But getting 1000 visitors to any given affiliate site meant I'd have to get about 10,000 visitors to my own site. If I could do that every week, I'd be doing OK for a small business site with a marketing budget close to zero. But I was already learning that it takes time and money to get 10,000 visitors a week. And let's see... for all my traffic generating efforts I would pull in a cool $180 a month? It didn't take a genius to figure out that it might not be worth the effort. I passed.
This is totally true as many people are non traditional learners and the academic system is just not appealing to them and learn faster by doing. I come from an entire family of folks like this..barely scratching through state college but always excelled in paying our way through them by opening small businesses and earning lots of money over the summer. Net is, I make more than the average Harvard grad with a state college degree. Look at big corps that offer leadership development programs, work hard, be willing to relocate ad take risks, have a great attitude even when you get a hellish assignment as it’s an opportunity to learn – always treat people well and if you don’t, learn from it and get better. All in all you’ll keep rising or decide you want to do something else and will have learned a ton along the way.
I think you might of misunderstood me I am not looking to promote my page, it is just a hobby really that grew quickly due to the need. I do this while I finish my degree in HR. I am looking to make money off of posting other people’s things on my page. Not to boost my page I have about 6k active users. I’m looking to sign up to affiliate programs.
Is becoming a $100k+ earner in orchestras like SF symphony just as competitive as joining a major sports league? Maybe. It’s just that $100k+ symphony job openings are so rare that no one can really count on it. Orchestra is a very unique job and often general public don’t know how people got there. Of course not everyone value and want to support arts. But when those few $100k orchestra job salary disappear, the live symphony music we hear today will die.
I am so glad you speak so openly and honestly about being paid what you’re worth. As an ESL teacher who’s a contractor, I find it hard to give up my contractual gig to jump on the salary scale of a school because I feel like I would be underpaid. And unfortunately, I still find it hard to shake the feeling that what I’m paid equates to what I’m worth, professionally speaking. Despite teachers’ relatively lower earning trajectories, though, Thomas Stanley of The Millionaire Next Door found they were more than twice as likely as the average American to be prodigious accumulators of wealth. So, despite low pay, or perhaps because of it, teachers tend to save and invest more than doctors, lawyers, and other traditionally higher paid professions. So I hold that thought close.
Of course there are some drawbacks. Learning to fly isn’t cheap. Another $50,000-$100,000 on top of the costs of a college education is realistic for most. But just as with college tuition, there are loans available to help pay for flying education. And one can flight instruct part-time while attending college to not only help pay for classes, but also gain valuable flight experience. Obviously the military, either active duty or national guard, is another potential option for defraying the costs of flight training.
Thanks for sharing. Parents will definitely find your info helpful! We agree with you on public universities. My wife and I went to city universities and both of us majored in Computer Science in the early 80’s. My wife is the smarter one and she went to college for free. My parents paid 6K for my 4.5 years. It around $450 per semester back then. I think we got a great education. I can’t imagine parents paying over 50K plus per year these days.
Nerds got a lot of grief in grade school. They were picked on, made fun of, called, “NERD” and other much worse things…lol. But as a grown up “Nerd” I can look back at all the jocks and have the last laugh cause it’s me who is now successful (and better looking), and their 10 seconds of fame on the HS Varsity football team resulted in a job at McDonald’s cause they “ain’t got no edjukaton”. Cheers to all those who are smart, took the grief, and are now living the good life! 🙂
There are jobs out there for veterans and sometimes yes your training in the military does not give many, if any, civilian options. But I encourage you to think outside the box. You do not need to get any job that has to do with your rate. My cousin was aircraft ordnance and now is happy being a bartender in Hawaii. Not my cup of tea but it’s his life and he is happy with it. Look at USAjobs. com as another poster suggested. There are also jobs on nukeworker.com that don’t require nuclear experience like security. Keep trying, you may have to work some terrible jobs as I did, but you’ll find your way.
I believe a far more effective way to monetize your website is by offering consulting or other services, and/or selling digital products. In fact, that’s how I monetized AlexisGrant.com, where I only see between 13,000-16,000 unique visitors each month. (See my ebooks here.) Once you have a significant amount of traffic — I’d say at least 10,000 unique visitors a month — you can also add direct-buy advertising to the pile.
I, too, work in an industry with salaries that are tied to budgets and salary cohorts. But I have found that side hustles, both in and out of my field, help to increase my income. It is sad that we have to give up even more of our time to get there, but I guess the sacrifice makes the reward even more satisfying??? In any case- thank you for sharing your journey, your goals and your insights. It is comforting to me to realize that there are others in my circumstances.
Ahmad, Great post and great information. I have some more specific questions for you relating to my personal company and how affiliate programs can tie into it. Is there a chance we could talk sometime soon? I think you may have the answers to several of my questions on whether affiliate marketing is what I am looking for or not. And if it’s not what I am looking for I think you can direct me in the direction I need to go.
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Interesting article and dialogue. I went to a lower end UC, and graduated in Political Science, a major which doesnt pay right away. I instead got into direct sales for a cable company and made 130k my first year out of college by selling cable door to door. I made even more the second year. Been there for fooir years now – earning 100k-150k but dont see it going mucb higher. Not sure what to do to hit that next level. Toying with the idea of going ack for my MBA to take that next leap of faith but its hard to leave my income and incure a 100k debt for a goood business school. I agree, being motivated, working hard, being positive, not being a hard partier- but a hRd worker has helped me reach that sox figure mark. Thanks for the article.
Learning and reading and trying things is fundamental to success. Anyone can do anything if they truly put their mind to it. This is not a get rich quick scheme, this is an idea board and an educational blog for people to explore, learn and try innovative ways to make money and retire early. It does take money to make money, but driving Uber for a couple of months until you have $3,000 to either invest or apply towards your startup won’t kill you. Yes, you may work 60+ hours for a short time, but it’s a short term time investment to a long term monetary payoff.
An aspect I enjoy from the job is when the team you’re working on all comes together to present a final story. Each person (geologists, other engineers, economics) has their part and supports each other. Being a global industry, I’ve also enjoyed meeting people from all parts of the world. I’ve been able to travel about 8 times internationally..another perk (depending on the person) I did not really touch on.
I’ve been terrified of only ever making a maximum of $50,000 a year for the majority of my post graduate career. So I’ve wanted to really qualify myself as something more than the typical undergrad; I plan to graduate college with a bachelor’s in psychology (focused in cognition and neural sciences) and a bachelor’s in philosophy, along with a minor in cognitive science (basic combination of psychology, philosophy, linguistics, and computer science) and a human factors certificate (research experience). (With a GPA around 3.4 or 3.5) I will have worked full time in finance for a non-profit organization while in school full time, giving myself a total of 6 years total of full time work experience upon graduation. I’ll be 25 by then.
You Don’t Need To Track Affiliate Links To Improve Conversions – you will always hear people telling you to track affiliate links. But for me, I generally use the same content about SiteGround on all my speed optimization articles… it is very important it converts well. Change your approach on how you recommend your affiliate product (it’s perfecting your sales pitch).
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.
Great article! I would like to second @Vladi and @Katie comment about how to approach guest posts. I have identified what I will write about and who I want to approach, but what is the best technique? Just send them an email? I am an unknown so I would like any advice on how to reduce the chances of rejection 🙂 Thanks for all the great information!
My conversion rate went from 2.5% to 8% just by including Facebook polls where SiteGround was rated #1 (here’s last year’s poll) plus Twitter screenshots and Facebook conversations. Whether it’s Amazon reviews or social proof, you NEED to include outside opinions. You can also use WP Rich Snippets to allow people to leave a review about the product/service on your site and get those review stars in Google (you will want to use their front end submit add-on).
I would look into Wealthfront and automatically contribute a set amount every month from your paycheck after tax. The first 15K under management is free and it’s just 0.25% after that. Sign up and play around with the risk tolerance meter to see what different type of portfolios they come up with. They do tax loss harvesting and automatically rebalance for you based on your risk tolerance. You don’t have to fund the account to see the different portfolios.
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.
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.

I earned a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering Degree and a Masters in Management. The University I attended didn’t offer petroleum engineering but I do have several friends that were ChemE’s, as we used to call them. I agree that my ChemE friends who went into the oil industry definitely started out with highers salaries. But from my perspective these guys are working significantly more than the standard 40 hours a week contrary to what the article proposed.


That was more words the I intended to tap out on my phone screen…probably because I’m hurtling through the dark in a bullet train somewhere between Tokyo and Aomori toward the tail end of 3 countries in three days on two sides of the Pacific Ocean (for fun, not work) and my time-warped brain dropped into story time. My wife just told me to eat my bento box meal. I’m getting old. :-)

1. I can go up north (make 120 guaranteed with a pension through the union) but the hours and the lifestyle (2 weeks in 1 week out) might be too brutal for me (fort Mac if you have heard of it really is not for everyone), i thought i would give it a try after school and see if it works for me but ive heard of many people having problems with their relationships/health with working so much. and i have to come back to town eventually and yes maybe ill have a nicer number in the bank but thats about it right back too 85,000 and still working hard.


Great article, thanks. My question is slightly off the affiliate topic. I am curious about how Authorship will effect people running blogs on different topics.I run a marketing creative firm and want to start moving into information product sales, but I want to be able to write about our firm expertise (membership marketing) as well as try out products and blogging for people who want to start creative firms. How will people who want to write on unrelated areas manage things like G+ profiles as Aurthorship and authority become bigger deals? Do you think it will be a problem in Google to have the same author writing about different topics?
Long-Tail Keywords – specific keywords usually with 3-7 individual words in a phrase. They are highly targeted and MUCH easier to rank for than broad keywords (all mine are long-tail). The lower your domain authority (check using OSE), the less competitive (more long-tail) your keywords should be. If you can get more specific and the keyword still shows up in Google Autocomplete, Moz Keyword Explorer and other keyword tools… choose the SPECIFIC one.
I saw that and sort of snorted at the similarity between that and working in the arts and then laughed out loud when you wrote “we’re not artists, for Pete’s sake.” I have no idea why people think that noble or creative jobs are a reward in themselves. We all still have the same base expenses in life. If you’re working 40 hours a week in a job that provides any sort of value, you should be able to cover them.
All of it, though, pales in comparison to a lot of other professions that people normally flock to if they have ambitions to pull in six figures a year. Still, I’m a big believer in doing what you love along the road to wealth. Now that I’ve done this job for ten years, I’m finally ready to share my plan to pull in six figures as a teacher and some strategies that might help other mid-income earners do the same.
While the two paragraphs above only describe the relationship between status and personal income, household income is also often used to infer status. As a result, the dual income phenomenon presents yet another problem in equating affluence with high societal status. As mentioned earlier in the article, 42% of households have two or more income earners, and 76% of households with six figure incomes have two or more income earners.[11] Furthermore, people are most likely to marry their professional and societal equals.
It is important to note that the above is an ideal type, a simplified model or reality using optimal circumstances. In reality other factors such as discrimination based on race, ethnicity and gender as well as aggressive political lobbying by certain professional organizations also influence personal income. An individual's personal career decisions, as well as his or her personal connections within the nation's economic institutions, are also likely to have an effect on income, status and whether or not an individual may be referred to as affluent.[9]
I would look into Wealthfront and automatically contribute a set amount every month from your paycheck after tax. The first 15K under management is free and it’s just 0.25% after that. Sign up and play around with the risk tolerance meter to see what different type of portfolios they come up with. They do tax loss harvesting and automatically rebalance for you based on your risk tolerance. You don’t have to fund the account to see the different portfolios.
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]
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.
My conversion rate went from 2.5% to 8% just by including Facebook polls where SiteGround was rated #1 (here’s last year’s poll) plus Twitter screenshots and Facebook conversations. Whether it’s Amazon reviews or social proof, you NEED to include outside opinions. You can also use WP Rich Snippets to allow people to leave a review about the product/service on your site and get those review stars in Google (you will want to use their front end submit add-on).
Of course it’s up to you whether you keep the classical musician in the list of high paying industry. I just took the time to explain because I wanted to let an influential person like you know the reality of those $100k symphony musicians on strike. I can say this with confidence, though. If someone is looking to make six figures, classical music industry is the last place to consider getting in unless you have already started practicing at age 5! :)

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.

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.


Hey, Ari! I think you’ve actually inspired a blog post or two in terms of how I define success. Professionally, success is a student coming back a year or five or ten later and sharing what they actually learn. Of course, there are other markers. Professionally AND financially, I’m about there in terms of maxing out my salary schedule. But I still have a lot of success to try to cultivate in my classroom that matters more than dollars and cents. In my financial life, I feel like success is a moving target. I have to remind myself the fact that I bought a house at 26 on my own and my husband and I can do many things (within reason) to support ourselves and our son AND have fun means I’ve already had success.
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!
But getting 1000 visitors to any given affiliate site meant I'd have to get about 10,000 visitors to my own site. If I could do that every week, I'd be doing OK for a small business site with a marketing budget close to zero. But I was already learning that it takes time and money to get 10,000 visitors a week. And let's see... for all my traffic generating efforts I would pull in a cool $180 a month? It didn't take a genius to figure out that it might not be worth the effort. I passed.
While I've sampled a few other programs along the way, I continue to promote only a select few programs on a regular basis. As far as affiliate program marketing goes, you won't find too many marketers who are as picky as I am. But picky works. Had I joined that very first affiliate program I looked at, I would have been lucky to make $5,000 last year in affiliate income. Not bad, but a far cry from 80K.
I love the attitude! And imagery. I can see it all as I visited New Delhi, a girl, hydra bod, and Bangalore back into thousand and three and then in Mumbai into thousand eight and two weeks before the terrorist attacks at my hotel ov visited New Delhi, agra, Hyderabad l, and Bangalore back into thousand and three and then in Mumbai into thousand eight and two weeks before the terrorist attacks hit my hotel oberoi!

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. Read the Cookie policy here. I hope you find the site useful! Thanks - Joanna
Yes, people who perform on stage look like a big group of people and they have union. Perhaps when you read the article about the strike you were surprised to know symphony players earn six figure salary, but only about 1% gets to play in the 100k+ salary orchestra from top music schools (Juilliard, Curtis, NEC, etc). I am a lucky few who plays in a major orchestra with 100k+ pay, but I spent my 20s practicing everyday earning $10k-$20k until I finally won the audition at age 30. (33 now) In order to be competitive in auditions, I own (parents and grandparents paid) an instrument that costs $300k. Most of the straight A students from top music school I know now earn below $50k. As a music student, it is a big success if one wins an orchestral job with $50k salary. Many try to teach and freelance at a $5k orchestra job to scrape by.
Smart tips, Elna! That’s exactly what I did with BoardBooster – I created a post that showed people (with screen shots etc) exactly how I was using it to increase my Pinterest engagement. In my opinion, that’s one of the best ways to create affiliate sales – not only are you providing something that’s truly helpful to your readers, you’re showing them exactly how it works.
Why you should trust me? Well, just take a look at my background in reviewing online services and how I helped many people to stay away from hundreds of scams that are waiting for you out there. 7 Figure Franchise is a product made by Michael Cheney. This is not the first time that I’m reviewing a product from Michael Cheney and that’s why I’m familiar with the type of product he’s making.
Hey, I’m also a subscriber of Nichehacks and was on the verge of buying this product due to the fact that I have trust in Stuart. So glad I came across this review first! I am already a member of WA so it sounds like this wouldn’t have taught me anything new. I am supposed at Stuart promoting this but I guess everyone has to make a living! Thanks for the review
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