Stop Selling Me Writer/Social Media Products

I’m not buying, and that’s final

Frank Vaughn
3 min readSep 4, 2023
Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash

These days, gurus are like cancer: they’re ubiquitous, untreatable, and ultimately fatal to my confidence as a content creator.

Seriously — they are freaking everywhere. EVERYWHERE.

I was cruising The Artist Formerly Known as Twitter a few months ago, and I hit the heart button on a tweet (post?) I thought was clever. That turned out to be a huge mistake.

Apparently, the creator of said entry took that as an invitation to spam me with their version of the classic Get Rich Quick spiel.

“Master Twitter in 30 days!”

“If you don’t buy my online course, you don’t care about writing!”

“You’re a loser bum with no future if you don’t pay me to teach you how to get paid!”

And on and on and on. It was high-pressure spam at its gnarly worst.

When I didn’t immediately respond with the expected fistful of cash, I got hit with this particular gem:

“What a disappointment, Frank. I thought you were ready to blow your bank account wide open.”

Uh…what? But you know, for some reason, that particular bullying guilt tactic pushed a button on me that I didn’t know I had.

So I finally decided to check out their website to see if what they were eye-banging me with would really live up to the hype. And do you know what I found?

It was essentially a modern take on the classic multi-level marketing scam. See, this person hadn’t gotten rich by practicing what they were selling. No, they got rich by selling what they were selling.

They weren’t eager to teach me how to write better or market my writing better. The class was basically teaching how to create a class to sell on how to create a class to sell…

If I ever were to be interested in taking a class on the craft of writing and marketing the products thereof, I would gladly pay to learn those exact things.

What I won’t do is buy a class that teaches me how to create a class to sell to others on how to create a class to sell.

I’m a writer. And while I realize that being a writer necessitates a certain effort and proficiency at marketing, what I am NOT is a salesman.

While I will always have to have an uneasy hand-shake agreement to sell what I’m writing, I won’t get sidetracked on selling sales. And I won’t bully others in any regard.

I finally responded directly to the quasi-Get Rich Quick Guru on Xitter and told them firmly that I was not interested in lining their pockets at the expense of my true calling.

Could I have learned some useful skills from them? Most likely. Almost certainly, actually.

But I was not — am not — willing to plunk down $500-$1500 (depending on the level of adbassery I selected) to sell out my dream and chase money at the expense of my very soul.

Friends (if any of you actually read this), decide for yourself whether you’re a writer or a salesperson and chase your dream accordingly. Just know that whichever choice you make, you’ll know pretty quickly if it was the right one.

I’m happy with my decision.



Frank Vaughn

Regional Emmy- and AP-award winning journalist and writer. Everyone’s brother.