The quest for six figures gets even more complicated when you consider the ways in which our country tends to vilify any individual with a big income. Let’s look at Scrooge. Whether we’re talking about the original Dickens character or the McDuck cartoon version, one thing is abundantly clear: Rich people are misers who think little of others without divine intervention. News headlines describing real-life millionaires aren’t much more generous. But net worth doesn’t dictate self-worth. No one should apologize for seeking wealth.
I’m 29. I started a career in sales right out of High School and found my glass ceiling. I went back to school at 26, graduated with a degree in finance at 28 in may 2015, I just got my first offer as a securities specialist with a top 5 bank, (it’s an operations position in global market settlements) the pay is less than my draw was when I was selling, and I might as well live in my car because I’m going to spend about 2 and a half hours in the car everyday. I am trying to determine if I am selling myself short, or if this is a good place to get started. I ultimately want to work mutual funds. I’m trying to decide if I should keep looking for another position or hold out for more.
Thank you for your comment, but I don’t think I felt the need to comment if your post was about “six figures can be achieved in a variety of industries if one is the top of their field”. Don’t we all know that? College prof, photographers, athletes, actors, dancers, musicians, designers, personal trainers etc. You wouldn’t list these as $100k+ industries, do you? I wrote my last comment to explain that symphony orchestra industry also does not fit into the “industries that often pay six figures within 3 years out of school”.
I always think about this process in terms of the sales funnel. You are writing posts and making videos that introduce people to a broader idea or subject and then using backlinks to filter them towards your affiliate program through your ultimate post. When creating this content you want to make sure you select either evergreen topics or link-bait style subjects that build social momentum and attract relevant traffic over time.
I think you should add major sports league before you add classical music as one of these high paying jobs. It’s similar, people don’t do music/sports for money! But people do it for the love of it AND the money it brings at the very very top of the industry! In sports it is millions of $, in the case of symphony orchestra, it is 100k+. I work in the industry and it is misleading to list it along with other jobs in your post.
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
Household income changes over time, with income gains being substantially larger for the upper percentiles than for the lower percentiles.[19] All areas of the income strata have seen their incomes rise since the late 1960s, especially during the late 1990s.[18] The overall increase in household income is largely the result of an increase in the percentage of households with more than one income earner. While households with just one income earner, most commonly the male, were the norm in the middle of the 20th century, 42% of all households and the vast majority of married couple households now have two or more income earners. With so many households now having two income earners, the substantial increase in household income is easily explained:[15]
[…] FICA stands for Federal Insurance Contributions Act and consists of a Social Security tax and a Medicare tax. This tax is very important for everyone to understand because so often we only think about federal tax rates and state income tax rates. The FICA tax is a big percentage of your total tax bill, especially for those making under six figures a year. […]
I would counter and say not to get a petroleum engineering degree but rather a mechanical or chemical degree and find a job in the O&G industry. Petroleum degrees limit you to a specific industry and from what I’ve heard (I’m in the industry) many companies are now leaning towards those with mechanical or chemical degrees over the once popular petroleum degrees. Further when the industry hits a down turn like we’re currently in, those with the more general engineering degree will have a better shot at finding work in other industries.
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.
Jason – so happy to hear the tutorial is helping! Affiliate marketing was a huge break for me and I’m sure it can be for your son too. Whatever products/services he ends up selling, just make sure he is excited about the industry he is – it takes a long of time creating content and it will keep him motivated especially when he gets his first sales.
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.
Re: Booz Allen – the nature of Federal consulting is shifting away from true strategy management consulting and more operational consulting and IT consulting. So to categorize Booz Allen in your Strategy list isn’t accurate, not when you have better Strategy firms to include, see above list, also consider Accenture Strategy (the strategy shop of Accenture, similar to Deloitte S&O).

After reading your comment I feel I could gain some very valuable advice from you. I am a recent college graduate and began my first “career” job about 6 months ago in accounting. It is a small company with little room to promote so I am interested in learning more about how to get into a major company like the one you work for. Your advice sounds much more realistic, and I am more than willing to do what it takes to get there. I would greatly appreciate a response.
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!

If there’s one thing that all freelancers know, it is that their income is always ‘unpredictable’. Sometimes, you have work that you can’t even handle and sometimes, you are in desperate need for work. Your earnings as a freelancer depends on your time. The more time you spend, the more you will earn. This is why having recurring revenue can prove to be a significant factor of financial growth.
I will give you a very simple example. Let’s say you build up an audience of 50,000 readers and out of that 50k you have about 1% that trust you (1% of people that trust you online is actually very huge), so that equates to 500 readers. Out of that 500 readers you will have about 10% that will buy your eBook and other affiliate products, so 50 people total. So, if you are selling your eBook for $10, you will make $500. Of course it doesn’t stop there, those people that buy the eBook and like it will most likely recommend it, and you will have a snowball effect where more people keep buying your book and other affiliate products. This is just a rough example that shows you some realistic numbers. Do not ever think that if you build up a huge number of readers that they will all trust you and buy the products that you promote; if it was that easy everyone would be a millionaire by now.
I expanded my SEO blog and started writing about hosting, cache plugins, and other relevant topics… while recommending SiteGround in each tutorial. I added social proof like this poll where they were rated the #1 host. Each tutorial was super detailed and tons of people found them helpful – many generated 100 visitors/day since the great content got them ranked high.
Salary Salary is any thing that is given in return for the faith shown to the employer. The word salary started from the word Salt, since salt was earlier paid in return for the faith shown to the king and the work done. Nowadays Money is usually paid as Salary. Salary is usually paid to works other than Manual and Mechanical Works. For them usually wages are paid. Brahmajyothi
Some more information: I’m really interested in business, finance and law and have started a successful organization. I also am good at computer science and have won a lot of national and international science fairs. I’m also a national high school debate qualifier. I’ve taken a certified IQ test and have received a 140. I got close to a 2400 on the SAT. I had a very bad injury in ninth grade and I missed a lot of school (I got a C in a class because of that!) I am really worried about my future.
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.

Before we dive in and take a hard, close look I’d like to take this opportunity to share with you my personal experiences before joining this program. I have been an internet entrepreneur for years. I have studied with some of the greatest marketers online from Jonathan Mizell to Jon Thornhill and I have tried a number of different business models.


A correlation has been shown between increases in income and increases in worker satisfaction. Increasing worker satisfaction, however, is not solely a result of the increase in income: workers in more complex and higher level occupations tend to have attained higher levels of education and thus are more likely to have a greater degree of autonomy in the workplace.[20] Additionally, higher level workers with advanced degrees are hired to share their personal knowledge, to conceptualize, and to consult. Higher-level workers typically suffer less job alienation and reap not only external benefits in terms of income from their jobs, but also enjoy high levels of intrinsic motivation and satisfaction.[10][20]
I didn’t go back to technology until 2004 and didn’t start getting more focused on reclaiming financial independence until about 5 yrs ago, I guess. I’m still not as focused on FI as you and many of your readers are (or maybe used to be) – balance NOW is just as important to me as FI SOON. I’m wary of selling the present to the future, even if the future promises a sweet deal in exchange.
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.

I’m 34, female, no college degree (but loans from part time schooling) making $38,500 as a person who has no kids but lives with a boyfriend (not all bills are split but rent is). I’m okay each month but still feel like I live paycheck to paycheck. It would be nice to have more to put towards savings each month or go shopping once in awhile for clothes WITHOUT feeling guilty. My boyfriend makes about the same as me and he has a college degree, same age. I guess we both need to strive for something closer to $100,000!

It will probably take a couple years to build a sustainable, passive income. That is the 1st car I have EVER purchased myself at age 29 (I was broke until then and leased from my parents). But the time committed to affiliate marketing and creating great tutorials and YouTube videos was worth it… I work for myself, there is virtually no limit on how much I can make, my schedule is flexible, and I collect enough passive income to live how I want.
Ha! I not only lost 75% of it, I lost it in 3 weeks while wandering around in the Nepalese Himalayas…found out it was gone when I stumbled into an internet cafe after getting out of the mountains. I’d just had some perspective-altering experiences, including a night of protection from the Nepalese army while I watched Maoists firebomb a mountain town I’d just passed through…and an earlier surreal moment when I had to step over the dead bodies of a mother and child in India so I could get cash from a Citibank cash machine. At the exact moment my account came up in that Nepalese cafe and I blinked twice to make sure that small number was right, I heard bells ringing from outside the screenless window to my left. I looked over at an old man slumped down in the seat of his wooden cart absently flicking a donkey’s ass (is that redundant?) to keep them rolling down the dirt street. The cart passed malnourished children standing under prayer flags, snot running from their nostrils to their mouths, ignored, as usual. I turned back to my screen and laughed – sold most of what was left, logged off and got something to eat. That was the year 2000.
I went through the entire training after which I started wondering, “Is this how to make 39,041.46 consistently every month?” Maybe it is or maybe not, depending on how you want to look at it. If you’d like to consistently make $39,041.46 per month in your dreams, I think it’s entirely possible. But if not, I seriously doubt it because of what contents the training is made of.
Furthermore, symphony orchestras are non profit organization and cannot support itself without the donation from the public. We know this is a challenge. I explained in the above comment that top symphony musicians have been dedicating their whole life to this traditional art form and that is why they have to fight hard to keep our salary competitive (even mere 5%).
In the United States, the highest earning occupational group is referred to as white collar professionals. Individuals in this occupational classification tend to report the highest job satisfaction and highest incomes. Defining income based on title of a profession can be misleading, given that a professional title may indicate the type of education received, but does not always correlate with the actual day to day income-generating endeavors that are pursued.

Great post. Good to read from someone whose career does not involve making 6 figures (sometimes while they are in their 20s)- if one follows the PF blogs, it’s easy to forget that the majority of the population makes nowhere near that! But being in that vast throng does not mean that it’s impossible to improve one’s lot, eventually make a high income, and someday reach FI.

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.
Saw this article in my RSS feed, and I realized how I totally forgot to read it when it was published. Only one VERY IMPORTANT thing to add- if you are using an affiliate network, don’t hesitate to ask for a raise if the sales are decent in numbers. We did this a couple of times, and every time we managed to negotiate a raise. Imagine this- traffic stays the same, conversion rate stays the same, only commissions get higher. Nice, huh?
I guess this is what all those internet marketers meant by shiny object syndrome. If any of you fellow beginning internet marketers already have a beginning point (free and trustworthy source) but are looking around for something that will make you “quick money,” don’t give in to the temptation and just keep digging at what you’ve started. There will be a lot of temptations along the way, but do not give into them and just keep doing what you’re supposed to. Eventually you’ll make your money.

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 »
There are only 3 kind of people in line for 6 , 7, or 8+ and while articles like this spark interest and get responses, they quickly show that they aren’t really making this kind of money . If they were, they would have a way for others to join them, would respond to the questions/inquiries posted right below their post comment. These people are not doing what they claim.
I’m a senior in college. My major is Risk Management and insurance. I plan on getting an MBA in strategic mgmt/Finance from a top 20 business school OR an MSHA from a top 5 MSHA school like Michigan(1) or UAB(2). I hope to start making a least 120K right out of grad school. I understand you can be a hospital administrator or even CEO with an MSHA. Which career looks more promising when you factor in the cost of grad school?
Yes, its possible. If you go in as a tech (for example GS-05), however, you will be stuck there forever regardless of performance (consecutive exemplary ratings here), schooling (Bachelors 3.5 & Masters 3.9), a voluntary war zone deployment, or wherever. Go in as a internship with scheduled grade increases (for example GS07 to 09 to 11 to 12) increasing every year or so.
* 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).
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.
If you decide to become a patent agent (no law degree) or a patent attorney (law degree), you can crush it (multiple six figure income by age 30). Some of the jobs are a big grind, like IP litigation, which I do not do. I found an awesome mid-sized law firm where I write patent applications for inventors at big tech companies. At the right firm, you can make multiple six figures working a reasonable 45-50 hours per week.
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.
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.
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.
Canada. In my experience you just give the degree, though the first job I did also show them my transcript. Focus appears to be more on work experience than GPA. In fact, bragging about GPA could backfire as people might not be interested in hiring an “academic!” I’ve only seen a handful of CVs though, and it’s possible that my career advisor was wrong on this point.
The sub-title of the book is "Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income," so I was expecting the it to be mostly a "I got rich blogging and here are the ways that you can get rich quickly, too" type of book, but getting rich quick was not really the main focus of the book. There are a few chapters on money-making blogging strategies, but the majority of the book is devoted to helping you figure out how to run an effective blog. In fact, throughout the book the authors stress that most successful/profitable blogs are the result of years of work.

First of all great article John, and thanks for sharing your story. What Vicki says about her kids resonates with me. My parents limited me to schools I could commute to. In the back of my head I always knew that was better financially, but it was still tough to think of what I was missing out on. I still got by and had a blast in school so it worked out. Everything is what you make of it.
Well I really understand everything that is being stated and I do agree with the majority of the Arrticle. Although I am 25 years old and I didnt even go to middle school and let alone grad uate highschool and went to college for an art historian as it is a passion of mine. I became a single mother and had to discontinue studdies. Now I had a hard start in life and made poor decisions when I was young , taking my lessons and downfalls with pride and perserverence, my life exscperiences have transformed me into a hard working determined woman. I now have two children and can easily make 200,000.00 a year if I would like to and will when my children are older. Right now I make anywere from 50,000 to 100,000 working hard for 4 to 6 month and then make about 4000 to 5000 a month the other half of the year now I work at the most 45 hrs a week and not very often my fiance is just now starting to return to work as he doesn’t need to he would like to !!!!! When you set your mind to making a great life for yourself and your family you will do it yes education is important and I wish I had made other decisions , With that being said my past does not define my intellect my drive nor my capabilities to find financial freedom and be successful I just keep always wanting and giving more!!
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.
I’m also a subscriber of Nichehacks. He promoted Commission Black Opt, I bought it because I trust him, but totally it’s crappy. Recently, he’s promoted something like “The Affiliate Godfather” or “The Cartel” from same Micheal Cheney. I don’t know if it is a good crappy product. I wonder why he can recommend his list about under-qualified products. I wasted too much time and money in such that product.
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