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.
In the old days of SEO you’d build backlinks using relevant anchor text. So, for example, if you wanted to rank for “bonsai trees” that would be the link text you’d use in your guest posts. And then the Panda update happened and Google took a swipe at unnatural link profiles which meant that SEOs started making their anchor text more natural (things like “click here to read the rest”).
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.
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…)
This is great for you because the products literally sell themselves, and as a 7 figure franchisee you get to keep 100% commissions on every sale that you generate promoting it which includes upsells, downsells, recurring products, and the high ticket backend product that I am talking about in this blog post the 7 figure franchisee business opportunity.
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?
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.
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:
I post around 2 articles per week related to my niche, I mainly link back to other blog posts within my site where the anchor would fit it’s purpose but I also link to the homepage with various anchor texts. I build guest posts on a regular basis as well (1 per week or so) and one of the links posts to a blog post on my site and the other to my homepage with varying anchors.
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.

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.


Thirsty Affiliates tracks, cloaks, and categorizes your affiliate links. Once you’ve signed up for your program(s) grab your affiliate links and add them to this plugin. This can take time if you will be linking to multiple pages on your affiliate’s website (which in many cases, you should). The pro version comes with statistics but I don’t even use it and I’m quite the analytical person.

I would say that I’ve only made 10-20k from stocks. Most of my money was from pure saving and aggressively working as much as I could. I’ve tried to limit my portfolio exposure to protect capital to ensure I can buy real estate. The real estate is now giving out over 10% returns and seems very low risk. I think I will continue this strategy. Lots of easy money to still be made from the day job and real estate :)! The market has me spooked as well! For me it’s all about cash flow to grow that income!


Regarding “convincing someone to buy your product is not that easy”, I do agree with you, but at the same time, I remember all those products I’ve bought online. I did not search on Google for those products neither I went to the company websites to get information and buy. They were affiliate people and their blogs that inspired to buy them. PrettyLink Pro, SEO Pressor was recommended by Kimberley, I bought Profits Theme, WP Zon builder because Alex Whaley recommended. Similarly I bought CommentLuv Premium because Ileane, Kavita, Steve and many others were talking good about it.
Love this story! I finished college in 3 years back in the 80’s because of AP/community college credits and stayed another year to finish my Master’s degree (which was required in my state for professional certification). And I swam fast and got money to help each year. I also got my entire doctorate paid for which was awesome! Not an engineer though – a teacher, but still got me to FI earlier than many!
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.
A handful is fine, but a dozen or more cheapens the experience for your users. If you absolutely MUST promote lots of products and services, PERSONALLY RECOMMEND only a small number of them. Take your very best ONE or TWO affiliate programs and stick to recommending them as your staple. A premium service with a slightly higher than normal price tag and generous commission is ideal for this strategy. But be sure it is worth the price!

I eventually learned the best model (for me) was to copy what Yoast did… charge a flat free for SEO Audits. People were always super happy with my audits. I still have my SEO audit templates (one for local SEO, national SEO, etc). Sometimes it would only take me 4 hours to write an audit and I would get $750, sometimes more if they wanted a more thorough audit. Maybe I undercharged?
6. One thing I heard recently was SO true, it bears repeating loud and clear, “I don’t care what internet marketing method you use, it will fail for one reason only: YOU didn’t apply yourself and work all the angles you could think of. ANYTHING can be sold, even crap on a plate, to the right people, and in the right way.” So can we then blame the product? Can you ENHANCE an existing product or create a new, better version?
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