Before I dive into this post I want to make sure you know my angle on this topic. I love the NFT world, and I think that the way it’s panning out is actually going to be really good for all of us, big and small. While I’m frustrated when gas prices spike and minting moves out-of-reach for most, I also think it creates momentum for projects and provides opportunities for non-whales like me 🙋‍♂️

Today I was pretty excited about a new project called Stoner Cats. I was excited about this project because it’s pretty darn different from any other project out there. The funds from the launch are going towards funding a cartoon, staring the NFTs themselves, which as you guessed it, are mostly stoner cats.

I’m not crazy about the theme as I’m not a big pot or pot culture guy, but I am excited about the people behind the project – Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis, Chris Rock, and even Vitalik Buterin, the founder of Ethereum. Here’s the whole team behind the cartoon:

Stoner Cats Cast

I’m a big fan of all six of these people with Chris Rock probably being my favorite out of the group, I was lucky enough to see him live once and he’s one of the funniest people on the planet, period. Hollywood has worked on the same model when it comes to funding TV shows and movies for a long time and this project represents the first foray into using NFTs to fund A-list-backed TV shows, and I think that’s pretty special.

Well, apparently I wasn’t alone because major whales in the NFT space came out in droves and won the day, and lots of Stoner Cat NFTs with it. One of the most prolific influencers in the NFT space, Pranksy minted 500 cats, at 0.35ETH each that’s 175ETH or $403,025 not including gas. Pranksy first shared his enthusiasm for the project a week ago in this tweet:

Pranksy - Stoner Cats

I agree with Pranksy, with the team behind this I think a really meaningful TV show could emerge, and with a completely different funding source and model for engaging fans. But now let’s talk about the elephant in the room 🐘, gas 💨.

NFT superstars like Pranksy paid a small fortune in gas fees, but given that he was already dropping $400k on the project, this was a small price to pay. Like most popular projects, the whales who are minting hundreds of NFTs pump up gas prices and as was the case today, win the day. What this means for most normal NFT investors like me is that we just couldn’t participate in the mint. I tried to mint today but the gas fees I would need to pay to mint one Stoner Cat was more than the cat itself. Since I wasn’t ready to throw $400,000 or even $40,000 at this project, I, like many other was shut out 😢

That being said, I’m okay with this. Some people took to Twitter to vent their anger, but for me, I know I’m not a big player in the NFT world, and with popular projects like these, and given the current way Ethereum works, I just assume I won’t be able to participate, and I’m okay with that. I’ll buy in the aftermarket and carefully pick the NFTs I invest in using Rarity.tools to get something that I both like the ascetics, and also has good collector value based on the rarity of the traits.

Stoner Cats Rarity.tools

I don’t think there’s one way to win in the NFT world, and just like the investment world where we all can’t run our own hedge funds, we can all find ways to make good investments and generate a meaningful ROI, heck, hopefully a ridiculously good ROI 🚀

While I do think we’ll look back on these gas wars and remember the somewhat unfair early days of NFTs, I think we all have a choice to make. We can either get angry and pout on Twitter, venting our anger and saying that we’ll never invest in a project like these..or we can know that at this point in time, it’s the world we live in and we have to do our best to maximize our investment potential based what we can do to participate.

In short – I still like the Stoner Cats just as much as I did yesterday. I think what Ashton and team are doing will probably become a viable new model for funding new, innovative TV shows and movies, and I’m studying rarity traits tonight and earmarking some cats I want to try to snag over the next few days.

The gas wars aren’t going away anytime soon so if you’re not a whale you have to decide, do you still want to play the game? For me, this is a blast, I’m loving it, and I’m in! 🙋‍♂️

{ 0 comments }

Moving from WordPress to Ghost

So I’ve written quite a bit about Ghost, a new blogging platform that I’m excited about but that I’ve been on the fence about moving to. Well I finally decided to make the move and if you want to learn more about why I’m making the move feel free to give this a read.

I know I’m probably not the only WordPress blogger that will be moving to Ghost and so it could be helpful to share my journey. Also, I expect to make mistakes along the way and making these publicly will also hopefully help other people avoid doing the same.

Whenever I venture into something new I like to find people who have already done what I’m trying to do which means starting with an expert or two. I made the mistake of jumping into domain investing back in 2007 without taking any advice and wasted a lot of money, but met some amazing domain investors who helped show me the ropes and in the process learn a valuable lesson.

I myself am not an expert in WordPress or Ghost, nor am I am expert in SEO so I’ll likely need to find someone with experience in all three, or more likely, two experts with overlapping expertise. Since Ghost is relatively new there’s a smaller pool of people who have experience with it, but they’re out there, and I’ve started my search to find someone with solid experience moving WordPress sites over to Ghost.

While I’m sure some of the people who have experience moving sites from WordPress to Ghost also have some solid SEO chops, I’m going to bring in an SEO consultant to really make sure everything goes smoothly. It’s a bit daunting since I’ve been writing MorganLinton.com for almost fourteen years so there’s a lot of content that’s happily indexed in Google that I’d like to keep that way.

I’ve already started pinging some people I know and trust in the space so I’m starting to assemble a good group to interview and narrow down but I’m always looking for more recommendations. So if you know someone that you think might be a good expert for me to work with (all paid of course) feel free to comment below and share more or DM me on Twitter @morganlinton.

And so the adventure begins! 🕺

{ 1 comment }

So for those who know me well, you know that one of my biggest passions in life is backpacking. Now there are two kinds of backpacking so let me be clear which kind I’m talking about. One form of backpacking is heading to a place like Europe with a backpack and adventuring for a month or longer. I’ve never done that but I’m sure it’s fun. That being said, I’m talking about the second kind of backpacking where you head into the woods and survive out in the great outdoors usually for a period of 2-5 days.

For the last twenty five years I’ve been backpacking every chance I can get, and twenty four years ago I was in the backpacking club at my High School which I think did a lot to really catalyze my love for backpacking.

Now, I do an annual snow backpacking trip, often in Yosemite, with some of my good friends here in the Bay Area. One of my favorite snow backpacking trips in Yosemite is Dewey Point, and if you click on that link you can see a little article I put together about a trip we did a couple of years ago. Oh and yes, as a domain investor I couldn’t help but snag SnowBackpacking.com

A few weeks ago I went backpacking in the Tahoe National Forest, most of the time along the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) and I’m editing my first full length backpacking video from that trip. Safe to say this could be either insanely boring or somewhat interesting, but as my first time trying to piece together an entire video, it’s probably going to be a bit rough.

For those wondering, the backpacking adventure I went on a few weeks ago was out to Paradise Lake which is seven mile hike from Truckee, CA in North Lake Tahoe. The lake was spectacular, here’s the view from my campsite:

Paradise Lake Tahoe

If you’re interested in learning more about backpacking I can tell you, Reddit is the place to go, there are two awesome Subreddits that absolutely rock, they are:

/r/wildernessbackpacking – this is the go-to Subreddit for all things backpacking (in the wilderness that is)

/r/ultralight – as I’ve gotten older (it happens to the best of us), I’ve been learning more about how to backpack lighter and ease the burden on my body

I’m a total backpacking gear geek and also love learning about new trails and techniques and thought, since this is a personal blog, I might as well branch out and share more about one of my biggest personal passions. So let me know if you’d be interested in hearing more or if you’d like me to just stay laser focused on domain investing, NFTs, crypto, and the other digital investing topics I tend to focus on. If people aren’t into it, that’s okay – I can always take Sunday’s off, but if you’re interested, let me know and I might be game to share more about one of my true passions in life!

{ 10 comments }

SEO Content

Well it’s no secret that the SEO world has changed a lot over the years and I’m still amazed when I see sites trying tactics from years ago that now do more harm than good. I’m old enough to remember the really early days of SEO when just repeating a word more times than your competitor with hidden text at the bottom of the page allowed you to outrank them.

Fast-forward to today and it’s not that easy, and SEO really works the way it probably should have all along, by truly bubbling the best content up to the top. The reality is, search engines are supposed to help people find what they’re looking for and that means great content not sites that are great at gaming their algorithms.

Also, it’s safe to say that Google has a pretty massive budget to throw at making sure they deliver the best results possible and to keep SEO companies on their toes. I’m certainly not an SEO expert but I have been following the trends over the years and regularly read sites like Search Engine Journal…which is where I spotted a pretty interesting article last week that I wanted to share with the rest of you.

The article, as the title of my post alludes to, is about how SEO has changed when it comes to content and there are some really good nuggets in this one. Here’s one of my favorite parts of the article:

Most keyword research tools have a “related keywords” section. Use these throughout your content, regardless of whether you’re creating a blog, video description, or some other type of content.

Related keywords help demonstrate the content’s relevance to the topic as a whole.

Also, for even deeper content built around a “Topic Cluster” strategy discussed below, search those related keywords on Google and you’ll discover more of what people are asking and searching for, as well as which topics your competitors are creating content around.

(Source – Search Engine Journal)

This is something I don’t think people consider when they’re writing content that they want to rank well in search. I see people often become laser-focused on the exact keywords they want to rank for…but Google’s smarter than that, their algorithms understand context and know what words should be around those keywords when there’s content with real value.

Another point I thought was interesting that actually made me think, “hmmmm, maybe I should be doing this” is their point about refreshing content:

Don’t just create content and expect it to constantly deliver qualified traffic to your website. A competitor will always come along and rob a spot, or an algorithm change will send once high-ranking content to Google’s back pages.

If you have extremely strong content with high ROI value that has dropped in rankings, you may consider refreshing the entire piece.

(Source – Search Engine Journal)

Like I said, this article is full of nuggets and it’s free to read so if you write content that you’re hoping ranks well, it’s probably not a bad idea to give it a read. Enjoy!

{ 1 comment }

So this story is just too darn interesting not to write about, and before I go any further I’ll also say that yes, I’m the proud owner of a Weird Whale. So what are Weird Whales and how could a 12 year-old be behind one of the most talked about NFT projects of the last week? Let’s start with this tweet from Rusty Bill and go from there…

Weird Whales

Okay, so I know what you’re thinking. Hey – that’s just a pixelated image of a whale, what’s so interesting about that? What’s interesting is that the entire project is being run by a 12 year-old who learned to code when he was five. Benyamin, who goes by @ObiWanBenoni on Twitter and looks like this, shared his journey on Twitter and well, it’s freaking fascinating:

@ObiWanBenoni
Weird Whales Founder
Weird Whales Creation Story
Weird Whales Creation Story 2

Of course, as things tend to go in the wild west that is the NFT world, some people were excited, others well, weren’t buying it. A controversy broke out claiming that this was all a big rug pull and that the whole thing was a lie. This kicked off one heck of a rollercoaster ride on Twitter. While I could share the tweets, you can look yourself and I don’t feel like pinning the blame on any one person so I’ll leave them out of this post.

One callout that’s fun to note is that Benyamin bought the domain name, WeirdWhalesNFT.com for just $80. Suffice it to say, things got crazy and if you want to follow some of the drama, this tweet might lead you down an interesting path:

Weird Whales Rollercoaster

At the end of the drama came a general outpouring of love for the Weird Whales and lots of tweets from people saying, “We like the whales”

We like the Whales

If you, like me, were on Twitter watching the entire saga play out, it was pretty wild. Now that we’re on the other side of it I think it’s really interesting and also highlights just how early we are in the NFT world and how the playing field for art really is getting leveled in ways nobody could have predicted.

I ended up with a Zombie Weird Whale, here’s my guy:

Morgan Linton's Weird Whale

I think Benyamin is awesome both for creating the project and for dealing with criticism head on and navigating through the whole situation admirably. There’s a lot we can all learn from this 12 year-old and it’s safe to say the NFT world grew up a little bit through this whole process.

Disclaimer: The above references an opinion and is for information purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice. Seek a duly licensed professional for investment advice. Like you, the author has no idea what he’s talking about and instead just loves silly JPEGs that very few people understand.

{ 0 comments }

The expired domain market ebbs and flows and well, this is one of those weeks where there are some really hot names expiring and up for auction on Park.io, and no shortage of buyers bidding on them. What also makes this week pretty interesting is that a .US domain is seeing a lot of bidding activity and for good reason, blog.us expired. While I’m not personally a huge fan of .US from an investment perspective, this is definitely one of the best .US names out there and it’s now over $2,000 with less than 14 hours to go.

When I look at domains on Park.io I tend to focus on .IO and .CO and this week is a pretty smoking week for those as well with jerk.io and pumpkin.co coming up soon followed by one of the strongest .CO names I’ve seen in a while, Voyager.co which is already over $3,000 with more than two days left to go.

One reflection I’ve had these days is how much the floor price for names in these extension has risen over the last few years. When I first started bidding on .IO and .CO names, it was pretty easy to get a premium name for under $500, now getting one for under $5,000 is getting pretty tricky.

Voyager.co

But like the title of my post said, it’s the .CO names this week that really caught my eye 🤩 Looking at a name like Voyager.co, I wouldn’t be surprised if this ends up selling in the $7k – $10k range, and right after it, Grammar.co will sell, probably not for quite as much but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it hit $5k or higher. Someone with a strong .CO portfolio seems to have either forgotten to renew their names or this just happens to be a week with some great .CO names hitting the auction block.

Some other notable names that caught my eye are Cardboard.co, Damage.co, Inquiry.co, Extension.co, Cleaners.co, and Dreaming.co. Phew – like I said in the title of this post, there are some really stellar .CO names expiring this week. Best of luck to the bidders, I’ll be interested to see what prices these end up going for!

Disclaimer: The above references an opinion and is for information purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice. Seek a duly licensed professional for investment advice.

{ 0 comments }

So enough people have been asking me about Bored Ape Yacht Club and how the heck I figure out what apes to buy that I thought it would be good to do a quick, and I mean quick, primer on rarity traits. If people dig this article, I’ll write something more in-depth but it’s Saturday and I don’t want to spent too much time writing so I’m going to keep this short and sweet.

As you probably know, the value of an NFT has two components:

  1. How much you (or other people) like the art
  2. The rarity of a certain trait or combination of traits

To learn about rarity I use rarity.tools which is completely free to use and constantly updates their database with new projects. Just like domain investors look at things like search volume, CPC, number of extensions the word is taken in, etc. NFT investors look at rarity traits to guide investment decisions. To look at Bored Ape Yacht Club just go to the site, select “All Collections” from the top, and select Bored Ape Yacht Club – duh 🙄

Bored Ape Yacht Club Rarity.tools

You’ll then see a matrix of apes in order of rarity. If you haven’t used rarity.tools before and/or you’re new to NFTs I recommend browsing through the first few pages to familiarize yourself with the different rarity traits. Of course, to do that you’ll have to know what you’re looking at, so let’s click on ape #11:

Bored Ape Rarity 11

Okay, so looking at the image above you’ll see the rarity rank in the top left, this means you’re looking at the 11th most-rare ape. To the right of that you’ll see the rarity score which is 308.87, the higher the number, the more rare the NFT. Below that, well, this is the good stuff and what you’ll want to study and learn how to identify if you want to really dive into the Bored Ape or NFT world in general.

The list you see on the right is a list of traits organized by rarity. So in this case you’ll see that the most rare trait is the Mouth, which is “Bored Unshaven Party Horn” and the number in the little white box that says 45, that’s the total number of apes that have this trait. Given that there are 10,000 apes, a trait that only 45 apes have is pretty darn rare. Going down the list you’ll see his second most-rare trait is the “Trait Count” of four, only 254 out of 10,000 apes have only four traits.

Now for the icing on the cake. See that green number that says “15ETH” above “Bored Unshaven Party Horn” – that’s the floor price for apes with this trait. What this means is that if you can find a Bored Ape with this trait for anywhere around 15ETH, you’re buying the floor and in many cases, have the greatest chance of selling for a profit or appreciating in value quickly.

I’d recommend getting to know these traits and floor prices and paying attention to how they’re changing. This will help you identify good deals faster and get a feel for which traits are seeing the biggest move in their floor. For example, right now the floor on Gray Background is 8ETH. If a week from now I’m looking at an ape with a Gray background and I notice the floor is now 12ETH, that’s a good sign. If on the other hand it’s still 8ETH, maybe I’d want to focus on another trait that’s growing faster.

Okay, I guess my version of short and sweet isn’t all that short but I hope this quick primer was helpful. If you like this and would like me to do a deeper dive, let me know in the comment section below. Thanks for reading and happy Saturday ☀️

{ 0 comments }

Hello, happy Friday, and welcome to Flippa Friday here on MorganLinton.com 🕺 As usual, I’ve combed through Flippa to find two online businesses that I think could make good investments. Like an investment, do your research and make sure to really bet anything you’d put money into. Also, I usually recommend checking out Flippa’s Due Diligence service to really de-risk your purchase.

Okay, enough preamble, let’s get to the good stuff – here’s the first site that caught my eye this week.

This one is interesting for a lot of reasons. First, as you probably know by now, I like sites with a little age, with four years in operation this site has been around long enough to be interesting. Also with $286/mo in revenue it’s safe to say there’s a lot of room for growth. The seller has done over $1.4M in transactions across 92 deals so it also feels like it would be pretty unlikely that he’d pick his 93rd sale to run a scam.

On top of all that the site is a WordPress blog about male grooming so if this is something you’re interested in, it could be an easy one to really ramp up the content, develop more partnership and take to the next level.

Sticking with the theme of smaller starter sites this fishing site caught my eye. It happens to be for sale by the same seller as the previous site so once again, an experience Flippa seller with lots of deals under his belt. Also four years old and $193/mo in profit makes me think there’s plenty of room to grow.

I was just backpacking in Tahoe over the weekend and I did some fishing, so, maybe I have fishing on the brain but it feels like this could be a fun one given how many different products you can sell and tutorials you could write in this niche. After trying my hand at fishing this weekend I know I have a lot to learn but a fishing pro could probably work wonders with this one, especially if you like geeking out and reviewing fishing gear 🎣

Okay, well that’s it for this week’s Flippa Five! As always thanks for reading and TGIF 🙌

{ 1 comment }

.CA Domains

I read an interesting report today from CIRA, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority that talked about an apparent pivot towards .CA domains in Canada. Here’s a highlight from the report, and then I’ll share my two cents, hint – I don’t necessarily degree this is as exciting as they make it sound…

The pandemic has brought about an exceptional year for Canada’s internet landscape, and particularly for the .CA domain. Data from CIRA —the non-profit organization that manages the .CA domain on behalf of all Canadians— suggests that Canadians are choosing a .CA domain name for their websites more than ever before.

The findings come from the Q1 2021 .CA Insights Report, which showcases .CA domain registration data from January to March 2021. Using a combination of .CA Registry data, third-party vendors, and publicly available data, the report shows the emerging trends in Canada’s online presence and the pandemic’s impact on Canadian domain registrations.

Overall, the first quarter of 2021 has seen a large rise in .CA domains registered, demonstrating the value of the Canadian brand both nationally and globally.

(Source – Yahoo Finance)

Okay, so reading this at first it sounds like .CA domains are on a tear…but when you look at the growth numbers, while they did triple year over year, that tripling was from 0.35% to 0.99%. In my book, it’s hard to claim explosive growth in anything when the growth rate is 1% y/y 🤷‍♂️

While I know that interest in domains grew during the pandemic as consumers shifted from in-store to online, I don’t know if I think .CA suddenly reached a tipping point. That being said, I don’t mean to totally poo poo .CA domains. I know that people like them in Canada and yes, they’re definitely more popular as a ccTLD than say .US domains in the US, but we really use .COM as our ccTLD here.

At the end of the day, I think during the pandemic, more Canadians than ever before launched online businesses, and when they did, they found the .COM was taken and .CA became their next logical choice. So while I think it’s great that .CA saw some growth over the last year, I don’t think there’s any fundamental shift where Canadians would now rather have a .COM than a .CA. Instead, like I said, I think more people started online businesses, saw the .COM was taken, and went for .CA.

Overall the reality is domain names as a whole have seen and will continue to see incredible growth as the whole world makes the shift to buying online. What do you think? Is there a fundamental shift happening in Canada that is biasing Canadians towards .COM or is this just a part of the general shift we’re seeing globally as more people launch businesses online?

I want to hear from you, comment and let your voice be heard!

{ 5 comments }

Get Started

A good friend of mine asked be this week about how he could dip his toes into the world of domain investing. I thought it was awesome that he asked before doing what most people do which is, buy a ton of names, find that none of them sell, and then give up claiming that domain investing is impossible and all the good names are taken…

The right way to get started with just about anything is usually to learn from people who are already doing it which will usually save you from making a lot of the initial mistakes most people make when they’re trying something new.

Oh and just to be clear, I didn’t follow this path initially. Rather than asking for advice when I started, I dove in, bought a bunch of .mobi domains, tons of junky .COMs and burned through a lot of money until I realized I had no idea what I was doing. Painful lesson, but I persisted and finally worked up the courage to ask some real experts for advice, and well, safe to say, I wish I did that sooner.

Fast forward to today and there are so many resources out there to learn about domain investing, the challenge is knowing which resources are actually useful and reliable. Since this is top of mind for me, and I know some of my readers might have the same question my friend did I thought I’d share my current advice on how to get started in the domain investing world.

  1. Don’t overload yourself with resources – seriously, there’s so much out there, if you decide to read forums, blogs, eBooks, podcasts, You Tube videos, you’ll get whiplash, focus on two to three solid resources to start
  2. To simplify things, make DNAcademy the core of your focus – while there are plenty of free courses and eBooks out there, I give everyone the same advice, start with DNAcademy. In all honesty, nobody has put more time and energy into a course about domain investing than Mike Cyger who runs DNAcademy, it’s the best-of-the-best and your time is best spent in the beginning just focusing on this.
  3. Skim Domaining.com daily – next up is an easy one that’s just fun to do, and if it’s not fun, well then domain investing might not be something you’ll enjoy too much. The domain investing world is lucky to have a centralized resource with all the domain blogs out there, all in one place – Domaining.com. Skim this at least once a day, if something catches your eye, read it. This will help you learn what’s currently happening in the industry and start to familiarize yourself with the different people.
  4. Watch DomainSherpa – this is one fun show, it’s packed with info, and it’s a great way to hear from experts on what they’re doing. Rather than searching all over You Tube for different videos about domain investing, just stay focused on DomainSherpa when you start, there are so many nuggets in each episode it should get the creative juices flowing.
  5. Go to a conference like NamesCon – conferences are the icing on the cake, they allow you to get away from your computer and talk to real people that are doing what you want to do. I’ve found the domain investing community to be incredibly welcoming and meeting people in person and chatting about domains over coffee or a beer is completely different from talking on Twitter or a forum.

That’s it, hope this is helpful, just remember point #1 – don’t overload yourself. It can be easy to get really excited about domain investing and dive in by reading everything you can get your hands on and then registering every cool domain name you can think of. Take a step back, stay focused, and just be a sponge, learn as much as you can before buying domains, and trust me, you’ll be glad you did.

{ 0 comments }