Great post, Penny! As you know – I am finishing up year 29 in education. I have two Master’s degree and a doctorate and I’ve never earned six figures. Had I stayed as a principal in the last five years, I would have made six figures. I’d likely be at around $120,000 right now. But I gave that up to go teach at the college level, not work 12 months a year, and have fun educating the next generation of teachers. Five years ago, I knew I was almost to FI because of this community (and that’s never making six figures and being a single mom for a number of years…)
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.
This is probably going to be controversial but a few months ago I remember someone saying that Google is now putting more weight on blogs and websites that have a unique approach. This makes sense. They don’t want all the results on the homepage to be review sites! Since hearing about this and implementing it on a few of my blogs I’ve noticed quite nice results. If you can go one step further and create a unique tool or app to add to the page you’re laughing.
The reason I’ve put the “choosing your affiliate product” section before the “blog post writing and strategy” section is because it’s often really beneficial to know what affiliate keywords you’re going after before you start the blog. This gives you a good opportunity to craft the content and the tone of the discussion towards the promotion of the product in the reader’s “journey”.
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.
Your audience is more likely to buy a product, service or course when they can see the value it will bring into their life. The best way to convey this is through a dedicated, detailed blog post where you prominently feature ONE of your affiliates, all the reasons you authentically love them and how that thing is going to make someone’s life better.
This is totally true as many people are non traditional learners and the academic system is just not appealing to them and learn faster by doing. I come from an entire family of folks like this..barely scratching through state college but always excelled in paying our way through them by opening small businesses and earning lots of money over the summer. Net is, I make more than the average Harvard grad with a state college degree. Look at big corps that offer leadership development programs, work hard, be willing to relocate ad take risks, have a great attitude even when you get a hellish assignment as it’s an opportunity to learn – always treat people well and if you don’t, learn from it and get better. All in all you’ll keep rising or decide you want to do something else and will have learned a ton along the way.
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.
If you work for a major (Shell, Chevron, BP, Conoco) they pay about 90 – 100k starting for petroleum engineers and about 70-80k for mechanical/chemical/electrical engineers. The exception is Exxon (they pay more because it’s a terrible work environment, but they make the most profits). If you work for a smaller independent, perhaps it gets bumped up 10k or so. Bonuses are typically 10-20%. I’m a recent graduate in Petroleum Engineering working for Shell.
With your geographics and your desire to start a business, I’d choose a business degree. Pet E. is extremely specific and you’ll only be marketable to the oil and gas industry. I’m also not aware of much activity in Wisconsin. I would be cautious about your assumptions on getting out after 1-3 years unless you have some kind of funding from other sources. 100k is only 50k after taxes and a frugal living style.

Hi! I'm Kate, the founder of Root + Revel, a food and wellness site delivering inspiration to help people live naturally, without sacrifice. After reversing my PCOS and Leaky Gut with food and holistic remedies (no prescriptions), I started R+R to share what I've learned on this incredible journey. Food Heals! I'm living proof. But that doesn't mean bland chicken and steamed broccoli. Taste is paramount here and we’re taking it back to basics and infusing beauty, flavor and celebration into everyday life, helping you strike the balance between good and good for you. Read More…

Another advantage public schools have is their far broader acceptance of AP and community college courses (remember Step 1?). After all of my credits were applied, I entered college as a junior and graduated in 3 years instead of 4. That’s an extra savings of $10,500 or $50,000 if I were smart enough to get into a school like MIT. I’m not even including room and board and textbook expenses. Absolutely huge.
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.
While I was doing WordPress speed optimization I noticed lots of people needed it, but very few people supplied it (there were a lack of services and tutorials when I researched Google). I also knew hosting was the #1 factor of website speed factor and these companies paid up to $200/sale. Hosting is a competitive space but the commissions and lack of supply enticed me.
I’ll admit that even on my own blog, AlexisGrant.com, I’m sometimes lazy about taking an extra minute or two to pull an affiliate link when I see an opportunity to use one in a post. But if you want to benefit as your traffic grows, you have to be consistent about adding those affiliate links every time, even if you don’t expect the post to take off. This is something we’re religious about on The Write Life (thank you, editor @Heathervdh!), so when we get unexpected traffic to a post, we earn.
This forumla you have makes sense for some people, but not all. Case in point – I went to a college in the midwest that no one has heard of, graduated with a 3.2 GPA, and at the age of 29 closed the year with a $110k salary. My boyfriend went to one of the top 10 public institutions in the country, graduated with a 3.8 GPA, and last year earned about $20k. Yes, having a degree from a top-tier institution may have increased my current salary even more, but I think had I gone that route I would have went into a less exciting career and given myself less chances to fail. Instead, with my average academic background, I’ve been able to live out many careers in my 20s – as a business journalist, and then in a variety of roles in startups where I could put my writing skills to use. I learned how to negotiate and that’s why I’m making six figures today (and I also have a sizable stock package that could be worth more a few years down the road.) My salary clearly has nothing to do with my academic performance. Sure, Google would never hire me because I don’t meet their hiring criteria, but who needs Google when you can start out as one of the first employees of a startup and help make that startup worth hundreds of millions of dollars?

On AlexisGrant.com, I often — but not always — write (affiliate link) after using a link, or flat-out tell readers I’ll earn a cut if they buy through me. Often, readers *want* to help bloggers make a living, so they might even be more inclined to use that link if they know you’ll benefit. I know when I sign up for a new service I often take a few minutes to go back to the blogger I first heard about it from, and click through their link so they’ll earn.


Haris nothing is easy, you must have not read what Jafar has mentioned earlier in the post. “The harder the you put your effort more the results you will get” Also you need to be a good writer and know the strategies to start make money through affiliate marketing. I’ve used Amazon associates program and know how t works according investment we do on book reviewing and sharing on social media.
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.
There is no standard formula, it depends on your taxes and other deductions taken, which vary from individual to individual. Taxes vary by region, filing status and withholding allowances. Deductions include retirement contributions, union dues, insurance payments, student loan payments, child support, or others depending on yoru situation. You can do a google search for "pay calculator" or "net salaray calculator" and look at the ones that come up. I can't find something specific to my area (including taxes from the city, county and state as well as federal) but they can be helpful if you want to estimate. Also, paystubs include an itemized listing of deductions, so you can see you net and gross for a current job on your paystub.
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.
Another problem that I see with Internet marketing in general is that ther are always too many bonuses attached to the product. I wonder if those bonuses are really better than the product itself? Imagine going into Wal-Mart and at the checkout line before you pay for your stuff, the casheer starts spouting off all of the bonuses and offers that you could get before you even purchased that product? Can you imagine how much time that would take? And all yo wanted to do was just purchase a bag of Oreos.
×