Interview with Morgan Linton – I have asked various parties within the domain industry to take part in some interviews to give us a little background about themselves, where they see the industry heading and how they feel the current market for domain names are our twenty fifth interview is by Morgan Linton.
I would like to thank everyone that has been visiting my blog, It has been online only for a few months and I really enjoy sharing the domain interviews and daily news that I come across about the domain industry, I hope you have been enjoying the blog and I appreciate everyone taking time to stop by and read the posts.
I can’t believe today is our twenty fifth domain industry interview, We have had many great interviews already completed by Mike Mann, Darren Cleveland, Monte Cahn, Braden Pollock, Craig Rowe, Xavier Buck, Jodi Chamberlain, Fred Mercaldo, Tommy Butler, Michael Castello, Rob Grant, Tom Chapman, Ira Zoot, Victor Pitts, Shane Cultra, Nico Zeifang , Chris from AntiCareer.com, Eric Borgos, Jacob Fedosky, Brett Lewis, David Carter, Mike “Zappy” Zapolin, Ted Olson, Kevin Ohasi and I have more interviews to come soon.
Who would you like to see interviewed? Leave a comment or drop me an email…
Morgan Linton doesn’t really need an introduction as he is very well known within the domain industry and has built an online investment business LintonInvestments.com that generates six figures after only entering the domain space a few years ago. Many will know Morgan recently made the move from leaving his full time job at Sonos to launching a Start Up business with his wife Daina called FashionMetric.com – I wish Morgan every success in his new start up, I am sure that his new business shall grow to become very successful.
1) What are your current thoughts on the Domain Aftermarket? i.e. Sales and Enquiries etc – General Mood of Domainers / End users?
2012 is the best year I’ve ever seen when it comes to sales, however most of my sales are to end-users not Domain Investors which I think are two very different groups. I believe that Domain Investors that have been focused on selling to other Domainers are hurting right now as investors will no longer pay the prices that they used to particularly for some of the ancillary TLDs like .NET and .ORG. End-users on the other hand are learning more and more every year about how much a good domain name can save on marketing costs. To this end I think the best liquidity really is in one word domain names which is where I see the most demand, liquidity, and highest return. I think end-users are less interested in two and three word domains as they tend to want to brand their company around a single meaningful word.
2) Where do you see GTLDS in 3 years time?
I see .COM continuing to be king along with several other gTLDs that are good for branding. I think TLDs like .ME and .TV have a nice future but I think the .NETs, .ORGs, and .INFOs of the world are going to become significantly less desirable.
3) What are you or your companies investing in? i.e. Dot Com only Domains – Typo – etc?
We mostly focus on .COMs and try to stick to one and two-word domains. We also invest in .ME, .CO and .TV but only buy very meaningful short one-word domains in these extensions.
4) Do you believe in Parking or Developing? What are your tips for either i.e. Top Parking Platform (What Do You Use) – Developing your thoughts on what to develop and how best achieve it?
I believe in both, it just depends on the domain and what you want to do with it. Development means making an investment and if you don’t have money to invest in development, content, and SEO, don’t expect your domain to make good money or rank well for a competitive term. Sure, there are exceptions but good development means good SEO and that’s expensive unless you’re spending your nights and weekends doing it yourself, which is fine, but then you need to build your time into the profit calculation.
I always recommend that people develop in areas that they know and have connections in. That being said, as your business scales you can focus on other niches if you have a good team that can do the heavy lifting for you freeing your time to focus on negotiating the deals. I know most people want to focus on AdSense or Affiliate Marketing but these should really only be seen as intermediate steps to get to a method that can make more money, I see them as steps on the revenue ladder.
I think there are two big mistakes people make when developing domains. The first is trying to develop too many at once, start with one and make sure you’ve learned how to make money with that one before moving onto the next. The next problem I see is people who put a website with content on their domain and think magically that the site will just rank well. As I’ve said many times before, this is just what you need to have in order to play the game. Once you have a developed site with content this is where the real hard work begins – SEO. Most people expect their sites to generate traffic and revenue just because they have a website with tons of content on it, this used to work years ago but it doesn’t any more. Now it’s all about building valuable resources and often going beyond an information site, provide something different and unique that people want to use and that other people want to write about.
Nobody wants to write a news story about an information site, but if you create a site that offers something new and different people will want to write about it and use it. If you are going the development route you have to think about who your customer is, what are they looking for and how can you truly enchant them and provide something that keeps them coming back.
As for parking I think this still works well for domains with type-in traffic. I think one-word .COMs can be very strong in this respect and parking with some services can also help bring in more offers. The services that I use and recommend are TrafficZ, Internet Traffic, and Park Logic. All three are great services and I also highly recommend using a service like Above.com to determine which of your domains performs the best at each service,
5) Who is your favorite domain person or company within the industry?
I’m not sure I have one single favorite person or company, but I do have a few that definitely stand-out in my mind. I’m good friends with Ammar Kubba and am always impressed by his business savvy and Thought Convergence as a company, definitely an inspiration for me. I also am good friends with Greg McNair and I think Daina and I pretty much consider him part of the family, he is one of the most incredibly entrepreneurs and thinkers I’ve met as well as someone with an amazingly big heart. This goes for Domain Advisors as a whole with Greg, Jeff, and Tessa, all of them are very special people and have built an incredibly company that is one of the best in our industry.
As for companies whose products I use all the time and couldn’t live without I think I would have to give this award to Domain Tools. I use Domain Tools every single day and honestly could not imagine life without it, amazing company with incredible people as well.
Last but not least is Afternic which is my absolute favorite sales platform and the company that I think is doing some of the best innovation in the space. Their new site is amazing and there are amazing people behind the scenes making it all happen which is also incredibly inspiring.
6) If you were starting out in the domain space today what are your 3 top tips?
- Start small – don’t buy a million names, start with a few good names.
- Pick one path – start by either developing or selling but don’t try to do both at once until you’ve had some real repeatable success with one.
- Be careful where you get your advice – this is the Internet and everyone has advice on what to do and how to do it. Make sure you are getting your advice from someone who has actually done it before.
7) What’s the next big thing that your companies are working on?
Hiring is my main responsibility and I’m always working on bringing great people into the company and keeping them inspired. My biggest challenge is finding great people who do A+ quality work. Since my focus is Fashion Metric all day every day it is more critical than ever that my team at Linton Investments is all working hard and working well together.
8) Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
I would love to have been a founder of several successful startups that have seen good exits and ideally would be in the position to help fund other entrepreneurs with great ideas. I’ve always been very interested in venture capital and my dream would be for Daina and I to run our own firm or small angel fund someday.
9) What has been your biggest challenge in the domain business?
Finding good people is by far my biggest challenge. Hiring is hard and building a business means your business is only as good as the people you hire.
10) What do you feel has been your largest accomplishment in the Business / Personally?
So far I think my biggest accomplishment in business has been turning a company that I thought would make $20,000 – $30,000/year into a company that makes six-figures/year. Personally my biggest accomplishment, that’s easy – meeting my soulmate, Daina, and marrying her. We are so lucky now to have the chance to spend all day every day together. So many people spend their entire day away from the people they love, I get to spend all day with the love of my life and that is a dream come true.
Thanks to Morgan Linton for taking the time to complete this interview, You should checkout what Morgan is doing over at FashionMetric.com aswell as reading Morgan’s Blog on MorganLinton.com Thanks for taking the time to read RobbiesBlog.com