We get a lot of questions about why you can’t do certain things when you join, and what it takes to be able to do those things. Of course, our user level permissions are all explained, but here’s a little more detail to make things super clear. Getting started When you first sign up your status is ‘Newbie’. Once you’ve got 15 posts under your belt, you will move up to ‘Newbie +’ which means you can send PMs and post on other users’ profiles. After 50 posts you officially become a ‘Registered Member’ which means you can now post links. But don’t just post anything to get to each of these quotas. The point of this set-up is that we want you to get to know the site a bit before you start contacting people directly and sending out links. Look around, read some stuff, introduce yourself and join in on the conversations. Don’t try to rush into this game because you’ll just end up with warnings, infractions or other members calling you out. Moving up in the (BlackHat)World After that, once you’ve been a member for 60 days and built your posts up to a grand total of 100 (or more, if you’ve got a lot to contribute), you’ll be eligible for Jr VIP status. This costs $97 per year and allows you to customise your signature and interact with the forums and threads for buying, selling and trading - namely Want to Buy, Hire a Freelancer and the Marketplace. Please note from Q3 2019 this will increase to $147 Once again, the point of this is for you to get to know BHW, understand how it all works, and avoid any silly mistakes. If you’re here for the right reasons, you’ll thank us for the hoops you have to jump through because they keep this forum awesome. Each Marketplace thread you create and/or edit as a Jr VIP costs $30. We charge for this level of membership and for the Marketplace threads because we want to make sure the only people who are selling through our forum are the ones who are here to do business, not spam, scam or other nefarious nastiness. Investing $97 per year on your BHW membership is going to open up a ton of earning opportunities, so do it right and you should make back your money (and much, much more) in no time. Plus, it takes us time to set up and update the Marketplace threads and time is money, so you get what you pay for. If you ever want to cancel your Jr VIP membership, you can simply login to PayPal and cancel the subscription. Easy peasy - your membership will then lapse at the end of the year you've already paid for. If you’re only in the market for the Hire a Freelancer and Want To Buy forums, you could purchase Premium Membership instead. This still costs $97 per year, and allows you to customise your signature, but it doesn’t include Marketplace access. Of course, you can buy Marketplace Seller status, if you’re short on time. You can pay $499 per year to access the Marketplace, without the need to have been a member for 60 days and contribute 100 posts. This tends to suit larger companies, rather than individuals and smaller start-ups. But, if you’ve got the cash and you want to save on time, Marketplace Seller status may well be for you. Once you reach this point, BHW really is your oyster. As long as you play by the rules and stay active on the forum, you’re going to be just fine. The heady heights of Executive status Once you’re a Jr VIP you’ve got access to everything this forum can offer its members, but if you want a fancy title and extra kudos, Jr Exec VIP and Executive VIP membership levels do exist. You have to be nominated for this accolade by your fellow members, and a vote decides whether you deserve the title. Before you ask, no, you can’t nominate yourself. You have to demonstrate your knowledge through valuable content, and engage in regular activity and decent conduct on the forum, enough for someone else to want to nominate you. Then the other Jr Execs or Execs (depending which level you’ve been nominated for) will discuss your nomination, vote and decide your fate. Basically, it’s a way of recognising the people who really get what BHW is all about and giving them a nice shiny badge of appreciation. You don’t get any extra permissions or functionality, it’s just a fancy title.