First, I’m still going to school, so haven’t started earning at my full potential yet. Second, I’m hoping to (at least eventually) have a job as college professor, so my work income will be roughly $65,000 (as you’ve mentioned in past posts), and so I’ll need to build alternative income sources to close the gap. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.
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.

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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.
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”.

I am writing you this comment in great desperation as I need your advice in something. I graduated from university with a GPA=2.6. My objective was to get recruited at one of the big four auditing firms (Delloitte, PWC, KPMG, etc). Obviously, my GPA is not sufficient to get enrolled. However, I am planning to work hard in studying for my CIA program (certified internal auditor). If i complete it and acquire a high score in the CIA examination will I have a chance at Delloitte perhaps? or Am i scewed? i will also embark on the CISA program as soon as i complete the CIA. PLEASE PLEASE TELL ME asap. Thank you for your kind attention….
There are tons of free certifications that you can get that aren’t the “real deal” certifications like CCNA on the technical side or PMP on the functional side. But they are useful. They would be a great talking point for an interview. Maybe you took a Microsoft Azure Cloud Computing course (free), or learned how to use Salesforce (free on their trailhead training site).
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!!

Also if you don’t have AP credits you can choose to cram in credit hours for a few semesters. It will take most your “fun” time, but you could essentially cut out a semester or two by sacrificing a little here and there. Shooting for 18 or more credit hours would be the goal. You could strategize it anyway you’d like. A couple semesters at 21 hours will really help you cut down your time in school. Now I didn’t employ this strategy but in hindsight I should have. I had a handful of business student friends that did this, and they seemed to have perfectly fine lives. They were even sighted at the occasional party or two, and were always happy.
I am starting a new job soon (30/m/renter/$12,000 IRA) but importantly, no debt. $56000/year with a 5% 401k Match. I am having trouble determining whether I want to go all in on the 401k and forgo the ROTH IRA. Or go partial in on the 401k ($10,000/year) + max ROTH IRA. After all, the after income-tax dollars are going to be in the second lowest braced (15%).
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.
LOTS of people feel the way you described in terms of being trapped and not being able to move up. I’d argue through, that in a lot of the cases engineers are kind of awkward, while also being kind of arrogant and entitled. I’ve experienced person after person express dislike for their job or inability to get promoted, but they don’t get company paid for masters degrees, they don’t get PMP certifications, they don’t even do the work of applying for other jobs, they just whine about it…
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.
Here’s how Amazon Associates works. People Googled “gifts for writers,” then clicked on the ideas we shared in our post, which took them over to Amazon.com. Regardless of whether they bought that item we recommended, they then continued to do their holiday shopping, stocking up on all sorts of random gifts, from electronics to clothing to books. And because they clicked on our link initially, we earned somewhere between four to 10 percent of whatever they spent on Amazon during the next 24 hours.

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