When I was in college, I studied math and chemistry. I did well in Chemistry until I got to the laboratory. Then I started blowing things up on accident and realized I had no career in it. I continued with math. As math got harder, I decided to take “easy” economics and international affairs courses (to blow off steam). I had a knack for getting As in both. One day, I had a conversation with a classmate and my girlfriend at the time. To paraphrase, they said I was great at IR and could have a stellar career in it. So, it gave me an ego boost as well as an improved GPA:

Theme – you don’t need a special theme for affiliate marketing, you probably just need a blog. I recommend StudioPress themes since that’s what Yoast, Matt Cutts (from Google), and I use. Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress also recommends them. One of the biggest mistakes I made was using a theme from Themeforest… since they’re built by independent developers who may stop making updates to their theme. This happened to me and I hear horror stories all the time about people having to switch themes and redesign their entire site. I’ve been using the same StudioPress theme (Outreach Pro) for 3 years. Their themes are lightweight (load fast), SEO-friendly via optimized code, secure, and they have a huge selection of plugins for the Genesis Framework and an awesome community in the Genesis WordPress Facebook Group. They include documentation for setting it up and will serve you for many, many years.


Hey guys. Great post with detailed, actionable content. I would like to add my ‘2 cents’ if that’s ok. You are absolutely right with offering a ‘free gift’ in exchange for someone’s name and email address but I have found short reports have worked best for me. If you give away too much information for free they don’t tend to get consumed so the trust isn’t built with your subscriber. Your free gift is the first point of contact with your prospect so it’s unlikely they will read an entire ebook but if you give them a short report which they are able to consume in about 20 mins and they get tremendous value from they are more likely to listen to you in the future and buy your recommendations. A big mistake i see a lot of affiliates make is the content they use for their free giveaway. They think just because it’s given away for free that they can just throw together some PLR material and use that. Unfortunately that doesn’t cut it these days and will damage your relationship with your prospect rather than strengthen it. The best way is to carry out some research in your marketplace and see what pains and frustrations your prospects have and create your free giveaway around that.
I could have promoted WP Engine (hosting company) for $200/sale with no tier program to climb – sounds pretty good right? But when I checked ShareASale I saw their reversal rates were 24%! Just to give you an idea SiteGround’s reversals are less than 10%. WP Engine starts at $29/month while SiteGround’s is $3.95/month, plus SiteGround has a better reputation. I had to climb a tier program to get SiteGround’s $150/sale, but long-term my research paid off.
1. I can go up north (make 120 guaranteed with a pension through the union) but the hours and the lifestyle (2 weeks in 1 week out) might be too brutal for me (fort Mac if you have heard of it really is not for everyone), i thought i would give it a try after school and see if it works for me but ive heard of many people having problems with their relationships/health with working so much. and i have to come back to town eventually and yes maybe ill have a nicer number in the bank but thats about it right back too 85,000 and still working hard.
Otherwise, explore all of the ways that you can take classes or gain skills online, some for very little or no cost to you other than your time. If you find yourself doing this at the start of your career, the financial cost might be a bit much to bear at first. But no matter how much I learn about investments, it seems pretty clear to me that the one that consistently pays off in any market condition is the one we make in ourselves.
As someone that works offshore. Yes all of those things are free but with Ebay and Amazon a click away it’s easy to spend money. Having the discipline to save when you’re not working is harder than you think. I find it easier to travel(this is me), stay out late, and justify more expensive hobbies which all of these can drain the money you’ve saved while working. .
We are inflated with humans that hardly get the chance to a good upbringing let alone a good school system. The average wage in America is under $50,000 per family. Per family. Maybe you could actually help us and write a blog on how we unfortunate, 4.0 GPA or not, cant progress past a shitty system. These are the people that need financial help. Its the majority of America…..So, instead of taking your already privileged people in high school and making them richer, because if i could make 75000 a year i would be so grateful and fulfilled, as majority of us would, we would work harder for these companies than the average “privileged” kid…privileged i mean, good parents, good home life, decent teachers and help when needed……which is what America is so lacking, on paper we look great, so does my exhusband whom abused myself and my children for 7 years, maybe you could look at a bigger picture and help us. Help us and we will help you. You have the knowledge, take it to a lower level and help the less fortunate. We need it.

I’m just learning about this and I have never done it before. I just a had a question or two. Can I work from my phone is a iPhone 6s. And I’m not asking you to go through the entire thiing in your answer but how do I get started and how will I get the training I need. I had to get out of the out of town work due to my dad getting sick so I wanted to be home more, and one more thing does it cost a lot to for getting the adds or material needed to start making money. If so how much or some of the cost just ballpark figures will I have to spend while I’m up and going. I’m serious about it and just though I could get some advice and answer a few of the questions. Thanks Brett


Your autoresponder is the series of emails that go out to people who subscribe to your website in exchange for something they want. For example, if you sign up to my Author Blueprint at www.TheCreativePenn.com/blueprint you’ll get useful emails, articles and videos, some of which contain affiliate links, all for products that I have personally found useful.
In addition to physicians, lawyers, physicists, and nuclear engineers were all among the nation's 20 highest paid occupations with incomes in excess of $78,410.[24] Some of the other occupations in the high five-figure range were economists with a median of $72,780,[25] mathematicians with $81,240,[26] financial managers with $81,880,[27] and software publishers with median annual earnings of $73,060.[28] The median annual earnings of wage-and-salary pharmacists in May 2006 were $94,520. The median annual earnings of wage-and-salary engineers in November 2011 were $90,000. The middle 50 percent earned between $83,180 and $108,140 a year (as in the Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2008–09 Edition by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).
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.
While I've sampled a few other programs along the way, I continue to promote only a select few programs on a regular basis. As far as affiliate program marketing goes, you won't find too many marketers who are as picky as I am. But picky works. Had I joined that very first affiliate program I looked at, I would have been lucky to make $5,000 last year in affiliate income. Not bad, but a far cry from 80K.
Don’t get me wrong…Sponsored content is great (and next month we’ll be publishing a post on how to work with brands), but I love having total freedom in what I write and–especially now that I’m pregnant and due with my first baby boy in September!!–I really wanted to ensure I could start to rely more heavily on automated and more effortless income.
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.
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links on this page above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
This is interesting to me because I just accepted a medical sales job with a great company and there is a lot of opportunity, however I left a job I really miss (didn’t realize how much I liked it until I left). Although the income potential is high in med sales, I’m really not liking the lifestyle of being on the road all the time. I also moved to a new place for the job and don’t know anyone so that doesn’t help either. Is it better to stick it out and see if something changes or accept that I made a career mistake and try to get out asap? I guess I get torn between going after a good opportunity vs going back to a job with less potential but maybe something I’d enjoy more.

Since I have used various affiliate programs and networks, it ‘s hard to offer an accurate report here, but I will use the report from my major affiliate program and calculate the earnings using that income.  I will also share with you the related network names, which will help you to identify some affiliate networks that can work for you. You can also check out my earlier posts on Affiliate Programs for the WordPress Niche which will offer you a great list of affiliate programs.
Thanks for reigniting my spirit bro. Affiliate marketing is the game changer when it comes to making money on your blog.I neglected it at the start but now i really see it as a necessity. In 5 months i have earned twice waht i made with PPC(Adsense) to be precise. Selling poducts and getting commisions brings the highest cash. Will be around some other time to check out your write ups. Hope to see you on my blig some day too. Cheers.

As I run a blogging blog, which is a niche where finding a right affiliate product is tough as well. Till now I have written just one “ultimate article” and I’m still struggling to get it ranked. I’m just about to send an email to YOU or to Glen to get feedback for that “ultimate article” of mine, and appreciate you guys help me with that, just like Glen helped Slavko.
And of course it’s the main problem that I have with this program; instead of learning how to build your own online business, you’ll only learn how to make a website, promote Michael Cheney’s products, get traffic for that website and get commission for every sale that you make. So as it looks, it’s not good at all for people who are looking for a way to make fast cash so you may get disappointment soon and give up if you do not see result immediately after joining.
Yes I agree Dixon. 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.
Love this story! I finished college in 3 years back in the 80’s because of AP/community college credits and stayed another year to finish my Master’s degree (which was required in my state for professional certification). And I swam fast and got money to help each year. I also got my entire doctorate paid for which was awesome! Not an engineer though – a teacher, but still got me to FI earlier than many!
You can start your own business or work two jobs. Making an online income seems particularly trendy nowadays. I started Financial Samurai back in 2009. Three years later, I was able to leave my investment banking job to work on this site full time. You never know what you might be able to do. At the very least, register your name online and build your brand.
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.
The most important lesson I got from the book is the importance of choosing a niche; it helps build a loyal community, get expertise and great, contextualized advertising. However, except for the generic "start by identifying your own interests, passions, and energy levels for topics", there's not a lot of direction about how to choose a profitable niche. There also isn't much about search engine optimization (which I fortunately covered in another book) or about keyword research. However, a lot of the things that Rowse and Garrett hold important (niching, ads, etc) aren't necessarily the be-all and end-all of popular blogging.
I am a recent graduate from college of business with an MIS degree. I am very fortunate to say that my starting salary is 70k. I truly believe that I have the capability to have a six figure salary in my 20’s (currently 22). I loved this article and the comment section. Aside of what the article has mentioned any tips/advice from someone who can help me add an additional 50k to what I will be making? I’m sure that I will have a side hustle or start a small business while working my full-time job but I’m perfectly fine with that.
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.

Many people who do not attend college earn six-figure incomes and become successful without four-year college degrees. In fact, studies revealing that high school graduates earn an average of $1.2 million over the course of their working life illustrate that opportunities exist for those without degrees to make $100,000 or more each year. Achieving financial success without a college degree requires a lot of determination, risk-taking, and networking, but the opportunities are definitely out there.

Now you don’t need college credits to make school affordable. I went to a private school myself which I paid for all of except part of my first semester which my parents split until I had better jobs. By the time I finished I actually paid less than what my parents paid to put me through a private HS which at the time averaged $3,900/yr. I did it with scholarships and grants. I applied for everything I could. In total my 4yr degree cost me around $3,400/yr. You could add in maybe another 200/yr for books as I always kept a tight lid on that expense. I also worked hard as heck. At one point I even decided to take out a student loan to invest it in CD’s since the rate was much higher. Why? I wasn’t even concerned with paying it back since I had built up the money, and it’s not often you get a highly discounted lunch.

Having that level of job security must feel great and re-assuring. When I visit other personal finance forums (particularly on reddit) half of the success stories seem to come from computer science majors. It might be the perfect blend of degree value, job availability, and work levels/flexibility. The ability to freelance or work remotely seems to be another potential benefit.
My company has a program to promote people into jobs at the corporate office. The interest in these roles isn’t that great as the initial pay is comparable or less than what you make working in operations. Can’t forget the negatives of having to work in a corporate environment…commuting every day, being within driving distance of the office, having to maintain a certain appearance, etc. For me I have no interest in working a typical schedule ever again.
As I read further to post this, I saw a next post about marrying for money. How dare…..I know it happens. I did it. After a 7 year extremely abusive marriage, which ended in debt over my head and my children still get to see this abuser and still has more time than should be allowed, due to a horrid system, with his perfect on paper persona, Works for the DOD, contractor, writing programs and coding for them, white collar perfect portrayal of family, to only be a devil in his own home behind closed doors…..
There are other apps that do similar things, but thanks to the size of NF and the ranking of that article, we outrank all of them in the app store and usually crack the top 25 for Health and Fitness every day. Also, thanks to the supportive NF community and a simple app that does what it’s supposed to, 98% of our reviews are 4 and 5 star reviews, which helps for people who have never heard of Nerd FItness and find us in the app store instead of through the article.
MozBar – MozBar is a Google Chrome extension that lets you Google any keyword and see how competitive the search results are. The higher the DA (domain authority) and PA (page authority) the more competitive the keyword is. However you still want to click on the top results and browse the content to make sure you can creating an article/video that is better than whoever’s in the top results. That is really what “researching the competition” is all about.

The one section I found really useful was the monetizing section where the authors explain all about choosing the right ads, affiliate programs and other revenue streams. While I'm sure there's more complete info on this (it could be worth an entire book), it was a good introduction and gave me guidelines if I ever have to do something like this myself.
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.
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.
North Dakota had a very significant boom and nearly all of that was tied to oil companies paying top dollar to relocate. Most positions were temporary or related to field operations rather than corporate offices moving in. When prices and activity fell, unfortunately these people had limited options for finding work in other industries in North Dakota. Perhaps the growth was too dependent on a single factor.
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
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.
Hey Tom, thanks for this tutorial – it’s a good thing to get a tutorial like this from a trusted person like you and not from the thousands of (sometimes) confusing articles about passive income/affiliate marketing/clickfunnels and what not that I come across from time to time, I am making a living as a web designer and I have been thinking of pivoting from design and creative work to focus on passive income but didn’t know where to start. This is the perfect foundation article I have seen so far and I ‘d like to ask if you have any further reading/guides/videos on affiliate marketing that you’d recommend. I like to do my deep research before starting :) One more thing, there are some broken or missing images in this article, it could be my browser but check from your side too because there are quite a few images (e.g your Mercedes) that are missing. Thanks
I just want to point out that all though it is fantastic to go to college & to have great grades, innovative thinking & motivation can land you an awesome job. I graduated HS top of my class & went to a small private college for 2 years. I only have an AA degree (nothing to brag about though I always earned As). I decided to get married at 19 (I know, right?!) but when I was staying at home with the kids, I started my own real estate business & started making a 6 figure income within 3 years. I have doubled that within the past year & rake in over $300K per year working from home. I sell around 200 properties a year. I just hit 30 & make over $300K per year & started making 6 figures at only 28. I’m sitting pretty with a high paying job where I am in control of my own destiny. Work ethic & seeing an opportunity & knowing how to seize it is how I got there. With that said, I do value education & will likely go back to get a degree someday just so I can say I have one. For now though, I will focus on my $300K+ per year income & know that I made this for myself.
Make sure you have some sort of money maker on your website before you start promoting it. You could promote an affiliate product related to your site's topic, or you could use Google Adsense. Your goal is to get your site to make the most money possible, so if you have lots of ways to make money on your site, then you will most likely make lots of money.
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.
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