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

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 »

The Elements of a Blogging Brand

I covered why you need a brand and how to use your branding some time ago. What I didn’t talk about was the elements that make up a brand, and I deliberately left doing so, as people often spend ages over those elements, without first thinking through in detail what their brand actually means. To so many people, brand is about a logo or a style, and they spend many hours perfecting those things, without first establishing what their brand is in understandable terms.

So, let’s talk about some of those elements now:

Logo

Every brand should have a logo – a kind of instantly recognizable object that people will associate with you or your blog over time. It doesn’t have to be a graphic, it can be a photo – mine is, and it appears on this blog and everywhere you see stuff I do on the net. But you also need that brand to be reflected in any offline promotional materials, like business cards and stationery.  read more »

Paid Tweets and Sponsored Blogs

Adam Ostrow posted an interesting piece on Mashable this afternoon asking the question Will Pay Per Tweet Ruin Twitter? The post is about Izea moving into the pay per tweet market.

izealogo

I really struggle with all this. Why do people get in such a frenzy about advertising on Twitter, or sponsored blog posts? I won’t be offering my Twitter account to Izea for paid Tweets, but I have no problem with people who do, do you? If so, why?  read more »

Eight Ways to get Blog Traffic from Twitter

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Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

1/ Tweet your posts!

Yes it’s perfectly acceptable to tweet your own posts, as long as you let people know they’re yours, and as long as you add some value between doing so. If tweeting your own posts is all you do, then people won’t click the links and you’ll probably lose followers as well. The more engaging, interesting and worth following you are, the more people will click your links and even retweet your posts for you.  read more »

How to Create Great Content for your Blog

There are many methods for deciding what to write for your blog, but I’m going to share the process I use, and which I hope will work for you as well as it works for me.

I keep a list of posts I want to write (on an Excel spreadsheet) and as soon as it starts to get down to three or four, I’ll carry out the following exercise to top it back up to twenty five or thirty, so I do the this about once a month.

What I do is a mixture of brainstorming and mind mapping, and I do it the old fashioned way with pen and paper!

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Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net  read more »

How Much Time do I need to Write a Blog?

This is a question I’ve been asked several times by readers, particularly in the run up to the start of The Beginners Guide to Blogging. I understand that many people (and I used to be one of them) have to work full time when they first start blogging, and therefore any time commitment they make is limited to free time outside of work. Many people will say that it depends on various factors, like your planned posting schedule and your objectives for the blog. Whilst this is true to some extent, I’m afraid I have some bad news for anyone who thinks starting a blog, with the intention of earning money from it, is anything but consistent, hard work.

10151027  read more »

Mike's Life POW 29th May 2009

Here are the posts I have most enjoyed recently:

 

The Sucker’s Gap

by Neill Watson on octanegossip

Quality piece of writing from Neill about him seeing a car going for one of those marginal overtakes. Does it make it? Read the post and see!

 

Conflict of Interest Doesn’t Apply to Blogs

by Penelope Trunk on brazencareerist  read more »

Congratulations to the Winners!

I ran a competition last week where two people had the chance to win 500 free business cards from one of this blog’s sponsors, Uprinting. Congratulations to:

Chris

Who came up with the idea of “Guerilla card drops.” Here is his comment:

  • Great competition Mike. I'm thinking that I'd go for a "guerilla" approach - leaving a card on the counter at the chip shop, putting one inside an appropriate library book, including them with any items I sell on eBay or Amazon... you get the idea :)
  • All that is, of course, on top of giving someone a card whenever I talk to them face to face about my blogs.

I had a wonderful mental picture of Chris, in his combat gear, bursting into his local chip shop, telling everyone to freeze, and leaving his new cards on the counter.

Kelly

Kelly’s idea was bout using the backs of cards:  read more »