days. Most grocery stores only keep about three days worth of supplies on hand. Severe out of stocks of certain items are predicted to start by Mid-April. Though, depending on where you live, you may already be seeing the impact. Costo is one chain that is seeing severe out-of-stocks due to a run on supplies.

What’s Being Purchased

  • Anti-bacterial Wipes

  • Hand Sanitizers

  • Water (Bottled and Jugged)

  • Toilet paper, paper towels, facial tissues and other paper products

  • Masks (Sugical, construction, Respirator)

  • Long Shelf-Life Items (Rice, Pasta Canned Goods)

  • Additional Types of Cleaning Supplies

  • Medication (both prescription and over-the-counter)

  • Some stores are also experiencing a rush on fresh meat

Can Supply Keep Up With Demand?

Not currently. Depending on what you read, the demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) by the masses as well as cleaning supplies has outpaced the supply in some markets. Hawaii has been quite affected due to the fact that they import most of their items. Of course, this is dependent on the market. Washington state, Minnesota, Hawaii and New York are experiencing the worst shortages, according to Newsweek.

Should You Stock Up?

It depends on your perspective and whether or not you believe the hype about the coronavirus is legitimate. If you believe this will blow over, you probably don’t want to stock up beyond what you normally would for the week or the month. If you somewhat believe the hype, perhaps you’d like to stock up for two or three weeks versus one week in order to limit your exposure to large crowds of people. If you believe the coronavirus is coming to your neighborhood or if it already has, you may be tempted to stock up for longer than 30 days.

When Will the Coronavirus Slow Down?

No one knows. In order for the virus to stop spreading in significant numbers, each infected individual needs to infect less than 1 person. That isn’t happening yet, according to Business Insider. Currently, there are 102,000 people that have been infected with the virus and 3500 have died. It’s currently present in 93 countries. There have been a total of 17 deaths in the United States.

I can’t tell you whether to buy extra supplies or not, you will have to make that decision, according to your needs and the needs of your family. What’s important it to be aware of the spread and take certain precautions in order to reduce your risk of exposure.

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Are you an entrepreneur who is looking for alternative ways to market your products? When many business owners think about marketing, they think about buying online ads, TV ads and possibly radio ads and billboards. All of these marketing ideas are considered traditional. You pay a company to serve or show your ad a certain number of times per day or whenever someone performs an Internet search that relates to your business and the products you sell. While traditional marketing works well, the savvy entrepreneur looks for alternative ways to create more interest in their products, and one of those ways is through affiliate marketing, which is sometimes referred to as a partner program. With a partner program, you may be better able to reach a larger target audience and increase your sales.

How Affiliate Marketing Works


Affiliate marketing is a performance-based marketing program that allows you to offer a certain percentage of the sale of an item to any entrepreneur who may be willing to place your products on their website. This is an ideal way to target a broader audience because the online business that hosts your products as advertisements probably sells similar services and products as your company. For example, if you sell custom car parts for older vehicles, websites that host your ads probably offer new and used car parts, but not custom car parts.

  1. An entrepreneur or online business signs up to be an affiliate marketer on your website.

  2. The entrepreneur or website owner chooses various products to advertise on their website and are given a custom link that points to your website and/or specific products.

  3. Potential customers view both the hosting sites products and the affiliate ads.

  4. If a customer clicks on the affiliate ad, they are taken to your online business and the specific product page.

  5. If the customer purchases a product, you gain a sale, and your affiliate marketer earns a percentage of that sale.

 

Getting Started with Affiliate Advertising


If you have a business and a website associated with that business, you can offer affiliate marketing to anyone who may be interested in placing your products on their website or in their social media feeds. To successfully start your affiliate advertising campaign, you’ll need:

  • A website with an online shopping cart

  • A desktop or laptop computer

  • An Internet connection


The first step to starting an affiliate advertising campaign is to have a website that sells a product or service and a shopping cart that allows for the development of an affiliate advertising system. One such shopping cart is Hikashop, which works with Joomla websites. If you have a wordpress website, you'll want to consider using WooCommerceIf you’ve purchased a hosting package that offers drag and drop features and a shopping cart, the shopping cart section may have an option to add affiliate marketing.

Creating Your Affiliate Advertising Campaign


After you’ve verified that your shopping cart allows for the creation of affiliate marketing campaigns, you’ll need to set it up. The exact setup will depend on your particular shopping cart, but in general, you’ll be able to choose specific categories, products and services that you want your affiliate marketers or partners to advertise.

Once you’ve set up the affiliate advertising section of your shopping cart, remember to create banners on your website and a menu button that leads to your affiliate advertising portal so that potential advertisers can sign up to be an affiliate marketer. In addition, you’ll want to promote this new opportunity across your social media sites so that you are maximizing the exposure of your affiliate advertising campaign.

As your campaign gains in popularity, you’ll be able to track certain metrics, like how many partners you have, clicks on the affiliate ads and all your affiliate sales. Tracking these metrics will allow you to see how successful the campaign is and whether or not you need to adjust your campaign to achieve better results.

 (Sponsored by Amazon)

Making the Most of Your Affiliate Marketing Campaign


Creating an affiliate advertising campaign for your online business works for many different types of companies, including those that offer services, digital downloads and physical products. As an entrepreneur, you may prefer it to traditional advertising because there are no upfront fees and a large or ongoing investment is not needed. Instead, the affiliate advertisers only get paid when someone orders a product from your online business after clicking on an affiliate link. This means that your affiliate ads could be viewed thousands of times without your having to spend a dime. However, affiliate advertising campaigns are not set and forget, and you will need to determine what percentage of each sale you are willing to give to your marketers. Percentages typically range from 1 to 10 percent of the purchase price.

  • You’ll need to regularly review your partners.

  • You’ll need to track clicks and sales through your affiliate campaign.

  • You’ll need to make sure that your product descriptions are up-to-date.

  • If you discontinue a product, it’s a good idea to let your partners know so that they can remove that product from their websites.

  • If you are offering sales or discounts on your website, let your marketers know via email so that they can promote your specials.

 

Understanding the Downsides to Affiliate Advertising


There aren’t many downsides to offering affiliate marketing for your products and services. Most of the process is completely seamless because your potential affiliates will click on your partner program, sign up, choose products and place those products on their websites. However, you will be sharing a portion of each sale that you make through your partner program, so it’s important to calculate how much of each sale you can afford to give to your marketers. You never want to choose an amount that results in little to no profit. If your profit margins are extremely low, you may have to raise the prices of your products in order to make sure you are still earning a profit after you pay your marketers.

Is Affiliate Advertising Right for Your Business?


Affiliate advertising can work for almost any entrepreneur who has an online business, even if all you sell are services. There are nearly no upfront fees other than the time it takes you to set-up your partner program, and you’ll only pay your partners if one of their affiliate links results in a sale. You can also update and manage your affiliate partner program from anywhere if you have a laptop and an Internet connection. This means that you can still manage your online business and marketing campaign while you are away for a business meeting, on vacation or getting a change of scenery at your local coffee shop.

 

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  3.  Have you considered utilizing videos as a means to promote your new Indie book? ...
  4.  The First Step to Selling More Books Is to Write a Breakout, Amazing, Can't Put Down Blockbuster. ...
  5. How Do I Promote My Self-Published Book for FREE? ...

 

Read More Fiction From Stacey Carroll

 

Anything for an A Kindle Edition

 

With time running out, 18-year-old senior, Kelsey, must get straight A’s  to qualify for a scholarship to college. After living several years on the street with her poverty riddled parents, in by a man she calls Uncle Greg, but he only agreed to house her until she graduated from high school. With four weeks left, Kelsey has to prove that she has a 4.0 graduating GPA  to get a free ride to college via an exclusive scholarship, and that means getting straight A’s her final semester and somehow convincing the teachers to change her previous grades. If she can’t do it, she knows she’ll end up back on the street.

In a high school that's better known for it's scandals and internal investigations than for it's high acedemic achievement, high school senior, Kelsey Smith, has her work cut out for her if she plans to take home the A-Plus Scholarship so she can get a free ride to college.

Disadvantaged due to her upbringing on the street and missing years of primary schooling, Kelsey just doesn't know enough of the material to get straight A's, but she does know how to manipulate her friends into doing her homework, and she likes to think she'd good at giving the men what they want. Can she turn her orgasmic skills into straight A's? She only has four weeks to make it happen! Otherwise, she could find herself back out on the street!

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When you’re in business, whether you’re a large corporation or a small business, operating as a sole-proprietor, LLC or S-corp, it’s extremely important to provide exemplary customer service in order to maintain your current customer base and grow. However, many companies, especially Comcast go out of their way to make terrible customer service a priority.

The Number One Reason Customers Quit Businesses

According to American Express, 86 percent of customers quit a business due to a bad customer experience. This means that it’s not due to getting a bad quality product or service, it’s absolutely due to the way the company handles the customer experience. For a brick and mortar store, providing a good customer experience may be as easy as having employees readily available to help customers find items and offering a speedy checkout service. If the customer does get a hold of a bad product or accidentally purchases the wrong product, it may be as simple as offering a speedy return process. For online companies, it means have quick phone customer service and/or no-hassle online options, like email and a chat option, where customers can get a fast resolution to their problems, questions or concerns.

Understanding What Makes Up a Bad Customer Service Experience

1. Make Your Phone Number Impossible to Find

While many businesses no longer provide a phone number for customer support, if you have one, you need to have it logically placed where it is readily viewable. You should also not offer callback solutions without providing the full number. No one wants to wait for someone to get around to calling back. People's time is valuable, and the faster someone can get ahold of an agent and solve their problem, the better.

2. Use a Complicated Automated Phone Menu That Prevents Customers from Reaching a Live Agent

The biggest offender of this is Comcast, which now goes by the subname Xfinity. Of course, Comcast has one of the worst ratings for customer service that you could have as a business, and part of that reason is that they make it impossible to get problems solved. If you call them, you must move through a complex automated voice menu where if you choose the wrong options, you’ll get stuck in an endless loop.

For Example: I recently called Xfinity to inquire about the status of a help request ticket. I got the voice automation which first asks to verify your address, then provides you with a list of options. My ticket was in regards to billing, so I said billing. Instead of directing me to a customer service representative in billing, it gave me another automated menu, asking me to pay my bill, hear my balance or do some other crap that was completely irrelevant to why I was calling.

Once I circled back to the original menu by saying main menu, I said billing. I got the same freaking options along with would you like us to send you a link via text. NO! OMG. After several rounds of that BS, I finally said Customer Service. That got me to an agent. BTW, they don't give you the option to say Customer Service agent. You have to remember that it's an option.

 (Sponsored by Amazon)

3. Use Customer Service Agents Not in the Country of the Caller.

The days of being able to route calls from one country to another country are over, even if the representative speaks the desired language. This is because non-native speakers can have thick accents that make them extremely difficult to understand. For example, you don’t want to route a native German speaker to someone who speaks German as a second language. This could result in words being mispronounced to the point where they are incomprehensible.

In my case, I was routed to someone with a heavy Indian accent. While I’m pretty good at translating heavy accents, it was nearly impossible for me to figure out what this agent was telling me. Part of it was his heavy accent. The other part of it was due to barely being able to hear him. Eventually, I had to request an agent that was a native English speaker, and I had to request that four times because the agent was like - I can help you.  Yes, but I cannot understand you, and I will not be agreeing to anything I don't understand.  I had to say that four times to get a transfer.

4. Provide Bullshit Answers and Delay Answering Questions

Providing good customer service means eliminating the bullshit. This means answering the question that was asked and not asking irrelevant questions. If a customer asks where can I find X, the answer shouldn’t be: Give me your name, address and phone number. The answer may not even involve going into the customer's account. Instead, they may simply need a list of how to do something, which can easily be spelled out in words or in text via a chat.

In a recent conversation with Xfinity, I asked how to look up a ticket number. This is an approximation of how the conversation went. 

Me: I need to look up a ticket number. How do I do that?

Them: I am so glad you contacted me. How can I help you?

Why do I have to repeat myself? Is this a flaw with the system, or is this the agent diliberately ignoring the question?

Me: I need to look up a ticket number. How do I do that?

Them: Of course, I’d be happy to help you. Give me your name, phone number and full address.

This is not a question that requires this information.  I need to know where the ticket number lookup is.

Me: How do I look up a ticket number?

Them: Can I have your name, phone number and full address.

Me: How do I look up a ticket number?

Them: Give me your name, phone number and full address.

Me: I just need to know how to look up a ticket number!

The agent is deliberately not providing the information. This is incredible.  At this point, it is headdesk-worthy. We're going to ask again because I want this agent to answer my question and learn something about the communication process.

Them: Give me your name, phone number and full address.

Me: How do I look up a ticket number!?

Them: Give me your name, phone number and full address.

Me: How do I look up a ticket number?????????

The agent is definately not learning anything. The question is still not answered.

Them: Give me your name, phone number and full address.

Me: Can I just get this question answered? How do I look up a ticket number?

Them: Give me your name, phone number and full address.

Me: Finally gives them the requested information and asks again – How do I look up a ticket number?

Them: I’d be happy to help you. Can I ask what the ticket is in regards to?

OMFG. I’m 20 minutes into this conversation and can’t get a straight answer. In fact, I never got my question answered. This is the type of question that does not need account information. It needs a list of how to do the thing that was asked. If there is no way for a customer to look up the required information then that needs to be stated clearly, and the agent needs to move on to getting the request handled, and that MAY require account information.

5. Deliberately Provide the Wrong Answer

Do not give customers the correct answer to their questions or offer a canned response. Listen to the question or request and provide the information the customer wants. If that information is unavailable or confidential, say that.

Here’s another Xfinity Example. 

After fighting with the automated system and the chat options on January 6th in order to upgrade my services, I eventually went back to the chat.

Me: I need the phone number for a customer service agent.

Them: Can I have your information?

Me: I just need the phone number for a customer service agent. No automated menu. No hold time because I’ve already been trying to upgrade my account for over an hour.

Them: I’d be happy to help you. Can I have your information? 

Here we go again. They can’t answer a simple question. 

Me: I finally provide the account information that they do not need in order to answer my question. Then, I ask again – Can I get the direct line to a customer service representative?

Them: I can help you upgrade your services.

Keep in mnd that I am asking a specific question.  I want that question answered, and I want out of the chat with the correct information.

Me: I’d just like the direct line to a customer service agent!

Them: I’d be happy to help you. What services did you want to change?

Me: *bangs head on desk repeatedly* Can I just get the direct line to a customer service agent. I’d like to talk to someone.

Them: You are talking to me, and I’d be happy to help you.

I'm just shaking my head at this point, and I can feel my bloodpressure rising.

Me: Could you answer my question?

Them: Here’s a number

Me: This is a direct line?

Them: Yes

Me: Dials the number and hears Welcome to Xfinity. I am looking up your address.

This the automated menu. This is the wrong number! Does the obligatory ten minutes with the automated menu. Your hold time is 65 minutes. And I ended the chat after receiving the wrong information.

6. Lie to Your Customers

When dealing with customers always provide truthful information and never lie. If you lie, your customers will eventually find out that you lied. In my example, I never did get those services updated and upgraded, but once I got to a live agent on the phone after 3 hours, I did request a full month credit due to all the hassle I had received. To my surprise, the agent agreed and gave me a $160 credit that should have been applied within a few days to a couple weeks, depending on billing cycles. 

After several days of not seeing the credit, I inquired about it. No information was available. I provided the ticket number. There was no such ticket number. Okay, I’ll call back the beginning of February, which I did. The first follow-up was the middle of January. When I still had not received my credit, I called back on Feb. 2. 

After much back and forth, the end result was that the agent lied, and even if they reviewed the phone conversation and found that I was promised a $160 credit, they would not honor it. This is lying. This is the worse customer service you can actually give. The correct response to finding out that a company has deliberately lied to you and will not honor their agreements is to cancel all services and never buy a product from them again. I live in semi-rural location. I actually have to move in order to get rid of all the services I have from Comcast, but I can cancel half of them right now. 

Needless to say, if you create a bad customer service experience, you will lose customers. In most instances, the company will see a drop in revenue immediately. Other companies are more fortunate because they have a monopoly or a near-monopoly and may not see the decreases right way. However, I can tell you this, if I provided my customers with this type of customer service experience, I would be out of business very quickly. And if you're wondering how this all started, I wanted to upgrade my services. Because of the terrible customer service, I'll be downgrading.

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In this digital age, it can be difficult to determine what to do with all those buy my shit emails from email lists you didn’t sign up for and companies you’ve never heard of. Conventional wisdom says to just send them to your Spam email folder and forget about them, but sometimes that isn’t enough to provide the deep satisfaction we all need when dealing with irrelevant and unwanted communications. In these instances, consider composting them.

1. Print Out Your Unwanted Emails

The first step to composting your unwanted emails is to print them out. I recommend the draft setting. There’s no reason to waste more ink than you need. After all, we’re not going to read them, we’re going to let these letters give us beautiful flowers and delicious vegetables. To ensure your compost is as organic as possible, I’m hoping you have all-natural paper in your printer and organically manufactured vegetable-based ink.

 (Sponsored by Amazon)

2. Tear the Emails into Bits

Once you’ve printed out all those buy my shit emails, tear them into bits. They can be as small or large as you like. Just make sure all the corners are really jagged. It helps with the composting process. This step is also very mentally and spiritually satisfying to watch these perfectly crafted, well-researched, SEO friendly emails being destroyed rip by beautiful rip. You can also envision the decrease in the various companies’ bank accounts as they paid for all those email lists so that they could send spam to unwitting individuals and other businesses.

3. Take the Bits Out to Your Composting Pile

Next, walk out to your composting pile filled with animal shit, food bits, scraps of meat, vegetable rinds, yard trimming and other organic waste. Dump the email bits onto the top of the composting pile. Make sure to get them all over that stinky shit pile until every bit of paper is covered in nasty goo and unmentionable grossness.

4. Stir Your Compost Pile

To ensure even decay and to stop methane gas from building up within the pile and potentially causing an explosion, stir your pile with a large pitchfork or heavy-duty iron rake. Make sure to get your pile thoroughly mixed so that it evenly decays and turns into beautiful, rich organic fertilizer.

5. Add the Compost to Your Flower Beds and Vegetable Gardens

Once the compost is ready, spread it evenly over your flower beds, around your bushes and trees and even in your herb and vegetable gardens. As the compost sits atop your soil, it will feed your plants, helping them become strong, beautiful and even delicious. 

By following these ingenious tips, you can turn those unwanted business emails into beautiful plants, flowers, vegetables and herbs. They don’t have to waste away in your spam box. You can turn them into something productive that you’ll enjoy every day!

 

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Read More from Stacey Carroll

 

Blooddoll1FullCoverADTHE BLOODDOLL FACTORY Kindle Edition

An unemployed male nurse lands a job at a reproductive clinic only to learn the babies he is helping to create are being sold to the local vampire population.​

After being unemployed for a year, William finally receives a call to come into Elite Surrogates and Adoption (ESA) for an interview. The sterile white interior does nothing for his confidence as he’s led to Sadie Jones' (HR manager’s) office where she proceeds to question him about his job experience and reproductive knowledge. 

It all goes well in this paranormal medical erotic romance until William realizes that he’s going to have to “perform” for the job. Fifty dollars an hour would help him catch up on his mortgage and get his wife to stop nagging him about the bills. However, using his own semen to propagate the reproductive cycle is more than a little weird. After considering the job and the busty HR manager, he agrees to continue the interview.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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If you have fewer than 5,000 followers or are stuck with 4,999 followers and unable to add more to your Following list, you may be wondering why. Part of Twitter’s algorithm to stop spammers and scammers (and be annoying to real accounts) is to limit the number of people you can follow. The first part of this code that most people notice is the 5,000 follower limit. This means that if you are following 5,000 people and 5,000 people are not following you, Twitter will tell you that you cannot follow any more accounts.

The 5,000 Follower Limit

Twitter allows all accounts the ability to follow as many other accounts as they wish up to 5,000. Of course, this is not all-inclusive. Twitter also put a limit on the number of accounts you can follow each day. That limit is 400. This means that if you are going out and finding 400 accounts to follow each day, you would hit the 5,000 follower Twitter limit in 12.5 days.

Once you are following 5,000 accounts, you will not be able to follow more accounts until the people following you reach 5,000.

For Example: 

Let’s say you’ve busted your butt and added 5,000 people to your Following list in 30 days. That’s an average of 167 accounts a day, which is perfectly doable with a little time and effort. Now, for all your effort, 1,500 of those accounts are following you, which is pretty standard. You can expect about 1/3rd of the accounts you follow to follow you back. Unfortunately, you’re stuck until 5,000 accounts follow you. This means that if the other 3,500 accounts never follow you back, you’ll be stuck at 5,000 for eternity.

 (Sponsored by Amazon)

Getting Rid of the Gap

In order to follow more accounts, you’re going to have to remove accounts, because *drum roll* you have to get the people who are following you to 5,000 in order to go beyond 5,000. It’s important to understand that no one really wants to remove any accounts from their lists, but it must be done due to the limitations placed on accounts by Twitter’s algorithms.

1. Get Rid of Celebrity Accounts, News Channels and Sports Accounts

When you first arrive on Twitter, Twitter typically recommends following big accounts, like celebrities, musicians, personalities, politicians, new channels, etc. Get rid of them. These accounts are mostly unmanned or they’re managed by a team of people or a third party company that does nothing but manage social media accounts for celebrities and high profile people. Just get rid of all these accounts right now. They will never follow you back. They will never like your posts or comment. There’s no reason to follow these accounts. If you are really truly interested in what some of these accounts are saying, you can add them to a list and check that list periodically for updates.

2. Get Rid of Your Unfollowers 

The second easiest way to clean up your Following list is to get rid of people who have unfollowed you. This means either you followed them or they followed you and you followed back, and the account unfollowed you at a later date. These types of accounts have proven that they do not want to interact with you. They’re not seeing your posts, and they’re not contributing or talking to you. Get rid of them. The best program I’ve found to get rid of unfollowers is WhoUnfollowedMe. They have a free option, and while it does contain limitations, it’s fantastic for quickly finding and removing unfollowers. However, you should never unfollow people from any 3rd party Twitter app. You should always unfollow accounts directly on Twitter. This is because using a 3rd party app for Twitter actions can result in your account getting suspended because it trips Twitter’s BOT code. 

3. Get Rid of Your Not Followers (Also sometimes referred to as non-followers)

Not Followers or non-followers are people who you have followed but have not followed you back. This is the third type of account you need to clear in order to reduce the number of accounts you are following below 5,000 so that you can follow more accounts that may follow you back. The best app I have found for this is UnfollowerStats. This program allows you to locate your not followers and remove them from oldest to newest. Under no circumstances, should you open your following list and start removing people from the top down. Those accounts located at the top of your following list are the ones you just added, and they may not have had time to review the people following them and add the real accounts. You should really give the new accounts you follow anywhere from two to four weeks to add you. 

4. Create Lists

If you really hate the idea of using third party apps to find and remove unfollowers and people who have not followed you back, you can use Twitter’s List function to help you. Every day you follow you people, you can add them to a list. I would recommend naming that list according to the month and day of the month.

For Example: 

If you are adding new people today (on the day this post was written), you’d name your list December16. Then, you would add an account then add that account to your list. The advantage of this method is that you will know the exact date you added specific accounts, and you will know how many accounts you added. The downside is that this is very time-consuming. However, once you have your list, wait 14 to 30 days. Then, go back through the list and unfollow all the accounts that didn’t follow you back and delete the list. As a reminder, you want to make lists of this nature PRIVATE. No one wants to know that they are being added to a list for this purpose.

 

 (Sponsored by Amazon)

Follow Limits After 5,000 Followers

Once you crest 5,000 followers, you will encounter the 10 percent limit. This limit means that you can only follow 10 percent more people than are following you. 

For Example:

If you have 5,000 followers, you can add up to 5,500 people to your Following List. If you have 10,000 people following you, you can add more people until you are following 11,000 accounts.

Of course, the 10 percent limitation means that you’ll still have to track your unfollowers and not followers if you want to keep expanding the reach of your account. Since this is time-consuming, you may not want to do it all the time. For that reason, I recommend setting some time aside every week, every two weeks or once a month to clear unfollowers and not followers.

I do want to stress that no one really wants to do this. We follow accounts because we like them or they provide value in the content they post. Unfortunately, Twitter has eliminated the option of being able to follow as many accounts as you wish, regardless of who is following you back. It is a necessary evil if you want to keep expanding the reach of your Twitter account.

 

 

The First Five Drafts: Prevent Over-Editing and Get Your Novel Done Faster with the Five Draft Method (SC Writing Book 1) Kindle Edition

This is the no-fluff, serious writer's guide to getting your novel started, edited and finished.

The five draft method is designed to help you reduce your chances of over-editing, which can stall your writing process and cause you to either never deem your novel finished or ruin it in any number of ways, including inputting too many slow sections, taking out all the interesting details and doing too much ‘showing’ versus ‘telling’.

In this writer's self-help book, you will learn how to write your first draft and revise your manuscript to the point where it's ready for self-publication or submission to agents and/or publishers.


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Draft 1: The Junk Draft 
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Draft 3: The Rough Draft 
Draft 4: The Analytical Draft
Draft 5: Final Draft 

Plus! Proofreading for Publication

 

Write Your Novel Notebook (SC Writing)

Are you ready to write your novel? Are you looking for a journal or notebook that can help you get it done? If you answered yes, the Write Your Novel Notebook may be the notebook you've been waiting for.

Notebook Highlights

20 Chapters

20 pages per chapter

Add notes and other information at the end of each chapter

Pages to add additional notes at the end of this notebook

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This notebook starts by allowing you to write down the date you started and the date you finished your manuscript, the title of your work in progress, the subtitle and your name. Next, answer a few basic questions, including:Why are you writing this novel?Why will this novel appeal to readers?What genre is this novel?What is your estimate of the finished word count?Add any additional notes!!!

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Do you love Twitter and your followers, but aren’t sure how to interact with them in order to be considered a great Twitter friend? You’re not alone! Many individuals, authors, businesses and casual accounts have no idea what’s needed in order to be a great Twitter friend and increase the engagements with their accounts.

1. Like It

One of the easiest things you can do to engage with your followers is to like their posts. To me, a like either indicates the person really did like it, or they read it. Either way, a like is good, and it takes less than a second. If you’re wondering if likes really matter, they do. I know who regularly likes my posts. Eventually, those names become ingrained in your head, and when people think about other accounts to mention or shout-out, the liking accounts are usually first to be mentioned because they’re the first ones that come to mind.

2. Retweet It

It the post is interesting or informational or you identify with it, retweet it. Retweets can be a simple button click or more in-depth with a personal comment from you. The good news about commenting on a retweet is that you’ll also see the image impressions, likes and retweets of that post on your feed.

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3. Mention Accounts You Love

It’s all about the shoutouts and writers' lifts and mentions. If you really love an account and find them extremely entertaining or useful, mention them. These mentions can be done at any time during the week, or you can participate in #followfriday. No matter how you do it, mentioning a list of great people to follow gets you noticed.

4. Post Interesting Things

Post interesting things that others may also like. This can be your own articles from your website, other people’s website articles or things you are working on. Some accounts also ask questions and post polls. What you need to do is figure out why people follow you and what makes you interesting or unique. Then, do what makes you great. For me, it’s posting informative and/or entertaining articles. For you, it might be posting random polls, asking questions on certain topics or posting about the crazy things that happened to you during the day.

5. Limit Your Complaining

Social media, including Twitter, are the anonymous ears no one ever gives you in real life. I understand. I also understand that life is hard. People can be difficult, and things don’t always go your way. Trust, me. I’m one of those people where if I didn’t have bad luck, I’d have no luck at all. However, I almost never complain, or at least, my interesting posts outweigh my rants and raves about things that are pissing me off.

It also goes without saying that is all you ever post are complaints and gripes, you are going to lose engagement and potentially followers, and other accounts may also choose to mute you, which means unless they click on over to your profile, you’ll disappear from their view. The bottom line. No one wants to hear you complain 24 hours a day, nor do they want to get notifications about your complaints on their cell phones and tablets. Instead of complaining, focus on talking about your projects or posting things that other people may find interesting.

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Being a great Twitter friend doesn't have to take hours, and it doesn't have to mean leaving a comment or talking for hours when you should really be doing something else. Instead, it’s simply being mindful, engaging where appropriate and remembering that you are just as interesting as all the other people on Twitter.

 

 

Read more from Stacey Carroll

 

Blooddoll2FrontCover01THE BLOODDOLL FACTORY II Kindle Edition

 

William Wilson is torn as a new clinic director (Kane Devonshire) takes over ESA and continues to sell babies as vampire food. While William doesn’t believe the vampire is worse than Blackwell, his Bonded just might be. The violent redhead has been known to attack every human she encounters. She’s unpredictable, dangerous and might just have to be put down along with Kane. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I am sad to say that I have, but it wasn’t because of any Internet search related to what they do or crossing their path on social media. Instead, their emails started showing up in my inbox and not my business email inbox. They started showing up in the email address I use for social media. In fact, until I started getting their emails, I had no idea they existed, and today, I still wish I didn’t know they existed.

Unscrupulously Collecting Emails

I’m not a huge fan of email lists as you all probably know. However, I know that some people wish to receive email updates about websites and other things they are interested in, like their favorite authors. For that reason, I have an email signup on this website. What I don’t do is go out and collect email addresses, and signing up for an account on staceycarroll.org doesn’t automatically result in getting email updates. Though, I could input that feature in the future. I don’t do it right now. What I refuse to do is gather email addresses randomly. I believe this is what Social Cruise did. Scoured social media for email addresses then added them to an email list. This tactic is highly frowned upon. As is buying email lists. In fact, if you can buy an email list, you are guaranteed that list is trash.

There’s no Unsubscribe in their emails, and if there were, I doubt I’d click on it. What I did do was tell them directly to remove me from the list. They did not. They also use many different email addresses and several different versions of their website address to get around spam filters and site blocks. It took me many weeks to get all of their emails to appear in my spam folder, and they appear there. They still, many weeks later, haven’t removed me. I got an email 5 hours ago and 9 hours ago. I was found them cause I was looking for something else that may have gone to spam. This type of business practice doesn’t fill me with confidence, and keep in mind. I never signed up with them. I have never visited their website prior to getting those emails, and when I did, it was simply to see if they had an unsubscribe somewhere on the site. They do not.

What do they supposedly do? Get more Instagram followers. I don’t know if they’ve heard but Instagram is a PITA. It’s the only social media website I know of that hates its users, and it pretty much hates any 3rd party software that connects to it, including autoschedulers. I should know. They block me about every 3rd day, and I know authors that have been blocked for liking and commenting too much. So much for engagement.

So What Else Did I Find Out About Social Cruise After Getting Pissed Tonight?

They are bad bad news. Far worse than I really imagined. As many reviewers have stated, they’re real close to being fraud, and I would suspect if these stories are true, they are fraud.

This is from CyberCashWorldWide. The first post is from a guy who calls himself Steven:

They continued to charge me and never responded to requests for cancellation. They are a horrible company with a terrible lack of customer service. The chat they offer on their website never acknowledges anything other than to say they will refer the matter to accounting. Stay away from this company. They do nothing but steal from their customers refusing to stop billing the client’s card long after the cancellation request. A CLASS ACTION Lawsuit should be initiated.

I am also going to setup a complains site about them and post the reviews to everywhere on line. Social Cruise is a horrible thieving company that never delivers on what it promises. Read their terms and conditions, the last 4 paragraphs are basically; we screw the client and we decide if and when we ever give a refund even when they double charge!”

There are 10 or 15 of these posts that say that the trial period is not honored. They don’t refund any money, and they keep charging you after you request to cancel the account. If you sign up with Social Cruise, you’ll be fighting the charges via your CC or your bank card.

On Quora:

You have to scroll a little bit, but eventually, you’ll see:

IT’S A SCAM! After seeing zero new followers or even interactions in 14 days I asked the supportperson to cancel my subscription. After a very long chat where she tried her best at getting me to upgrade instead of cancelling, I was told that they’d cancel as agreed.

6 days later they still hadn’t cancelled and instead I was charged for the subscription.

I wrote them right away and after some initial confussion on whether I had a subscription, I was told that NOW it was cancelled and that she’d make sure I was given a refund.

Can you guys guess what happened 7 days later?? That’s right, I was charged once again and to no big surprise, the support are no longer answering”

 

There are several more on Quora that sound a lot like the above post.

Signal Arnaques also lists SocialCruise as a potential scam, and there are several negative reviews regarding individuals credit cards being charged long after they requested their accounts canceled and closed.

I would not touch SocialCruise with a 10 foot pole, and if you’ve been contacted by them, please send their emails to spam and forget they exist. If you've had dealings with this company, please comment.  Some of the stuff I read indicated that Social Cruise also harasses review websites that don't post glowing reviews of their services.

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Line Editing

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