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

Blog Master's Club

Welcome to the post I wasn’t going to write! I had no intention of promoting David Risley’s Blog Master’s Club, as I felt it clashed with my own Beginner’s Guide to Blogging. I was going to sign up for the course, and I am about to, but listening in on David’s live stream yesterday convinced me that Blog Master’s Club is potentially a great product for Mike’s Life readers, and also that it complements Beginner’s Guide to Blogging beautifully. You see, BBG takes people from nowhere, to the point where they have a blog, with an audience, and they are starting to think about monetization. David’s Blog Master’s Club picks up at exactly that point, and takes readers to the next stage. But let’s back pedal a moment.

I first came across David’s site about a year ago, and I immediately identified him as someone I could learn from and work with. I lapped up all the free content on his site, commented and asked questions, and in time he shared his email address with me, and was good enough to allow me to pick his brains from time to time on email and chat. He also allowed me to guest post and that brought a lot of new traffic to Mike’s Life. When David launched 3 day Money, I was an early customer and even made a video testimonial for the program.  read more »

What to look for in Hosting Plans

This is in response to a question from reader Chris, who is one of the Mike’s Life subscriber community. He asked “I’m about to set up my first blog, and I’ve found your site full of good advice, but I’m bewildered at all the different hosting options available, and would like some help.”

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Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Essentially, there are three different types of web hosting available:

Shared Hosting

This is where most people start. With shared hosting, your site or blog will be on a server with a number of other websites – you don’t get to choose, your host will decided where to put it. The biggest advantage of using shared hosting is price – plans are available from as little as $5 a month. The biggest disadvantage is that you have no control over the server’s resources – if another site on your server starts generating loads of traffic or server requests, your site will suffer and slow down. If that starts to happen, talk to your provider, who will usually be happy to move you to another server.  read more »

How to Give Your Email Subscribers Value

We’ve talked in the last couple of days about why you need email subscribers and how to get them. Now let’s talk about how to give them value – and notice I’ve said give them value, rather than get the most from them. By giving them value, they will stay subscribed and in turn, they will become your best customers, assuming you are hoping to monetize your blog.

Which provider?

There are several providers of email services out there. I’ve tried managing the list myself, which is free. And I’ve tried managing it through Constant Contact, who provide a free trial. I now use Aweber, and if you talk to most serious bloggers, you will find they do the same. They are simply the best set up for what we want to achieve. They will cost you $19 a month for up to 500 subscribers, but believe me, they are worth every penny. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you’ll start off with a free provider and then transfer to Aweber either – you will lose a lot of subscribers in the switch over. I did, John Chow did, and many others have. You’re better off biting the bullet now and taking on the Aweber service, even if you’re just starting out with your blog.

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How to get your blog readers to subscribe

In yesterday’s post Why do I need an email subscription list, we talked about how people’s levels of engagement increases when they subscribe first to your RSS feed, and then to the holy grail, your email subscriber list. Today we’re going to talk about how we encourage people to subscribe to your blog.

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Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net 

Content

What you actually write on your blog is the single most important thing that results in people subscribing to it. If you can’t write compelling stuff and write it well, you may as well forget it now, or move into a niche where you can.  read more »

Why do I need an Email Subscription List?

We need to consider the levels of engagement of our readers to answer the question.

Occasional Readers

Crowd

These are people who stop by from time to time – when they think to do so, or if they see a Tweet about our blogs. They aren’t really engaged and they certainly aren’t part of our community.

RSS Readers

RSS Button  read more »

Give Away the Secret of Social Media!

I need your help, fellow social media enthusiasts! I’ve spent the last few weeks working with some well known companies and pitching them to create and maintain a social media presence on their behalf, using corporate blogs, Twitter and forums. The thing that has amazed me is that the senior management of most companies have not got a clue about how social media can benefit them. These folks are focused on how effective their web 1.0 site is, and really don’t know what social media can do for them.

boardroom  read more »

Eight Tips for getting more Comments

I was reading Chris Hinton’s post on Geek Speak the other day about Feedburner now including Friendfeed followers as subscribers. He asked whether subscribers, visits or page views were the best metric to measure the health of a blog, and he also suggested that one good measure might be comments. That got me thinking, and I’ve put together a short list below of ways to increase the number of comments to each post. Maybe the community of Mike’s Life readers can help to add to this list…..in comments!

Commentator  read more »

Road Test - Lexus GS45oh

The Lexus GS450h has just re written the rules in the luxury / performance sector. In my four day test of the car, I was staggered by the performance time and time again. The headline figures are a 0-60 MPH time of under six seconds and an (electronically limited) top speed of 155MPH. But what those numbers  cannot demonstrate is the wave of torque this car rides and which enables it to accelerate from cruising speed to overtake a line of traffic in the blink of an eye. 50MPH to 100MPH is so effortless, there is a  feeling that you are being pulled along by a huge elastic band which is intoxicating. I found myself doing it time and time again, and yet despite that the Lexus stubbornly refused to consume more than a gallon of fuel every 32 miles.  Yes you did read that correctly, this two tonne luxury saloon, with almost supercar performance, managed more than 32 MPG during my time with it! That’s because the “h” stands for hybrid.

Lexus Outside Pub  Interior  read more »

Captain Fantastic and Easyjet

I was dreading the flight. I hate the whole Easyjet “thing”, I like my flights to be comfortable, to have a bit of space, to choose my seat and to be served food and drink. So I really wasn’t looking forward to flying home from London with the orange clad boys and girls.

Easyjet

And if I summarize the flight for you by telling you that:

1/ I was barged out of the way during the ridiculous seat free for all that takes place at the start

2/ The flight was delayed by an hour (late incoming aircraft and then a toilet problem!)

3/ We suffered a “go around” as we approached our landing, which frankly scared me to death  read more »

About Lanzarote

Plenty of readers ask me about the place I live – I guess that’s because I tweet and post about it quite a lot. So I decided to write a post about it for you.

Lanzarote is one of the Islas Canarias (Canary Islands), and has been Spanish since the 1400’s – in fact Columbus stopped here en route to the new world. Contrary to popular opinion, we are nowhere near Spain! We’re as far from Madrid as Madrid is from London! We’re actually just off the coast of Africa, and from where I am typing this to The Saharan coast is just 72 nautical miles.

Although we are a province of Spain, we have a great deal of autonomy, with our own regional government, The Cabildo. We are duty free and have much lower general taxation than the mainland, and we’re also one hour behind them.

La Graciosa

The Island  read more »