Once you’re financially stable, I hope you start giving back. It feels good and people like the idea of supporting a good cause (they will be more likely to click your affiliate link in your disclaimer). This also means you don’t have to use as many links in your content and risk getting a penalized. Last year I donated $3,000 to Red Cross At Hurricane Harvey.

I would love to make 100k, but so far, nobody has come up with that kind of cash for me to blog and take care of my kids. However, when I was working in IT, I did ok. However, layoffs were rampant as the push to use ‘off shore’ resources was huge from corporate. So in many cases, I am not sure IT is the fantastic career it once was. I am sure it is different if you work at Google and such, but for people starting their careers in programming, the competition is stiff not only between American workers, but with those abroad also.

You are right about inexpensive housing in Chicagoland. To each their own, but in my very humble opinion moving to the Northside of Chicago from New York City proved to be one of luckiest/smartest things I ever did lifestyle, career, marriage, and savings wise. Salaries are comparable to other large wealthy metros, but housing and other expenses can be as much as half due to zero physical constraints on sprawl. That is other than Lake Michigan to the East, which is like a freshwater sea with city parks, beaches & waves. The lakeshore is also where population density is highest and property most expensive in the 10 million person metro…yet still reasonably affordable for what you get.
For policing in the media, it’s something I’ve been covering often in my blog. Some situations talk about themselves with body cameras. Officers make mistakes. Other times there is no mistake, but it “looks” bad even if fully justifiable. Other times it’s fully justified to those with a legal grounding, but the public is shocked. Hopefully without offering platitudes everything officers do are on the table for observation. Regardless of the current issue, if someone calls, we will show up.
I’ve seen college programs where they tell kids to “slow down” and take fewer credits to “ease in” to school and be successful. (My most recent job was college professor!) SURE – fewer credits, more years of college and a crapload more money for the school and debt for the student. There’s a difference between part-time (living at home, working, etc.) and slowing down (living on campus, taking at least 5-6 years to finish a degree).
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…

If you're new to the blogosphere then this book is brilliant, but if you're already somewhat experienced then you need to start looking elsewhere. It's really just all the blogging basics in one tome, but as far as building strategies it lacks a little bit. I do recommend it to anyone who wants to start they're own blog or has done it already and has yet to learn a little.
I’m 26, and I have served 6 years in the Navy. I am out, and using my GI bill at The University of Nevada Reno. I was an engineer in the navy, and I worked on potable (drinkable) water systems. My degree is going to be in Hydrology. My 6 years of solid experience and 5 years in school, I feel are going to give me one hell of a leg up in the working world. I am also a yacht captain at Lake Tahoe. One thing that is driving me is getting property in the most beautiful part of the country for my future wife.
Second, I 100% agree you want to go to a state school! Not only did I graduate undergrad with a 6 figure offer in Electrical Engineering, I graduated with a 6 figure net worth from working those internships and investing (woot woot), and obviously debt free too (got to love full ride academic scholarships)! Though I used my 4th year of scholarships to do my first year of my MBA cause who doesn’t love free money while working 30 hours a week as an engineer. While I did this I lived in my parents studio apartment and saved over 95% of every penny I earned (that’s what’s so great about engineering during school – when you work and do school you make a ton and are too busy too spend it).

Of course you want affiliates with high commissions, but they should also have a solid reputation with high conversions and low reversal rates (you get $0 if people cancel after signing up). If they’re part of an affiliate marketplace like ShareASale or ClickBank you can see some numbers there. Companies likes Amazon/SiteGround are safe bets, otherwise do your research (or track your affiliate links so you can monitor their performance). Avoid affiliates offering huge commissions since this probably means they’re struggling to acquire/retain customers naturally. This will hurt your numbers (specifically your conversions/reversal rates).

As you can see from my abbreviated history above, I hustled. I’m in my 40’s now and glad I did and haven’t let up. Didn’t have the best SAT scores, not the best grades. Read business books voraciously including The Millionaire Next Door and realized my grades ages 14-22 didn’t define me unless I let them. Everyone else was drinking and parting, and I was busting my butt in my 20’s. Glad I did.
“Ultimate” is right! Thank you for this thorough and thought-provoking post. I have yet to venture into affiliate marketing; I’m standing in the doorway, thinking of how to connect my interests and knowledge to an appropriate product. I feel I’ve read plenty to get me started once I have a product, but this is the hardest part, isn’t it? I have just subscribed to Blog Tyrant and will continue to follow Viper Chill — I just want to put all this information to work, and soon!
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 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 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.
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.
Before I share the strategies that I’ve used to generate over $100,000 in affiliate commissions per month at this point, there are two extremely important rules I use when promoting products that are not my own. You don’t have to use these rules in order to become an affiliate or be successful at it, but it’s what has helped me grow my affiliate income tremendously over the last couple of years:
If you decide to become a patent agent (no law degree) or a patent attorney (law degree), you can crush it (multiple six figure income by age 30). Some of the jobs are a big grind, like IP litigation, which I do not do. I found an awesome mid-sized law firm where I write patent applications for inventors at big tech companies. At the right firm, you can make multiple six figures working a reasonable 45-50 hours per week.

The day-to-day work of a patent examiner involves reading, researching, and writing about new technology. The job of a patent examiner is to make sure that patents are only granted for inventions that are new. A typical day involves reading a patent application to understand the invention, searching for related patents to see what already exists, making a decision regarding whether the invention is new, and writing a report about your findings.
Actually Nunya, Jafar’s English is very good, with only a few very minor errors, and far better than most English speakers. It is simply not true that you can “barely read it”, it’s as good as yours. Most Americans, Australians and British I see online have very poor spelling and grammar, and use memorized abbreviations and SMS-speak instead wherever possible. You cannot sound as if you have something to teach people, if it sounds as if you still have to learn basic literacy yourself!
With your geographics and your desire to start a business, I’d choose a business degree. Pet E. is extremely specific and you’ll only be marketable to the oil and gas industry. I’m also not aware of much activity in Wisconsin. I would be cautious about your assumptions on getting out after 1-3 years unless you have some kind of funding from other sources. 100k is only 50k after taxes and a frugal living style.
Hi John, 30 years old with no experience is no problem. You could realistically be employable at a major airline by age 35, and you’d still have a 30 year career ahead of you. It took me longer than that to get here, but as I mentioned before, there’s a severe pilot shortage coming and I think anyone starting now will have a quicker path to the majors than I did.
Always disclose your affiliate relationship. Most visitors will probably understand that graphic ads will lead to your getting paid, but if you write a review or use an in-text link as a recommendation, you want your readers to know that may lead to compensation as well. This ensures you retain transparency and trust with your readers, but also, it's required by the FTC's endorsement rules.
We also pay for the occasional epic blog post, plus digital tools like MailChimp ($150/month), hosting ($150/month), etc. Because the site has grown exponentially over the last 18 months — we now see about 115,000 unique visitors each month and have 23,000 newsletter subscribers — it costs more to run the site now than it did a year ago. We now spend about $3,000 a month to run The Write Life.

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.
The problem with affiliate marketing, like many other home business options, are the so-called gurus and get-rich-quick programs that suggest affiliate marketing can be done fast and with little effort. Odds are you've read claims of affiliate marketing programs that say you can make hundreds of thousands of dollars a month doing almost nothing ("Three clicks to rich!"). Or, they suggest you can set up your affiliate site, and then forget it, except to check your bank deposits.
I got an email saying that he guarantees that you will make money with the Seven Figure Franchise, and quite frankly, that’s a pretty bold claim if you ask me. One of the things that really makes me suspicious about this, or any product of this tipe is that they don’t mention the price straight up front to people. I don’t have $4000 just laying around to purchase this, and even if I did, I would invest it into something like my Internet radio station and promoting it. Yes, I own and run an Internet radio station that plays country music, and it is a very professional-sounding station complete with jingles, and lots and lots of great country music.