Could You Run a Fortune 500 Company?

The companies that comprise Fortune magazine’s annual Fortune 500 list are some of the most powerful and profitable in the world. The men and women who run them are often at the top of their careers, having spent years or even decades climbing the ladders of their respective industries. These titans of industry are well-educated, experienced, and driven by ambition whose size is rivaled only by the enormous companies in their care.

But running a Fortune 500 company isn’t just about having a fancy degree or spending forty years relentlessly scaling “Mount Business.” The average time a CEO on the list has spent at the company they now run is just under thirteen years. And while it’s true that 165 of the CEOs on the 2013 list have M.B.A. degrees, 163 have no advanced degree whatsoever. Creativity and ambition, it would seem, are just as important as earning a diploma and punching the clock.

A place on the list isn’t just for elder statesmen, either. Facebook wunderkind Mark Zuckerberg made the annual review for the first time in 2013 when he was just 28. He’s in good company; Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer also made the cut, and at 37, shared the under-40 spotlight. Just over the line at 40 years of age was Google head Larry Page (who was only 25 when he became Google’s first CEO back in 1998).

Whatever their age, experience, or education, it’s clear that those helming a company on the Fortune 500 list need a certain dedication to innovation and a will to succeed. Wondering if you’ve got the right stuff to become a Fortune 500 CEO? Take our quiz and compare yourself to the elite. You might be closer to the taking command of a corporate juggernaut than you think!

Could you run a Fortune 500 company?

Secrets of a Killer Blog Post: How to Write the Ultimate Headline

The most successful bloggers know that a critical component of their posts is not just the post idea, but how they execute it. What separates successful bloggers from the average ones is their ability to catch and hold the reader’s attention throughout a piece. Find out how you can improve your blogging skills to keep your audience coming back for more.

Catch Their Attention

Your readers cannot pay attention to everything – the mind is not wired that way. To get their attention, readers must be given a reason to focus on what you want, instead of paying attention to everything else.

Your Post Title Matters

The only part of a blog post your reader is guaranteed to see is the title, so make it stand out.

  • Use the title to give your readers an idea of what you will cover without giving too much away.
  • Keep it around eight words or 70 characters.
  • Make your point clear and be clever, not confusing.

Types of Titles

Here are eight of the many ways you can create a creative title that stands out:

  • Create a sense of urgency or importance
    • Stop missing out on Readers with these Tips!
  • Use How To’s (Or How Not To’s)
    • How to Speak in Public…Even if You Hate Public Speaking
  • # of Ways:
    • Top 10 Ways to Improve Click-Through Rates
  • Be Quirky
    • The Stalker’s Guide to Highly Effective Guest Posting
  • Use Strong Language
    • Killer Tips for Starting a Blog
  • Lists and Rankings
    • Nine Ways to Save Money on Groceries
  • Ask A Question:
    • Where Has Social Media Gone Wrong?
  • Include a Verb
    • Overpromoting Your Posts Can Annoy Your Followers

Ways to Grab Your Readers’ Attention

  • Make them see what you see.
    • Tell a story
    • Use descriptions
    • Use case studies
    • Use anything that will put the reader in the right position to see what you see.
  • Make it personal.
    • When something is personal, it is important. You’ll immediately grab attention.
  • Use emotion.
    • Emotion brings clarity to your message and makes it personal.
    • Emotion gives people a reason to talk about your blog, and to share the content.
    • Emotion is far better than logic to trigger centers in the brain that control behavior and decisions.

Pull Your Readers In

After the title, the opening sentence is the second most important part of a blog post. Use the following to pull your readers in and get them to keep reading.

  • Ask a question
    • “What do you think about _____?”
  • Share a quote
    • Choose a quote related to your post topic.
    • For example, if you are writing a blog post about Facebook Advertising, consider including a quote from founder Mark Zuckerberg.
  • Use analogy, metaphor, or simile
    • “Your topic is like _______.”
  • Use a shocking statistic
    • “X% of ______ do _____.”
  • Communicate the benefit of reading the post
    • “When you’re done reading, you’ll know how to _____.”
  • Make a claim
    • Back up any claims with proof.
    • For example, if you’re reviewing a product that makes you money, show screenshots of your PayPal account that prove the product is working.
  • Be controversial
    • Go against the grain on a subject
      • Develop your statement (whether for or against the issue)
      • Provide logical support for your statement
        • Back it up with research, expert opinion, etc.
        • Good argument: If it rains, the ground gets wet. It is raining, so the ground is wet.
        • Bad argument: If it rains, the ground gets wet. The ground is wet, so it must be raining. (Lots of things can make the ground wet!)
        • Make sure you are geniune with your stance. Constantly seeking to be controversial could earn you a reputation as the “boy who cried wolf.”
        • You’ll lose all credibility and readership.

Keep Your Reader’s Attention

Grabbing your reader’s attention doesn’t matter if you don’t keep it. Even after that first sentence, there is always a chance your reader will leave your site.

  • Make information you offer valuable.
    • Don’t use a misleading title to grab attention, because you won’t keep it.
  • A lack of value will make it harder to capture a reader’s attention the second time around.
    • If you’re lucky enough to get a reader back again, he or she likely won’t take you as seriously.
  • Avoid using industry jargon and insider language, unless it’s appropriate for your audience.
    • Example: “ideation”
      • It simply means to come together and brainstorm ideas.
    • When people see things they don’t understand, they’re more likely to search for a simpler explanation, than take the time to figure out what your jargon means.
  • Ask questions throughout
    • Questions spark curiousity and keep us searching for answers.
      • Example: What would you do if…?
      • Example: How would X make you feel?
    • Ask questions that get people thinking about what your products or services can do to solve their problems.
      • Example: if you could flip a switch and instantly have [insert painstaking task] done, how much would you pay for the switch?
        • This gets people thinking about the value of solving their problem.
      • Example: What would you do if I told you [product name] could solve your [specific] problem?
        • This gets people thinking about how much easier their lives would be if they had your product or service to address the problem.
    • Ask questions that explore insecurities
      • Example: Are you truly happy with where you are in life right now?
      • Example: Does your fear of [insert problem] hinder your success in life?
  • Use specific details – this will hold more attention than longer content providing a general overview of a concept.
    • Example: Find data and statistics around your topic.
      • X% of people who tried this technique found it improved their…
    • Example: Show how your product or service really benefits someone.
      • Instead of saying, “Jane used my marketing services to explode her business.” Say “After using my marketing services, Jane saw a 50% increase in her customer base, jumping from 50 to 100 customers a day.”


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