Matt Forney
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Five Years Long, Five Years Strong


Today marks the five year anniversary of my blogging career. While I had other projects prior to writing In Mala Fide, none of them got any traction. In a field where the average writer only lasts about three months, I’m basically an old man. And like an old man, I’m going to take you on a little jaunt down memory lane and discuss the best (and worst) parts of this half-decade-long journey. I’ll also talk about where I plan on going in the near future.

Year One (2009-2010)

I leapt into action on July 15 with an article attacking Rod Dreher for his views on pornography. While I got some minor traction in the first couple of weeks (thanks to Ray Sawhill/Michael Blowhard, the Social Pathologist and some other now-departed bloggers), my big break was in August when my articles about George Sodini came to the attention of Roissy in DC’s readers. Traffic went from 3,000 hits in July to over 30,000 hits per month afterwards.

Most of my writing from this era sucked: Roissy-lite stuff about the “sexual marketplace” but without the personal stories (I lived in paranoia that I would be outed) and boring political crap. However, I did leave my mark with the article “The Eternal Solipsism of the Female Mind,” which was (unfortunately) responsible for turning “solipsism” into a manosphere buzzword. This and several other great articles from that era are collected in my book Three Years of Hate. Other highlights include helping found The Spearhead with W.F. Price, hating on dozens of people and getting hated on in response.

Oh, the idiocy of youth…

The big event of the year was ensnaring once-famous conservative pundit and failed cult leader Lawrence Auster into a week-long flame war on the “morality” of game. Thus began a pattern in which every six months, the “traditionalists,” “neoreactionaries” or other trendy right-wing Internet tough guy group du jour would instigate a flame war with manospherians (or “gamers” as they were known back then), both sides would talk past each other for a week, and nothing would get resolved. As for Auster himself, he finally went to Hell last year.

To quote Mark Ames: “Gosh, I guess that means… I won.”

As idiotic as it sounds to romanticize something like this, I miss those old days. While the blogosphere might have been smaller then (this was before the “manosphere” had even come into being), the talent level was higher. Roissy in DC was riding high, attracting one of the most intelligent readerships I’ve ever seen on any single site (Chateau Heartiste is to Roissy in DC as Start Making Sense is to Talking Heads). 2 Blowhards was still around, Richard Spencer was still the editor of Takimag, and people who came onto our blogs were actually interested in self-betterment and learning. Now every dipshit starts a blog after reading two Return of Kings articles and thinking he’s so edgy.

My personal favorite articles from the first year (that are still online) are “Eternal Solipsism” for its longstanding impact, my parody of Lawrence Auster for its hilarity, and my review of The Myth of Natural Rights and Other Essays just because.

Year Two (2010-2011)

This was the golden age of In Mala Fide. It was during the second year that my flaming and hating gave way to more mature, articulate pieces, the quality of my readership went up as I inherited Roissy’s smarter commenters, and I was completely on top of my game. The lion’s share of the articles in Three Years of Hate (if not the majority) are from 2010 and early 2011.

My favorite articles from that era are my analysis of teenage girls who take selfies, my review-cum-analysis of The 4-Hour Workweekand “Why I Hate the Day After Thanksgiving,” a tale of retail wage-slave woe. Also, I got my first pseudo-groupie, a Canadian girl who sent me topless photos of herself (that I have since lost).

The big event of this year was when I posted the home addresses of Anna Ardin and Sofia Wilen, the Swedish feminists who falsely accused Wikileaks founder Julian Assange of rape. While a number of outlets had got to the info before me, my blog helped catapult their identities into the mainstream, as it was posted on Reddit and got upvoted all the way to the front page. I got well over 50,000 hits in a single day, a traffic record I wouldn’t break until nearly three years later.

In early 2011, I transitioned In Mala Fide into a multi-user magazine, a disastrous mistake. I had no experience running a project like this and it showed: I invited on just about anyone who could write in complete sentences, and lack of quality control led to many of my smarter readers jumping ship. That said, the site continued to grow at a steady clip and I helped give voice to what would become some of the bigger names of the alt-right/manosphere, including Frost, Bronan the Barbarian!, Davis Aurini, Mitch Sturges and several others.

Year Three (2011-2012)

By this point I was becoming disillusioned with my own site and worn down by the ridiculous amounts of work it required. The fact that my personal life also collapsed around this time didn’t help. Nonetheless, I trucked on with In Mala Fide until June of 2012 and produced some great pieces, including “In Praise of Self-Loathing,” “America’s Four Hundred Year War Against the Catholic Church,” and my review of Jack Donovan’s The Way of Men.

Feeling stalled by my association with the manosphere, I started writing under my real name in April 2012. My original plan was to avoid any connection with the ‘sphere (beyond “guest-posting” for In Mala Fide: only an idiot would throw away a site that popular without making use of it) and write about “red pill” concepts in a more moderate tone. However, after A Voice for Men potentate Paul Elam went off his meds and attacked me for a mild criticism I made of his site, I decided to take the gloves off. Standout articles include:

2012 was also when I began my hitchhiking trip from New York to Portland. My early posts on my run-in with Canadian border guards and getting stranded in the Chicago Southland were big hits.

Late 2011 and 2012 was the golden age of the manosphere. Not only was it dominated by well-written blogs by legit guys (Roosh, Mark Zolo, Bronan, Mike @ Danger & PlayFrost, Gmac, Chuck RossProfessor Mentu, Mitch Sturges and others), this year was when we began networking and talking on the regular. Several major “spontaneous” manosphere events, such as the Google bombing of a misandrist dating site and the attempt to make Nigel’s Big Game Blog the number one Google hit for “fat acceptance,” were actually the result of serious behind-the-scenes planning.

In the former case, we caused so much damage that the site’s owner had to hire an SEO expert to keep her business from collapsing.

While half of the original “class of 2010” blogs are gone now, I’ve become real-life friends with most of the guys from that era.

Year Four (2012-2013)

The first half of this year was consumed with the remainder of my trip, where I was viciously sexually assaulted by girls at rock concerts, labored in the North Dakota oil fields, violently partied in Des Moines, and lived in a socialist commune in Portland, among other things.

While this was the most exciting year of my life, it was the worst in terms of my writing. While I had a number of great experiences and met some cool people, traffic slumped while I was on the road and my online cashflow pretty much collapsed. Additionally, most of my articles weren’t that great, as I was (and am) preserving the juicier bits of my time on the road for an upcoming book. It wasn’t until the second half of the year that my work returned to its regular quality. Some good articles from that period:

I also posted my first April Fool’s article, trying to convince you that I’d been raped.

I closed comments in January 2013, but ended up reopening them in April after watching my traffic and SEO rankings take a nosedive. While the experiment failed, I am proud of myself for being able to continue to write without the instant gratification of having people chime in on my articles. My motivation to write comes from within, not without.

This year was also the one where my articles started going viral… with amusing consequences. In February, I was targeted by no less than Anonymous for writing a joke article about rape. Two months later, I called Portland girls fat and ugly and the entire city went apeshit. Finally, my joke articles about fat girls have slowly taken over the Internet, with offended porkers calling me “the fucking Antichrist” and claiming my hurtful words have inspired their little sisters to attempt suicide.

2013 was also when I began publishing books in earnest, starting with Three Years of Hate and moving to Confessions of an Online Hustler and other titles. As it turns out, attempting to release three books in the span of a month is a pretty bad idea if you care about quality. I’ve since had to re-release each book with better editing and new cover art. Nonetheless, sales of each turned my site into a profitable endeavor before the year was up.

Finally, this was the year in which I came to terms with the In Mala Fide legacy. While I didn’t spill the beans until April, pretty much everyone who was anyone had figured out the truth by then, and I just flat-out told a few folks. I’ve moved on mentally and emotionally from that period in my life, but to an extent, I’ll always be defined by my writing as “Ferdinand Bardamu.” Better to embrace it and profit off it than pretend it never happened.

Year Five (2013-2014)

Bam! Sha-bam! Kaboom!

This past year has been my absolute best in every respect. My life experience, maturity and improved writing skills have enabled me to consistently write quality posts that draw lots of eyeballs. Even my crappier posts this year are a big step-up from what I’ve published in the past.

I began the year with a literal bang: nailing my first groupie. I also created a fake “red pill woman” blog to troll the manospherenearly got killed (again) in New Orleans, and climbed a goddamn mountain in Utah. I was also nearly interviewed by ABC News, launched my own online bookstore and hosted a meetup in Brooklyn where everyone got laid except for me. I proclaimed the manosphere dead after phonies took it overstarted hosting a weekly podcast, and finally made enough money off of my book sales to quit the 9-to-5 for good.

There are too many good posts to list, but here are some of my favorites:

For my April Fool’s joke, I announced that I was going to kill myself.

This year was also the one in which my writing exploded into the mainstream, when “The Case Against Female Self-Esteem” went viral on Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook and a million other sites. On October 8, I busted my previous single-day traffic record by getting over 80,000 hits, then broke that record the next day when I got just under 170,000 hits. In fact, I got so much traffic that my web host shut my site down for nearly a full day due to all the havoc the whiners were causing. My article also inspired countless death threats, tear-filled responses and impassioned YouTube rants.

At well over 2,000 comments and millions of hits, “The Case Against Female Self-Esteem” is by far the most popular thing I’ve ever written.

In terms of popularity, my most listened-to podcasts are my interviews with Andy Nowicki and Dr. Illusion, respectively. My personal favorite episode is the interview I did with Ann Sterzinger, because I got to rant about how much I hate Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace.

This past year was also the one in which I spent the most amount of time working on the blog, whether it was writing, podcasting, brainstorming or heading out to have bloggable adventures. As a result, this year has seen more traffic (and income) than any year prior.

The Future

I’m constantly working to expand my online empire and bring the Gospel of Matt Forney to every corner of the globe. To that end, I’m going to keep posting here five days a week, keep doing podcasts and keep writing books. I’ve just relaunched my YouTube channel and I anticipate doing one video a week for the foreseeable future. I have four books in the works right now:

  • The Best of Matt Forney, Volume Two (title TBA): Pretty much self-explanatory, this will include my greatest hits from the second year of I would have published it earlier, but I was tied up on another project that (inadvertently) has provided the fodder for the book following this one. Expect this book sometime in August.
  • Untitled Self-Help Guide: Keeping the subject matter of this book under wraps, but it will cause a firestorm when I release it. I’m currently gunning for September or early October.
  • Hitchhiking Memoir (title TBA): Yep, I’m still working on this. I’ve been taking it slow for a number of reasons, mainly because I was concerned about quality. Writing a memoir or novel requires a delicate edge: you need to convey emotion without being whiny, make people laugh without being dismissed as a clown, so on and so forth. Additionally, much of my time has been soaked up by projects that make more money in the short term. I’m tentatively (very tentatively) scheduling this for Christmas.
  • Mardi Gras Memoir (title TBA): No, this book hasn’t vanished either. Like with the hitchhiking memoir, I want to make sure it’s as good as it can be. Additionally, I’m waffling on whether to release this before that book; this one is shorter, but chronologically takes place after that book. Depending on what I go with, either this book or the hitchhiking memoir will be released around Christmas. These books combined with Life During Peacetime form an odd trilogy about an odd couple of years of my life.

My goal is to continue to entertain and inform men by writing about interesting topics, be it making money online, traveling abroad, or picking up girls. Even with five plus years of writing under my belt, I still believe I have important things to say. So long as I keep having cool experiences and pushing myself out of my comfort zone, I’m sure I’ll be able to keep writing until the day I die.

Ask Matt Forney Anything

This is also the perfect opportunity to plug my upcoming Q&A podcast.

We’re coming up on the one-year anniversary of The Matt Forney Show (formerly Matt Forney’s Podcast Extravaganza), and in celebration, I’m doing a Q&A episode. Put simply, if you want to ask me a question on any topic, I will answer it in a special podcast on August 13th, exactly 365 days after I posted my first-ever podcast. Do you want life advice? Curious about my personal life? Want my opinion on world events?

Ask and ye shall receive.

The deadline to get questions in is August 11th, as I typically record podcasts in advance. If you have questions, either leave a comment on this post (or any podcast post between now and August 13) or shoot me an email (subject line “Podcast Q&A”).

Onwards and Upwards

Before I go, I’d like to thank everyone out there reading this: lurkers, commenters, customers, colleagues, all of you. It’s your support, encouragement and patronage that has made it possible for me to do this for a living. Without you, I’d be stuck doing data entry in some crappy government office; instead, I’m boarding a plane to the Philippines in exactly one week.

I may slow down my writing or change direction from time to time, but I’m not going anywhere.

Here’s to the next five years.

Read Next: Housekeeping In Mala Fide

  • Congrats, Matt.

  • pierre

    First of all, i would like to congrats you and looking forward to your next book and Q&A podcast.
    As for my question i would like to know whether you intend to write a fiction novel in the near future. If yes, then what specific genre would you like to write about and why? if not, then why not?

  • My kingdom

    The manosphere would be badly off without your worldview. Power to you, Matt.

  • Johnny Arson

    Man, I’ve been reading you this whole time. In Mala Fide was a perfect moral guide at a time when I was reevaluating just about every idea I had about everything, most especially feminism. Here’s to another five years.

  • Danger & Play Blog

    Man, has it really been five years? Congrats!

  • Pingback: Blogging and Value |

  • Robert Stickwell

    Hey Matt. Congrats. Can you help spread the word about a feminist defence lawyer that tweeted about white male genocide? Google returns almost no results. Of course no msm will touch it unless you guys make some noise.