🪦 "Content Websites Are Dead"

This week I discuss digital magazines (i.e. newsletters) replacing content sites, a two word crypto .com and Opepen NFT for the culture

Together with

Hey there 👋,

In this week’s newsletter, I discuss:

  • Whether the content site model is dead

  • Two word crypto .com for half a mil?

  • Opepen back to all time high


Richard Patey - @richardpatey


In this week’s Acquire The Web newsletter I combined website listings in with ‘media’, i.e newsletter businesses such as this one on Acquire.com for $6M, rather than keeping them separate.

I used to build, buy and sell content sites back in my 2017-2020 heyday. But since then, due to seeing too many six figure assets tank due to more frequent and violent google updates, I now view them as a traffic source for a real business model:

For me that model is newsletter businesses, but for Marc at Domain Magnate its ecommerce businesses.

Marc sent out an email earlier this week titled: “Why do I believe content websites are dead?”:

It is not that:

RPMs are down 40% to 50% year on year

AI Content is here to disrupt everything

Google updates are getting more and more frequent

The biggest issue is that WE DO NOT CAPTURE ENOUGH VALUE!

Marc Roca

Marc explains with a real case study on one of their websites, where they drove 30K visits to the best golf cart page and received $100 in ad revenue, a low but typical website CPM of $3.33.

However, if he had been selling golf products as an ecommerce store, and achieved just a 0.1% conversion rate then that’s $300K in revenue vs $100.

Like in my tweet above, Marc states that:

With how expensive content is and how much the RPMs have declined year on year, it should be an acquisition channel and not a business model, it is better to drive one sale for a $40,000 luxury travel trip from 10,000 views where we make $4,000 than just $300 from programmatic ads.

Marc Roca

Similarly, Jon Dykstra from FatStacks published a video last month titled Are niche sites dead? Should you even start one now? where he discusses the fallout from the forthcoming Google SGE where users won’t need to visit a website for most searches:

Jon talks about how he has developed a new traffic source that is now larger than organic search, that he is directing to his site. However I would argue that you should direct that source straight to your newsletter, especially due to platform dependency he mentions:

Realistically you’re going to need to be dependent on another platform, whether it’s earning most of your revenue on that other platform like Youtube of Instagram, or you’re driving traffic from that platform

Jon Dykstra

At the end of the video, Jon talks about other monetization models such as ecommerce (that Marc Roca mentioned above) because losing search clicks is not only a traffic issue, but a monetization issue.

Website ads typically won’t pay enough for paid acquisition to work. Whereas newsletter sponsorships where you can achieve a minimum 10x in CPM, combined with paid recommendations such as Sparkloop Upscribe certainly can work.

And finally, Jacob Donnelly from A Media Operator just published that Media Is at a Unique Inflection Point where the platforms (i.e Twitter) have won vs big websites, where:

At the same time, we’re looking at the onset of ChatGPT and the ability for generative AI to fundamentally disrupt search. While interest in this has certainly died down, no executive should feel calm. The best building gets done when the excitement has died away. But if chat-based search is the future, heavily search dependent publishers are in for a world of hurt.

Jacob Donnelly

He argues that what’s left are niche media players that serve a very specific audience, that looks like a digital magazine newsstand.

These will be subscription first and sponsorships second, plus their own revenue products within a funnel:

This is an inflection point for media. The winners are going to be the tens of thousands of smaller operators serving specific niches. This is what media looked like before the internet and it’s what it’ll look like going forward. It could be a lot worse.

Jacob Donnelly

For me, the new magazine is the newsletter business.


I’ve been keeping my eye out for two word crypto .coms on expireddomains.net since this tweet stating cryptodesk.com got sold for half a mil:

Although it’s likely exaggerated and certainly not confirmed, it’s still an amazing win for the seller:


Opepen (which I own) is back to its all time high, due to an incredible move by project founder Jack Butcher to create a 1/1 NFT for influencer and prolific content creator ThreadGuy. The whole backstory is in this thread, even Beeple got involved:

As Juan says in the thread:

If you have a trusted audience, you will end up winning always.


The floor is now back to over 0.8ETH:


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Disclaimer: Nothing in this email is financial advice and I am not a professional investment adviser. I send weekly updates on digital asset news and what I'm doing personally - consider it informational and for entertainment purposes only.

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