Editor’s note: I entered Copyblogger’s first essay writing contest a few weeks ago. The task was to answer “why it’s essential to be an online authority” in 250 words or less. Here’s my entry:
Imagine you’ve just won the Nobel Prize.
You walk up to the podium to deliver your speech. The gold medal rests safely in your hands.
You clear your throat and the whole room falls silent. Everyone is waiting to hear you speak.
Now that’s authority.
But let’s face it. Most of us will never win. Heck, not even Mark Twain and Mahatma Gandhi made the cut. We better have a plan B.
Well, you’re in luck…
On the internet, authority comes from your audience, not a Nobel committee.
Now anyone with a WordPress site can fight for their ideas and build a loyal following. It doesn’t take a genius to do this stuff. You just need the passion and desire to help someone else.
You need to care about your readers and teach them what they want to know. In return, they will reward you with their trust. And nothing beats that. Not even winning the Nobel Prize.
As Ernest Hemingway points out in his acceptance speech from December 10, 1954:
“No writer who knows the great writers who did not receive the Prize can accept it other than with humility.”
Those are words spoken from a true authority. And now it’s your turn. We’re waiting for you.