Your autoresponder is the series of emails that go out to people who subscribe to your website in exchange for something they want. For example, if you sign up to my Author Blueprint at www.TheCreativePenn.com/blueprint you’ll get useful emails, articles and videos, some of which contain affiliate links, all for products that I have personally found useful.
I believe a far more effective way to monetize your website is by offering consulting or other services, and/or selling digital products. In fact, that’s how I monetized AlexisGrant.com, where I only see between 13,000-16,000 unique visitors each month. (See my ebooks here.) Once you have a significant amount of traffic — I’d say at least 10,000 unique visitors a month — you can also add direct-buy advertising to the pile.
The Patent Office is an ideal place to work for engineers looking to start a side gig. I went to law school instead (poor choice maybe, but I wasn’t reading your blog back then). Depending on the economy, the Patent Office pays for law school as well. They didn’t pay when I was there during the recession, but because the salary is good I was able to go to a top IP law school (George Washington) with only $30k in loans, which I paid off within a year of graduating.
I say invent yourself into a six figure income. I spent (wasted) 20 years building a professional appraisal firm only to watch hundreds of banking clients disappear into thin air with the advent of 2009’s HVCC legislation. I fired everyone once the business once the industry was transformed into nonprofit work. I spent the next couple of years searching for the next best thing and came to one conclusion. Adobe Software is an incredible bargain for anyone wishing to start their own business. As an appraiser I spent thousands of dollars each year on software updates, MLS fees, E & O insurance, gas, office space, etc. With Adobe’s cloud system you can lease every software item in their arsenal for $50 per month, meaning you could create publications, videos, web designs, and so much more for $600 per year. That’s roughly 1/50th of my annual expenses in the appraisal business. In the appraisal business you craft and sell your work one piece at a time…much like a custom furniture maker. With Adobe you could easily create one video and sell it 100,000 times.
One of the major stumbling blocks that hinder job seekers from gaining employment is usually the issue of experience. Most employers will often require their candidate to have worked in a similar niche for quite some time. This program grants job seekers such as vital resource. It is especially relevant to those who intend to pursue a career in sales and marketing.
So, that answers part if your question…yes, my attitude toward work, humans, merit, fairness, money, work ethic and many other things changed in the years of my first early retirement…not really enough room in this format to dive into that, but maybe we can chat about it sometime. That said, the wife and I reclaimed millionaire mountain by 2013 and are looking to check out of the corporate grind again within the next 5 yrs or sooner depending on how the global economic drama plays out. Oh, and yup – I also sell most company stock grants soon after they vest.
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.
My question is, do you think this is a worthwhile method? Or do you think I should be creating a longer blog post and focus more of my energy on building backlinks to that post? Then with that specific blog post should I be linking to my review pages or to the affiliates? As right now I’m mainly building backlinks towards the review pages but would it be worthwhile to create a post, build link juice to it and just pass it back on to the review page?
Following my passion was definitely the wrong thing to do. I never advise anyone to ‘follow their passion, after what I went through. If your passion doesn’t pay a living wage, don’t follow it as your main career, follow it as your hobby. I wish someone would have told me thatthe first time around. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the internet and all these wonderful blogs when I went to college the first time.
ps. collecting these Facebook polls is one of the main reasons I was able to get so many SiteGround sales. Yes, I’m suggesting SiteGround for your host, but this is also a strategy that can be used to collect unbiased reviews. Just go to Facebook and search “SiteGround poll” and you can dig up some great stuff – you can do this with lots of affiliate products/companies.
So then I graduate… and my company offers to send me to any school in the country for my Master’s; pay my salary + the degree and then give me another raise when I graduate… So me being the person I am I applied to a bunch of top schools cause not like I was paying so another full ride (woot woot). So now I’m about to finish my Master’s this December at a top 10 program by the age of 23 and I expect my income and investments to net me probably 140k with a LOT of upward mobility. I live in a state much cheaper than cities like Houston/Dallas… so for sheer buying power I would say I am probably pulling 400k equivalent to someone in the Bay Area or NYC. So if you bust your ass you can crush it out there.

I’m currently looking for ways to get my MBA covered (at a top 20 – my company will pay the local state schools no problem) and work too, to further accelerate my way into management and chase down a 250k+ job before 30 (excluding investments). Similar to what John said most people at my company only work 40 hours a week. I work closer to 50-60 on average but that is by choice to learn more skills while I am young and is not required. High tech is where it is at for sure.
In the classical music industry, teaching at school and orchestras are about the only jobs that pay living wage. Also, students (especially string instruments and piano) almost never get into top music schools if one starts after 10 years old. I started practicing my instrument when I was 5. You cannot decide in your high school years that you want to become a member of the SF Symphony, it’s too late.

Just a quick note on the consulting firms you listed. Although the Big 3 are obvious to include in the list, I would certainly remove Booz Allen Hamilton, and even Arthur D. Little. Booz Allen is notorious for under-paying, especially when compared to much better firms. Booz Allen is also primarily a Federal contractor with very limited commercial work (granted their non-compete with Booz & Co. [now Strategy&] is over) – commercial strategy/ management consulting out-pays Federal counterparts.
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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