…make sure that they don’t follow you on twitter.
…make sure that they don’t follow you on twitter.
I don’t usually post about what I’m working on, as I don’t want the whole world and his dog to know about everything I am doing, but for this one I’ve made an exception. As the title suggests, I am making a move into the taxi industry, and it’s all without even having to drive a car.
The taxi industry is worth approximately £2.6 billion per annum in the UK alone, so it’s big business.
A little while ago I acquired the domain ManchesterTaxi.co.uk along with a few others, and was unfortunate to miss out on TaxiManchester.co.uk at auction recently too. I’m not worried, it would have been nice to have, but I think the one I have is better anyway.
This weekend I got the site Manchester Taxi up and running, it still needs tweaking, but it’s there.
Like a lot of things now, when people need to find information, they pay a little visit to Google. Many people do the same for taxi numbers. Below are the approximate amount of searches for keyword terms associated with Taxis in Manchester on Google UK, for each month (sorry bit of a mouthful there).
Manchester Taxi – 1,300 searches
Taxi Manchester – 1,300 searches
Manchester Taxis – 720 searches
Manchester Airport Taxi – 720 searches
Taxi to Manchester Airport – 480 searches
Manchester Airport Taxis – 390 searches
Taxis Manchester – 390 searches
Manchester Taxi Numbers – 320 searches
Manchester Airport Transfers – 320 searches
Taxi Manchester Airport – 320 searches
Manchester Cab – 320 searches
Manchester Cabs – 260 searches
There are more terms too, but these alone equate to approximately 6,520 searches a month on Google.
The plan is to get the site ranking for some of these terms and capture some of this traffic. Once I’ve done that I am going to contact taxi companies that serve the Manchester area and sell them leads. This will basically involve me purchasing my own phone number and putting it on my website, and then redirecting that number to a taxi company, and charging them a small fee for each call. I’ve put a taxi number on the site that’s not mine for the time being, until it gets ranking.
This is something I’ve never done before, but I am not the first to do it. To my knowledge, and to his knowledge too, the first person to do it is a chap called Khalid. He appeared to do quite well from it before selling his business on, and it’s certainly something that has interested me since reading about his business.
The only promoting of this site I am going to do is via SEO, I believe Khalid did a lot of other promoting with his, but for the meantime i’m going to just stick with SEO. I am confident that I can get this ranking for some of those larger volume terms up there including Manchester airport taxi, and I know the fact that I have an exact match domain (which still carries weight in the search engines) will help too.
I have no idea how successful this will be, and it’s certainly not going to make me rich, but with Manchester being one of the largest cities in the UK, I am hoping it can bring me in some money
Bricks and Bread is a social enterprise made up of a collection of entrepreneurs and businesses who help people to grow their own businesses. They offer a range of services including free advice sessions, mentoring, and start up loans.
On Saturday they ran a free session on ‘creating your own business plan’. I am always a little apprehensive about these types of things to be honest. I remind myself about the time I went to a free Forex trading seminar a few years back, which was essentially one big sales pitch to sign up to a dodgy course which cost thousands (they still send me unsolicited text messages to this date too).
It was always touch and go whether I went, especially as I was hanging like an orangutan on the morning (having failed in my attempt to not go out at all this month), and because I think business plans are a total waste of time. They are designed with one thing in mind, to keep the bank manager happy.
Since it was free, local, and I had given my word to Josh that I would attend, I went and I am glad I did.
It didn’t take long for me to realise that this wasn’t a sales pitch at all. Trudy is already a successful entrepreneur, and now she is working with Josh to help others achieve their own goals and aspirations too.
Creative sessions during the day also opened my mind up to completely new way of thinking, and these ‘business plans’ we worked on weren’t the typical business plans I was thinking of at all. They were more of a road map to success.
I think the most beneficial thing for me though was the opportunity to network with like minded people of a similar age. Networking is absolutely key in business, and I am guilty of not doing enough of it away from the online environment of linkedin and twitter.
I met a great bunch of people who are looking to do some amazing things, and I’m hoping to stay in touch with them too. A big thank you to both Trudy and Josh, you are truly doing a great thing here.
If you are young, and looking to set up your own business, then definitely go to one of these sessions if you can. You have absolutely nothing to lose in going, and you may even have some fun too.
Visit their website Bricksandbread.com to learn more.
So it’s 3:30am, and I can’t sleep, the perfect time for a blog post right?
I’ve gone and taken a quick look at the top publicised .org.uk domain sales to date. There may have been higher sales that were done privately and therefore not made public, and if you feel I have missed any out, or got it wrong, let me know (I probably have).
So here’s The Top 10 Publicised .Org.uk Domain Sales.
Update: As I thought, I have missed a couple off and the list has now grown. Many people saying that they know of more domains that would make the list but can’t be because of NDA’s etc.
So there you have it! I look forward to all the comments telling me that I got it all wrong
I’m off to lay down, that was hard work!
Those that know me know that I’m a big fan of Calvin Harris, but it seems that one of his favourite songs of mine I’m Not Alone has been plagiarised yet again!
For those of you that haven’t heard I’m Not Alone (don’t let me know you haven’t heard it because I won’t want to speak to you again) which was released in 2009 here it is in all it’s glory below.
The first instance was Chris Brown’s song Yeah 3x. The below video shows a comparison. Brown later added Harris’s name to the song writing credits.
The second instance is far more obvious, and this time it’s JLS Eyes Wide Shut which was released in February 2011. I’ve managed to get the video to start at the exact point where they have ripped off Calvin’s song, because I know nobody wants to listen to their shit.
It happened again in May 2011, this time it was Cobra Starship with their song You Make Me Feel Good.
The most recent instance is from a DJ called Jakwob, and his song Fade which was released earlier this month. Listen carefully and you’ll hear the melody from I’m Not Alone at a slower tempo.
Calvin tweeted the below.
— Calvin Harris (@CalvinHarris) March 22, 2013
I’d be pretty pissed off if I was Calvin! But he seems to be handling it all quite well in my opinion. Despite being a fan I still haven’t seen him live, need to sort that one out!
Google images is great, but lots of people don’t use it to its full potential. The main feature I am talking about here is the search by image feature. When you upload or enter the url of an image, Google will find where else that image is displayed on the internet.
Take a look at the screen grabs below if you’re not sure how to use it
1. Head on over to Google Images and click the black camera icon.
2. Enter the image url or upload it, then click search by image.
3. The results – you can now see where else on the web this image features.
Here are a few things that this function has helped me with.
Affiliate recruitment/competitor analysis.
When I was working merchant side I’d upload banners from a competitor to find who their affiliates were and approach them for recruitment.
I had an infographic created and wanted to see where it was featuring on the web. I also uploaded similar infographics to see where they featured and would approach these sites to see if they wanted to feature mine too.
I couldn’t get hold of someone on a forum once, but fortunately they were using a photo of themselves as their avatar. I uploaded the avatar and found their twitter profile and some of their websites too as they had linked them to their Google plus account.
Finding an image without a watermark
Sometimes I see an image I really want to use, but it’s a got a large watermark on it so it’s no good. If you upload the image with the watermark, Google will find other similar images and chances are one without the watermark which you can use! Some images have watermarks which can be removed once you pay for the image. So using this method you can get them for free, however I am not endorsing this at all, that’s stealing.
I am sure there are loads of other uses for Google image search, so why not comment and share them below. I have a friend (who will remain anonymous) that has used someone’s image they found on a dating site to find/stalk their facebook or twitter profiles!
You may have heard of a company called 1and1 Internet, you may have even seen their TV advert. Their customer service appears to be pretty awful, verging on non-existent at times. One thing that the internet is brilliant for is searching for reviews of products or services.
One Google search and you can find all the info you need. But what happens if you provide poor customer services to someone that gets websites ranking in Google for a living?
Let’s just say that Gary didn’t have the best experience with 1and1 Internet, and now his blog post on 1and1 reviews ranks just under 1and1.co.uk for the term 1and1 Internet. I imagine that raising awareness of their terrible customer services would have put a lot of people off using them, and I bet the blog gets a lot of traffic during those TV ads too!
This is amusing in itself, but here’s the part I like. Today 1and1 wished all their followers on twitter ‘Happy Awkward Moment Day’, and asked users to share their awkward moments.
Happy Awkward Moment Day! RT us with your most #awkward story.
— 1&1® Web Hosting (@1and1) March 18, 2013
I bet you can’t guess what awkward story Gary had to share?
— Gary Taylor (@garyptaylor) March 18, 2013
Above you can see a nice screen shot of Gary’s blog in the search engine pages, just under the 1and1 website. This is why you shouldn’t fuck with SEOs!
One of the disadvantages of being an affiliate is that once you have helped a company acquire a new customer you often don’t get a share in the future/repeat purchases that the customer makes.
Acquiring new customers costs more than retaining existing customers, so when you do refer a new user you have often done a lot of the hard work for them.
This is part and parcel of being an affiliate, and there are programs out there that do offer lifetime commissions, but these are in the minority. If you want to make more money you could set up an e-commerce site and build up your customer base, or go one better, build a subscription e-commerce site.
DollarShaveClub is probably the most well known subscription commerce site. If you haven’t heard of them (I assume you have been living under a rock for the past few years) check out their vid below. Worth a watch even if you have seen it before!
I have taken a look at some of sites in the UK that work on this model.
Graze- founded by Graham Bosher in 2008, the same man that co-founded Lovefilm (which is now owned by Amazon). Graze offers healthy snacks to you directly through the post.
Socked- Founded by funny man Mark Hall. Socked is a black sock subscription service. Get socks and free tips on how to be a gentlemen delivered monthly, quarterly or bi-annually. Us men can never have a enough socks, and recent research by them suggests that most men’s socks are over three years old!
TrinketWomen- Founded by Genevieve Murphy and Kate Barry, Trinket Women is a subscription service for the ladies, or men that suffer from A LOT of regular nose bleeds. Yes, they send out THAT stuff monthly.
Glossybox- another one of the ladies, Glossybox send you ladies
a load of crap all the stuff you love, smelly stuff, make-up shit, you know that kinda stuff.
Click N Mix- Did you know you could buy pick n mix online? Isn’t the internet amazing! Click n mix which is owned by Dom Hodgson (also a funny man) send you all your favourite sweets and will be offering a subscription service very soon!
I’m sure there’s a lot more out there, so if you know of any others, let me know and I’d be more than happy to include them.
To make this sort of model work, I’d imagine that you would need to consider a few factors including:
Postability (most definitely a real word I’m sure)- ideally what you send will need to fit through a post box. Nothing worse than getting an attempted delivery note from the postman.
Practicability – ideally it should be something that will be required/wanted on a regular basis there’s no point sending a jar of marmite every month when the average marmite consumer only goes through one jar a year.
Likeability – it should be likeable. Some products have this automatically (ClicknMix), and those that don’t need to make it likeable (DollarShaveClub).
Profitability – obviously it needs to be able to make money so it needs to profitable. If the profit per unit sent out is low then you’re going to need a lot of volume to make it work!
Imitability – if you can make your product/service something that is not easily copied then you will stand much more of a chance.
How many members you need to make this type of model work obviously depends on a number of factors. I tweeted Sean Percival a while back who runs Wittlebee. Wittlebee is a subscription commerce site in the U.S. for kids clothing, I asked Sean how many members he thinks you would need, below is his response.
@iamrofe If you can’t get 1000 subs in first 30 days you probably wont make it. Most of these models need 100,000 subs to get interesting.
— Sean Percival (@Percival) November 17, 2012
I think it’s an interesting model, and we are already seeing quite a few monthly delivery sites pop up, and I think we will continue to see more too. I used to work for a site that was based on a subscription model, and saw firsthand just how much money they can make. It got me thinking about creating one myself. I am currently focusing on affiliate sites for now, but I do have an idea and a domain to fit it too, so this could well be something I venture into in the future.
If you’ve been out drinking, then chances are that you or someone else would have had to queue to buy drinks. I want to share with you my tips, tactics and strategies to getting served quicker.
You may be wondering why I think I am qualified to write such a post, why listen to me? Here’s why.
I went to Uni- ok sure, nowadays everyone goes to Uni, but I worked hard to make sure I went out at least 2 times a week, often 3 and sacrificed not only 9 am lectures but 95% of lectures altogether. This dedication and commitment has resulted in some invaluable bar queuing experience, and a few pub golf champion titles too.
I’ve played football manager- At one point (I believe it was the summer of 2009) I was addicted. My gaming days are long gone now, but the experience has meant that I developed some good transferable tactical skills which can be applied to bar queuing situations.
I’m a pretty cool dude- yeah I don’t know how this makes me qualified either, but I always feel like you need three reasons.
Step One: Getting To The Bar
It’s a little known secret that if you want to get served you have to first get to the bar and get yourself into a POMO (position of maximum opportunity). Observe figure 1 below.
Look to see who has already been served at the bar, you can move into their space when they move away. This is my suggested route.
It may be tempting to go to the free space by the bar, but avoid it if there isn’t a till nearby. It will be harder to get the attention of the barman if you are the other side of the bar.
Step Two: At The Bar
So you’ve made it to the bar, now what?
Be Polite: If someone else has made it to the bar before you often letting the barman know that someone else is next is not only a good thing to do, but usually the barman will serve you straight after.
Team Up: Teaming up with your mates will increase your chances of getting served. If you are standing next to a friend try pointing to your friend and saying “this person has been waiting ages”. This usually works best if the barman hasn’t realised you are both mates
Eye Contact: probably the most obvious but keep eye contact and concentrate! One turn to chat to your mate and you may miss your opportunity!
Make yourself big: Take up as much space, fewer people at the front of the bar will increase your chances of getting served. Watch out for any buggers that try and squeeze in.
Names: It’s always helpful if you know someone behind the bar, but if you don’t try seeing if they have a name badge. Just as the person behind the bar looks up to serve the next person, give their name a shout. You’ll instantly get their attention and increase your chances of getting served.
Buy the bar staff a drink: If the Bar is rammed and you are going to be there all night – buy a bar staff member a beer. You will be remembered by them and they are far more likely to serve you quicker than the general random- thanks to Andrew Thomas for this tip.
Don’t: Wave your money about under the face of the barman and shout “me next!” whilst it will attract attention it’s a sure fire way to piss off the person behind the bar and make them go out of their way to avoid serving you.
So there you have it, my tips. Got any you’d like to share? Comment below.
Lots of people are asking me how things are going now that I work from home, and things are going ok, but one of the most difficult things I have found is using my time effectively.
Working from home has too many distractions for me, and I find myself doing anything I can to escape doing work. These include taking showers, cooking food, watching TV etc.
An unproductive day makes me feel like shit, as I know I am only slowing myself down from achieving my goals.
It didn’t take long for me to realise that this wasn’t going to work, I needed to find somewhere where I could get in the right frame of mind, and for me that was my local library. Sure it smells like old people, and people still rent out VHS’s like it’s 1995, but it’s a place where I can actually get some work done.
Anything that can help you towards being more productive is obviously going to be helpful, so when I was given the opportunity to do an online time management course I grabbed it.
Albeit it isn’t the most interesting of courses, and some of the information there are things I already knew or do anyway, I did still learn a thing or two.
One thing I do find myself doing is working through lists from top to bottom (stupid I know), when actually the important things should be done first, and these aren’t necessarily at the top of the list. The course suggests a matrix system which I may well start using myself moving forward.
It also had some good hints and tips on making sure your meetings don’t over run. Now this isn’t something that’s so useful to me now, but would have been in my previous job. So many meetings over run, in fact I’d be inclined to say it was more common for a meeting to overrun than finish on time!
There was also a section on handling interruptions which also doesn’t apply so much now, working ‘from home’ on my own doesn’t come with too many interruptions. I was little guilty of perhaps being too nice and dropping everything I was doing to help others with their work.
Overall the course is useful, and is more tailored for those who work in an office environment. It has made me realise that I need to look more long term with my goals as opposed to short to middle term, so I guess that’s the main takeaway I got from it.
I’d recommend it to anyone that is heading into their first office job from college or University. There are definitely some useful hints and tips that would help you to prepare for the office environment. I could have done with something like this myself two years ago!