First of all great article John, and thanks for sharing your story. What Vicki says about her kids resonates with me. My parents limited me to schools I could commute to. In the back of my head I always knew that was better financially, but it was still tough to think of what I was missing out on. I still got by and had a blast in school so it worked out. Everything is what you make of it.


Also at this stage, I’m not collecting E-mails. How do you think I should approach this? I’ve got a sidebar and I was thinking of using OptinSkin on the sidebar and also at the bottom of my posts but I’m worried my posts don’t get visited as often as the homepage and review pages. Do you think I should add a form to those specific pages as those are my pitch pages promoting the affiliate products? Would definitely get more subscribers that way but I’m worried I’ll lead them away from the sale.
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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.
On the other hand: the main reason of bankruptcy for small businesses is bad financial management. Simply said: to forget to make invoices, not checking the payments and not following bad payers. 1 out of 3 is going bankrupt for this reason alone. I had to learn it myself. I spend at least 10% of my time with financial stuff. I don’t love it but the bills get payed ;-)

It is all relative. I am making six figures in my early retirement side gigging a couple of days a week doing consulting I enjoy even though I do not need an income at this point. It is hard to get there in education because of the supply demand equation. As you said hundreds of people applied for the job you got. When I graduated with a chemical engineering degree I got eight firm job offers before I even got my degree because there were only a handful of graduates for the 120 companies that came to our university to recruit us. Certainly teaching has more social value than making gasoline but the market is based on supply and only a tiny percentage of the college going crowd choose chemical engineering while many graduate with a teaching degree. As long as some jobs are under supplied because of the difficulty in obtaining the degree those jobs will be the ones paying six figures and up. The same thing accounts for high pay for medical doctors, electrical engineers and other specialty fields that require a ton of math and science to graduate. However even at relatively less pay there is no reason you can’t accumulate and grow great wealth while still having the satisfaction that you are changing people’s lives through providing them education. Most people would hate the kind of engineering I did, even though it was a great fit for me.
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.
In a recent post on blog hosting I decided to promote BlueHost as an affiliate as I had used them for years and felt comfortable talking about them to the hoards of readers asking me for recommendations. In the end I applied to the program through BlueHost itself and the stats, tracking and affiliate support offered has been much better as a result.

“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!

I’m 24 years old hard working electrician living in Calgary Alberta Canada, Probably one of the best places to be a electrician really. I’m a 4th year apprentice, I start my last year of school in jan, by march/april i will be a ticketed journeyman. This year i will make 70,000 (thats before taxes) and im extremely unsatisfied with it. Once im a Jman working for my current company i will make aprox 85 without OverTime. when I do the math its not that much more, now i have the potential too make more but there are some complications too this.

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With the oil crash, I’m not sure petroleum and chemical engineering is the best choice anymore. Though I would DEFINITELy say “STEM” degrees give you way more bang for your buck than arts degrees. I’m a computer engineer turned published children’s author, so I’ve been in both fields. Engineer is gruelling and doesn’t have the emotional payoff that writing does, but man is it lucrative. For those who don’t like engineering, they could work there for 10 years, make enough to retire early, and then do whatever their little heart desires. It worked for me and it was worth it. Can’t easily do that with most arts degrees. If I had to choose again, I’d definitely choose engineering…or accounting.
in terms of pay, sure, eventually you’ll make $100k at Booz Allen, but you’ll reach that number much sooner at other firms. Booz Allen pays $50-60k to Consultants fresh out of undergrad. Year over year raises are insignificant (they cap at 3%, unless your Principal/Senior Associate goes to bat for you on market rate adjustment). Promotion raises are also nowhere near market rate. Additionally, levels below Senior Associate do not receive a performance bonus. You will likely not reach $100k at Booz Allen until 2nd Associate (see below levels).
Interesting and motivating article. I didn’t take high school very seriously, and I only took my last 3 years of my 4.5 years of college with strong intentions to succeed. I got my GPA back up to a 3.33 from a 2.76 and landed two summer internships with Fortune 500 companies during school. I now work at one of those said companies and will gross just north of 85k after base salary, relocation, and sign-on bonus (also, could be closer to 88-90k depending on my performance bonus).
Hi Sam, I’m new to your site and getting so much out of it. You mentioned you got your MBA for cheap or free–have you already written a post on it? I may not have gotten to your post yet, but I’m preparing for the GMAT and application process next month and need help figuring out how to get my MBA for cheap or free too. Can I ask how you did it? Any pointers please? Thanks!
I’ve got an industry you could add to your list of jobs that pay well over $100,000 a year – the oil industry. Now, most people think that working in the oil industry is dangerous, dirty, smelly, gross etc. That’s if you work on the labor side of the oil industry not if you’re working for an operator (Exxon, Shell, Chevron, BP, Conoco) in the office. If you’re lucky enough to land a job at one of these 5 companies out of school as an engineer or geologist you can easily expect to make $125,000-$200,000 starting.
I love following your story and I appreciate how you are trying to teach your peers about money and maternity leaves, etc… You are an inspiration for your generation. You love your job and you are a role model but you also believe that we should all strive to be who we want to be and get paid for it. Keep swinging, Penny! You’re hitting home runs already!
It is all relative. I am making six figures in my early retirement side gigging a couple of days a week doing consulting I enjoy even though I do not need an income at this point. It is hard to get there in education because of the supply demand equation. As you said hundreds of people applied for the job you got. When I graduated with a chemical engineering degree I got eight firm job offers before I even got my degree because there were only a handful of graduates for the 120 companies that came to our university to recruit us. Certainly teaching has more social value than making gasoline but the market is based on supply and only a tiny percentage of the college going crowd choose chemical engineering while many graduate with a teaching degree. As long as some jobs are under supplied because of the difficulty in obtaining the degree those jobs will be the ones paying six figures and up. The same thing accounts for high pay for medical doctors, electrical engineers and other specialty fields that require a ton of math and science to graduate. However even at relatively less pay there is no reason you can’t accumulate and grow great wealth while still having the satisfaction that you are changing people’s lives through providing them education. Most people would hate the kind of engineering I did, even though it was a great fit for me.

Thank you Andrew! Also what is your take your data analytical roles in corporate? Do you think data analytical roles will be short-lived due to all the hype and the analysis part will be automated soon within the next 10 years or so? Even if it was automated, EXPLAINING the data and EXPLAINING it to your investors, stockholders, clients to basically tell them how they’ll make money from what they wanted me to analyze and interpret will still be the HUMAN aspect, correct. U you can’t automate that, right? Idk if this kind of role will be short-lived compared to a functional IT role. Moreover, I eventually want to hold a managerial role in corporate, but I want to deal with a line of business where there is a lot of money within IT. Projects that deal with SAP? CRM? <— This isn't programming right? I don't mind working for healthcare companies since that's where alot of money is for stuff like ^.
I really liked this article. I found it full of good information. I would like some advice from FS as I definitely fit into one of these categories. I have a B.S. from a good university and I have a good job in the medical field making $45k right now with the posibility of 1-5% raises every year. I know I am capable of doing and earning more. I made A’s, B’s, and C’s as a college student without really trying. I’ve considered getting a masters in buisness, but I don’t have a clear vision of what I would do with that. I can’t afford to waste time or money on a second degree if it isn’t going to earn me substantially more money. I have a wife and daughter and work full time. I am constantly looking for ways to make more money. Do you have any advice for me? Thank you.

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.
Petroleum engineers can maintain a normal life. Perhaps you’re thinking of a career in finance. I know I still wonder what could’ve been every time I visit Sam’s site. However, a senior engineering role (6-10 years) can command a $200,000 per year salary. Despite the high pay, I rarely see anyone consistently working more than 40 hours per week. When you calculate the hourly rate, it’s equivalent to someone who earns $300,000 but working 60 hours per week.
Due to the education background, i’m aware that it is essential to building a security income for the future. Therefore i started working part time since young and save money for the rainy days. Of course i also like to go for travelling and enjoy good food with my family once in awhile. Currently i’m planning to maximize my existing reserve to passive income or higher returns. It will be awesome if you could provide me with some good advise :)
As a 7 figure franchise you’re also going to be able to promote each of his products wihle keeping 100% of the sale paid direct to your paypal account. Even if you don’t promote all of them, you can promote just one product and as mentioned in the other section, Michael will automatically funnel all leads through a whole campaign promoting each of his products.

Can you make money with affiliate marketing? The short answer is yes, affiliate programs can earn a extra money and even a full-time income from home. The long answer is a little more complicated. Like any home income venture, success comes not so much from what you choose to do to make money, but whether or not you do what needs to be done correctly and consistently.
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 the thought provoking comment. It’s a question of idealism vs. practicality to me. I would absolutely support dictatorship or socialism if it meant responsible management of resources, equality and peace of life. But from history, we know leaders get corrupted or people take advantage of the system. Thus, we all play the game by ourselves to fight for our right to live the way we like…at least for those who are fortunate to be in a country that allows it.
Thank you Andrew! Also what is your take your data analytical roles in corporate? Do you think data analytical roles will be short-lived due to all the hype and the analysis part will be automated soon within the next 10 years or so? Even if it was automated, EXPLAINING the data and EXPLAINING it to your investors, stockholders, clients to basically tell them how they’ll make money from what they wanted me to analyze and interpret will still be the HUMAN aspect, correct. U you can’t automate that, right? Idk if this kind of role will be short-lived compared to a functional IT role. Moreover, I eventually want to hold a managerial role in corporate, but I want to deal with a line of business where there is a lot of money within IT. Projects that deal with SAP? CRM? <— This isn't programming right? I don't mind working for healthcare companies since that's where alot of money is for stuff like ^.
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.
Love this article! Another thing I wanted to add to the part about not being a donkey was debt. For instance, I am a sophomore at a Community college(getting my pre-reqs there for half the price of a state university), and because of my scholarship package, I am literally not paying a cent and this semester I got to pocket $2,000 of excess scholarship money, which I plan on saving for upcoming semesters or paying off a small loan I took out a while ago. Long story short, at this rate I forecast graduating debt-free(I am planning on attending undergrad b-school at UF or FSU since I am from Florida and can save a ton.) That won’t be the story of someone who squeaked past high school with a 2.7, and must graduate with a $30K+ student loan debt. Even if they land a good paying job, that debt will bite you in the butt.
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.
5. I’ve seen people take really crumby stuff and make great money. It’s in approach and creativity. Are there a group of people UNASSOCIATED with the actual product who could benefit? Could be totally unrelated. In the case of internet marketing and creating an online income, who asks you about it? What types of people are they? Where do they hang out? Do they do tons of yard sales looking for extra cash, for example? There are groups all over the place on Facebook where you can introduce some ideas – not sell a product directly – and gain relationships and authority. GET CREATIVE with your potential audience.
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