Hi Sam, I’m new to your site and getting so much out of it. You mentioned you got your MBA for cheap or free–have you already written a post on it? I may not have gotten to your post yet, but I’m preparing for the GMAT and application process next month and need help figuring out how to get my MBA for cheap or free too. Can I ask how you did it? Any pointers please? Thanks!
Not that I recommend this as a permanent lifestyle, especially if you want to have kids some day, but you could always take one of those “Most Dangerous Jobs” as an oil platform worker, Alaska crabber, etc. which pay well, or even get into a decent skilled job in a manufacturing facility with a base of say, 50-60K after a few years, but work every shift of overtime you can get your hands on. Granted, I used to see many people miserable doing this, but they were bringing in 6 figures as a mechanic, pipefitter or in some cases, even HS level line workers. Finally, you can get a side job – like blogging!
Most of the information on this site is free for you to read, watch or listen to, but The Creative Penn is also a business and my livelihood. So please expect hyperlinks to be affiliate links in many cases, when I receive a small percentage of sales if you wish to purchase. I only recommend tools, books and services that I either use or people I know personally. Integrity and authenticity continue to be of the highest importance to me. Read the privacy policy here. I hope you find the site useful! Thanks - Joanna
...It is essential that the duties of the positions be performed with the diligence that their importance requires. Inevitably, then, a society must have, first, some kind of rewards that it can use as inducements, and, second, some way of distributing these rewards differently according to positions. The rewards and their distribution become part of the social order... If the rights and perquisites of different positions in a society must be unequal, then society must be stratified... Hence every society... must differentiate persons... and must therefore possess a certain amount of institutionalized inequality.
I would look into Wealthfront and automatically contribute a set amount every month from your paycheck after tax. The first 15K under management is free and it’s just 0.25% after that. Sign up and play around with the risk tolerance meter to see what different type of portfolios they come up with. They do tax loss harvesting and automatically rebalance for you based on your risk tolerance. You don’t have to fund the account to see the different portfolios.
I was just searching around on the net and found this blog. I saw an ad for inside sales that paid 50k as a base and FULL benefits 401K and all. With commissions it would max out at 85k if you hit quota according to the ad. Tempted to apply but when I see what is at home although Im not at 100k yet (not even close) I am not going back to the cubicle farm. Working for someone else will not get me to the 150k mark. This blog has given me more motivation!
I didn’t go back to technology until 2004 and didn’t start getting more focused on reclaiming financial independence until about 5 yrs ago, I guess. I’m still not as focused on FI as you and many of your readers are (or maybe used to be) – balance NOW is just as important to me as FI SOON. I’m wary of selling the present to the future, even if the future promises a sweet deal in exchange.
Yes, people who perform on stage look like a big group of people and they have union. Perhaps when you read the article about the strike you were surprised to know symphony players earn six figure salary, but only about 1% gets to play in the 100k+ salary orchestra from top music schools (Juilliard, Curtis, NEC, etc). I am a lucky few who plays in a major orchestra with 100k+ pay, but I spent my 20s practicing everyday earning $10k-$20k until I finally won the audition at age 30. (33 now) In order to be competitive in auditions, I own (parents and grandparents paid) an instrument that costs $300k. Most of the straight A students from top music school I know now earn below $50k. As a music student, it is a big success if one wins an orchestral job with $50k salary. Many try to teach and freelance at a $5k orchestra job to scrape by.
Wealthy Affiliate has a fantastic training program and a super-supportive community. Help is accessible 24/7/365, and not just any help, but from the very top! The founders themselves are closely involved in creating the training, giving advice, being there to guide you through things that might be unclear to a newbie. Having had first-hand experience with the Wealthy Affiliates platform, I would too, recommend them to anyone seeking to start their own online business.
An aspect I enjoy from the job is when the team you’re working on all comes together to present a final story. Each person (geologists, other engineers, economics) has their part and supports each other. Being a global industry, I’ve also enjoyed meeting people from all parts of the world. I’ve been able to travel about 8 times internationally..another perk (depending on the person) I did not really touch on.
If you’re writing reviews, you should 100% be using rich snippets (they add review stars to your search engine snippets and increase click-through rates). There are many WordPress plugins for this but my favorite is WP Rich Snippets. It’s $69/year (or $399 one-time) and I use it for every single review I write. They have tons of add-ons, settings, styling options, and looks nice. Free plugins like All In One Schema.org do work but lack settings, styling, and flexibility.

Steve has been extremely clever here because his affiliate product is completely owned by his company. This is the perfect example of matching an affiliate to a traffic stream. He wrote a high quality evergreen article that naturally developed trust due to his strong brand and large community and then developed the app to solve the problem of thousands of people asking him, “Dude, is that food Paleo?”

Hey, Ari! I think you’ve actually inspired a blog post or two in terms of how I define success. Professionally, success is a student coming back a year or five or ten later and sharing what they actually learn. Of course, there are other markers. Professionally AND financially, I’m about there in terms of maxing out my salary schedule. But I still have a lot of success to try to cultivate in my classroom that matters more than dollars and cents. In my financial life, I feel like success is a moving target. I have to remind myself the fact that I bought a house at 26 on my own and my husband and I can do many things (within reason) to support ourselves and our son AND have fun means I’ve already had success.
The latest annual inflation rate is 1.3 percent. It was 1.5 percent in 2013, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s well below average, but gas, food prices, college tuition and the cost of health care have taken the biggest bites out of six-figure incomes. The latter two, plus the cost of housing, have risen faster than the rate of inflation over the past decade.
[…] FICA stands for Federal Insurance Contributions Act and consists of a Social Security tax and a Medicare tax. This tax is very important for everyone to understand because so often we only think about federal tax rates and state income tax rates. The FICA tax is a big percentage of your total tax bill, especially for those making under six figures a year. […]

Great post, I also liked your one on starting a fashion blog. Do you have a post on affiliate linking through social media? I’m pretty confused on whats acceptable, especially for Pinterest. It seems Shopstyle {Shopsense} and rewardStyle seem to work on Pinterest. I started my website on Weebly.. so I am making the oh-not-so-fun transition over to WordPress currently.
My career field is allied health, and I don’t put my GPA on my resume. I should, because it is pretty good. :) But I always thought it was bragging…. in my particular are of work, we are a small interconnected community and word of mouth usually gets the job. Words of wisdom… Don’t be mean to your clinical students… they could possibly be the next person who interview you for your next job.

cracking that six figure salary is great but what’s even better is living within your means. Being in the software sales industry, it’s not uncommon to clear 200-250k on a decent year, upwards of 500-700k on a stellar year. The lifestyle begins to change and you start spending more. Fortunately I come from a very frugal family so saving has never been an issue however I’ve seen former co-workers splurge and somehow live check to check. It’s quite sad honestly and when they’re not producing it can get worse.
Interesting and motivating article. I didn’t take high school very seriously, and I only took my last 3 years of my 4.5 years of college with strong intentions to succeed. I got my GPA back up to a 3.33 from a 2.76 and landed two summer internships with Fortune 500 companies during school. I now work at one of those said companies and will gross just north of 85k after base salary, relocation, and sign-on bonus (also, could be closer to 88-90k depending on my performance bonus).
I like your blog , it’s very helpful. Can you suggest me a major that will guarantee me a high salary ( without having to spend too many years at collage) I am considering Nuclear Physics , but it requires 50-60 hours per week. I want to enjoy my money before my 30’s. I’m 17. It doesn’t matter how difficult the school will be , I have most of the grades equivalent to A and one or two equivalent to B+ , I live in Albania. Thanks and keep going with your good work!

ShareASale offers pay-per-sale, pay-per-lead, and pay-per-click programs, with a minimum payout of $50. ShareASale is my favorite affiliate program network because of their large marketplace (they have tons of blogger-friendly affiliate programs) and the ease of use. If you want to make money through affiliate marketing, I highly recommend you give ShareASale a try.
This is a great place to start for beginner affiliates. The deeper you get into affiliation, the potential is even great than $50 to $100 in the following industries: Gambling, Adult and Pharma…these industries can get an affiliate a $250+ CPA commission + Rev Share for successful affiliates. The sky is the limit and many people fall into the most amateur affiliate programs which is probably why most affiliates are not successful. I’ve been an affiliate marketer for many years now and if you’re just starting out, the one thing I recommend is first of all: Get familiar with all the tools, affiliation strategies…get to know the programs, establish a connection with your affiliate managers and if you put a lot of time in it and take it seriously…Sooner or later you will succeed. I’ve done it and I am still doing it. I have a few successful sites that I operate, I work both with Click Bank and independent affiliation programs…One word of advice, Amazon and Ebay are over-saturated…Try an affiliate program with a higher CPA and less competition…Competition can be measured simply by using the Google Keyword Tools. Great article! I love your blog. Cheers! Mike
The top programs for petroleum engineering are offered by public universities, notably The University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M, Louisiana State University, and Colorado School of Mines.  Much of the value of a PE degree comes from being able to obtain the best education on the market from public schools like these rather than obscenely priced private schools.
So, that answers part if your question…yes, my attitude toward work, humans, merit, fairness, money, work ethic and many other things changed in the years of my first early retirement…not really enough room in this format to dive into that, but maybe we can chat about it sometime. That said, the wife and I reclaimed millionaire mountain by 2013 and are looking to check out of the corporate grind again within the next 5 yrs or sooner depending on how the global economic drama plays out. Oh, and yup – I also sell most company stock grants soon after they vest.
You really CAN make a living as a blogger — if you're willing to commit the time and effort, and if you follow the advice in this book. Written by two leading authorities on creating and monetizing blogs, ProBlogger lays out the steps you need to follow to create a revenue-generating blog. Complete with exercises to help you put the advice into practice, this book offers a realistic, approachable look at what it really takes to turn blogging into a successful career.
I’m currently looking for ways to get my MBA covered (at a top 20 – my company will pay the local state schools no problem) and work too, to further accelerate my way into management and chase down a 250k+ job before 30 (excluding investments). Similar to what John said most people at my company only work 40 hours a week. I work closer to 50-60 on average but that is by choice to learn more skills while I am young and is not required. High tech is where it is at for sure.
I eventually learned the best model (for me) was to copy what Yoast did… charge a flat free for SEO Audits. People were always super happy with my audits. I still have my SEO audit templates (one for local SEO, national SEO, etc). Sometimes it would only take me 4 hours to write an audit and I would get $750, sometimes more if they wanted a more thorough audit. Maybe I undercharged?
If there’s one thing that all freelancers know, it is that their income is always ‘unpredictable’. Sometimes, you have work that you can’t even handle and sometimes, you are in desperate need for work. Your earnings as a freelancer depends on your time. The more time you spend, the more you will earn. This is why having recurring revenue can prove to be a significant factor of financial growth.

Hey financial smaurai I have a question, I just turn 18 and I’m gonna be a senior this year in high school, my grades was mediocre and my job sucks, I am a host of a restaurant making 10$/hour and only working 15-20 hour per week. I always wanted to be big in life and my passion is animals. I want to work in the field of zoology like maybe marine biology wil I be able to make 100k in that work field


In the old days of SEO you’d build backlinks using relevant anchor text. So, for example, if you wanted to rank for “bonsai trees” that would be the link text you’d use in your guest posts. And then the Panda update happened and Google took a swipe at unnatural link profiles which meant that SEOs started making their anchor text more natural (things like “click here to read the rest”).

Pradeep, in IT, there’s no getting around not taking tests towards certifications. Certifications is what gets you PAID in IT. Trust me. I career-changed into IT in my mid-twenties. I took a Cisco boot camp, got 3 CCNA certifications (Routing & Switching, Security, Wireless) and finally got a job as a wireless network engineer starting out at 50k/yr. It was shit and I had to travel 100% installing and configuring WiFi in Hilton hotels for an AT&T project BUT I had to get more experience to land a 9-5 with a regular company…and I did.
I could not disagree more with the title of this post. Six figures does absolutely mean something, as long as you don’t make poor financial decisions. You chose to buy all that crap, the worst decision being to buy that expensive house. I am 29, make six figures, and live comfortably. The reason why is because I was able to increase my income while keeping my expenses down. It’s really that simple. Of course, everyone’s life situation is different and normally expenses go up the older you get. My point is that Six figures does mean something as long as you are fiscally responsible. The title of this should be more along the lines of “dumb decisions I made once I started making six figures”.
I went from making $20k in 2016 to $100k in 2017 by dropping my web design/SEO clients and doing affiliate marketing/blogging full-time. 90% of my (passive) affiliate income comes from SiteGround, a hosting company who awarded me affiliate of the month in July, 2017 when I made $9k in 1 month. Since then I’ve continued to hit numbers like this – the screenshot below is from March, 2018 when I made $14.5k in 1 month (just with SiteGround).
1) You must send at least 35 unique clicks into the funnels each day using the free traffic methods we teach you. These must be genuine clicks sent to the first landing page in the funnels using the exact method we teach you inside the members area. For the purposes of this guarantee, "Day 1" will begin 48 hours from your investment in the 7-Figure Franchise.

I think you are on the right track about his willingness, or lack thereof to relocate. Knowing him, he is quite passive and possibly only limiting himself to local options. He has interned and maintained good grades. Despite his lack of ambition and possible reluctance to relocate, I am still surprised that he is having such a hard time finding something local as if there are no jobs in NY in Chem Eng field at all. Any advise I can pass on to my passive friend other than relocating?
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2.My neighbor is a master electrician and has brought me upon many side jobs with him where i have really learned alot about the electrical trade. Much more then at my day job. He really likes me and i know he wants too start his own business and he wants me to work for him full time one day, however i dont know what he plans too do with me, will i be partner or just a worker? i know he wont screw me but ive heard that partners are a waste of time, build yourself not someone else. however starting a company i know is a much bigger task then it seems and he has the experience and knowledge that i dont have yet, i know he is willing to teach me but this is a big commitment and in the end all my hard work could go into his pocket. however that experience is what could differ me from all the rest everyone i know does the standard work for a bigger company learn nothing and go up north. Even from the little bit he has taught me i have used to do my own side jobs and make 60 to 70 a hour, and i know he can teach me so much more.
Many students in high school and college are bored due to the courses being to easy and don’t feel the need put effort into the perfect gpa rat race. Just because you can obsorb and regurgitate the material does not mean you will be a hard working, loyal and reliable employee. If your GPA is 4.0, you can still be a horrible employee. How many employees go to highly ranked schools and get high gpas in studies which have no real use in the real world. Does that mean mean that 4.0 student was wise in making that decision, I don’t believe so. It’s more on how do you want to live your life.
If you have an inclination to chemistry, biology, can present your science well and work well across line functions, the biotech / pharma industry is a great place to build a career. And it’s not cyclical. Huge unmet need in so many diseases and the constant demand for more efficacious medicines will always require innovative young scientists to come to the fore.
WP Rich Snippets – premium plugin that adds rich snippets (eg. review stars) to your snippets. You get 33% of sales and it’s what I use on my site. I recommend it over the All In One Schema.org plugin as it looks nicer with more settings and add-ons. Here’s a post I used it on. If you’re writing reviews as part of your strategy, get this for yourself.
My question is about not having a good potential affiliate product out there that you can believe in. I’ve been looking around and the majority of the products that are provided just don’t align with the views of my blogs. I’ve been having a tough time getting some solid traction with monetization but I’m not looking to sell out and promote something that isn’t great. I’m thinking that the only solid route for me is to create my own products and avoid any of these affiliates all together. But, I’d like to know what you think.
John loved the post (though petroleum is not all it’s cut out to be)… my buddy started at 125k + 25k signing in 2015. Was laid off 9 months later (got a 3 month severance). So he made 150k for 9 months worth of work but now he can’t find a job and he’s been looking about a year now… Electrical, Computer, and Chemical are very safe paths to quick bucks (assuming you have stellar grades – I graduated with a 3.9). Petroleum can have that boom, bust cycle that can screw the new guy! Not saying don’t go into it, just know the risks! And remember work your ass off – ADD VALUE to your company and make yourself INDISPENSIBLE so they won’t lay you off.

I love the attitude! And imagery. I can see it all as I visited New Delhi, a girl, hydra bod, and Bangalore back into thousand and three and then in Mumbai into thousand eight and two weeks before the terrorist attacks at my hotel ov visited New Delhi, agra, Hyderabad l, and Bangalore back into thousand and three and then in Mumbai into thousand eight and two weeks before the terrorist attacks hit my hotel oberoi!
My 7 kids? 1 got a full ride to an Ivy League and is a venture capital banker, 1 U of Chicago and a Masters at Carnegi Mellon, another an Early Childhood Ed degree (and reconsidering the economics of that decision, but it was hers and she is owning it), another did community college until she decided on Physical Therapy and is ready to transfer – she is passionate and it is right for her, one tried college and said – nope not for me, is a minamalist, did some community college works part of the year in sustainable landscaping and the rest of the year is a nomad exploring. My baby is going to do community college and occupational therapy. All found there way.
I would counter and say not to get a petroleum engineering degree but rather a mechanical or chemical degree and find a job in the O&G industry. Petroleum degrees limit you to a specific industry and from what I’ve heard (I’m in the industry) many companies are now leaning towards those with mechanical or chemical degrees over the once popular petroleum degrees. Further when the industry hits a down turn like we’re currently in, those with the more general engineering degree will have a better shot at finding work in other industries.
Website Development Help – need help setting up your theme? I’ve been working with the same 2 developers for 3+ years. To hire them, sign up for a Freelancer account, post your job (WordPress theme installation) then invite user i333 or bdkamol to your project. If you want, contact me and I will introduce you to them via email. Both are great developers with reasonable rates, speak fluent English, and I outsource all my programming work to them.
Ahmad, Great post and great information. I have some more specific questions for you relating to my personal company and how affiliate programs can tie into it. Is there a chance we could talk sometime soon? I think you may have the answers to several of my questions on whether affiliate marketing is what I am looking for or not. And if it’s not what I am looking for I think you can direct me in the direction I need to go.
Hey Camron. The only way to achieve those figures is to build your own business and become your own boss. It takes hard work and dedication, and it ALWAYS takes money to make money on some level. If you want to make a million dollars, you best believe there are start up costs. The key is to find the right opportunity, with a low start up cost, and an IMMENSE support system in place. You need to find Mentors who have already achieved what you want to achieve and emulate their daily actions and habits.
Its all relative to what you need, I was in Sales (Corp 401k and Pension) right out of college and made a 200k a in the early 90’s with consistency then had years where I made 1m in my early 30’s. However I hated it. I was smart and banked it in the lucrative Boston Real Estate market and in my late 30’s left sales and took a more boring desk job with less travel and more time for my kids. I made about 100k +/- a year for but put together a nice traditional pension. In my early 50’s, after my kids graduated college (Yes I did pay) I finally took my graduate degree (Masters in Urban Planning) and put it to work as a planner in a suburban town, where my staring comp dropped to 65k, now in my late 50’s I am the Dir of Planning for a small city making about 160k and happy in my work for the 1st time ever! Also the benefits working in government are 10x what they ever were in Corp America. Do what you love
Amazon’s affiliate program is the most popular of them all. I don’t participate myself (yet) but the majority of affiliate marketers I know use Amazon because… it’s Amazon. You can review products you have used or write tutorials (eg. how to connect computer to TV) and drop an affiliate link to an HDMI cable… just a couple examples. You may want to build relationships with the manufacturers so you can get products before they’re released – giving you time to create a review before the product is launched and capture sales during peak buying times.
Thanks for the thought provoking comment. It’s a question of idealism vs. practicality to me. I would absolutely support dictatorship or socialism if it meant responsible management of resources, equality and peace of life. But from history, we know leaders get corrupted or people take advantage of the system. Thus, we all play the game by ourselves to fight for our right to live the way we like…at least for those who are fortunate to be in a country that allows it.
One of the major stumbling blocks that hinder job seekers from gaining employment is usually the issue of experience. Most employers will often require their candidate to have worked in a similar niche for quite some time. This program grants job seekers such as vital resource. It is especially relevant to those who intend to pursue a career in sales and marketing.
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