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Nothing drives me crazier than referencing a help tool tip only to find it states the friggin’ obvious.  For example, we use DotNetNuke (DNN) quite a bit and the forms are not always clear.  Actually, the norm is that the forms are very confusing so any help from a tooltip is very much appreciated.  Let me back up. 

DotNetNuke is a website content management system so most of what you do is configure the settings.  Configuring the setting incorrectly could result in a major headache for you.  You want to get it right the first time.

Recently I had to configure a new security role in DNN.  One of the form fields was “Public Role”.  Ok, hmm, what exactly does “Public Role” mean.  One thing I didn’t want to do was give my users unauthorized access to the backend of my website.

Here is the help tool tip that DNN offered:

Really?  That is the BEST you can do?  This tooltip is TERRIBLE!  What is a Public Role?  I think someone pretty low on the food chain could figure out that if you checked the box it would make the role a Public Role.  The tooltip offered no help at all.

A good tool tip would state more than the obvious.

DotNetNuke could have easily told me what a “Public Role” was and the implications if I checked it.  The tool tip is hidden by default so it takes up no space on the page unless I need it… which I did.

The correct tooltip for Public Role:

A Public Role is a role that is automatically visible and available to any registered user of your site.  Checking this will give registered users of your site the ability to sign up for this role themselves.

3 Steps to Great Tooltips on Forms

1. Define or describe the purpose of the field

2. State the consequences of using the field

Example, “if you check this box.. this will happen”

3. Don’t just state the obvious

Give people a little credit.  Example, “Is this role a public role?”  Duh, If I wanted it to be a public role I would obviously check the box.. but what is a “public role”?

If you are looking to earn money but are limited on time then you need to learn the basics of passive income.  Passive income is income that you don’t have to continually work at to earn.  There may be some maintenance but basically you do the job once and then collect income well into the future.

Books, CDs and applications are great examples of passive income.  You write the book and then collect royalties on it forever.  Record a CD and collect royalties on it forever.  Develop an exciting game or business application and collect royalties on it forever.  

Just like your blog or website, active involvement in promoting your product is extremely helpful.  Promotion doesn’t have to be marketing.  Your marketing or involvement could be participating on forums relating to your product, writing a new blog article about it, or creating the next version of your app.

Three Steps to Created Passive Income

1. Develop Product - write the book, record the CD, finish the application

2. Promote Your Product - participate on forums, spread the word, start the follow-up to the product, create an add-on product

3. Collect Your Royalties

Passive income is a totally hands off approach to income but the more involved you are the better the results will be. 

Over the last several years many things have had an impact on my life.  Four things that I have been blessed with are my kids.  They bring me a great deal of joy and I love them dearly.  They give me 4 reasons every day to work hard and give 100% in all that I do.  

Part of my duties as a parent is to pass on any lessons I’ve learned along the way to them.  If you are like me, you have struggled financially in your life.  There have been ups and downs.  Because of this and since money is such an integral part of life I set out on a mission to develop a system that not only I could use but that I could pass on to my children.  

After years of using this system myself I decided it was time to put it in writing.  The result is my new book, How To Get Out Of Debt - A Biblical Approach To Living Debt-Free.  It focuses not only on finances but specifically on managing your money from a Biblical perspective.

About the Book

How To Get Out Of Debt - A Biblical Approach To Living Debt-Free is a faith based approach to getting out of debt and staying out of debt. It is not about having “blind” faith but rather using a simplified system for making sound financial choices based on God’s word. The system is easy to understand and is designed to help you master money management.  You don’t need to be an expert or have a lot of money to get started.

This is just the beginning.

My hope for you in this coming new year is that you take the first step in doing something big.  Take a step to paying down debt, updating your website, renewing an old friendship, starting an exercise program, writing that book you’ve always wanted to write, making a commitment to invest in your spiritual life, etc.

Don’t worry about the finish.  Just take the first step.

For more information on my new book please visit Amazon.com here:

Kindle Edition: How To Get Out Of Debt - A Biblical Approach To Living Debt-Free 

Hard copy will be available in January 2012.

Do you want a trick that will guarantee you get more things accomplished during your day or week?

It’s not a trick but a simple tactic that will guarantee you get a lot accomplished.  You may not finish everything but you will be ahead of the game.

Set a Deadline

Without a deadline you will always feel like you have an unlimited amount of time to finish.

Quick personal example

I had been working on my 4th music CD for 3 years.  It dragged on and on.  It felt like a burden on my back for a few reasons.  Long story, short, out of frustration and weariness of the process,  I set a CD release date. 

I had just 1 month to finish the recordings, 2 weeks to have it mastered and then 3 weeks to have it manufactured (including the artwork, etc).  I got the boxes of CDs just days before the CD release party.

Had I not set a date I may still be working on it!

Everyday I see Twitter users make the same mistakes over and over again.  Some times it’s so annoying I feel like punching something.  (Hmm, maybe I’ve been penned up at my computer for too long today.)

Anyways, if you do any of these 5 things then stop.  If you don’t stop then you’ll lose friends, make enemies and waste your time all at the same time.  You will be an accomplished multi-tasker however.

1. Direct Message a new Twitter follower

.. and tell them to “join you on Facebook”, “check out your ‘insert something here’” or even tell them “I’m here to answer any questions you may have”.

2. Tell everyone that you just found the most awesomest tool ever

Chances are you post these every half hour and the link you include is your affiliate link.  Hey, don’t get me wrong.  I’m all for affiliate marketing but that is just a terrible way to do it.

3.  Give and EXPECT something in return

Following someone because they are in the same niche as you is great.  There is a great chance they will follow you back.  BUT, don’t expect a follow and don’t get angry because you didn’t get a follow.  Follow people you are interested in hearing from.

4. Friend someone, get a return follow and then Unfollow

This is just stupid.  If you are playing Twitter as a numbers game then you are like a hamster spinning on a wheel.  You will work and work and work and get nowhere.  If you follow someone make sure you are interested in them.  If they follow you back then that is a bonus.  Following someone just to get a new follower for yourself is a terrible marketing tactic.

5. Tweeting nothing but a link to your homepage

We all want traffic but shouting does not work.  Share something and help people.  Don’t be pushy.  If we like you we WILL check out your homepage.. without you asking us a million times.

Got a Twitter pet peeve?  Share it below.

You can find me on Twitter here.