I don’t do a lot of product reviews on my blog. Or reviews of any kind, actually. But as I look back over the weird year of 2020, three purchases stand out to me as things that deserve to be talked about. Not only because they were hugely helpful for me in my author business (and life in general) but because they might be useful for you too! (Whether or not you’re an author).
So over the next 3 weeks, I’ll be sharing reviews for my top 3 author buys in 2020. First up is actually a service, not a product. And it could be a life-saver, not just for authors, but for small business owners, and honestly just about anybody who owns a website and uses Facebook.
Here it is…
Best 2020 Author Buy #1:
I SERIOUSLY owe these people a glowing review. And have been meaning to write one for over 6 months.
As some of you might remember, in the spring, Facebook blocked my author website. Yep. Just blocked it. Cold turkey. Without warning, I suddenly I couldn’t post any of my website links on my Facebook posts, and all previous posts with links to my blog, etc, vanished without a trace. On top of that, I could not comment or post ANYTHING on Instagram until I removed my website link from my profile. Yikes!
I got no direct communication from Facebook on the subject. And the only explanation I got was the short, cryptic message that popped up when I clicked on the website link still in my info section. A notice stating that my website had violated Facebook’s “community standards”.
Say what now?
I went and read their list of vague, subjective standards, and found nothing I thought I had obviously violated. And of course, they didn’t bother telling me WHICH policy I was violating or how to keep from doing it in future.
I tried using the Facebook debugger, and just got the same message as the poor soul who took the screenshot above. Then I moved on to trying every trick I could find on the internet, including reporting it to Facebook and attempting to contact them for help multiple times. But I got no response. (Their customer service is NIL people. Nil.)
I was starting to consider buying an entirely new domain and migrating my website over to it. But, aside from the hassle and the possible devastation to my website traffic, I was afraid it would all be for nought, since I could potentially just get blocked again when they realized this new website had the same content they had blocked at a different domain (and therefore the same “violation”, whatever the heck it was).
In desperation, I finally stumbled upon Robin Copernicus’s company, “Unblock My Website“.
At first, I was terrified it was some kind of scam. (And honestly, I still think the welcome page of their site looks kind of scammy. Sorry, Robin.) But ya’ll, I read all the reviews I could find on the internet, and they all seemed to be good ones. Also, they had a 100% money-back guarantee. So at last, I bit the bullet and paid the almost $300 fee.
And Presto! Two days later, I got an email from them letting me know my URL was unblocked.
It’s been over 6 months now, and there’s been no sign of a repeat problem.
I have no idea how it works. Maybe Robin Copernicus has a hotline to the Facebook customer service department that the rest of us only dream about. But to be honest, I don’t really care. I’m just happy they could fix it. They actually have a long-term protection plan you can purchase that means they’ll immediately go to work getting you unblocked if it ever happens again. I haven’t purchase that so far. But honestly, it might be worth it, if Facebook is going to go around arbitrarily blocking innocent people with no recourse or explanation… (Yeah, I’m still mad at Facebook.)
The point is, if your website is currently blocked on Facebook and you are looking for help, I can recommend this company, even though their website might look slightly “scammy” at first glance. They did their job, and I’m VERY grateful. (Can you imagine what kind of damage it could have done to my author business if I hadn’t found them? I shudder at the thought…)
So that’s #1 on my list of top buys for 2020! Mostly because if I hadn’t gotten my website unblocked, I would not have been able to use a lot of the amazing new author marketing I learned from my #2 purchase.
But you’ll have to wait until next week to find out what that was. Stay tuned!