What the Nobel Prize Can Teach Us about Authority

Copyblogger Essay Contest ParticipantEditor’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.


  1. says

    Thank you for sharing, Olle. It WAS such a difficult assignment. The Nobel Prize is a terrific hook. And Papa Hemingway packs some fierce Authority.

    I added your name to my “winners” circle on my own losing post.

    Look forward to reading more of your inspiring words.


    • says

      I know. 250 words is not a lot to play with. It WAS a difficult challenge, but that’s part of the fun.

      Thanks for adding me to the “winners” circle on your blog.

      Look forward to seeing more of you here on the blog.


  2. Katie Kabala says

    Great stuff! Good luck in the competition Olle :) And hopefully one of these days I’ll follow your advice too and resurrect my website. In my case it’s just a pure and simple aversion to all the technical stuff which is probably not so hard but takes time to master. It’s a WordPress site – can you recommend any sites that explain things by dumbing the whole process down and making it more user-friendly?

    • says

      Thanks, Katie!

      You should definitely get your own WordPress site! Some parts are slightly technical, but don’t let that scare you. I found a useful WordPress guide that walks through the basics, and also an installation article that’s pretty handy. Besides, most hosting companies allow you to install WP in just a few clicks. I’m always happy to help – I really want you to have your own site.

      You can do it :)

  3. says

    Well said Olle, “Authority is not just about Prizes”, sharing what you have learnt and helping people will get you a permanent seat in the minds of people. Thanks for sharing.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>