My 3 Greatest Mistakes Writing For Return Of Kings

Failure can often be a greater teacher than success. Our most valuable learning experiences are often the ones that leave us looking like a fool. With that in mind, I offer the three greatest mistakes I’ve made since I started writing for ROK:

1. Underestimating How Much Money Drives The Internet

When I began writing for ROK, I naively assumed other bloggers were writing for the same reason I was—because they wanted a platform to share their perspective. I had little conception of internet marketing, or that for many, writing is merely a means to an end. I assumed other blogs writing on similar topics were simply sharing a perspective, rather than trying to capture a marketshare. When they attacked people I respected, I was confused. After all, isn’t there room for everyone?

In retrospect, it was an education I needed. If you’ve ever spent money on an ebook that turned out to be worthless, or paid for coaching that didn’t help, you’ve gotten a taste of that education too. For many, the internet is a place to extract value from, rather than give to. Writers need to get paid for and market their work, but as a reader, it’s wise to always look at the financial incentives of what you read online—yes, even my work.

Not understanding internet marketing caused me to miss a few frauds. Some of them eventually came after writers I respect. If I’d known then what I know now, I’d have called them out immediately. Though it’s perhaps my only regret writing for ROK, it’s a lesson I won’t soon forget.

The flip-side of this lesson is that if you learn how scams sell products with no-value, or frauds make a name for themselves, you’ll know how to promote work that does have value. I’ve already applied what I’ve learned about internet marketing to work I do outside of ROK. Knowing the basics of internet marketing is essential. If you can relate to my mistake, start studying.

2. Underestimating How Much The Media Lies


2014 was the year of lies. The year began with lies, as the media tried to link a mass murderer from a forum that tried to dox ROK writers, with our supporters, when he actually had more in common with their own failed philosophy. There were lies by omission, like Rotherham, in which the rape of thousands of young girls was covered up due to political correctness.

There were institutional lies, like the corruption exposed by #GamerGate – which had mores stories than I can list here. The year ended with one of the largest media scandals yet—the UVA rape hoax, in which Rolling Stone magazine published an entirely fabricated rape story that went viral and caused mass hysteria.

I’ll admit, it wasn’t until suspicions were raised by the RooshV forum that I started to question the story. I assumed on first reading that the reporter responsible, Sabrina Erdely, had interviewed not just her primary source, Jackie Coakley, but all of the friends she quotes in her article.

The idea that a reporter for a major magazine would have an agenda did not surprise me, but that she would be so incompetent as to not even speak with the people she attributes quotes to in her article? Surely the media couldn’t be that arrogant!

Well it turns out, they were. At this point, the UVA rape story has been exposed to be a complete fabrication, and no one in the media has learned anything from it. I’ve yet to see one thought piece asking what this means for journalism, but I’ve seen several defending it. Whatever #GamerGate said about gaming press is true of the larger media.

To my knowledge, the first to question this story were Richard Bradley, the brilliant RooshV forum, and Return of Kings. Part of the reason I love this site is that there are others here who catch the lies I don’t. Now, I won’t put anything past the media. This won’t be the last time they lie, or even the worst. Count on it.

3. Underestimating Myself

This is either a humble-brag, or a confession of my lack of confidence. I’m not sure which. I assumed when I started writing on ROK, no one would have any idea who I was or read my work for at least two years. I was just a guy who’d gained a lot from the manosphere, and wanted to give back. I had a desire to be heard and a willingness to learn, and that was about it. See point 1—when I started I was so naive, I didn’t even know what internet marketing was.

Since then, I’ve had people I respect respond to my writing online, including those who introduced me to the red pill. I’ve seen my article reblogged by I’ve seen my posts turn up on real-life friend’s timelines, not knowing it was me writing. I even had one guy say that it was my article that turned him red pill.

I feel incredibly honored knowing that my work has affected even just one of you. My Return of Kings identity is relatively separate from my everyday life. I launch these posts into the unknown, not knowing who will read them or what affect they’ll have. I was honestly considering retiring from ROK, when I read I’d turned someone red pill and got another email from someone who appreciated my work the same day.

Haters don’t faze me, but kindness still makes me a little teary. Your words have more power than you know. If me or another writer at ROK has made a positive difference for you, let us know by email or Twitter.


If you have a desire to write, or create something, start. Don’t wait. Just start. If you’ve got something to say, it’ll be worth it, mistakes and all.

*Bonus mistake: My Screenname.

Don’t get me wrong, I like the symbolic value of my former screenname “runsonmagic” (runs-on-magic, get it?), but it does read like a twelve year-old’s AOL screenname. I used to cringe when I’d read serious criticism of my writing referencing me by that name. While I still support online anonymity, from here on out I’ll be using my more formal name on ROK: Eric Crowley.

Read More: The Best Of ROK Staff Writers In 2014

56 thoughts on “My 3 Greatest Mistakes Writing For Return Of Kings”

      1. I always thought it was subtle sarcasm directed at SJW hamster-unicorns.
        Or maybe that’s just me.

  1. This past year I learned how SEO and Google rankings work because I started doing more marketing for my own business. The more quality articles that are published and linked to on rok will increase our rankings and our ability reach out to more men worldwide. The biggest threat are SJWs in the bellies of the beasts like Google and Facebook who will seek to shut us out. This really is cyberwarfare in the new millenium.

  2. There is still something powerful about pseudonymity.
    Your message is weighed on its own merits.
    When you see your friend praising your writing and ideas, you know that is was based on the content and not duty to friendship. That’s got to a great feeling of beaming secret pride.
    All the SJWs claim they want to be judged for their character and their achievements and not suffer discrimination based on their identity or group membership. The truth is that their ideas would likely be ignored if their membership in some preferred class were unknown. Whether these classes suffer in everyday life is one question, but their is no doubt that at their peak, the media and entertainment industries demand to present at least an optically diverse face to the world. In an effort to make it look like a Benetton Ad, they prefer diverse colored faces.
    If anonymity is good enough for the clever scribblers at The Economist, maybe it’s something worth considering more widely.
    I’d also be interested if the celebrated famous opinion leaders would still get the same attention if they didn’t have the platform of their media brand and fame and instead had to earn their audience attention based on the merits of every contribution.

  3. I still don’t understand some of you people. Sometimes you want to get rid of women but sometimes you want to have one. Someone explain this to me. Sorry, this is for another article.

      1. actually ray, im the opposite. when she is sucking my cock i am thinking of getting rid of her, when no one is sucking my cock i am thinking about bringing her in.

        1. If you got one of those electric folding beds you might be able to suck your own cock but aside from wondering if you should quit drinking after doing that, what do you do with yourself? 😀

        2. since there’s a bill hicks theme in the comments I’m wondering if you’ve ever watched the ‘if only men had one less verterbra’ routine. If we ever evolve to lose that verterbra its game over feminism

    1. You get a grab bag of writers on here, alot of the articles on here use to be pretty good and that’s why i started reading but the more i read or maybe the “manospheres” popularity they talk about has risen the more it just seems a platform for socially inept middle class white males to bitch about problems they never fix. Besides roosh most of these guys talk so much about the ass they’re getting on here i doubt they get any at all.

        1. So then what was the point of responding to my comment with a video that tells me to kill myself mister kent?

        2. You were saying that the “manosphere” is lauding itself as becoming more popular and mainstream. And that when a new popular market becomes exposed outsiders come and try to cash in.
          This inevitably leads to a decline in quality as genius level work is no longer being produced as an end in itself, but rather as a way to catch the attention of a wide audience and make money.
          Marketing is a big part of this… “Oh so lots of young men are feeling depressed and can’t find suitable women to date??? Thats a big market!!! If we present them with fantasies of harems and a Casanova lifestyle, they’ll probably buy our shit!!!”
          The video I posted is by Bill Hicks who is a great comedian from the 80s/90s and some of his ideas stand the test of time. He is criticizing the process of marketing to disenfranchised people.
          I think you’re confused because I was agreeing with what you were saying… I don’t necessarily think you should kill yourself sir.

        3. I hate marketers. Not only do I wish all marketers dead, but I hope they know it’s coming when it happens, and I hope they are scared and I hope it hurts. A lot.

        4. You should talk things over with your boyfriend before you comment on the internet, dude.

        5. Is cool.
          I liked your comment though kuz its true… Once the manosphere becomes accepted as “normal” I wonder how many people are gonna show up trying to sell snake-oil.

        6. I’d say marketing has it’s place but it should never dictate integrity of content. As true as it is in a brick & mortar corporate sense as it is on the Internet.

        7. “This inevitably leads to a decline in quality as genius level work is no
          longer being produced”
          There have been some very good articles but there is no genius here. Just averadge people who think they are special because they understood some stuff about women and society.
          Going mainstream will help you to understand that 99% of people -including you – are not “special” and will help you to move on with your life.

        8. Going mainstream means that the more innovative thinkers will have to find a new home because new ideas have no place in common thought.

    2. You see it’s about deciding when we want one and not having that decision made for us.
      Bet your thinking that’s wrong. Well, it’s not. Women get to decide. Look at what a mess that made.
      Now we decide. Our lives are better for it.
      “you people”. Heh.

  4. Congrads on taking the leap. You won’t be sorry. It will be hard in the beginning but once you touch the ascension, your name will be mentioned next to Quintus Curtius, AV8R & the other great writers on ROK.
    Best of luck, and looking forward to your cut-throat articles.

  5. 2. Underestimating How Much The Media Lies
    There was a story on some agribusiness scandal(this was actually on Fox) that was watered down to next to nothing by legal and management. The reporters quit, filed a lawsuit, won the lawsuit, Fox appealed, the appellate court overturned the initial verdict, ruling THE MEDIA IS UNDER NO LEGAL OBLIGATION TO REPORT THE TRUTH.
    I wish I could remember more details, but I read this shit well over a decade ago(and thats when I started tuning out the MSM).
    At least they dont lie to us about the weather 🙂

  6. “Underestimating How Much The Media Lies”
    Yes. Like website dedicated to calling out everything that’s wrong with humanity.
    Case in point, “people are obsessed with social media”
    Nice one!

    1. I think I spotted my first troll.
      Not as exciting as when I spotted my first bear when I was a kid, but close.

      1. Sometimes I read ROK articles while on my break at work, some-times I analyze the writing from home. But reading comments like yours, makes me burst into a laughter.

        1. shhh…dont spook the troll…she is unaware of our presence…we must be downwind

  7. Ah, so you’re Runsonmagic. Always found a lot of your contributions to be insightful & high quality. This includes your contributions to the Roosh V Forum. Keep up the fine work, Eric.

  8. Hopefully I come across your work soon! This makes me want to write as I’ve had a few ideas since last year… I keep thinking someone who can write well will post them. I suppose I need to get off my ass and write them, I’m afraid they’ll read like a stereo manual though.

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