Truemors – More Successful Than Most People Realise

Everyone is slagging off Guy Kawasaki for his Truemors site (again). I think most of them need to have their head examined because the site is already a raging success and the venture is already profitable, though most of them are Tech bloggers and not SEOs or Niche Marketers.

  • People have heard about it
  • A few people may even be using it
  • It received and will continue to receive lots of links

Hmm damn… you mean links have value?

Guy has done a great breakdown of the cost of creating Truemors.

He might have spent too little or too much – I think he should have used better hosting from day one, and implemented a lot more functionality that is easy to achieve on WordPress, such as tagging with Ultimate Tag Warrior.

$12,107.09 was the total cost, which included $4,500 for the software, and $4,824.14 in legal fees. He also registered a load of domains, and whilst he thinks he made a mistake by not buying them from Godaddy and saving a few bucks, I would certainly recommend never buying a domain from GoDaddy – I prefer and I know my expert friend Dave Zan has a few other recommendations.

Here is the slideshow Guy had made

The money spent on the legal paperwork and domains was good money spent, and also shows Guy’s commitment for the long haul.

Guy has no advertising, so how has he made a profit?

Links Have Value

Truemors SEO

Those links are not spam, it is all editorial links from top bloggers.

Truemors is probably already a PR6 maybe a PR7 domain, and people are not going to stop writing about them.

PR6 or PR7 with only 3000 links being reported?

Yes, quality links do that to blogs, just take a look at Vanessa’s blog.

Actually Vanessa has a few more links now than she did at the last pagerank update, but still in the 3000s.

Vanessa Fox Blog

Editorial links from influential blogs makes for very high credibility in the search engines.

Truemors Is A Real Blog

Unlike bookmarking communities, Truemors is currently being looked on as a real blog

Truemors Is A Blog

It is hard to say whether Truemors is UGC (User Generated Content) or USC (User Submitted Content)

For now at least Truemors has a level of moderation by an editor, so it might continue to be treated as a blog.

Domain Valuation

Potentially a PR7 site at the next update, though it doesn’t have much age yet. Loads of credible links, I think the site has probably a fair amount of trust.

Guy isn’t renowned for great monetization, but the domain alone is probably worth $15-$20k even if it only has a trickle of new links coming in. I have a feeling links will just keep flowing.

Truemors Version 2

There are also some interesting things Guy could do with this model, at very little extra expense, such as build version 2 using WordPress Multiuser.

  • Imagine every user had their own Tuemors that they could publish to, and that other people could subscribe to. That sounds a little like Twitter or Tumblr.
  • Imagine you would have the option to republish the item on your own blog if you thought it was interesting – that would be a good alternative to voting for a story.
  • The most republished stories could be promoted on the front page.
  • The news item wouldn’t be resent to those who had already heard about it from another friend – no duplication

To create that version 2 of the site would probably cost him less than the original investment

It is true that what he has built can be easily replicated. When the site was first announced I looked at it, worked out all the plugins he was using, and was going to pay someone to create a “Truemors” like theme for WordPress.

Yep linkbait…. “How To Create Your Own Truemors Site in 10 minutes”

5 minute install for WordPress, and 5 minutes to upload and activate plugins and theme

I suggest people look at the Truemors site a little more carefully, and think creatively because it has a lot of potential, both for Guy, and for creative thinkers who might not realise quite how flexible WordPress can be.

I do wish he would remove the NoFollow from the links
That actually might eventually be the the deciding factor between Truemors being editorial content and user generated. Are the users the scum of the earth, or treated with some respect for the content they supply. Give links, and people will use the site more. Maybe just give links to registered users who post content and have validated via Paypal.

I don’t think the site is quite ready for a $1M buyout but that domain is already worth more than the money Guy has spent.
Would a VC invest in such an idea? Who knows, I suppose it all depends on future plans.

It has certainly got me thinking… I wonder if Guy realises how successful his site really is and its full potential

Update:- I Submitted this story to Truemors, if you enjoyed it, please think about voting for it on Truemors (no need to register)

I should also note that Truemors sends pings for any submitted story, so they really should have followable links. I wonder if this ping to Truemors will somehow register on Truemors.

Update2: Trackbacks Work

Truemors - Trackbacks

How many social news sites allow you to send them a trackback?

Remove the nofollows Guy!

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    • says

      HA! This is exactly right. Even guy admits that the only reason people are writing about this is because his name is on it.

      I suspect people are waiting (and hoping) this will become a miserable failure. Nothing is more interesting to SMM than conflict.

  1. says

    It just goes to show how originality and some clever thinking can create a potential multi million dollar website on a shoe string budget.

  2. says

    Obvious things you can pick up in the source code such as the voting plugin.

    The article submission could easily be done with the WPBankroll plugin

    There are 2 things which wouldn’t be available out of the box, the theme with the fancy ajax and the additional submission methods.

    In addition, there might be an improved backend for moderation, and special member system.

  3. says

    Truemors continues to do well as of March ’08 … it feels to me like a somewhat hip NPR product. Definitely not a Digg clone. I have been active since the beginning and get some OK traffic when I post things there from my sites. Yes, it would be nice if Truemors followed links.

    There is a new product in the works — see the site.