Music Industry Loses $2.65 Billion A Year Over Improper Licensing By Small Businesses

Experts behind the study have called it a ‘wake up call’ for anyone creating music

The global music industry is losing out on billions each year because of small businesses misusing personal streaming services, according to a new report. 

The study, conducted by Nielsen Music and published via licensing service Soundtrack Your Brand, found that just 17 percent of small businesses have obtained the correct licenses to play music in shops, restaurants or public venues. 

Music that constitutes a “public performance” needs to be licensed under copyright laws, which are separate from the laws governing personal use of music streaming services such as Spotify, Tidal or Apple Music

However, 83 percent of small businesses reportedly play music illicitly, while the majority of business owners apparently, and incorrectly believe that a personal music account can be used as background music in a business setting. 

With results from around 5,000 in-store interviews of businesses in seven countries (the UK, US, Sweden, Spain, Italy, France, and Germany), the study estimated that 21.3m of the world’s 29.4m businesses use consumer music services.

An average of $8.33 per month is lost from every business that uses a personal music subscription – more if they are using a free version of the streaming service – meaning that musicians, songwriters, producers, record labels and composers are all missing out on more than $100m a month. 

Andreas Liffgarden, chairman and co-founder of Soundtrack Your Brand, said the study was a “wake up call” for anyone creating music, to realize they were losing out on potential income and call on business consumers to understand when they were unknowingly misusing streaming services. 

Liffgarden told Rolling Stone“The music industry at large needs to do better to educate. You instinctively know that you can’t use your Netflix account and open a cinema – you’d surely roll your eyes and say, ‘of course I knew that’, but the same isn’t true for music. 

“In the TV and movie industry, it’s almost taken for granted. But in music, asides from large brands who always comply, the educational journey hasn’t happened.

Article originally published at
Author: Roisin O’Connor

WordPress 5.0.1 Security Release

WordPress 5.0.1 is now available. This is a security release for all versions since WordPress 3.7. We strongly encourage you to update your sites immediately.

Plugin authors are encouraged to read the 5.0.1 developer notes for information on backwards-compatibility.

WordPress versions 5.0 and earlier are affected by the following bugs, which are fixed in version 5.0.1. Updated versions of WordPress 4.9 and older releases are also available, for users who have not yet updated to 5.0.

  • Karim El Ouerghemmi discovered that authors could alter metadata to delete files that they weren’t authorized to.
  • Simon Scannell of RIPS Technologies discovered that authors could create posts of unauthorized post types with specially crafted input.
  • Sam Thomas discovered that contributors could craft metadata in a way that resulted in PHP object injection.
  • Tim Coen discovered that contributors could edit new comments from higher-privileged users, potentially leading to a cross-site scripting vulnerability.
  • Tim Coen also discovered that specially crafted URL inputs could lead to a cross-site scripting vulnerability in some circumstances. WordPress itself was not affected, but plugins could be in some situations.
  • Team Yoast discovered that the user activation screen could be indexed by search engines in some uncommon configurations, leading to exposure of email addresses, and in some rare cases, default generated passwords.
  • Tim Coen and Slavco discovered that authors on Apache-hosted sites could upload specifically crafted files that bypass MIME verification, leading to a cross-site scripting vulnerability.

Thank you to all of the reporters for privately disclosing the vulnerabilities, which gave us time to fix them before WordPress sites could be attacked.

Download WordPress 5.0.1, or venture over to Dashboard → Updates and click Update Now. Sites that support automatic background updates are already beginning to update automatically.

In addition to the security researchers mentioned above, thank you to everyone who contributed to WordPress 5.0.1:

Alex ShielsAlex ConchaAnton TimmermansAndrew OzzAaron CampbellAndrea MiddletonBen BidnerBarry AbrahamsonChris ChristoffDavid NewmanDemitrious KellyDion HulseHannah NotessGary PendergastHerre GroenIan DunnJeremy FeltJoe McGillJohn James JacobyJonathan DesrosiersJosepha HadenJoost de ValkMo JangdaNick DaughertyPeter WilsonPascal BirchlerSergey Biryukov, and Valentyn Pylypchuk.

Getting Ready For 2019!

I can’t believe that it’s fixing to be 2019! Another year has just flown by. That old saying that time goes by faster as you get older is definitely true. The older I get, the more appreciative I get of living life, family and friends and my occupation. That’s right, I’m thankful for work. There are so many people out there unemployed right now. There are roughly 96,000,000 people unemployed.1 That’s a lot of people folks. So that’s why I’m so thankful for my job. I’ve been without work before and it’s not fun. It’s degrading as hell to be quite honest. Anyway, enough on that tangent. I’m supposed to be talking about 2019.

So, what are my goals or resolutions for 2019? First off, I have to split up my goals and resolutions between personal and business. Because they are so different they need their own category.

Personally, one of the major changes I plan on making is the way I eat. I eat way too much junk food. In fact, I probably eat out 4-5 times a week and that’s way too much. And the sad thing, I eat fast food, which is the worst type of food you can put in your body. I want to start eating more veggies and fruits. Cut out the sugar, bread, rice, and other carbohydrates. I don’t want to do the Atkins diet, but I do want to get my body close to ketosis. Another personal goal for 2019 is more movement. Not just exercise, but movement in general. When I’m sitting at my office behind my desk, just stand up and move around a little. I just recently received an Apple iWatch Series 4 for my birthday and Christmas present from my mother and I love the way it makes you stand up occasionally, breathe deeply and simply move around. It’s awesome! I also want to incorporate some actual exercise into my regimen.

Business wise, I have several goals and resolutions for 2019. First off, I’m going to focus on one project at a time. I have about 50 irons in the fire and I tend to move from one to the other without being thorough. Everything from music to web businesses, then I have my normal 9-5. So it keeps me hopping, that’s for sure. Secondly, I want to start focusing more attention on the little things. Let me explain. I have a tendency to work on the big picture because I’m a visionary and I have to literally put blinders on to focus on the details. I prefer coming up with the idea, the business plan and the creative side of all my projects, then I neglect the smaller more “foxes in the holes’ things. Another goal of mine is to learn my website development platform even better. I use WordPress and it’s the most powerful CMS system on the planet. Not to mention, it powers over 27% of the websites on the Internet today. And WordPress makes up 14.7% of the top 100 websites in the world!2 It’s a powerful platform and the sky’s the limit when it comes to what you can do with it.

Overall, I think 2019 is going to be a great year! A year of new beginnings, and hopefully growth in both personal ways and business!

What are your goals or resolutions for 2019? It’s not too early to start thinking about them. Use the comments section below and share your thoughts!


This is how to survive in a toxic workplace: 3 secrets from research

Do you deal with some awful people at work? Do they annoy you beyond belief at times Actually, it’s a lot worse than that — whether you realize it or not.

Do you deal with some awful people at work? Do they annoy you beyond belief at times?

Actually, it’s a lot worse than that — whether you realize it or not. In addition to making you miserable, those impossible bosses and jerk co-workers can reduce your productivity, reduce your empathy, and even give you a heart attack.

From The A–hole Survival Guide: How to Deal With People Who Treat You Like Dirt:

New nurses bullied by veteran nurses and doctors put forth less effort and develop less empathy for patients. Service employees who are subjected to customer aggression report more mental and physical health problems and are less committed to their jobs… a twenty-year study that tracked six thousand British civil servants found that when their bosses criticized them unfairly, didn’t listen to their problems, and rarely praised them, employees suffered more angina, heart attacks, and deaths for heart disease.

In the past, we’ve reviewed dealing with workplace narcissists, psychopaths, and bullies. But we really need to hear from the #1 guy on coping with office monsters.

It offers a ton of excellent strategies for staying sane when you’re surrounded by horrible people. Let’s look at a few of the top tips Bob has to offer…

Dodge Bullets, Neo

The numero uno strategy for dealing with the workplace dregs of humanity is simple: avoid them. That doesn’t mean it’s always easy, but before you start having revenge fantasies the first thing you want to think about is how to minimize contact.

Because the worst thing these monsters can do isn’t annoy or harass you — just like in a zombie or vampire film, they can turn you into one of them. If you spend most of your day around a jerk, your chance of becoming a jerk more than doubles.

From The A–hole Survival Guide: How to Deal With People Who Treat You Like Dirt:

In 2016 Housman told Fast Company that they discovered a “toxic density” effect: much like research shows rudeness spreads like a common cold, they found that sitting near a destructive jerk dramatically increases a worker’s risk of infection. Housman explained, “If you add a toxic worker to within a 25-foot radius of a focal worker, the chance that the focal worker becomes a toxic worker themselves more than doubles (112.5% increase).”

Ask if you can move your desk. Spend time working in conference rooms or public spaces if possible.

But that’s not always an option. So you may need a Secret Service detail. One of the best meta-strategies for coping with jerks is to band together with others who are suffering with you.

If you’re lucky, you might have a supervisor who can provide some cover. But co-workers can help too.

From The A–hole Survival Guide: How to Deal With People Who Treat You Like Dirt:

A 2013 study of nearly two thousand Finnish dentists found that when they worked in close cooperation with their dental assistants, dentists suffered less pressure to present fake emotions to their patients and performed their jobs better. Part of the reason, the researchers suggest, is that a skilled dental assistant (who usually sees patients before the dentist and often sees them more frequently) can “buffer” the dentist from difficult and demanding patients. In other words, they take the patient’s flak and cool them out, which spares dentists from having to deal with it.

But sometimes there’s nowhere to hide and there’s no way to limit exposure to a boss who roams around making life intolerable. So be a smart mouse and try hanging a bell around the cat’s neck.

If the boss has a sympathetic assistant, get them on your side. They can tell you when the dragon is in a fire-breathing mood and when he’s relatively calm and stable. This will allow you to know when it’s safe — and when it’s time to cower in the bathroom.

From The A–hole Survival Guide: How to Deal With People Who Treat You Like Dirt:

In some places, the boss’s administrative assistant is recruited to inform colleagues when the boss is in a foul mood (and should be avoided or handled with care) or feeling upbeat (and it is a good time to visit or raise a sensitive subject.)

But maybe the duck and cover approach ain’t gonna fly. Here’s where we need some serious psychology to keep your head on straight when someone is intent on making you miserable…

Mind Tricks That Protect Your Soul

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy recommends something called “reappraisal.” That’s a fancy word for interpreting your situation differently. You may not be able to change the situation, but you can change how you perceive it. (Shout out to my ancient Stoic homies.)

It’s not a crisis — it’s a challenge. It’s not a frustration — it’s a puzzle to be solved. They’re not an intolerable boss — they’re a cranky child.

From The A–hole Survival Guide: How to Deal With People Who Treat You Like Dirt:

Social psychologists and other researchers have shown that reframing (or “reappraising”) disturbing facts or distressing experiences in a more positive light — while not a cure-all — can provide relief. For example, whether the same experience is portrayed as a fun and exciting challenge — versus a distressing threat — can transform how people feel and perform in response.

You want to depersonalize whatever stress they’re giving you. They’re in a bad mood or they have issues. It’s not about you. Don’t treat dealing with them like a nightmare, take a lesson from Navy SEALs, Army Rangersand Special Forces soldiers who all deal with stress by reappraising it as a game.

But you will have to talk to your tormentor every now and then. And they’ll probably do their shouting act. When they do, take a tip from debt collectors who routinely take abuse from the people they call. Slow your speech down and the more worked up the other side gets, the calmer you want to be.

We were taught that the more irate the debtor — the more he or she screamed, swore and insulted us — the more long pauses we should take before answering questions and the more clearly and calmly we should talk.

Hostage negotiators and clinical psychologists both use this same strategy to deal with the most out of control people imaginable.

So you can reappraise or slow things down to help you cope. But you don’t want these strategies to make you complacent when you’re dealing with serious abusive behavior. So how do you fight back?

How To Fight Back

To sum up the bulk of the research in one word: Don’t.

It’s usually not worth it. First off, it’s unlikely to work. As Bob notes: “Hornstein found that 68% of the payback efforts that he studied failed to stop abusive bosses.”

And having a desire to punish actually makes you miserable.

From The A–hole Survival Guide: How to Deal With People Who Treat You Like Dirt:

Carlsmith explained, “In actuality punishers ruminate on their deed and feel worse than those who cannot avenge a wrong” and people “who don’t have a chance to take revenge are forced, in a sense, to move on a focus on something different.”

Finding another job, switching roles, or avoiding the problem person have less of a chance of blowing up in your face and can put you on a better track to happiness.

Still wanting revenge? Fine, have it your way — you bully. We’ll call this the “In case of emergency, break glass” section.

  1. How much power do you have? If you’re the janitor and you’re having problems with the CEO, good luck. If your tormentor is a peer, you’ve got a better shot at taking them on.
  2. Documentation: Avoid “he-said, she-said.” Keep track of abusive incidents, emails, etc. Go into the fight with real proof.
  3. Solidarity: This is the big one. Don’t fight back alone. Research shows a team effort to bring down a jerk is far more successful and safer than trying to be a hero by yourself.

From The A–hole Survival Guide: How to Deal With People Who Treat You Like Dirt:

A study by Professor Pamela Lutgen-Sandvik found that when bullied employees banded together to fight back, authorities punished 58% of the abusers and none of the bullied employees were fired. But when employees battled alone, only 27% of the bullies were punished and 20% of the bullied employees were fired.

And when you approach a superior or the HR department about the problem, you’re much more likely to have your complaint well-received if you have evidence and you seem like you’re focused on the greater good, not just a selfish desire to get even.

From The A–hole Survival Guide: How to Deal With People Who Treat You Like Dirt:

Research on “moral anger” and “righteous anger” suggests that confrontation is most likely to reform offenders, be seen as socially acceptable, and mobilize support when: 1) It is justified — there is good evidence that the person is doing something bad. 2) The motivation for the confrontation is seen as constructive and aimed at improving the greater good; not just a selfish, vindictive, or irrational urge to inflict harm on an enemy or nemesis.

Okay, we’ve learned a lot from Bob. Let’s round it up and find out how you can reappraise bad behavior without even trying…

Sum Up

Here’s what Stanford professor Bob Sutton has to say about dealing with those impossible people in a toxic workplace:

  • Avoid them: Move your desk, get backup or throw a bell around the cat’s neck so you know they’re coming.
  • Use Reappraisal: It’s not a disaster, it’s a challenge. It’s not a blog post, it’s a masterful work of epic writing.
  • Fight Back — Carefully: Don’t seek revenge. But if you do, evaluate the power dynamics, document everything, get help, and focus on the common good.

Reappraisal can be incredibly powerful. You use it all the time — and often you don’t even know it. Many years ago I had an awful landlord. Just talking with the guy usually had me wondering how I’d need to angle his body to properly bury him in the flowerbed.

But my roommate at the time was unflappable when dealing with the tyrant. I asked David how he did it. David replied, “His mother has cancer.”

In the blink of an eye, the landlord went from an evil jerk to someone who was suffering. His rudeness didn’t stop, but I never let him get on my nerves again. I’d reappraised his behavior without even trying, just by seeing him in a different light.

Fighting bad behavior rarely works. Avoiding it is a great strategy but it’s not always an option. Both of those two rely on the outside world being changed, and that’s why they’re difficult.

But what you can always control is how you interpret what you see. So reappraise the awful behavior to something more acceptable. And as soon as you’re done weaving a more tolerable story, move on to step 2:

Article originally published at
Original author: Eric Barker

My Most Powerful Deliberate Spiritual Practice

Are you ever overwhelmed by circumstances beyond your control? Do you, like me, tend to default to manufacturing your own solutions? When things go badly, my immediate instinct is to solve, avoid, escape, or forge my own solutions to my situation.

This is a really bad habit—for several reasons. Why is it a bad habit?

First—because I’m not in control, so my solutions are merely my “best guess” or worse, maybe my rash reaction.

Second—because I’m not knowledgeable enough to know the purpose of my circumstances or exactly what God has in mind to accomplish. When I act my own solutions, I’m making the problem bigger!

Third—because my solutions usually prevent God’s bigger, better idea from unfolding. While I’m working “my plan,” I’m preventing His plan.

So, there is a single “most powerful,” deliberate spiritual practice in my life. I wish it were more instinctive. I wish it were always my first response. I wish I didn’t have to “learn the hard way.” But I have to say—the times I’ve made this a deliberate practice, it isn’t long before I see God intervene and unfold His bigger, more beautiful, and more ultimate plan.

Take whatever problem you are facing right now, whatever challenge, whatever burden, and deliberately differentiate it from the rest of your life. Look at it. Step away from it. Get some distance. Loosen its grip from your heart, your emotions, and your mental energy. Look at it objectively.

Now… here it is.

Once you have differentiated that problem from your life, and you can objectively look at the challenge, deliberately do/say this:

“God, this is not my problem, this is your problem. I am not the victim of this problem, I am the child of your loving heart. You are my faithful Father, and you have promised to care for me. You have invited me to cast my care upon you. So here it is, God. I am too small for this problem. I can’t solve or resolve it. So I am giving it to you. Thank you for it, now here it is. I’m giving it back! Show me what to do. Lead me in wisdom. Direct my steps and my decisions. I am choosing to be held by you, not by this problem. Show me your solution, and until you do, I will wait with patience, endurance, faith, and dependence.”

There it is. My single most powerful deliberate spiritual practice is to look objectively at a problem and intentionally place it back into God’s hands.

The outcome? I can say definitively, every single time I have done this, my emotions have been radically transformed, my problem has ceased “being in control,” and before long, God’s solution blew me away.

So, wherever this post finds you, go for it. Perhaps your challenge was handed to you simply so you can hand it back to God and experience just how great a Father He really is. Do it. Cast in back into His hands, and mean it. He’s big enough to take it!

Article originally published at
Original author: Cary Schmidt

10 SEO Tricks to Land Higher SEO Rankings

Search engine optimization is an important part of any company’s website strategy. However, Google and other search engines like Yahoo and Bing continuously make changes to their algorithms to create a better search experience for their users. That’s why it’s important for small business owners and marketers to stay up-to-date on the latest in SEO tricks if they want to continue to rank higher on the search engines.

We’ve made it easy for you. Below, you will find just a few of the top SEO tricks that you can use in 2018 and beyond to improve your SEO rankings and bring more qualified leads to your website.

Want us to make it even easier? No problem. We’ll do all the work for you. Just contact us, tell us more about your business goals, and we’ll take it from there.

1. Make your website faster.

SEO tricksSite speed is one of the most overlooked SEO tricks. Google has been using site speed as an SEO ranking factor since 2010. Almost 50% of web users expect a website to load in 2 seconds, with many abandoning the site if it fails to load in 3 seconds. This shows that site speed is not only important to the search engines but also the search engine users who may decide not to return to your site if it takes too long to load.

There are a few different elements that contribute to your site speed. One of the biggest components of your site that could be affecting speed are your images. When you compress your images, you are able to cut down the page size by up to 30 or 40%. This results in faster loading pages for your site visitors.

Optimizing your images can have a drastic effect on your site speed, but it isn’t the only thing that you can do to increase your site speed. Here are a few other SEO tricks that you can use to reduce site load times and improve overall search engine rankings:

  • Review page elements. Review the elements on each site page to ensure that you are not providing any unnecessary elements that add to your site load time.
  • Enable browser caching. Browser caching makes it possible for repeat visitors to experience faster load times by storing elements of your site pages in a cache, or temporary storage.
  • Reduce plugins. Another way to improve site load times is to deactivate and delete any unnecessary plugins on your site and get rid of those that are slowing your site speed.

These are just a few ways that you can work to make your website faster. However, it’s important to remember that there are a number of technical factors that impact your page load times that you may not even be considering. If you are struggling to improve your site speed you may want to consult a professional web design company. Those who specialize in web design and development services will take all factors of your site into account when working to improve your load times.

2. Secure your site with HTTPS.

Another one of our top SEO tricks is to make your website secure. If you have not already, it’s time to switch your site to HTTPS. HTTPS is a more secure version of the http web protocol. HTTPS works together with SSL, or Secure Sockets Layer, to communicate information in a safer way. HTTPS encrypts the data for security, not allowing data to be altered or corrupted as its transmitted. This provides a more safe and secure experience for your site visitors.

In addition to helping you improve the security of your site, HTTPS also has some SEO benefits. For one, Google prefers HTTPS. In fact, as of October 2017, Google warns Chrome site users who navigate to non-HTTPS sites that the page is not secure. This may cause potential leads to turn away from your site before they even get there. Google has also included this as a ranking factor in its search engine algorithm, as the search engine wants to provide the safest experience possible for search engine users.

Another benefit of switching to HTTPS is that it helps provide more accurate data on referral traffic in Google Analytics. On an HTTP site, the traffic from referral sources can often appear as direct traffic. However, with an HTTPS site, the referring domain is visible, making it easier to more accurately see where your site traffic is coming from.

3. Optimize the mobile version of your site.

Though many brands have treated a mobile-friendly website as a “nice-to-have,” the truth is that Google is making it more imperative for brands to have a site that caters to the mobile visitor. As of 2015, Google has prioritized mobile responsive sites in its search results. This should come as no surprise given that a recent BrightEdge study found that 57% of web traffic comes from mobile devices.

You can use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool to find out if your website is mobile-friendly.

When building your mobile site, it’s important to remember that there is a difference between how keywords rank on mobile vs. desktop. For this reason, it’s important that you work on creating mobile site content that is optimized for the user on the go. Mobile-first content should be quick and easy-to-read on smaller device screens. Similarly, you should make sure that images load quickly and pages are easy to access and scroll from mobile devices. Leverage one of the most important SEO tricks and start optimizing your website.

4. Improve traffic and engagement metrics.

There is plenty of evidence that suggests that Google rewards websites with strong user engagement. When it comes to SEO, user engagement is often measured by the amount of time that the user spends on your site. The more time that users spend on a site, the more likely they are to be engaged by the content they find there.

A recent study from Backlinko found that there is also a correlation between bounce rates, or percentage of visitors who leave your site without interaction, and search engine rankings:

More time spent on a site along with lower bounce rates signals to Google that users are engaging with the content because they find it valuable. Since the search engine wants to provide only the best search results for their users, it will reward sites with higher engagement.

There are a few ways that you can work on improving traffic and engagement metrics to boost your site rankings:

  1. Make your content easy to read. If you want to keep users on your site longer, you need to ensure that your content is easy to read. Keep your sentences and paragraphs short to improve readability. You should also use headings and bullet points to break up text and make your content easy to scan.
  2. Use images throughout your content. Using high-quality and compelling images throughout your content helps break up some of the text while also working to keep your audience engaged.
  3. Provide value at the beginning of the content. If you want users to keep reading, you’ll need to give away the most valuable information at the beginning of your blog post or site page. This will help them determine whether or not they want to keep reading.
  4. In addition to optimizing your content for user engagement, you should also work to improve your bounce rate. There are a number of factors that may be impacting your bounce rate. But you can start by improving the user experience, which we will talk about more in the next item on our list of SEO tricks.

5. Focus on the user experience of your website.

SEO Tricks

User experience is an important part of both SEO and lead generation and conversion efforts. You want your website to be easy to use so that visitors can find the information they need and move on to the next step in their buyer’s journey. Google wants to make sure that they are providing the best possible quality search engine results so they favor sites that provide a positive user experience.

Here are some quick tips for improving the user experience (and your search engine rankings):

  • Make your site easy to navigate by using simple menu navigation with clearly listed categories. Site users should be able to navigate to a page without jumping through hoops.
  • Simplify the design of your site, making it easy for users to find what they’re looking for. This includes using a clean, easy-to-read color scheme and font.
    Develop page content that is optimized and easy to read. This includes using headings (H1 tags) and categories to help users find the content they’re looking for.
  • Much like improving site speed, creating a better user experience can be a complex process. If you’re ready to work with a professional web design team, be sure to check out our web design FAQs so that you know what to expect.

6. Create engaging and valuable content.

SEO tricksContent marketing also plays an important role in helping your business improve your search engine rankings. Not only does content allow you to target certain keywords and topics that your ideal buyers are searching for, but it also provides a vital opportunity to connect with your readers and provide real value that can set you apart from the competition.

The key to creating engaging and valuable content is doing some research on your target market to find out which topics they care about most. Your content should go beyond just explaining your products or services and discussing what benefits your brand can provide for consumers. If you really want to connect with consumers at every stage of the buyer’s journey, you will need to create content that explores their challenges and concerns as well as communicates how your brand can provide value in their lives.

In addition to choosing topics that are relevant to your audience, you’ll also want to pay attention to search terms. Do some keyword research to find out how buyers are searching for products and services like yours and what search terms they use to find the topics that are most important to them. Once you have conducted your keyword research, you’ll be able to optimize your content for the search engines.

Yet another important factor when it comes to content and the search engines is how fresh your content is. Search engines reward sites that provide new content on a regular basis. This is where your blog comes in. By creating quality blog content on a consistent basis, you are helping create more indexable pages for the search engines and more opportunities to reach your leads!

7. Strengthen your social media presence.

This is one of our SEO tricks that may just sound more like really good marketing advice. But hear us out. Social media plays an important role in your search engine optimization strategy. First off, your social media profiles rank in the search engines. In fact, for many companies, their social media profiles will appear in the top results for search listings including the brand name. This means that your leads may be clicking on your social media pages to find out more about your brand.

Another important thing to consider is how links to your company’s content on social media can play a role in helping boost your search rank. That is why it’s so important for brands to share quality content on their social media pages. When others link to this content on their own pages, this may help build authority for your content by showing the search engines that other users find your site content valuable enough to share.

Don’t forget that the best social media channels are often also used as search engines. Later in our list of SEO tricks, we’ll go into more detail about YouTube as a search engine. However, users are also searching for topics on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and more. This means that the more present and involved you are on these channels, the more of an opportunity you will have to connect with qualified leads.

8. Use long tail keywords in your SEO strategy.

Using long tail keywords in your SEO strategy is one of the most fundamental SEO tricks.

Long tail keywords are keywords or phrases that are longer and more specific than common, broad keywords that are often limited to one or two words. These are important to use in your SEO keyword strategy as they will help you bring more specific traffic and qualified leads to your website.

Though long tail keywords tend to bring less overall traffic to your site, the traffic that they do bring in is more relevant. This means that the users coming to your site are more likely to be interested in your product or service. Furthermore, the more specific your keywords and phrases are, the less competition you will have to face for these keywords on the search engines.

Concentrating on long tail keywords gives your business a better chance to rank on the first page of Google for relevant keywords and phrases. For instance, if you are trying to rank for broad keywords that turn up millions of results on Google, you will have a harder time competing with bigger, more authoritative sites that already have a wealth of popular content. However, with a less competitive long tail keyword, you have the opportunity to rank well on the search engine results page, resulting in more traffic to your site.

9. Optimize site content for Google’s Featured Snippets.

Optimizing site content for Google’s Featured Snippets is one of our newer SEO tricks. Featured Snippets on Google have become very popular with search engine users. These short answers found at the top of the search engine results page help searchers get the answers to their questions quickly and effectively. Moving forward, it’s important for businesses to optimize their content to improve their chances of showing up in these featured snippets.

There are a few ways that you can improve your chances of showing up in a Google Snippet at the top of the search engine results page. First, consider what types of content you can develop in a question and answer format. This makes it as easy as possible for Google to extract this content for their featured snippet. You may also want to use lists, tables, and graphs as this type of content is also likely to show up in these snippets.

10. Create more optimized online video content.

Did you know that 55% of all Google keyword searches return at least one video result? This is because search engine users love video content, and Google wants to provide the type of results that will be most valuable to their users. By creating more optimized online video content, you can improve your chances of showing up in the video results of Google searches.

In addition to creating and publishing more video content, you will also want to pay attention to optimization when it comes to YouTube. Of the video results on the Google search engine results page, 82% come from YouTube. This should come as no surprise given that YouTube is the second most popular search engine with more than 3 billion searches each month.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when optimizing your YouTube video content for the search engines:

  • Create a video title that is both SEO friendly and makes users want to click. Work to include keywords toward the beginning of the video title, and make sure that the title clearly indicates what the video is about.
  • Develop an engaging video description that will help Google’s bots “read” your video content. It’s important to include keywords but also be as descriptive as possible so that both Google and readers know what your video will be about.
  • Use engaging thumbnails that make users want to click on your video content. Though Google may not take this into account when ranking your content, users will determine whether or not they want to watch your content based on these thumbnails.
  • Another quick tip for helping your videos perform better in both YouTube and Google searches is to create some longer pieces of content. Though some topics may lend well to a short 5-minute video, you should also work to create longer videos that go more in-depth on certain topics. Aim to create at least a few videos that are between 15 and 30 minutes long. You may even have content, such as on-demand webinars, that can last an hour or more.

With these SEO tricks, you should be on your way to creating a more optimized site in no time. If you need a little help along the way, why not work with the top Atlanta SEO company? Check out our Search Engine Optimization Services page to learn more about how we can help your business land higher search engine rankings.

We know this is a lot of info and SEO has a number of moving parts, so if you have more questions on SEO tricks, then leave them in the comments below. Have you used SEO tricks we didn’t cover? We’d love to hear them!

Article originally published at
Original author: Keran Smith

Steve Jobs Last Words

These were Steve Jobs last words…

I reached the pinnacle of success in the business world
In others’ eyes, my life is an epitome of success.

However, aside from work, I have little joy. In the end, wealth is only a fact of life that I am accustomed to.

At this moment, lying on the sick bed and recalling my whole life, I realize that all the recognition and wealth that I took so much pride in, have paled and become meaningless in the face of impending death.

In the darkness, I look at the green lights from the life supporting machines and hear the humming mechanical sounds, I can feel the breath of god of death drawing closer…

Now I know, when we have accumulated sufficient wealth to last our lifetime, we should pursue other matters that are unrelated to wealth…
Should be something that is more important:

Perhaps relationships, perhaps art, perhaps a dream from younger days …
Non-stop pursuing of wealth will only turn a person into a twisted being, just like me.

God gave us the senses to let us feel the love in everyone’s heart, not the illusions brought about by wealth.

The wealth I have won in my life I cannot bring with me.
What I can bring is only the memories precipitated by love.
That’s the true riches which will follow you, accompany you, giving you strength and light to go on.

Love can travel a thousand miles. Life has no limit. Go where you want to go. Reach the height you want to reach. It is all in your heart and in your hands.
What is the most expensive bed in the world? – “Sick bed” …

You can employ someone to drive the car for you, make money for you but you cannot have someone to bear the sickness for you.
Material things lost can be found. But there is one thing that can never be found when it is lost – “Life”.

When a person goes into the operating room, he will realize that there is one book that he has yet to finish reading – “Book of Healthy Life”.

Whichever stage in life we are at right now, with time, we will face the day when the curtain comes down.

Treasure Love for your family, love for your spouse, love for your friends…

Treat yourself well. Cherish others.

Compassion Compels Me

Compassion to me is a word that compels me. It kind of provides the fuel for living. I try to preface every action, reaction, emotion or feeling with compassion. Understanding and identifying with people and their heartaches are what compassion really is. To me the way to overcome obstacles, reach goals and even pursuing your dreams is motivated through compassion. I mean what good would it be to have all these gifts with nobody to share them with. Therefore, even your most intimate dreams and vision for yourself can still be centered around others.   Make sense?

com·pas·sion – (kəmˈpaSHən)
  1. sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.

To me compassion is an outward expression of an inward feeling other people. As I alluded earlier, it compels me. I feel it’s important to live outside of yourself and take note of what other people do, who they are, what they want and hope for. Compassion is what compels me to give to Salvation Army once or twice a year. It’s what gives me the courage to stop and pick somebody up that’s struggling on the side of the road, and help them. We live in so much fear in this country, and everybody claims where free. We’re free yeah, but our minds keep us captive.  I’ll say this on more than one occasion in this website and that is “Your mind is where it starts.”.  That’s one of my sayings for 2018. I try to have a life quote every year that I live by. This year it’s “Moving Forward”. It’s my version of a New Years Resolution.   Anyway, your mind is where it starts says to me that to feel compassion for somebody you must think that way first. If you’re hateful towards the people in your life then more than likely you won’t have much compassion for somebody else.   What I find is that most people have a lot of love to give, they just never have been able to give it.  Sound crazy? We’ll it’s not at all.

Last thing I wanted to mention in this post is that people need compassion from others. We ALL need it! We all need a human touch of kindness.

2018 Grammy Winners – Full List

Rihanna and Kendrick Lamar accept the 2018 Grammy for Best Rap/Sung Performance for “Loyalty.”

The 60th annual Grammy Awards were on Sunday. Here are highlights from the show:

• Bruno Mars swept the top categories, winning album, record and song of the year. We rounded up the best and worst moments.

• Kendrick Lamar dominated the rap categories and Alessia Cara won best new artist. However, our critic says the Grammys have failed to keep up.

• The music industry acknowledged #MeToo during the ceremony and on the red carpetSee all the red carpet looks.

• The show featured flashes of politics, including a cameo from Hillary Clinton, who read from “Fire and Fury.”

See the complete list of winners below:

Record of the Year: “24K Magic” — Bruno Mars

Song of the Year: “That’s What I Like” — Christopher Brody Brown, James Fauntleroy, Philip Lawrence, Bruno Mars, Ray Charles McCullough II, Jeremy Reeves, Ray Romulus and Jonathan Yip, songwriters (Bruno Mars)

Best New Artist: Alessia Cara

Best Pop Solo Performance: “Shape of You” — Ed Sheeran

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance: “Feel It Still” — Portugal. The Man

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album: “Tony Bennett Celebrates 90” — Various Artists; Dae Bennett, producer

Best Pop Vocal Album: “÷” — Ed Sheeran

Best Dance Recording: “Tonite” — LCD Soundsystem

Best Dance/Electronic Album: “3-D The Catalogue” — Kraftwerk

Best Contemporary Instrumental Album: “Prototype” — Jeff Lorber Fusion

Best Rock Performance: “You Want It Darker” — Leonard Cohen

Best Metal Performance: “Sultan’s Curse” — Mastodon

Best Rock Song: “Run” — Foo Fighters, songwriters

Best Rock Album: “A Deeper Understanding” — The War on Drugs

Best Alternative Music Album: “Sleep Well Beast” — The National

Best R&B Performance: “That’s What I Like” — Bruno Mars

Best Traditional R&B Performance: “Redbone” — Childish Gambino

Best R&B Song: “That’s What I Like” — Christopher Brody Brown, James Fauntleroy, Philip Lawrence, Bruno Mars, Ray Charles McCullough II, Jeremy Reeves, Ray Romulus and Jonathan Yip, songwriters (Bruno Mars)

Best Urban Contemporary Album: “Starboy” — The Weeknd

Best R&B Album: “24K Magic” — Bruno Mars

Best Rap Performance: “HUMBLE.” — Kendrick Lamar

Best Rap/Sung Performance: “LOYALTY.” — Kendrick Lamar featuring Rihanna

Best Rap Song: “HUMBLE.” — K. Duckworth, Asheton Hogan and M. Williams II, songwriters (Kendrick Lamar)

Best Rap Album: “DAMN.” — Kendrick Lamar

Best Country Solo Performance: “Either Way” — Chris Stapleton

Best Country Duo/Group Performance: “Better Man” — Little Big Town

Best Country Song: “Broken Halos” — Mike Henderson and Chris Stapleton, songwriters (Chris Stapleton)

Best Country Album: “From A Room: Volume 1” — Chris Stapleton

Best New Age Album: “Dancing on Water” — Peter Kater

Best Improvised Jazz Solo: “Miles Beyond” — John McLaughlin, soloist

Best Jazz Vocal Album: “Dreams and Daggers” — Cécile McLorin Salvant

Best Jazz Instrumental Album: “Rebirth” — Billy Childs

Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album: “Bringin’ It” — Christian McBride Big Band

Best Latin Jazz Album: “Jazz Tango” — Pablo Ziegler Trio

Best Gospel Performance/Song: “Never Have to Be Alone” — CeCe Winans; Dwan Hill & Alvin Love III, songwriters

Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song: “What a Beautiful Name” — Hillsong Worship; Ben Fielding & Brooke Ligertwood, songwriters

Best Gospel Album: “Let Them Fall in Love” — CeCe Winans

Best Contemporary Christian Music Album: “Chain Breaker” — Zach Williams

Best Roots Gospel Album: “Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope” — Reba McEntire

Best Latin Pop Album: “El Dorado” — Shakira

Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album: “Residente” — Residente

Best Regional Mexican Music Album (Including Tejano): “Arriero Somos Versiones Acústicas” — Aida Cuevas

Best Tropical Latin Album: “Salsa Big Band” — Rubén Blades con Roberto Delgado y Orquesta

Best American Roots Performance: “Killer Diller Blues” — Alabama Shakes

Best American Roots Song: “If We Were Vampires” — Jason Isbell, songwriter (Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit)

Best Americana Album: “The Nashville Sound” — Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit

Best Bluegrass Album: tie, “Laws of Gravity” — The Infamous Stringdusters and “All the Rage — In Concert Volume One” — Rhonda Vincent and the Rage

Best Traditional Blues Album: “Blue & Lonesome” — The Rolling Stones

Best Contemporary Blues Album: “TajMo” — Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo’

Best Folk Album: “Mental Illness” — Aimee Mann

Best Regional Roots Music Album: “Kalenda” — Lost Bayou Ramblers

Best Reggae Album: “Stony Hill” — Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley

Best World Music Album: “Shaka Zulu Revisited: 30th Anniversary Celebration” — Ladysmith Black Mambazo

Best Children’s Album: “Feel What U Feel” — Lisa Loeb

Best Spoken Word Album (Includes Poetry, Audio Books and Storytelling): “The Princess Diarist” — Carrie Fisher

Best Comedy Album: “The Age of Spin/Deep in the Heart of Texas” — Dave Chappelle

Best Musical Theater Album: “Dear Evan Hansen” — Ben Platt, principal soloist; Alex Lacamoire, Stacey Mindich, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, producers; Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, composers/lyricists (original Broadway cast recording)

Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media: “La La Land” — Various Artists

Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media: “La La Land” — Justin Hurwitz, composer

Best Song Written for Visual Media: “How Far I’ll Go” — Lin-Manuel Miranda, songwriter (Auli’i Cravalho)

Best Instrumental Composition: “Three Revolutions” — Arturo O’Farrill, composer (Arturo O’Farrill and Chucho Valdés)

Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella: “Escapades for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra From ‘Catch Me If You Can’” — John Williams, arranger (John Williams)

Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals: “Putin” — Randy Newman, arranger (Randy Newman)

Best Recording Package: tie, “Pure Comedy (Deluxe Edition)” — Sasha Barr, Ed Steed and Josh Tillman, art directors (Father John Misty) and “El Orisha de la Rosa” — Claudio Roncoli and Cactus Taller, art directors (Magín Díaz)

Best Boxed or Special Limited-Edition Package: “The Voyager Golden Record: 40th Anniversary Edition” — Lawrence Azerrad, Timothy Daly and David Pescovitz, art directors (Various Artists)

Best Album Notes: “Live at the Whisky A Go Go: The Complete Recordings” — Lynell George, writer (Otis Redding)

Best Historical Album: “Leonard Bernstein — The Composer” — Robert Russ, compilation producer; Martin Kistner and Andreas K. Meyer, mastering engineers (Leonard Bernstein)

Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical: “24K Magic” — Serban Ghenea, John Hanes and Charles Moniz, engineers; Tom Coyne, mastering engineer (Bruno Mars)

Producer of the Year, Non-Classical: Greg Kurstin

Best Remixed Recording: “You Move (Latroit Remix)” — Dennis White, remixer (Depeche Mode)

Best Surround Sound Album: “Early Americans” — Jim Anderson, surround mix engineer; Darcy Proper, surround mastering engineer; Jim Anderson and Jane Ira Bloom, surround producers (Jane Ira Bloom)

Best Engineered Album, Classical: “Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5; Barber: Adagio” — Mark Donahue, engineer (Manfred Honeck and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra)

Producer of the Year, Classical: David Frost

Best Orchestral Performance: “Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5; Barber: Adagio” — Manfred Honeck, conductor (Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra)

Best Opera Recording: “Berg: Wozzeck” — Hans Graf, conductor; Anne Schwanewilms and Roman Trekel; Hans Graf and Brad Sayles, producers (Houston Symphony; Chorus of Students and Alumni, Shepherd School of Music, Rice University and Houston Grand Opera Children’s Chorus)

Best Choral Performance: “Bryars: The Fifth Century” — Donald Nally, conductor (PRISM Quartet and The Crossing)

Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance: “Death & the Maiden” — Patricia Kopatchinskaja and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra

Best Classical Instrumental Solo: “Transcendental” — Daniil Trifonov

Best Classical Solo Vocal Album: “Crazy Girl Crazy” — Barbara Hannigan (Ludwig Orchestra)

Best Classical Compendium: “Higdon: All Things Majestic, Viola Concerto & Oboe Concerto” — Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor; Tim Handley, producer

Best Contemporary Classical Composition: “Viola Concerto” — Jennifer Higdon, composer (Roberto Díaz, Giancarlo Guerrero and Nashville Symphony)

Best Music Video: “HUMBLE.” — Kendrick Lamar

Best Music Film: “The Defiant Ones” — Various Artists

Article originally posted on:

Ready for 2018!

Well I don’t know about you guys but I’m definitely glad the new year is here. I’ve been getting ready for 2018 for a while now. It’s a brand new year and this year my motto is “Moving Forward”. Moving forward in every area of my life. Health-wise, spiritually, financially, mentally and physically moving forward. It’s a brand new year and I might as well make some changes because God knows I have areas in my life that need improvement. I need to get better at reaching out to people. I’ve become a hermit as I’ve gotten older and I don’t like it. I’m going to stretch myself a little more here and try to start going out with friends and family to have fun. My social life sucks right now because all I do is work and come home, eat, sleep and repeat. I need a little variety in my life. I turned 48 years old this past December so I’m not getting any younger. I admit, I’m still in my prime, but still, I’m wasting it away by being such a loner. So that’s one of my New Year’s Resolutions. Quit being such a loner.

To combat that, I’ve already joined an online dating service. I went with Plenty of Fish because first off, it’s free. And secondly, there’s a lot of cool features on there and I’ve heard great success stories from POF. I’m looking for a friend first. I’m twice divorced so I’m not in ANY HURRY AT ALL to get in a committed relationship. I want to start it off slow as friends and let it progress from there. Here I am talking about my personal love life and I should be talking about the business. Okay, let’s do that.

The business plans for this year are simple. Continue to grow, and and as they progress leverage that time with the time I’m putting into my 9-5. I would like to be full-time in my businesses by Spring of 2020. That’s a 2 year plan so it’s really not that far away. You should always have a short-term goals list and a long-term goals list.

My 4 short-terms are simple:

  • Save money
  • Eat better
  • Exercise more
  • Be more social

My 4 long-term goals are:

  • Plug money into savings
  • Sock more into my 401k
  • Build my businesses to a point that I can sustain my current income
  • Finally, to meet the girl of my dreams and maybe settle down

I think those are all very attainable goals. Don’t you?

So let’s talk about the businesses a little bit. I’m very excited right now about We now have a full-fledged online store where you can purchase audio tracks for your next audio/video project. I’ve also got all my personal albums up there and for sale. And a history of all of my music is represented on there now as well. is also coming along. The vision for it is to have an online marketplace where authors can sell their music/audio files. So not only will you be able to purchase audio files there but if you’re an author you can sell your own audio files and make money. We cover every genre you can imagine and every type of audio file. Types like beats, tracks, loops, sound fx and commercial idents. We have genres like Hip-Hop/RnB, Rock, Pop, Top 40, and Dance and so much more. In fact, we have over 40 genres represented. Though the site is up and functional we still haven’t rolled it out to authors yet. We’re waiting to get a few things in order first. Hopefully by Winter of this year, like a Thanksgiving roll-out, we’ll be ready to go all out and launch it to the masses. We’ll also be rolling out an affiliates program so you can make money by selling our products through your own personal portal that we provide you. All you have to do is spread the word through your social media channels and email and watch the money roll in. So that about covers my Audio Production businesses.

Now about my website business. It’s simply called Jamie’s Company, but I operate on this website, I shut down my previous website development business called WordPress Weavers because it was kind of redundant. I have this site and my web business isn’t that big, it’s just me. So, I shut down WordPress Weavers. Besides, my portfolio is represented here and all my business email channels through [email protected]. I am focusing on building WordPress websites, designing custom graphics, logos and whatever is needed for those specific websites. I can build a complete online business using WordPress where you can accept credit cards through your secure online store.

Then there’s the SEO side of things for your website. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. This is probably one of the most important factors in a successful website. Coding all your key words and phrases into your pages, posts, products and every nook and cranny on your website. The more SEO tagging and coding we do, the close to the top of the pile your website gets whenever someone searches for your business online. I focus on keywords and key phrases. Making sure that page is clearly defined by those key words and phrases and using such words and phrases throughout the content of your website’s pages, posts and products. This is a very time consuming process so that’s why I charge $75/hour for SEO optimization. All my other services get billed out at $55-$65/hour.

Overall, I think 2018 is going to be a fantastic year for me. I’ve got my road map already set. I’ve got my goals ready to go. I’ve prepared as much as I can possibly prepare so now it’s just matter of letting the businesses and my personal commitments flourish.

If you’d like to speak with me about working with you on your new website or audio production project please don’t hesitate to call me at 972-977-3573 or email me at [email protected] or reach out using the contact form below.

Thanks & God-speed,

Jamie Richards

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