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!
Theme – you don’t need a special theme for affiliate marketing, you probably just need a blog. I recommend StudioPress themes since that’s what Yoast, Matt Cutts (from Google), and I use. Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress also recommends them. One of the biggest mistakes I made was using a theme from Themeforest… since they’re built by independent developers who may stop making updates to their theme. This happened to me and I hear horror stories all the time about people having to switch themes and redesign their entire site. I’ve been using the same StudioPress theme (Outreach Pro) for 3 years. Their themes are lightweight (load fast), SEO-friendly via optimized code, secure, and they have a huge selection of plugins for the Genesis Framework and an awesome community in the Genesis WordPress Facebook Group. They include documentation for setting it up and will serve you for many, many years.
I think there are two basic ways to get to 100K. First is to plan a career that offers jobs that pay 100K as FS talks about above. The second is to follow a passion that can lead to 100K due to your skill or making a good business out of the passion. (So, the passion job is not typically a 100K job – but you find a way or you follow it to a direction that leads to that income).
i sat through the webinar. i asked the chat box guy “why can’t we see a live view of how these funnels look?” he said you just have to trust michael cheney. well it was nothing more than hype. if you can see the actual product they are selling, that makes it hard to trust. I also asked, if this system is so great why doesn’t Michael just keep it a secret and earn millions and not share it? what does he need me for? He just wants to be nice? oh WOW how kind!
Great article! I would like to second @Vladi and @Katie comment about how to approach guest posts. I have identified what I will write about and who I want to approach, but what is the best technique? Just send them an email? I am an unknown so I would like any advice on how to reduce the chances of rejection 🙂 Thanks for all the great information!
This is confidential and proprietary information which I am granting you access to as a 7-Figure Franchisee (if you meet all these qualifications). This means no sharing, redistributing, re-purposing or talking about this information. Don't think once you've learned this strategy it's "fair game" to rename it and sell it as your own. It's not. Doing that is like chumming the water for my lawyers - they love that.
While no one is asking us to starve (we’re not artists, for Pete’s sake), popular culture seems to support the notion that teachers can and should live on meager earnings. Take Matilda. You know, the Roald Dahl book you haven’t read since third grade. The teacher in the book who Matilda absolutely loves spends her days eating bread and butter because of her pittance of a salary. It’s a heartwarming tale of dedication.
Create custom alerts on your phone for affiliate sales – if you use GMail, go to your settings and create a filter so all emails with “SiteGround Affiliate Sale Generated” in the subject line go into their own folder (tweak the subject line to match whatever email notification your affiliate sends you). Then setup a custom alert on your phone using the GMail app so anytime you generate a sale, you get a custom alert (here’s a tutorial for Android and here’s one for Apple). I have different notifications for SiteGround, StudioPress Themes, etc. Makes your day better :)
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.
Capitalist class (1%) Top-level executives, high-rung politicians, heirs. Ivy League education common. Upper class (1%) Top-level executives, celebrities, heirs; income of $500,000+ common. Ivy league education common. The super-rich (0.9%) Multi-millionaires whose incomes commonly exceed $350,000; includes celebrities and powerful executives/politicians. Ivy League education common.
If there’s one thing that all freelancers know, it is that their income is always ‘unpredictable’. Sometimes, you have work that you can’t even handle and sometimes, you are in desperate need for work. Your earnings as a freelancer depends on your time. The more time you spend, the more you will earn. This is why having recurring revenue can prove to be a significant factor of financial growth.
The principle job of a reservoir engineer is to predict how much oil is in the ground and how quickly these volumes can be recovered. This involves working with geologists and other engineers to build computer models to forecast production. The unique thing about this industry is the uncertainty of it all. I’ve been on a team where all the engineers, assurers, managers propose a project…get the company to spend a billion dollars…and end in complete disaster. So a considerable amount of hand-waving is involved.
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.
After reading your comment I feel I could gain some very valuable advice from you. I am a recent college graduate and began my first “career” job about 6 months ago in accounting. It is a small company with little room to promote so I am interested in learning more about how to get into a major company like the one you work for. Your advice sounds much more realistic, and I am more than willing to do what it takes to get there. I would greatly appreciate a response.
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.
Canada. In my experience you just give the degree, though the first job I did also show them my transcript. Focus appears to be more on work experience than GPA. In fact, bragging about GPA could backfire as people might not be interested in hiring an “academic!” I’ve only seen a handful of CVs though, and it’s possible that my career advisor was wrong on this point.

Hey financial smaurai I have a question, I just turn 18 and I’m gonna be a senior this year in high school, my grades was mediocre and my job sucks, I am a host of a restaurant making 10$/hour and only working 15-20 hour per week. I always wanted to be big in life and my passion is animals. I want to work in the field of zoology like maybe marine biology wil I be able to make 100k in that work field
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”).
Sam, I follow and reference your “just start a website, dammit” advice and started my own a few months back. Goal is to post once every 7-10 days, and move that to once a week, soon. Without being “that guy” I’ll post the address below if you’ll allow it through. The site is very niche and (as far as I can tell) very unique. Well, maybe the end result in my
Canada. In my experience you just give the degree, though the first job I did also show them my transcript. Focus appears to be more on work experience than GPA. In fact, bragging about GPA could backfire as people might not be interested in hiring an “academic!” I’ve only seen a handful of CVs though, and it’s possible that my career advisor was wrong on this point.
I believe how we deal with declining fossil fuels could be the major shift of our lifetime. The electric cars have made great progress, but ultimately the batteries are still powered by natural gas or coal. I always thought we should move straight from gasoline to natural gas vehicles since they are much cleaner and North America as so much of it…but it looks like we’ll use natural gas more indirectly through batteries.
The only thing to skip is the fancy school because most of my colleagues went to midwestern state schools. To Sam’s point, many engineers see an MBA as a way to move up when they get stuck and wonder “what’s next”… depending on circumstance, I’ve found this to be a bit of an illusion without a total career change. Anyway, I’m self-aware enough to admit that the glad-handing and corporate buzzword stuff isn’t my strength, so I’m happy to chill in the very low 6 figures with reduced effort now that I’ve mastered the job. To get ahead, I leveraged simplistic living/frugality (65% savings rate) as opposed to further career growth.

I’m also with you John, wondering how my life would have turned out if I went into Finance… (I’ll be finishing my mba with that focus and real estate though so perhaps later in life I’ll find out). There are plenty of opportunities to crush it out there folks. However, be weary of living in the Valley, cost of living will eat you alive. I know a few engineers I met when I was on my campus tour at Berkeley getting starting offers on their BS 105-115k + 40k in stock options at companies like Google, Microsoft, Apple… After you factor in costs you can’t save much so from building your NW I’m not sure that’s the best play…
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.
Two income-earner households are more common among the top quintile of households than the general population: 2006 U.S. Census Bureau data indicates that over three quarters, 76%, of households in the top quintile, with annual incomes exceeding $91,200, had two or more income earners compared to just 42% among the general population and a small minority in the bottom three quintiles. As a result, much of the rising income inequity between the upper and lower percentiles can be explained through the increasing percentage of households with two or more incomes.[15][19]

these are certainly well known ways of making money with affiliate marketing…the best example i can give is rahul kuntala of learnblogtips.com, he has created an ebook and also has a landing page as you suggested! i would also specify bharat mandava of wpsquare.com, who earns most of his income through affiliate marketing!! thx fr the article jafar :)

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.


I am age 34 , working as an accountant with annual income 85k per annum, due to monthly commitment on properties & car, left 1k for saving each month. May i know is there a better way to maximize my current reserves to 200k per annum as per your article? i’m happy to have at least 10k passive income every month without working soon as i’m planning to have kids and looking forward to enjoy the lovely time seeing them grow up without a job constraint
Another advantage public schools have is their far broader acceptance of AP and community college courses (remember Step 1?). After all of my credits were applied, I entered college as a junior and graduated in 3 years instead of 4. That’s an extra savings of $10,500 or $50,000 if I were smart enough to get into a school like MIT. I’m not even including room and board and textbook expenses. Absolutely huge.
You can start your own business or work two jobs. Making an online income seems particularly trendy nowadays. I started Financial Samurai back in 2009. Three years later, I was able to leave my investment banking job to work on this site full time. You never know what you might be able to do. At the very least, register your name online and build your brand.
Target 1-2 Keywords Per Article – until you can successfully rank for 1 keyword for an article, don’t try targeting 2. Once you get the hang of it and are ready to write an article around 2, choose a secondary keyword that is a synonym of your primary keyword. An example would be “Slow WordPress Site” and “Why Is WordPress Slow.” Then craft your article title/SEO title/meta description to mention individual words of each – while making them read nicely.

I have been a cop for 5 years and have two kids, a wife and mortgage. I like what I do but lately I have been thinking of a career switch to make more money. I majored in criminal justice in collage. I don’t know if I could afford to go back to school with a family to support, however I want to be able to provide more for my family. What would you suggest?
Saw this article in my RSS feed, and I realized how I totally forgot to read it when it was published. Only one VERY IMPORTANT thing to add- if you are using an affiliate network, don’t hesitate to ask for a raise if the sales are decent in numbers. We did this a couple of times, and every time we managed to negotiate a raise. Imagine this- traffic stays the same, conversion rate stays the same, only commissions get higher. Nice, huh?

My daughter is at a state university now finishing in 3 years (Chemistry) and we are currently “engineering” my son’s last year in high school so that he will finish college easily in 3 years or less (at a state school too!) I told him he couldn’t go to a school that wouldn’t accept his AP/Community College credits and when he saw that he would be starting as at least a second semester sophomore – he “got it”.


2.My neighbor is a master electrician and has brought me upon many side jobs with him where i have really learned alot about the electrical trade. Much more then at my day job. He really likes me and i know he wants too start his own business and he wants me to work for him full time one day, however i dont know what he plans too do with me, will i be partner or just a worker? i know he wont screw me but ive heard that partners are a waste of time, build yourself not someone else. however starting a company i know is a much bigger task then it seems and he has the experience and knowledge that i dont have yet, i know he is willing to teach me but this is a big commitment and in the end all my hard work could go into his pocket. however that experience is what could differ me from all the rest everyone i know does the standard work for a bigger company learn nothing and go up north. Even from the little bit he has taught me i have used to do my own side jobs and make 60 to 70 a hour, and i know he can teach me so much more.

Almost 5 years later we are making even more from our jobs, but we still continue to save about 40% of our income. With this money we have been investing mostly into cash flow real estate and a few other investments. The plan is to continue saving 40%, investing that money, and re-investing the profits from our investments. As time passes, our growth is beginning to become exponential (kind of like how compound interest works).

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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.
I’m 29. I started a career in sales right out of High School and found my glass ceiling. I went back to school at 26, graduated with a degree in finance at 28 in may 2015, I just got my first offer as a securities specialist with a top 5 bank, (it’s an operations position in global market settlements) the pay is less than my draw was when I was selling, and I might as well live in my car because I’m going to spend about 2 and a half hours in the car everyday. I am trying to determine if I am selling myself short, or if this is a good place to get started. I ultimately want to work mutual funds. I’m trying to decide if I should keep looking for another position or hold out for more.
Before my Dad passed when I was thirteen, he established in me a strong mindset of ” no matter what you do son, don’t half ass anything. I hate a half ass! ” Now I’m 26, and this mindset has blessed every part of my life. With nothing more than a high school education, self learning, and an “I can do better, learn more, and give my all” attitude, I now earn 120,000 as a maintenance mechanic at a chemical plant. I believe it’s smart to know that success isn’t just about how much you make, it’s about what you have vs. what you owe. I bought my first house at 19, and a 100+ acre farm at 25. You may not get that dream job right away, but if you don’t give it your all at everything, all the time, you can’t blame circumstances. The day, or days, you decide to be lazy, there is someone out there who is pushing, who is going the extra mile, and who might get that dream job you wanted because they put in the extra effort. If you are looking at college, I can say that everyone I know that got a degree in biomedical engineering landed high paying, travel the world jobs right out of college.

Of course it’s up to you whether you keep the classical musician in the list of high paying industry. I just took the time to explain because I wanted to let an influential person like you know the reality of those $100k symphony musicians on strike. I can say this with confidence, though. If someone is looking to make six figures, classical music industry is the last place to consider getting in unless you have already started practicing at age 5! :)
Thirsty Affiliates tracks, cloaks, and categorizes your affiliate links. Once you’ve signed up for your program(s) grab your affiliate links and add them to this plugin. This can take time if you will be linking to multiple pages on your affiliate’s website (which in many cases, you should). The pro version comes with statistics but I don’t even use it and I’m quite the analytical person.

Personally, I don’t hate the job at the giant tech company, but it’s also something I don’t want to be doing for very long. Along with my wife, we’re taking the approach of living simply and saving ~70% of our income so we can walk away from it all financially independent in 5-10 years if we choose. If any of my side projects take off, we might be able to move onto a more digital-nomad type of location independent life even sooner than that.
The standard route is to work in public accounting and then branch out. So, I wouldn’t consider the public accounting route to be typical, but within ten years you can expect an income to be closer to 200k or as high as 350k if you make partner. Making partner also requires a lot of buy into the partnership shares, so you can think of that as taking on a mortgage. I could get into more detail, but I hope that answers your question!
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.
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.
Love this story! I finished college in 3 years back in the 80’s because of AP/community college credits and stayed another year to finish my Master’s degree (which was required in my state for professional certification). And I swam fast and got money to help each year. I also got my entire doctorate paid for which was awesome! Not an engineer though – a teacher, but still got me to FI earlier than many!
I also worked my ass off during high school, went to a public university with enough AP credit to graduate in three years with an English degree (gasp!) then received a Master’s in journalism (double gasp!) that costed next to nothing, because I moved back home with my parents and didn’t have to divulge their income on the FAFSA for a graduate degree. I went into tech marketing and was making six figures by the time I was 25.
The principle job of a reservoir engineer is to predict how much oil is in the ground and how quickly these volumes can be recovered. This involves working with geologists and other engineers to build computer models to forecast production. The unique thing about this industry is the uncertainty of it all. I’ve been on a team where all the engineers, assurers, managers propose a project…get the company to spend a billion dollars…and end in complete disaster. So a considerable amount of hand-waving is involved.
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.

Remember: your audience is coming to you because they a) like you and/or b) find your content helpful/consider you an expert, or someone with more knowledge than them in a particular area that they’re interested in. They WANT to know what food, supplements, cleaning products, makeup, tech tools, knitting yarn, [enter your niche items here] you use… so don’t be afraid to share it with them!
Almost 5 years later we are making even more from our jobs, but we still continue to save about 40% of our income. With this money we have been investing mostly into cash flow real estate and a few other investments. The plan is to continue saving 40%, investing that money, and re-investing the profits from our investments. As time passes, our growth is beginning to become exponential (kind of like how compound interest works).

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.
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. Read the Cookie policy here. I hope you find the site useful! Thanks - Joanna
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.
Sounds like you need to go back to high school. Lack of punctuation, capitalization, apostrophes, btw? BTW?! Look at how you’re talking and yet you’re complaining about an article to help people get the big picture? Pathetic really. Someone like you shouldn’t even be reading a journal/article like this, when basic grammar isn’t even part of your being or intelligence, well lack of intelligence I should say. Best of luck to you. Griping on something like this isn’t making you any more money than those who read this and get motivated. Feedback is always welcome when things like this are posted, but you’re so rude and ignorant that it really defeats the purpose. Best of luck to you
What is your oppinion, and what advice would you give someone who dropped out of High School because they dont want to “go to college to get a career job untill retirement… I think school (atleast the schools I attended) trains students to believe that is the only means of achieving financial stability”… “I asked a teacher once ‘how come we dont learn how to make money instead of learning how to physically labor for money you know “work smarter not harder”… Lol that was a mistake on my part!
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.
Of course it’s up to you whether you keep the classical musician in the list of high paying industry. I just took the time to explain because I wanted to let an influential person like you know the reality of those $100k symphony musicians on strike. I can say this with confidence, though. If someone is looking to make six figures, classical music industry is the last place to consider getting in unless you have already started practicing at age 5! :)

Only about 20 percent of American households even break the six-figure mark, according to Census Bureau data. But while many Americans still see that number as a prized income, it doesn’t necessarily roll out the red carpet anymore. Due to the rising costs of food, energy, college tuition, health insurance and the growing “necessities” of a middle-class life, a $100,000 salary in some parts of the country covers little more than the essentials.
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.

Set your price. Usually, websites sell for 3-5 times the yearly revenue. So if you had a blog for six months that made $30,000 in those six months, your yearly revenue would be about $60,000. You could then sell your site for $180,000 or more depending on your buyer. Bigger companies are most likely to spend larger amounts of money on a website than small companies are.
THANKS so so much. I was seriously discussing this and the 2K odd $ is massive in my current situation. When I started asking basic questions about structure n content n timing, such as how long do we get mentored or why is it different especially for mature, skilled people. I received similar to above, some people think too deep, ask too much n arent who we want to help make Leaders. I shared some things, but not enough. ….
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