Mike's blog

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…..”

Prestige

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.

Investintech

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!

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.

Conversion

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.

Pom

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.

Mike

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 »

Be Cautious About Statistics

One of the best things about using the web is the level of information you can glean from things like Google Analytics. You know where your readers are coming from, the path they follow through your website and the point at which they’ve had enough and decide to move on.

As a marketer, the information is amazing and I use it every day for my own websites, and for those of my customers.

Stats

But I want to inject some caution here. The stats don’t lie, but they can bend the truth!  read more »

2014 Planning

Long term readers of this website will know that we started our online business in 2008, with the objective of creating a secure long term future, with diversified income and the ability to operate it whilst we travel. They will also know that one of the objectives of this website is to provide help to other people who want to do something similar, so over the years I’ve been quite candid sharing plans, facts and figures here.

Planning

As always at this time of year, I’ve completed our planning for the next 12 months, and its a good time to share with you some of the outcomes.  read more »

14 Things From The Motoring World That Annoy Me Almost Daily

It’s true that you become less tolerant as you age.

I love cars, I love the motor industry and I love motorsport.

But these are some things that annoy me:

1/ Ford using Aston Martin radiator grills on their own mundane products.

Aston  Ford  read more »

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"Mike's Life is where you can stay current with the life, thoughts, successes and failures of Mike Cliffe-Jones. Never knowingly ordinary, Mike shares as much as possible about his work as a marketer and in business, as well as his enviable lifestyle on and in the oceans around The Canary Islands."

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