Update 2018: Warrior Forum has gone through some changes within the past couple years, several years after I wrote this initial review. They are even less relevant now than before. I recommend you take a look at my post on places to get help with affiliate marketing to start your search for a legit place to learn. I'll update that post from time to time as I run into new and interesting discussion forums.
I have ended up on WF from time to time just by accident, looking up information for product reviews. To be fair, there are some interesting discussions on the forum, but they are few and far between. It's not a place I'd actively seek out to “learn”. You'll have a much better time browsing blogs on the topic of online business you are interested in, whether that be FBA, affiliate marketing, paid ads, arbitrage, or whatever.
Seek out honest bloggers with good information, and go from there. There's ton's of free information online for how to start your business, but you have to take action, seek it out, and use your brain the best you can to decipher who's telling the truth and who's just blowing smoke.
Can You Trust Anything On Warrior Forum?
There are a lot of places to get information on internet marketing, but one of the most famous internet marketing forums out there is The Warrior Forum, often just called WF because it's so famous.
So, an internet marketing newbie, should you pay attention to what's happening over there? Who would benefit most from either the free version of WF or the paid version (called the War Room)?
If you are a reader of my blog and a member of Wealthy Affiliate, the simple answer is NO/NOONE. The Warrior Forum is a useless regardless of price, and following the advice you find within their pages could do some serious damage to your website or business.
The Free Membership
Quite surprisingly, most of the information in the forum is in the free membership. I'll cover what's in the paid membership below, but in the free version you get access to most topics like Social Media, Offline Marketing, Internet Marketing, Ecommerce, SEO, Email Marketing, and some other stupid sections like Growth Hacking and Mind Warriors.
All in all, there's about 30 different sections, and about 10-15 which might be of use to you on a regular basis.
Broken English Posts
There is definitely an international vibe within WF, which is fine by me, but a significant portion of the questions and comment I found were from non-native English speakers. This compounds the issue that the information or questions they were asking were either spam, repeats, or begging for help.
This is a minor issue, but I like to warm up before a real rant.
Same Questions Over And Over Again
Pretty much every section of the forum had desperately confused newbies asking things like “what's the best way to rank”, “how do I make money doing X”, and “does this product really work?”.
I work with newbies all the time, and when you are in a newbie friendly zone, I take these types of questions in stride. Everyone has to start somewhere, so I try to never make someone feel stupid for asking easy or even silly questions.
However, when you are purporting to be the most essential internet marketing forum today, to me, this is not acceptable. Create a newbie zone and stick those questions in there.
In a similar vein of asking questions, I saw a lot of guru wannabes, people who want to “fake it before they make it”, writing long posts about the secret system they discovered, general posts about how to make money online, or beaten-to-deal topics like how to get more subscribers or likes.
Again, this information is perhaps useful to someone that needs a bit of inspiration, or is just dipping their toes into the internet marketing world.
But for a complete newbie to really make money online, you need extremely detailed step by step guides, with some kind of support, be it via a forum, a private mentorship, or some kind communication with someone(s) who has done it before.
Reading a general post that has “provide value” as step #3 and “build a list” as step #5 is not going to benefit you in any way.
As a matter of fact, I found it difficult to find any legit information source about anything at all. Granted, I only browsed for about a hour or so and am not familiar with everything about how the site works. Perhaps there is something I missed, but the vast majority of what I saw was something I would consider a complete waste of time.
WSO – Danger Zone!
90% of WSOs (Warrior Special Offers) are complete BS. They are often created by serial product pushers, people that come out with a new sensational internet marketing product every few months.
The other 10% are again, the guru wannabes that are rehashing old information, slapping a snappy name on it like “Commission Crusher 3000”, and selling at as a revolutionary-never-been-done-before-one-time-offer-secret-deal.
*90% and 10% are made up percentages to describe majority/minority
So first off, most of what you'll find in WSOs are just junk that will not actually make you any money. Of those that are legitimate guides, many are rehashed information that can be bought as part of other courses or has been discussed numerous times before on blogs (for free).
Of the stuff that's not crap, and that is actually unique, you still run into the problem of not having sufficient support. As a stand-alone guide, some of them are OK, and might be worth $20 if you have some cash to burn. But I've yet to see anything that I honestly believed would serve as a guide to teaching a newbie how to make decent money online.
Warrior Ask Me Anything
This is a relatively new section to the forum, and at time of writing of this post, there were about 3-4 WAMAs. This is a decent idea, and if they can continue this every week, it might be worth attending these sessions. Sometimes it's helpful to see what the pros are doing, how they do it, and how it can improve your current business.
But this is just another example of guru-worshiping that gets people folks into the zone of “why is everyone else successful but me”.
For a new or pre-intermediate online marketer, this might not be a big deal. But for me, I see that a lot of the information put out by these “so called gurus” is highly conditional and speculative. It's a lot of “This thing worked one time, for one guy”, instead of “this works all the time for all people” type stuff.
That's not to say that you should completely ignore the experts – they are successful for a reason, and many of them are great guys/gals that can teach you a lot. But as you grow as an online marketer you have to carve out your own path and start deciding when to whose advice.
To sum it up, I think this is a decent part of the forum, but the focus should be less on “how do I copy this guy's success”, and more of “what can this guy teach me to grow my own business.”
$60 for What?
Maybe the dumbest thing I saw in my research today is that The Warrior Forum is charging $60 to put an image in forum signatures.
Forum signatures, in case you didn't know, are the little bits of added below each persons comment in a forum. It might say have a quote that describes them, or a link to their website. It used to be a way to gain backlinks to your website.
The idea behind an image is that it grabs the attention of the reader as they are scrolling through the comments. If it says something like, “Make money the easy way!”, they might click the image and you make a sale.
In a place where EVERYONE is selling something, your image is bound to get lost among the other junk found in WF, and people are so numb to self-promotion on this site, that any traffic that image might drive to your site will be people just investigating the competition.
The ONLY situation where this might be helpful to you is if you are a very active member that helps a lot of people, some folks might go to your site to see what you're about and maybe sign up for your email list and/or follow your blog.
As a new member, this is a waste of money both for the traffic and the backlink. The fact that a paid membership to WF costs only $20 and adding an image to your signature costs $60 is just ridiculous. I would love to hear an logical explanation for this.
OK OK, so I've added this section because I went back later this evening and noticed a few changes from this afternoon. First off, the lack of replies and activity I saw in the afternoon was because they were fresh questions, with just a few views. you can see in the image below that the as I revisited the same SEO section of from earlier, average # of replies changed from 1-3 to 10+.
So, I will admit that the forum is active. This will reflect my final conclusion below for “Whos is WF For?”. I didn't check all topics, and all replies, but I was still very unimpressed with what I saw. I still think you could get better answers from Dumb SEO Questions and get legit answers to pretty much anything, without the fluff. The same goes for Social Media groups on Google+, Facebook, & Twitter, or even niche website creation.
The War Room
This is the paid section of WF, and it's just as bad as the other parts. Wait, maybe it's worse because I had to pay to get in.
You can see from this screenshot that inside the War Room is essentially people giving away junk products. That's IT.
I expected to see the secret area for experts and successful internet entrepreneurs to discuss real topics related to their internet marketing businesses. I wanted to see real questions being asked, with intelligent discussions to follow.
Instead, it was just a gigantic list of “how to get more likes”, “how to make $1000 per month”, “4 steps to success”, and “free SEO guides”.
Who is Warrior Forum For?
If you couldn't tell, I'm not a fan of this place. I think it will confuse and mislead the majority of newbies to internet marketing, and if you start there, you may end up on a path that is hard to come back from. I've seen a few “old hat” WF members roll through WA from time to time and they always come with a chip on their shoulder, seeking riches through the secret methods that gurus are teaching behind the scenes (sarcasm).
I think a lot of folks that get wrapped up in the culture surrounding WF are on a mission to find that one product that will guarantee success, and that one legit guru who will finally live up to what he promises.
Even today in the WSOs I see members asking the same old questions, “Does this really work?”
However, I believe that there are some people that may benefit from a membership.
If you are an intermediate marketers that want to expand their knowledge, have tons of time, and know the difference between BS and legit info, give it a try. For me, $20 is not much to spend on a product, especially a year subscription to a forum.
There are some legit people that hang out there, and you may be able to benefit from some of the discussions that take place. However, I think there's a lot more substantial information to be found on blogs where people dedicate their days to writing high quality information about how to build your business. Some legit guys to follow are
- Rand Fishkin (Moz)
- Pat Flynn (Smart Passive Income)
- Patrick Sexton (Feed The Bot)
- Yaro Starak (Entrepreneurs Journey)
- Brian Clark (CopyBlogger)
With the wealth of information that these guys provide, I will not be seeking any advice from WF any time soon. And even though these guys are super smart and you can learn a lot from them, I still don't advice that newbies jump into that zone just yet.
If you don't have a website yet or don't even know what you business is going to be, you need to start with baby steps. This is why I recommend Wealthy Affiliate, the same place that taught me how to build my very first online business, and supported me along the way, making me into a full time internet marketer.
For the professionals or already successful/semi-successful online business owners out there, I believe you are much better off with a Google search or reaching out on Social Media. I don't believe you will find much benefit from a membership at WF.
Is There Hope for WF? (no)
At some point in time (maybe a few years ago) this was THE forum for internet marketers. Now, it's basically a place for people to sell products and exercise their baby guru muscles.
Recently, WF was sold to Freelancer.com, which is a pretty good place to outsource work, and I've used their service in the past. I hope that Freelancer is able to get inside the forum, clean out the junk, make some new rules, and reinvent what The Warrior Forum is supposed to be – a place for internet marketers to discuss, interact, and learn about their craft.
If not, this place is doomed to continue down the path which it's already on, and become completely irrelevant in the near future.
What do you think? Am I way off base and missing the whole point of the forum? Are you a member and what do you like/dislike about it?
Update: There was a thread in WF recently about Wealthy Affiliate, the main forum I participate in. Someone asked if WA was a legit company etc etc. Some trash talking went on, then a few people chimed in with positive reviews of WA. 2 days later, the thread was taken down. Completely deleted. DO NOT believe that these guys have any interest in your wellbeing at all.