If you have not read the first section of this article, you can find it HERE.
#11 Your First 100 Email Subscribers
This is a noteworthy achievement. It might seem like forever to get there, but once you reach your first 100 email subscribers, you should pat yourself on the back. Think about it, it is 100 individual people who have all decided that they want to see updates of YOUR content.
They are following YOU…
In my opinion, these first 100 subscribers, can be viewed as maybe THE most important of your list. They were the first ones to find and follow your blog during the building days. They liked your content before you became popular and they will most likely be your biggest supporters.
To reach this milestone, you can do a few things. Mention your mailing list everywhere you can. The more you mention it, the better.
Offer a free gift, something of value, this way you will lure your readers in to subscribe. The sooner you can offer this free, opt-in bribe, the better!
Another thing to do is to promote your opt-in form everywhere. Use social media and add a link to your opt-in form on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest. Add it to your bios.
Remember that guest blogging is an amazing way to get your content seen by people who don’t know you yet. Utilize this to its full potential. Once you reach your first 100 email subscribers, a good thing to do is to survey them. Discover what your small following thinks, what they like and dislike, and what they need answers too.
A great way to get your subscribers to participate is to offer your survey as a contest.
#12 See One Of Your Own Posts Go Viral
How wonderful, you log in to find that one of your posts took off! It is going viral!
A viral post is simply a post which, except for your own promotion of it, is being shared by many and because of this gets considerably more clicks and shares much for than your typical post. This then results in a well-deserved bump in traffic to your blog, even if it might only last for a short while.
When your post goes viral, you get many more eyes on your content, and even if it is only for a short while, it WILL do wonders for your blog.
To reach this milestone, you need to work on your content. Make sure to create captivating content. For a post to go viral, it must be worthy.
Pretty-up your links to social media. Use metadata because the better a post looks when shared on social media platforms, the bigger the chance that people will share it.
Make sure you use striking, yet shareable images in your posts.
Use intriguing headlines and make your content easy to skim. It is said that people only read about 28% of content, so if they can quickly scan over and know what your post is about.
Remember, the bump in traffic from a viral post is only temporary. You HAVE to turn as many of those visitors into subscribers as you possibly can.
Once again, your call to action has to be clear and visible. A good idea is to offer a “free PDF version” of the post to new subscribers. Or you could use something like Beacon or any of the other.
#13 Get An A-List Blogger To Follow You OR Mention You In A Post
A few people will see it if Sandy “Anyperson” from “Who-Knows-Where” mentions you in one of her posts. You can thank Sandy because it is nice that she mentioned you. It is a totally different story when a well-known A-list Blogger with a following of 1000’s mentions you on Twitter because thousands will see it. How much better is that?
When an A-lister mentions you in one of their posts, you can be certain to get much more than a little bump in traffic. This means that you have been picked up on the radar of an influential blogger.
To reach this milestone, do unto others as you would have them do unto you…
When you write guest posts, link to A-listers and tell them that you did. Most A-listers will appreciate the gesture by sharing your post with their followers.
Another thing that will certainly help you reach this goal, is if you buy their courses or services. By giving them your money, you will also benefit from their vast experience.
Identify the A-listers and reach out to them by putting your content right in front of them. You can also ask them to join you, or participate in expert roundups. Most participants share the roundups they were part of.
Remember, practice makes perfect. Continue to do the things which caused the A-listers to see you in the first place. Keep sharing their content and leaving comments and keep engaging with them regularly.
#14 Hit Your First 1,000 Subscribers
Now you’re getting there.
By this time, you can be sure that your emails are starting to carry more weight so you will be able to generate traffic to your new posts by simply emailing your subscribers.
The best thing about this milestone is that you can now begin to make real money from your blog. It is said that at this time, you should be making at least $1 per subscriber per month, but it could be more if you know what you are doing.
To reach this milestone, it is very important to have a dedicated landing page that is focused on one thing only, to get people to sign up.
Don’t be afraid to use pop-ups, even though some people find them annoying. Pop-ups WORK.
Make use of webinars. Webinars create a sense of urgency without coming across as if you are just pushing sales. The nice thing is that you can run a webinar without having a huge budget.
Last but not least, continue to do guest blogging. If you have not noticed yet, guest blogging is one of the best strategies to gain subscribers!
Now is also the time to start concentrating on monetizing your blog. Use affiliate programs, sponsored content, digital products and consulting or coaching sessions to make money with your blog.
#15 Sell Your First Product or Consulting Session
Maybe, by this time, you have tried sponsored ads and had some success with them after which you decide to offer your skills as a consultant or a coach. Maybe you want to create your own digital product because the idea of unlimited income potential is appealing to you.
Well, go for it!
To reach this milestone, you need to know the who, what and how of it. Know your audience, know what they need and how you can help them.
Make sure you choose a topic that you are good at. To write an e-book, you need to know what you are talking or writing about, so choose wisely.
To be successful at selling your own product or service, you HAVE to know your audience.
By now, you must have quite the collection of content. Repurpose this content. Your archives are filled with content just begging to be turned into an e-book. You should know, it is important to focus on benefits rather than features. Show them why rather than telling them.
Your work does not stop once you’ve created your first product. Now you have to create a sales funnel with an email autoresponder series.
Once that is done, START WORKING ON THE NEXT PRODUCT.
#16 Reach 1,000 Visitors In One Day
Once your blog reaches 1,000 daily visitors, it will be at a level many bloggers dream about, but never experience. This is like filling the stadium on the day of the big game, only it happens every single day!
By this time, your blog will have momentum and your mailing list will grow all on its own. You will be selling more products and your social media shares will also be increasing, bringing in even more new visitors.
To put it simply, once you get here, your hard work will be paying off.
To reach this milestone, your social media promotions should be done strategically. Something that gains momentum on Twitter, will not necessarily gain momentum on Pinterest, right? Always keep in mind which platform you are working on and adapt your promotions accordingly.
Make use of Beacon. Many bloggers do not know how to utilize Beacon, which is sad, because you can easily use it to repurpose archived blog content and bring in thousands of new visitors.
Join blogging communities for additional avenues to drive traffic to your sites.
Concentrate on SEO. SEO is one of the most effective ways to take your traffic to the next level. Keywords, ranking and optimizing your blog for Google (and the other search engines) is a MUST for organic traffic to your site.
To reach this milestone, there are a few things to remember. Do not publish too often. I know you get traffic bumps on days you publish, but rather take time to promote your content effectively before moving on to publishing new content.
Once again, be sociable. Make use of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and all the other social media platforms to promote your site.
#17 Reach A Staggering 100,000 Visitors In One Month
By the time you reach 100,000 visitors in a single month, you will have reached a level of success most bloggers only dream of. You can be assured that at this level, practically anything you try could be lucrative.
To reach this goal, remember that practice makes perfect, so be dedicated to master traffic generation and be patient, it takes time…
At this stage, you can start to accept guest posts. Neil Patel of the KISS metrics blog grew the blog to over 400,000 readers by mostly publishing content from guests.
At this level, the smallest amount tweaking or split testing can make a huge difference in conversion. Diversify, launch a podcast to reach a different audience to your blog audience. Also, try creating YouTube videos.
Google Analytics should be your friend by now. If not, learn how to make the most of its data. Identify the topics and posts that are performing best, and optimize your blog accordingly. Also, see which are your most important traffic sources and adjust your marketing efforts and outreach.
#18 You Have 10,000 Email Subscribers
10,000 email subscribers are definitely the “magic number.”
With 10,000 subscribers, you can be certain of the following:
- Publishers will be beating down your door to offer you a book deal
- A career as a full-time coach or consultant is possible
- To sell a course that you have created will be as easy as pie
To put it plainly, you can realistically earn a six-figure income from your blog with 10,000 email subscribers.
To reach this milestone get Amazon e-book buyers to your opt-in page. Offer a bonus to people buying your e-book in exchange for them visiting your site and subscribing.
Make use of Twitter’s lead generation cards. It will feel like you have landing pages embedded in your tweets.
Take your most popular posts and create content upgrades specifically customized for each post. This can increase your conversions significantly.
One blogger used Facebook adds to funnel readers to her Facebook opt-in page, so utilize Facebook effectively. With a subscriber list this big, you should continuously look for ways of improving the open rate of your emails. What’s the use of a big list if no-one reads your emails.
A good thing to keep in mind is to upgrade your email provider to a provider that can handle both your e-commerce and customer relationships.
#19 Earning Enough Money And Quitting Your Day Job
This milestone is one that most bloggers, myself included, dream of.
Once you can quit your day job and blog full time, you will be able to set your own schedule and spend time doing things you are passionate about and spending time with people you love.
Once you quit your day job, YOU will be the BOSS.
To reach this milestone, you will have to charge premium prices. Remember though, with premium prices you can devote more time to give premium service, so give them what they pay for.
You will have to outsource certain tasks because time is money and at this stage, your time and money can be put to better use.
Another thing you could do now is to offer affiliate programs with your own products. Affiliate products, in addition to not requiring any investment, leads to higher income potential.
Think of creating joint ventures with popular bloggers or make it attractive for them to promote your products.
Be clever, don’t just quit! Make sure you have a financial buffer, just in case. Depending on your situation, it should be at least three to six months’ salary in the bank…
In the time leading up to quitting your day job, make sure your blog is running smoothly and automate everything you can. You don’t need any unnecessary pressure once the paycheck stops.
#20 Take A Breath And Hit Repeat
Now you have done it, you created the business everyone said was impossible to build. You have evolved from a humble little blogger to the master of your own destiny.
It is time to take a breath, lift up your feet and relax. Pack your bags and go on a vacation.
You’ve earned it…
Once you have rested up, sit down, concentrate and REPEAT!!!
Are you ready to change your life?
Are you ready to dedicate yourself to the dream of being your own boss?
Don’t just sit there! Take Action!