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:



If you're a freelancer and you haven’t heard about article lengths according to the main SEO keyword, don’t feel bad. I just heard about this a few weeks ago, and my reaction was probably pretty close to what yours is right now. What the hell is that, and you have got to be kidding me! After all, as freelancers, we want to turn out high-quality web content and promotional and informative articles that cover the topic in however many words it takes to get the job done properly. The best-case scenario is that the client gave a word count range that allows that to happen. In the worst-case scenarios, the word count isn’t long enough and important pieces have to be cut, or the word count is too long and fluff has to be added. Unfortunately, the new trend is to base an article-length off of the main SEO keyword.

Understanding the Relationship Between SEO Keywords and Article Lengths

Like with most things SEO related, this is an estimate. The client, blogger or writer looks for sets of SEO keywords. Then, the individual does his or her best to try to determine the most common article length that includes that keyword.

For Example:

Let’s say you’ve chosen the keyword Back Pain. Once you know that’s the keyword you want to focus on in your article, you try to determine the average word count lengths of the articles that are currently posted online. Then, you attempt to make your new back pain article that length, neither going under that word count or significantly over it.

Why Article Length According to SEO Keyword Is Now a Thing

It’s all about beating that Google Algorithm and fast-tracking a website to the top of the search engine results, and this is a metric in the Google Algorithm. In order to show you the best possible results, somewhere in that algorithm is a piece of code that ranks results according to the article length of everything else that’s out there. Presumably, if you can manage to calculate the word counts of the most popular articles according to X keyword, you’ll rank higher in the search engine results.

Why Would You Rank Higher in Google with a Longer Article?

The assumption here is that a longer article has more valuable information in it, and for the most part, that’s true, if your hired writer stuck to the topic. The idea is that with the longer article, the writer dug deeper into the topic, and there are details included in the long-form article or blog post that don’t exist in the shorter pieces.

For Example:

Most of the articles on range between 800 and 1,500 words and are written to be extremely informative and actionable. I wouldn’t be able to do that with shorter pieces in the 300 to 500-word range. If you’re curious about where I rank, according to Google, I show up on page 4 in most search engine results in my industry. That’s nothing to sneeze at, so I must be doing something right to spite never having calculated my article-length according to my keyword.

How do You Calculate Article Length According to Keyword

This is where it gets messy. I have yet to see a keyword finding with a metric for average article length. If this particular thing catches on widely, they’ll start appearing. You can bet your wallet on it. However, it all has to be done manually as of this moment.

Find Your Keyword and Estimate the Word Count

The first thing you have to do is determine your preferred keyword. For the purposes of this article, I’m going to use ‘Reasons to Remodel Your Home’. That’s a topic and a long-tail keyword. To calculate the word count range, I have to plug that in and pull the first 5 or 10 results. I’m going to pull the first 5, regardless of whether or not it’s from an authoritative website, copy the text into my word processor and look at the word count. For the record, I use DuckDuckGo as my search engine, not Google. I feel like their results are more accurate. With that being said, the first result was from a mommy blog. As a freelancer, I’m never going to use that as a source.

  • Article 1 – 563 Words, and in my opinion, the topic was not covered well

  • Article 2 – 769 Words with slightly more information than in the top ranking article

  • Article 3 – 1,369 Words with highly detailed information

  • Article 4 – 804 Words result is off-topic, reasons to NOT remodel your home

  • Article 5 – 879 Words, nonstandard reasons listed, mostly detailed financials

As you can see here, the word count ranges from 550 to 1,400 with an average word count of 877. Using just the SEO keyword versus article-length metric, you would need to have your freelancer create an article on this topic of between 800 and 900 words. If you wanted a higher word count and a more detailed article, the maximum ranges would be 1,000 to 1,400.

What Is the Current Article Trend?

The current overall article trend is for longer posts. This means that very few companies are opting to get content in the 300 to 500-word range. Instead, they are looking for content in the 800 to 1,500-word range, which is mostly illustrated here in the fact that only one of these articles is at 500 words.

The Cost Considerations When Thinking About Ordering Longer SEO Content

If you’re looking for a freelance writer to write your blog posts and articles, longer word counts mean more money. Prices for freelancers can range from less than a penny a word to $2 a word. The prices here start at .35 cents a word with decreases according to how much content is ordered, which is pretty average for an experienced freelancer.

Lowest to Most Expensive Prices

It’s important to understand that the lowest prices are often found on content mills, which are where new freelancers and individuals getting into freelancing typically start. The higher amounts are for independent freelancers with decades of experience.

  • 300 to 500 Words - $2.10 to $1,000 per article

  • 500 to 800 Words - $3.50 to $1,600 per article

  • 800 to 1,000 - $5,60 to $2,000 per article

  • 1,000 to 1,500 - $7.00 to $3,000 per article

Midrange Prices

Most independent freelancers call within these ranges for their posted prices on website content, if they post prices on their websites. Most independent freelancers want you to contact them for a quote.

  • 300 to 500 Words - $105 to $500 per article

  • 500 to 800 Words - $175 to $800 per article

  • 800 to 1,000 - $280 to $1,000 per article

  • 1,000 to 1,500 - $350 to $1,500 per article

Should You Use the Article Length According to SEO Keyword Method?

That is up to you. If you feel like this would help you rank higher on search engines, you can certainly try this method. If you want an estimate for a good article length, I would recommend 700 to 1,000 words. That word count will typically cover almost any topic so that it provides value to your readers and website visitors.

Article Stats According to This Method

  • What word count was this post? 1,237

  • What’s the long tail SEO keyword? Article Length According to SEO Keyword

  • What’s the average word count of similar posts? 1317

  • Did I do any of this method prior to writing this article? No, I checked it after the fact

  • The average cost of getting a similar article written. $433.00

  • The most expensive price you’d pay for this article. $2,474

  • The least expensive price you’d pay for this article. $8.66

  • The quality of existing articles/research on this topic. Thin and fluffy, slightly to completely off-topic. I didn’t find them extremely useful or fact-loaded for this metric. With that being said, I obviously found enough information to cover this topic.

  • Number of research articles used to write this. Six


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Do you need content for your website, blog or social media page, like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn but don’t have a huge content budget? When you find yourself in this situation, you may be tempted to order cheap content from the lowest-priced freelancer you can find either via a content mill or on places like Fivrr. The truth is that when you order extremely cheap content, you get what you pay for, and you could spend more time editing it than it would have taken you to research and write the article yourself. You could also end up hiring a second freelancer who offers content revision services that are designed to rewrite cheap content mill content.

What You Can Expect When You Order Cheap Content

For full disclosure purposes, I will tell you that this content was purchased specifically for this article with directions that told the freelancer to not fix any mistakes. That’s not to say I haven’t received content this bad. I have. In fact, I have one sitting in my documents folder that I need to completely rewrite before I can use it, and I paid much more than $7 for it. I would have used that article for this article, but the topic wasn’t preferable.

The total article cost of the below article was $7. Of that $7, the author received about $3 for their efforts. This could mean that this freelancer received less than minimum wage for their efforts, which is currently $7.25 in the United States, according to the US Department of Labor. (The site I used gives the option to tip the author, which I used, so let’s not think that I paid this freelancer $3. It was more than that.)

In order for this freelancer to make minimum wage, which we all know isn’t a livable wage, they would have to do three of these articles an hour. That gives them 20 minutes to research and write it. If this freelancer needs $15 an hour in order to pay their bills, it would mean that they need to research and write five articles an hour. That gives them 12 minutes to research, write, format and edit this article. It virtually guarantees that whoever receives the content will get content they cannot post without performing extensive revisions. By the way, if you expect this $3 freelancer to revise this, you’re out of luck. They don’t have the time to write your article twice. It’s just going to get thrown back into the queue for someone else.

An Example of Cheap Content


Waterproofing your home is beneficial for winter

Weatherproofing your home for the winter is a very beneficial idea I can help save so much money and have other benefits that can help you in life. I’m going to share with you a few reasons why weatherproof in your home is very cost-efficient and good for health.

Water damage can be very costly for repairs for basements and flooding so that’s why weatherproofing is it beneficial for the future to prevent anything that will give you extra expenses.

One of the main reasons that weatherproofing is very important is because of health purposes. It is very important to have a healthy environment and prevent mold and dampness from surfacing in your home so with weatherproofing there won’t be any health issues like asthma or hay fever.

The cooling and heating cost will be lowered because humidity causes leaks in your home. Saving money is one of the main reasons why weatherproofing you’re home can I help you in the future.

Eventually you may want to sell your home so thinking of weatherproofing is a great idea because the value of your home will increase. Waterproofing during the winter is a very good idea and saving money will give you opportunities to use the money you save to take a trip or invest in a business.

Waterproofing helps your home with longevity. Your house will last a long time and become a very useful investment if you choose to do so. Protecting your roof from heat , light, wind, rain and snow will save you money and time.

In conclusion, waterproofing your house is the best solution of you would like to preserve for years. There are many reasons why this will be a positive service to complete and the best thing is waterproofing jobs is very simple to do less time consuming because repairing the roof would take more time and money.


Understanding What’s Wrong with the Above Content

There’s very little of the above article that’s salvageable. The entire thing is pretty much crap from the title down, but let’s take a deeper look at this and really dive into why this content can’t and shouldn’t be used as it is.


Additional Things Wrong with This Content

It’s important to note that all the red highlighting simply indicates the technical problems with the article. This includes spelling, grammar, punctuation, missing words and spacing problems. There’s much more wrong with this article than the technical aspects.

  1. There are no headers. This article is not skimmable.

  2. The word beneficial was used so many times that you’d thing I’d ordered it as an SEO keyword.

  3. There are a lot of unclear sentences and redundant phrases.

  4. It really doesn’t tell you anything. This article is mostly fluff.

  5. Some of it is completely inaccurate. Humidity does not cause leaks. It can damage your drywall, lead to a mold infestation and harm your wood surfaces, but directly contribute to a leak?  That's a little far-fetched. (We may have a debate though, if you live near the ocean. Salt water is hell on everything.)

  6. None of the information is verified, and the reader doesn’t know why the points in the article are true.

  7. This article doesn’t sound like it comes from an authoritative source.

Why would anyone post this on their website or social media account?

To be blunt, because they don’t give a rat’s ass what’s on their website or how valuable it is to readers. All they care about is getting new content as fast as possible and as cheaply as possible in order to keep their website and social media feeds flowing. The truth is that content like this won’t help you. If anything, your visitors and potential customers will avoid you like the plague because you’re obviously not knowledgeable in your own industry, and even if you convince them that you are, this quality of content could be indicative of the quality of services your customers receive.

What High-Quality Content from an Experienced, Professional Freelancer Looks Like

Whenever possible, you want to hire experienced, professional freelancers for all your website and social media content needs. These freelancers have more experience, and they’d probably written several articles in your industry. If your freelancer hasn’t written anything on your industry or on the topic, they’re going to be more willing to research your article in order to make it as accurate as possible. This means that you will perform less editing once you receive your content, and you may actually be able to use it as is.


Reasons to Weatherproof Your Home

Are you concerned that you’re paying too much for your winter heating and summer cooling bills? If you are, you should know that weatherproofing your home can save you as much as 50 percent on your heating and cooling bills with the average homeowner saving about 10 to 15 percent. Not to mention, you will feel more comfortable and be less likely to experience hot and cold rooms in your home.

1. You’ll Eliminate Drafts

Weatherproofing your home helps eliminate drafts around doors and windows, which are the primary areas where homes leak climate-controlled air and allow the outside air into the home. Long-lasting solutions to sealing air leaks include caulking around doors and windows and replacing your current single pane windows with energy-efficient double or triple-paned windows. If you're looking for a temporary solution, especially to keep out cold air in the winter, you can buy special plastic to put over your windows and insulated door sweeps.

2. You and Your Family Members Will Be More Comfortable

When you seal air leaks by taking steps to weatherproof your home, you will be more comfortable while you are at home. This is because you won’t have as many hot and cold areas in your home, and you won’t have to worry about sitting next to that drafty window to watch your favorite TV shows.

3. You Will Save Money on Your Heating and Cooling Costs

By eliminating drafts in your home, you could save as much as 50 percent on your home heating and cooling costs. This is because less heated or cooled air will escape your home, and your home will not allow as much outside air inside.

4. Most Weatherproofing Can be Accomplished as a DIY Project

Most weatherproofing can be accomplished as a DIY project. This means that you do not have to hire any professionals. Weatherproofing that can be done by the homeowner include installing shrink-wrap plastic around windows and patio doors. Each window and patio door window sealing kit comes with clear plastic and double-sided tape. You will cut the plastic to fit your window or patio door. After putting up the double-sided tape, you will stick the plastic to the tape. Lastly, you will use a hairdryer to shrink the plastic until it is smooth. If you don’t want to stick tape to your walls or window frames, you can purchase insulated curtains and hang them.

Door sweeps are another item you can do yourself. A door sweep fits along the bottom edge of your exterior doors and helps prevent cool air from leaking into your home via the bottom edge of the door. Door sweeps can be made from cloth and foam, or they can be constructed from aluminum or plastic. Just make sure to measure your door first so that you get the size you need. 

Most homeowners are also fully capable of caulking their own windows and doors. This involves using an outdoor or indoor caulk that is the same color as your door and window frames. You will apply the caulk to the outer edge of the frame and siding or brick if you are sealing the exterior of your home. If you are sealing your windows from the inside, you will apply the caulk to the seam between the edge of the window frame and the window’s casing.

5. Weatherproofing that Should Be Accomplished by a Professional

If you have a little extra money, you may want to hire a professional to add insulation to your walls and insulation in your attic. The new spray foam can be installed in existing exterior doors with minimal damage to your drywall. Installing new attic insulation can stop heated and cooled air from exiting your home through the roof. It also prevents hot and cold air from entering your home through the roof and attic via convection. You can also clean and insulate your HVAC air ducts, which helps prevent heated and cooled air from escaping via the aluminum or steel air ducts.

To learn more about our weatherproofing services at X company in X city, give us a call today.


It goes without saying, when you pay a little more for your content, you can expect much better results. The above corrected content can cost anywhere from $70 to $250, depending on the experience of your professional independent freelancer and whether or not you need any special formatting or have any special requirements for your content.


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 One of the biggest complaints of using Twitter is all the scam and fake accounts. The good news is that these guys are relatively easy to spot, and if you aren’t sure and accidentally follow them, they’ll usually out themselves pretty quickly, usually anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours.

What Do These Scammers Want?

They want your hard-earned money or your personal information so they can commit identity theft and still get your hard-earned money. I’m just going to be blunt, if anyone asks you for money for nothing, do not give it to them. They didn’t work for it. They aren’t providing you a service or a product. They need to get a job and stop being a scamming loser. In short, don’t give your money to people who ask you for it and expect to have to give you nothing in return. Ten dollars is an hour’s worth of work for a low-end service job. Just remember that.

Understanding What a Twitter Scam Account Looks Like

Most of the Twitter scam accounts look exactly the same. It’s the same theme, just a various of words. Red flag words for me include: divorced, widowed, single, one kid, love my daughter, military, general and any type of doctor. In short, if it reads like a dating profile you’d see on Match, it’s probably a scam. Also beware of any profiles that are exceptionally vague or empty profiles. While these may be real people, it’s more likely that it’s just a scammer that hasn’t gotten around to filling out their profiles.

Example Scam Profiles

Here are some examples. A good rule of thumb – If it sounds like bullshit, it probably is.

  • Single and honest dad - bullshit

  • I’m very nice and gentle. and I don’t take shit – the latter is just to make you think they might be real by adding a curse word

  • All I can control is myself and just keep having a positive attitude. - Grade-A crap

  • Because am honest to my self and to the people around me, that make's me special and am happy about it. - Too positive to be real

  • lovely and kind – yeah right.

  • I am doctor working with the UN government.. I'm Engr Steven from United State But Currently working here in Afghanistan - the name on this account was William, yet, this is Edgar? Nevermind the fact that UN and Afghanistan are red flag words.

  • Take good care of yourself.. - Suck a you know what. This is vague and stupid.

  • hey friend's – A good indication of what you’ll get in a DM if you follow this account.

  • self creative – trying to look like a writer or artist account. Too vague, can’t tell.

  • I am single. i am 5'7" tall with a Brown eyes, i do not Smoke and i do drink Alcohol. - dating language. Fishing or catfishing account

  • The sweetest place is to be in someones thoughts and the safest place is to be in someones heart. - Sickeningly sweet. No way this is a real account.

  • I love fishing and reading documentary – Vague, grammatically incorrect. Red flag username (Typically, anything William, Michael, Joseph or Harry)

  • Humble – single word profile. Vague, positive word

  • Hi my name is ousman I an from Gambia I am finding for relationship – Gambia and relationship. Just say no

  • I like people who gives care and special attention to me. I'm matured enough to handle a family on our own. I'm a God-fearing, sweet, honest . - Sets off my bullshit meter

  • Life is meant for two – Dating profile language

  • C. E. O At Hope For the kids Uganda Abbey – great if this is true, but I highly doubt it.

  • I am an easy going man, like to stay optimistic about life. I feel that everything should be taken step by step and that we should treat others as we desire too – Sets off my bullshit meter

  • I have always had the zeal to serve humanity so I decided to join the army and because I also like to be in the position to save the weak people from oppression – Nope. Lots of red flags in this. Also, this is a slap in the face to people who really do serve in the military.

  • Am looking for someone who will love and care about me for a long time relationship that can lead to marriage. I'm a Loving, caring, honest, understanding – Dating profile on Twitter. Just say No.

  • Easy going very humble – yeah right.

  • Outdoors funny fellow always up for a party with friends keen on success.. - What? No.

  • I'm a lovely man with a caring heart – So long as you keep sending this guy money

  • I hate liars cheaters and betrayed I am here looking for a good relationship – Just a variation on the dating theme. Negatively is thrown in to try and fool you.

  • I am a honest and respectful man – Nope

  • I'm an Orthopedic Surgeon! my job is to save lives that as been my dream even when I was a child – More than likely a scam. I feel bad for real surgeons when I see this. They put in a lot of hard work to get where they are, and this scammer is trying to take credit for that.

  • I'm working as a engineer – I don’t think so

  • A child who believe that the song God had paid for us – Completely nonsensical

  • Always be positive in your mindset – More happy-crappy

  • Am XXX looking for good relationship am not here for game text me on my hangout email address *&^%@gmail.comScam with the gmail address included. You can expect that gmail in your DM box if you follow this POS

  • I love my life – I don’t care. And honestly, the reason they love it is probably because of all the scam money they have.

  • A compeling story about a queen who stood up to abuse - Available on amazon and other online bookshops - +omittedphonenumber. - fake author account. This SOB has a phone number in it! No way.

  • Well i believe in Christ, am a good christian but i believe that every religion teaches of good deeds, peace and unity,.. - Slap in the face to anyone who really is religious. I’d bet money this is fake.

  • Well. I am Lieutenant General Kenneth S. Wilsbach from Chattanooga Tennessee. But I am currently in Afghanistan for NATO Peacekeeping Mission… - Fake military account. Extremely disrespectful.

  • Duke of Sussex – Anything like this that mentions actor, royalty or famous person without a blue checkmark is something to avoid. (There are exceptions to this. Not every famous person has a blue checkmark, but unless you know the account is real…)

  • First Chief Mate at MEARSK Line Shipping company – I don’t think so. These jobs are so rare that this is not likely to be true.

  • I'm a honest man who love to traveling to see new things.. I have only one daughter – Classic fake account.

  • I'm a father and a medical doctor – Completely insulting for the individuals where this is true

  • my character and good heart makes me special – No it doesn’t, and I seriously doubt this is true

  • I am a God fearing man, I do have my Christian faith to credit for my life, attitude and success.... I'm a drilling petroleum engineer – yeah right. Scam account. Not to mention, this is a super dangerous job, and individuals who actually do work these positions deserve respect.

  • Facebook lottery winners update me on here – Anything that mentions lottery in any form is fake. No lottery winner in their right mind would announce themselves.

What Should You Do if You Can’t Tell?

Some fake profiles are so well written that it’s impossible to tell. What you can look at is how many followers they have and the date of creation. If they have very few followers or created the account yesterday, it’s probably fake. You can also look at what they’ve tweeted. If you see the words “Hello”, “How are you”. “It’s good to meet you”, there’s a good chance it’s not anyone you want to follow. Also check for an excessive number of images, especially images that don’t match the account profile, military images and images of the type of stuff you’d see on a “feed the children” commercial. Fake accounts generally have a lot of retweets. And I mean every tweet is a retweet, and they don’t appear to fit a theme.

What Happens if You Do Actually Follow a Fake or Scammer Account?

They’re going to out themselves sooner rather than later. Generally, you will get some type of non-sensical DM. I got one the other day asking me if I was a part of the Writing Community on twitter. That information is readily available in my profile. On the off-chance that it really was an author in need of help, I checked out the profile and the tweets. They fell into the above categories, and there was nothing about writing anywhere in the tweets. You may also receive a Hello or How are you DM. Anything along those lines means you probably need to delete the DM and block the account.

What about the ONLY FOR YOU YouTube DMs?

This is some sort of virus or account hack. The account is probably real, but a scammer or hacker was able to take control of the account via some means. If you see this, do not under any circumstances click on it. If you know the account is real, please alert the owner and tell them they need to change their password and check their computer, phone or other digital device for viruses. If you don’t know them, you may consider blocking them.

 Are All Accounts with This Language Fake?

Not every account that has this type of language or similiar language is going ot be fake.  When I was going through looking for fake accounts, I actually came across two or three that I had initially dismissed as fake that were real. Most had over 1,000 followers. If it's a fake account, they don't make it to numbers that high.  Usually it's in the less than 100 to 200 or so before they get reported or auto-deleted by Twitter.  Always use your best judgement when determining whether or not to follow or follow-back an account.


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If you like quick and easy, simmer all day food while you write your next novel or content article, my fast and easy traditional beef stew recipe will serve your needs. Once you have it all put together, you can let it simmer on the stove or in your crock pot (slow cooler) all day.




1 Beef Roast (just pick your favorite cut. I usually choose whatever is on sale)

3 large potatoes or 2 cans of diced potatoes

1 large container of beef broth (48 ounce or better usually works great)

1 frozen bag of carrots

1 frozen bag of peas

1 frozen fajitas mix peppers and onions

1 bag of frozen corn

1 packet of instant beef gravy

Some butter



garlic powder

celery salt


1. Cut your roast into cubes. These can be as large or small as you like. Put some butter in your large pot or skillet (If you’re using a crockpot, you’ll need to brown your cubes of beef in a skillet) Next, add your beef cubes and cook until the outsides are brown. You can add some salt and pepper during this stage. Spice usage is up to your acquired taste, and obviously, if you cannot use salt due to a medical condition, you’ll want to leave it out.


If you’re wondering if you can just put your beef in raw without searing it, you can, but the searing process helps lock in the flavor of the beef.


2. Next add your bag of fajita peppers and onions to the stew beef. Let it all simmer together, but keep an eye on it so that it doesn’t burn. This shouldn’t take more than 10 or 15 minutes.


3. Add your beef broth, garlic powder and celery salt. You can add as much garlic and celery salt as you like. Again, the spices should be adjusted for your taste and preference. For most people, a couple shakes is all that’s needed.


4. Add all the frozen vegetables and the potatoes (Don’t forget to rinse and dice your potatoes if you used real potatoes) If you chose to used canned potatoes, you just need to open the cans, rinse the cubes and add them. Once you are finished adding the rest of the vegetables, add water until all the vegetables are covered.


5. Put your lid on and simmer. You’ll want to periodically check your pot and add water as needed.


6. You may be wondering what the packet of instant gravy is for. Beef stew should be thick. Otherwise, it’s just chunky beef and vegetable soup. Once you are about 30 to 45 minutes out from eating, you’ll mix the packet of gravy in about half a cup of water until it’s all combined. Then, you will add that to your beef stew. Make sure to stir your beef stew until the gravy mix is completely combined. If you just pour it in, it will thicken in a chunk, and you will have beef stew with gravy chunks. This option is an alternative to adding corn starch or flour to thicken your beef stew.


Can You Substitute Things or Remove Things?

Absolutely.  You can also use red wine instead of beef broth, but if there's something in this incgredient's list you can't eat or don't like, you can adjust to suit your needs. For example, if you don't like corn and green beans, you can just add more potatoes and carrots.

Can This Be a Spicy Beef Stew?

Absolutely.  If you want to add cayene, red pepper flakes, chili powder or your favorite hot spices, you can add a few.


Once you’re done writing or ready for a break many hours later, have some stew! My recommendation is that you let it simmer at least 3 hours, preferably longer.


Are you looking to make money on your writing, free up your time and give yourself more time for personal projects? If you answered yes, you should consider the benefits of becoming a freelance writer. A freelance writer is a writer that writes specific types of content for businesses. This can include blog posts, webpages and short and long-form articles and listicles for a variety of industries, including heating and cooling (HVAC), plumbing, electrical, home remodeling, landscaping, food, travel and service industries, like insurance, banking and finance.

1. Commuting

The first benefit is that you are not going to have to spend your morning commuting to work, because you will be working from home. Therefore, you will be able to decide how you want to spend your mornings instead of spending it in your car, in heavy traffic or dealing with torrential downpours, snow and ice. If you have to take a bus or train to get to work, you're going to notice even more benefits. you won't have to pay for your bus trip or for a bus or train pass. You won't be crammed into a seat with several other people (possible sick, dirty and or stinky) crammed around you, and you won't have to fight to get on and off the bus or train.


2. Apparel

The second benefit is that you don't have to worry about what you are going to wear to work. There is no need to wear a tie that is going to choke you or a suit or dress that is uncomfortable. Instead, you can wear what's most comfortable to you. If that jeans and a t-shirt, no one is going to care. you'll also notice a dramatic decrease in your wardrobe costs because you won't have to constantly upgrade and update your wardrobe in order to stay relevant and hip.

3. Office

The third benefit is that you are not going to have to suffer through co-workers that you don't like or the politics of the office. There are a lot of places in the world where you are going to have to put up with people that you don't like. But when you are stuck in a small place in cubicles with these people, it can make matters much worse. As a freelance writer, you will have the freedom to pick who you want to work with and who you don't. You also have the option of working anywhere in your home or apartment. many beginning freelancers choose to work on the couch or at their kitchen table with their laptop. Some even choose work in coffee shops and restaurants that offer free WiFi.

4. Hours

The fourth benefit is the work hours that are not only flexible but they are also adjustable. This means that you can decide how many hours a day that you want to work. This is going to be very important if you are a mother that needs to take her children to school or to the many things that they might be involved in during the day. The best part is that you have the power to take breaks whenever you want to or if you want to stay up all night working.

5. Job security

The fifth benefit is that you are always going to have a job. This is something that a lot of people are going to appreciate when there are a lot of companies that are laying off people or when the country is in a recession, which seems to happen every 7 to 10 years. There are a lot of opportunities as a freelancer to stay competitive as long as you are willing to broaden your skills and expand your industry knowledge. You can also spend your time looking for other platforms where you can ply your skills.  In the beginning, you may consider freelancing for Textbroker, which is a great place to brush up on your skills and expand your knowledge quickly.  Textbroker also has the added benefit of editor notes.  While the editors are responsible for your start rating, they can also provide helpful tips and tricks on grammar and punctuation. (Sidenote: Starting on December 31 for existing authors and right now for new authors, Textbroker will no longer pay writers via PayPal. Instead, they have mentioned they will be moving to Payoneer.) As you gain experience, you may consider moving on to platforms like nDash, UpWork and Writer Access.  Once you are confident in your freelancing skills, you may want to post gigs in Fivrr or purchase your own personal freelancing domain and hosting package and starting your own freelancing website to ply your services.

6. Boss

The sixth benefit is that you are going to have the ability to be your own boss. Of course, this is something that you are going to know when you are wanting to become a freelance writer. Basically, you are going to be running your own company without having to worry about anyone else telling you what to do and when to work. This is one of the best ways that you are going to be able to learn a better sense of direction, purpose, and focus. All of the things that you need in order to be successful.


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In no way has the copyright on that book expired.  I have not authorized anyone else to use the name ShadowConn in any capacity nor has anyone ever contacted about usage of the name or purchasing any rights to the usage of the name for any product or service or other useage.  All uses of the name by anyone other than myself are unapproved, unauthorized and intellectual property theft. The character ShadowConn was first concieved in the late 1990s by myself for use in fiction, as a character in Vampire New Orleans PBEM RPG (2003 to present) and as a vampire in the Camarilla LARP (White Wolf) Vtm (late 1990s). She is also a character in the Blooddoll series, which is published on Amazon and Barnes and Noble in 2018. And let me make this *very* clear.  The owner of the name ShadowConn is MYSELF, Stacey Carroll, and has been for the last 20+ years.  I do not authorize, endorse or approve of any other usages of this name by anyone other than myself.


Are you considering being an independent fiction writer? There are many benefits of writing, editing, formatting and promoting your own fiction novels. The biggest benefit is that you are in complete control and do not have to answer to anyone else, except perhaps your readers and fans.

Understanding What It Is to Be an Independent Fiction Author

Being an independent fiction writer means that you are not represented by an agent, and you are not under contract with any publishing house. Instead, you’ve chosen to publish with Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Google Play and maybe even Apple Books. These platforms, especially Amazon, Kobo and Barnes and Noble, allow authors to publish directly with them in ebook and/or paperback formats. Google Play and Apple books are slightly harder to publish as an independent author as you have to wait for approval, which can take years with Google Play (I’m still waiting and I’d been about a year.). Apple books requires an Apple/Mac device in order to publish directly without the help of a third party.

1. No one is going to tell you what you can and cannot write.

If you’ve been researching the fiction writing industry for any length of time, you’ve probably ran across some websites, blog posts and articles that advise against writing certain genres and themes. A few of them that I’ve run across include vampires, unicorns, horror and erotica. What these websites and blog posts say is that these themes and genres are overdone, not interesting, too saturated to enter and readers aren’t interested in them.

In the case of erotica, it’s not that it’s too saturated or that it doesn’t make money. It’s that erotica is notoriously difficult to market. Putting erotica on your website also eliminates the ability to monetize your website with Google. Facebook and Twitter won’t let you boost a post that advertises an erotica book because it’s ‘offensive’. Amazon won’t even let you take out an ad for a book that’s listed under an adult topic, like erotica or erotic romance.

However, if you’re an independent fiction author who publishes under his or her own name, you can throw all this out, except for the knowledge that it’s incredibly difficult to advertise erotica. That’s a fact, and I can attest to it personally, but you’re not limited in what you can and cannot write. If you want to write a book about vampire monkey dogs on mars, you can write it. If you want to write a horror book where the monster is a rabid unicorn, no one is going to stop you from writing, editing, formatting and publishing that book.


2. You can publish completely for free.

The big bonus for independent fiction authors is that you don’t have to spend a dime in the creation of your book. You can write, edit, format and create your own cover and publish your book completely for free. In fact, Barnes and Noble, Kobo and Amazon all allow you to choose from various pre-created covers, which means you don’t even have to learn cover design if you don’t want to learn it, and they’ll provide you with site-specific ISBNs for your ebook and paperback books. Once you publish, however, they will take a percentage of your royalties, but you do not have to open your wallet to get your book on the site and available for sale.

3. You have the option to hire professionals

If you feel like you need a few professionals to help you and you have the money on hand without hurting your personal finances or blowing your monthly budget, you can professional editors, ebook and print book formatters and cover designers. The benefit here is that you can choose the professionals you’d like to work with after thoroughly vetting them. When you are traditionally published or working with a publishing house, you don’t get to choose your editors, formatters or cover designers. You are strictly limited to the ones used by the particular publishing house.

4. You choose how you want to market your books

Once your book is published, you can choose how you want to market your book. You can advertise on social media sites, like Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. You can choose to advertise on paid and/or free book promotion sites, and you can take out Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Goodreads and Google ads. If you have the budget, you could even take out billboard ads, radio ads and even cable TV ads. How little or how much you spend on advertising and marketing your books is completely up to you.


5. You can publish at your pace

When you are an independent fiction author, you are not under contract with any publisher to produce X number of books within X years. You are also not subjected to the publisher’s publication schedule, which means you do not have to wait months or years for your book to hit the shelves, and if you can write more than one book a year, you can publish more than one book a year.

6. You are in complete control

When you independently publish, you are in complete control. You can publish as fast or slow as you want. You can hire or not hire professionals to help you. You can advertise or not advertise, according to your budget, and you can view your sales numbers immediately. In fact, being able to view your sales numbers immediately may be the biggest advantage. If you notice an increase or decrease in sales, you can make immediate marketing decisions based on those numbers because you’re not waiting for your publisher to give you your books sales numbers.






Read More from Stacey Carroll


AVIA2FUllCVerADAVIA ii: Bullets and Betrayal Kindle Edition


Greg Locke is the detective who thinks he can put away both Avia and Benton in the next book in the series Avia II Bullets and Betrayal. These two are very close to going to jail or going on vacation to Hawaii when their heist goes bad. They are stuck in a life of crime, and they cannot seem to get out. Thriller author Stacey Carroll tugs you through all the twists and turns of these two and their lives while showing you that crime can pay in the worst ways.



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