It’s okay to admit it.
That deep, dark secret you don’t want anyone to know.
That thought which keeps you up night after night.
You want… to rule the world!
You want to dominate your industry and be the envy of all. You want the house in the Hamptons and the spoils that go with it. You want two appetizers with your entree.
But you’re afraid.
You’re afraid of what others will say when they hear about your dream. You’re afraid it will seem too big — too crazy. Just like you’re afraid of what the waitress will think if you order onion rings and chicken tenders.
You’re afraid because you don’t know where to begin. You don’t know how to go from where you are as a blogger to where you want to be. You don’t know how to get from here to there.
The good news?
Just like eating an elephant, you don’t do it all in one bite.
World domination — or any major blogging goal — is a journey you take one milestone at a time.
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Why Bloggers Need Meaningful Milestones
When you break large tasks into small, manageable ones, what once seemed big and scary isn’t as daunting.
Renovating your entire home? Start by painting a room. Training for a marathon? Walk to the end of your driveway. Want to start a rock band? Get a guitar and start practicing.
Blogging isn’t any different.
Your journey as a blogger is filled with incremental milestones. They start small, gradually increase in size, and culminate with you owning sharks with frickin’ laser beams attached to their heads.
Want 10,000 subscribers? Start with 100. Want to quit your job? Focus on making your first sale. Want to be Jon Morrow’s best friend? Get him to notice you.
These milestones comprise your bucket list. They highlight what you’ve already accomplished, what you’re striving toward next, and what still lies far ahead of you.
To help you in your quest, here are the 21 major blogging milestones (and how to reach each one).
Ready? Let’s dive in.
#1. Starting Your Blog
You’ve been talking about doing it forever.
You’ve been reading blogs like Smart Blogger, Blogging Wizard, and Be A Better Blogger for months.
You’ve been planning, scheming, and daydreaming about starting a blog for so long that people have started to worry about that glazed look in your eyes.
So don’t you think it’s time you finally did it?
#2. Writing Your First Blog Post
Bloggers blog. It’s what we do.
So once you’ve setup your blog on WordPress, Medium, or wherever, it’s time to make this whole “blogging thing” official.
It’s time to write your first post.
#3 Getting Your First Tweet
Getting your content shared on social media for the first time is a big milestone.
Each time your posts are tweeted, pinned, or liked, your content is exposed to new readers.
These new readers are potential email subscribers. Potential customers. Potential allies in your quest for world domination.
#4. Receiving Your First Blog Comment From a Stranger
It finally happened.
The moment you discover someone other than your mom is reading your blog.
Your first comment from a stranger.
It’s the first sign you’re engaging a real audience (not just friends and family).
The first indication your words are striking a chord with readers.
The first evidence you have what it takes to succeed.
#5. Gaining Your First Email Subscriber
“The money is in the list,” says every blogger (even if nobody has asked them).
It’s cliché, but it’s true.
Email subscribers are far more likely to read, share, and engage with your content than someone who simply follows you on Twitter or “likes” you on Facebook.
Email cuts through the noise.
A person might receive a few dozen emails in a day, but they’ll receive several hundred (or more) tweets from their followers.
If you want to reach the top of the blogging mountain, you must build your email list.
And it all starts with that first subscriber.
#6. Getting Your First Backlink
Search engines love backlinks — they help them discover how pages are related, and in what ways.
Landing a high-quality link from a relevant website is great for SEO and results in more search engine traffic flocking to your website. And who doesn’t want that?
When a website links to yours, it’s effectively telling Google, “This dude is cool. He’s with me.”
Want to rule the world? You need Google to think you’re cool.
#7. Reaching 100 Visitors in a Single Day
In your blog’s early days, visitors are scarce. Occasionally, you’ll wonder if anyone is reading your blog.
But slowly, little by little, your numbers creep higher and higher.
And then it happens.
The day your blog reaches triple-digit visitors. The day your hard work begins to pay off. The day you get your first taste of power.
Intoxicating, isn’t it?
#8. Receiving Your First Piece of Fan Mail (Well, Email)
This is strange.
You receive an email from a stranger, but it has nothing to do with male enhancement or an unexpected inheritance from overseas.
It’s an email from a reader. And she’s telling you how much she enjoys your blog!
Your first “kudos” email from a reader is a big milestone for bloggers, and those who go on to rule the world receive many of them.
(Mine may or may not be printed, framed, and hanging from the walls of my office.)
#9. Getting Your First Negative Blog Comment
After weeks of praise, attaboys, and well-wishes, you receive your first negative comment.
You try to laugh it off by making a “these are where the tears would be if I could cry” joke, but it doesn’t work.
You’re confused. Hurt. Maybe a little angry. (Plus, your spouse quickly reminds you of the time you cried like a baby watching Field of Dreams.)
Don’t let it get you down. As you gain in popularity, criticism is inevitable.
Consider it a badge of honor — every popular blogger receives negative comments.
It’s proof you’re on the right track.
#10. Landing Your First Guest Post
Sooner or later, you’ll discover that commenting on other blogs and making friends on Twitter will boost your traffic only so far.
You need to reach new audiences.
As the marketing crowd would say, you need fresh eyeballs on your content.
In other words, you need to write a guest post.
#11. Getting Featured in Your First Interview or “Expert Roundup”
When people see you repeatedly mentioned on other sites via interviews and roundups, their perceptions of you change.
Yesterday, you were just an attractive guy or gal oozing talent but drowning in anonymity.
Today, you’re a freaking rock star.
You’re no more knowledgeable than you were moments earlier, but suddenly your powerful words carry more weight with readers. That’s because someone they trust just called you an expert (or treated you like one).
To reach world-leader status, others must view you as an authority. They need to consider you an expert in your industry.
Participating in interviews and roundups is a great way to make that happen.
#12. Hitting Your First 100 Email Subscribers
After having single- and double-digit subscribers for what seems like forever, you finally reach 100. One hundred individuals decide they want updates from you.
These first 100 subscribers are arguably your most important.
They’re the ones who found your blog in its early days.
They’re the ones who decided to follow you before you were popular.
They’re the ones likely to be your biggest supporters as you rise through the ranks and vanquish kingdoms.
#13. Seeing a Post You Wrote Go Viral
Wow. That was unexpected.
One of your posts takes off. It goes viral, as the kids say.
At its simplest definition, a viral post is one which has a life beyond your own promotion of it. As such, it gets considerably more clicks and shares than your typical post.
And, as a result, your blog receives a nice (if temporary) bump in traffic.
Even if it’s short lived, a viral post means more eyes on your content. And that’s just what a prospective world ruler wants.
#14. Getting Mentioned or Followed by an A-list Blogger
When Bob the bellhop from Bolivia mentions you on Twitter, a small handful of people will see it.
That’s even better.
When you’re mentioned or followed by an A-lister, it means much more than a small bump in traffic.
It means you’ve made it onto the radar of someone with influence.
#15. Hitting Your First 1,000 Email Subscribers
Now we’re talking.
Around the time you hit the 1,000 subscriber mark, your emails begin to carry more weight.
You’re able to generate traffic for new posts simply by emailing your subscribers.
You can begin making real money from your blog.
As a rule of thumb, you should be able to make at least $1 per subscriber each month — more if you really know what you’re doing.
#16. Successfully Selling Your First Product or Consulting Session
You tried your hand at sponsored ads. Maybe you even had a little success with them.
But eventually, you aim higher.
You decide to offer your skills as a coach or consultant.
Or maybe you decide to create your own digital product because you like the idea of unlimited income potential.
Whatever the route, the desire is the same: to pad your wallet with twenty dollar bills.
#17 Reaching 1,000 Visitors a Day
When you reach 1,000 daily visitors, your blog will be perched at a level many bloggers never see.
Your blog has momentum, which means your email list starts to grow on its own.
You’re selling more products and services.
Your social media shares are increasing too, which is bringing even more new visitors.
Your hard work is paying off. “Soon,” you say to yourself before laughing maniacally.
#18. Reaching 100,000 Visitors in a Month
When you reach 100,000 visitors in a month, you’ve reached a level of success most can only dream of.
At this level, practically anything you try can be lucrative.
#19. You Hit 10,000 Email Subscribers
As Jon Morrow likes to say: 10,000 subscribers is the “magic number.”
With 10,000 subscribers, publishers beat down your door to give you a book deal.
With 10,000 subscribers, you could make a full-time living as a coach or consultant.
With 10,000 subscribers, you can easily sell a course you have created.
In short, earning a six-figure income from your blog is entirely realistic when you have 10,000 subscribers.
It’s arguably the most important blogging milestone.
#20. Finally Earning Enough Money to Quit Your Day Job
It’s the dream of most bloggers.
Being able to quit your job and blog full-time means you’re able to quit the rat race. It means you can set your own schedule, pursue your passions, and spend more time with your loved ones.
It means you’re the boss.
#21. Achieving World Domination
You did it.
They said it wasn’t possible, but you made it happen.
The world is your oyster. You’re the master of your own destiny.
And it’s all thanks to your blog.
Now it’s time to take a vacation. Maybe even move to paradise. Heck, you earned it.
So What’s Your Next Big Blogging Milestone?
You realize they’re yours for the taking, right?
The house in the Hamptons?
The sharks with frickin’ laser beams attached to their heads?
They’re all out there… just waiting for you.
They’re waiting for you to decide, “Today is the day I’ll make my dreams come true.” They’re waiting for you to stop reading and start doing.
So, don’t just sit there.
Work out where you are on the list and what you must do to hit that next big milestone.
And let’s do this thing.
Because the world isn’t going to rule itself.
About the Author: Five years after first writing this post, Kevin J. Duncan’s dreams of quitting the rat race, blogging full-time, and world domination came true when Jon invited him to join the Smart Blogger team as our Blog Editor.
Never give up, folks. Never, ever give up.
The post 21 Blogging Milestones on the Path to World Domination appeared first on Smart Blogger.