This post has been building in me for a while but receiving one more Project AWOL follower today sent me over the edge. I have a post ready to publish about money and wealth consciousness and I know that the vultures will swarm if I don’t say this first. Maybe they will still swarm but I can’t keep politely silent any longer.
If you don’t know what Project AWOL is then you probably don’t blog. There have been some posts written by other awesome bloggers that go into their feelings towards project AWOL, like Daka Razor’s post on online scams or Jen’s post, entitled Project AWOL is a scam.
This is how it works :
1. I receive an email to say I have a new follower.
2. I am excited.
3. I open the email to see who this new follower is.
4. WordPress informs me that this person also has a blog and says “Perhaps you will like their blog as much as they liked yours!” and then lists 3 posts of theirs that I can click on to take me to their page.
5. If they are a Project AWOLer there will inevitably be one post with the title ‘Life begins at the END of your Comfort Zone’ or something similar and one will mention AWOL.
6. I am disappointed or irritated or just delete and get on with my day.
Project AWOL followers are the kids at school who only want to be friends with you so they can come over and swim in your pool. Have they noticed no one sits next to me at lunch? They make me feel like a bit of a loser. Duped again!
One time I did click on Project AWOL, before I knew what it was and even recently when I didn’t realise a blogger was involved with the scheme.
Daka Razor sums it up so nicely,
Without fail, ALL of their blogs centred around some form of sales pitch about them being some kind of “entrepreneur” and how they were enjoying the high life and that I too could have it all.
What they do have on their blogs are a myriad of posts, web vids, cheesy motivational posters and banner ads all saying that you too can have all the riches in the world and that they are happy to share that golden information with you. All you have to do to reap bucketfuls of easy money is to give them your email address and they will tell you their secrets to success.
There is a big shiny purchase button at the end of that rainbow and you only have to pay $25 monthly and they will tell you ALL the secrets of their success! Then you can go retire in Thailand at the age of 25! But they won’t tell you what their secret is until after you pay. And that’s one of the reason’s I will never ever join Project AWOL.
Here are some other reasons :
1. I’ve always been really repulsed by things that are too full-on salesy, like 45 minute videos on how much fun we’re having (and you can too!).
We don’t have to convince people to buy stuff and swindle money out of them. Lean back brother.
2. Project AWOL follower emails feels like SPAM in my inbox.
It’s like getting excited about mail in your letterbox and then finding it’s just promotional material from a company, disguised in an envelope.
3. Project AWOL blogs seem to only post material that intends to entice bloggers to sign up for their marketing scheme.
What I write comes from a place of genuinely wanting to share. When I mention a book or a program or a video, it is because I believe in it. It’s silly I know. And I’d just find it so boring to have to continually write posts that are marketing material in disguise and project myself as a hyper-happy person having the time of my life (and you can too!). When does the sugar wear off?
4. Project AWOL seems to be a pyramid scheme (or ‘the reverse funnel’).
Some corrupt genius really is kicking back in Thailand, while all the worker bees are swarming over the internet.
5. I don’t want to join a blogging mastermind group.
I’ve got enough stuff to do.
So I am not signing up for Project AWOL. I choose to be authentic. Wouldn’t you?