Author Bio: Sam started Financial Samurai in 2009 to help people achieve financial freedom sooner, rather than later. He spent 13 years working in investment banking, earned his MBA from UC Berkeley, and retired at age 34 in San Francisco. Everything Sam writes is based on first-hand experience because money is too important to be left up to pontification.
Hi TOM, I have really enjoyed your shared nice piece of content with us. ..Actually, I am thinking to design and develop a mobile comparison website but you know, it’s not an easy job to collect mobiles data. A lot of time and cost is required to build such a website and I don’t want to spend a lot of money as I am new in this field. My colleague has recommended me RevGlue for this purpose as this a UK based registered company and are providing mobiles and its deals data for the UK only with the name of RevEmbed technology as I have read its blog revglue.com/blog-detail/13-setup-free-uk-mobile-comparison-website but I am the little bit confused as its a newborn company. Anyone, have experience with RevGlue. Guide me in this respect. Waiting for your kind response. Thanks in advance.
I totally hear you with deciding on your affiliate products first, and then designing a blog around that decision. I am currently in a niche where the few affiliate products around are fairly low-commission, so it makes earning a decent living with them nearly impossible. Also, the audience is seasonal, so sales spike and then drop to nothing a couple times a year.
I say invent yourself into a six figure income. I spent (wasted) 20 years building a professional appraisal firm only to watch hundreds of banking clients disappear into thin air with the advent of 2009’s HVCC legislation. I fired everyone once the business once the industry was transformed into nonprofit work. I spent the next couple of years searching for the next best thing and came to one conclusion. Adobe Software is an incredible bargain for anyone wishing to start their own business. As an appraiser I spent thousands of dollars each year on software updates, MLS fees, E & O insurance, gas, office space, etc. With Adobe’s cloud system you can lease every software item in their arsenal for $50 per month, meaning you could create publications, videos, web designs, and so much more for $600 per year. That’s roughly 1/50th of my annual expenses in the appraisal business. In the appraisal business you craft and sell your work one piece at a time…much like a custom furniture maker. With Adobe you could easily create one video and sell it 100,000 times.

I, too, work in an industry with salaries that are tied to budgets and salary cohorts. But I have found that side hustles, both in and out of my field, help to increase my income. It is sad that we have to give up even more of our time to get there, but I guess the sacrifice makes the reward even more satisfying??? In any case- thank you for sharing your journey, your goals and your insights. It is comforting to me to realize that there are others in my circumstances.

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 say models, but truthfully, an oil reservoir is not something that can be automated and predicted with high certainty. By the time you learn everything about the field, there’s not much more oil left and you’ve already spent the capital. And every single oilfield is different than the next one. You can press buttons and get a number, but without knowledge of the underlying physics and experience of theory vs. practical, you’ll have a hard time defending your forecast.
He is the co-founder of Neil Patel Digital. The Wall Street Journal calls him a top influencer on the web, Forbes says he is one of the top 10 marketers, and Entrepreneur Magazine says he created one of the 100 most brilliant companies. Neil is a New York Times bestselling author and was recognized as a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 30 by President Obama and a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 35 by the United Nations.
If you have to earn $50-$100 commission you have to sell product of cost $500-$1000 (If you’ll get 10% commission). If anyone who is reading have the potential to sell product of this much amount then why not he/she should start selling his/her own product. And money ultimately comes when a service or product is sold! So if you can write an Ebook then write another which you can sell for money!
Sam, I follow and reference your “just start a website, dammit” advice and started my own a few months back. Goal is to post once every 7-10 days, and move that to once a week, soon. Without being “that guy” I’ll post the address below if you’ll allow it through. The site is very niche and (as far as I can tell) very unique. Well, maybe the end result in my

I don’t think I would have done worse financially at all. I just think it evens out in the end of you make the right choices. I probably would have started with a much higher salary out of the gate. Put there’s a possibility then I would have been spending my time with people who put value on superficial items, and I’d spend more money on my apartment, car, clothes, etc. I’d probably try to stay in that job for many years, if it were paying well, versus having a real reason to leave positions to quickly move up and try different things. Right now I’m in a private company that is excelling and due to being open to any opportunity I was able to work a job that paid relatively little compared to market rate in exchange for a large amount of options. It’s yet to be seen if these options are going to be worth anything, but at this point there’s a reasonable change that I could meet or exceed the amount of savings I would have had, say, if I were making $100k out of the gate after graduating from an Ivy League school. Having a low income out of undergrad forced me to prioritize and learn how to save, and also how to live on a salary of under $30k a year in the Bay Area. While I’m still scared of losing my job, I understand how to live cheaply, which I consider a value-add to not having such high expectations and requirements for lifestyle out of the gate. Now, I am considering getting an MBA if I could possibly score well on the GMAT (I believe if I could get a high score on the GMAT I’d be an interesting candidate for a top-tier MBA program given my experience working with multiple successful startups as an early employee) but I’m not sure I want to take two years off to do that. If I were to go back to school I feel it would be more valuable to specialize in technical development or analytics, to really address areas where I am weak that would lead me to be a much better professional today. It’s unclear if an MBA program would be able to address my weaknesses — or give me the salary boost you speak of as with bonus I now make up to $130k per year (last year I closed out the year with about $110k.) I’m 29 and 7 years into my career. I save, I invest, and I’m glad I didn’t make all of the “smart” decisions in my life because this made me hungrier, potentially more well rounded, and less scared of taking risks as I had so little to lose.
If your youngest child is really interested in OT, then I suggest Colorado State University’s program. I have several friends who were in the OT program there while I was a post-doc in the chemistry dept. Its a great program, and about 98% of grads land jobs immediately. Also, Fort Collins is a nice town on the Front Range with access to all kinds of outdoor fun. Its not far from Denver or Boulder. The people are friendly, and the cost of living is pretty cheap. I work on the East Coast now at a biotech, but not a day goes by that I don’t dream of moving back to CO.
Anyway, I am trying to get into IT, because every other profession within banking requires me to take a test and get licensed and renew that license with more tests. I’m bad with tests, and I don’t need that in my life, and IT not only pays more, but I can just get certified with classes. Anyway, how do I go from fraud to IT? I.e. Business Analyst, higher up IT profession? I’m not a computer science major, btw. I was in health sciences. I’ll look into other money making options by following your posts, but how can I start making a decent living by converting to full-time from contract? I’ll learn software skills/IT on the side, but yeh…Any tips?
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 only thing to skip is the fancy school because most of my colleagues went to midwestern state schools. To Sam’s point, many engineers see an MBA as a way to move up when they get stuck and wonder “what’s next”… depending on circumstance, I’ve found this to be a bit of an illusion without a total career change. Anyway, I’m self-aware enough to admit that the glad-handing and corporate buzzword stuff isn’t my strength, so I’m happy to chill in the very low 6 figures with reduced effort now that I’ve mastered the job. To get ahead, I leveraged simplistic living/frugality (65% savings rate) as opposed to further career growth.
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.
Hey, I'm Glen. In February 2009 I quit my full-time job and have made my living from the internet ever since. Having previously worked as the Social Media Manager for the likes of Nissan and Hewlett Packard, I took my skills and successfully applied them to my own projects. ViperChill is the place I share everything I've learned in order to help other people make a living online.
and finally, it is possible to find someone who is genuinely earning that high. They tell the truth when asked how to do it? that it requires intensity, focus, education/training/learning, stating power to not let hurdles stop you, know your market and all of your competition intimately.They had money to start with from a family member, giving them the chance to get set up to do all of th items listed above. They almost always have 1 close partner that works right beside them to collaborate with.
I will say the workload for a petroleum engineer can vary depending on the company and role. If your Chem E friends went into planning or management, they could be working more than the 40 hour standard. Also, smaller aggressive companies typically like to work their employees harder with perhaps a bigger equity reward down the road. That being said, I’ve worked in a 50 person company and most employees there maintained normal hours.
There is nothing worse than writing 5,000 words of pure magic for a guest post only to find it gets published with your main link removed. Sure, it’s the owners prerogative to do that but it doesn’t feel great. Of course, those links need to be useful and relevant otherwise you’re no different to a spammer, but make sure the webmaster is happy for you to add one or two before you start.

You are right about inexpensive housing in Chicagoland. To each their own, but in my very humble opinion moving to the Northside of Chicago from New York City proved to be one of luckiest/smartest things I ever did lifestyle, career, marriage, and savings wise. Salaries are comparable to other large wealthy metros, but housing and other expenses can be as much as half due to zero physical constraints on sprawl. That is other than Lake Michigan to the East, which is like a freshwater sea with city parks, beaches & waves. The lakeshore is also where population density is highest and property most expensive in the 10 million person metro…yet still reasonably affordable for what you get.
There is nothing worse than writing 5,000 words of pure magic for a guest post only to find it gets published with your main link removed. Sure, it’s the owners prerogative to do that but it doesn’t feel great. Of course, those links need to be useful and relevant otherwise you’re no different to a spammer, but make sure the webmaster is happy for you to add one or two before you start.
Hey Jennifer, I don’t really know much about MOBE as I haven’t had personal experience myself but in terms of paying for a programs, i’ve had experience with the Six Figure Mentors. They teach people marketing and entrperneurial mindset stuff that I found invaluable. They have a paid tiered membership system that can be promoted on an affiliate basis. What sort of affiliate business are you looking to set up?
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!

Use Deep Links – these are pages on your affiliate’s website that AREN’T the homepage. For SiteGround’s hosting I link a lot to their speed technology page as an affiliate link. If you’re doing Amazon’s affiliate program you just want to gather a list of products you will be recommending to readers, create an affiliate link for each one, and import them to the plugin.
I personally didn’t earn six figures by the time I was 25 years old, but I’m still SO GLAD I didn’t go through with my engineering degree (I put 3 years into an engineering education, and then switched to finance). I agree with you Sam. I see so many engineers that feel trapped. They want to move up in the company, but it seems incredibly difficult. Sure, they can earn a good wage, but if they don’t love what they do, they’re stuck for quite a while.
Before my Dad passed when I was thirteen, he established in me a strong mindset of ” no matter what you do son, don’t half ass anything. I hate a half ass! ” Now I’m 26, and this mindset has blessed every part of my life. With nothing more than a high school education, self learning, and an “I can do better, learn more, and give my all” attitude, I now earn 120,000 as a maintenance mechanic at a chemical plant. I believe it’s smart to know that success isn’t just about how much you make, it’s about what you have vs. what you owe. I bought my first house at 19, and a 100+ acre farm at 25. You may not get that dream job right away, but if you don’t give it your all at everything, all the time, you can’t blame circumstances. The day, or days, you decide to be lazy, there is someone out there who is pushing, who is going the extra mile, and who might get that dream job you wanted because they put in the extra effort. If you are looking at college, I can say that everyone I know that got a degree in biomedical engineering landed high paying, travel the world jobs right out of college.
I make six figures and have for a long time. It is nice but in retrospect not as important as I once thought. It is simply a number. I admire you for following your passion. Unfortunately income and passion often intersect and you need to choose one or the other. I think we all try to straddle that path for a while but eventually it seems that we often have to choose.
Smart tips, Elna! That’s exactly what I did with BoardBooster – I created a post that showed people (with screen shots etc) exactly how I was using it to increase my Pinterest engagement. In my opinion, that’s one of the best ways to create affiliate sales – not only are you providing something that’s truly helpful to your readers, you’re showing them exactly how it works.
It is all relative. I am making six figures in my early retirement side gigging a couple of days a week doing consulting I enjoy even though I do not need an income at this point. It is hard to get there in education because of the supply demand equation. As you said hundreds of people applied for the job you got. When I graduated with a chemical engineering degree I got eight firm job offers before I even got my degree because there were only a handful of graduates for the 120 companies that came to our university to recruit us. Certainly teaching has more social value than making gasoline but the market is based on supply and only a tiny percentage of the college going crowd choose chemical engineering while many graduate with a teaching degree. As long as some jobs are under supplied because of the difficulty in obtaining the degree those jobs will be the ones paying six figures and up. The same thing accounts for high pay for medical doctors, electrical engineers and other specialty fields that require a ton of math and science to graduate. However even at relatively less pay there is no reason you can’t accumulate and grow great wealth while still having the satisfaction that you are changing people’s lives through providing them education. Most people would hate the kind of engineering I did, even though it was a great fit for me.
I am glad to know that Affiliate Marketing is not dead as was presumed in early 2012 when Google pushed out harsh update targeting affiliate sites. I agree the article or blog post needs to be detailed and videos result in more conversions. I personally got succeeded more by adding videos to affiliate content. Anyways Glen all the tips you mentioned have been deployed by me on my blog and they work pretty well.
[…] Money is basically made on the coasts with lots of it coming in from San Francisco, NYC, Boston and D.C. Therefore, it costs an arm and a leg to live around these metros. A median house in SF is going for around $1.1 Million, for example. It would be damn hard to make a living and reside in the SF Metro if one isn’t making $200,000 or more. […]
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As a new blogger, this post was amazingly informative and maybe a little over my head (I’m still getting the basics down and affiliates is beyond my reach this week.) But here’s a newbie question: what is your method for writing such rich content with all of the links (both to your own previous posts and to other blogs)? It takes a while to get through, which I like, because it’s chock full of good stuff. Do you have an idea of exactly who/what you’re going to include in the article when you start or do you get inspired as you write (and links come to mind that you want to inlcude)?
The opportunities for advancement with higher pay or fewer but if you were to go into a management role those guys pull down almost 200k. There is the negative/benefit of the schedule, you normally work a 7/7, 14/14, or a 28/28(overseas with crazy earning potential) where you work as many days as you’re off. When you’re working you’re not spending any money on living expenses and when you’re off you have the opportunity to pursue a side hustle.
Another good platform to start with is Reward Style. Once you’re enrolled, you can get links for seriously hundreds of different sites–everything from Bed, Bath & Beyond to Anthropologie to PETCO to Pottery Barn Kids to Zulily. While it’s a fairly small commission (usually 5-15%), it all adds up and all you’re doing is helping to facilitate a sale for something you’re already talking about anyway!
I think this post is totally on point. Starting from high school, you are paving the path. I also think choosing the right career is key. I have been a court reporter for 18 years, and my best year I made 270k, and in my worst year, I made 160k. Even with taking time off to have a baby, last year I still made 140k. I also think it’s true you have to hustle. I have recommended becoming a court reporter o so many people! But none of them have wanted to put in the effort to train and work their butts off. I turned 40 this year and also became a millionaire. Greatest feeling! And I didn’t have to sleep with someone not as good looking as me, LOL! Love your posts. Keep up the good work.
Good luck to us all that have worked hard for what we have in ways that someone more privileged, doesn’t understand. physical hard labor to get where you need to be, not want, but need. And to then still struggle. With hospital bills from the labor you work so hard just to hardly make it by, actually to not quite hardly make it by, because of those those dr bills we have to pay for our children and ourselves from physically working so hard to just survive.
Im 39 yrs old, graduated from a average college in business management. I currently work for the state in the IT help desk making around 35k a year in Sacramento, Im not happy with this salary, but my job is stable and Ihave retirement benefits. But, I want to make more money now, I want to be making 250k plus, I dont know if I should quit this job and go to the private sector and what field I should go into or stay what in the same field but switch to private IT job. I feel at this age, If I went back to business school to get an MBA might be a waste of time and money. Can you advise me?
First, much of that income came from the initial hype that surrounded the product. Once people started trying the products and reviews came out, sales would have dropped considerably. That’s largely because the reviews often aren’t positive and the products don’t tend to live up to the hype. I can see my own traffic stats from reviews, and after launch, product interest dies out considerably and never returns. Can you expect to make sales from these year-old products?
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