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
Amazon’s affiliate program is the most popular of them all. I don’t participate myself (yet) but the majority of affiliate marketers I know use Amazon because… it’s Amazon. You can review products you have used or write tutorials (eg. how to connect computer to TV) and drop an affiliate link to an HDMI cable… just a couple examples. You may want to build relationships with the manufacturers so you can get products before they’re released – giving you time to create a review before the product is launched and capture sales during peak buying times.
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.
The most important lesson I got from the book is the importance of choosing a niche; it helps build a loyal community, get expertise and great, contextualized advertising. However, except for the generic "start by identifying your own interests, passions, and energy levels for topics", there's not a lot of direction about how to choose a profitable niche. There also isn't much about search engine optimization (which I fortunately covered in another book) or about keyword research. However, a lot of the things that Rowse and Garrett hold important (niching, ads, etc) aren't necessarily the be-all and end-all of popular blogging.
WP Rich Snippets – premium plugin that adds rich snippets (eg. review stars) to your snippets. You get 33% of sales and it’s what I use on my site. I recommend it over the All In One Schema.org plugin as it looks nicer with more settings and add-ons. Here’s a post I used it on. If you’re writing reviews as part of your strategy, get this for yourself.
Btw, can I get into investment banking without having a license? I already have a degree, just need to self-learn the material online, but…I don’t know if I can be valued as an employee like that…But my main question, if Bank of America doesn’t take me on full-time, can I apply to other full-time 50k+ IT positions while being a contractor or introducing myself to other IT professionals within the company and showing my interest for an entry level IT role?
… ensure that long, multi-topic pages on your site are well-structured and broken into distinct logical sections. Second, ensure that each section has an associated anchor with a descriptive name (i.e., not just “Section 2.1”), and that your page includes a “table of contents” which links to the individual anchors… you won’t see it on the results all the time — only when we think that a link to a section would be highly useful for a particular query.
My question is, do you think this is a worthwhile method? Or do you think I should be creating a longer blog post and focus more of my energy on building backlinks to that post? Then with that specific blog post should I be linking to my review pages or to the affiliates? As right now I’m mainly building backlinks towards the review pages but would it be worthwhile to create a post, build link juice to it and just pass it back on to the review page?
Determination and a positive attitude can bring so many rewards. A lot of people don’t need 100k to live comfortably or to be happy, especially if they don’t live in a big city, but I think it’s a great career goal for city dwellers. Getting good grades and going to a strong school are definitely a leg up to a big salary. If I’m interviewing someone and they didn’t write their GPA down on their resume I always ask what it was – if they had bad grades in school from goofing off and partying why should I believe they would be any different in the work place? I want to hire people that are responsible, driven, efficient, and performed well in college.
But I have a question… Do you really think that those who don’t attend the top schools won’t be as successful? (Coming from someone who doesn’t go to Colombia or UCD) What are your thoughts? Should they transfer from a cal state to a UC? Or should they complete their bachelors in a cal state and then proceed to get their MBA in a higher ranked university?
Nice post John and great to see your stuff here on FS! I have a similar path as the one you described just for biomedical engineering. I’m not making six figures yet but hope to be soon within the next few years and would like to ultimately end up in more leadership/management roles. I think the engineer path is a great one but for people who don’t like the route you described I think plenty of routes through healthcare, finance, and of course the professional schools are great to go through as well.
Radiation therapists must have a two-year associate’s degree, or a certificate in radiation therapy, but they don’t need a four-year college degree. These therapists use radiation to target cancer cells in patients, and are paid in accordance with the importance and detail-oriented nature of their work. Radiation therapists can earn as much as $116,000 a year.
He is the co-founder of Neil Patel Digital. The Wall Street Journal calls him a top influencer on the web, Forbes says he is one of the top 10 marketers, and Entrepreneur Magazine says he created one of the 100 most brilliant companies. Neil is a New York Times bestselling author and was recognized as a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 30 by President Obama and a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 35 by the United Nations.
This is BS because Mech E and Chem E curriculums don’t cover fluid flow in porous media which is what petroleum engineering is all about. Further, Pet Es have essentially dedicated their career to oil and gas with limited options to go into other industries. To avoid hiring them due to saving $10-15,000 in starting salaries is a slap in the face. The least petroleum companies can do is hire petroleum engineers and simply offer less money!
In contemporary America it is a combination of all these factors, with scarcity remaining by far the most prominent one, which determine a person's economic compensation. Due to higher status professions requiring advanced and thus less commonly found skill sets (including the ability to supervise and work with a considerable autonomy), these professions are better compensated through the means of income, making high status individuals affluent, depending on reference group.[10]
Hey Tiffany, how are you today? This is an excellent guide and I love all the information! It’s true many people who have blogs have no idea about affiliate marketing and it’s potential, but there is so much money to be made from affiliate marketing it’s unreal. One tip I could give is people who are building up blogs should get into affiliate marketing earlier! Great post, have a great day… thanks for the great information!
I’d like to present another alternative to engineering, for those who don’t find that appealing: become an airline pilot. The major airlines are facing a tremendous shortage of pilots in the coming decade and for most that is due to the huge looming wave of mandatory retirements. That means not only will there be incredible demand for new pilots, but those who get hired in the next few years will move up the seniority lists very fast and enjoy the commensurate benefits of seniority (higher pay, more days off, more vacation, etc) far sooner than those of us who entered the industry twenty years ago. And life at a major airline can be pretty good. Nearly every major airline captain these days is making north of $200k, and some of the more senior bring in closer to $300k. And that is without a requirement for an advanced degree; a four-year degree from any accredited institution gets you in the door.
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.
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 come from a quite unsuccessful background of web design/SEO. I blogged because I knew it was good for SEO, but my articles never had a purpose regarding monetization. I finally took a leap of faith and dropped my clients to figure out blogging/affiliate marketing. I was good at website speed optimization and knew hosting was the #1 factor. Looking for the best, I saw SiteGround was rated #1 in multiple Facebook polls and had a great reputation with generous affiliate commissions. So I wrote detailed tutorials on website speed… how to configure WordPress cache plugins, hosting reviews, and other speed-related topics. Usually near the end of a post I would say “Oh, and here’s why you should switch to SiteGround” with evidence on why they’re the best… Facebook polls, Tweets, load time improvements, etc. That’s when things got good. I’ve been broke my whole life and it’s my calling to show people how do this.
My wife and I have a very similar story. I graduated in 2011 with a Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering from a public university. I took an engineering job with a major oil and gas company making $80k starting. With steady pay raises and 5 years experience, I’m now making $125k. My wife started out in the oil and gas industry working for a consulting engineering company for $75k in 2012 and steadily rose to $88k. However, there are definitely drawbacks to the profession. I have lived in 4 different cities since I started working (you have to move where the work is). Also, I was laid off from my previous employer in April 2015 due to the downturn in oil prices. I was very fortunate to find a job with another oil major in September 2015, but it required relocating to a different state away from my fiancee (married just a few months ago!) and family at the time. My wife was laid off from her O&G job in Feb 2016 as well. I can honestly say that the sacrifices I and my wife have to make by working in oil and gas have been worth it though. We’ve aggressively saved our money, and we’ve made money on each of the relocations. We’re on track to reach financial independence much, much sooner than if we had chosen careers in another industry. I also thoroughly enjoy working in the O&G industry which is more than many people can see about their jobs/career path.

Hello I just stumbled across your blog and I needed some advice, which is greatly appreciated. I graduated with a degree in accounting with a B average, got fired as a trainee after 4 months out. Decided to try my hand at med. Did a few courses did a little better. decided to go back to accounting and could not for the life of me a get a job, not even at the small firms. Finally got another accounting job 3 years after graduation, which i also got canned from. Then again tried to go back in to accounting cannot get a job. I am now almost 30 working a crap job and i really don’t know what to do. I want to go into IT possibly cyber security; I am thinking fuck it maybe nursing; or maybe a diploma program as an electrical engineer technologist . Part of the reason I can’t get a job in accounting because I have a shit reputation with my peers and the city I live in. Long story short I was a bit of a hot head in college and did not take shit from anyone. Great at making enemies not so could at making friends. I figure if I do IT I will stick with accounting as well if I can get my CPA that would make me valuable. But with this linkedin environment I am afraid my reputation will deny my opportunity in the IT field. I just don’t want to be in this position. i want more but I don’t want to make any mistakes. I really don’t know what to do or what strategy would be best. At the end of the day I want to provide for the people I care about. I have crap reputation and I think starting over is the best route, I can do IT + accounting; healthcare; electrical engineering. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


Hi Jennifer, you could target people in the “get a better job” space. This is the prime market for your offer. There are plenty of high-authority blogs out there in this niche and if you can partner with some influencers, you can see some amazing results. That said, it’s not as easy a 123. Your affiliate offer needs to be amazing. Your website should be beautiful, and your need to have a strategy for reaching out to these people in your industry. You can’t just send them an email and expect them to sign up to your affiliate program.
Thanks for reigniting my spirit bro. Affiliate marketing is the game changer when it comes to making money on your blog.I neglected it at the start but now i really see it as a necessity. In 5 months i have earned twice waht i made with PPC(Adsense) to be precise. Selling poducts and getting commisions brings the highest cash. Will be around some other time to check out your write ups. Hope to see you on my blig some day too. Cheers.
I was really surprised not to see unions mentioned at all in this article! You talk about steps and lanes a little but what raises the wage is the collective bargaining process which doesn’t means unions get everything they want but they have a lot more power and knowledge about the employer’s financial position than an at-will worker bargaining on their own.
No matter how much someone makes, anyone who lives beyond his or her means is going to feel financially pinched. While conspicuous consumption and blatant overspending is a problem, even those who try to keep an eye on their budget spend a large portion of their income on what financial advisers call “lifestyle inflation.” Koos says these are things that may not be necessities but are considered such at a certain income level. Many middle-class citizens now see cable, smartphones, tablets, computers, multiple televisions, Blu-ray players and gym memberships as “essential.”
The following are not direct affiliate programs but are representative of the monetization networks and techniques that have worked relatively well to date. I am adding this to show you other ad networks in addition to AdSense which will allow you to monetize your blog. One network which I have tried but have not profited from so far is Media.net, a network which is getting mix reviews.
Sam, in eastern Canada, anything over 40K-50K per person is starting to be considered “wealthy”. The oil province is a little more lenient in this regard since they have oil money to compensate. In fact, in Canada we practice wealth redistribution on a provincial scale, and the rich provinces must contribute in order to support the poorer ones. Quebec receives a bit more than $1000 per capita IIRC.
As I run a blogging blog, which is a niche where finding a right affiliate product is tough as well. Till now I have written just one “ultimate article” and I’m still struggling to get it ranked. I’m just about to send an email to YOU or to Glen to get feedback for that “ultimate article” of mine, and appreciate you guys help me with that, just like Glen helped Slavko.
You found a topic that is of interest to a huge target audience (who doesn’t want to make 100k plus a year?) You spent some money so your website comes up while searching google (therefore generating more traffic to your page) and you’ve written this guide in a way that includes everyone (that way nobody feels like they aren’t able to achieve this same success) Throughout the article you’ve posted links to multiple products/companies which you earn revenue from each time someone clicks them. Along with that there are advertisements throughout that you’re gaining revenue on etc. So essentially, anyone reading this and clicking links is generating revenue for you. Touché
Households may also be differentiated among each other, depending on whether or not they have one or multiple income earners (the high female participation in the economy means that many households have two working members[15]). For example, in 2005 the median household income for a two income earner households was $67,000 while the median income for an individual employed full-time with a graduate degree was in excess of $60,000, demonstrating that nearly half of individuals with a graduate degree have higher earnings than most dual income households.[8]
I am extraordinarily fortunate- I have no debt. However, I’m now seeing what foolish choices I’ve made. Coming out of school, I am working a 36k/ year job as a case manager (I live in a low cost of living Southern state). I want for nothing, but I live with my partner and have no dependents or debt to pay off. I know that once either of those come into the picture I will be financially hurting.
Salary.com's entry level jobs cover recent college grad jobs, first entry level jobs, some associate degree level jobs, high school graduate level jobs. Entry level positions may require no experience. An entry level cover letter, and entry level resume are usually required to obtain entry level positions. Entry level job searches can sometimes even surpass the recent college graduate job level.

Hands down I’d say the best thing you can do is research 1 primary keyword, craft an enticing article title that includes your keyword (though it doesn’t have to be an exact match), spend time writing your search engine snippets (SEO titles/meta descriptions), and by far the most important is making your content as VALUABLE as possible through videos, nice graphics, table of contents, bold/colors/styling, etc. Small things like keyword density barely matter.
Someone does not have to lose for someone to win. That is called gambling. An example; let’s say you go to a bank to borrow money to start a bakery. You bake a lot of cakes for a lot of weddings. Your customer wins because you baked an awesome cake for there wedding, you win because you got there money, and the bank wins because they got there money back with interest. Also, the bakery bought flower for the cake so there supplier wins, the supplier bought it from the distribution center who wins, the distribution center bought from the manufacturer who wins, the manufacturer bought from the farmer who wins. Everyone wins. Even the government who collected taxes on every step above won.
\naverage salary is a pretty generic term and does not tell you how the number is computed. Usually, but not always, it would be the sum of the salaries divided by the number of salaries. This is known as the mean.\n. \nThe median salary is the "middle" value. That is to say, if you listed all the salaries from lowest to highest, the median would be right in the middle. \n. \nA more precise statistical definition might say it is the value that separates the higher half of a sample or a probability distribution from the lower half.\n. \nWhen you say average, the might indicate the mean salary, but we don't know for sure. The mean is what I described in the first paragraph.
Hands down I’d say the best thing you can do is research 1 primary keyword, craft an enticing article title that includes your keyword (though it doesn’t have to be an exact match), spend time writing your search engine snippets (SEO titles/meta descriptions), and by far the most important is making your content as VALUABLE as possible through videos, nice graphics, table of contents, bold/colors/styling, etc. Small things like keyword density barely matter.
ps. collecting these Facebook polls is one of the main reasons I was able to get so many SiteGround sales. Yes, I’m suggesting SiteGround for your host, but this is also a strategy that can be used to collect unbiased reviews. Just go to Facebook and search “SiteGround poll” and you can dig up some great stuff – you can do this with lots of affiliate products/companies.
Thankfully I was able to find an incredible opportunity that taught me click by click how to build a successful online Affiliate Marketing business for LESS then $100 bill, and not only that as you build your team you make $30 commission each person you bring in. So after 4 sales your membership is free. After 6 months I’ve been able to quit my job and work fulltime online, traveling and spending time with my Family.
Hosting – I suggest joining the WordPress Hosting and WordPress Speed Up Facebook Group and see what real (unbiased) people are saying about hosting. SiteGround was #1 in multiple Facebook polls and #1 in most Facebook conversations (this one too). People who migrate usually see significant load time improvements especially if they’re currently using Godaddy/EIG. I use their semi-dedicated GoGeek plan which comes with 4x more server resources than regular shared hosting (#1 factor in WordPress Optimization Guide) and have <1s load times with 100% scores in GTmetrix/Pingdom. SiteGround also does free migrations.
If you lack the time to read the details of the review, here’s the short version: Michael Cheney’s Commission Black Ops isn’t as the sales page claims. Your chances of making $1000 per day with it are very slim. You’ll discover that there’s really nothing exceptionally revealing or new about it. Some of the information in it are actually stuff you can get for free on the Internet. I provided proof for all these within the main body of the review below.
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