The Magician and the Art of Blogging5 min read

A hundred years ago a man walked into a building, climbed all the way to the top floor, put on a straightjacket, and threw himself out of a window.

There are two things that are remarkable:

  1. The man didn’t die.
  2. The building he jumped out off “happened” to be the newspaper office. The next day, everyone in town knew his name. Later that night, the man performed his first magic show in front of a sold-out audience.

Now, let me ask you a question:

What’s the first name that comes to mind when you think about magic?

Houdini?

Well, that’s the man who jumped out of that building a century ago.


Listen to this article:


Two Simple Steps to Building an Audience

Once upon a time, during an interview with Charlie Rose, comedian Steve Martin was asked the secret to becoming successful.

His answer? Be so good they can’t ignore you.

Simple and somewhat obvious, but also very effective advice.

If you want to jump out a building, first you’ve got to make sure you’re good enough that you don’t die.

Also, if you do it, do it in such a way that people think it’s magic.

This is the first rule of building an audience as an artist of blogging:

1. Be so good they can’t ignore you.

Your audience is a click away. You can find them on social networks, online forums and communities, and in the comments section of popular blogs.

But… at the same time, the trick is to be so good they can’t ignore you.

Houdini didn’t get every newspaper in the country writing about him because he was mediocre, but because he was so good they thought it was magic.

But at the same time, you see, Houdini was a master marketer who knew that it wasn’t enough to be good, which leads me to my second rule:

2. It’s not enough to be good.

It’s not.

I’m sorry.

The truth is that “build it and they will come” is lousy advice. It’s not enough to be good. You’ve got to, just as Houdini did, you’ve got to be both deliberate and intentional about your marketing efforts.

Houdini was really good, yet with each new city he visited, he still lugged a straightjacket up to the top floor of a building and threw himself out of a window.

But like I said in the intro to this article, he did so in front of an audience who could easily promote his work.

That’s the trick, that’s what most people never even dare to think about.

If you want them to stop ignoring you, you’ve got to play for free in front of those you want to attract most.

Goal. Timeline. Resources. Effort.

These are the four building blocks of success in any area.

And all four have this one thing in common: they are finite.

If you want to grow your audience, you’ve got to be strategic about the way you network and engage others.

To give you a clear example, one of the best ways to promote a blog is by commenting on other people’s blogs. Now, you don’t just comment on every single blog you can find, you comment on the blogs who are popular enough to send a lot of readers your way.

You are not commenting simple one-liners (great post, loved it!), but you are giving them a proper performance. Genuine comments. You are adding to the conversation, asking questions, disagreeing, offering everyone in the audience (the blog owner and their readers) a taste of just how good you are.


Most bloggers want their content to been read by an audience. However, most of them aren’t willing to do the work.

Because, yes, it takes an insane amount of work to become so good they can’t ignore you the moment you send a two-paragraph comment on a blog.

And, yes, it takes a lot of time and effort to define and refine your strategy for maximum effect.

A few questions to ask yourself today:

  1. Who are the most influential bloggers within your niche? Have you ever engaged with them?
  2. Who do you follow and read obsessively? Have you ever engaged with them?
  3. Have you ever had people reply to your comments and tell you just how brilliant you are? If not, what can you do to change that?

The way I see it, there are two ways to go about building an audience in 2021:

1. You can be like most people and play it safe and try to build relationships with whoever.

2. You can put in the backbreaking work of becoming an authority within your niche and then engaging strategically with the most influential voices within said niche.

I strenuously believe that the first option will become increasingly more difficult, as more and more people decide to blog.

As they say, the bottom’s overcrowded. Always.

Also, one thing to keep in mind is that magic is just so much hard work that others can’t even fantasize that it’s possible.


What I am sharing with you is straight out of the 0 to 5,000 Readers in 6 Months course.

If you haven’t enrolled, be sure to check it out by clicking this link here.

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Cristian Mihai
Became Internet famous by the age of 23. Never recovered. I write short author bios all over the web. I’m an acquired taste. Don’t like me? Acquire some taste.
Articles: 188

17 Comments

  1. Thank you for some excellent advice! You always teach me something I haven’t thought about. Blessings Cristian!

  2. Very sound advice! I don’t think anyone who starts a blog because they love to write thinks about the efforts they will have to go to in order to gain an audience that wants to read their words hear their message.
    The marketing needed to build a following is where the work is!

    Thank you 😊

  3. The Houdini example was definitely stark. So, all we have to do is something less. And not so dangerous. Good article.

  4. Fantastic blog. You brought up some good points. The problem is getting to engage with the person I’m commenting on.

    I only have a few followers, and I follow then back. I comment most everytime they post; sometimes it’s like pushing a freight train uphill.

    I do appreciate your blog, and I wish you the best.

    Sincerely,
    Thom

    • That’s the trick. You get tired of constantly engaging everyone you find online.

      That’s why it’s besf to be strategic about it. Figure out the best way to maximize effort.

  5. Very interesting blog Cristian, and sound advice. x

  6. I do have to say I was quite glad to see your thought about the commenting 🙂
    Something I have felt myself. Quite often I do send a “Loved it” comment, just for the sake of the writer to “know” someone is really reading it, but I think that those comments you are mentioning is the real ones for the connection and to make people notice you. I truly enjoy your articles.

  7. Good suggestions. I comment on blogs, but I don’t pay much attention to their popularity.

  8. Love this! Using Houdini as an example was genius! Thank you! 😊

  9. I love your strategy map. That’s quite creative and helpful.

    About this idea of “Build and the people will come”, I have read about that from different people, but deep within me, I still believe in that notion of building it. I know we are in the era of MV(whatever): Minimum Viable Audience, Minimum Viable Profit, Minimum Viable Product, Minimum Viable Potential, etc. That not withstanding, the process of building is also the process of marketing. The process of building is also the process of connecting with key influencers.

    What I am expressing is that, we can’t totally throw that notion of build it and they would come out of the window. I still ask myself, often, “What are the lessons that could be learned from this?”

    1. Listen to your gut.

    2. Build it at the edge of (massive) traffic.

    3. Involve influencers when you start building.

    4. Do trade offs.

    5. Make it a ‘purple cow’ – it becomes talked about.

    • Of course you have to build it, otherwise you’ll die the first time you jump out of a building..

      But it’s not enough. Unless you go out there…

      Houdini had built it, yet he went out of his way for people to understand it.

  10. Good point on commenting on the blogs that are popular and have lots of engagement. I will certainly try this out.

  11. Looks like your own advice works. I’m pinning this article and then checking out your course.

  12. I don’t check my mailbox often but I never miss yours. Honestly, You are helping me a lot with all your articles. A big Thank

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