Far too many bloggers are struggling to find a way to develop themselves and their blogs into influential online cornerstones to which others flock and pay attention. When we speak, or in our case write, we want others to stop what they’re doing and pay attention. We want our words to carry weight to our listeners… and rightly so.

John Maxwell referred to this principle as The Law of E.F. Hutton. The financial firm that sports that name used to run a television commercial wherein two people sitting down at the bar of a local diner would be discussing their stock broker’s advice. The first man would share some tips that his advisor had given him. The second would then say, “My advisor is E.F. Hutton and he told me…” As he said the name of his broker, the diner would go completely silent. Every patron would stop talking and turn to hear what E.F. Hutton had said. And then the slogan would come on the screen, “When E.F. Hutton speaks, people listen.”

That level of influence will unlock doors that you can’t even imagine. You can call people to action. You can change the way people think. You can change lives.

Of course, if you develop that level of influence only to take advantage of people, you are wrong. You have to be careful that you guard yourself with an unquestionable level of ethics.

Develop your influence online and then use it to guide people toward those things that will help them. Promote products that you believe are useful. Promote habits that will better your readers. Call people to action for goals that are worthwhile for them, yourself, and everyone involved.


Not only is this the appropriate use of influence, but it’s also a terrific way to continue the cycle of developing and growing influence. It’s a terrific cycle. Build influence. Use your influence to help people and to accomplish great things. You then build more influence and work to keep that cycle alive.

Influence isn’t built in a day. It’s built day by day. It doesn’t just develop in the minds of your readers and visitors because your site looks snazzy. It builds up slowly over time as you make daily deposits into your relationship with your readers. As they see you day-by-day promoting solid information, encouraging your readers with truth, and challenging your readers to think critically and live passionately.

You won’t build influence by regurgitating what everyone else online is promoting. You’ll build it by standing for what you believe in and when necessary opposing the mainstream. You certainly shouldn’t be chasing controversy, but if you want to build credibility then it’s going to happen when you promote your ideas and stand firm on what you believe in. Don’t back down.

You want to be influential? Be your own voice. Stand for what you believe in. Treat people with honesty and integrity. Use your influence to better the lives of your readers. Keep the cycle alive.

As a point of discussion for the comments section below, I want to ask you two questions. First, what do you believe the call to action is for this post? Second, do you feel it’s a call to action that you should take with you and act on?

Nicholas Cardot

About Nicholas Cardot

It's my personal quest to enable every person that I can to unlock that dormant potential concerning their online influence. Also, I'm a geek.


  • I think your call to action is to be a helpful influencer that offers value to those your influencing. It’s definitely a call to action worth pursuing!

    I’m interested to know how this idea applies to web development. I’ve noticed that web usability is a trending topic. I think development is a key element in usability. What are your thoughts?

    • I agree. When I first began blogging, I grew to believe that there were three essential keys to blogging: Amazing Content, Brilliant Design, and Commanding Influence. I call them the ABC’s of successful blogging. All three combined should provide a blogger with an absolutely amazing advantage over their peers.

      The second key, brilliant design, is where I think usability and development fall into. If your site (be it a blog or some other type of website) is difficult to read, difficult to navigate, annoying with popups, or things like that, it will deteriorate your credibility in the eyes of your users. Less credibility means less influence. Because I’ve always felt that this was so important, I used to experiment with development here at this blog and the skills that I’ve learned are what have allowed me to build very profitable websites outside of the realm of blogging.

      I also think that this is the reason that several blogging related Twitter hashchats (including #bloggab tonight!) do blog critique nights where they can talk about the layout, navigation, appearance, and really the overall usability of each person’s blog.

      What type of development are you into? Do you do html, css, php, mySQL, javascript, jQuery, or something else? And yes, I know that jQuery is a subset of javascript, but I like to list it separately because it’s so cool. Those are the languages that I’m comfortable developing with. Do you have any further ideas about how influence and usability are related?

      P.S. Sorry that your comment got caught in the spam filter. Sometimes Akismet can be a little overzealous.

      • I’m definitely not a developer. I know basic html. I’d like to know more about development and usability, so I’m looking to learn 🙂

        I think you have a good trifecta to aim for in the ABC’s. Thanks for the added information!

        • If you are looking to learn more about developing, I highly recommend checking out http://www.W3schools.com. They have a lot of great information about most of the online programming languages that I mentioned above. I started by trying to make things happen on my WordPress blog that I couldn’t find in a plugin or where I couldn’t get a plugin to behave exactly the way that I wanted it to. That expanded into building full fledged websites (with thousands of pages) using templating based on what I had learned on WordPress without actually using any content manager like WordPress.

  • Thanks for this great post! I believe the call to action is simply to become a helpful person, willing to step out and make your service known for the good of people. And yes, I do believe the greatest way toward success is by meeting needs of people. Being a servant. Offering genuine help as you build your platform.


    • Thanks, Estevan. I think that you nailed it right on the head. A lot of folks jump into online marketing ready to sell, sell, sell. But folks need to realize that building influence online us the same as building it offline. You care for folks needs. You be helpful. You do what you can to make a difference.

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