Its all relative to what you need, I was in Sales (Corp 401k and Pension) right out of college and made a 200k a in the early 90’s with consistency then had years where I made 1m in my early 30’s. However I hated it. I was smart and banked it in the lucrative Boston Real Estate market and in my late 30’s left sales and took a more boring desk job with less travel and more time for my kids. I made about 100k +/- a year for but put together a nice traditional pension. In my early 50’s, after my kids graduated college (Yes I did pay) I finally took my graduate degree (Masters in Urban Planning) and put it to work as a planner in a suburban town, where my staring comp dropped to 65k, now in my late 50’s I am the Dir of Planning for a small city making about 160k and happy in my work for the 1st time ever! Also the benefits working in government are 10x what they ever were in Corp America. Do what you love
Remember: your audience is coming to you because they a) like you and/or b) find your content helpful/consider you an expert, or someone with more knowledge than them in a particular area that they’re interested in. They WANT to know what food, supplements, cleaning products, makeup, tech tools, knitting yarn, [enter your niche items here] you use… so don’t be afraid to share it with them!
For example, when mechanical engineers design parts of an airplane, the process can be tested and refined before production and sales. In the oilfield, companies are drilling up to 30,000 ft where the reservoir will never be seen by anyone. Yet, engineers must still construct models based on a few well points in the ground. Imagine filling in the entire map of San Francisco with just 4 known street intersections. This is why companies can spend $100 million on a single well and find nothing but rock and water.
Sam, I follow and reference your “just start a website, dammit” advice and started my own a few months back. Goal is to post once every 7-10 days, and move that to once a week, soon. Without being “that guy” I’ll post the address below if you’ll allow it through. The site is very niche and (as far as I can tell) very unique. Well, maybe the end result in my
“Just remember that your happiness, as measured by income will continue to grow until $200,000 and then stop because of government persecution and the bitter populace who want to keep you down. After you break $200,000 you need to start going into hiding. So if you discover after taking my advice that you are on pace to blow by $200,000 a year, don’t forget to create an exit strategy!”
There is nothing worse than writing 5,000 words of pure magic for a guest post only to find it gets published with your main link removed. Sure, it’s the owners prerogative to do that but it doesn’t feel great. Of course, those links need to be useful and relevant otherwise you’re no different to a spammer, but make sure the webmaster is happy for you to add one or two before you start.
My grades were terrible in high school. I did better in college. I still graduated debt-free, and made very little money the first few years in business. With positive mental attitude and a game plan in place, I was able become debt-free by 35, and my income is very good for my age. Now that I’m debt-free, I’ve been able to save for retirement (what I should have done first).
While White households are always near the national median due to Whites being by far the most prevalent racial demographic, the percentages of minority households with incomes exceeding $100,000 strayed considerably from their percentage of the overall population: Asian Americans, who represent the smallest surveyed racial demographic in the overall population, were the found to be the prevalent minority among six figure income households.
Want to earn a six-figure salary? Choose your next career path carefully, and get ready to make a serious investment in education. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, only 55 out of 818 listed occupations offer median salaries of $100,000 per year or more—and 53 of them typically require at least a bachelor’s degree.
SEO: getting consistent traffic by writing AWESOME content about your keywords (there’s a phrase “length is strength” in SEO and this paid off big time for me). Maybe you’re doing videos or an eCourse, but I found blog posts WAY easier to update which means less maintenance. The biggest factor by FAR was the time I spent meticulously creating my tutorials… which eventually resulted in a sudden 3x increase in SEO traffic
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.
The Patent Office is an ideal place to work for engineers looking to start a side gig. I went to law school instead (poor choice maybe, but I wasn’t reading your blog back then). Depending on the economy, the Patent Office pays for law school as well. They didn’t pay when I was there during the recession, but because the salary is good I was able to go to a top IP law school (George Washington) with only $30k in loans, which I paid off within a year of graduating.
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 :)
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.

I thought that 43,000 was a lot for me back in the 1980s/1990s. I managed to pay for house, utilities and go on vacation. Now, I find that I am working three part time jobs, do manage to pay rent, car payment, insurance and get food and still have to scrounge to pay two other bills!!! I will be working through retirement, which doesn’t bother me, since I am healthy. But I would like to have something to hold on to without putting it all towards bills!
How to Get This Job: Actuaries must have a bachelor’s degree in a concentration like mathematics, actuarial science, or statistics. In addition, they may want to take coursework in programming languages, databases, and writing. Actuaries are certified by two professional societies: Casualty Actuarial Society, which certifies professionals who work in property and casualty, and The Society of Actuaries, which certifies professionals who work in life and health insurance, as well as retirement and finance.

I think you should add major sports league before you add classical music as one of these high paying jobs. It’s similar, people don’t do music/sports for money! But people do it for the love of it AND the money it brings at the very very top of the industry! In sports it is millions of $, in the case of symphony orchestra, it is 100k+. I work in the industry and it is misleading to list it along with other jobs in your post.
Let’s suppose you use a reliable web hosting service for your own digital agency. You know that the web hosting provider is reliable and answers you 24/7. Convinced that the web hosting company will always deliver, you can recommend them to your existing customers – customers who might already be using your services, say social media marketing. The web hosting company keeps on paying you a commission until that customer stays with them.
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…
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My prediction is that the next big thing will be Google using the referring page to pick up keywords instead of the anchor text. Anchor text is too easy to game. There are already people saying that they are getting better results when a referrer links straight to their home page with their site name instead of any keywords. The keywords are now in the referring post.


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
After reading your comment I feel I could gain some very valuable advice from you. I am a recent college graduate and began my first “career” job about 6 months ago in accounting. It is a small company with little room to promote so I am interested in learning more about how to get into a major company like the one you work for. Your advice sounds much more realistic, and I am more than willing to do what it takes to get there. I would greatly appreciate a response.

The only thing to skip is the fancy school because most of my colleagues went to midwestern state schools. To Sam’s point, many engineers see an MBA as a way to move up when they get stuck and wonder “what’s next”… depending on circumstance, I’ve found this to be a bit of an illusion without a total career change. Anyway, I’m self-aware enough to admit that the glad-handing and corporate buzzword stuff isn’t my strength, so I’m happy to chill in the very low 6 figures with reduced effort now that I’ve mastered the job. To get ahead, I leveraged simplistic living/frugality (65% savings rate) as opposed to further career growth.


I would have one partner create a separate page/contact form specifically for the advertiser – so only people who see that contact form are people who were referred to by the advertiser. The advertiser would use that page as their outbound link. I know you can track outbound clicks in Google Analytics events and Contact Form conversions (usually through most contact form plugins) but that is the best way I think. Never done it, but this is how I see most affiliate programs like that work.

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…)
If you want to really wish for days gone by, try plugging $100,000 into the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics’ inflation calculator. What you’ll find is that $100,000 in 1980 is worth $288,638 in 2015 money. Want to get even more nostalgic? Crank the year back to 1960, and you’ll see that 100 grand would get you $803,506 annually in 2015. That’s a lot of cabbage.
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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