I totally hear you with deciding on your affiliate products first, and then designing a blog around that decision. I am currently in a niche where the few affiliate products around are fairly low-commission, so it makes earning a decent living with them nearly impossible. Also, the audience is seasonal, so sales spike and then drop to nothing a couple times a year.
Furthermore, symphony orchestras are non profit organization and cannot support itself without the donation from the public. We know this is a challenge. I explained in the above comment that top symphony musicians have been dedicating their whole life to this traditional art form and that is why they have to fight hard to keep our salary competitive (even mere 5%).

Great article! So I was wondering if I could get your advice? I’ll be graduating college in about 3 years and I should have around $200k saved in mutual funds, I’ve considered getting my degree in accounting (although I want to become a physician once I have a solid amount of money saved) and I was planning on trying to go work for my family’s CPA firm. What’s a reasonable amount I can save at most so I can attain a million in mutual fund savings? Considering that it’ll gain roughly 10% a year
AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE: You should assume that I am an affiliate for products that I recommend through my website. If you purchase those items through my links I will earn an affiliate commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link. In fact, I oftentimes am able to negotiate a lower rate (or bonuses) not available elsewhere online. Plus, when you order through my link, it helps me to continue to offer you a ton of quality free information through my blog @ email list:)
Great post! I took a similar route only with Mining engineering. One thing I didn’t see mentioned is the aid available for these type of programs (less recently). When I started school companies would sponsor a full YEAR of tuition with the stipulation you graduate within the mining program, and you didn’t have to work for that company (scholarships booyah!!) These industries have a huge age gap with the majority of senior engineers retiring or recently retired. Can you say desperate? While I do still work for the man, at least I get to play with huge machines and blow s*** up!
Well, Chico State has a reputation as a party school, so this might not be a fair comparison. I personally went to a program that was extremely well respected in the arts, but as an academic institution was just fair. In actuality I had some really amazing professors (some who had PhDs from Ivy League schools, some who didn’t) but my choice was made based on the quality of my program versus the overall school. I did decide on a liberal arts school versus just an arts school because I wanted the option to expand outside of just an arts population. So, in that sense, if Chico State happened to have a better program in the field my “son” was going into versus Harvard, I’d say go for it. I’m not making the argument that if one has the academic intellect to do well in school that he/she should avoid going to a top-tier academic institution, what I am trying to say is that it’s not the only way to do well in life. In fact, I’ve met many people from top-tier schools who act entitled and think certain work is below them, whereas I’ve been hired and tend to be a respected employee because I’m willing to get my hands dirty. Again, this is not saying every Ivy graduate is this way, but same goes for every graduate from a “Chico” as you put it. When I was applying to college I got into Rutgers which is a fairly good school academically (not an Ivy, but at least up there with the top public schools) and I chose to go to a school that was less prestigious on the academic front because it was a better fit. I was a theatre major. I ended up switching to minor in journalism and sociology. I had an internship with Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmakers who had a program set up with my school, and was able to help compile research for cable TV news programming. Point being, the opportunities for success are everywhere. If you’re really smart, you’d skip college altogether and spend your college tuition building a business or two. Sure, you might never have the stability of working in a consulting firm or at a big tech company, but the people who get really rich (or at the least who lead “rich lives”) are often the ones who don’t follow the typical road to success.
[…] 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. […]
North Dakota had a very significant boom and nearly all of that was tied to oil companies paying top dollar to relocate. Most positions were temporary or related to field operations rather than corporate offices moving in. When prices and activity fell, unfortunately these people had limited options for finding work in other industries in North Dakota. Perhaps the growth was too dependent on a single factor.
I earned a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering Degree and a Masters in Management. The University I attended didn’t offer petroleum engineering but I do have several friends that were ChemE’s, as we used to call them. I agree that my ChemE friends who went into the oil industry definitely started out with highers salaries. But from my perspective these guys are working significantly more than the standard 40 hours a week contrary to what the article proposed.
Good luck to us all that have worked hard for what we have in ways that someone more privileged, doesn’t understand. physical hard labor to get where you need to be, not want, but need. And to then still struggle. With hospital bills from the labor you work so hard just to hardly make it by, actually to not quite hardly make it by, because of those those dr bills we have to pay for our children and ourselves from physically working so hard to just survive.
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.

Several years ago when I started out try to make money online I chose a weight-loss product, built a pretty crappy site with WordPress, fashioned a ‘giveaway’ and an email series and linked it up to Aweber. I wrote several articles and submitted them to various directories then one day I was signing in to my AOL account when I saw an article on the Huffington Post about dieting. I wrote a comment along with a link to my website and pretty much forgot about it. The following day I was absolutely astounded to see that I had got 300 people signing up on my list. Over the week about 15% unsubscribed-probably as my email series was bobbins but by the last email contained a link to the product of which 17 people bought. As the commission was £42 (about $63 in those days) I made £714/$1071 with a crappy site, a crappy email series and a crappy comment. I (stupidly) have never done anything with it since-can you believe that? Anyway that site is still there and continues to make the occasional sale.


But getting 1000 visitors to any given affiliate site meant I'd have to get about 10,000 visitors to my own site. If I could do that every week, I'd be doing OK for a small business site with a marketing budget close to zero. But I was already learning that it takes time and money to get 10,000 visitors a week. And let's see... for all my traffic generating efforts I would pull in a cool $180 a month? It didn't take a genius to figure out that it might not be worth the effort. I passed.
Videos are great: you can do an unboxing video (see #10) and post it on multiple channels; you can create a recipe video or tutorial on a specific topic and link to those products both in the caption and in your Facebook shop (which you should create and direct people to); you can even do Facebook Live and mention certain affiliates where appropriate.
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…
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!
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.
You got a good article here but a lot of points are way off in real world sense. Any monkey that can read and regurgitate information can graduate with a high gpa. The real truth behind success is thinking outside the box. I’m 22 avg student yet run a successful business (100-120k/yr) while in college. With this article your saying go from box to box first your in an educational institution spending all your time and effort getting A’s then your working for someone in a corporate box. Let your bank account be your resume. The world needs more entrepreneurs
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 don’t have firsthand data but I believe you’d earn a similar amount working in investment banking as in Pet E for the first few years. However, you’d probably work up to twice the hours (60-80+ per week). If you do well and stay in the industry you could make an extremely high income…much more potential. Might have to go to a prestigious school and be at the top of your class however.
I was recently looking into this and came across a few videos online. There was this guy who said you can make commissions in under a week. I dont know if thats true but wanted to know if hes genuine or a scammer. This is the video he said it in: https://youtu.be/7sN6U73pZr0 . If not then who would you recommend for learning this stuff as it seems so confusing for me!
Freelancer – refer people to developers, designers, and other freelancers you’ve worked with and make 100% of Freelancer’s project commission for the first 90 days. I get a lot of people requesting WordPress speed optimization services… so I refer them to my developers with a freelancer affiliate link and make $125/month in passive income. You can’t use affiliate links to link to specific freelancer profiles, so I direct people to the homepage via affiliate link and give people my developer’s usernames.

As for my young self’s income, I’ve told a few pieces of my story in comments for other FS posts, but here is some history that aligns with the content of this post and answers a couple of Sam’s questions: I can’t remember if I made over $100k by 25 or by 26, but was a millionaire by 27 due to a mostly lucky break with tech company stock options in the Roaring 90s. The path: I graduated high school as co-valedictorian, but will call myself #2 because the other guy took harder classes so deserves the #1 spot. I started college in mechanical engineering, hated it (and esp. one evil professor), switched to international studies, liked it. I got decent grades, partied a lot to make up for a choir boy high school experience, and worked all the way through college…full time my senior year…but just sweat jobs, no internships. Paid for college myself. After college, I traveled and partied a bit more, dabbled in a few different jobs and ended up convincing a small software company to pay for a basic software testing programming course in exchange for about 6 months of service (got that through casual networking inspired by a dose of nepotism). I wrote a test script they were able to sell, so negotiated an early break and landed a test engineer contracting job at a large software company via the worst interview in the history of interviews (the recruiter had to come get me in the parking lot as I was getting in my car to leave…the hiring manager’s closing question was an incredulous “…ummm…so, why should I hire you?” which I answered by jumping to my feet with both arms in the air to yell, “Cuz I’m the best!” He laughed and told me to get lost.). After a year at that job, I did a couple other tech contracting gigs, then converted to a full time gig with a pay cut for a junior mgmt job in exchange for lots of stock…which split 4 times in 12 months, thus the millionaire thing at 27. I lost 75% of that money via bad (a.k.a. zero) investment mgmt by 29, but had a fantastic time bouncing around the world adventuring and doing a little non-technology work (including teaching English in a Mexican university and training teachers in Los Angeles, both of which I liked). I eventually got married and went back to madam technology, but as I hinted above, this old whore (hey, “44” rhymes with “whore”..whaddyaknow..I’ll remember that for my birthday next week ;-)) has about run out of energy or interest for working the corporate red light district. I’ve created some other income streams, but want more of that before I leave tech and spend more time the way I now want to. This site is good inspiration for that.
Thanks for the tips, Tiffany! It was very helpful. I just started my blog about a month ago and just signed up for Shareasale. I do have a further question. Do you know what blog post on Shareasale’s blog, gives me the best information in getting started and what I need to do? I am finding it hard to navigate my way through and really get an idea of the best way to start. It’s all quite overwhelming. Or is there a post that you have to guide me better?

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.
Fantastic, thanks for sharing your story John! I am curious, you talk about UT a lot, are you by any chance from UT or in the Texas area? I’m not sure I can make 6 figures before the age of 25 with my employer but I’m going to look for other passive income opportunities to make sure that I get to make 6 figures by that age. It’s a bold goal but I hope that I can make it. Petroleum engineers are having a hard time right now but that’s the boom and bust of any commodity, right?
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.
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.
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.

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.


The same goes for setting your battle tactics – you have to show folks how your offers will benefit them generally or meet their particular needs before they can buy from you. Really, there’s nothing so out of the ordinary about Michael Cheney’s Commission Black Ops. It’s pretty much the same things that have been rehashed and taught you repeatedly. The only difference this time is that Michael Cheney chose to present them with action-packed expressions.
We are inflated with humans that hardly get the chance to a good upbringing let alone a good school system. The average wage in America is under $50,000 per family. Per family. Maybe you could actually help us and write a blog on how we unfortunate, 4.0 GPA or not, cant progress past a shitty system. These are the people that need financial help. Its the majority of America…..So, instead of taking your already privileged people in high school and making them richer, because if i could make 75000 a year i would be so grateful and fulfilled, as majority of us would, we would work harder for these companies than the average “privileged” kid…privileged i mean, good parents, good home life, decent teachers and help when needed……which is what America is so lacking, on paper we look great, so does my exhusband whom abused myself and my children for 7 years, maybe you could look at a bigger picture and help us. Help us and we will help you. You have the knowledge, take it to a lower level and help the less fortunate. We need it.
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