I also work in the O&G industry as a petroleum geologist. Geologists typically have to get a M.S. degree in order to get hired into O&G but they also start above $100,000 base salary. I also enjoy an awesome work-life balance, hardly ever having to work more than 40 hours per week. I love my job but the roller-coaster ride of commodity prices can be disheartening at times.
Big Government: Reach any top tier position in the Federal or State government and you will make six figures a year a long with a nice pension. In fact, there are more than 450,000 Federal employees making over $100,000 a year. Prison guards make $150,000-$200,000+ with overtime. San Francisco janitors and elevator technicians make over $270,000 a year.
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?
Many students in high school and college are bored due to the courses being to easy and don’t feel the need put effort into the perfect gpa rat race. Just because you can obsorb and regurgitate the material does not mean you will be a hard working, loyal and reliable employee. If your GPA is 4.0, you can still be a horrible employee. How many employees go to highly ranked schools and get high gpas in studies which have no real use in the real world. Does that mean mean that 4.0 student was wise in making that decision, I don’t believe so. It’s more on how do you want to live your life.
I’m also with you John, wondering how my life would have turned out if I went into Finance… (I’ll be finishing my mba with that focus and real estate though so perhaps later in life I’ll find out). There are plenty of opportunities to crush it out there folks. However, be weary of living in the Valley, cost of living will eat you alive. I know a few engineers I met when I was on my campus tour at Berkeley getting starting offers on their BS 105-115k + 40k in stock options at companies like Google, Microsoft, Apple… After you factor in costs you can’t save much so from building your NW I’m not sure that’s the best play…
i sat through the webinar. i asked the chat box guy “why can’t we see a live view of how these funnels look?” he said you just have to trust michael cheney. well it was nothing more than hype. if you can see the actual product they are selling, that makes it hard to trust. I also asked, if this system is so great why doesn’t Michael just keep it a secret and earn millions and not share it? what does he need me for? He just wants to be nice? oh WOW how kind!

Make sure you have some sort of money maker on your website before you start promoting it. You could promote an affiliate product related to your site's topic, or you could use Google Adsense. Your goal is to get your site to make the most money possible, so if you have lots of ways to make money on your site, then you will most likely make lots of money.


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.

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 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.
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.
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.

Some—like coaching and tutoring—are fairly specific to our careers. Others, though, are things most people could pursue. As teachers, we also have the option of picking up extra work on occasion by joining various curriculum teams (Who am I kidding? This is very rarely ever a paid assignment.), subbing, or even proctoring tests on the weekend or over the summer. It all adds up.

I’m also a subscriber of Nichehacks. He promoted Commission Black Opt, I bought it because I trust him, but totally it’s crappy. Recently, he’s promoted something like “The Affiliate Godfather” or “The Cartel” from same Micheal Cheney. I don’t know if it is a good crappy product. I wonder why he can recommend his list about under-qualified products. I wasted too much time and money in such that product.
No wonder even after 8 years of trying soooo many programs I am still where I have been for all these years – a NEWBIE! Frankly I do not see Wealthy Affiliate to be my way out. I can see it is a non-specific info-overloaded, with steep learning curve to overcome. After all these years I have yet to find a specific ‘do this first then this’ step by step tried and tested program that I can confidently follow to earn some decent income. What a shame!
The main problem I have with the 401k is that the investment options suck. All the mutual funds (including target date funds) have a high front load fee (4.25%-5.25%) and high expense ratio (0.9%-to-2.0%). With the ROTH I get the benefits of low-cost (0.05%-0.30%), no-load index funds. In some respects there is little difference between the after-tax dollars in a ROTH with no-load funds and pre-tax dollars in a fund that immediately siphon 4.25% out. Sure, I’m taking a upfront hit on the taxes with the ROTH. However, I am also going to be taking an upfront hit from the front load fees and a continual hit with the higher expense ratio in the 401k
Re: Booz Allen – the nature of Federal consulting is shifting away from true strategy management consulting and more operational consulting and IT consulting. So to categorize Booz Allen in your Strategy list isn’t accurate, not when you have better Strategy firms to include, see above list, also consider Accenture Strategy (the strategy shop of Accenture, similar to Deloitte S&O).
p.s the mechanics of this particularly industry is old hat for me, and historically I’ve built multiple 7 figure net profit businesses using old tech like ‘telesales. I’m interested in SEO because I just think that cold calling and interrupting people is just inefficient and SEO sounds/feels like a really good way of giving people the information that they are searching for without bugging the s&1t out of them.
I could have promoted WP Engine (hosting company) for $200/sale with no tier program to climb – sounds pretty good right? But when I checked ShareASale I saw their reversal rates were 24%! Just to give you an idea SiteGround’s reversals are less than 10%. WP Engine starts at $29/month while SiteGround’s is $3.95/month, plus SiteGround has a better reputation. I had to climb a tier program to get SiteGround’s $150/sale, but long-term my research paid off.
I agree a persons entry level career potential really does start in 9th grade as they try to rise to the top of their class. But as John mentioned in his article, after a few years your work performance and aptitude is the largest factor in determining future salary, not someone’s educational background. A degree gets you a job. Your experience and performance get you to be the high income earner though.
[…] FICA stands for Federal Insurance Contributions Act and consists of a Social Security tax and a Medicare tax. This tax is very important for everyone to understand because so often we only think about federal tax rates and state income tax rates. The FICA tax is a big percentage of your total tax bill, especially for those making under six figures a year. […]
The very first affiliate program I reviewed, paid an average of ten percent commissions on each product sale my site generated. The products (mostly books) averaged around $15 so my share would be about a buck and a half per sale. I figured if I could get one sale out of every 35 visitors I sent to the site, that would be a decent conversion rate (better than average, actually). After doing a little math, I concluded that I would earn about $45 for every 1000 visitors I sent to the site.
Jon, you are doing awesome. You were asking how to make 860k in 4 years. I’m saying the past five years is different from the next five. 860k was relatively easy to make using leverage on SF real estate (as Sam did), or on a good stock pick (lots in an 8 year bull market) the past 5 years. I just don’t see any easy opportunities for the next 5 years. 10% a year return won’t make you 860k in 4 years.
Selecting your target for instance, is all about finding profitable products to promote on JVZoo.com, JVNotifypro.com etc. As action-packed as that caption sounds, it’s just basic information that you probably already have. Chances are you already know how to find profitable products to promote across the different affiliate marketing platforms on the Internet.

Instead, most school districts operate on salary schedules that offer lane changes (read: more money) based on graduate education hours. After accepting a much smaller salary, the idea of spending more money seemed downright dumb. But again, I was thinking long term. I wanted to get as far over on the salary schedule as fast as I could, and that meant more school.


I as well took about a $20k+ pay cut when transitioning from the military. It was a terrifying financial choice, but I wasn’t making it with a focus on 1-5 years. This was a 5+ year play for me and I knew this opportunity would pan out! 2 and a half years in and I making much more than i was before I left the military and was absolutely the right career move to make. We need to do a better job educating folks on career advancement and setting yourself up (financially) to be able to make those type of decision.
I see a lot of naysayers and people not even trying. I am by no means rich or in the 1% but I live comfortably. I am single mother with ZERO support from my child’s father or from my parents who have passed away. I own a cleaning business. I got an associate’s in HIM and I work remotely and received my credentials. Yes, I spent a couple thousand starting my business and finishing my education, but I have been reimbursed all of my startup cost and have a team of employees. I don’t work 40 hours a week. Maybe 35. I don’t do any of the cleanings for my company, I have employees for that. Not saying in an emergency I haven’t cleaned, but for the most part the business runs itself because I strategically put people in place to do so. It was not an easy road, but it was well traveled and worth it.
The second thing you’ll want to consider is whether or not it is a receptive audience for both your message and the final sale. For example, doing a guest post on a site about Japanese culture might be a good idea for your Bonsai affiliate post even though the community might not be currently interested in Bonsai growing. Or you could go to a photography blog and do a link-bait post about beautiful Bonsai photographs. The site’s traffic might not buy from you but once the post gets indexed a lot of Bonsai-lovers will find it. Remember, these guest posts, videos, etc. should be sending relevant organic traffic that converts to sales over the coming months and years.

Also, to assume you can land a job with one of the fore-mentioned companies in your article, you must be a top performer. Not just in grades, but in networking, social groups, and even down to kissing ass to your professors. For example, It’s even been said that HBS (Harvard Business School) is one big networking program, if not almost a party (any HBS or Ivy League readers – I’m not saying that being intelligent, knocking out your case studies, and making those great grades aren’t important – I’m just emphasizing the importance of networking). Plus, you must assume you have a hand up against the students who are there solely based on nepotism. Also, most universities won’t let you go with less than 3 years of experience. After three years of experience, you may face some really – I would hope – great opportunities with the company you began your career with, even if they aren’t six figures right away.


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

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.


That is a good point. Unfortunately some people don’t “know how to be rich”. A financially literate person(Warren Buffet, Carl Icahn, Bill Gates, etc.) can turn $1 million into $1 billion by living within their means and only spending substantial amounts on productive assets, whereas others will blow it on anything they see and end up more in debt than they started(think MC Hammer.)
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.
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.
I always add an HTML table of contents to posts to make sure they are long and structured. This has been a HUGE help for me (and my readers) and there are tons of benefits: better chance of getting “jump to links” in Google (see below), increased average time on page, decreased bounce rates, and it makes it easier for readers to navigate through your content.
Reading this just makes me want to go into a hole and never come out again… I would love to make around figures one day but college is drying me out. I live paycheck to paycheck and I feel like i’m going no where. I feel like I’m in a rut and I hate it. I don’t want to live like this for the rest of my life. can someone give a young person like me some advice on what to do in the future or now? I try so hard to save my money but when I have it… Read more »

If you are in this camp then Glen has done an amazing post on keyword research which is a really good place for you to start. The important thing to take note of there is the last part of the article that talks about things you are passionate about. Picking a niche or keyword set based solely on the idea of making quick cash is a really good way to lose interest.
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.
Another problem that I see with Internet marketing in general is that ther are always too many bonuses attached to the product. I wonder if those bonuses are really better than the product itself? Imagine going into Wal-Mart and at the checkout line before you pay for your stuff, the casheer starts spouting off all of the bonuses and offers that you could get before you even purchased that product? Can you imagine how much time that would take? And all yo wanted to do was just purchase a bag of Oreos.
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