What Do You Stand For?

Image of The Copyblogger Essay Contest Winners Poster

Editor’s note: This essay is one of three Second Prize winners of the Copyblogger Media Essay contest, for which writers had 250 words to discuss why it’s essential to be an online authority.

I was cleaning out my attic and came across a great reminder of my early high school days: a homework assignment called “My friend the Axolotl.”

Back then it was considered “character building” to accumulate knowledge and to find my own answers to questions.

So as I sat there in the faint light of my dusty attic reading about all things axolotl, I started to remember the hours I spent trawling for axolotl information in the nature books at home and the local library.

Nowadays kids have the same kinds of assignments but they don’t have the same kind of approach.

Instead of asking “which book is best for axolotls?” they simply Google “axolotl” and now ask “Which of the 600,000 entries should I click on?”

Online access means that kids now have a mind-blowing quantity of knowledge that often paralyzes decisions and inhibits actions.

Not surprisingly, that’s also the fundamental issue my clients have.

We, who have an online-based business, need to accept that too much knowledge (like “recreational drugs” and slow drivers in the highway fast lane) is here to stay. It’s not something we will ever control or see decline because of some law or rule.

What we need to do is adjust our attitudes and position ourselves away from “knowing something” to a higher position of being an authority, “being known for something.”

It’s the stand we take that makes us so compelling and gives us real impact online.


As a Second Prize winner, Mark received a one-year membership to Authority. Previously, Grand Prize winner Anthony Sills received a lifetime Authority membership plus a ticket to Authority Intensive, the live content marketing experience we are hosting this May. You can read Anthony’s winning essay here.

And if you want more insight on how 270+ essays were whittled down to five winners, watch the Essay Contest Wrap-Up Hangout with Demian and Jerod. They highlight the specific elements of the winning essays that separated them from the pack.

About the Author: Mark Wayland’s sales consulting firm enables managers to improve their relationships with their sales team. He held prior positions as the Group Training Manager at Pfizer Australia, as a sales representative, and way back before that a high school science teacher. You can connect with Mark on LinkedIn.

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