"Sensible, solid, practical advice for anybody, marketing anything, to anyone. All delivered with a European twist."

How To Blog For A Young Audience

I recently discovered an interesting new tool called Noosfeer. It’s basically a blog feed that uses artificial intelligence to select posts that should be interesting specifically to you. I asked the guys at Noosfeer to write a guest post for this site, introducing their product to you and also adding some interesting information about appealing to younger audiences, who often don’t want to consume information in the more traditional, linear, way.

There is a common saying that young audiences can dictate the big market tendencies of the future, after all, they ARE the future. And of course knowing how to appeal to this kind of audience could be strategic to keep your blog alive.

Noosfeer  read more »

Facebook's Latest Algorithm Change Is A Good Thing

Facebook has recently announced yet more changes to their algorithm. This time they are aimed at getting unwanted spam posts out of our newsfeeds, and I think it’s a good thing.


There are three types of posts that will be targeted, and brands which use these tactics on their pages should take note:

Posts that ask for a “like” or “share”

Any posts that contain words like “please like” or “please share,” including where the request is embedded in an image, will find their reach diminishes.  read more »

How To Use Buffer To Resurface Your Old Posts

If you’ve been blogging or writing a website for some time, you’ll have an archive of older posts on it. On our Lanzarote Information site, there are almost 6,000 of them! In amongst the news style posts that aren’t relevant today, there are plenty of real gems. And the only traffic they get is from searches, where people are looking for specific information. If we were good at optimising them for search, then they are getting decent traffic, but if we weren’t then they may well be getting just a few visits a week.

Buffer_001  read more »

Reflecting On Value For Money

Everywhere I look these days, I see an obsession with “Cheap.” Every television advert seems to focus on cheap pricing, every bar blackboard tells me how cheap the beer is, and I get regular emails from readers of our Lanzarote website, which start with the words “What’s the cheapest way to…..”


I think too often, we lose sight of value for money when we focus on cheap.  read more »

Why I Moved Everything Into The Cloud

Following a catastrophic hard drive failure a couple of years ago, I vowed that I would gradually migrate my entire computer system (and my wife’s) into the cloud. We chose to go with Google as our provider, mainly because we were well “into” Google already, as we use Goggle apps to host our domain emails. More recently Microsoft have come up with a credible competitor in the form on Office online, but we’re happy to stick to the Big G.

Google  read more »

Convert PDF Documents To Word

PDF (portable document format) is a widely used application online. It allows you to send quite large documents, compress images, and include a load of information which makes sure the document is always displayed as the writer intended it.


Until recently, creating your own PDFs needed software, or a web based converter, but these days both Microsoft’s Office and Open Office offer native converters, so it’s relatively easy to convert anything you produce into a PDF.

But going the “other way” remains a problem!  read more »

How To Cope With Your Email Overload

If you’re a blogger, you’re an “online person,” which probably means you get a lot of email!


How much time do you waste in your inbox?

One of the biggest time wasters with email is procrastination. How often do you read an email, then choose to leave it in the inbox to come back to later? If that’s your habit, when you do come back, you’ll end up reading it again, and perhaps doing exactly the same thing! If you do the same email 3 or 4 times before actioning it, and multiply that by the hundreds you might receive in a week, you’re wasting a huge amount of time.  read more »

Understanding Conversion Rates

You’ll hear web people talking about “conversion” all the time. If you want to run a successful web based business, understanding what it means, and what you can do about is vital.


So I’m going to use a real life example, from our Lanzarote website to talk you through it.

We do a lot of car hire business through that site, and as always, I’ve analysed our performance in 2013 to see where it can be improved. The “flow” of potential customers is pretty straightforward – they visit a webform on our site, which sends me an email enquiry, I then reply to them with the price and they either book, or they don’t!

As you can see, there are effectively two conversions there – one where they complete the form, and the second where they decide whether or not to book with us.

Let’s look at the numbers.  read more »

Avoiding The Whingers

For years I didn’t understand why the Aussies referred to Brits living there as “Whinging poms,” but now I do.


Social media has given voice to all the moaners, complainers and to the generally negative. Sadly, the vast majority of them seem to be Brits, and a high proportion of those are Brits who live abroad. We were once famous for our ironic humour, but the fine line between irony and negativity seems to have been obliterated.  read more »

Ironman Training Update

I let everyone know last June that we had entered Ironman Lanzarote for this year. And with just 15 weeks to go until the big day, I thought now would be a good moment for a quick update on this site.


This particular website isn’t a sports site – we have one of those! But the title – Mike’s Life – suggests it’s partly about my life, and as triathlon training has become such a big part of it, it would be wrong not to occasionally cover what’s going on.  read more »