How an Online Hustler Became an Internet Superstar


Do you wanna become a king of an internet business empire?

Do you wanna make money while you sleep? To have your bank account swell bigger and bigger without lifting a finger?

Do you wanna quit your soul-crushing job and live life on your own terms?

If you’ve answered “yes,” you’re not alone.

Welcome to the 21st century. The dream of a house with a white-picket fence, wife, 2.5 kids, and a stable career gives way to the desire for freedom. Forget the house. Forget getting married. Forget wasting your life in a job.

It is about living life and not worrying about money.

You have big dreams and you know they’re possible. People with less intelligence and fewer resources achieved your dreams. And you’ve heard that it is easier to start your own business now than any other time in history.

But there is just one problem :

You don’t know what to do.

Do you join a multi-level marketing organization? Do you start a blog? Do you become a YouTube celebrity? Do you buy the latest product from a website plastered with pictures of fast cars and bikini-clad women?

The possibilities are endless.

Your first task is to narrow down the possibilities by pinpointing what you would like to do. Think of it this way … If you have $100 million dollars in the bank today, what would you do for the rest of your life?

If you answered “writing,” I wanna introduce you to someone who is has been there and done that — someone who is living your dream. This person has a popular, thriving website and is making enough passive income through the written word to never have to work another darn job in his life.

His name is Matt Forney. He wrote Confessions of an Online Hustler: How to Make Money and Become an Internet Superstar. And in this article, he’s gonna tell you how he built his online empire.


Interviewing Matt Forney

1. Is it possible to support yourself with an online business or it is a scam?

It’s very possible, but it’s also hard work. Guys like Stefan Pylarinos and Tim Ferriss have built careers on selling get-rich-quick scams to a gullible populace. The reality is that online business is like any other kind of business. In order to succeed online, you need to work hard, work smart and have a little bit of luck. There are no shortcuts, no tricks, and no “hacks.”

2. Why should people listen to you about online hustling?

For starters, I walk the walk. I’ve been hustling and writing online for nearly a decade, and have been involved in this part of the Internet (the “manosphere” or whatever you want to call it) for over five years. I started out with no name and no reputation and now I make enough money to live independently. I know this stuff backwards and forwards.

The other reason why you should listen to me is because I don’t bullshit people. I don’t make grandiose claims about how it’s possible to make thousands of dollars a month with “Kindle money machines” or have a 4-hour workweek and the like. I’m honest about the work I had to do to get where I am, the mistakes I’ve made, and what you can expect by following my methods. I’m not as successful as the Tim Ferrisses of the world because I give people the cold, hard truth instead of spinning comforting lies.

3. How did you get started? What’s your story?

I’ve run various blogs since I was a teenager, but the most enduring site I ever created was In Mala Fide, a blog I wrote under the pseudonym “Ferdinand Bardamu” from 2009 to 2012. At its peak, the site got 50,000 readers a month and was popular enough to be cited by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a “hate group.” I graduated to writing under my real name in 2012 to chronicle a hitchhiking trip I took from my hometown of Syracuse, New York to Portland, Oregon

Since then, my writing has been focused on my views on masculinity, women and society, literary criticism, and whatever else is on my mind. I also write on income independence, making money online and other related topics so that other guys can achieve the freedom that I have.

4. Are you supporting yourself with your online business? How long have been financially independent through it?

I’ve been living 100 percent off of my blog and books since April of this year. While I could have gone independent earlier, I was paranoid about not being able to make enough money to live off of and unsure of the direction I needed to take in life. I eventually quit my job in April because I realized that I was using my job and fears as an excuse. I needed to shock my system and move on with my life.

It’s worth noting that a big part of being financially independent isn’t simply making money, it’s not spending money. I’m far from being rich, but I live a modest lifestyle. I don’t own a car, I live in Southeast Asia and I don’t waste money on things I don’t need. Because I live simply, I can get by on far less money then the average cubicle monkey. If you cut unnecessary expenses out of your life, you’ll be surprised at how far you can get on a smaller income.

5. How does it feel being your own boss and knowing that everything depends on you now? Would you ever go back and get a job?

It’s a wonderful feeling being your own boss. Every day, I wake up when I want, go to bed when I want, do what I want. I work as much or as little as I want to each day. If I feel like taking a break to play video games or go out clubbing, I can do it without having to worry about making it in to work the next morning. The only way I’d go back to working a day job is if I was offered a dream job as editor at a magazine/website I respect or as a radio host.

The main problem I have to face being self-employed is maintaining discipline. If I slack off, there’s no one to whip my ass into shape. I’ve been living in the Philippines for the past three months, and being surrounded by so many easy, hot girls has sapped my motivation. I have several books that have missed their release dates because I couldn’t be bothered to do the work. While my income isn’t in danger of falling any time soon, not being able to meet my deadlines has hurt my confidence.

The bottom line: when you’re self-employed, you need to be able to do the work. That means working when you don’t really want to, when you’d rather be at the beach or hanging out with your girlfriend. I have flexibility, but if I don’t sit down and do the work at some point, I don’t get paid. Discipline is what separates the successful from the failures.

6. In your book, you talk a lot about writing. How does someone figure out what to write about?

Reading and doing. The latter is self-explanatory: get out there and live life. Do cool things. If your life isn’t interesting, nothing you write will be interesting. The former is also important: by reading as much as you can (fiction and nonfiction), you learn how to develop your voice and your interests.

Once you get these things down, start writing about whatever interests you. Don’t worry too much about quality. Everyone is terrible when they start out. I sometimes look back on things I’ve written years ago and I think, “What the hell was I thinking? I actually WROTE this crap?” But practice is the only way to improve, and if you keep writing, you will eventually develop a niche in which you can flourish.

7. How much does it cost to get started? Is there a way to bootstrap the business for those low on cash?

It doesn’t cost anything to get started writing online: all you need is a free blog and some free time. Even if you want to upgrade to your own domain and web server, it won’t run you more than around $100 a year. You can make that money back very, very quickly and then some.

8. Who should get your book and who shouldn’t get it?

Anyone who is interested in becoming self-sufficient — or just making a good side income doing what they love — should get my book. Anyone who is lazy, unimaginative and thinks they can become a millionaire from a blog should not get my book. Stick to your day job and your dog-eared copy of The 4-Hour Workweek.

9. For the people just starting out, what is the best advice you can give them?

Do. The. Work. I can’t stress this enough. If you want your blog or books to pay like a job, you need to treat them like a job. That means working. It means foregoing playing video games and going to the bar with your buddies to work. It means researching, reading and learning from your mistakes. If you just dabble in it, you’re not going to see any success. Again, look at successful businesses: moguls like Mark Zuckerberg got to where they are through an almost obsessive dedication to their craft. You don’t need to become a hermit, but you do need to do the work.

10. What is your plan for the future?

I’m returning to the U.S. to take the next big step in my career: I can’t reveal what it is right now, but I hope to be able to soon. I’m also planning to finish up several book projects, including the long-awaited memoir of my journey across America in 2012.

11. Is there anything else you would like to share?

Yes: don’t get discouraged. It’s very easy to get dismayed and quit when it seems like your efforts to make money online aren’t bearing fruit. Getting discouraged is why it took me so long to become financially independent: I kept scuttling projects instead of letting them grow. The reason why I’m so successful is because I found a niche and stuck with it. So long as you start reading, writing and living, you will find your calling.

Do You Wanna Know More?

If you wanna know the nitty-gritty details about how Matt Forney achieved financial independence through his internet business, be sure to check out Confessions of an Online Hustler: How to Make Money and Become an Internet Superstar. I’ve read and he offers excellent advice. For example, by implementing one little addition to my site, I prevented so many hackers from breaking in. (Click here to see my review of the book.)

Confessions of an Online Hustler

I just wanna add one more thing:

If you follow his advice and do the work, you too can achieve the American dream of the 21st century.

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  1. A wonderful post. So many things resonated with me…so much honesty.

    Thanks for sharing. This guy’s definitely got his head in the game.

  2. Great post Alex!
    Matt is the real deal when it comes to hustling online! I found this part of the internet through his former site “In Mala Fide” and have been here ever since. His “Confessions of an online hustler” books have a lot of information that any aspiring blogger can learn from. I know for me it has made the blogging business more clearer to me than I was before.

    I met him in for real at a NY meet up a few months back and to honest he is a cool ass dude!
    Matt can’t wait to have you back in the states brah!

    Great post Alex as always!

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