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

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 »

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.


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.


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 »

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 »

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