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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.
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.
Also if you don’t have AP credits you can choose to cram in credit hours for a few semesters. It will take most your “fun” time, but you could essentially cut out a semester or two by sacrificing a little here and there. Shooting for 18 or more credit hours would be the goal. You could strategize it anyway you’d like. A couple semesters at 21 hours will really help you cut down your time in school. Now I didn’t employ this strategy but in hindsight I should have. I had a handful of business student friends that did this, and they seemed to have perfectly fine lives. They were even sighted at the occasional party or two, and were always happy.

The result is a website that lists everything important that ever happened and I have begun to write a 1,000 word essay on each event. While selling the poster is the goal, completing the task of writing the full history has now become something of an obsession in its own right. It’s a big project and will take a couple of years to write the whole 300,000 words but at least I won’t be stuck for subjects to write about as they have already happened.


Jason – so happy to hear the tutorial is helping! Affiliate marketing was a huge break for me and I’m sure it can be for your son too. Whatever products/services he ends up selling, just make sure he is excited about the industry he is – it takes a long of time creating content and it will keep him motivated especially when he gets his first sales.
I used to think education was overrated, and personally swore off not going back to school after I finished my undergrad. Then the economy hit the skids form 2001-2005 and I went back to get an MBA part-time. I know think education is underrated, not only for the things you learn, but for the connections you make and the confidence a good education gives everyone.
100k in the Bay area is like 50k in most of the country adjusted for cost of living. I really wish we used adjusted salary more frequently in the US – including welfare, taxes etc. So many T10, T20 B schools are graded based off average nominal salary, which drastically overstates NE and California B-Schools in terms of their value due to their typical placement location.
As for your daughter, I’ve seen a few applied math majors in this industry become petroleum (reservoir) engineers over time. We use numerical simulators to model petroleum reservoirs and many of the software developers have a background in applied math. Since they know best how the tool works, they often become an expert in simulation which leads to a transition into petroleum engineering.
I find it a bit "interesting" that Michael says it works like any other franchise. Basically, you are buying an expensive products from him so you have a right to sell his other products. In this scenario, Michael Cheney wins for 100% sure but you, the buyer, may either lose $1,977 or make even more (directly or indirectly) money to Michael if you succeed well.
Hello Clicky! In terms of connecting with affiliate marketers, a good place to start would be the major affiliate networks in your niche. Two examples off the top of my head are http://www.uk.cj.com/ and https://freshpress.media/ – these sites are heavily used by affiliates but you’ll want to make sure you have great visibility when people are searching for affiliate programs in your niche. A great way to do this is to find out what the top business in your niche is doing in terms of their affiliate offer and match with something similar. Another way of attracting affiliates is to perform some market research and find out the top blogs in your niche, then reach out to the owners with a delicious affiliate program deal they cannot refuse. In terms of logo’s and banner ads, most affiliate don’t really use them anymore (from my own experiences). But again, I would research everything before making any decisions. Hope this helps!
First, thanks to Glen who took the time to give me some feedback on an article/sales page which I created last summer and had problems ranking with. This was around December 2012 I think. Anyway, Panda and Penguin have done most of the job since then (as Ramsay said- make great content and it will be rewarded eventually) and I can now proudly say that this month I made 500$ from that page only 🙂 (created another one for a similar product too)
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.

I think in my case it was pure ignorance (high school me). Sure, I could memorize books well, but I had no real connections. I had no experience getting a job. I had no clue how loans worked. I didn’t realize what an in-demand skill was. I wouldn’t be surprised if that is true for more high school students. My girlfriend on the other hand, ended up working for a top consulting firm after getting her masters in corporate finance! While she didn’t know that much about job market, she had really solid parents and great mentors. I think that can make a huge difference.


I am so glad you speak so openly and honestly about being paid what you’re worth. As an ESL teacher who’s a contractor, I find it hard to give up my contractual gig to jump on the salary scale of a school because I feel like I would be underpaid. And unfortunately, I still find it hard to shake the feeling that what I’m paid equates to what I’m worth, professionally speaking. Despite teachers’ relatively lower earning trajectories, though, Thomas Stanley of The Millionaire Next Door found they were more than twice as likely as the average American to be prodigious accumulators of wealth. So, despite low pay, or perhaps because of it, teachers tend to save and invest more than doctors, lawyers, and other traditionally higher paid professions. So I hold that thought close.
I love everything about this article. Too many folks want to pile on higher income earners as if they did something wrong to get there. The majority that I have met are wonderful people who treat their income and wealth with respect. They find ways to be very charitable with what they have. Now this isn’t everyone mind you, but I suspect a larger percentage than society gives credit to.
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.
There are less than 10 orchestras in the US that pay $100k or more. Depending on the instrument there are only about 0 to 5 position openings total (5 being maybe violin, 0 is maybe a tuba position) per year from those top orchestras. Each year, there are thousands of graduates from top music schools and they compete for that position in auditions. I auditioned and failed so many times I lost count. Of course when the economy sinks, the number of auditions decline even more. (orchestra tries to save money by hiring temp subs instead which is detrimental to the artistic quality)
Its all relative to what you need, I was in Sales (Corp 401k and Pension) right out of college and made a 200k a in the early 90’s with consistency then had years where I made 1m in my early 30’s. However I hated it. I was smart and banked it in the lucrative Boston Real Estate market and in my late 30’s left sales and took a more boring desk job with less travel and more time for my kids. I made about 100k +/- a year for but put together a nice traditional pension. In my early 50’s, after my kids graduated college (Yes I did pay) I finally took my graduate degree (Masters in Urban Planning) and put it to work as a planner in a suburban town, where my staring comp dropped to 65k, now in my late 50’s I am the Dir of Planning for a small city making about 160k and happy in my work for the 1st time ever! Also the benefits working in government are 10x what they ever were in Corp America. Do what you love
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!
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.

Hey Tom, thanks for this tutorial – it’s a good thing to get a tutorial like this from a trusted person like you and not from the thousands of (sometimes) confusing articles about passive income/affiliate marketing/clickfunnels and what not that I come across from time to time, I am making a living as a web designer and I have been thinking of pivoting from design and creative work to focus on passive income but didn’t know where to start. This is the perfect foundation article I have seen so far and I ‘d like to ask if you have any further reading/guides/videos on affiliate marketing that you’d recommend. I like to do my deep research before starting :) One more thing, there are some broken or missing images in this article, it could be my browser but check from your side too because there are quite a few images (e.g your Mercedes) that are missing. Thanks


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.

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.
Let’s say, you are a developer who has just completed a client’s website. You think that it is one of your greatest works and the client is truly impressed. This will be a great time for you to offer them a website maintenance service from a third-party. You partner with this company through their recurring affiliate program. As long as your happy client stays with them, you get a steady stream of passive income.

Affiliate marketing is an effective money-making strategy for countless online entities – however, as straightforward as it is in theory, success is rarely as easy as it looks. The best way to build a dedicated audience for any blog is to carefully and clearly define its target audience right from the start, and then create content that caters to that audience. It is also considered as important strategy for creating and publishing a successful blog is to develop content that isn’t readily available elsewhere in the blogosphere or on the web. Eventually, thanks for sharing your experience with us.
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 like your blog , it’s very helpful. Can you suggest me a major that will guarantee me a high salary ( without having to spend too many years at collage) I am considering Nuclear Physics , but it requires 50-60 hours per week. I want to enjoy my money before my 30’s. I’m 17. It doesn’t matter how difficult the school will be , I have most of the grades equivalent to A and one or two equivalent to B+ , I live in Albania. Thanks and keep going with your good work!
There is no standard formula, it depends on your taxes and other deductions taken, which vary from individual to individual. Taxes vary by region, filing status and withholding allowances. Deductions include retirement contributions, union dues, insurance payments, student loan payments, child support, or others depending on yoru situation. You can do a google search for "pay calculator" or "net salaray calculator" and look at the ones that come up. I can't find something specific to my area (including taxes from the city, county and state as well as federal) but they can be helpful if you want to estimate. Also, paystubs include an itemized listing of deductions, so you can see you net and gross for a current job on your paystub.

There was no way I was taking out a student loan. That seemed insult to injury. So I leveraged my high credit score and took out several zero-percent interest credit cards. After calculating what I could attempt to cash flow (Ah, youth. At 23, I had no childcare costs or car payments, though I was saving furiously for a house.), I created a payment plan that was much more favorable than any student loan or university payment option would have been.
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.
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.
I guess this is what all those internet marketers meant by shiny object syndrome. If any of you fellow beginning internet marketers already have a beginning point (free and trustworthy source) but are looking around for something that will make you “quick money,” don’t give in to the temptation and just keep digging at what you’ve started. There will be a lot of temptations along the way, but do not give into them and just keep doing what you’re supposed to. Eventually you’ll make your money.
Most of the information on this site is free for you to read, watch or listen to, but The Creative Penn is also a business and my livelihood. So please expect hyperlinks to be affiliate links in many cases, when I receive a small percentage of sales if you wish to purchase. I only recommend tools, books and services that I either use or people I know personally. Integrity and authenticity continue to be of the highest importance to me. Read the privacy policy here. I hope you find the site useful! Thanks - Joanna
Believe it or not, many jobs that pay six figures do not require a four-year college degree. The examples listed here are just a few of the careers to consider in lieu of attending college. Pay varies depending upon experience, training, and physical location, but the average salaries for the jobs listed above are proof that making over $100,000 each year without a college degree is possible.
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.
I think in my case it was pure ignorance (high school me). Sure, I could memorize books well, but I had no real connections. I had no experience getting a job. I had no clue how loans worked. I didn’t realize what an in-demand skill was. I wouldn’t be surprised if that is true for more high school students. My girlfriend on the other hand, ended up working for a top consulting firm after getting her masters in corporate finance! While she didn’t know that much about job market, she had really solid parents and great mentors. I think that can make a huge difference.
The reality in affiliate marketing is that it's like most other work-at-home ventures; there are a few who are filthy rich, a good number who are successful enough to meet their goals, and a ton who aren't making anything. So, the question isn't really whether or not affiliate marketing is a viable income option (it is), but whether or not you can make affiliate marketing work for you. Only you can decide that. But to help, here are some tips.
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).
Yes, its possible. If you go in as a tech (for example GS-05), however, you will be stuck there forever regardless of performance (consecutive exemplary ratings here), schooling (Bachelors 3.5 & Masters 3.9), a voluntary war zone deployment, or wherever. Go in as a internship with scheduled grade increases (for example GS07 to 09 to 11 to 12) increasing every year or so.
You’re right that there’s tons of variables in teaching. I used to work at a Title 1 school that was almost 90% free and reduced lunch/low income. I would still work there today if it were up to me, but their funding was so bad. 🙁 It’s also interesting to look at how teachers are paid. We live in a very high COL suburb *for the Midwest*. But that’s also why my salary is so high. My district can pay what they do, at least in part, because of property taxes. It gets far more complicated when states have universal salary schedules and other things I don’t really understand 😉
I used to think education was overrated, and personally swore off not going back to school after I finished my undergrad. Then the economy hit the skids form 2001-2005 and I went back to get an MBA part-time. I know think education is underrated, not only for the things you learn, but for the connections you make and the confidence a good education gives everyone.
Let’s say, you are a developer who has just completed a client’s website. You think that it is one of your greatest works and the client is truly impressed. This will be a great time for you to offer them a website maintenance service from a third-party. You partner with this company through their recurring affiliate program. As long as your happy client stays with them, you get a steady stream of passive income.
The only other valuable skill I had was dealing with spreadsheets. After getting my first spreadsheet job (9 interviews), I picked up a VBA manual on my bosses desk and read it through. I then ended up picking up more and more technology skills and ended up as a software engineer. Partially, the passion came from the fact that you could model mathematical reasoning so well in programming, which was a pleasant surprise (esp given I’d never programmed).
...It is essential that the duties of the positions be performed with the diligence that their importance requires. Inevitably, then, a society must have, first, some kind of rewards that it can use as inducements, and, second, some way of distributing these rewards differently according to positions. The rewards and their distribution become part of the social order... If the rights and perquisites of different positions in a society must be unequal, then society must be stratified... Hence every society... must differentiate persons... and must therefore possess a certain amount of institutionalized inequality.
I’ve just started my blog. I feel that I definitely stand out when it comes to promoting my blog posts on Pinterest because I create illustrated blog post images and don’t use stock photos. But I’m trying to own it. Like you said, there’s a lot of learning involved and there is no better way to improve in Blogging other than actually getting down and dirty with it, lol.

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).
My parents had never went to college. When I applied to school, it was mostly based on schools that received my SAT scores and followed up with advertisement. A lot of those schools are private liberal arts colleges. I went to the one that cost the least in terms of loans. Sometimes I wonder if I’d applied to Yale, Harvard or MIT if I would have gotten in. It’s more a curiosity at this point.
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.
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!
This is brilliant. A really in depth a thorough post. It has to be all about the content and delivery. Plus natural soft-pitching is so much better to me than a soandsoreview.com site. Blogs are becoming a highly valued tool for marketers and more and more people nowadays are getting their wallets out from review or guide posts that they read on blogs.
I love your post. I have been following you over the years. I want to shed some light to others who are in pursuit of the “Six Figure Salary”. Upon graduation, I set a goal to make six figures by 30. I started off making only $33k a year. However, I out worked everyone in my office and established a reputation as a hard work and smart worker. I stayed at the firm (insurance) for 4 years and somehow networked and found an opportunity in management consulting. I stayed there for 10 months and made approximately $95k. Next, i took the experience came back to the insurance industry and now make $125k at the age of 27…. 3 years earlier!. My best advice for everyone is to work hard, follow the opportunities, strive for constant improvement, and be open to change. PS. I went to a “B” school and was a “B” student. Unfortunately, I was an underdog through out my career because of my school, but I balanced it by tremendous work ethic and self taught myself in business. Work hard, keep reading, and continue to improve. You will make six figures!
I was just searching around on the net and found this blog. I saw an ad for inside sales that paid 50k as a base and FULL benefits 401K and all. With commissions it would max out at 85k if you hit quota according to the ad. Tempted to apply but when I see what is at home although Im not at 100k yet (not even close) I am not going back to the cubicle farm. Working for someone else will not get me to the 150k mark. This blog has given me more motivation!
I only ask because sometimes I feel like my undergrad degrees are in subjects that people don’t care about in the finance or technology sectors. Where I live it seems like the people I know are getting paid $15-$18 an hour right after graduating college. The high positions I can qualify for after working for 10+ years at my non-profit only pay around $60k a year. I want more than that.

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.
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.
Wealthy Affiliate has a fantastic training program and a super-supportive community. Help is accessible 24/7/365, and not just any help, but from the very top! The founders themselves are closely involved in creating the training, giving advice, being there to guide you through things that might be unclear to a newbie. Having had first-hand experience with the Wealthy Affiliates platform, I would too, recommend them to anyone seeking to start their own online business.
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