It’s important to factor in hours worked with salary earned. I earned a six figure salary and at 40 hours a week would have earned $65 an hour, breaking it down to basics. I averaged 70 hours a week, and the salary broken down to hourly was roughly $35. This is not factoring in insurance or other benefits. Quality of life was poor and I shared a high level of stress along with my other colleagues. We weren’t doing life saving work, this was in tech. It wasn’t worth it in the long run! The burnout was a lesson to… Read more »
This post was so helpful! I launched my blog in January and just started to try and monetize it in June. I’ve added some affiliate links for a few of the programs you recommended, so hopefully, I will see some results soon. I’m realizing that this is gonna be a harder journey than I originally thought, but thanks to bloggers like you I have great resources to guide me! Twitter.com/Disfordollars
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.
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 just couldn’t resist jumping in here. even though i’m a b.s. chemist i’m in a union at this big company as more of a technician. we just allowed our first tier system on the plant this year and it’s the beginning of the end. even though i’m in the higher tier i would have conceded something in my future in order for the people coming in to make what i make. nobody ever wants to address the sacred “higher tiered” people. geez, about 15 years ago i knew of home-ec teachers pulling down 80 or 90k while the physics and math teachers unlikely reach that level, much less with the lifetime gold-plated benefits. i say, share the pain. now i’m fired up and need a drink.

Another thing I always want to cover is getting every possible question that a reader might have answered. Subtly, in one way or another, answering questions before they arise provide rationale for any reader who is ready to purchase. This also works great for SEO purposes since it covers the “lingo” for the product. Google evolves through constant self-learning, so once people start to ask questions on Q&A sites and forums, once they start to write about every single aspect of a product, it picks up. And fairly quickly. Just type something in the Google keyword tool and it shows you new and more synonyms by the day.


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Google Autocomplete – go to google.com, start typing a phrase and look at the dropdown autocomplete results. You can use the underscore character “_” to have Google fill-in-the-blank. Just make sure the last character you type is an underscore. Try using plurals and change the word ordering to see different results. This is how I find 90% of my keywords.
This is brilliant. A really in depth a thorough post. It has to be all about the content and delivery. Plus natural soft-pitching is so much better to me than a soandsoreview.com site. Blogs are becoming a highly valued tool for marketers and more and more people nowadays are getting their wallets out from review or guide posts that they read on blogs.
I see a lot of naysayers and people not even trying. I am by no means rich or in the 1% but I live comfortably. I am single mother with ZERO support from my child’s father or from my parents who have passed away. I own a cleaning business. I got an associate’s in HIM and I work remotely and received my credentials. Yes, I spent a couple thousand starting my business and finishing my education, but I have been reimbursed all of my startup cost and have a team of employees. I don’t work 40 hours a week. Maybe 35. I don’t do any of the cleanings for my company, I have employees for that. Not saying in an emergency I haven’t cleaned, but for the most part the business runs itself because I strategically put people in place to do so. It was not an easy road, but it was well traveled and worth it.
Now, here’s the current conundrum. I still don’t make six figures. I have made some really smart money moves, but even now, I’m not slated to pull in six figures for another decade. I have two choices. The first option lets me sit back and let time work its magic. Each year of service nets me a small raise. It also gives our money in the market more time to do its thing. Conversely, the second choice involves monetizing our talents and skills. Otherwise known as prioritizing the side hustle or the passion project.
But if you want to make money – there are things to do besides be an engineer and having been one of those that did a bachelors, medical degree and post doc before I ever had a real job – worked fine even with the loans. I was the first in my family to acheive a graduate degree, paid for it with loans, but my niche career choice I found out about during my pathology traing way down the line worked out.
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.

If you are in this camp then Glen has done an amazing post on keyword research which is a really good place for you to start. The important thing to take note of there is the last part of the article that talks about things you are passionate about. Picking a niche or keyword set based solely on the idea of making quick cash is a really good way to lose interest.


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”.
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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.
A great point you made there though. Too many people try to take on too much at once and end up spreading themselves too thin – trying to conquer all the niches at the same time. Marketers also do this with advertising. Instead of sticking with one platform until they are generating a consistent number of leads they will jump from platform to platform, in essence chucking a load of crap at a wall and seeing what sticks.
The Patent Office is an ideal place to work for engineers looking to start a side gig. I went to law school instead (poor choice maybe, but I wasn’t reading your blog back then). Depending on the economy, the Patent Office pays for law school as well. They didn’t pay when I was there during the recession, but because the salary is good I was able to go to a top IP law school (George Washington) with only $30k in loans, which I paid off within a year of graduating.
ps. collecting these Facebook polls is one of the main reasons I was able to get so many SiteGround sales. Yes, I’m suggesting SiteGround for your host, but this is also a strategy that can be used to collect unbiased reviews. Just go to Facebook and search “SiteGround poll” and you can dig up some great stuff – you can do this with lots of affiliate products/companies.
Now, here’s the current conundrum. I still don’t make six figures. I have made some really smart money moves, but even now, I’m not slated to pull in six figures for another decade. I have two choices. The first option lets me sit back and let time work its magic. Each year of service nets me a small raise. It also gives our money in the market more time to do its thing. Conversely, the second choice involves monetizing our talents and skills. Otherwise known as prioritizing the side hustle or the passion project.
1. I’m no longer a solopreneur. If I was a solopreneur who netted $5K from a website I ran on my own, that would be pretty darn good. But I don’t do everything myself. Instead, I run a company that has a lot of expenses. My team manages a number of blogs, and I pay six team members each month, as well as dozens of writers who contribute to our blogs, plus a tech-support team. That $5K goes into company revenue, not directly into my pocket.
Hello I just stumbled across your blog and I needed some advice, which is greatly appreciated. I graduated with a degree in accounting with a B average, got fired as a trainee after 4 months out. Decided to try my hand at med. Did a few courses did a little better. decided to go back to accounting and could not for the life of me a get a job, not even at the small firms. Finally got another accounting job 3 years after graduation, which i also got canned from. Then again tried to go back in to accounting cannot get a job. I am now almost 30 working a crap job and i really don’t know what to do. I want to go into IT possibly cyber security; I am thinking fuck it maybe nursing; or maybe a diploma program as an electrical engineer technologist . Part of the reason I can’t get a job in accounting because I have a shit reputation with my peers and the city I live in. Long story short I was a bit of a hot head in college and did not take shit from anyone. Great at making enemies not so could at making friends. I figure if I do IT I will stick with accounting as well if I can get my CPA that would make me valuable. But with this linkedin environment I am afraid my reputation will deny my opportunity in the IT field. I just don’t want to be in this position. i want more but I don’t want to make any mistakes. I really don’t know what to do or what strategy would be best. At the end of the day I want to provide for the people I care about. I have crap reputation and I think starting over is the best route, I can do IT + accounting; healthcare; electrical engineering. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Penny – Great post and you have gone beyond what most teachers do to maximize income. Teachers are underpaid. My wife taught for 18 years and the most she ever made was $26000 (when she was single in Alabama), but she would never have traded the experience and sense of accomplishment she had as teaching in a low income school district and helping kids envision a better future.
So then I graduate… and my company offers to send me to any school in the country for my Master’s; pay my salary + the degree and then give me another raise when I graduate… So me being the person I am I applied to a bunch of top schools cause not like I was paying so another full ride (woot woot). So now I’m about to finish my Master’s this December at a top 10 program by the age of 23 and I expect my income and investments to net me probably 140k with a LOT of upward mobility. I live in a state much cheaper than cities like Houston/Dallas… so for sheer buying power I would say I am probably pulling 400k equivalent to someone in the Bay Area or NYC. So if you bust your ass you can crush it out there.

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.
Google Autocomplete – go to google.com, start typing a phrase and look at the dropdown autocomplete results. You can use the underscore character “_” to have Google fill-in-the-blank. Just make sure the last character you type is an underscore. Try using plurals and change the word ordering to see different results. This is how I find 90% of my keywords.
After you link all your accounts, use their Retirement Planning calculator that pulls your real data to give you as pure an estimation of your financial future as possible using Monte Carlo simulation algorithms. Definitely run your numbers to see how you’re doing. I’ve been using Personal Capital since 2012 and have seen my net worth skyrocket during this time thanks to better money management.
Based on the marketing, you earn 100% commissions on sales and on upsells. The promotion throughout the site makes these products sound like sure-fire winners, especially as Michael Cheney has already made a lot from them. That's not a bad commission rate! Seriously, I love when companies pay high commissions, but you have to promote good products if you want to keep those commissions and avoid refunds.
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