Too busy to write

 

Working like a dog means there was no time to write this week.

Working like a dog is good but it means I had no time to write a blog post this week.

The caption says it all, folks. If you’re seeing this post, then it means that I am too busy to write one this week. Many books have come my way to be edited, thanks to happy clients.

I’m very grateful, and I absolutely love it. The only thing is, it means this week’s blog post consists of this right here. Enjoy the picture of Higgins (named for the character in My Fair Lady). I hope to have a full post for you next week!  

Spark creativity when you have writer’s block

ne kind of creating can spark creativity of another kind when you're stuck.

One kind of creating can spark creativity of another kind when you’re stuck.

When you’re trying to write (and yes the emphasis is on the word “trying” here) but it’s just not working well, there are many different things you could do. Some of those things involve taking a break from writing and doing something else for a while, such as going for a walk. Painting—whether you have an ounce of talent or not—is one of the best ways to get a person going again.

Writer’s block?

Getting you out of the left brain for a while is what does the trick. You may be caught up on some detail or the sequencing process may be jammed, and a system reset may be just what you need to spark creativity.

Everyone uses both the left brain and the right brain, although it’s true that most people tend to use one more than the other. People often say, “I’m a left-brained person, so I need words, details, logic,” or, “I’m a right-brainer. Statistics and I don’t get along; how about you help me see the big picture?” Some people are naturally balanced between the two. Using both cranial brains is a skill that can be developed.

There are some misconceptions about which brain does what, and I’m not going to get into that here. Suffice it to say that for the purposes of creating, the left brain is more concerned with details and sequences and the right brain is more holistic; it sees the larger picture and how things fit into it: the Gestalt, the whole.

When we are trying to write and it’s just not working, it may be because we’re stuck in the left brain and the system needs to regain some balance. Getting into the right brain for a while brings that balance. For me, it is like kick-starting a motorcycle. I might paint one page in my art notebook and then get an idea and go back to writing (or editing), or it may be after I’ve done three. Paint one (stomp the kick-lever).  Paint another (kick). Paint anoth-and here we go! But please understand, I don’t say to myself, “Gee, I’m having a hard time thinking here, so I think I’ll paint for a while and get a good idea.” Nothing like that. I do say, “Man, I need a break! Time to switch gears.” And I’ll paint for a while, to get out of the thinking mode. No words for a while.

Visual art is usually a right-brained activity. I say “usually,” because some of us can turn just about anything into a left-brained activity. A left-brained painting experience would involve analyzing, thinking in words, planning it out sequentially, and talking to oneself, perhaps. Do artists do that? Sure. Many do. Most do at one time or another. Quality paintings do follow at least some rules. I’m not talking about producing a quality painting. What I want you to do is much simpler, and much more freeing.

Spark creativity with color

I want you to spread some paint around and make nothing. That’s right: paint nothing. You’re not going to make a landscape or a portrait or anything else that’s real.

The only rule is to enjoy the colors. Take delight in how they look.

Enjoy the feel of spreading the thick paint across your paper. How smoothly does it go? Use a palette knife. How does it scrape and scratch? Stroke and flick and spounce and scrub and swirl. Feel the tension in your body melting as you enjoy the paint like a child would: just for being spreadable color.

When you find yourself getting stuck or feeling stressed out, just grab some cheap paint, a brush, and some paper (I use Canson mixed media art notebooks, but you can use copy paper if you need to). Spread some paint around on the paper, and enjoy the happy sighs that come from you. Sometimes, something that looks like a painting may result; you may find yourself creating a background and a foreground, but there is no need for that kind of thing to happen. You may feel like writing right away, and you may not. Later, though, when you do sit down  to write, you may find that things just work better.

Premade designs to color

If you like more structure, try coloring or painting a premade design. Remember that you need to get away from conscious thinking for a while, so use one that is already made for you. For a large selection of designs, try one of the coloring books for adults that my husband created. Playing with color to help balance my brain is something I’ve done for a long time, thanks in part to his creations. Now you can make use of them, too.

I wonder how soon doing some kind of relaxing art will help you.

Idioms inspired by farm life

Chickens are in several idioms inspired by farm life.

Chickens are in several idioms inspired by farm life.

For a very long time (how long is debated and not the point here), societies were agrarian, and many idioms inspired by farm life wormed their way into our languages (there’s one). I’m not going to get into the phrases in different languages. English has plenty! The ones in this post are presented in imperative form, but they’re not always used that way. They can be used in a declarative or descriptive format as well.

Ideas for character development

Writers may find many of these expressions useful in their books. A character doesn’t have to be from a farm to have that kind of sensibility or to use these figures of speech. It may make for an interesting twist if a character who is otherwise sophisticated uses down-home phrases.

Most of these are casual expressions, used among friends and family, not in a business environment. Farmers and country-dwellers are generally less formal and “refined” and are more accepting of nature and its coarseness, which are part of daily life. Speaking as one, I can say that, and most would agree with me. That said, just because coarseness may be acceptable, among most, rudeness usually is not.

Idioms inspired by farm life

Here’s a list of some common idioms inspired by farm life. The idioms are in bold, and the explanations are under them in regular text. Use them as desired, and remember that you can twist them into new sayings, too.

Quit being a chicken.

Stop being needlessly fearful. Just do what I want you to do, without expressing your doubts about it.

 

Make hay while the sun shines.

Do it while you have the chance. Take an opportunity when it presents itself. “The truck didn’t need to be returned for another six hours, so we put it to good use and moved some things into storage. My father always said to make hay while the sun shines.”

Don’t waste time. “You could have had it done already, but you wasted all that time. It’s too late now. You should learn to make hay while the sun shines.”

 

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

Don’t make everything dependent on one thing. Don’t invest everything you have into one venture. If all of your eggs are in one basket  and you trip, all of the eggs may be broken. Granted, there should be more eggs tomorrow, but there may not be, and, in the meantime, you have no eggs.

 

Take the bull by the horns.

Face the challenging and potentially dangerous situation and take action regarding it. “Sally took the bull by the horns and told her mother-in-law how things were going to be from now on.”

 

Don’t have a cow.

Stay calm. Don’t get overly upset about something. Relax. People use this to say that the person they are referring to will overreact to something that they (the speakers) personally don’t think is a big deal. “I can’t tell my mom I got a tattoo. She’ll have a cow.”

 

Bet the farm.

Also phrased, “You can bet the farm on that,” it means to trust the veracity of what the person is saying. Rest assured. Take the risk because it’s not a risk.

 

Bring home the bacon.

Earn an income and support your family. It’s not usually used in reference to a farmer, interestingly enough, but to corporate jobs, or jobs where the person is employed by someone else and works for someone else instead of being self-employed, as most farmers are.

 

Beef up.

Strengthen yourself. This is usually related to physical strength and muscle-building, but it can also refer to emotional/mental toughening. “Beef up, boy. You’re a wimp.”

 

Be the breadwinner.

Related to “bring home the bacon.” This one also expresses an imperative to earn money, but the difference is that it means to earn more money than one’s spouse. Sometimes it’s said “be the main breadwinner,” or “be the sole breadwinner.”

 

Don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched.

Don’t be so sure that what you want to have happen is actually going to happen. It’s unpredictable how many eggs will actually produce chicks. You might not get everything (or anything) you’re hoping for.

 

Also see other farm phrases your characters might use.

Free time means you’re wealthy?

Being busy is the enemy of a good life, I once heard someone say. Being busy used to be idolized in America, and still is to an extent. It was equated with being important. The tide is turning, however. Now, having lots of extra time (to do what, I don’t know) is the status symbol of choice. Now, the lowly people are the ones who are supposed to be running their tails off, while the wealthy and important sit back and relax, or something. Again, I’m not sure what the goal is.

Free time means what?

Where I come from (or when), having time on one’s hands means being dirt-poor and useless, or, worse: LAZY. It’s nothing to be proud of. Now it means you’re rich? Hmm, should I stop what I’m doing 90 hours a week, just rely on my husband’s income and government assistance, and have all the time in the world (but not a cent to spend on Platform University, AWeber, or anything else), or should I keep working my tail off and keep increasing my income and success? I have the cash on hand now to pay for AWeber and PlatU, but no time to make use of them. I’m in the trough: the place where there’s more money coming in but it’s taking a lot of time and effort and I haven’t really gotten to the point where I’m able to leverage my time yet. But the good news is I can see the other side. I outsourced some transcription work successfully recently, and it was nice to have that off my plate.

Success editing books for self-publishing authors has led to an offer from a publishing house to do freelance editing for them. This is an exciting time. Requests for my assistance are coming in from several directions. It’s nice to be in demand. At the same time, I find myself needing to choose carefully, to cultivate. I need to say no to many things and to remove some weeds: some time-wasters and some things that just aren’t that productive in my life—though they may be perfect for yours.

Be effective and efficient

I’ve been creating templates or “canned responses” for some of the emails I receive repeatedly. When I write an email, it seems like it should take ten minutes or so to bang out a few paragraphs, but it can take hours, and I think it’s pretty ridiculous. It’s especially foolish to answer the same or very similar question from several different people. So I’m creating form letters, basically, which can be adapted as needed to

One of the other ways I’m thinning out the demands on my time is to stop cooking. For the next while, I’ll be buying frozen dinners and no-prep foods: apples, baby carrots, celery, and peanut butter. It should save from two to four hours a day.

Now I’ll need to decide if I want to devote that time to being productive or to relaxing and developing relationships, which, from what I understand, is now the domain of the wealthy. Reading-and-dozing…now that I could handle. That, and chatting with friends on facebook again. It’s tempting to want to pamper myself, but I think I’ll stick with helping others as much as I can. That’s a richer life, in my opinion.

Goals too big?

Did you bite off more than you can chew? If your goal's too big, make it smaller.

Did you bite off more than you can chew? If your goal’s too big, make it smaller.

Are you an overachiever? Do you bite off more than you can chew? If you set goals that are impossible to achieve, it’s not going to help you much. Stretch a bit, yes. But don’t make a list that Superwoman couldn’t accomplish. If you realize that you’ve set goals too big to achieve, just come back and change the goals.

Okay, so I’m an overachiever. I started reading and being left at home alone to watch my brother when I was three years old. I got into the habit early. I was trained to push myself until I collapsed, and I did that for nearly thirty years, though I tempered it somewhat over the last decade. Something substantial changed recently, though.

A friend of mine taught me a question that changed my life. Whether or not it was a good change remains to be seen. It drained the Jenergizer Bunny’s battery pack, but it also means that now I treat myself gently instead of like a machine. Of course, that means I’m not getting as much done. I am hoping and praying that it balances out and good wins in the end.

Goals too big to achieve?

Yesterday, I saw my list of goals, and my eyes popped. Holy Hannah.  It occurred to me that even if I didn’t have children (I do), even if I didn’t need to teach them (I do), and even if I had all day every day to devote to these goals (I don’t), I might not be able to accomplish all of the goals I set for the year. Now, if this list had just been examples of goals a person could set, it would be okay. I could say they were just examples, that I didn’t intend to reach all of them myself this year, but that would be a lie and anyone who has known me for very long would see through it!

Here’s the list I made in December:

I worship at home at least five days a week during 2015.

I earn $50,000 by December 31, 2015.

I publish six books by December 31, 2015.

I edit 12 books by December 31, 2015.

I get up at 4:00 a.m. local time, every day of this year.

I write 730,000 words by December 31, 2015.

I write every day and produce an average of 2,000 words a day.

I attend church at least twice a month during 2015.

I paint or do some other art or craft for an hour each week, for the enjoyment and relaxation (recreation), not the product.

I take one action toward cultivating my relationship with each of my family members daily, and one action toward cultivating each of 50 business relationships each month during 2015. This means setting up a contact management system of some kind, by January 5, 2015. ABC the list?

I exercise 260 times in 2015. This is an average of five days a week. A workout consists of one mile or 15 minutes of aerobic exercise or three minutes of anaerobic exercise.

I weigh 175 or am pronounced “in good shape” by my doctor by May 1, 2015. (A word about weight-loss goals: list your desired weight, not number of pounds you want to lose. Why? Because if you say, “I lose 20 pounds by May 1, 2015″ then you may lose five pounds, gain them back, lose five pounds, gain them back…you will have lost a total of 20 pounds by that date, but it might be the same five pounds over and over! So it’s much better to state how much you will weigh in your goal. The human brain can be very tricky! Outsmart it.)

My hemoglobin A1C is 7 or lower, by March 1, 2015. This means checking my blood sugar three times a day and taking all of my insulin shots on time, and possibly decreasing carb or overall food intake.

I read for an hour a day every day during 2015. The only allowable exception is if I’m too ill to read that day. Too busy does not count. There is no such thing as too busy to feed the mind.

I read at least one book a week during 2015, take notes on it, and apply what I’ve learned.

I do what I say I will do, 95% of the time, by February 1, 2015. This means saying “no” much more.

I make 365 sales calls during 2015.

I make 1,300 acts of promotion during 2015. That is an average of twenty-five promotion actions per week.

I spend at least 15 minutes each day with each of my children.

I consciously and deliberately make decisions about my life by setting aside 15 minutes every morning to plan and make decisions. In this way, I cultivate good things and eliminate bad ones.

I attend some form of Mastermind group at least once a month during 2015.

I invest in my business and growth monthly (Platform University, Free Agent Academy, 48Days.net, AWeber, books, etc.).

I obtain a third P. A. C. E. client by January 31, 2015.

My passive income is at least $5,000 a month by November 1, 2015.

I own a Kitchen Aid or Hobart mixer by June 1, 2015.

I have an up-to-code kitchen sink by March 15, 2015.

I install our clothes-washing machine by March 15, 2015.

I have a working automatic dishwasher by May 15, 2015.

I give thanks to God every day for something or someone in my life.

I thank at least one person, daily, during 2015.

I teach my children the principles of success by sharing with them verbally and visually (they see my actions, which tell them more than my words ever could).

I give my husband attention daily and encourage him in his efforts, whatever they may be.

I invest in my children by ensuring that they are at or above grade level in core subjects by March 1, 2015.

I soak in a hottub or water spa by April 15, 2015. (I wrote hottub as one word, so my brain can’t interpret “hot tub” to mean a warmer-than-average bath. Oh, no, I mean the large, multi-person luxury container.)

Some of those have been met. Some of them will be met. Some of them will not.

This list is too long. It’s time to take an ax to it.

Grab a notebook and a pen, or type them up on your computer, but set your smart goals today if you haven't already.

Grab a notebook and a pen, or type them up on your computer, but set your SMART goals today if you haven’t already.

New list of goals

The ones in teal are the ones I’m on track for. For the other ones, I’ll need to step up my game or fail. I usually revisit goals in June, but this year I realized my list was far too ambitious, even for me, so I revisited it sooner. The new list has fewer and smaller goals.

I worship at home at least five days a week.

I earn $50,000 by December 31, 2015.

I publish two books by December 31, 2015.

I edit 12 books by December 31, 2015.

I get up at 4:00 a.m. local time, every day.

I write 200,000 words by December 31, 2015.

I attend church at least twice a month during 2015.

I paint or do some other art or craft for an hour each week, for the enjoyment and relaxation (recreation), not the product.

I exercise 260 times in 2015. This is an average of five days a week. A workout consists of one mile or 15 minutes of aerobic exercise or three minutes of anaerobic exercise.

My hemoglobin A1C is 7 or lower, by August 1, 2015. 

I read for an hour a day every day during 2015. The only allowable exception is if I’m too ill to read that day. Too busy does not count. There is no such thing as too busy to feed the mind.

I read at least one book a week during 2015, take notes on it, and apply what I’ve learned.

I make at least 365 acts toward sales/marketing during 2015. 

I spend at least 15 minutes each day with each of my children.

I consciously and deliberately make decisions about my life by setting aside 15 minutes every morning to plan and make decisions. In this way, I cultivate good things and eliminate bad ones.

I invest in my business and growth monthly (Platform University, Free Agent Academy, 48Days.net, AWeber, books, etc.).

My passive income is at least $1,000 a month by November 1, 2015.

I have an up-to-code kitchen sink by July 15, 2015.

I install our clothes-washing machine by May 15, 2015.

I give thanks to God every day for something or someone in my life.

I thank at least one person, daily, during 2015.

I give my husband attention daily and encourage him in his efforts, whatever they may be.

So, while it’s good to stretch to reach a goal, don’t set yourself up for failure. Feel free to take an ax to your list if there are too many goals on it or if you have made your goals too big to achieve.

Spam comments leading to turning off comments

Due to constant spam comments on this blog, I’m joining Michael Hyatt and others, and turning off comments on this blog. Most of you have never made a comment on any of the posts here (which is totally fine!), so it doesn’t seem to be something that will turn you off in any way. Most of you who do communicate with me do so on facebook or by email, anyway.

If you ever want to make a comment, feel free to go to the HarshmanServices facebook page and do it there, or email me. My email is Jennifer at this domain.

Spam comments waste time

It takes about ten minutes every day to delete page after page of spam comments from my posts. Ten minutes might not seem like much, but when it’s for a hated task, it can seem like a long time, and ten minutes a day is more than an hour a week. Ideally, I can write a couple thousand words or edit ten to fifteen pages in that hour. Time isn’t something that can be “saved up” or anything like that, but even short durations of time do “add up” in a way, if put to good use.

I’d rather devote that time every day to writing, or editing, or looking at videos and pictures of cute puppies. Admit it, looking at cute puppies sure beats deleting twenty pages of spam posts every day. ;)

Spam comments, or puppies? I'll take puppies. <a href="http://www.public-domain-image.com/full-image/fauna-animals-public-domain-images-pictures/dogs-public-domain-images-pictures/puppy-in-leaves.jpg-royalty-free-stock-photo.html" title="Puppy in leaves">Puppy in leaves</a> by C. E. Price

Spam comments, or puppies? I’ll take puppies! Puppy in leaves by C. E. Price

I realize this post is coming out on April 1st, so I want to be sure you understand that no, this is not some attempt at April Fool’s humor. It’s a shame that spammers ruin so much for people, and waste so much of other people’s time. Be safe out there, everyone. Make the wisest use of your time, and yes, sometimes that involves having fun and relaxing. This, from the Jenergizer Bunny. I know. Wonders never cease. Enjoy the puppy.

Who you are, or reader demographics

Some bloggers do an annual reader survey and gather copious amounts of information about their readers and what they want. Others just dive into their Google Analytics account. I check analytics on a regular basis, and in this post, I’m going to share some of that information with you.

Reader demographics

Three out of four of you reading this are women. That’s down from four out of five of you a month ago. My readership was 80% women for quite a while, but that has shifted—it may still be shifting. It’s not that female readers are dropping off; more men are joining us now. I wonder why, and what to do about it. Should I change anything I’m doing, or just keep it the same?

Almost all of you are between the age of 35 and 55. It’s a little different on the HarshmanServices facebook page, with the age range there starting at 25 and extending to 55. I found that interesting, and I think I know why that is. Cathy Jackson, one of the authors for whom I edit, promotes my page quite often, and her readers trend a little younger.

Google Analytics also includes information about your interests, based on what else you do when you’re online.

 

Google Analytics includes information on site visitors' interests.

Google Analytics  reader demographics  page provides some interesting information about site visitors.

None of this is shocking to me. About 25% of you are unemployed and looking for a job and a place to live. That is not surprising because it reflects the true unemployment rate in the United States (which is at the level it was at during the Great Depression). I would have expected more of you to be in the category of “avid readers,” but I don’t know what Google uses to define that category.

I also don’t find this page particularly useful, yet. Now, if it showed that 90% of you were into Christian fiction or nonfiction business books, or that 75% of you were looking for remedial writing courses, that would be some seriously helpful information.

Statistically, one in two households have pets, but you’re not showing up as people who own or are interested in pets, which tells me that you’re probably satisfied with your source of pet toys and pet food and your veterinarian because you’re not Googling those things. Or that you actually do not have pets, which would be head-scratching, indeed.

Reasonable expectations for book editing

You’ve written your book and you’re looking forward to seeing it on Amazon or store bookshelves. Just one big thing is left on the list before that: getting your book edited. If you’ve been published through a traditional house or small press before, you probably have reasonable expectations for book editing. If you’ve self-published and you hired an editor in the past, you probably do, too. If it’s your first time working with an editor, you might not know what to expect, and that’s okay, but you may be in for a shock when you approach an editor. Maybe this post will help prevent that.

Within one week recently, several authors approached me about editing their books, and a few of them had very unreasonable expectations. It prompted me to write this post.

Book editing overnight?

One author wanted me to edit a 350-page book and to have it done that week. With line editing and three rounds of proofreading, assuming an average rate of 10 pages per hour, that would be about 80 hours of work, not counting the important eye-rest time and mental-break time between rounds. The last thing you want as an author is an editor/proofreader who is too fatigued to do her job, so it’s important for an editor to take visual and mental breaks sometimes.

I had to explain to that first-time author that what he was asking for was 80 hours of work to be done in 20 hours, and for me to behave unethically—to drop the book I was working on at the moment and to boot the other people from their places in line in order to work on his book. One of those expectations is simply impossible: 80 hours of work cannot be done in 20 hours by anyone, even yours truly (although I’d love to be able to produce that much that quickly). The other is simply not happening: I’m not going to break a contract with a client so I can land another client. It wouldn’t even matter if the new guy offered double the industry standard rate plus a rush fee. Nope. Not happening. While my services may be bought, my integrity cannot. I’ll treat him with the same respect and integrity by not bumping his book when it’s his turn.

Another author asked me to edit a manuscript in one week and for one tenth the standard rate. I know that many authors simply cannot afford to pay the standard rates set forth by Writer’s Digest in the Writer’s Market. My purpose is to get helpful writing out into the world, and to that end, I’m willing to accept payment that is somewhat lower than the industry standard rates, but not 90% lower. That’s totally unreasonable. Copyediting and proofreading are both valuable services. They improve the manuscript and the reader’s experience (sometimes immensely), and make the author look good. Valuable services do and should have a price tag.

Book editing rates

Expect to pay at least $1,000 to have your book edited by a line editor. If the editor is good, expect to pay more than that (Writer’s Market says up to $5,500 per book). If you need developmental editing, expect to pay at least $2,000 for that kind of editing. If your book needs both (many books do), that means budgeting at least $3,000 for editing. Proofreading costs, on average, $4 per page, and that’s almost always a separate process, done by a different person.

It is possible to find good editors who are affordable. I charge $6/page for line editing and proofreading together, saving authors a substantial amount of money, and I know a few others who also are affordable. I’m happy to make referrals if that would help you find the best fit.

How long does book editing take?

Editing can take anywhere from two days to 12 weeks. Two days is very rare (or very bad), but I know it is within the realm of possibility because I’ve done it. I line edited and proofread a book on a deadline of 48 hours. I knew it was coming and planned for it, and during that time, I left my chair only to sleep and use the bathroom. There was a deadline, and I was doing a big favor for a wonderful friend. That effort is still bringing dividends, years later.

Would I do that again? There are only a couple of people in the world for whom I would do a two-day deadline. That was one wild ride. Sorry, but you’re not one of those people. It’s two weeks, minimum, especially now that my calendar is pretty packed and I can’t just “clear the decks” and dive into one thing for days. Expect your book’s editing to take two to three months. The only way to know how long book editing will take in your case is to ask your editor.

Reasonable book editing expectations

Have reasonable expectations, and no one will get hurt. Okay, people will be less likely to be hurt. Without a good fit between author and editor, even reasonable expectations won’t help much. So make sure you find a good fit.

Expect book editing to cost a few thousand dollars, for it to take a couple of months, and for it to result in a few errors remaining in your book. I’m the only one I know who guarantees it to be typo-free, so expecting that from anyone else will set you up for disappointment. Your book probably won’t be perfect, but with the right editor, it will be much better.

How spammers get into your blog—spam comments on blog posts

I was asked a question about blog comments today, and it made me realize that I should write a post about it, because if one person is asking a question, others have the same question, too. So, why do spammers make “nice” comments on blogs?

Many blogs are set up so that the first comment a person makes on a blog must be approved by the blog owner before that comment will go live and be able to be seen by blog visitors. After that, the person is able to comment freely, and the comments go live immediately. If those comments are spam, the blog owner might not see them for a while, so the spammer gets free advertisement until the blog owner sees the garbage comments.

Spam comments on blog posts

Sometimes spammers are pretty smart about it. They post something complimentary, something designed to stroke the blogger’s ego, so the blogger will grin and go, “Heck yeah, I’ll approve THAT comment!” Approving it opens the door for a flood of spam comments on blog posts. So be careful if any of the comments is complimentary but doesn’t have something that is very specific in it about your post. If you could take that comment and apply it to any of your posts, or to someone else’s posts…chances are it’s a spammer trying to sneak in the door.

I said that sometimes the spammer is smooth, sweet-talking his way past the gatekeeper. Other times, though, the spammer has the finesse of a wrecking ball, such as the one below. If you see anything remotely like this, mark it as spam.

{I have|I’ve} been {surfing|browsing} online more than {three|3|2|4} hours today, yet I never found any interesting
article like yours. {It’s|It is} pretty worth enough for me.

{In my opinion|Personally|In my view}, if all {webmasters|site owners|website owners|web
owners} and bloggers made good content as you did, the {internet|net|web} will be {much more|a lot more} useful than ever before.|
I {couldn’t|could not} {resist|refrain from} commenting.
{Very well|Perfectly|Well|Exceptionally well} written!|
{I will|I’ll} {right away|immediately} {take hold of|grab|clutch|grasp|seize|snatch} your {rss|rss feed} as
I {can not|can’t} {in finding|find|to find} your {email|e-mail} subscription {link|hyperlink} or {newsletter|e-newsletter} service.

Do {you have|you’ve} any? {Please|Kindly} {allow|permit|let} me {realize|recognize|understand|recognise|know}
{so that|in order that} I {may just|may|could} subscribe.
Thanks.|
{It is|It’s} {appropriate|perfect|the best} time to
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{Superb|Exceptional|Outstanding|Excellent} Blog!|
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{I love|I really like|I enjoy|I like|Everyone loves} what you guys {are|are usually|tend to be} up
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{Howdy|Hi there|Hi|Hey there|Hello|Hey} would you mind letting me
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{Thanks a lot|Kudos|Cheers|Thank you|Many thanks|Thanks}, I
appreciate it!|
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{By the way|However}, how {can|could} we communicate?|
{Howdy|Hi there|Hey there|Hello|Hey} just wanted to
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{Very nice|Excellent|Pleasant|Great} colors & theme. Did
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{Thanks|Many thanks|Thank you|Cheers|Appreciate it|Kudos}!|
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{Hello|Hi|Hello there|Hi there|Howdy|Good day}! I could have sworn I’ve
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{I have|I’ve} bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

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{A lot of|Lots of|Many|Numerous} {other folks|folks|other people|people} {will be|shall be|might be|will
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Cheers!|
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{I am|I’m} {extremely|really} {inspired|impressed} {with your|together with your|along with your}
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{rare|uncommon} {to peer|to see|to look} a {nice|great} {blog|weblog} like this one {these days|nowadays|today}..|
{Hi|Hello}, Neat post. {There is|There’s} {a
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IE {still|nonetheless} is the {marketplace|market} {leader|chief} and {a large|a good|a big|a huge} {part of|section of|component to|portion of|component of|element of} {other folks|folks|other people|people} will {leave out|omit|miss|pass over} your {great|wonderful|fantastic|magnificent|excellent} writing {due
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this {information|info} for my mission.|
{Hi|Hello}, i think that i saw you visited my {blog|weblog|website|web site|site} {so|thus} i came to “return the favor”.{I am|I’m} {trying to|attempting to} find things to {improve|enhance} my
{website|site|web site}!I suppose its ok to use {some of|a few of}

I wonder if that spammer ever expected her comment to go live in this manner.

The truth about free websites

If you’re not paying for a service, you’re the product being sold. This is true for radio, television, facebook, and free websites. In most cases, information about you is sold to third parties (like advertisers). That’s not the really bad part, though. The really bad part about free websites is that you, your website, and your brand can be held hostage and even tanked at the real owner’s whim, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

How free websites work

When you get a “free website” on a site platform like Weebly, Website Tonight, Wix, Yola, or any of the others, you’re not getting your own website. You’re getting a subdomain—a “room” inside their website. You’re adding pages to their website, and when many others join you, it pushes the site up in the search engine rankings. That’s not necessarily bad. Here’s what is.

You can’t move your website from there. What? It’s YOUR site, right? No, not at all. They own it. The domain name belongs to them and can’t be moved. If you want to move your content, you might be able to, depending on the contract you signed (you did read that thing where you signed away your rights, didn’t you?). They might even own the content you created on your “free website.” Even if they don’t own it, it is a pain in the tail to copy and move it to another site, and you won’t be able to move your domain name. You’ll have to get a new one.

Free websites are bad

When those companies go out of business, or decide to delete your content, there is nothing you can do about it. You’ve spent all that time telling people about your website; it’s on your business card, your letterhead, maybe even your signage, and all of a sudden, it’s gone. You’ve worked hard to drill into people’s heads what your url is…all of your marketing materials…all of that has to be changed. You have no control over any of that happening, and it can ruin your business that you’ve worked so hard to build.

Okay, so what are you supposed to do? You can’t afford to spend five grand on a website, and you’re not tech-savvy enough to set up your own blog or website on your own webhost. Good news! There is a third option, and while I provide it, many others do, too, and you’re welcome to go wherever you like. What is that third option?

Hire someone affordable to set up a simple site or blog for you, so you get control over your domain name. You own it. It’s not part of somebody else’s website. It’s yours. As long as you pay the domain name registration on time every year, and the hosting fees, it can be yours for life.

Have the affordable person put your website or blog up on their webhost. You can move your website to a new hosting company if needed (it rarely is if you trust the person). Or, if you want to be sure you have total control, have them set it up on your own hosting account (it’s more expensive that way, but it’s an option). You could also get your own hosting account and set up a WordPress blog yourself, even if you think right now that you aren’t capable of doing that. If you need help, you can always reach out for it.

Why say what free websites are really doing?

Some might say that I’m just saying this because I set up sites and blogs for pay. I want to be clear. It is true that I do set up sites and blogs for people, for pay. My husband and I started building sites for people because we saw people getting robbed when it came to website construction. It’s just wrong. But that’s not why I’m saying this. Even if we never built a single site again, I’d still tell people what we know about those “free website” places. That’s why I said upfront that yes, I offer this, but you’re free to go anywhere you want.

I do offer subdomains to writers whose work I edit, but not to everyone. They own their content and can move it anytime they like, of course.

I’d be willing to handle the hosting and domain name registration at cost, just so people aren’t getting messed over by the “free website” places. For that matter, I’d be happy to see people going to someone else. Would it be nice to land some clients at $1,000 each by saying “Don’t go with the freebie sites, they are bad?” Sure, but, again, that’s not what this is about.

This is about YOU. This is about you not getting screwed. As long as you don’t get messed over, I’ll be happy, whether that means you pay me to set you up with a website or a blog, or to host a blog you will handle yourself, or whether you go with someone else, just as long as you escape those “free” website building places that can cost you everything. There is a difference between price and cost, after all. If setting up a site involves one of those places, where you don’t know the owner, free websites are bad for you. They’re not free at all.

Share the truth about free websites

Those companies dominate the search engine results pages because of their sheer size, what with alllll those people who are after freebies, creating content for them, creating pages for them on their website (that’s what your “free” website is, after all, just pages on their website), and boosting them to the top, there is no way that anyone who speaks out against them will ever rank highly in the search engine results pages. The only way the word will get out is if people like you link to it and share it with others. Don’t let your friends get screwed, either. I care about you enough to share the information with you. Please care about your friends enough to do them the same favor.