United Grommets to buy United Widgets

Image result for United Grommets to buy United Widgets

ver wondered why news of those “secretive” merger talks between United Grommets and United Widgets leaks out? Cass Business School has a theory, as Martin Waller explains.

Leaking information on mergers and acquisitions before any public announcement adds an extra $21 million to the average price at which that company is taken out, according to research by Cass and Intralinks published overnight, which gives United Grommets (and its advisers) good reason to ignore that Second World War advice to “keep mum”.

The research also reveals that ambitious financial journalists (and insider traders) should head to India, where 16.7 per cent of deals were leaked last year.

[“Source-thetimes”]

How to Use Reverb Plugins on Your Vocal Tracks

Image result for How to Use Reverb Plugins on Your Vocal TracksWe’ve all been there. Your band is tracking some cool new song you just wrote, and it’s coming together great: perfect groove, killer tones, clever ear–candy. Then you add those vocals tracks.

Suddenly, all you notice is that the voice sounds dull, lifeless, and strangely disconnected from the rest of the music. It’s not that the lyrics aren’t working or that your intonation is off. It’s just that, for some reason, those vocals don’t sound well–placed in the mix.

That’s usually right around the time your bandmate or co–producer turns to you and says something like, “It’s all good! Just needs a bunch of reverb!” That’s, well, half–right.

When deployed deftly, good old reverb is the perfect tool for gluing harmonies together or putting the vocal track in a simulated acoustic context.

But, there are very few times when you’ll want to soak your vocal tracks with the effect. Discretion is the name of the game with reverb. Your production will really benefit from understanding a few things about one of the oldest studio effects and how it remains so useful in today’s DAW–dominated world.

The Basics: What Reverb Does and Doesn’t Do

A lot of people will tell you that reverb makes vocals sound bigger, but that’s not really the case. Like natural reverb in a cave or warehouse, a reverb plugin makes a vocal sound like it’s in a space. The reason why reverb is so great on a sterile, dry voice recording is because it helps that vocal track sound like it wasn’t recorded in an isolation booth.

If anything, heavy reverb doesn’t make a vocal sound bigger, but farther away. After all, you’d hear more reverberation from someone farther down in a cave than someone standing right next to you.

Metric Halo’s HaloVerb Digital Reverb

So, if your issue is that the vocals you recorded sound oddly out in front of the band — a very common problem when the vocal is tracked in a different space, on a different day — then break out some basic reverb.

For that kind of issue, a simple plugin like Waves’ Renaissance Reverb or Metric Halo’s HaloVerb will do the job. Choose a size for the room you want to emulate, set a decay time that matches the sound of the other instruments in the mix, and slowly dial a wetter and wetter signal until the voice seems to meet the rest of the band in that imagined space.

If you’re looking to add more presence and power to a vocal performance however, go the opposite route and dial back the reverb.

Reverb has a law of diminishing returns. A little bit is usually called for, but adding more and more will eventually just cause your voice to sound overly glassy, getting swallowed up by the rest of the mix. Ergo, if your reverberated vocal part is sounding weak or unintelligible, dial back your room size, decay, and dry/wet settings to taste.

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Types of Reverb

While the guiding conceptual principles I outlined apply to any type of reverb you choose to use, different types do have different characteristics. You’ll see these types of reverbs all over the plugin–verse, and knowing what to use and when to use it will lead to the best production decisions.

Plate Reverb

Plate reverb emulates one of the earliest techniques used to get the effect: shooting a recorded signal into an actual steel plate via a transducer and then re–recording the resulting metallic vibrations with a contact microphone. This generates a pleasantly dark, dense, and diffused timbre. The intensity and decay of the reverb directly relate to the size of the plate.

This makes them an excellent choice if you’re going for a thick, vintage tone with your vocals, or if you’re looking for that warmth–and–glue factor but aren’t particularly concerned about adding brightness. You want to be careful with plate reverbs since they add low–end frequencies and can muddy up your mix.

Spring Reverb

Spring reverb — based on a similarly old–school electro–mechanical technology — offers a much brighter and snappier tone. Like plate reverb emulating reverberation on a metal plate, spring reverb emulates reverberation across metal springs.

On most plugins, you can typically adjust the “tension” and “number” of springs being emulated, with very loose springs offering a messier sound and sloppier decay, and tighter springs offering that classic, higher–pitched “splash.”

Because they sound somewhat smaller than their plate cousins, spring reverbs are awesome for scenarios where you don’t want much pre–delay.

Spring reverbs play really well with delay effects. For the best of both worlds, try sending your lead vocal through a tight spring reverb and then into a longer delay. But, once again, be careful. That spring sound is very noticeable, and it can easily distract from the original dry signal if not implemented cautiously.

Room Simulation

Room reverbs, as you likely guessed, simulate rooms. Digital room reverbs will give you control over various room sizes and building materials, ranging from a symphony house to a narrow hall.

Eventide Reverb

Plugins such as the Eventide Reverb typically have settings for various tiled rooms, concrete halls, wooden gymnasiums, and so on. Each preset will make pre–delay time, amount of diffusion, and early reflections present in your reverb signal, and every other setting conform to the spatial and acoustic logic of the room selected.

These verbs will usually impart a more modern sound to your vocal than springs or plates, and they offer far and away the most control over every little parameter you might care to mess with.

Say your band tracked basics to your song in a wooden room that was roughly 20 by 25 feet area with a 12–foot ceiling that you don’t have access to anymore. Using your room simulator, you can basically “dial in” a simulation of that space for your vocal track, creating reflections that will match those produced by the band, thus unifying the performances.

You can also go the opposite route and take your vocal track in some surreal directions by tweaking the parameters to create tiny rooms with inordinately huge decay times. Experiment! That’s the beauty of the digital reverb in the DAW era: you can always play around and re–adjust those knobs again later.

Vox Verb in Practice

Once you play around with reverb enough, you’ll start to get a sense of how to use it functionally. A big part of the joy of reverb, at least once you understand how to use your favorite plugins, is using it creatively.

Try sending all of your vocal harmonies to a track with reverb wetness turned up high while putting a short, crisp reverb on the lead. This will help the harmonies blend and the main vocal pop.

Or maybe use almost no reverb at all during sparse, intimate verses of your song to get a more confessional tone, and then crank it up for a particularly psychedelic bridge or chorus. Suddenly, you’re making real choices about where the singer exists in relation to a song and its listener.

Appendix: A Few General Reverb Functions Explained

  • Wet/Dry or Reverb Level: Controls the ratio of original signal to processed signal.

  • Pre–delay: Controls the total elapsed time between the sounding of the dry and wet signals.

  • Decay Time: Controls the total time until that last reverb tail dies away.

  • Early Reflections: Controls the amount of discrete echoes present in your wet signal.

  • Diffusion: Pushes those discrete echoes closer together (smearing them) or farther apart (separating them).

  • Room Size: Controls the dimensions of a the room being simulated, which automatically adjusts the boominess and decay of your reverb sound on a more global level.

  • Modulation Depth: Varies the pitch of reverberated signal relative to the dry signal.

  • Modulation Rate: Varies how quickly those pitches oscillate in time.

[“Source-ndtv”]

How to Make Your 4K Footage Look Like It Was Shot in the 90s

Image result for How to Make Your 4K Footage Look Like It Was Shot in the 90sSo many photographers have recently been dipping their toes in the world of video. You can edit photos like a pro, but maybe you just can’t seem to figure out video editing; it’s very complex – like an onion, so many layers – and now you have to deal with sound design! If you’ve used presets for your photo editing, then you should definitely consider plugins for your video editing. Red Giant sent us a copy of their recently updated Universe 2.1. Jump on in and see what it’s all about.

I’ve always been a fan of Red Giant ever since I learned the Pen Tool in AfterEffects using Trapcode Suite. Later, in my first “real” job, we relied heavily on Magic Bullet, specifically Looks. So, when they sent us a copy, I was super excited to try out Universe 2.1. I only used a few plugins for this video, but it’s ridiculous how many more there are.

There are six new tools and two updates to the suite:

  • AV Club: Mimic the lo-fi, noisy text you find on ancient video tapes, old infomercials, and local access cable channel shows.
  • Luster: Give your text a slick 1980s retro look. Luster applies a metal sheen to text and includes a refraction-based bevel for a glassy simulated 3D look.
  • Title Motion: Create text and shapes and then instantly add dynamic animations that bring them on and off screen. It’s great for titles, lower thirds, callouts, and more.
  • Ecto: Create haunting, evolving titles with this glowing fractal-based effect, inspired by “Ghostbusters” and “Stranger Things.”
  • Long Shadow: Apply a colored, long shadow to text, logo, or shape, for both classic and modern motion design.
  • Glo Fi II: Give text an ethereal, moody look by instantly adding silky smooth, self-animating, fractal-based glow effects to titles. A simple UI makes it easy to apply evolving, organic glows.
  • Line: This update adds the ability to add text at the start and endpoint of a line.
  • Holomatrix II: This update includes blurred, chromatic distortions, a new strobe effect, and much more.

Holomatrix II is so much fun! While I was testing it out, Patrick suggested I drop the hologram of Tupac in the background, but we figured that would be infringing on copyright, so we went with Princess Leia instead. Not only is this plugin fun, it’s so, so easy. They give you 85 presets to choose from within the plugin (just inside of the Holomatrix II tool), or you can set the parameters yourself and control anything you want. So, I started with their default preset and was able to choose how much distortion, speed, flicker; again, you have total control.

It’s one of the reasons I love plugins: they help you save so much time when it comes to editing, and they also teach you more about the program. I taught myself AfterEffects watching YouTube tutorials and breaking down plugins, seeing what each effect did. When it comes to the type of videos most of us are going to edit, you really shouldn’t be afraid of trying basic AfterEffects!

For the ridiculous 90s montage Lee filmed, I used the VHS plugin, which again, I can’t reiterate how easy it was to use. While all of this editing was done inside Premiere Pro, Universe 2.1 can be used in most NLE programs as well, such as Final Cut X, but be sure to check out Red Giant’s Compatibility Page if you’re using a different program.

Filming and editing this video was so much fun. I was able to play around with a lot of their plugins, and you should too! Another thing to keep in mind when it comes to using these plugins: they will save you time in editing, but might add time when it comes to exporting.

Universe 2.1 is really affordable too if you’re someone who uses plugins for your work. They have a monthly subscription for $20 or a yearly for $99.

All in all, I really enjoyed messing around with these different plugins. I am going to try to work on some more videos to show you even more of the plugins. Also, let me know in the comments below if you would want a mini tutorial on how to use any specific plugin! If you’ve never tried Red Giant Plugins, at least give the free trial a go! I think you’ll be glad you did.

[“Source-ndtv”]

4 Content Marketing Hacks To Attract High Paying Freelance Clients

content marketing for freelancers

content marketing for freelancers

If you work online, you’ve probably heard of content marketing before. In just a few years, it’s become one of the most powerful tools companies use to attract new business. And it works! When you compare businesses that use content marketing to those who don’t, adopters have a nearly six times higher conversion rate than competitors.

Have you ever thought about using content marketing to attract new freelance clients? You should. Content marketing can do a lot to improve your online presence and help your business grow.

Here are four content marketing hacks to make it happen:

1. Solve your dream client’s problems

Content marketing is all about seeing things through the eyes of your customer. Instead of using paid advertisements around the web explaining how great you are as a freelancer, you want to focus in how your service solves your potential clients’ problems.

These are called “pain points” that you need to identify if you want to succeed with content marketing. Brainstorm issues that keep your target clients up at night. Say you’re a freelance writer. Your potential clients’ pain points might be:

  • They can’t blog frequently enough to grow their business.
  • They’re worried their writing is boring or lacks depth.
  • They don’t have time to figure out how to optimize their content for search engines.

These are all problems a freelance writer can help with! When you start creating your own content to market, cater it to addressing these needs, instead of focusing on yourself.

2. Use the power of search

Most professional freelancers have at least a static website set up to showcase their portfolio and offer some contact information. But there’s simply no way a 5-page site with no blog can compete with other freelance businesses in search results.

But if you’re going to start a blog for your content marketing strategy, you can take advantage of search engine optimization in the process. Every time you come up with a new blog post idea, find relevant long-tail keywords you can optimize it for. Use tools like KWfinder.com, Keywordtool.io or LongTailPro.com. Choose a keyword that has the right mix of the following:

  • Relevance – Does the keyword work well with what you’re writing about, and what your target audience is looking for?
  • Search Volume – Does the keyword get enough monthly searches to attract traffic to your site?
  • Competition – Is it possible to rank well for this keyword or are too many other pages targeting it?

Even if you’re not an SEO expert, it’s still really easy to optimize your posts. Just use a plugin like SEO by Yoast to analyze your content and show you where they keywords need to go.

3. Showcase your expertise

Content marketing is also a great opportunity to show your worth as a freelancer. Use your blogging as an opportunity to discuss and highlight your work.

If you’re a freelance graphic designer, for example, you might also share progress updates of your latest art on social media. The more engagement your work gets, the more reach you’ll have to potential freelance clients.

You can also show your expertise in a certain area by blogging about best practices. Say you’re an SEO expert. Your blog can be all about how to navigate on-page and technical SEO to rank well in search engines. This will attract people to your site who are interested in improving their SEO. Then you can put a call-to-action on your site asking them if they need help!

4. Don’t forget content promotion

Content marketing isn’t all about getting your pages to rank in search engines. In fact, SEO is just one platform of many that you should use to promote your content and attract traffic back to your site. I believe content marketing should be 20% content creation and 80% promotion.

At the most basic level, you’ll also want to share your content on all your social media profiles. But don’t stop there!

You should dig deeper into the internet by joining and engaging on relevant forums as well. When it makes sense, suggest some of your content to help answer people’s questions. The same goes with deeper social communities like Facebook Groups, LinkedIn Groups, and relevant Twitter hashtag conversations.

Try to enlist the help of others to start promoting your content as well. Identify influential people in your industry (maybe they have a popular blog or a huge social following). If your content is something their audience would like, then reach out to them asking them to share.

There are so many possibilities for success when you use content marketing to attract new clients. Just cater your message to their needs and take advantage of every platform out there to reach your audience. Be consistent, and you can’t go wrong!

Follow me on Twitter and visit my website for more resources to market and grow your business online.

[“Source-ndtv”]

How to Earn Extra Cash on the Weekends

The internet is filled with scores of passive income ideas–but you must find one that blends in well with your skills and capabilities. Passive income gradually grows if you plan on expanding the business significantly. You must work hard initially if you’d like to create a steady revenue stream in future. Good passive income ideas do not require large sums of money but just investments in yourself.

Four Things to consider in your at-home Investment:

  • Money
  • Time
  • Skill Managing
  • Online Stocks

You can use any one combination of the above to get a better chance at success in your chosen field of expertise. Besides income, you’ll have a sense of accomplishment and more freedom once you start earning your passive income. The payoff is remarkable and worth your efforts. Bearing this in mind, let’s look at eight ways to add to your family income from home on weekends that you can build now.

  • Data Entry
    If you are a skilled in accounting, there are scores of online job opportunities in the data entry field. You could sign up with legitimate sites for a variety jobs that match your skills. The jobs provide hourly rates and quick payments upon completion of specific tasks. You will, however, be required to take an exam to test your skills for competency.
  • Online Stocks and Forex
    Using equity or online trading, or currency exchange to earn passive income is a great approach. Your initial capital could be any amount from £100; the best options for you include CMC Markets with forex. Online investment platforms are easy to set up since you only need a computer and some startup capital to buy trading shares. The value of your invested capital will fluctuate, and so will your profits. But in the long run, your income will grow with the market trends.
  • Stock photography
    Your photography hobby can turn out into a lucrative business of collecting stock photos and selling them to media outlets and ad agencies. You must be a skilled photographer with a lot of attractive media shots; you can also create composite photos on your computer and create sell photos used by advertisers for special projects. Stock photos can be sold with rights and fetch you a handsome pay.

  • eBooks
    Creating informative text is the best online product because you get to sell it forever. It’s so easy to create a book out of things you are passionate about. You can develop your own eBook and sell it through Goodreads, Kindle, or Amazon. A successful eBook requires strategic marketing. Establish a network of people willing to facilitate selling your eBook and achieve high sales volumes.
  • Blogging
    Blogging makes passive income over time. Like eBooks, you must be passionate about what you create for your readers. It doesn’t provide instant streaming income, but it pays well once you’re set in the right networks. Blogging is very rewarding. But it requires hard work for it to succeed.
  • Marketing Expert
    Are you a social media marketing guru? Why not leverage your effective marketing skills. Sell your ideas to small businesses and ask them to hire you as a part-time media expert. You will do this from the comfort of your home using your phone or laptop. Make an offer on pay percentages when their sales increase from your marketing campaigns. If your efforts pay off, you’ll be collecting cheques every week!
  • Technical Assistance
    Are you a technical nerd? You could start a small business right in your home by converting videos to DVDs. Ask people to give you their videos for converting before they decompose. Print flyers and distribute in your local neighborhood and social settings. Once people respond, your passive income will start streaming in hoards.
  • Resume Writer
    Are you a skilled writer? You can ask people looking for work to give you their resume for a little bit of tweaking to win instant interview invites. Once you deliver on the first customers, word will go round and you will have easy passive income.

People nowadays pay for quality service for the things they find tedious. If you can provide excellent services, you’ll never run short of cash in your life.

[“Source-ndtv”]

The DIY Guide to Being an SEO Expert

Imagine … generating hundred and thousands of hits to your website a day. Those hits turn into email subscribers, and people buying your products.

This consistent traffic gives you the financial freedom you need to spend time living a life that brings joy and abundance to the world. This is the reality for many business owners and entrepreneurs just like you.

It doesn’t happen over night, and it isn’t easy — but it can be a reality for you.

If you are a “do-it-yourself” kind of person, then this is the definitive guide to being an SEO expert.

Before I show you how to be the master DIY SEO expert, I want to lay some ground rules.

First, understand there are over 200 different “signals” that Google uses to determine ranking in the Google search engine.

It’s not necessary to pay attention keenly to all 200 (unless this is your 24/7 occupation). There are some key signals and criteria to focus on and that we can easily control.

Second, understand that you MUST write and produce content for humans (not the Google bots). If you focus on producing content that humans enjoy you will win in the “eyes” of Google.

Lastly, nothing beats hiring a “real” SEO expert: someone like a WordPress developer who is versed in SEO. He or she can help increase your ranking within your website for optimal results.

Hosting

Before you start your website, the proper hosting service determines your website. Smaller hosting platforms that are niched may be more appropriate for you depending on your goals.

That being said I look at the hosting platform that the major players are using. One of them beats out the rest in the hosting world. Bluehost … It is the same hosting service Patt Flynn uses on most of his sites.

Bluehost has cheap hosting, great service, reliability, and awesome SEO components taken care of.

Obviously there are other hosting platforms to choose from. No matter the platform, you’ll need to secure a rock-solid host.

Website Theme

Finding a website theme for your business that has the design functionality you want (without a bunch of junk code) can be challenging.

There are many places to get themes for your website including Themeforest, MojoThemes, and Genesis.

For SEO purposes — Genesis is the winner. Their code is very clean (not a bunch of sloppy code). It is not image heavy, and it is maintained incredibly well.

The downside to Genesis is that it is a higher price point to customize. Plus you’ll need a coder to customize an themes. However if you can handle the out-of-the-box solution this may be great for you!

Otherwise, feel free to grab a clean looking template from Themeforest, and install the demo content onto your new domain name in WordPress (after installing WordPress.org of course!).

Site Speed

How fast your site loads is one of the key factors in determining your SEO ranking.

Plus for every second your website takes to load, your chance of a user abandoning your website increases.

The bottom line is faster = better.

Google has an amazing tool that is 100 percent free to test your site speed. Just go to Googles Site Speed Insights Page and type in your URL to test. It will let you know how fast it is on a ranking of 0-100 on mobile and desktop.

Plus it will also let you know what you need to fix and update to make the SEO rank higher.

The following plugins are geared to increase site speed as much as possible while minimizing unnecessary code.

Plugins for WordPress (to Increase Site Speed)

WorPress plugins are going to be the bread and butter of your DIY guide to being an SEO expert.

More plugins doesn’t mean better. Your site can slow down with too many plugins (so be selective).

Focus on the most productive plugins for your stellar SEO driven website.

First download the Yoast SEO plugin.

Yoast SEO takes care of most of the SEO things you need done and they have an amazing blog article to walk you step by step through the key components of their tool and SEO in general.

Yoast SEO integrates perfectly with website tools like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. And it has an amazing section for social SEO, where you can turn on “meta tags” for open graph searches and much more.

You’ll be pumped about the Yoast SEO plugin. Time saver, seriously.

W3 Total Cache or WP Super Cache

These plugins are kind of complicated to explain but simply it goes like this … HTML code is less resource intensive than PHP code.

If a website has to repeatedly call PHP code for a user, it slows down the load speed.

Caching plugins like these “generates static html files from your dynamic WordPress blog.

“After an html file is generated, your web server will serve that file instead of processing the comparatively heavier and more expansive WordPress php scripts.” – WP super cache plugin description

[“Source-smallbiztrends”]

13 Etsy SEO Tips to Get Your Products Found

Etsy SEO

Starting a handmade business has become much easier in recent years thanks to online platforms like Etsy. But although you can easily open an Etsy shop just by signing up for an account and adding a few products, there’s no guarantee that you’ll actually make any sales.

If you want your products to get found, you need to understand how the platform works and how buyers use it. That’s where Etsy SEO tips come in.

Here are some Etsy SEO tips to help you get your handmade products in front of as many potential buyers as possible.

Etsy SEO

Include the Category in Your Title

When crafting the titles for each of your listings, it’s important for you to be as clear and concise as possible. By including the terms that people are likely to search for right in the title, you’re more likely to show up in search results and more likely to show up before other products.

Include Keywords First

In addition, when you come up with those search terms and keywords, it’s good practice to use those at the very beginning of your titles. If you use a cutesy name for your product first and then clarify it at the end of your listing title, your product is likely to show up in search results after all of the other listings that actually included the search term at the very beginning of their titles. If they have to scroll through pages and pages in order to get to your products, you aren’t likely to get found by many shoppers.

Think About Different Names for Your Items

It is important to have that one main keyword or search term that you include at the beginning of your product title. But you might also consider thinking of other names that shoppers might use to search for products like yours and include those either later in the title or in your item description or tags.

Stay Away from Cutesy Names

It can sometimes be tempting for handmade business owners to come up with creative or cutesy names for products. But shoppers aren’t likely to search for cutesy names, so they aren’t likely to come across your products if you use them. For example, if you like to come up with unique names for your paintings, you can include those names briefly in your product listing. But your title should be more straightforward and descriptive, like “landscape painting, acrylic on canvas” or something that actually tells shoppers what the item is.

Don’t Use Crafting Terms

In addition, try not to use the crafting terms for items when creating your listings. Sure, you know the specific techniques and materials that you used. But if the people who you want to buy your products aren’t makers themselves, they aren’t likely to search for those terms — and you will have lost the sale.

Focus Keywords at the Beginning of Your Listing

Just as the beginning of your title is most important, the beginning of your item description is also the most important when it comes to getting found. You can include a lot of information in an item listing, from sizing information to shipping policies. But that should all go toward the end so that you can pack in as many descriptive terms within the first few paragraphs as possible.

Include Keywords in Tags

Your tags offer another opportunity for you to pack in some relevant search terms. Etsy gives you the ability to add up to 13 tags to your items. And each can be up to 20 characters. So think of as many potential search terms as possible and add those to your tags. They can be related to your exact product, like “white printed t-shirt” or more of a general category like “women’s clothing.”

Don’t Spend Time Optimizing Photos

If you’re familiar with SEO tactics on other websites or platforms, then you probably know how important it is to add relevant titles and tags to your images. But on Etsy, photos are all given titles that are a random assortment of letters and numbers when they’re uploaded, regardless of if you named the photo something different prior to uploading it. So it’s not worth spending time adding relevant titles to each of your images.

Make Your Listings Eye-catching

The more interaction your listings get from customers, the more likely they are to show up early in future search results. So if your products are relevant and have clear titles, good prices and eye-catching photos, they could be more likely to attract customers to click on those items. And the more they click, they better your chances are of getting found in the future.

Consider Relisting and Promoting Popular Items

Etsy also takes how recent the item was listed into account when it comes to search results. It’s not as important as it once was. But relisting popular products regularly can help keep the listing fresh and have a small impact on your search rankings. Also, if you want to pay to promote your products on Etsy, try it with products that you already know are popular since they’ll be the most likely to get good results and bring in more traffic to your shop as a whole.

Syndicate for Google Shopping

Getting your products found on Etsy doesn’t just mean optimizing for people searching within Etsy’s platform. Plenty of Etsy sellers also make sales by getting their products found by people searching on Google. So as long as you follow Google’s policies, you can syndicate your products so that they show up in Google Shopping results.

Focus on Creating a Great Customer Experience

Creating a positive shopping experience for your customers is good practice regardless of its impact on Etsy SEO tips. But Etsy is actually likely to rank items higher in search results if they come from shops that have a good history with customers. So do your best to make your policies clear, communicate with your customers and provide a quality product. If you do all of that, you’re likely to get some positive reviews and thus improve your odds of getting found in the future.

Keep Up with Etsy Changes

Etsy is constantly changing its algorithms and user experience. So when it comes to getting found on the site, what’s true today could be totally different a few months from now. So it’s important that you keep up with any changes either by subscribing to Etsy’s newsletter, following the blog or even participating in the forums. You can’t always have a say in the changes, but if you at least know what they are you have a better chance of making them work in your favor.

[“Source-smallbiztrends”]

4 SEO Trends to Look for in 2017

4 SEO Trends for 2017

It’s hard to believe that it’s time to start looking towards 2017, but this year is almost over. Now is the time to see what is going to be big in the search marketing industry in the coming months. We saw some big changes in 2016, and they are likely to carry over into 2017. We’ve compiled our top 4 SEO trends that we think will dominate the industry in the new year.

This isn’t to say that these are all new – you’ve probably already about most of these and even started working on optimizing for them. But whether or not these trends are new or not is beside the point, these are the trends that you need to keep your eye out for and get ready for in 2017.

SEO Trends for 2017

Mobile First Index

Mobile has already taken over the search marketing world. In 2015, mobile searches surpassed desktop searches for the first time ever. With this, Google said that mobile and desktop were equal. However, that’s not true anymore.

Google has since stated that it wants a mobile experience across all types of devices. Google recently announced it’s mobile first index. This is huge for the industry because now Google will crawl the mobile version of your site or responsive mobile version first, before the desktop version, and use that content to place you in the search results.

This shouldn’t be a problem if you use a mobile responsive version of your website. Also, there’s no need to start panicking right away – Gary Illyes, a Google engineer, has confirmed this update is still a few months away. However, this is something that everyone needs to be aware of and prepare for. For the entire guide on Google’s mobile first index, you can click here.

Video Content

Video content has been on the rise for a little while now, and it’s not going anywhere in the near future. In fact, a high power at Facebook even stated that video will become the main type of content by 2020. We aren’t sure about all that – as for right now, written content is still the norm, but that doesn’t mean that it will always be. It also doesn’t mean that you should have variety in your content either.

However, as new technologies keep developing, Snapchat, Vine, Periscope, and even Instagram, video is not going anywhere in 2017. Even Google is experimenting with video ads in the search results. There are multiple types of video content that you can implement into your search marketing strategy – webinars, step-by-step tutorials, Q&As, etc.

Try out a few videos in your content, maybe as an addition to one piece you already have and see how it does. If it performs well, which I think it will, you know maybe you should be placing more importance in video.

Voice Search

For a while, voice search was something that was floating around out there but wasn’t really playing a huge part in the search marketing industry. However, as mobile continues to increase and technology advances, voice search is gaining momentum. Today, 55% of teens say that they use voice search on a daily basis – with 56% of adults saying that they enjoy using voice search.

This trend is just going to continue to grow as we get into 2017. Why is this? As we stated earlier, with technology advancing, voice search is just another way that technology can make our lives simpler. Isn’t just talking to your phone a lot easier than typing, especially when you are on the go or trying to multi-task?

What makes this something to look for and optimize for is that voice searchers are not going to be entering the same phrases or keywords as someone who is typing on a computer or smartphone. Since voice searches are more like spoken word, you want to make sure you understand the searchers intent and market to that. Use question words like who, what, where, when, why, you need to optimize differently for voice search. Try reformatting your headlines into questions that include these question words.

Structured Data and Schema

Structured data really hasn’t been talked about as much as I thought it would be lately, but it is a very important in the SEO world. According to Search Engine Watch, structured data is information formatted in a way that can be universally understood. Through this structured data, search engines are able to understand a website easier and therefore gives them better SERP rankings.

Schema.org is structured data that was developed by Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and Yandex, and it is a code that you can add to your website that allows all search engines to define it. While webmasters have been using this for a while, it’s been recently that Google has started to really use it to help crawl sites. Since it is making their jobs easier and helps them to display rich snippets in the search results, structured data and schema are going to continue to gain importance in the SEO world.

Look for structured data and schema to start playing an even bigger part in websites in 2017 and beyond. Search engines want to be able to crawl your website faster and easier, and with the advancements in this technology, they should start to implement it more.

Conclusion

Being mindful of these four trends will help you be more successful in your SEO efforts in the upcoming year. Make sure you optimize your search marketing strategies to account for these changes. Oh, and Happy New Year!

[“Source-smallbiztrends”]

Over 80 powerful VFX & color grading plugins now free to use in any major video editor

Image result for Over 80 powerful VFX & color grading plugins now free to use in any major video editorFXHOME (hitfilm.com) today released Ignite Express (hitfilm.com/ignite-express), a free suite of over 80 powerful plugins which transform editors like Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro X and more, turning them into advanced visual effects toolkits.

From world-leading keying technology to 360° video effects and the ultimate light flares collection – this suite contains over 300 effects and presets in total and uses professional HitFilm technology to help editors generate impressive visual effects, achieve perfect grading, color correction and much more. Created to fit into any workflow, users can plugin and power up using Ignite Express on Mac or PC with the editor of their choice: After Effects, Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro X, Motion, Sony Catalyst, DaVinci Resolve, NUKE, EDIUS, Media Composer and Vegas Pro 14 are all supported.

Hero shot
Hero shot

Ignite Express offers choice to video editors worldwide, with direct native support giving a smooth workflow and high performance every time. They can effortlessly scale up production value and dramatic flare in their next project with advanced VFX plugins, or experiment with hues, exposure, and hyperstylized effects to create their own signature film look. Ignite Express even contains advanced keying plugins for bold and believable composites, including a matte cleaner tool to seamlessly smooth edges.

With Ignite Express, we can help editors all over the world tell great stories, no matter their workflow,” says Josh Davies, Founder and CEO of HitFilm. “It’s important to us that everyone has access to our powerful technology, so we’re thrilled to be able to offer these free plugins and open up a new world of possibilities for video editors and creators worldwide.”

Ignite Express users will find even more advanced plugins available in Ignite Pro, which is available from the HitFilm store for $199. It contains over 150 plugins and offers further flexibility for video editors.

They [HitFilm] feel that helping future generations become masters of their craft is the right thing to do.” – Dan Cooper, Engadget

*ENDS*

NOTES TO EDITORS

  • For information about HitFilm’s products and services, please visit hitfilm.com.
  • For reviews and briefings, please contact [email protected]
  • The HitFilm YouTube channel has over 130k subscribers and provides free weekly tutorials and filmmaking techniques: youtube.com/user/FXhomeHitFilm
  • Media information, including a product description, logos and images can be downloaded here: hitfilm.com/contact

Ignite Express 2017 is FREE to download (hitfilm.com/ignite-express) from the 15th June 2017 for both Mac and PC.

Minimum requirements are:
• Apple Mac – OS X 10.10 Yosemite, 10.11 El Capitan or macOS 10.12 Sierra
• Windows PC – 64 bit version of Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 10

ABOUT FXHOME, Makers of HitFilm
In 2011, Josh Davies set out on a mission to prove that professional grade post-production tools can be made available to everyone. HitFilm was created as an all-in-one video editing and visual effects software solution – at a fraction of the cost of other industry standard tools.

With over 1.3 million users, HitFilm is one of the leading post-production software tools in the industry, offering professional software options and unrivalled community support for the next generation of filmmaker.

What started as a big idea on a little budget, has grown to a global movement of filmmakers who share HitFilm’s vision for the future of video software.

[“Source-ndtv”]

Iraqi forces launch large-scale push to retake western Mosul from ISIS

FILE - In this Nov. 28, 2016 file photo, Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi speaks during an interview with the Associated Press in Baghdad, Iraq.

U.S.-backed Iraqi forces launched a large-scale military operation on Sunday to retake the western half of Mosul and dislodge Islamic State militants. It is the latest phase in a 4-month-old offensive to retake Iraq’s second largest city.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced the start of the operation on state TV, saying government forces were moving to “liberate the people of Mosul from Daesh oppression and terrorism forever,” using the Arabic acronym for ISIS. He called on security forces to deal with civilians properly and to respect human rights.

Iraqi forces declared eastern Mosul “fully liberated” last month, however ISIS militants continued to launch attacks there. Hours after the latest operation was announced, suicide bombers struck troops and pro-government Sunni militiamen in eastern Mosul.

“ISIS’s cruelty, brutality and reach show they are not just a threat in Iraq and Syria, but to the region and the entire world,” said Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, commander of Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve, in a statement.

Plumes of smoke were seen rising into the sky early Sunday morning as U.S.-led coalition jets struck militant positions southwest of Mosul and militarized Iraqi police fired artillery toward the city. Heavily armed police units were getting ready to move north with their armored vehicles from a base just southwest of the city.

“This is zero hour and we are going to end this war, God willing,” said Mahmoud Mansour, a police officer, as he prepared to move out.

The battle for western Mosul promises to be the most daunting yet, as the half of the city west of the Tigris River has older, narrower streets and is still home to hundreds of thousands of civilians, who have been told to shelter in place.

“Mosul would be a tough fight for any army in the world, and the Iraqi forces have risen to the challenge,” said Townsend. “They have taken the fight to the enemy and sacrificed their blood for the people of Iraq and the rest of the world.”

The immediate objective was to take the villages on the southern outskirts of Mosul airport, a police spokesman told The Associated Press. The officer spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief reporters.

Police units quickly moved into the village of Athba, about 3 miles (5 kilometers) southwest of the airport, encountering only light resistance, according to an AP reporter traveling with them. Separately, the army’s 9th Division moved into the village of Bakhira, also southwest of the city, the Iraqi Ministry of Defense said.

The United Nations meanwhile warned that hundreds of thousands of civilians trapped inside their houses “are at extreme risk,” with dwindling fuel and food supplies and scare drinking water and electricity.

“The situation is distressing. People, right now, are in trouble,” Lise Grande, the U.N. humanitarian coordinator for Iraq, said in a statement. “We are hearing reports of parents struggling to feed their children and to heat their homes,” Grande said.

Citing witnesses in western Mosul, the U.N. said nearly half of all food shops were closed and bakeries had shut down due to a lack of fuel and an inability to purchase costly flour. Prices of kerosene and cooking gas have skyrocketed, and many of the most destitute families are burning wood, furniture, plastic or garbage for cooking and heating.

“Three out of five people now depend on untreated water from wells for cooking and drinking as water systems and treatment plants have been damaged by fighting or run out of chlorine,” said Peter Hawkins, of the U.N. agency for children.

The humanitarian agencies were gearing up to aid 250,000 to 400,000 civilians who may flee due to fighting, the statement said. The U.N. estimates that about 750,000 civilians may be left in western Mosul.

Iraqi forces spent three months driving ISIS from eastern Mosul, but the militants appear to have left sleeper cells to carry out attacks behind the front lines.

Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasool, an Iraqi military spokesman, said a suicide bomber set off struck a patrol of Sunni tribal fighters in Zihoor neighborhood, while another targeted Iraqi troops in Nabi Younis.

Rasool declined to provide casualty figures. Two policemen said one Sunni fighter was killed and nine wounded in the first attack, while the second attack wounded five soldiers. They spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to release information.

Iraqi special operations forces, regular army and federal police units are taking part in the offensive along with government-approved paramilitary forces, mainly consisting of Shiite militias, which are operating on the city’s outskirts.

Mosul fell to ISIS in the summer of 2014, along with large swaths of northern and western Iraq. It is the extremist group’s last major urban bastion in Iraq.

[Source:-Fox news]