IMPORTANT: Since the latest Google update you have to be extra careful with your anchor text. If you just write “Bonsai growing” as the anchor text on every guest post you do it will look extremely unnatural and Google will likely penalize you. The SEO factor is only part of the reason you are writing these posts so don’t risk a penalty by being too aggressive.
In your opinion what college degrees and respective careers are most likely to help me accomplish this financial goal? For example, I was once advised that a BS/MS in electrical or computer engineering paired with an MBA was one of the safest routes to a high-paying career (meaning you don’t have to rely on working for a specific company or in a specific area). Would you agree with this, or do you have other thoughts and ideas on the subject?
Fantastic, thanks for sharing your story John! I am curious, you talk about UT a lot, are you by any chance from UT or in the Texas area? I’m not sure I can make 6 figures before the age of 25 with my employer but I’m going to look for other passive income opportunities to make sure that I get to make 6 figures by that age. It’s a bold goal but I hope that I can make it. Petroleum engineers are having a hard time right now but that’s the boom and bust of any commodity, right?
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I think in my case it was pure ignorance (high school me). Sure, I could memorize books well, but I had no real connections. I had no experience getting a job. I had no clue how loans worked. I didn’t realize what an in-demand skill was. I wouldn’t be surprised if that is true for more high school students. My girlfriend on the other hand, ended up working for a top consulting firm after getting her masters in corporate finance! While she didn’t know that much about job market, she had really solid parents and great mentors. I think that can make a huge difference.
My first interaction with Sam was a comment I made on what would become one of Financial Samurai’s most popular posts of all time: The Average Net Worth For The Above Average Person. I argued some point and disclosed my six-figure income at the ripe age of 23. Sam suggested I share my story due to seeing widespread doubt that many people like me exist out there.
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.
I see myself at my current firm long-term, at least until I reach financial independence. I’ve been trying to take your advice and start a website to generate passive income, but I struggle with it because the status quo is so good. It’s so easy to take the short view and earn an extra $3000 by hammering out another patent application rather than looking at the big picture and working toward passive income. I struggle with not seeing quick results. Any advice for conquering this mindset?
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.

Two income-earner households are more common among the top quintile of households than the general population: 2006 U.S. Census Bureau data indicates that over three quarters, 76%, of households in the top quintile, with annual incomes exceeding $91,200, had two or more income earners compared to just 42% among the general population and a small minority in the bottom three quintiles. As a result, much of the rising income inequity between the upper and lower percentiles can be explained through the increasing percentage of households with two or more incomes.[15][19]


For example, Darren Rowse on DPS has a lot of photographers taking excellent photos with Canon and Nikon SLR cameras and then mentioning those cameras in their posts and/or tutorials. Although he might not directly sell or pitch those cameras, he would be making an absolute fortune from people who get inspired to purchase after seeing what gets produced.
My question is, do you think this is a worthwhile method? Or do you think I should be creating a longer blog post and focus more of my energy on building backlinks to that post? Then with that specific blog post should I be linking to my review pages or to the affiliates? As right now I’m mainly building backlinks towards the review pages but would it be worthwhile to create a post, build link juice to it and just pass it back on to the review page?
I come from a quite unsuccessful background of web design/SEO. I blogged because I knew it was good for SEO, but my articles never had a purpose regarding monetization. I finally took a leap of faith and dropped my clients to figure out blogging/affiliate marketing. I was good at website speed optimization and knew hosting was the #1 factor. Looking for the best, I saw SiteGround was rated #1 in multiple Facebook polls and had a great reputation with generous affiliate commissions. So I wrote detailed tutorials on website speed… how to configure WordPress cache plugins, hosting reviews, and other speed-related topics. Usually near the end of a post I would say “Oh, and here’s why you should switch to SiteGround” with evidence on why they’re the best… Facebook polls, Tweets, load time improvements, etc. That’s when things got good. I’ve been broke my whole life and it’s my calling to show people how do this.
I’m SO glad to now have this post I can bookmark, and have a perfect project I can actually put into action against this post. It’s great to learn from people who are ahead in the game, for those of us who aren’t as knowledgeable can look for advice and resources online and find a LOT of bad information – but knowing the source of this post and such a respected website you know you won’t go far wrong in putting this into action!
Perhaps; I think a larger reason for why there are so few $100,000 earners is due to relatively difficulty in getting a job that pays that much (or creating income source(s) to generate that level of income) as compared to a less than $100,000 a year position. I also think there’s more than a few people who happen to gravitate toward professions that don’t pay such high salaries; if you are a kindergarten teacher, and get a lot of personal satisfaction out of your job, you might have no desire to go back to school to become, say, a venture capitalist. The fact of the matter is that not every profession we as a society need pays more than $100,000 a year; which is probably good, because if they did, prices would adjust to the point that you’d need to earn $1,000,000 a year just to be upper middle class.
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.
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.
The GI Bill works exactly as it is intended. I’ve used both the Montgomery and the Post 9/11 as I served during the transition and participated in both. There is always a 4-6 month delay to get started. It’s because the VA is very slow to get things moving. You can apply as soon as you get accepted in most cases which for me was several months before I got out of the service. The program is not a fraud because of the red tape. Could it be better? Of course! But it’s not a fraud because it doesn’t pay you right away.
With the oil crash, I’m not sure petroleum and chemical engineering is the best choice anymore. Though I would DEFINITELy say “STEM” degrees give you way more bang for your buck than arts degrees. I’m a computer engineer turned published children’s author, so I’ve been in both fields. Engineer is gruelling and doesn’t have the emotional payoff that writing does, but man is it lucrative. For those who don’t like engineering, they could work there for 10 years, make enough to retire early, and then do whatever their little heart desires. It worked for me and it was worth it. Can’t easily do that with most arts degrees. If I had to choose again, I’d definitely choose engineering…or accounting.
Plan to work til your able like 78. My dad finally wants to go part time at 90 years of age. He quit his CEO job and traded that job in for treasurer for a small company. He plans to work and save his money until 94. Nursing homes cost and so do CNA’s if you cannot walk, dress or take a bath. My mom took her meds until she was 89 and then 200,000 dollars was spent for 5 years to take care of her. It is probably double plus by 2016.
I think it can be hard, although not as hard as it’s sometimes made out to be. If you do well in school, go into a field where you can earn six figures shortly after graduating, do well in said field, there’s few reasons why someone who’s smart, hard-working, interested in working in a high income field, and determined to make a six figure salary can’t do so. That said, how many people do you know who meet all of those traits?
You didn’t mention engineering as a industry. Engineers have some of the best starting salaries out of college and many of my business partners have MBAs. I graduated with a masters in structural engineering and then 6 years later got qualified as a diver with an ADCI commercial dive card. Then I was making 100,000+ annually. I now have my own firm and make 200,000+ at 32 years old.
Great article. I disagree with step 2. Do not choose Petroleum Engineering as a first degree. One can always do this for a masters degree instead. Best to choose mechanical engineering. The chance of ending up with a high paying job in the oil/oil service industry is the same with a mechanical engineering degree. Most of my professors in grad school in the Petroleum engineering department were mechanical engineers.
If you are blogging to make money and haven't read this book, you are in for a treat! Co-authors Darren Rowse and Chris Garrett lay out all of the details that the aspiring blogger needs in order to begin earning money at blogging. The book also pulls no punches in telling the readers how much work they will have to put in and how remarkable their blogs really must be to draw advertising dollars. Professional blogging is indeed full-time work, make no mistake. Darren and Chris have created in this manual a detailed roadmap for new and experienced bloggers alike who might have unique idea for a blog and enough passion and material about the topic for the long haul. I've got a blog and now I have a million new ideas about how to make the blog more "can't live without it" for my current subscribers and how to reel in more new readers. The book is an easy and enjoyable read. I read the entire thing in one cross-country flight. The sections of their book that I found most useful were the chapters on income and earning strategies, how to write a blog, blogging for a niche, blog networks, blog promotion and marketing, and the secrets of successful blogging. If you're a blogger, this is a book you shouldn't be without. The authors make all of their income from blogging and this book brightly lights the way for the anyone who aspires to be a pro blogger.
Hello Clicky! In terms of connecting with affiliate marketers, a good place to start would be the major affiliate networks in your niche. Two examples off the top of my head are http://www.uk.cj.com/ and https://freshpress.media/ – these sites are heavily used by affiliates but you’ll want to make sure you have great visibility when people are searching for affiliate programs in your niche. A great way to do this is to find out what the top business in your niche is doing in terms of their affiliate offer and match with something similar. Another way of attracting affiliates is to perform some market research and find out the top blogs in your niche, then reach out to the owners with a delicious affiliate program deal they cannot refuse. In terms of logo’s and banner ads, most affiliate don’t really use them anymore (from my own experiences). But again, I would research everything before making any decisions. Hope this helps!
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For example, when mechanical engineers design parts of an airplane, the process can be tested and refined before production and sales. In the oilfield, companies are drilling up to 30,000 ft where the reservoir will never be seen by anyone. Yet, engineers must still construct models based on a few well points in the ground. Imagine filling in the entire map of San Francisco with just 4 known street intersections. This is why companies can spend $100 million on a single well and find nothing but rock and water.

You found a topic that is of interest to a huge target audience (who doesn’t want to make 100k plus a year?) You spent some money so your website comes up while searching google (therefore generating more traffic to your page) and you’ve written this guide in a way that includes everyone (that way nobody feels like they aren’t able to achieve this same success) Throughout the article you’ve posted links to multiple products/companies which you earn revenue from each time someone clicks them. Along with that there are advertisements throughout that you’re gaining revenue on etc. So essentially, anyone reading this and clicking links is generating revenue for you. Touché


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For 2018, he’s most interested in arbitraging the lower property valuations and higher net rental yields in the heartland of America through RealtyShares, one of the largest real estate crowdfunding platforms based in SF. He sold his SF rental home for 30X annual gross rent in 2017 and reinvested $550,000 of the proceeds in real estate crowdfunding for potentially higher returns.

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.


Freelancer – refer people to developers, designers, and other freelancers you’ve worked with and make 100% of Freelancer’s project commission for the first 90 days. I get a lot of people requesting WordPress speed optimization services… so I refer them to my developers with a freelancer affiliate link and make $125/month in passive income. You can’t use affiliate links to link to specific freelancer profiles, so I direct people to the homepage via affiliate link and give people my developer’s usernames.
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:
Thanks for sharing your experience. It was a real eye-opener for me. I am new to affiliate marketing and am looking for ways to make a steady income. Your affiliate program seems to fit my needs. If you have the time email me with your affiliate link to signup and I hope you can help me get started the right way. Any assistance would be greatly appreciate. Be Blessed.
Thank you so much! I’m so happy you liked this post and the ideas in it. Yes, putting your affiliate post on a separate page is something I like to do but I’ve also just posted on my blog a new affiliate post and that’s good too! I feel if you’ve been blogging for a year or more and THEN start affiliate marketing, it might be a good idea to ease your audience into this by placing your affiliate post on a separate page!
As someone who also works in the Oil & Gas industry I can give some insight on another possibility if you didn’t put in the effort in high school or even college. Right now the industry is a bloodbath but like John mentioned it’s cyclical. There has also been a large talent drain due to Boomers retiring and people leaving the industry because of the cyclical nature.
* My closely-guarded, multi-million dollar launch strategy which has hundreds of affiliates begging you to promote. (I have this down. My biggest launch, back in 2008, did $1.9M in a week. Every one of my past 7 launches has got #1 Bestseller and Product of the Day status on JVZoo and I have multiple products in the Top 50 products of all-time on JVZoo).
Don’t set a goal to write 3 blog posts a day… set a goal to write 1 blog post a week and make that post super helpful, long, and filled with information that is so valuable you will say “yeah, people will link to that.” 90% of my traffic/affiliate income comes from just 20 tutorials, many of which are 5+ years old. But I am constantly updating them to make the content better.
Marrying for money always works. Furthermore, you can start your own business or work two jobs. Making an online income seems particularly trendy nowadays. Join the federal government and rake it in after a while too! Nothing is stopping you from breaching the magical $100,000 a year mark except for your own desire, effort, knowledge, personality, and optimism.”
I find it a bit "interesting" that Michael says it works like any other franchise. Basically, you are buying an expensive products from him so you have a right to sell his other products. In this scenario, Michael Cheney wins for 100% sure but you, the buyer, may either lose $1,977 or make even more (directly or indirectly) money to Michael if you succeed well.

Freelancer – refer people to developers, designers, and other freelancers you’ve worked with and make 100% of Freelancer’s project commission for the first 90 days. I get a lot of people requesting WordPress speed optimization services… so I refer them to my developers with a freelancer affiliate link and make $125/month in passive income. You can’t use affiliate links to link to specific freelancer profiles, so I direct people to the homepage via affiliate link and give people my developer’s usernames.

Something I’ve become more and more aware of in relation to affiliate marketing profits is the value of products with a great funnel. Once in the funnel valued customers are offered high quality free content and a number of different products at varying investment levels. All of the products in the funnel are designed to help solve a problem or overcome an obstacle that the customer has. For any prospective digital marketer who hasn’t yet developed a range of their own products to market through a funnel then naturally choosing an affiliate product with a great funnel means some careful research to make sure that there’s quality and outstanding value in all the products in the funnel. I would always be careful not to have my own name aligned with poor quality offerings.


in terms of pay, sure, eventually you’ll make $100k at Booz Allen, but you’ll reach that number much sooner at other firms. Booz Allen pays $50-60k to Consultants fresh out of undergrad. Year over year raises are insignificant (they cap at 3%, unless your Principal/Senior Associate goes to bat for you on market rate adjustment). Promotion raises are also nowhere near market rate. Additionally, levels below Senior Associate do not receive a performance bonus. You will likely not reach $100k at Booz Allen until 2nd Associate (see below levels).
Hey Brian! I don’t have an affiliate link in my review of it, but I think STM would be the better fit if product creation is your focus. As far as promoting the product once you created it – I think WA would be a good fit. But they’re pretty affiliate-centric, therefore there’s not much material regarding product creation (whereas there’s bound to be some with how experienced many of the contributors at STM are).
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