Here’s What I’ve Done So Far in 2011 and Why MiniSites Are Dead (To Me)

Shane did a post yesterday that caught my attention – he asked, what happened to Morgan Linton? In the post he says “Every other day he was introducing some new site…” In 2010 I announced on my blog, at conferences, and on live video that I knew it was time to change my business model. I did just that and this year I’ve been focusing on building real businesses and releasing a few times a year rather than a few times a week.

Just so you all know Shane and I are good buddies so don’t take any of this as a negative towards Shane. It was confusing to me though since I’ve been keeping all of you informed of everything I’ve been doing and most of the comments and emails I get from people are asking how the heck I have the time to do it all!

Well I wrote a big long response to Shane’s posts filling him on what I’ve been doing this year, if you read my blog all the time this will be mostly review for you but if not here it is – what I’ve been up to in 2011!

Anyone whose been reading my blog for a long time should see the incredible INCREASE in time I’m giving it this year. Rather than writing short posts with things that are on my mind I am planning my posts more and trying to ask questions to get people engaged. I am paying careful attention to which posts get the most reads and interactivity to make sure that I’m writing content that people enjoy reading about. The blog is taking more time every day than last year but I think it’s worth it since I can really put more time and energy into each and every post.As for my business, my revenue grew 8x 2010 over 2009 and 2011 I’m on-track to have my first six-figure year. As I’ve been sharing on my blog the way to make this leap was to pull away from mini-sites and launching a new site every week and focusing on building brands. 

Building brands means not just putting-together a little five page site and announcing it on my blog like it’s a big deal – it’s not and that method of real monetization is dead.

Two weeks ago I announced that the Xelot algorithm is now patent pending. I’ve been talking about Xelot on my blog and all the time and energy that’s gone into this. With this project Daina and I are working together 12+ hours every single weekend and just about every free minute we have after work on the weekdays. Writing an algorithm that is ten of thousands of lines of code is a LOT of work. It is much different than what I did before building small websites and getting them ranked well in search, this is actually creating a revolutionary system that we think people will love.

To that end Daina and I have been reading a ton of books and article about product launches, setting-up beta teams, PR, etc. in preparation for the launch of our first major brand. Beta testing begins this week with 30 people!

Also last week on my blog I discussed my new book which I’ve been working on since last year – it’s been a lot of work and I keep extending the release date, but the time has come. I have put more work into this book than any piece of writing I have ever produced, I am very proud of what I put-together and think it will be a great asset to the community. is quickly becoming the #1 site Kayakers use to find kayaking tour and adventure companies. We have close to 1,000 locations in our database and are ranking for over 30 kayaking-related terms we’ve been targeting. has been taken to the next level with a brand new design, new logo, and dedicated staff member adding videos and photos to the site.

Along with I have put back in action and am starting to post on it more frequently. I also run a travel blog that I started last year and Daina and I write a wine blog at and just started a wine TV show at

I just finished my first Travel book and it is available for free from!

I’ve gone to five conferences so far this year and covered all of them on my blog including extensive video coverage from Domain RoundTable in the Bahamas.

I filmed 10 interviews at DOMAINfest 2011 for and we are getting closer every day to release the first episode. This has been a wildly expensive project and I’m not making anything here, it’s just a lot of fun and I think the results will be spectacular!

In January our company had it’s first partnership! We partnered with Domain Advisors, a PPX company. You can read more about this on DNJournal.

As for – as you can tell by everything that’s going on this year there just hasn’t been the time. Launching a full scale business like Xelot, growing a brand like, writing two books, writing four blogs, attending five conferences – these things take time! Remember I do have a full-time job that takes-up about ten hours a day – so yes, there is little time for sleep!!

I appreciate all the support for – it IS coming back this year and in a major way. However…it’s not going to happen until Xelot, the book, and are out – it’s all about quality this year, not quantity. It’s about building businesses, engaging people and creating what is hopefully a truly enchanting company.

I am getting less sleep than last year, working longer hours, and working entire weekends from Saturday morning until Sunday night to do it all. It’s worth it 100% – surprising though that my buddy Shane didn’t notice! I love Shane, he’s the man and I really hope nobody takes this as some weird feud. I read Shane’s blog daily and think he is one of the best people in our community, period. He not only understands Domaining but really understands how to build a business. I wanted to make sure that none of his readers thought I had vanished into oblivious when in reality, as all of you know, I am working harder than I ever have in my entire life.

Have a great Sunday everyone and if you’ve made it this far – thanks for reading!

{ 20 comments… add one }

  • Kevin M April 10, 2011, 10:36 am

    So stop babbling, and start doing something will ya!! 😉
    (Oh, and you forgot to note you also run the SoCal Domainers Meetup too.)

  • Gnanes April 10, 2011, 10:45 am

    Best of luck with your projects.

  • Tia Wood April 10, 2011, 11:03 am

    “it’s all about quality this year, not quantity”

    I’m so proud of you, Morgan! You are someone to look up to and I can’t wait to see the results of your hard work. I miss your show and can’t wait for it to come back.

  • Joe April 10, 2011, 11:18 am

    Congrats, Morgan!

  • Ken April 10, 2011, 5:18 pm

    wow… just wow… u seem so jampacked on your sched and it’s just great the way you seem to be so pumped up in all of this! good job, Morgan. I hope I can practically do something close soon since I’ve been dipping my feet into a lot more projects than usual. Hopefully though, I can carry the same style of online branding… that seems nice!

    • Morgan April 10, 2011, 6:21 pm

      Thanks for all the positive comments everyone!

      Yes my schedule is completely jam-packed but when you love what you’re doing it all makes sense! Also as I like to say, you can rest when you die!

  • SkyDomains April 10, 2011, 6:41 pm

    way to go. We seem to be in the same mind set but unlike you, it has not been all that smooth sailing for me. I have been working seriously behind the scene trying to create a new product line for one of my sites.

  • Sai Pola April 11, 2011, 12:33 am


    You seem to be a man on a “mission Impossible”. Great Time management. Goes to show what one can do if time is managed properly.

  • IrishDomainer April 11, 2011, 4:39 am

    Busy man! So the minisites you got ranked for your keywords dont make any money? All the best with you projects mate.

    • Morgan April 11, 2011, 9:27 am

      @IrishDomainer My minisites are still doing well, great way to build a five-figure income but challenging to use Minisites to hit six-figures or create a real long-term plan. It’s all about taking the business to the next level. I am confident that anyone who wants to build-up a five-figure passive income stream can use Minisites, but if you want to go a step further you’ll have to build full-scale brands.

  • Arseny April 11, 2011, 6:50 am

    Perhaps you might consider for red wine lovers? 😉

  • Dimitry Yankelevich April 11, 2011, 6:53 am

    Good job! Good luck with Xelot and congrats on your first (?) patent!

  • Chuckie April 11, 2011, 8:18 am

    I can tell you for a fact that you still have way too many things going on to be focused enough to make any of them spectacular. And when I say that, I say it with respect. You’re going to get burned out and have nothing to show. Either focus on your book, or do the videos, or write the algorithm. Pick one and do it better than anyone else in the world. Otherwise the quality of each will match the quality of all those ministers that you now make fun of.

    • Morgan April 11, 2011, 9:25 am

      @Chuckie – This is actually about one tenth what I was doing last year so it has been scaled down. I used to release a new site every month, now I do it every 2-3 months. This gives me the time to focus on quality. Rather than trying to release things quickly I am taking my time and delaying things until the quality is where I want it to be. The book for example was intended to be released in December but I’ve delayed it to this week to ensure the quality level is there.

      Project management is all about understanding how much time you have and what you can do in that time period. I’ve reduced my projects and increased my timeline so I’m doing less but all at higher quality levels.

      As for burn-out, that’s impossible, I love this, I can’t stop myself from doing it, it’s what I enjoy. Some people would love to sit on a beach and tan, I’m a Domainer 🙂

  • IrishDomainer April 11, 2011, 9:37 am

    Yes mate, i’m currently doing both category killer brands and long tail keyword niche sites. Yet to see a decent return on the niche sites but too early to tell. All custom designed WP sites.

    • Morgan April 11, 2011, 9:42 am

      @IrishDomainer very cool! Let me know if you’d like to write a guest post, would be great to share your experiences!

  • Adi April 11, 2011, 10:44 am

    @Morgan – But I am sure you have learned a lot from the Mini sites 😉

    I always advise people to start with mini sites and then move on to bigger projects. Mini sites are a great “playground” to acquire some major SEO skills and possibly make some money at the same time.

    • Morgan April 11, 2011, 11:57 am

      @Adi – absolutely, great way to find out what works and what doesn’t. Applying that on a MUCH bigger scale is where it gets really exciting!

  • Joey Starkey April 11, 2011, 7:11 pm

    Hey Morgan,

    It was actually after reading one of you blog posts that I decided to build out one of my sites. It is a “Social Network for Wine Lovers” We still have a lot of work to do but we are picking up more visitors everyday.

    Feel free to Sign up and promote your sites. Everything is set up to post to your facebook and Twitter if you choose.

    I will make mention of your two sites to our followers at later and keep up the good work.

    Joey Starkey
    Memphis Domain Broker

  • Joseph Slabaugh April 14, 2011, 4:49 am

    Hey Morgan, what you think of a new domain I just got I think it fits the extension, but I am not sure what to do with it, some site with security, and possibly a way to warn others about companies and people like etc… Or make it the personal version of You have any ideas?


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