Wow, these salaries and success stories are amazing, and making me wonder what I did wrong. I earned my BS in Computer Science in 1986. Now, after an MBA and an MS Risk Management, two lay offs, a few missed/blown opportunities, and the Great Recession, my 2013 annual salary is exactly the same as 1999 – well under $100K, in a mid-sized, mid-cost, coastal FL city.
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.

Hey Tom, thanks for this tutorial – it’s a good thing to get a tutorial like this from a trusted person like you and not from the thousands of (sometimes) confusing articles about passive income/affiliate marketing/clickfunnels and what not that I come across from time to time, I am making a living as a web designer and I have been thinking of pivoting from design and creative work to focus on passive income but didn’t know where to start. This is the perfect foundation article I have seen so far and I ‘d like to ask if you have any further reading/guides/videos on affiliate marketing that you’d recommend. I like to do my deep research before starting :) One more thing, there are some broken or missing images in this article, it could be my browser but check from your side too because there are quite a few images (e.g your Mercedes) that are missing. Thanks
I just want to point out that all though it is fantastic to go to college & to have great grades, innovative thinking & motivation can land you an awesome job. I graduated HS top of my class & went to a small private college for 2 years. I only have an AA degree (nothing to brag about though I always earned As). I decided to get married at 19 (I know, right?!) but when I was staying at home with the kids, I started my own real estate business & started making a 6 figure income within 3 years. I have doubled that within the past year & rake in over $300K per year working from home. I sell around 200 properties a year. I just hit 30 & make over $300K per year & started making 6 figures at only 28. I’m sitting pretty with a high paying job where I am in control of my own destiny. Work ethic & seeing an opportunity & knowing how to seize it is how I got there. With that said, I do value education & will likely go back to get a degree someday just so I can say I have one. For now though, I will focus on my $300K+ per year income & know that I made this for myself.
There are a limited number of scholarships available for flight students but I wouldn’t count on those; competition is fierce and there are very few awarded. Anyone starting now and taking the civilian path to a flying job needs to be prepared to make a hefty initial investment. There’s really no getting around that, but as you said there loans are certainly an option. Also, for those with prior military service, the GI Bill can be used for flight training. Hope this helps.
There are less than 10 orchestras in the US that pay $100k or more. Depending on the instrument there are only about 0 to 5 position openings total (5 being maybe violin, 0 is maybe a tuba position) per year from those top orchestras. Each year, there are thousands of graduates from top music schools and they compete for that position in auditions. I auditioned and failed so many times I lost count. Of course when the economy sinks, the number of auditions decline even more. (orchestra tries to save money by hiring temp subs instead which is detrimental to the artistic quality)

You can’t make $1000 per day with Michael Cheney’s Commission Black Ops. It’s composed of rehashed information you probably already have. Some of the information are readily available on the Internet for completely free and the bulk of the training is theory that can’t get you started on your way to Internet Marketing success. It’s getting a D rating instead of an F because you might pick one or two concepts that you might find new and useful as nobody knows it all in the Internet Marketing industry.

There is a big difference between “information” and “instruction.” They did a good job providing information but terrible on instructions. Therefore it really isn’t for newbies as promoted. As a certified tutor I learned and practiced strategies like “peer to peer” mentoring, intellectual scaffolding and tackled the Zone of Proximal Development” for foreign or special needs students on a college level.
I like what I do but eventually would like to start my own engineering company. I feel like this is different than what Sam was referring to with regards to dissatisfaction with the work that engineers do. Engineering is a pretty easy gig honestly. I work 40 hours a week on engineering work and occasionally work a few extra hours on business development. I’m going to finish my masters in a few months (completely paid for by my company) and then be looking to make ~160 after that.

Inasmuch as this program is non-invasive, it nonetheless requires constant contact with the internet. This is due to the need to catch up with the various clients and sales tasks. If yours is a squeezed lifestyle whereby you rarely have some quiet time, you may not find it worthwhile. If this is the case, you may consider other less demanding alternatives.
I make six figures and have for a long time. It is nice but in retrospect not as important as I once thought. It is simply a number. I admire you for following your passion. Unfortunately income and passion often intersect and you need to choose one or the other. I think we all try to straddle that path for a while but eventually it seems that we often have to choose.

I support Sam on this topic. Yes you CAN at any age. I did. $100K fresh out of college and 4 years later I make more than double that in Finance. I didn’t go to a top school. I did get a high GPA, but not in a major that anyone cares about (English). I’m not particularly brilliant or talented. I had no connections. I did not do any networking. I don’t work at a BB either. But I am extremely focused, driven, I learn quickly, I don’t repeat mistakes, I am able to work intensely for long hours, and I produce real results.


Two income-earner households are more common among the top quintile of households than the general population: 2006 U.S. Census Bureau data indicates that over three quarters, 76%, of households in the top quintile, with annual incomes exceeding $91,200, had two or more income earners compared to just 42% among the general population and a small minority in the bottom three quintiles. As a result, much of the rising income inequity between the upper and lower percentiles can be explained through the increasing percentage of households with two or more incomes.[15][19]

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.
This article has been so inspiring to me! I’m a junior in high school and I’m so ready to get out of it and into the real world. They always say money can’t buy happiness, which I agree with to an extent. But I have my standards… I wanna live at the beach in a nice house. And I want to live comfortably. And I want to be able to take care of my family. And a little money would go a long way to helping that. So thank you for all of this wonderful advice!
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?
The need for people with your knowledge to help us majority, could really help our country as a whole. Please take into consideration not just monetary value of your life, but what you can do to help us in need. I had a 3.9 in highschool, 3.7 at Purdue engineering, life happenings made me drop out of college, i had to earn money for my family, and help support them. I am now 41, a single mom of two girls, was able to leave a highly abusive marriage alive, working my ass off to make ends meet and it is never ending….We could use someone with your knowledge to help the millions that have had “bad luck”, been “dealt a shitty hand at life”. I guarantee the majority of us are the hardest working Americans in the country.
My goal is to sell a poster, a rather special poster which is the collation of all those TV programs that tell us about the events in the history of the universe. You know, “it’s so many million years since this volcano and so many billions since that extinction event” etc. I could never get a grip on where these events came in relation to everything else, so I started to assemble everything and put them in order. It’s only taken 4 years and a bit.

We’ve compiled the following list of jobs to illustrate some of the most popular careers that offer high income opportunities without a college degree. Keep in mind that just because someone can make $100,000 each year at these jobs does not mean it’s guaranteed. These careers offer the possibility of generating a high income, especially when the careers include a salary, bonuses, commissions, overtime pay, and most importantly, hard work.
Now – no beating down on the FI topic, definitely strive to achieve it! Start early, decent career, good salary, great savings (do 401K max-out!!), additional specialization, either publish papers, patents, or present at conferences — which grows your respect and network (future job prospects). Do buy a home in “good” location/school-district, raise great kids/family, while increasing your equity in the house. Do have limited exposure to bad-habbits (but “controlled” ones, might I add), do cater to that inner-self/devil a bit.
I just graduated college at at the age of 23 and now working in the tech industry (hardware) in south bay area with a salary of 70k + 25% salary bonus every year and 80k in stock vested 5 years given every 2 years. However, promotions and hierarchy in the company seems to be very flat. Plus, it seems that the role i’m holding is extremely specialized. No other company will pay this much for someone with 0 experience in the industry. Now, how do i overcome this “putting all eggs in a basket” thing, and start rolling with decent raises without risking any setback? At the age of 23, i’m sometimes sleepless at night to think of a way to optimize my future while not giving up any advantages that i’ve tried so hard to get. I absolutely love my job, but any suggestion to have a backup plan in case the worst thing happens ? Was thinking about learning extra software or data science stuff, but you just mentioned that I would likely need desire, a focused desire if anything.
This literally changed my life… I moved out of my parent’s house (sigh) into a nice studio in downtown Denver, bought my first car (a Mercedes c300), adopted 2 kitties, and my credit raised 45 points. I also donated $3,000 to Red Cross at Hurricane Harvey. I’m a humble dude but in affiliate marketing, the numbers do the talking. So… I want to show you how I did it :)
Get in any of the above schools, and enter any of the five industries I mentioned and you’ll likely make a median total pay package of $120,000 your very first year. Five years out, you’ll probably make double. You can attend business school at 25 or 55 and so long as you go to one of the best schools, the vast majority will make well over $100,000 a year upon graduation. Even if you don’t go into one of the aforementioned fields, you will still probably make six figures in the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG like Procter & Gamble and Coca-Cola), retail, and hospitality industries.
these are certainly well known ways of making money with affiliate marketing…the best example i can give is rahul kuntala of learnblogtips.com, he has created an ebook and also has a landing page as you suggested! i would also specify bharat mandava of wpsquare.com, who earns most of his income through affiliate marketing!! thx fr the article jafar :)
The typical middle-class household in the United States is no longer a one-earner family, with one parent in the workforce and one at home full-time. Instead, the majority of families with small children now have both parents rising at dawn to commute to jobs so they can both pull in paychecks... Today the median income for a fully employed male is $41,670 per year (all numbers are inflation-adjusted to 2004 dollars)—nearly $800 less than his counterpart of a generation ago. The only real increase in wages for a family has come from the second paycheck earned by a working mother. – Elizabeth Warren, Harvard Magazine.[15]
There are a limited number of scholarships available for flight students but I wouldn’t count on those; competition is fierce and there are very few awarded. Anyone starting now and taking the civilian path to a flying job needs to be prepared to make a hefty initial investment. There’s really no getting around that, but as you said there loans are certainly an option. Also, for those with prior military service, the GI Bill can be used for flight training. Hope this helps.
I have spent the last 4 years doing B2B business development for a small electronics engineering & manufacturing firm. I am going to break 100k this year, but it has been a struggle given that my products are commodities essentially and my engineers won’t tackle anything too difficult (lucrative) unless I put up a massive fit or try figuring it out myself. My company treats me very well, nice office, great boss, flexible hours etc.. but I sometimes wonder what greener pastures may exist for me in the future. At the last small company I worked for there were three sales managers making 200-400k, but they were all in their 60s, 70s(yep), or the son of the owner. I would like a faster track to higher pay. By the way I live in Chicago, I’m in my early 30s, and I have an MBA(although not top 15). I think that education is extremely important, but in sales it is very much my impression that it is all about experience and results.
Great article. I disagree with step 2. Do not choose Petroleum Engineering as a first degree. One can always do this for a masters degree instead. Best to choose mechanical engineering. The chance of ending up with a high paying job in the oil/oil service industry is the same with a mechanical engineering degree. Most of my professors in grad school in the Petroleum engineering department were mechanical engineers.
I am currently 24 and have above a 100k salary, but fall within the category of a financier. I work at a company that invests debt and equity into medium sized businesses. I also invest in equities on the side while managing my blog. I think I followed the post well, other than the fact that I didn’t go into engineering. I had to work very hard, get very good grades and develop my analysis skills to get where I am today. I love reading sites like this to continue to learn ways to boost my income and to hear from other like-minded individuals!
I believe how we deal with declining fossil fuels could be the major shift of our lifetime. The electric cars have made great progress, but ultimately the batteries are still powered by natural gas or coal. I always thought we should move straight from gasoline to natural gas vehicles since they are much cleaner and North America as so much of it…but it looks like we’ll use natural gas more indirectly through batteries.
As you progress your mid-career 6-figure/+ salary, and full 401K contributions over the years, along other bonuses/stocks/investments you may have made/saved., you are on your path to that million and/or FI.. As you reach into late 30s, early 40s, see the financial picture: your 401K+investments growing about 7% average — on a typical 800K investments — that amount to $56K/year, your salary (don’t forget savings!), plus say 25K/year growth on your home-equity (in good town/school-district)., you will be closing “double” the six-figure income. Keep the progress going, cruise-control, and enjoy the ride along the way — you be on your way to FI soon. Do learn Golf, you know how to hob-nob with big boys (or girls)
Yeah… HS was a busy time! School 730-230, sports 3-5, hw 7-12 M-F, Sunday hw 10-1am. I did that grades 9-11. Grade 12 I was ahead and worked a ton during the school year (32 hours a week) + sports + school. I actually didn’t do any community college courses, I did them at the state college that I attended. I was admitted as a HS student and the school district paid for everything – made it easier not having to worry about transfer credits.

As a new blogger, this post was amazingly informative and maybe a little over my head (I’m still getting the basics down and affiliates is beyond my reach this week.) But here’s a newbie question: what is your method for writing such rich content with all of the links (both to your own previous posts and to other blogs)? It takes a while to get through, which I like, because it’s chock full of good stuff. Do you have an idea of exactly who/what you’re going to include in the article when you start or do you get inspired as you write (and links come to mind that you want to inlcude)?

If you are writing online your posts should be brief, clear, checked for spelling and grammar and consistent. Your blog may not have broad appeal if it has limitations in these, so your EBooks and public posts can benefit from a professional proof-reader, or extra classes in English, whether it is your first language or not. Whether you write a blog, a book or anything else, your only tool to deliver your message is language, and you should gain all the skills you can with it. If you don’t have time for this, use the services of someone with the best language skills you can find.
Michael Cheney claims he makes an almost effortless $39,041.46 every month. It’s interesting to note how he makes that figure with its fractions consistently. How’s that possible? Amazing! He further claims that his Commission Black Ops includes the best sales tactics known to the human race that even stark newbies can use to amass a fortune for themselves.
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