Weekend Musings and a Beautiful Photo Of Vancouver

Phew! It’s been a busy two weeks. It all started in New York City a week and a half ago and I still can’t believe I’m back in Southern California for an extended period of time, but which I mean more than two weeks! Never a dull moment and this coming week I’ll be diving back-into Lean Startup Machine and sharing more of the incredible things I learned from the process.

Lots to reflect on but the focus of today is spending time with my fiancé Daina so I’ll keep this short and sweet. After two almost two weeks on the read there really is no place like being at home with your family!

  • This continues to be an incredible year for Linton Investments! From a monetization stand-point this year is an out of the park home run. Every year I try to do something dramatically different in my business. This year I’ve done a great job putting my focus on the top 10% of our properties and it’s made a major impact. I’m not saying that I stopped launching new businesses, that still happens every month, I’ve just done a better job of delegating and learning to be okay if someone else runs something 100%. This has really allowed me to put my focus on driving key business goals and making sure that our top properties grow like crazy! It’s been an easy process to follow and one I recommend, every time you come-up with an idea of a feature, new business, new revenue model, think of how you can get it done without you directly doing it yourself. Don’t be lazy, but try to work on your business rather than for your business.
  • My content costs are higher than ever! Content is king and to scale like I have this year I’ve had to increase how much I spend on getting good content. I’m now spending more money than I ever had on getting great content, and it’s paying off! Don’t be afraid to hire great content writers and put them to work! If you think you have to write every article for every site you run you’ll quickly find yourself becoming a content writer, that’s been a critical pivot for me.
  • Geo-Domains could be in trouble. The more I see what Google is doing in the local space the more I fear for Geo-domainer owners. It’s never been a space I’ve gotten into and now that Google really has taken-over the web with local results it’s a space I’m steering clear of. I’m not saying you can’t make money in the space, I’m just saying that you better be prepared to compete with Google, and the host of local-based Apps for the iPhone and Android. When I’m looking for restaurants, maps, things to do, movie times, etc. I don’t use a local website I use an App on my iPhone, but maybe that’s just me!
  • Scribe SEO is rocking my world. I recently started using Scribe and now have most of my content-writers using it as well. Saving me a ton of time making sure that all my content is optimized for search. This is probably the most valuable SEO tool I use outside of SEOMoz Pro.
  • I need to do more case-study posts, I miss them! For some reason I stopped doing detailed case studies like I did when I first started my blog. After doing a case study on Kayaking.org earlier this week it is clear from the response that I should bring these back as a regular feature on my blog.
  • Holy shit Apple is amazing. Sorry for the swearing but I have to say, Mac OS X Lion is incredible. It’s a bit like I just got a new computer that is way more advanced than any computer I’ve ever had. The cost was $30 and it all happened so fast it was really like waking-up in the morning to find a new laptop waiting for me.
  • I am so bad at making posts “short and sweet” when I say I’m going to. Oh well, brevity was never my strong suite. I have many more reflections but would rather take a hot tub and enjoy a day relaxing in the sun by the pool with Daina. Have a great Saturday, Small Business Sunday is coming-up tomorrow!

I’ll leave you with a photo that I took this week in Vancouver:

vancouver_seawall_stanleypark

{ 8 comments… add one }

  • Don August 6, 2011, 11:06 am

    Hello,

    Curious, what are thoughts on local geo domains in regards to specific domain names, say like californiainsurance.com, losangelesdental.com, sanfransicohomes.com etc,, these are just examples we don’t own these,but have domain names related to insurance and other fields in other states…

    Do you think google will get into the insurance area for local biz? That would suck..

    Don

    Reply
  • Adi August 6, 2011, 1:40 pm

    Do you think it’s going to be hard for geo players even if they have built a “geo” brand?

    Reply
  • Fan August 6, 2011, 2:39 pm

    Nice article! Regarding hiring content writers, what places do you suggest? The problem is making sure the content is all original and unique! Is there a way to check it? Thanks!

    Reply
  • David J Castello August 6, 2011, 4:48 pm

    Morgan, I’m glad you clarified your statement about Geos by saying you’ve never developed one. From Day 1, neither Google or any other search engine has made a difference in our success. A great brand is a great brand is a great brand. Our visitors don’t come to us for specific local info. They come to learn about the destination.

    Reply
  • Louise August 6, 2011, 8:52 pm

    Thanx for peaceful-looking scenery . . . Nice break in the day!

    Reply
  • VampireHire August 6, 2011, 11:26 pm

    I wonder if you can recommend a good affiliate site for my domain NewYorkCityHotelBookings/Com ………..the displayed photo could not be further away from New York …both in scenery and peacefulness

    Reply
  • owen frager August 7, 2011, 9:18 am

    David, you are in a different boat. You own destination sites appealing to tourists. We are talking about businesses that depend on the locals. That’s what the anti-trust and class actions are about. Read the governments brief and your eyes will pop out at the things they are doing.
    In Tech crunch today article “Google There Will be Blood” they write ““I have a competition in me. I want no one else to succeed.”

    A commenter said: “I think if you had worked in any business that felt Google’s strangehold come around you, you might feel differently.

    There was a time people feared Microsoft for their control of the desktop. Google increasingly feels more powerful than Microsoft ever did. It is difficult to feel excited or optimistic about how they use their power.

    I think it would benefit Google to realise that their actions have consequences. I agree with the premise of this article, that most businesses in the ecosystem around Google are now distrusting, if not outright hostile. Employees at Amazon, Apple, Oracle and the hundreds of smaller firms put out of business by “minor” Google projects tend to talk to friends and family. If Google’s behaviour doesn’t change, in time that bad feeling will permeate through to the general public.’

    http://techcrunch.com/2011/08/06/ive-abandoned-my-boy/

    Reply
  • John August 7, 2011, 11:55 am

    Geo-Domains aren’t Dead and neither is the Desktop. I would much rather own a .COM name in my space that allows me to standout from my competitors than have some garbage name and pump a bunch of dollars into getting me visitors or rely on an app or directory listings. If you are in a city you want the city name in front of whatever you are selling regardless of search results. It’s something people will never forget once they hear it and easily branded.

    Reply

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