Top 8 Strategies to Hire the Right Employee

Hiring an employee is an integral part of any small or large business. If you are an owner of small business, CEO of a company, a manager or an HR, you will have to recruit at some point in your career. Here are a few useful tips that will help you recruit the right candidate for any job opening.

1. Create a Brand Name:

Your employee brand is what defines the quality of candidates who will apply for the job. Setting the right brand image will surely attract qualified and talented employees who might be perfect to fill the position. Ask yourself why would employees want to join the company and what perks the currents employees are gaining. Setting the right atmosphere for employees to work may impact on finding the right candidate.

2. Define the Right Job for the Advertisement:

If you wish for the right employees to apply for the job, post an advertisement that describes the ideal employee for the post to the T. Collect information about the duty, responsibility, and skills needed to get the job done. Talk to the manager and team members where you are looking to hire the new employee as you will need to understand the dynamics of the current team and find the right fit.

3. Review the Applications Thoroughly:

You may get hundreds of applications; hence it is difficult to evaluate each one of them from top to bottom. Figure out specific criteria from the beginning and any application that does not meet the criteria needs to be rejected in order to make the process faster.

4. Prescreen the Candidates:

Inviting each and every shortlisted candidate for a face-to-face interview is a waste of time. Most companies prefer a short interview over the phone to pre-screen the candidate. This is a selection process again, which the candidate needs to pass in order to move to the next round of the interview process.

5. Use Right Interviewers:

You can find the right candidate for the company only if you choose a panel of the right interviewers. It’s not just about the people who have applied for the job, but the people who make the decision of choosing amongst the shortlisted employees. make sure that the person interviewing is well knowledgeable about the subject as well as the job expectations to be able to choose the right employee.

6. Ask the Right Interview Questions:

How would you know that the candidate is fit for the job if you do not ask the apt questions? Do not take an interview unprepared, but decide upon asking a set of questions relevant to the job so you can compare the answers given by different candidates and choose the one who performs the best.

7. Invest in Recruiting Software:

Save your time and money by investing in the best recruiting software that streamlines the hiring process with automation and organizational tools and broadens the scope of a company’s talent search by reaching out to more people.

8. Do Background Checks:

It is extremely essential to find out how the employee did in his or her previous organization to know more about their attitude and work ethics. 

The Bottom Line:

An employee who may seem right initially can be completely wrong for the job and vice versa. Be open-minded when you seek for employees as you never know till the last moment which candidate clicks for the job.

How Modern Technology Helps Us Avoid Procrastination

Too tired and lazy to get up? Have tons of research papers, essays, assignments, a difficult article, and various tasks to submit yet can’t get the energy to start working? As college students, we have all been here. With such a huge amount of work and so many pending assignments, part-time jobs, family and friends, it can get hard to manage everything so we end up procrastinating.

Procrastination is like a disease that is treatable if you stay on top of it. With the help of proper measures, you can easily stay on the top of your game and say goodbye to procrastination! We can see that technology has touched all the aspects of our lives and has made it better in one way or another.

From better communications systems to better educational facilities, technology has helped us everywhere. Similarly, when it comes to procrastination, technology plays the role of a knight in shining armor there as well!

With the help of various applications, reminders, etc. so can easily kick procrastination to the curb! The good news is: you can do it right from your phone or laptop.

There are several applications that have been designed specifically to keep your slacking off. Let’s see how you can use technological gadgets to help you avoid procrastination.

Track Your Activities

As the adage goes, “if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it”. When it comes to managing time, nothing is truer than this. The first thing that you need to do is to track you activities, and yes, you need to track all of them.

Getting late every single morning? You need to track how long it takes for you to shower, have breakfast, get ready and out of the home. Due to the act of delaying tasks , even if it is a simple one, we fall behind in our daily activities. With this application, you will be able to see where it is that you are spending more time and what you can do to utilize your time in a better way.

Zero Willpower

Toggling over to your social media apps every 30 seconds? No technological advancement is going to help you if you don’t put a stop to that. With the help of this website blocking app, you can cut your interaction with apps like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, and a lot more.

It is very hard for anyone to stay focused and give attention to a single task at hand. You can set timers and limit the social media freeze to a few minutes, few hours, as per your liking. No more wasting your hours scrolling through Facebook, people!

Focus At Will

You know what puts the human brain in a full productivity mode? Yes, you guessed it right: Music. Music helps you improve your focus and you get your assignments done very quickly. In case you work in an open-plan office with lots of noise, it is very likely that you are going to be disturbed.  With the help of this application, you can listen to calming, soothing music that will help you focus and will stop you from getting distracted.

1-3-5 List

You start working, see the huge list of pending assignments, and you instantly get overwhelmed and stop working. What you need to do in such a situation, is to prioritize things. Start from easy assignments, then move on to slightly difficult ones, and then move on to the really difficult ones.

A lot of stress can be bad for your health, and we all know that if we are not organized and a lot of assignments are pending, as students we tend to go into a depressive phase. With the help of this application, you can choose things that you need to accomplish in one day and then check them one by one as you complete them!

Evernote

We think that a group project would make you want to work harder and motivate you. However, it turns out that we tend to procrastinate things even more when we are working with others. Don’t worry; we have your back with Evernote. With the help of this app, you can set reminders for all the members of your teams, save notes that are available across all the devices, create a to-do list, keep an eye on the progress of people, etc.

Final Word

With the right use of technological gadgets, you can save yourself a ton of pain and worry and move from being a procrastinator to a well-organized person. Use the various applications in the form of timers, calendars, etc. that technological gadgets offer you, set everything in your life right, and say goodbye to procrastination!

Here’s to a well-organized, punctual you!

Business Writing: 3 Reasons To Boost Your Small Business Productivity

The global workplace requires that businesses continuously improve their communication skills. Business communication is categorized into three essentials – verbal, nonverbal and written. 

If you are running a small business, one way of ensuring productivity is through excellent content. Written communication plays a significant role in this, especially when communicating with your clients.

When your business continues to produce documents prone to error, you are likely to spend more and lose significant goodwill. Focusing on improving your business writing skills is essential due to the following reasons.

Excellent Writing Drives Sales

Writing is the leading way your small business can thrive in the collaborative world. When correctly done, people see your business as competent and professional in its services. 

Creating a good first impression for your business is essential in ensuring that you appear capable and smart. As a result, you will be able to generate more leads and more sales. Proper business writing is also an essential aspect of quality management. 

The first way that people experience your business is through your written correspondence. This can be through your social media profile, website or email. Improving the quality of your writing makes a huge difference in the way people interact with you.

When business managers communicate effectively, they create a collaborative atmosphere that facilitates more positive results. Quality written communication promotes proper management. As employees boost their business writing skills, they quickly rise within the organization. 

As a result, your internal talent pipeline gets more strengthened, and the percentage of retention goes high. Happy employees will automatically perform better in their roles, resulting in more productivity.

You can also go for some ideas by accessing Eduzaurus. It’s a free resource for students that offers free essay samples on various topics. The writing is high-quality and it can benefit you as well, whether you are a student entrepreneur or just looking for some additional knowledge.

Business Writing Makes You More Influential

Proper business writing comes with excellent persuasion skills that you can use to achieve your business goals. As a small business, you must be able to write persuasive proposals, promotional content, and bids to convince potential clients of your capability.

If you intend to come up with taglines for your business, you need to understand how you can do this to encourage people to take action. You must sound convincing. 

Acquiring the necessary skills requires that you do a bit of reading. If you are weak at doing this, you can find some of the best books on learning to read. These will guide you on how to acquire the right skills through reading.

If your business is web-based, how you convey your content will determine if potential customers will give you any attention. When it comes to thriving online, quality content is critical. If you do not present your business the right way, your competitors will always stay ahead of you.

Business Writing Makes You Credible

People who are excellent at written communication are seen to be more trustworthy and reliable. If you send out an email campaign full of grammatical errors, the recipients will get an impression of an unprofessional business.

For your business to be perceived as credible, you will need to be mindful of your written content. As people trust you, they will assign you more responsibility and choose you each time they need your services. 

Your written interaction should have a tone and attention similar to what is contained in face to face communication. By reading your communication, the recipient can quickly tell if you have respect for them and the brand that you represent. 

Consider adding some etiquette and sound formatting in your communication. As people read the tone and get the logic behind your content, they are likely to turn to you for partnership.

Improving the writing skills of your employees means that most of their work will be completed more effectively. It ensures that there is no miscommunication in your documents and that none of your communication is misinterpreted. 

Conclusion

Business writing skills are essential for every small business. You can acquire these through training. The more your business grasps these skills, the more productive you become. Poor writing means that you will spend a lot of time making unnecessary edits. This will result in more expenses, translating to less productivity. When it comes to the work environment, clear written communication is an essential rule for business etiquette. 

10 Ways How To Boost Your SEO With Website Translation

When a large corporation or a small developer decides to create a multilingual website, it is mostly seen as a way to deliver a strong message towards global markets. Since it includes professional localization, such translation work goes beyond the typical aspects of text interpreting. The thing is, localization also includes analysis of all socio-cultural elements, adjustment of translated content to the GUI requirements, and detailed SEO customization. Since it is a time-consuming and challenging task, it is recommended to read about top online translation companies to find out their basic requirements and a way to achieve the best results. Regardless if you need to boost your SEO or test new business ideas, website translation will always analyze original content by eventually adjusting it.

10 Ways To Boost Your SEO With Website Translation

  • Professional web localization includes preliminary analysis. Once your content is researched by various specialists, it is always adjusted to the legal, cultural, and social demands of the country, which will consider international ethical standards and will help your website to avoid any disputes or getting in any cultural trouble.
  • Translators explore the most popular keywords to incorporate them into your content. Since such experts are always native speakers, they will know the correct phrasing that will help you customize every SEO-critical element to meet the most popular search requests on the subject.
  • Social Media elements in a foreign language increase your online visibility. You can have a look at this site to find out about how social media content presented in another language marks a major increase in your online presence. Providing country-specific posts is a great way to keep your information fresh and inspiring!
  • Multilingual translation covers a wider target audience. Providing more than two languages, the company gains access to a greater user base. The trick is to provide specific language content that meets your ideal customer image. Once you have enough information with relevant keywords, you can track and see the methods that work best.
  • New blogging opportunities. Create blog posts in another language, discuss events in the country, important holidays, political issues to show that your company or you as an individual do care. Become a part of the vital processes by including hot topics in your SEO web structure.
  • Your content has more chances to get mentioned in a foreign press. When you have professionally translated content that describes your business vision or product advantages, the foreign press can use it for publications and greater press coverage.
  • Product descriptions that are translated by professionals generate more traffic. If your company deals with Healthcare, Food Industry, or manufacturing of any kind, accurate descriptions in another language always generate more traffic as such content is mostly unique.
  • Certified translations guarantee legal safety in a foreign country. Remember that all official documents or user agreements must be translated only by certified translations service. Since it is a content that has the legal power, it is an obligatory requirement for every company’s document that you provide in another language.
  • Working with professional SEO interpreters you can alternate various keywords. Good SEO practice must be flexible as it is never done in one take. See what works, analyze traffic increase, study popular keywords, and try various approaches.
  • More international partnership opportunities. Every translated content is a way towards partnership and cooperation in a foreign country. Do not underestimate this idea as a professionally translated website will show the investors and the locals that you are a reliable foreign partner.

Avoiding Unintentional Translation Mistakes

Even the large companies suffer from minor omissions that result in unfortunate issues or things lost in translation. Remember that slogans, mottos, or simple phrases that may sound natural in English do not always translate well to another language. Take time to discuss this aspect with your localization specialist. Always ask for a literal translation of every phrase, and choose safe, socially-acceptable marketing ideas. 

10 Tips For Effective SEO Localization

When an average person hears about a necessity to start with the SEO localization, it brings up the images of programmers working with the code and the high costs of such services. The trick is to prepare your original source text for translation by following academic writing and editing rules and providing every single detail that matters in terms of a foreign target audience. The term “localization” stands for more than a basic text interpretation because it already includes the background for the various SEO practices and consideration of the cultural aspects of a country.

10 Tips to Make Your SEO Localization Effective

  • Research keyword density. The good SEO ranking usually requires keeping it below at least 2.3% because an increase in the use of keywords may lead to overfilling risks. Discuss this matter with your SEO localization specialist because some languages like Spanish or German usually require more than one word for the English equivalent.
  • Study the foreign-language source to adjust the code. It is recommended to create a table of English (or any other) original keywords, so a translator can see which options to choose. Be it product description equivalents in Chinese or unique brand keywords, the trick is to characterize your company or products with the call to action phrases.
  • Study the social context. Working with the Middle East, as an example, you may have to add new paragraphs of texts or explanations that will help your keywords fit within the context. The creation of a carbon copy content is not the right way because every foreign audience has a different perception of things. 
  • Multidimensional keyword research. Since the majority of localization specialists are native speakers with a technical background, always mention a necessity of related keywords that should be included. Some of them may include different spellings or, rather, misspellings, which ensures that your website will still show up.
  • Translation of official documents. If you are dealing with legal agreements, quality proofs, cooperation rules, or business proposals, always approach professional document translation services. Such kind of work must be done only by certified experts to help you include correct legal terms for every target audience.
  • Consider tools like ClickStream to research the popularity of keywords in a country and check it along with your localization expert. Sometimes such methods can help to find the right balance and use a mixture of good grammar and slang keywords.
  • Readable text matters more. When inserting SEO keywords, ask localization specialists to focus on readability by pairing chosen terms with the inspiring content. After all, overfilling something with the search engine triggers in a language like Chinese can easily ruin even the best website.
  • Ask for CAT tools implementation. All these computer-aided technologies are not only good for the correction of various technical terms but also SEO stability and accuracy of code. You can click here and read about the reasons why the use of a termbase helps to avoid translation or spelling mistakes.
  • Proofreading Issues. As a rule, SEO work is quite challenging and includes a constant removal and addition of keywords, special phrasing, key terms, and more all over the text. It is one of the reasons why it is crucial to proofread each text twice by the native speaker to eliminate repetitions or odd phrasing.
  • Joint SEO Tune-Up. When all the work is done, the best approach is to tune up the website together with the GUI designer, programmer, translation expert, and marketing specialist who will make comments and see whether their part of a website’s success meets the expectations.

What You Can Do To Help

Remember to check personal brand names, contact information, phone numbers, emails, and numbers. Since such things are not a part of the common dictionary, your valuable input will help to keep things accurate. Even if you do not know a foreign language, such a contribution will help to eliminate any misspellings of crucial data during the SEO integration!

5 Tips & Tricks That Will Make You Actually Enjoy Writing

You get the assignment, read it a couple of times, open a word document on your laptop, and… nothing happens. Sounds familiar? The truth is that academic writing can be quite exhausting, especially when you lack time, energy, or interest.

As a student, you’ll have to write thousands and thousands of words, and there’s no escaping this. If you feel joy only after you submit your paper and never in the process, you might need to end your misery and learn to enjoy writing all the way through.

In this article, you’ll find advice on how to relish the process of writing, instead of feeling like someone is hitting you with the Cruciatus Curse.

Find Something That Interests You

If there is an opportunity to choose a topic yourself, be sure to choose the one that sparks your curiosity. Why spend endless hours writing something that you yourself don’t find interesting enough?

In case there are no options to choose from, you should still try to write about something that surprises or intrigues you within a given subject. This way, you’ll be able to stay engaged during the whole time. You’ll learn more and cover a topic in the best possible way.

Don’t worry if you can’t think of any exciting topic to write about. You can always turn to an academic writing service like WritePaper and let them help you. As some subjects are less engaging than others, it’s normal if you feel a lack of curiosity or motivation. Just switch to a more interesting assignment while professionals take care of the boring stuff.

Do Your Research

Thorough research is not only a prerequisite for a high-quality paper but also a guarantee that you’ll enjoy the process of writing. It’s also a good way to prove your expertise in a subject matter, which your readers will feel and appreciate.

While researching, you’ll find different perspectives that will provoke your interest and thinking. You might also discover opposite views and ideas as well as ethical problems. Such findings will contribute to your writing by making your argument more vivid. They will also make the whole process more engaging and interesting.

To conduct research in a proper manner, make sure that you’re using effective reading techniques. There’s no need to read books from cover to cover. Instead, look for relevant keywords and search for summaries of the main arguments. This way, you’ll get a sense of what’s important without getting bored, overwhelmed, or lost.

Try Freewriting

Freewriting is a sort of a warm-up exercise for your brain that lets you overcome the fear of blank page and helps to start writing. Also, it might help you get some good ideas for your written assignment, as you’ll tap the subconscious mind.

To freewrite, decide for how long you want to continue this exercise, set the timer, and get down to work. Write down whatever comes to your mind in relation to the topic at hand without stopping, editing, or erasing.

Freewriting is helpful because when you write in the state of flow, you don’t judge your own thoughts and emotions. This way, you might get to some surprising and interesting ideas that exist in your head without you even realizing it. Besides, this practice is very enjoyable, as it doesn’t put you under any sort of pressure.

Let Go Of Perfectionism

You might be shooting yourself in the foot if you want your term paper to be your magnum opus. Striving for perfection might sound good in theory, but really it’s just about turning what is already a difficult task into a monumental one.

By intending to write a perfect paper, you’re saddling yourself with a tedious work that might provoke writer’s block. As a result, you might find yourself procrastinating in a useless effort to write the perfect first sentence. This way, you’re not only losing your time but also depriving yourself of a chance to get the assignment done and move forward.

Remember, “Perfectionism spells paralysis.” Being truly engaged with the topic and diligent when reading and writing is more than enough to produce a high-quality paper. At the end of the day, the process is ultimately more important and valuable than the result.

source: https://unsplash.com/photos/fMbRKk2la0s

Arrange Your Writing Environment

To boost your creativity and enjoy the process of writing, it’s important to think about such an environment that suits your tastes and needs. It’s a matter of preference, so you can come up with anything that makes you feel comfortable and productive. It might be a university library, a noisy cafe, or your room.

Then decide whether you need background music or if you can focus only in silence. If you prefer something to play in the background, then think about the music that helps you concentrate and sets the right mood.

Finally, treat yourself to some healthy snacks and your favorite drink, like coffee, tea, or juice. You’ll most definitely need some fuel, so please don’t starve yourself to death to finish the paper as soon as possible. And don’t forget to take breaks!

Wrapping Up

Once in awhile, any student gets overwhelmed by a written assignment, be it an essay or a term paper. Writing is a demanding and time-consuming process, but with the right attitude and preparation, you might actually enjoy it.

Choose a topic that you find interesting and thought-provoking and research it well. Do some freewriting to warm-up, and don’t forget to silence your inner perfectionist. Then, get down to writing in an environment that makes you feel good and helps work better.

Enjoy the process!

The Best NAS Storage Devices on the Market

Entrepreneurship is on the rise, and in the current global market-space, small businesses and home-business are becoming ever-more-popular. With this comes bigger size, for the business, the demand, and in the background, a bigger need for storage solutions on your home devices. Here are some storage solutions you don’t need to pass around the office because they’re all connected! That’s the greatest benefit of what we call a NAS device (Network Attached Storage). Here, we’ve collected a bunch of top models to find out which is the best for you, but first, let’s learn what they are.

Don’t Compromise on File Access

This is surely the selling point of NAS storage, that you can forget about the days of worrying how much space your device has left, or better yet, those times where you have to delete some files you want, in order to make the space for the files that you need. Instead of this, a good NAS storage device that can connect to your device can connect your files to you from further away, without the compromise. You don’t even have to plug it into the drive, just plug-and-play from the comfort of, well, wherever the internet reaches!

What Can I Even do on This?

Well, that’s what you need to decide! I wouldn’t suggest buying one before you know exactly what you want to use for it. Most commonly, people just want to store their immense collection of word files, but there are different specialized NAS devices for each use. Simple office file sharing is easy work on near all NAS devices as a minimum, so you shouldn’t worry about shopping around too much. You only really have to worry about the small details when doing more demanding work, like HD video-sharing to multiple devices, and other more immense work-load demands. If you get to this point, it’s better to explore NAS devices with higher market specifications for memory, storage, processing, and network power. Price is usually equivalent to stronger components, so these might be more costly than the average device.

NAS Devices are built to accommodate needs, so can make it more customizable, but a little more difficult, to find the one that’s just right for you.

Basic Buying Tips

The reason any person decides to buy a storage device is for just that reason, storage. In a NAS device, the storage cards are held in bays, small drawers that the storage plugs into so that the box it’s plugged into can connect to the internet for you. For the home and small-business users, a NAS device will have about one or two bays. However, if you’re thinking of going into the big leagues, or ARE already working a large-scale operation, bigger offices commonly use a four-bay or more system for their needs!

Back to the basics though, a single bay storage device isn’t recommended, unless you’re using the device simply to backup your work which is also on your work-devices. This is just because of the lack of extra possibilities in the future. You don’t want to limit yourself the second you buy one, especially considering the price of a 2-bay can be found similarly to the 1-bay! One-bays can sometimes allow you to expand more outside of the box too, but it can become a hassle.

A two-bay NAS seems the smart choice for a home user who wants a basic ‘do-it-all’ drive. If you want to mirror your files, bigger drive sizes could be a favored choice, but for bay-sizes, two slots can make the world’s difference. Also, buy on the side of caution. You may think storage is expensive, but if you buy a bigger setup now, you won’t have to resync your data on new drives when it comes to needing more storage. If you set-up for the long run, you’ll be better off. They are reliable and Synology data recovery is more reliable.

Do I go ‘Diskless’ Or ‘Populated’?

So I have to presume that you’re exploring different NAS drives, and you come across the fine detail of ‘diskless’ or ‘populated’. What do they mean? Well, you can buy ‘populated’ NAS devices that come -pre-built with their complimentary storage drives. They’re often usually already configured and must be dedicated to the drives they come in. Often Storage manufacturers who make drives favor pre-inserting their storage. Other manufacturers may tend to sell diskless-NAS devices. These can be some-what cheaper, but you’ll have to buy your own insertable storage. You just have to do a little extra research on what to look for! In this respect, this is a head’s up on the differences between the two, but we won’t take sides on which is better, that’s your decision!

I chose ‘Diskless’: A little extra help on disk-choice?

If you’ve got a little idea that you want to go diskless, here’s the part where you have to think about disks. NAS manufacturers tend to recommend their own proprietary disks or have a favored disk-manufacturer to recommend you to (usually a list of ones they’ve tested and KNOW work with the device well). You can find these compatibility lists online before you buy them. It isn’t 100% required, but we 100% recommend it to be sure, as you’ll get the most optimized functionality out of the device.

Some of the big names in disk-manufacturing, like Seagate, WD, Toshiba, and more have specialized drives that are optimized for NAS storage, so are often the best bet. On top of this, the big names often compete in pricing, so you can get very good prices for the drives on offer. These drives are assured to run near constantly and can be very durable. We recommend you look at NAS-verified drives as your best choice on the market.

The names you want to look out for are listed here. Seagate and Western Digital are the big guns, with Seagate’s ‘IronWolf’ and ‘IronWolf Pro’ being NAS specific, and WD’s ‘WD Red’ line coming up as their NAS choice. Toshiba is also a great choice, with the ‘N’ series of disks. All three of these lines are built to perform heavy and durable and come in a great variety of sizes.

Halfway House: Redundancy and Safe Storing

We’re halfway through the round-up but there’s more to go. We’ll cover the storage choice and their pros and cons, Media-streaming (if you so choose to have it), The physical plugging in choices, and ratings on the markets biggest, to give you that last push in deciding what you need.

So, Storage choice On-board. NAS devices that have more than one drive have a choice of mirroring your files, which in short saves the one file onto both drives. That way, if something happens with one, the other is still up and accessible. After all, who wouldn’t have two parachutes instead of one! The only issue is that you half your storage choice right down. This is usually the base-setup, so if you DON’T want this, delve into your user manual for ways of turning this off.

However, in turning it off, there are two separate ways of saving your files in basic, single-copy formats. There’s ‘striping’ and there’s ‘JBOD’. What striping does, in the easiest terms possible, stretch the file across both drives, as it saves half on one drive and a half in the other, all chopped up. This still means the files functional, and often means that it can write and read faster, with the compromise that both drives cannot be used separately, and won’t work if they’re taken out separately. For this reason, for people who need to carry their drives around for plug and play, you may want to consider the JBOD setting where you can. This setting, meaning ‘Just a Bunch of Disks’, files are saved completely onto a drive in whole, not fragmented, so that you can plug-in and plug-out your drives and the files will be complete. This can be considered safer too as if one of the drives goes turn off at any point, you can still access entire files for the half that’s still available.

            Lastly, for those of you who know something about NAS already, there IS the ability to mirror AND stripe across three or more drives for the added security and speed of data. The NAS could copy data across entire arrays of drives so that the failure of one drive can be patched by another complimentary striping on another drive by reconstruction. This would be for those big businesses maximizing on speed, security and redundancy measures, but can be a bit overkill for the average home user. It’s useful to have the option though!

Movies and Media without the Mayhem

NAS devices often come pre-configured, and for this reason, you need to consider what one you’re buying if you’re going to buy it as a memory bank for your favorite streaming service, or for your home movies. Only certain devices can play certain types of files, so you have to do quite a bit of research for your rig if you’re planning on a home-theatre device of the like. Think for example, that some ‘.avi’ files can’t work in MP4 players. The same can be said for NAS Units. Typically, NAS come complimentary to PC rigs, you can get a plethora of software that plays different formats like a piece of cake. You can further shop around for the NAS devices on the market that can seamlessly connect to smart-boxes, like Apple TV, Chromecast, and so on, for quick on-demand streaming. It can be hard to find the right one, prompting the reason you have to do some ‘rig research’. Look at the specifications of devices closely to ensure it does what you need it to do. At a premium, even 4K streaming NAS devices are on the market, but you’ll pay a few pretty pennies on it, as the processor within the NAS device needs to be able to accommodate such needs.

Control, Connections, and Caveats

When shopping around for different devices, there isn’t much of a casual consensus among the multiple brands on different ports on the device, beyond the commonality on many of a USB 3.0 port, the market standard at the moment. Most NAS Drives carry 2 USB ports for other devices, usually the home printer and a PC wire at most, or whatever other devices with a USB you like! They’re pretty much plug-and-play easy, and once into the NAS, they’re shared among all users on the network. A printer is a great choice for this. If it has a USB 2.0 and 3.0 port, the 2.0 port is plenty enough for a printer. 3.0 ports, the faster ones, should be saved for when you really need them.

If you want real ease of access, some NAS units on the market have buttons on the front for replication. Imagine you have a USB stick with a paper on it and need it in the network quick and easy. Plug it into the NAS, press copy, and it’ll be on the network, literally at the press of a button. Every NAS device can have its own features to alleviate the work from the workplace, so you need to shop around for what you think you’ll need!

If you want a media player, look for the devices that come with an HDMI port, in order for use with your TV-streaming devices, or directly into the back of your device. And lastly, the ethernet port, for a necessary direct connection to your internet. That’s what puts the Network into the NAS.

(Probably) The Reason You’re Here: No Wires.

Most NAS drives enable you to share files from the cloud. This can sound like common sense, considering they’re connected by a network, but it’s a particularity you have to check, for it to be present. NAS manufacturers are proud to share if they have this feature and can be a great selling point. It saves the hassle of downloading from the NAS to device in order to share it. Also, from this, you can access the NAS from any internet connection, not only your local network, meaning you can access it pretty much anywhere there IS internet access if you can log into a cloud service, like dropbox, google drive, etc. A lot of people, including us, believe that there’s no point in getting a NAS without this feature because… well, think about it. You can have a memory bank in your house only, or one you can access anywhere with the internet, altogether. Make sure you do the research on this, too! It’s a no-brainer.

Our Handful Plucked from the Bunch: A Comprehensive Round-Up

So, there’s been quite a large handful of credentials to get our head’s around, and you might want us to spell it out just a bit more clearly, rather than dancing around. Let’s separate ‘wheat from the chaff’ and give up our top picks for each scenario, and their pro’s and cons, for the ‘Home-user’, the ‘aspiring small-business’, the ‘Business Box’, and the ‘Device-Streamers’ out there, below.

The Home User

Credentials: For a home-user, you’ll probably be looking for a box with decent storage that can cover your back for months, or even years, to come. It’ll be useful to have the plug-and-play capability, a decent price, and something that seems to just work. Its own software can be helpful to take you along and not be too confusing.

Our Pick: The Promise Apollo. Looking easy on the eyes, this can fit right onto any desk in your house and look like it could belong. Coming with 4TB right out of the box, you don’t have to worry about buying anything extra.

The Pros: This little box is so easy to set-up that you don’t have to spend any extra time worrying about your externals. You can access it simply, and share files remotely. On top of this, your phone camera roll can auto-upload if you want it to. Such a user-friendly device can’t be commended enough.

The Cons: This device can seem sluggish in demanding workloads, and you need applications in order to access certain storage. In being friendly with home-users, it loses the tech-crowd who need all-access at all times. It’s your choice on this one.

The Aspiring Small-Business

Credentials: A growing business is going to want a little bit more space, and perhaps would be a bit more comfortable delving into the tech-space for something a bit more specific. File-sharing should be a doddle, and the capability for easy expansion is going to be a bit more your style. Here’s our pick.

Our Pick: Asustor AS5304T. This box helps out with a bigger workload, a solid operation, and the similar easy-setup, and that choice for wider expansion.

The Pros: This NAS provides a solid and reliable performance. It runs quieter than many of the other ones in this category, which is a small bonus for the office-space. It has dual 2.5GbE ports, and a toolless set-up (which we love to see). It also comes with apps out of the box, making it easy to navigate and use.

The Cons: Sadly, this box doesn’t come with any drives pre-built. They Do provide a list of recommended drives to go in, however, and it allows for you to buy some off-the-bat, and the rest when you need them. Also, It’s an expensive device, so you need to decide on whether it’s a good company expense or not.

The Business Box

Credentials: We’re in the big leagues. If you’re the team’s tech guru, you’re not going to shy away from a challenge. You want monstrous speed, the capability for large file-size caches, and the ability for mirroring and redundancy support. This sounds like the thing for you.

Our Pick: The Synology DiskStation DS1019+. A big machine, with a huge capability. This machine is definitely worth the money, but it IS still a lot of money.

The Pros: This NAS device is fast, it runs with impressively speedy performance. It’s a very easy device to install and set-up, which you don’t usually get with bigger devices. There’s a generous selection of built-in applications to help the user and a lot of storage options. It’s user-friendly, and runs quietly, a MUST for business. It holds five bays, an expansion unit, AND dual native SSD slots. Some eye-watering storage capabilities here. We’re talking 160TB Maximum.

The Cons: This is very pricy, and it shows. We don’t have really any other cons, other than storage, which you would have to buy. Very inconvenient, but also allows you to personalize the storage size, and for an office, that’s all the more important.

The Device-Streamer

Credentials: This is a bit of a niche, but NAS can support it really well. If you get the right NAS, it can feel like a breeze to jump on the sofa, touch a few buttons, and you’re watching your favorite movies again. You’ll want HD, and even 4K capability for a great image at uncompromising speed, a strong processor to keep up the foot-work, and a good amount of storage to host your impressive movie library. A MUST is a comprehensive support for applications.

Our Pick: Asustor AS5202T. With up to 5GbE Speed, a tool-less set-up, great out of the box applications and that 4K video-decoding we were looking for, this offers a great at-home experience for the average user.

The Pros: 4K Video-Encoding, out-of-the-box applications to help you on your way, tool-less set-up for the home user, 5GbE speeds and link aggregation, and a solid and reliable file-transfer performance. 2 Drives for your mirroring or JBOD choice (JBOD can create a great library size).

The Cons: This one can seem a little pricey. It’s understandable why, with its great hardware and software supply, but still, the price is a downfall. On top of this, it comes diskless, so the price of getting disks can be a headache! Picking up 2x1TB drives can get your on your way at the lowest price per decent storage, but enthusiasts may need a little more. There’s a lot of choices here, but choosing when it comes to home appliances like these is a good thing to have. We hoped we helped you in the right direction for your next big storage solution, and helped you understand exactly what you’re looking for. Good luck on your search!

What To Know About Payroll Taxes

There has been a lot of discussion recently about payroll taxes and the ways that they affect business owners.

The President recently announced executive action suspending payroll taxes through the end of the year in response to coronavirus and the shutdowns it led to. For businesses, this is one of the ways the government has stepped in to offer aid to struggling businesses.

It’s been much-needed relief, particularly as a lot of employers discovered their business interruption insurance policies had little coverage for a situation like a pandemic.

The following are some of the things employers should know about payroll taxes, particularly in the situation we’re in right now.

What Are Payroll Taxes?

Payroll taxes are paid to the federal government on wages, and the money is then primarily used to fund social insurance benefits, including Social Security and Medicare. Some of the federal income taxes also pay for security and defense.

Employers are required to report taxes on a quarterly basis in most cases, and to deposit their employment taxes.

Employment taxes are withholdings from employees’ checks. They cover not only federal income tax, but also in some cases, state and local tax and the employers’ Social Security and Medicare taxes (FICA). They also include the portion of FICA paid by the employer and federal and state unemployment taxes.

There are things that employers are required to do as it pertains to payroll taxes, including figuring withholdings, depositing employment taxes on a set schedule, and reporting quarterly about employment taxes.

If an employer doesn’t handle payroll taxes properly, they can be penalized.

In 2020, the Social Security tax rate is 6.2% on the first $137,700 of wages paid. The Medicare rate is 1.45% on the first 200,000 of wages, plus 0.9% on wages above $200,000.

Nine states don’t have an income tax on wages currently. These are Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming. There isn’t a tax on wages in New Hampshire and Tennessee but there are taxes on interest and dividends in some situations.

There are voluntary payroll deductions that may be withheld from employee checks, too, only if the employee agrees. These can include life insurance premiums, health insurance premiums, and retirement plan contributions.

Penalties

If you don’t pay payroll taxes or they’re late, then as an employer, you may face penalties, and there is going to be an accrual of interest.

As an employer, it’s your responsibility to ensure deposits are timely, the deposits are made in the right amount and that the deposit is made in the correct way. If you don’t do any of these, you may be subject to what’s called an FTD penalty, which stands for Failure to Deposit.

There is a penalty system that is four tiers if you make incorrect or late deposits.

The rate you have to pay is based on how many calendar days you are late.

There is a 2% rate for deposits that are 1 to 5 days late. Then it’s 5% for deposits that are 6 to 15 days late and 10% for deposits more than 15 days late.

There is a 10% rate for deposits not paid by EFT.

There’s a 15% rate for all amounts that are unpaid more than ten days after the date of the first notice requesting payment.

COVID-19 Changes

Under the CARES Act, passed in response to the pandemic in spring, there were measures intended to relieve some of the financial pressure on small businesses. For example, there was something called the Employee Retention Credit, and there was also a modification of net operating losses and a write-off for property improvements.

What Does The Payroll Tax Deferral Mean for Employers and Employees?

In August, the president announced he would be taking executive action regarding payroll taxes after Congressional negotiations failed to yield results.

When announcing the order, the president said it was a way to put money in the pockets of American workers and create incentives for employment and work.

Under the order, the employee’s obligation to pay a 6.2% Social Security tax per check is deferred. It applies to people who make less than $4,000 every two weeks, which would mean an annual salary of around $104,000.

The Treasury Department, under the order, has been instructed to see how the government might be able to forgive the deferral of the payments, but right now that’s not in place.

In 2018, the median household income was just over $63,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. If a worker made $64,000 before taxes, that would mean being paid on a biweekly basis would come out to around $2,400 before taxes. Then, based on a rate of 6.2%, the taxes for Social Security out of that check would be around $152.

That would mean a deferred amount of $1,220 from September through the end of the year. It would be similar to the amount that was sent out in stimulus checks earlier in the year.

Some are describing is at an interest-free government loan, however.

Unless something happens that changes the situation, businesses will still have the taxes due at the start of 2021.

It may be that employers don’t necessarily pass the deferrals to their employees, because they’ll be worried about how to get the money back when they eventually make their payments.

What this all means, at least for now, is that there’s a potential for workers to take home more money through the end of the year, but that’s not a certainty under the executive order.

There are concerns that the move doesn’t help the people who most need it either, since there are around 17 million Americans unemployed. The executive orders issued by the President did address unemployment payments, with a $400 bonus.

For employers, it’s important to understand the full implications of a payroll tax holiday, and also what they’ll do when the deferral period is over if there aren’t any changes that address it before then.

Best Video Editing Software To Give Professional Editing Feel In Minutes

Let us face it: creative storytelling in videos comes from the post-production stage. How many times have you shot a video only to realize that you could have made it more interesting? After all, creating the perfect video requires multiple iterations and editing. 

Sometimes the lighting isn’t good, the content isn’t right, or speakers forget their line in-between; there can be several bloopers while producing a video. That is why using a cool video editing software is necessary to take care of these “behind the scenes” moments. And did we mention, working with video editing solutions can allow you to add effects, filters, and even sounds to further enhance your final video.

But how do you choose the perfect solution for your business? With a dime, a dozen video editing solutions available online, selecting the right tool can be a tough decision. That is why we have come up with a list of six video editing platforms that you can use to edit and create high-impact videos in minutes like a pro. 

1. iMovies

Perhaps the easiest video editor, iMovies is ideal for beginners. The software supports multiple templates as well as transition and animated titles for quickly editing projects. It can also make video trimming and merging very simple. 

iMovies is a match made in heaven for marketers who require basic fades and cuts for social media videos. If you are starting with video editing, this tool can help you with its library of templates. However, since iMovies is popular among general consumers, we would advise you to steer clear of it when making critical sales videos. 

Pros

  • Good software if you are new to video editing
  • An easy-to-use tool with a simple drag-and-drop interface

Cons

  • Limited features
  • Works only on Mac or iPhones
  • Does not allow the transfer of project files

2. Blender

Blender is an advanced video editing platform that works on both Mac and Windows. It is an open-source tool and has some useful features such as live preview, chroma vectorscope, luma waveform, waveform visualization, audio mixing, syncing, scrubbing, and histogram displays. Blender only has 32 slots for adding videos, images, audio, and other effects such as a 3D animation suite.

Blender is a great tool to add variety to your videos, whether you are making 3D renders for a real-estate project or working with an animated character for an explainer video. That’s not all, since it is an open-source tool, there are several websites such as Turbosquid to assist you while creating the perfect video. You can also become a pro in no time by perusing tutorials and online support material.

All in all, this software is perfect if you are starting with 3D editing!

Pros

Good professional feel about the videos

Cons

A steep learning curve, but reading material and tutorials can make it easy 

3. Promo

Promo video maker is liked by marketers for several reasons. With all the tools required to make an engaging marketing video, Promo claims itself to be the #1 video maker. Let’s look at some of the tools you can use for video editing. 

To begin with, Promo allows users to add and manipulate the text’s size, font, and color, including a range of pastel colors. Users can also include images, sounds, and other visual effects to appear perfectly on social media platforms. The software also comes loaded with around 2,500 in-built templates, stock images from Shutterstock and Getty, and more than 15 million premium HD videos. 

Pros

  • Online and easy-to-use solution
  • Free trial available

Cons

Limited functionality

4. Invideo

InVideo is a great online video editor with several useful functionalities. The tool is easy-to-use, making it an ideal solution for beginners or marketers that work with deadlines to create video content for social media marketing. Invideo supports more than 1,500 design templates that help users create great video content quickly.

The platform also allows users to export videos in HD and use the text-to-speech feature to convert text-based content into engaging videos. Users can also access Pexels, Pixabay, Unsplash, for images, and royalty-free content.

Pros

  • Online, easy-to-use for beginners
  • A free plan that allows you to create a maximum of 60 videos a month

Cons

  • Video editor falls short of finer video details due to limited features
  • Videos exported by using the free plan has a watermark

5. GoPro QuikStories

Exclusively for mobile apps, this video-editing app lets you edit videos on the go. The tool is user-friendly, with a simple interface and several useful features. It is most commonly used to edit videos shot on the camera of a smartphone. 

As a name suggests, the app can directly interface with a GoPro camera and allows users to edit the video without exporting it on PCs. However, you can also use it to edit various other types of videos. The app has several automatic features and presets that can make video editing extremely quick and easy.

The verdict: the app is best suited for beginners as it doesn’t offer a lot of advanced features for professionals.

Pros

  • Several options and presets to try
  • App-based, making it easy for users to edit and publish on social media channels on the go

Cons

Not suitable for professionals as it does not have many advanced features or control for users

6. OpenShot

Like Blender, OpenShot is also an open-source, free video editing platform that has numerous useful features. The intuitive and simple-to-use drag and drop features make it suitable for even beginners trying to learn the basics of video editing. It also supports some critical advanced features such as video-transitions with real-time previews, unlimited layers, etc. 

Openshot also comes with other options such as video effect, animations, and keyframe. It makes video trimming a breeze, allowing users to shorten the video length for making it appropriate for social media channels.

Pros

  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Unlimited layers

Cons

The software sometimes lags 

Final Word

These were our top six video editing tools that can help you create up-vote worthy video content in minutes. Whether you are a beginner or a video editing wizard, these software solutions have something for everyone to make their job easier.

Google BERT, Translation, and Small Business SEO and Marketing

Google BERT was integrated into the search engine algorithms in November of 2019 and is purported to be so revolutionary that it will directly impact a full 10% of all search results. Google BERT is not something that everyone has been following closely, but virtually all SEO experts have experienced the direct results of BERT whether they know it or not.

Not only was the May 2020 Google update directly related to BERT, but SEO experts should look for an increasing number of changes to the Google SEO algorithms as BERT is more fully integrated into search.

This will likely be extended even further as BERT is integrated more heavily in the analysis from the Google spiders and bots and making it more capable of “reading” and “understanding” website content in a way more similar to humans.

BERT stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers and it has revolutionized searches online, translation and will soon reach directly into the realm of websites.

Google BERT and Its Background In Translation

BERT is built on the back of the transformer, which is a neural network architecture created for NLP or natural language processing. BERT has thoroughly beaten more traditional NLP models in both English to French and English to German translation tasks.

One additional standard is the Stanford Question Answering Dataset (SquAD) which is made up of questions to determine the NLP capacity, BERT even surpassed human accuracy rates, scoring 93.2% accuracy where human translations scored 91.2%.

Does this mean that human translators will soon be left by the wayside? While that day may eventually come around, at present machine translation is still severely restricted, most notably in areas like figurative speech and localized vernacular and expressions.

While it presently works very well for translating large volumes of data, post-edited machine translation, or PEMT, or more specifically, human translators are still necessary to finalize the translation.

BERT was released as open-source long before it was introduced into the actual search engines. While there has been amazing progress in some areas by such prestigious Ivy League universities as Cornell, at the end of the day, humans still seem far more capable of providing translation services that are more accurate and complete. In terms of search engine optimization, however, as may have been noted during the May 2020 Google updates, BERT will soon revolutionize search engine optimization or SEO and the approach to small business marketing online.

Google Bert and Its Impact On SEO

Google has estimated that the BERT updates will directly impact 10% of all search engine results, and while important, that is only a part of the outcome that is relevant to small businesses and SEO experts. The latest Google updates have caused many SEO professionals to reconsider how they do business and website owners to rethink their content marketing campaigns.

BERT is exceptionally adept at “understanding” language more similar to humans and as such, makes it much more capable in determining the search intent of people using the search engine. Google was quick to take advantage of this, not only in terms of the actual search results but also through the inclusion of additional “features” on the search page.

Among the many features of Google are paid advertisements, of course, reviews, featured snippets, the knowledge panel, related questions and other inclusions that make it substantially more busy for the searchers, and also more competition even for the top ranking websites.

There were some types of websites that have experienced more radical results from the BERT implementation. There is a complete list on the Search Engine Journal website where it notes that among them were sites focusing on history, natural and traditional medicine, news, music and entertainment; and perhaps most notably here, for small businesses and local business websites.

What Google BERT Means For Small Business

There is a page called SE Roundtable that lists all of the ongoing Google Updates and reports extensively on their impact on various websites. Of particular interest is one conversation pertaining to the May 2020 update and the apparent presence of a “bug” in the update that created adverse results for many local small businesses.

There seems to have been some speculation that this bug was specifically limited to local car dealerships, though further testimony from numerous SEO experts clearly showed that this bug was in fact not ultimately a bug and proved detrimental to a great many local business interests.

While this has been largely sorted out, it would appear that the stabilization of localized search results was as much a result of continued and deeper integration of BERT into the search engine algorithms and others were the result of changes in the practices of SEO for many of these local small businesses.

The Future of BERT and Small Business SEO

Many people have questioned how they can optimize their website content in order to maximize the benefits from the Google BERT updates. Perhaps one of the most wonderful things about the future of SEO and local business content marketing online, is that there is no need to optimize content for BERT.

Small businesses and SEO experts alike need to rethink their content marketing but for their readers and not for the search engines. If there is any tactic that would benefit in terms of SEO, it would be query-related content.

Search engine queries are the actual words, phrases, and questions being asked on the search engines. For the sake of brevity, the results from AhRefs will be considered, where they list four different and distinct types of search engine queries.

What Are The Different Types of Search Engine Queries?

  • Navigational search engine queries
  • Informational search engine queries
  • Commercial Investigative search engine queries
  • Transactional search engine queries

Navigational search engine queries are where the searcher is merely looking for a URL or universal request location, more commonly known as a website address. These should not be mistaken for transactional search queries where the searcher is seeking out directions to a particular store in order to make their final purchase. These results should also be fairly common to the website and not require any specific focus by either SEO experts or the small business online operations.

Informational search engine queries are just that, used by viewers who are seeking out specific information. Some of these informational queries will be immediately answered in one of the many search engine features that were noted before.

If someone searches for the current time in New York City, for example, the answer will come up immediately on the SERP and there is no reason for the search to progress any further. These types of informational queries have a very low click-through rate and focusing on these types of queries is not likely to result in any increased website traffic.

The SEO expert should determine what the common and relevant queries are being searched in any given area, and the small business should focus on an international, multilingual approach to providing answers to those queries in their content marketing campaigns.

The content should then focus on providing meaningful and relevant resolutions for these queries. Ideally, the content should point to the fact that their product or service offers a viable answer to the question being asked. This process should ultimately direct the potential customer into a sales funnel.

Commercial investigative search engine queries are those where the searcher needs to find a particular service or product but have not yet determined the best products or services to meet their needs. This is where queries such as “what are the best translation company online” and similar questions will be asked of the search engines. These types of queries are why the SEO experts and small businesses may want to focus on “listicles” and other review type content for their site.

These types of viewers are the ones that are ready to purchase and who can be more easily directed to a well-planned sales funnel on the website. Look for this type of content to become increasingly popular and common for increasing rankings on the SERP, especially if it keeps the readers on the page long enough to read the entire article. This on-page time will be an increasingly important part of the new ranking factors by Google. SEO experts and small business owners should focus this content on overcoming any objections and leading the reader and soon-to-be consumer to the sales page or the buy now buttons.

Transactional search engine queries are those where the viewer knows the product or service they will be purchasing and are looking for the best price or location to purchase that product or service.

Conclusion:

In the near future, look for the quality of content and the ability of content to directly answer search queries to become increasingly important as opposed to a focus on keyword content. On a side note, albeit a very important one; look for website translations and other multilingual marketing tactics to expand as we expand into a more global digital environment and people recognize the ability to gain tens of millions of viewers with very little direct competition.