Okay, I have a confession to make: I haven’t been banned from Warrior Forum, though I was racing like a lemming on a rocket sled in that direction. But “Why I Don’t Post on Warrior Forum Anymore” just didn’t have the same attention-grabbing pizzazz. Think of this article’s title as my tribute to the rectitude of the saintly folk who promote their invaluable products/services on that forum and would rather floss their teeth with a hair from a truck driver’s armpit than tell a fib.
For those who don’t know, Warrior Forum is the Net’s biggest and most popular online marketing community. If that has kind of an impressive ring to it, you probably haven’t had much to do with online marketers. Now, I’m not about to suggest that online marketers are in the main a dishonest, disreputable, and thoroughly worthless bunch. Well, actually I am. Although I’m sure there are some sterling individuals among them. Just as I’m sure there are Nigerian 419 scammers who don’t want to divest you of your life savings.
Into the Marketing Maelstrom
I became a member of Warrior Forum a couple of years ago to promote a now deceased blog of mine but had only made a handful of posts there until earlier this year when I began to haunt the Off Topic Forum to drum up business for my content writing service. Warrior Forum lets you include up to five links in your signature, so every time you make a post, you add a backlink or five to your growing collection of them. The reason I chose to make most of my posts in Off Topic is that I find discussions on marketing about as exciting as embroidery.
Warrior Forum comprises a swag of different sections, including, not surprisingly, an Internet marketing discussion forum, Warrior “Special” Offers—I put Special in quotes because they’re anything but—and a copywriting forum, where you can learn how to transmute a dog turd into a Faberge Egg through the power of the written word and a garish assortment of fonts.
The Main Internet Marketing Discussion Forum is Warrior Forum’s best section and the place to go if you have a question about online marketing. What a pity the rest of the forum reeks like an anchovy with a bladder infection.
The Copywriting Forum is Warrior’s most on the nose department. There is more ego per square inch in this section than in Justin Bieber’s dressing room. I’m not sure why that is. Maybe the copywriters and the copywriter wannabes who hang out there consider their craft an important one. Why, sure it is. After the apocalypse, people won’t be running to doctors, builders, or martial arts savvy mercenaries to make life tolerable for them, they’ll be running to copywriters. While it’s true that copywriters can make serious money, so can pimps and drug pushers and they don’t tell anywhere near as many pork pies.
The Warrior Special Offers Forum is where for a $20 love offering to PayPal entrepreneurial guns can flog their surefire methods to generate aggressive streams of passive income at a discounted price. (Why should idiots pay top dollar?) What beats me is how come nobody ever stops to ask why these “special” offers are being offered in the first place? I mean if I came up with a way to get rich online, I’d want to keep it a secret so I’d make all of the money. Yet we’re supposed to believe that these marketing geniuses are so overcome with altruism they’d rather headbutt a swinging wrecker’s ball than not share the wealth with their fellow man. Of course what these purveyors of center-formatted jetsam have come to realize, and hope you haven’t, is that there’s more money to be made from the dream than there is from the reality.
The Old Kids on the Block
As previously mentioned, Off Topic was my forum of choice, though that shouldn’t be considered an endorsement of Off Topic. That would be like endorsing scabies. When I posted there just about every thread would be hijacked by a witless clique of aging lotharios and post-menopausal women looking for that one last fling before romantic oblivion came to take them all away. Getting a Brazilian from a blind guy with a weed whacker would have been less painful than reading their excruciating badinage. Considering that Warrior Forum has outlawed discussions on race, religion, and politics, why on earth couldn’t it apply the same Orwellian censorship to this lot or just ban them for being so bloody irritating?
I wasn’t all that welcomed in Off Topic, because I have strong opinions and an often acerbic way of delivering them—as if you hadn’t already noticed. Newbies at Warrior Forum aren’t supposed to have their own opinions, anyway. They’re supposed to have the opinions of the veteran members. Some of these veteran members have made 1000-plus posts on Warrior Forum, which on the time-squandering scale is right up there with collecting Paris Hilton memorabilia and shuffling along city streets in filthy clothes, babbling incoherently.
You Can’t Ban Me, I Quit!
My downfall at Warrior Forum began as a result of a thread I started on bad English grammar. I should have known such an inexcusable topic would backfire on me, seeing that a guy had already been burned at the stake for starting a thread in which he had the temerity to ask forum members about their education level. My inspiration for this thread was all the sloppily written special offers in the WSO section. Many of these were supposed to have been composed by hotshot copywriters with years of experience behind them, yet were rife with grammatical and punctuation errors. Presumably proper English usage must only be an elective at copywriting school.
Online marketing pundits recommend that text written for the Web should be crammed into short sentences and
run down the
page like this so
you can get to the
end of the text quicker if
you don’t die of boredom first.
They also recommend that you pepper your text with images, so your readers—well, skimmers really—won’t be deeply hurt and offended by the presence of too many multi-line paragraphs in a row.
I elected to buck this brain cell-killing trend by posting one long paragraph. A detractor described it as a wall of text, a minor criticism I would have normally forgiven if it wasn’t for the fact that he began his post with “um.” If including mindless verbal pauses in posts is the shape of things to come, it won’t be long before stutterers post with a stutter, and people with Tourettes insert expletives randomly in their posts. Another detractor, a fellow Aussie content writer, took the opportunity the thread presented him to gripe about all the “ar**holes” who don’t appreciate the boo-boo-laden articles he writes for them. Well, I’m sorry, mate, but I happen to go along with the ar**holes on this one. Bone up on how to write properly or find alternative employment.
My main opposition came from a Warrior Forum superstar whose sole claim to fame, as far as I can determine, is that he’s published an online marketing newsletter since 1996. Maybe that’s something of an achievement in the online marketing world, but I couldn’t help but think of a pornographer accepting an award for the best bukkake video when I read about it. The bumptious fellow posted a link to a gaspingly tedious article he’d slapped together in which he likened a pedantic former teacher and by extension yours truly to a—wait for it—wombat. Why he chose a wombat as a metaphor is a question I don’t have the intellectual capacity to answer. Perhaps it’s like that bizarre gardening accident in This Is Spinal Tap, a mystery best left unsolved.
I responded to these sundry critics in a surprisingly polite fashion for me. I wish I hadn’t. I wished I’d rained simile-rich invective upon their unwashed bonces, but in the back of my mind was this faint hope that I could still gain some clients through the forum and thus refrained from opening up the heavens. The irony is that for all of the time I spent on that colossal waste of web code, I received only one enquiry about my services. When I informed the enquirer that I charged 10 cents per word, he or she ran screaming. Oh well, hindsight is always 20/20.
The Gift that Keeps on Giving
Although I’ve forsaken Warrior Forum, Warrior Forum, bless its precious heart, hasn’t forsaken me. Every day my email’s inbox overflows with Warrior Special Offers. That’s what I get for being stupid enough to include my email address in my forum profile. I tried to change it to firstname.lastname@example.org to stem the tide but no dice. Perhaps it’s just as well. By my reckoning I could be making in the region of $158,000.00 per day if I purchased all of them. With subject headings like “You’ve Got Cash,” “You Have a New Commission Payment,” and “re: $500 Bank Transfer Successful,” I’d be crazy not to.