One of my most-read posts is still getting comments six years after I wrote it

I’m always happy to see when posts from years ago continue to live on and bring active conversation and discussion. Every once and a while I write a post that somehow magically transforms into a discussion board of its own. One particular post that is still going strong I wrote back in 2011 and yesterday it hit 138 comments – it’s about why it’s so hard to make money with directory sites and you can check it out here.

While I wrote the post six years ago I still think it covers a topic that is still very relevant today. I don’t think this is something that is specific to Domainers though and if I were to go back in time and change the title I’d change the title to “Why most people won’t make a dime with directory sites.”

Still, six years later and I see the same being true and actually extending beyond directory sites. The fact is that too many people think that building a website and monetizing one are the same thing. It’s easy to spend a good chunk of change on a great-looking site, the problem is, you haven’t spent a dime sending traffic to it. A great website with no traffic is like an incredible store that would make millions in the middle of Manhattan, and putting it in the middle of the desert.

From directory sites to eCommerce stores, just putting together a website that has the potential to make money isn’t enough to actually make money. Companies spend a lot of money paying people like Google and Facebook to send traffic to their site. It’s not enough to have a budget for your website, you need a budget for getting people to your site and actually performing some action that makes you money.

It’s probably time for me to write an article about why most people that think they’re going to build a money-making website are actually probably going to burn a lot of money building an awesome website that doesn’t make any money. But I’ll have to save that for another day. Thanks to everyone that has been commenting on my post from way back in 2011, always fun to see things like this happen.

Of course, I’d love to hear from you. Do you think what I said back in 2011 still holds true? Comment and let your voice be heard!


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Morgan Linton was born in Berkeley, California but spent nine years traveling the world as an early employee for digital music startup Sonos. In 2007 Morgan founded Linton Investments, a domain name and branding company that has helped some of the most recognized startups in the world acquire their top choice domain name. In 2012 Morgan left his full-time job to co-found Bold Metrics, a startup building technologies that make it easy for online shoppers to buy clothes that fit and arming retailers with more data than ever before.

{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Brian King May 17, 2017, 10:14 pm

    Absolutely totally spot on Morgan, that is a more accurate title.
    Your post survives because it was well written and to be frank: spot on the money.
    As an independent publisher of directories for almost 20 years, I agree 100% that most will not make one dime with a web directory.

    The only people making money out of directories are software developers, hosts, domain registrars and seo companies.

    We have survived by rewriting the rule book. We created many of the worlds first directories which are still operating sucessfully today.

    A directory can make money but there is a lot to it.

    I meant what I said to Juan although I miswrote it. I should have said, Google has not RANKED directories in its results since 2011.

    If a directory is not ranked, it cannot generate traffic which means it cannot generate advertisers.

    Not only can we prove our claim, we have the solution.

    Morgan, if you don’t want to show the next part, no problem delete it.

    Directory GoPro
    Independent, experienced analysis of the web directory industry.

  • @domains May 18, 2017, 1:26 am

    A lot of the ways you used to be able to earn online are harder today than in the early 2000’s when the web was new to most and the giants of today barely existed. Directories are a good example unless you have a niche or offer extreme local up to date info found nowhere else. Now Google is adding a job search engine and entering that market. You can see the similarity to how Walmart comes to town and all the Main st stores lose business, except its happening online now.


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