Susan Budoff First Rate Team

Susan Budoff First Rate Team

Susan Budoff with First Rate Team has been in the Mortgage Industry for over fourteen years. She has helped families and individuals from all walks of life purchase the home of their dreams.

She helps with:

  • Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) Disclaimer
  • Purchase, Rate and Term Refinance, and Cash-out Refinance Programs
  • Fannie Mae Conventional, High-balance and Adjustable-Rate Mortgages (ARMs)
  • Jumbo, Portfolio & Investor Products
  • FHA/VA/USDA

She looks forward to putting her expertise to work for you! Click here to visit her Facebook Page.

Small Businesses And Google AdWords

Small Businesses And Google AdWords

Gone are the days where the only way to advertise your business effectively was through expensive television or radio ads. The internet has opened the floodgates of advertisement, making way for literally hundreds of different advertising outlets. In the past, small businesses didn’t have much hope of creating effective advertising campaigns, but today businesses of all sizes can see success through their online marketing efforts. One of the most effective tools for online marketing is Google AdWords. Google AdWords is different from other traditional forms of advertising, and it has the potential to be much more effective. You’re In Control, So Start Small.

Google AdWords allows you to be completely in control of your advertising budget. You don’t have to spend a ton of money right off the bat to see success. Start small, and grow your budget accordingly. Google AdWords functions through Pay-Per-Click (PPC), also known as Cost-Per-Click (CPC). This means that you only have to pay when someone clicks on your ad. Essentially, you tell Google how much you’re willing to pay for someone to click on your ad, and then you set a daily budget limit. For example, if you have a daily budget of 10 dollars at 50 cents per click, you can yield up to 20 clicks that day.

This method allows you to start small, and fine tune your advertising budget and your audience increases. Most small businesses aim for an ad budget between 3 to 5 percent of their total annual earnings. Soon you’ll be turning those clicks into customers.

Target Your Local Audience

Google AdWords allows you to target a specific area. You can change the radius of your advertisements, so that they will be shown to people within a 10-mile radius, or more. Whatever size radius you decide. In addition to targeting certain locations, you can also target specific time slots. If your target audience is college students, your prime-time slot might be later in the night than if you were targeting full-time working professionals. Take these things into account and plan your advertising windows accordingly. Test what works best for you by paying close attention to engagement rates at certain times or certain locations. Soon you’ll be able to lock in the most effective windows for your advertisements, and expand from there. Once you know the best time and place to put your advertisements, increase your budget as you continue to learn what works most effectively.

The More Success You Have, The More You Should Advertise

Once you start seeing your advertising campaign yielding positive results, you should increase your spending. Calculate the cost of success. Say for example you own a hat shop. If you yield 1000 clicks per month on your advertisements, and you also sell around 100 hats per month, you know that for every 10 people that clicked on your ads, one purchased a hat. Not everyone is selling physical items, and so this analogy may not directly apply to your business. However, the idea is to modify your budget accordingly. If you feel that you’re seeing tangible results from Google Adwords at this point, consider increasing your advertising budget.

Monitor Your Advertising

Once again, you are in complete control of your Google AdWords account. You can make any changes you feel necessary at any time you want, so take advantage of that! Part of monitoring your Google AdWords account means paying attention to your SEO. AdWords allows you to input keywords that you feel your target audience may search for when looking for a product or service that your business offers. Give a lot of thought to this, and ask others around you what they would search when looking for what you offer. Take their thoughts into account when adding keywords to your ads. No two people use Google search in the exact same way, and the words that they use to find your product or service may differ from what you would normally search. Essentially you want to anticipate what your potential customers would search for.

Hopefully these quick tips will help you take your small business to the next level in the world of online marketing!

Will There Be Another Michael Jackson?

Will There Be Another Michael Jackson?

Michael Jackson was indisputably the King of a musical era. He was a powerhouse performer with a boundless passion for entertaining the world. His presence on the stage captivated the attention of millions and continues to do so long after his passing. His legacy and musical style continues to reverberate throughout music today, with artists such as The Weeknd putting their own spin on Jackson’s iconic style in several songs. But will another artist ever come close to reaching Michael Jackson’s level of fame or influence in today’s digital world?

The short answer: Maybe. The long answer gets a bit more complicated.

Michael Jackson’s most influential work was Thriller. The album sold more than 46 million copies, and continues to hold that record today. The issue, is that modern day music sales hardly deal with physical copies. Honestly, when was the last time that you went to the store to buy an album? You probably just went on YouTube or Spotify to listen to that song you couldn’t get out of your head. This is where the biggest discrepancy lies. Even though Jackson’s Thriller album was such an iconic hit, it wasn’t released in the same way that albums release today. People didn’t listen to music then the same way that they listen to music today.

When Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson were producing Thriller, Jones said that his goal with the album was to “get kids out of the video arcades and back into the record stores.” Well, he was successful for a brief time, but here in 2017 the record stores AND the video arcades have landed in our pockets.

People don’t go out to buy physical copies of music like they used to. Streaming services such as Spotify, YouTube, Tidal (well kind of) and others are completely dominating the market. Because of this, it’s almost impossible to draw comparisons between artists then and artists now. 30 years ago, and long before the internet, only a few artists at a time could hold the spotlight. Now on the other hand, famous artists are a dime a dozen. People listen to the music of artists all over the world thanks to the internet, and no one person can hold the title of King. Instead of listening to entire albums, people create playlists of their favorite songs and listen to them on shuffle. Pop music has reached a sort of saturation, where one song is popular only until the next big hit comes out. Long gone are the days when everyone you knew was listening to the same album right when it dropped.

In short, the musical atmosphere is completely different.

But there is a sect of people who believe that the next King of Pop has already risen. They claim that he has already established himself as a musical legend. They claim that that person is Drake.

It’s a bit of a long shot I’ll be honest, but when you look at the numbers it’s easy to see why people draw the comparison. For one, Drakes 2016 album, Views, gained 13 American Music Award nominations, which broke Michael Jackson’s 32 year record of 11 nominations for Thriller in 1984. Michael Jackson received his 11 nominations on his sixth album, while Drake received his 13 on his fourth album. On top of that, we have to take video stats into account. Granted, Michael Jackson didn’t have YouTube when he was making music videos, but it doesn’t diminish how important the platform is when it comes to fame. As of today, Drake has more than 3 billion views on his music videos. That’s 3,000,000,000 views. Heck that number alone was probably some of the inspiration for his 2016 album’s title. With so many views from around the world, and record breaking statistics Drake could actually become the next King of Pop (if he isn’t already).

Is YouTube Really Over?

Is YouTube Really Over?

Is YouTube Really Over?

YouTube has been in the news a lot as of late, largely in part due to the exodus of major advertisers leaving the platform. In the wake of new YouTube demonetization policies and smear campaigns from mainstream media outlets, YouTube content creators have been consistently losing advertising revenue. In the last two weeks, YouTube advertisement rates have gone down by 75 percent.

The controversy started back in September 2016, when YouTube released their new demonetization policies. These new changes entailed that any video containing questionable material would be flagged for demonetization. When a video is demonetized, advertisements are prevented from being played on it, which in turn prevents content creators from receiving money for their work. Although the changes seem like a good solution to prevent creators from getting paid for content containing hate speech, or racism, many YouTubers found their videos getting flagged wrongfully. YouTubers soon learned that they couldn’t talk about certain sensitive topics such as murder, rape or drug use without their video getting demonetized immediately, even if they had an educated opinion on the matter. Despite creating content that was educational, YouTubers were prevented from getting paid for their content. This was a transition that changed YouTube from a place where anyone with an opinion could make a living off it, if so valued by the community, to a place where you can’t mention sensitive topics at all without being demonetized.

The controversy got worse when mainstream media outlets started finding examples of “hate speech” in videos of large YouTubers such as PewDiePie (although the examples were taken out of context, and PewDiePie’s words misconstrued), and threatening major advertisers with the information. Because major advertisers don’t want their products being advertised on such videos, they have all started to leave YouTube as a platform. However, the reasons behind these advertisers leaving goes deeper than it appears on the surface.

By shrouding Google’s YouTube in controversy, it makes advertising on the platform seem like a less than viable option for most advertisers. This causes advertisers to find a more “respectable” medium in which to advertise their products. Two of the most prominent advertisers who have pulled out are AT&T and Verizon, who spend a cumulative $3.5 Billion on advertising per year. Here’s where it gets sticky. AT&T, who pulled out from YouTube under the guise of “too much objectionable content”, owns major television companies such as HBO, TNT, TBS, Warner Brothers, and CNN. Guess who competes with major companies such as these? Independent entertainment and news channels on YouTube.

In the same way, Verizon has little to lose by creating the narrative that Google’s YouTube is a haven for objectionable content, because Verizon owns Yahoo!. By smearing the image of YouTube, these major corporations are practically forcing advertisers to leave YouTube as a platform. This gives major companies like AT&T and Verizon a chance to lure these advertisers back to their own “respectable” platforms.

As of now, more than 250 advertisers are boycotting YouTube – many out of fear for not boycotting, due to the extensive racism smear campaign created by mainstream media outlets and major corporations. Just two months ago, Eric Feinberg, CEO of GIPEC, a company which monitors online content, is quoted saying, “You look at corporate America’s ads in front of these videos, and it really has a reputational risk… the advertising community needs to take responsibility, go to YouTube, and threaten to pull their ads.” The media gladly gave Feinberg this platform, as it promotes the idea that YouTube is littered with objectionable content, thus driving advertisers back to their own websites.

In a recent article about Feinberg it’s stated that, “Feinberg has spent the last few months finding ad-supported content linked to terror and hate groups, and pushing links and screen shots proving it happened to journalists in the U.K. and U.S.” Why would he do this you may ask? Well, it has to do with Google’s artificial intelligence that filters unsavory content from YouTube. Google recently stated that they are “beefing up their tech efforts and hiring more people to prevent placement of ads with unsavory content.” In response to this claim, Feinberg stated that he doubts Google can succeed in this task without, “violating my patent.” This means that a large part of the controversy was caused by GIPEC, out of fear that Google would violate their patent.

The controversy continues, but as to whether YouTube will continue as the free speech platform that it is, time will tell.

Scott Juceam Preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome

Scott Juceam Preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome

When your baby won’t stop crying for long periods of time, it’s normal to feel a little overwhelmed. Even the best parents can feel frustrated from the constant noise. However, shaking your baby is never the solution. Shaken Baby Syndrome (commonly known as abusive head trauma) is one of the most common forms of child abuse. Studies show that 3 to 4 children endure abusive head trauma every day, most commonly at the hands of a parent. This preventable form of abuse usually happens unintentionally, when parents lose control during an attempt to quiet a crying baby. Studies estimate that more than 25 percent of babies who have been shaken die from their injuries, even though many (if not most of them) were only shaken for a few seconds.

To avoid this horror from happening altogether, keep these few prevention tips in mind:

1. Keep Your Composure

Remaining calm is one of the most important things to remember when your baby is crying excessively. When you’re feeling frustrated from the crying, take a step back from the situation to decompress. Whether you need to count to 10, or simply go outside for a fresh breath of air, do what you need to do to keep calm. It’s also important to note that babies just cry a lot! Keep your expectations realistic, and realize that a baby crying doesn’t mean that your baby is bad or that you are a bad parent. Having realistic expectations can really help to keep your emotions in check.

2. Think Creatively

If you’ve already changed, fed, burped, and held your baby, and they still continue to cry, it’s easy to feel like you’re all out of options. However, there are plenty of other creative things you can try to alleviate a baby’s sobbing. The next time your baby won’t stop crying, try singing a silly song or play a game with them. Even if these things don’t get your baby to stop crying, they will at the very least lighten up the situation and give you some time to unwind. If after all of this your baby continues to cry, you can then consider taking your baby to the doctor to see if something may be wrong.

3. Get Some Rest

Exhaustion is one of the biggest causes of emotional outbursts, and raising a newborn infant is tiring. Although it is hard to sleep while a baby is crying, try to take turns with your spouse tending to your baby’s needs. Consider calling a friend or relative to help you out when you’re feeling particularly exhausted. When you’re well rested, you’re more likely to handle the situation with patience.

4. Explain the Danger of SBS to Your Family and Friends

Educate the people around you about the dangers of SBS. Most commonly, babies are shaken by members of the family, so making sure that everyone knows never to shake your baby is crucial. Explain to them the little things that make your baby happy when he is crying. Additionally, although young children usually mean well, it’s important to never leave them unattended with a baby.

5. Walk Away When Possible

Letting your baby cry for a few minutes won’t cause them any harm, and it can also really help you to clear your mind. Your baby will suffer far less in those few minutes of crying, than they would should you act in anger and resort to shaking them.

If you at any point feel that you’re losing control and may lash out in anger towards a baby, set the child in his crib, and call someone for help. You can also call the National Child Abuse Hotline (1-800-4-A-CHILD) to give you guidance in the situation. Calling the number does not mean that your child will be taken away from you, as children are only removed from their homes in the most extreme circumstances. The professional representatives on the hotline will however help you take a step back from the situation, and ensure that no harm comes to your baby. 

Scott’s passionate advocacy stems from his personal experience in the matter. In May of 2006, Juceam’s infant daughter went unconscious while under the care of a nanny.

Is Demonetization The End Of YouTube?

Is Demonetization The End Of YouTube?

Around 6 months ago, YouTube content creators were filled with outrage after the guidelines for YouTube’s new demonetization policy was released. Essentially, YouTube made it so that any video including sexually offensive, violent, or drug-related content would be demonetized. This meant that advertisements could no longer be played on those videos, thus preventing the content creators from receiving any sort of advertising revenue. YouTube did this to give advertisers the confidence that their products weren’t being promoted on videos with “suggestive content”. It doesn’t sound too bad, right? Well, it’s not quite that simple.

For many YouTubers, the outrage started when their videos started randomly becoming demonetized. Dr. Aaron Carroll has a healthcare channel that is a prime example of the phenomenon. Dr. Carroll’s creates family-friendly content about about healthcare policy and research, but 27 of his videos were demonetized after the new YouTube algorithm flagged them for containing suggestive content. The algorithm mistakenly flagged Dr. Carroll’s videos that contained content about prescription drug costs, the opioid epidemic, and treatments for diabetes, because it thought that those videos were praising illegal drugs. This is most likely because the videos contained the names of the drugs in the video titles and video tags. Dr. Carroll is only one out of the hundreds of YouTubers who have had the same thing happen to them.

Is Demonetization the Downfall of YouTube?

Dr. Aaron Carroll

YouTube has since created an appeals process for getting demonetized videos remonetized. However, any amount of time that a video spends demonetized causes a substantial drop in revenue for the content creator. Ironically, initial reports suggest that most claims submitted for manual review have resulted in the video being remonetized, which indicates a critical error in the current monetization algorithm.

The necessity of submitting an appeal for every video you create could be a massively discouraging factor for many YouTube content creators. To make matters worse, the YouTube guidelines for preventing demonetization are incredibly broad and vague, giving YouTube the ultimate authority to decide whether your video is deemed appropriate to advertise upon. One of the guidelines states that content containing “controversial or sensitive subjects and events, including subjects related to war, political conflicts, natural disasters and tragedies…” can be demonetized at any point. This has many YouTube creators saying that this is essentially an act of censorship. While you can still say whatever you want on YouTube, you may not be able to make your living off it anymore.

This could just be YouTube making way for paid YouTube channels. Paid YouTube channels are a new addition to YouTube, that will allow content creators to charge a small fee for being able to watch their videos a little bit early, and generally support the content they make. While this is a good thing for creators, it’s still a band-aid solution to the problem at hand. Paid channels still don’t provide nearly as much revenue as can be attained by hosting advertisements on your videos.

Despite all of these changes, YouTube creators continue to make content. Many of them have started paying special attention to the metadata and tags included in their videos, so that they may not get accidentally flagged. Even though this works most of the time for the big YouTubers out there, this method is still not enough for others. YouTubers that make politically charged content have to deal with the inevitability of people of opposing views disliking their videos. However, if enough people go so far as to flag the video it will get demonetized, causing the creator to lose money just because enough people had a different viewpoint than their own. This is bad no matter what political stance you may take.

YouTube’s appeals process is a good start for preventing the erroneous demonetization of videos, but even more needs to be done by YouTube in order for them to continue to succeed as the world’s largest video streaming platform.