This Is The Worst Title – Make Yours Better

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Many people, including me, spend a lot of time writing articles and posts simply to forget (or omit) to concentrate on a good and proper title.

As with this post, the titles that are often seen bear no resemblance in quality or, sometimes content, to what is to follow. But a good title can reap rewards far greater than you might imagine.

Why?

Because the title is the doorway to your words of wisdom and is seen by both human eyes and those of the search engines.

How many times have you clicked on a link or GLOSSED OVER a link by what you saw in the title? For me it is crucial. I might very well click a title that reads “Obama: Neuter My Cats” but overlook the one that says “The Whitehouse Arranges For President’s Cats to be Neutered”. The content might be the same but in the first case I might read it, in the second I likely won’t.

Therefore, your title acts as a headline or an advert and is no less persuasive than those adverts we see each and every day on TV and in the press. People have less and less time to pour over the multitude of messages that come their way each day. If your message is to reach them you need to give it a bit of a helping hand.

More than that is the fact that titles can themselves rank in the search engines and therefore bring your message to a larger group of people and particularly to those that are actively seeking the information you are offering. The title carries more weight in search engines like Google and if you include your important keywords then so much the better. You will be a rank above others.

So how do you create a fab title? Well, the answer might be less than obvious. Simplicity and clarity will win the day. None of your fancy-pant dressing up. If Obama neuters his cats then that is all he does. Put it plain and simple. If your keywords include “Obama”, “cats” and “neuters” then you will be laughing all the way to the bank.

Simplicity means that not only are the titles easier to read but that they are more likely to be read. Search engines love shorter titles too. Less really can be more.

That is not to say you cannot be creative. Short titles should be punchy and constructed to attract- “Obama Orders Cat Neutering”, “Obama Cats Under Threat of the Knife” etc. Nothing needs to be boring.

You can get more attention by being controversial or shocking – “Obama Swipes Fertility Rights From Cats”.

Don’t forget that by creating your title you are creating a window into the post itself. If people don’t like what they read in the title then they are unlikely to step further into your post. If there is a need to fill (with your post) then show that you are filling it in the title. Lure people in.

Now, don’t get me wrong. It can be difficult to create a headline title that is both short, punchy and descriptive. Sometimes you need some creativity. There is plenty to be had – just look in magazines and newspapers for inspiration.

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Get Your Child’s Twitter Background on MY Twitter Page

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bg1Have you seen my Twitter background – http://www.twitter.com/markclayson? Cool eh? It was designed by the mind and freedom of a child.

Do you have a child with an artistic flair? Or a child that likes to draw? If so, then get him or her to produce a colorful or exciting picture and I may use it as my background for over 62,000 people to see and admire!

Creating a background is easy – all you need are the following 2 ingredients:

1. A painting program – Paint (free with Windows) will do. Or you can use programs such as Adobe Photoshop or GIMP

2. A willing child

The picture needs to be created on the computer or scanned in to an image size of 1600px wide by 1200px tall. It must be less than 800K in size. The left hand area is the one where there will be most details seen (the central area will be covered by the Twitter stream). Concentrate on the left hand side but make the picture cover ALL areas and let your child just have fun!

The image should be sent to me (Mark Clayson) and mcc@doctors.net.uk

How will I choose the ones to show? I will decide on what is most interesting or attractive. Anyone can win!

How often will I change my background? Depending on the number of subnmissions I may do so every week! 

Summary:

  • 1600×1200 area and less than 800k in size
  • send as attachment to mcc@doctors.net.uk
  • dont’t forget the name and age of the child 

Have fun!

Is Money Bad?

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Is it bad to want money? Is it the root of all evil? Perhaps. Certainly there are people in this world that make it so. Greed and power go so much together.
But on a more reflective level, we all need money. And, no, it is NOT bad to make money (provided you can do it in a legitimate way).
What IS legitimate? Nobody knows, or hardly cares, it seems.
I have seen many adverts and sales pages that simply lie through their teeth. Despite the standards of advertising that we are all supposed to adhere to, companies and individuals blatantly lie. This is not “snake oil” lying of course, but rather a method of making claims or associations that lure us into buying their products or services.

So, they make money out of their misrepresentations. But we still buy. And we buy again and again.
At this moment, I am sitting at a $600 desk, on a $200 chair and using a $2000 computer. These were all bought with the money that people gave me after I asked them for (via my products / service).
Does that make it bad? Of course not. All our possessions are bought with the money that someone else has given us. Just because your income originates from the state or from your private company does not mean that you can hold a higher moral ground. That money still comes from someone and they pay you for whatever you do.

Even those that sail yachts, drive expensive cars and own multiple properties still need to feed themselves and their kids, clothe themselves and keep themselves warm. Only the relativity of the situation is different from you or me.
Sometimes, people ask me to do things for free. I sometimes oblige. I am an easy going sort of guy. But more often that not, those people that are asking for something free are simply degrading your worth and making a statement meaning they will do nothing with your gift.
Money pays the bills but it also makes you more alert to the opportunity before you. Paying for something makes you appreciate it more, utilise the messages that come from it and starts you on the road to perception of your own worth.

Increase Your Profits: Change Mindset

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Did you know that over 60% of all businesses fail in 6 years? It’s amazing, isn’t it? The worse thing is that this statistic has nothing to do with credit crunches, subprime lending or and other recent local, national or world event.

It is to do with mindset.
 
Yes, mindset.
 
You see, in any business there is one and only one person that you need to be concerned about. Only one.
 
That person is so important that to even make them FEEL they are not important is tantamount to business suicide. It’s not the section manager, it’s not the CEO, it’s not the company director.
 
That person is the customer.
 
Simple eh?
 
Or not …
 
Whatever business you are in, as long as you are trying to make a profit, you will always have a “customer.” That “person” may be buying goods or services – they may even be purchasing time or expertise. The “person” may be a man-in-the-street or another large company.
 
But they are very important.
 
The customer is the one and only individual that can tell you how well you are doing. Not by growth charts and sales figures. But by telling you exactly how it feels to be in the position of a buying customer.
 
That person may have a valuable insight into the sales process, barriers to further sales, after sales service and a whole host of other important parameters. They could tell you about the likelihood of them buying again in the future, what your competitors offer and whether they would be happy to recommend you to other people.
 
In short, a customer (or potential customer) can tell you things about you, your company and your services which you could never find out in any other way.
 
But you have to ask them. Not with a standard “satisfaction feedback card. But by being brave, being bold and being specific in your needs.
 
And by asking and offering incentives to do so, your business will grow and flourish.
 
… then you ask them again!
Sadly, most businesses do not consider the customer as an important part of the processes within their organisation. Their mindset is geared towards what the business wants to offer and not what the customer needs. Complaints and feedback are a distraction.

A change in mindset can only increase your customer base and therefore your profit line.

Business Intelligence

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What is it that makes one business successful and another not? Is it the business model, the niche in which it is trading or the characteristics of the person (or people) looking after the business health? Indeed, even with similar characteristics and models, one business will succeed and prosper more than a comparable one.

 

Many people believe that there is a certain characteristic or set of characteristics that determine whether someone will be a successful businessperson or not. All other things being equal, a person with the correct qualities and aptitude could and should be a success over all others around him or her. It almost seems obvious.

 

But as many business schools will attest to, even with the same opportunities and environment and the same facilities to achieve, one person will grasp an opportunity more than another. And this is even when extensive tests of personality and aptitude are carried out beforehand.

 

It is as if the ability to achieve is something that cannot be easily or reliably measured. Something innate and intrinsic – like the propensity for a cat to lick itself from birth or a dog to fetch a stick.

 

The core of this issue is that if you could measure and harness that innate ability then you could predict, or at least more reliably predict, the future of any business venture when it is taken outside of other constraining factors such and demand and economy.

 

Even when a business is failing or is troubled, one could be at an advantage if the correct business mind could be put into place to see that endeavour through its rough times.

 

This type of business mind is known as “business intelligence” and, just like other forms of intelligence, appears to be something that is not easily measure or nurtured but something that has strict and undeniable importance in the pathway through which a business treads.

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