Mike's blog

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 »

Interview With The King Of The Facebook Trolls

We’ve all come across the trolls on Facebook – people who seem hell bent on ruining any kind of pleasantness happening on the massive social network.


After months of negotiation, I was able to secure an interview with their self proclaimed King, with the proviso that I would never reveal his identity. I was blindfolded and driven some way before I was ushered into a building that I can only presume is his home. Still unable to see, I was lead gently down some stairs into a basement area and my eye coverings were finally removed. Blinking even in the half light, nose wrinkling with the smell of stale pizza, I took in my surroundings – a dingy dungeon with cheap second hand office furniture contrasting with a top of the range computer connected to two huge monitors.  read more »

The Single Most Important Ingredient For A Successful Blog

Let’s start by agreeing that successful means on your terms, not mine. You might want to make a fortune from your blog, but perhaps you’re not interested in money and you just want traffic. Or affection from your readers. Maybe you just want to write to get things out of your system.

It doesn’t matter how you define your success. There is one ingredient which will help you achieve it, and it’s the one that so very many people who start blogs don’t have.


Perseverance  read more »

Am I A Writer?

There’s a massive snobbery around the word “writer.” People who write every day waste time wringing their hands wondering if they dare call themselves “writers.”

Where they feel they can’t, they adopt terms like “bloggers” or “content creators.”

The whole debate online has been fuelled recently by endless discussion about what constitutes “quality content,” with Google adding more to the flames by telling us that’s what they are working hard to surface in their ubiquitous search engine algorithm. People complain that the web is too “dumbed down.”

Typewriter  read more »

A Checklist For Making Your Best Posts More Effective

At this time of year I always carry out my analysis of what has happened to my blogs over the preceding 12 months. Part of that includes listing the top ten performing posts (in terms of visits) on the site during the period. Listing them will give you a good indicator of the posts which attract the most search traffic to your site. These posts are also likely to have a high bounce rate as people arrive, get the information they want, and quickly move on.

Shop Window

Each of these “top performing” posts give you two big opportunities:  read more »

Review - Freshbooks Accounts Software

Back in 2009 I wrote a review about Kashflow – it was the accounts software I used at the time, and I still rate their service.

But as our business grew, I realised I needed something different – something where the focus was on collecting money, rather than on accounting for it. These days we’re lucky enough to have an accountant to take care of everything from bank reconciliation to taxes, so those functions on Kashflow became less important to me.

Freshbooks  read more »

Road Test - Toyota GT86

I wasn’t expecting to enjoy the GT86, although I knew it would be interesting. As I’ve grown older, I’ve become a lover of big saloon cars, preferring to be cosseted in the air conditioned seats of a Lexus, wafting along at 70 with the cruise control set and Radio 4 playing soothingly through the Mark Levinson audio. My preconception was that the GT86 would be difficult to get into and out of, the ride would be pretty hard, and that it might be a handful in the wet.

Toyota GT86 Side  Toyota GT86 Front       

In all of those assumptions, I was correct!  read more »

Are You A Pirate?

As far as I know, all of my friends are law abiding citizens. They wouldn’t dream of going into a shop and “lifting” so much as a bag of sweets.

But many of them think nothing of downloading music and films illegally, buying ripped and copied DVD’s from the market, or picking up a fake Rolex or two on a visit to the middle east.


I’ve done all of these things in the past, to my shame, but I took a decision a few years ago that I wouldn’t do so any more. Since then I’ve paid for everything from computer software to films and music tracks.  read more »

What Kind Of Blogger Are You?

Interaction is the buzzword of Web 2.0. Any blog or social media platform is only as good as the interaction it has with its readers.


And questions or quizzes are a fantastic way to get things going, so I was delighted when I came across Interact. They are a company who provide a very simple platform which allows you to create and embed a quiz onto any website. You can write your own, or choose from a range of standard quizzes.

But here’s the really clever part: You can set up your quiz to ask people to subscribe to your email newsletter list in order to get the results.  read more »

Why Do So Many Big Organisations Lose The plot?

Facebook is a great place to read other people’s rants, and I do enjoy them. Mostly, those rants are against big corporations – I even posted one myself today after an intensely frustrating experience with Orange. I took a quick coffee break and, armed with my order number, I tried to find out where my new mobile phone is. I won’t bore you with the details, but what should have been a 5 minute job took me 25 minutes and I still didn’t get the answer.


It’s the same with other mobile phone companies, insurance companies, banks and seemingly any big institution.  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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