Starting points for writing good thought leadership

Thought-leadership or opinion pieces are great content and good for visibility when approached the right way.

They are an opportunity to present your take on market trends or topics that are useful and interesting to your clients.

You can pitch them to B2B publishers and business news outlets or use them for client newsletters or on your own website to help build authority.

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They’ve been part of my working life for many years.

As a freelance, I ghost-write them for clients who don’t have the time or find writing them tricky. When I was features editor on a B2B magazine, I used to commission and edit guest columns.

Common mistake

The most common mistake when ideas for thought leader pieces were being pitched was a lack of opinion or viewpoint.

Whether you call them op-eds, comment pieces or thought leadership, you have to put your head above the parapet, even just a little bit.

Not a press release

Without articulating an opinion, your writing can sound like a press release or news update.

There is a place for that type of content but it is unlikely to land you a platform in your target publication if that is your aim.

And if you are writing for your own website or client magazine then you aren’t giving your audience the full benefit of your knowledge and expertise.

It can be scary publishing your thoughts and putting them up for scrutiny – and potential criticism.

Commenting a good starting point

Perhaps start off commenting on other’s content or press stories and then use that as a stepping stone to writing your own opinion piece.

And there are good and bad ways to present your views.

Ranting is never a good idea, you will come across much better taking a considered approach. Or being constructive rather than destructive – although the latter might get you more clicks.

Show awareness

You can play devil’s advocate but show awareness of other views.

Posing a question can also be a good technique, it can be a way of showcasing your thought process and direction.

Questions can also help to generate engagement giving readers a hook to give their own view.

So if you have a interesting view on something, grab the bull by the horns and write about it.

How do you feel about publishing your views as a thought-leader or an opinion piece?

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