Yeah… HS was a busy time! School 730-230, sports 3-5, hw 7-12 M-F, Sunday hw 10-1am. I did that grades 9-11. Grade 12 I was ahead and worked a ton during the school year (32 hours a week) + sports + school. I actually didn’t do any community college courses, I did them at the state college that I attended. I was admitted as a HS student and the school district paid for everything – made it easier not having to worry about transfer credits.

There are a limited number of scholarships available for flight students but I wouldn’t count on those; competition is fierce and there are very few awarded. Anyone starting now and taking the civilian path to a flying job needs to be prepared to make a hefty initial investment. There’s really no getting around that, but as you said there loans are certainly an option. Also, for those with prior military service, the GI Bill can be used for flight training. Hope this helps.
Internship definitely helps. My GPA was so bad I was embarrassed to tell anyone, but one internship landed me another, then landed me a full time job, and now I could go where ever I want. If you don’t have GPA or internship, I’d say you might be screwed and your starting point after graduation will be much lower than those with internship experience or good GPA. There was a point I felt like my life was over and I’ll never be able to get a job after graduation. There were also thoughts of working at McDs or a sales rep at the mall.
Im 39 yrs old, graduated from a average college in business management. I currently work for the state in the IT help desk making around 35k a year in Sacramento, Im not happy with this salary, but my job is stable and Ihave retirement benefits. But, I want to make more money now, I want to be making 250k plus, I dont know if I should quit this job and go to the private sector and what field I should go into or stay what in the same field but switch to private IT job. I feel at this age, If I went back to business school to get an MBA might be a waste of time and money. Can you advise me?
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.
The most important lesson I got from the book is the importance of choosing a niche; it helps build a loyal community, get expertise and great, contextualized advertising. However, except for the generic "start by identifying your own interests, passions, and energy levels for topics", there's not a lot of direction about how to choose a profitable niche. There also isn't much about search engine optimization (which I fortunately covered in another book) or about keyword research. However, a lot of the things that Rowse and Garrett hold important (niching, ads, etc) aren't necessarily the be-all and end-all of popular blogging.
Hi i posted on here before but I have a quick question! My parents both work at Jp Morgan as I did before and make well well over 100k each but they didn’t go to the best colleges and one didn’t even go to college. So I believe it’s more ambition in yourself then what college or prestigious college you attend. Would you agree with my statement because I choose a cheaper instate school because I have belief in myself to do good not the school. Does this make sense or am I just setting myself up for failure?
That was more words the I intended to tap out on my phone screen…probably because I’m hurtling through the dark in a bullet train somewhere between Tokyo and Aomori toward the tail end of 3 countries in three days on two sides of the Pacific Ocean (for fun, not work) and my time-warped brain dropped into story time. My wife just told me to eat my bento box meal. I’m getting old. :-)
At the time, I had a ton of people reaching out wanting to hire me (I ranked my self #1 in Google for WordPress SEO Consultant, WordPress SEO Expert, many other good keywords). Unfortunately I struggled with basic things you need to run a service-based business… keeping track of clients, time management, and making sure I was charging clients for my time (and getting them to create content which often seemed impossible).
There are only 3 kind of people in line for 6 , 7, or 8+ and while articles like this spark interest and get responses, they quickly show that they aren’t really making this kind of money . If they were, they would have a way for others to join them, would respond to the questions/inquiries posted right below their post comment. These people are not doing what they claim.
There are a limited number of scholarships available for flight students but I wouldn’t count on those; competition is fierce and there are very few awarded. Anyone starting now and taking the civilian path to a flying job needs to be prepared to make a hefty initial investment. There’s really no getting around that, but as you said there loans are certainly an option. Also, for those with prior military service, the GI Bill can be used for flight training. Hope this helps.
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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.)
If you work for a major (Shell, Chevron, BP, Conoco) they pay about 90 – 100k starting for petroleum engineers and about 70-80k for mechanical/chemical/electrical engineers. The exception is Exxon (they pay more because it’s a terrible work environment, but they make the most profits). If you work for a smaller independent, perhaps it gets bumped up 10k or so. Bonuses are typically 10-20%. I’m a recent graduate in Petroleum Engineering working for Shell.
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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.
Radiation therapists must have a two-year associate’s degree, or a certificate in radiation therapy, but they don’t need a four-year college degree. These therapists use radiation to target cancer cells in patients, and are paid in accordance with the importance and detail-oriented nature of their work. Radiation therapists can earn as much as $116,000 a year.
Beside reading this post which is great for information. i really loved your comment. I feel you. I am also 31yo currently making around 100k living in an Eastern European country and trying to make more by finding new oportunities. Somehow i connected with your comment, i feel atracted to it. If you would like to continue comunicating in private just let me know. Cheers
I never advocate relying on affiliate income as your only form of revenue, or starting a blog with affiliate sales as your only monetizing strategy, because for most bloggers it amounts only to pennies, maybe dollars, and even that isn’t consistent. Sure, you might earn a few bucks here and there or a credit to put toward a service you use regularly. While every dollar’s welcome, of course, and this type of affiliate earnings can supplement other income, it’s not enough to support a family.
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.
Amazon Associates – for pretty much anything sold on Amazon. If you have links to your books on your website (and you should do!), this is a good way to start with affiliate marketing and you will receive a little bit extra if people shop through your link, as well as a percentage of other products that people buy within a 24 hour period. You can use your existing Amazon account and then find your books, copy the special link and then use that on your site. You can also use a site like Booklinker.net or Books2Read.com to create one link that works for all stores and contains affiliate links.

Before jumping into starting an affiliate marketing business, learn all that's involved in making it a success. More importantly, if you decide to pursue an affiliate marketing business, or want to add affiliate marketing to an existing business, understand that it's not fast, automatic, nor without effort. Like all home businesses, ​you need a plan and daily involvement to make money with an online affiliate marketing.
Nice post John and great to see your stuff here on FS! I have a similar path as the one you described just for biomedical engineering. I’m not making six figures yet but hope to be soon within the next few years and would like to ultimately end up in more leadership/management roles. I think the engineer path is a great one but for people who don’t like the route you described I think plenty of routes through healthcare, finance, and of course the professional schools are great to go through as well.
When I was in college, I studied math and chemistry. I did well in Chemistry until I got to the laboratory. Then I started blowing things up on accident and realized I had no career in it. I continued with math. As math got harder, I decided to take “easy” economics and international affairs courses (to blow off steam). I had a knack for getting As in both. One day, I had a conversation with a classmate and my girlfriend at the time. To paraphrase, they said I was great at IR and could have a stellar career in it. So, it gave me an ego boost as well as an improved GPA:
When I was in college, I studied math and chemistry. I did well in Chemistry until I got to the laboratory. Then I started blowing things up on accident and realized I had no career in it. I continued with math. As math got harder, I decided to take “easy” economics and international affairs courses (to blow off steam). I had a knack for getting As in both. One day, I had a conversation with a classmate and my girlfriend at the time. To paraphrase, they said I was great at IR and could have a stellar career in it. So, it gave me an ego boost as well as an improved GPA:
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My 7 kids? 1 got a full ride to an Ivy League and is a venture capital banker, 1 U of Chicago and a Masters at Carnegi Mellon, another an Early Childhood Ed degree (and reconsidering the economics of that decision, but it was hers and she is owning it), another did community college until she decided on Physical Therapy and is ready to transfer – she is passionate and it is right for her, one tried college and said – nope not for me, is a minamalist, did some community college works part of the year in sustainable landscaping and the rest of the year is a nomad exploring. My baby is going to do community college and occupational therapy. All found there way.
I rarely work more than 40 hours (neither does my boss), my job is challenging in terms of problem solving but not stressful- read i’m not bored, my coworkers generally keep to themselves – no office drama, I get a nice raise and bonus every year, time off is generous, I work from home 25% of the time and I make around 150k all in. Graduate school was free through research and my undergrad degree cost less than my annual salary – paid for by bank of daddy. My house costs less than my annual salary. I don’t know of any other field that gives you such a high reward for very little effort. I didn’t have to go to med school for 10 years neither do I have to work 60 hour weeks or wear a stuffy suit. I wear blouses and jeans to work everyday and I’m easily the best dressed. Instead of jumping ship to management like many Engineers I’m developing my skills in a highly technical and specialized area with hopes of becoming an Independent Contractor around the 12 year mark, targeting around $220 and hour. You can do anything with a Chemical Engineering degree – both the diploma and the skills you will learn, I can’t sell this dream enough!
This is a great place to start for beginner affiliates. The deeper you get into affiliation, the potential is even great than $50 to $100 in the following industries: Gambling, Adult and Pharma…these industries can get an affiliate a $250+ CPA commission + Rev Share for successful affiliates. The sky is the limit and many people fall into the most amateur affiliate programs which is probably why most affiliates are not successful. I’ve been an affiliate marketer for many years now and if you’re just starting out, the one thing I recommend is first of all: Get familiar with all the tools, affiliation strategies…get to know the programs, establish a connection with your affiliate managers and if you put a lot of time in it and take it seriously…Sooner or later you will succeed. I’ve done it and I am still doing it. I have a few successful sites that I operate, I work both with Click Bank and independent affiliation programs…One word of advice, Amazon and Ebay are over-saturated…Try an affiliate program with a higher CPA and less competition…Competition can be measured simply by using the Google Keyword Tools. Great article! I love your blog. Cheers! Mike
In the old days of SEO you’d build backlinks using relevant anchor text. So, for example, if you wanted to rank for “bonsai trees” that would be the link text you’d use in your guest posts. And then the Panda update happened and Google took a swipe at unnatural link profiles which meant that SEOs started making their anchor text more natural (things like “click here to read the rest”).
The one thing that is amazing to me is government jobs. You talk about effort required…let me just say that it isn’t always required to land a government gig. My neighbor does logistics for the army…she said it is mindless work, quite boring, and now that the wars are winding down, there isn’t much going on. She makes well over 6 figures for her job. She hired in at 75k. Her previous experience before getting hired? American Eagle…
I’m always surprised by how many people feel “icky” about promoting affiliate products – I started my blogging “career” building niche blogs specifically to sell Amazon products, then branched out into other affiliate programs. I’m a big fan of affiliate marketing, provided that the blogger/marketer is also providing quality content with their links.
Thanks John and Sam – I’ll shoot this one over to my 22 yr old daughter who is about to graduate with an applied math degree. She plans to work for technology companies, probably starting with data analysis and visualization, which will pay over $100k within a few yrs depending on how much she wants to work. There isn’t any reason she can’t earn over $100k by 25, esp with me to help her get in (I’m in the biz…for maybe a few more years). I’m quite curious to see what kind of lifestyle she chooses. She’s smart and a good communicator, but she definitely isn’t the one yelling, “how high?” when some life-hating micromanager screams “JUMP!” :-)

Don't go it alone. Ask successful affiliates how they've grown their incomes - most are happy to share the details. Read their books, take their courses and get on their subscriber lists. There's no point in trying to reinvent the wheel. Simply follow the path that other successful affiliates have taken before you and you can achieve success too. It really is that simple.


Thanks for sharing. Parents will definitely find your info helpful! We agree with you on public universities. My wife and I went to city universities and both of us majored in Computer Science in the early 80’s. My wife is the smarter one and she went to college for free. My parents paid 6K for my 4.5 years. It around $450 per semester back then. I think we got a great education. I can’t imagine parents paying over 50K plus per year these days.
Penny – Great post and you have gone beyond what most teachers do to maximize income. Teachers are underpaid. My wife taught for 18 years and the most she ever made was $26000 (when she was single in Alabama), but she would never have traded the experience and sense of accomplishment she had as teaching in a low income school district and helping kids envision a better future.
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’m 23 y/o and have been going to community college on and off since h/s. Didn’t really care about grades the first 2 years so that really screwed up my gpa in the beginning. Long story short, I’m sitting at a 3.0 gpa currently and want to change my situation. I’m going to take school and grades more seriously. I have to stay one more year at community college to complete the required transfer classes to be able to attend a university. I can probably raise my gpa to a 3.1 before i transfer, but I don’t think i can transfer to a good business school with that gpa. So I plan to transfer to a Cal State and try to keep a 4.0 for 2 years until I graduate so my average gpa from community college and University would be about 3.5-3.6. Then, my next step would be to apply to a top 15 business school
It seems like you no longer want to work so much and are trying to break free ASAP in your mid-to-late 20s? Is this true? If so, why do you think you burned out so quickly from petro engineering, especially if it only takes you 40 hours a week? 40 hours a week is a walk in the park in comparison to banking, consulting, law, medical etc. Why not just work as a petro engineer for longer?
Ha! I not only lost 75% of it, I lost it in 3 weeks while wandering around in the Nepalese Himalayas…found out it was gone when I stumbled into an internet cafe after getting out of the mountains. I’d just had some perspective-altering experiences, including a night of protection from the Nepalese army while I watched Maoists firebomb a mountain town I’d just passed through…and an earlier surreal moment when I had to step over the dead bodies of a mother and child in India so I could get cash from a Citibank cash machine. At the exact moment my account came up in that Nepalese cafe and I blinked twice to make sure that small number was right, I heard bells ringing from outside the screenless window to my left. I looked over at an old man slumped down in the seat of his wooden cart absently flicking a donkey’s ass (is that redundant?) to keep them rolling down the dirt street. The cart passed malnourished children standing under prayer flags, snot running from their nostrils to their mouths, ignored, as usual. I turned back to my screen and laughed – sold most of what was left, logged off and got something to eat. That was the year 2000.
I’m always surprised by how many people feel “icky” about promoting affiliate products – I started my blogging “career” building niche blogs specifically to sell Amazon products, then branched out into other affiliate programs. I’m a big fan of affiliate marketing, provided that the blogger/marketer is also providing quality content with their links.
Is it possible to be financially saavy while still having an eye to a larger picture? i.e. How the choice of career or industry can affect the planet and our descendants? What good is it to have a six figure income if, in it’s application, the planet is not habitable for our grandchildren, or the purchase and consumption results in a feudal state of massive inequality? Have you noticed there is only one winner in a game of Monopoly, the rest are left bereft.
Without doubt that was by far the best summary of “Greatest Tips” I have read to date. It is so confusing out there…I want to help my son who struggles with cranky bossy managers to empowering him and havening him live life on his terms. I know affiliate marketing is the way out but where to start?? Do we set up on Shopify and offer other people’s products? Do we set up a blog with a few good links? Do you go to clickbank and peddle the China trinkets etc? Its a tough one to sort but this tutorial was an easy to understand read and you have my word that any of the hosting or other services offered I will use your affiliate link to thank you for sharing your knowledge and your mistakes. Sincerest thanks Tom!
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!
Second, I gave hired a lot of summer interns over the years as well as people just coming out of their bachelors. Degrees from top schools do matter. Sorry, but they do. Not necessarily Ivy league, but we all know the to- programs in our fields and the best internships go to people in those programs. A lot of internships are gained through connections and connections come from professors and people known in their field so where you are in school matters. That said, going your first couple years ar a community college is a great strategy to save money and figure out what degree you want to oursue. Transfering to a right program is easier and smarter than getting in as a freshman.
[…] Money is basically made on the coasts with lots of it coming in from San Francisco, NYC, Boston and D.C. Therefore, it costs an arm and a leg to live around these metros. A median house in SF is going for around $1.1 Million, for example. It would be damn hard to make a living and reside in the SF Metro if one isn’t making $200,000 or more. […]
Excellent & invaluable information! Choosing the affiliate product before makes total sense as you can more easily tailor your site to your product. I am in total agreement about the soft sell, I find that if I get an email or read a blog post that is too obviously all about making money & too infomercial like I rarely buy or revisit (or unsubscribe).
Summary: 7 Figure Franchise is basically just a resell right, with some decent training on traffic generation, for you to leverage Michael Cheney's sales funnel and promote his products. Yes, it's possible for you to make money but you're not building a business for yourself. It's more about helping Michael to build his business which can be taken away from you anytime. (Remember, it's just a franchise!)
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