I recently needed advice on installing a fire pit in my yard using patio pavers. So, where did I turn? I immediately sought the direction of the team from This Old House. 

This Old House is one of the hundreds of home improvement video blogs that help homeowners with renovations and repairs. I also frequently read up on one of the former member’s blogs, Bob Vila, for additional information on home repairs.

This is the power of thought leadership content.

When searching for advice or products, we often seek out brand names from people or companies we know and trust.

B2B companies especially benefit from thought leadership that offers custom services to clients who don’t have much brand-name recognition.  

Thought leadership content is a great way for C-level executives to build trust with their audience, expand their brand, and nurture more leads to conversion

With that in mind, we’ve compiled the ultimate guide to understanding thought leadership content and provided 11 tips on producing it. 

What Is Thought Leadership Content?

Thought leadership content provides readers with useful information and comes from an authoritative source. 

Let’s analyze the two parts of this thought leadership definition. 

First, thought leadership content is useful; it answers real world-problems, inspires action, provides new insights, and changes the way we think about everyday topics. 

Many types of thought leadership content are useful, including:

  • Case studies
  • Data-driven content
  • How-to guides
  • Evergreen content
  • eBooks
  • Interviews

Secondly, thought leadership content originates from an authoritative source. People desire to hear from thought leaders.

For this reason, the following pieces of content also qualify as thought leadership content under the proper circumstances:

  • Opinion pieces
  • Personal stories
  • Q/As
  • Social Media Thought Leadership

Even social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and many others can be valuable sources to share thought leadership content with your network. 

To become a thought leader, you need to produce thought leadership content. We will discuss the strategies below, but suffice to say, by producing high-level content and slowly building your following/network, you can transition from evergreen content to opinion pieces and social media influencers to continue to build your brand. 

The Importance of Thought Leadership Content

Thought leadership content is a crucial strategy for developing into a thought leader. Thought leaders serve as authoritative sources of information, so writing or developing any form of content is critical to that strategy. 

Here are just five reasons why thought leadership content is important to your brand or business. 

1. Answer Real-World Problems 

From a practical aspect, thought leadership content is desirable because it solves real-world problems for readers. This could include how-to guides on everyday problems or data-driven content that provides new insights. 

Readers who need advice will go to sources they trust and take their recommendations for products or services they require. This brand trust is unbeatable when it comes to attracting new customers and retaining them. 

2. Build Your Audience

By establishing trust with your readers, you’ll be the first source that readers click on the next time they need help with a problem or want an opinion of a current event or topic. Over time, readers will not only seek your advice on mundane, everyday issues but on personal matters and anything that relates to your industry as a whole. 

3. Create Authority

To build off this point, by creating lots of practical, well-researched, and original content, you will begin to separate yourself from the competition as an authoritative topic expert. This expertise could be limited to a specific niche topic, like content marketing in our industry or broader topics. Examples of authoritative thought leaders include everyday names like Tony Robbins and Richard Branson to more niche names like Neil Patel and Rand Fishkin. 

Creating authority and trust will develop your personal brand and serve as a powerful marketing tool for any of your businesses. 

4. Leverage In Funnel

It’s a natural impulse to settle on brand name recognition when deciding between two products.

Fortunately, by building trust through thought leadership and brand recognition, you could leverage thought leadership content on your website or on external websites to nurture undecided leads. 

Thought leadership content could move the needle enough to push a bounce into a sale. 

5. Combines ‘Push’ and ‘Pull’ Strategies

Finally, we often think of thought leadership content as a pull strategy for the reasons listed above. However, by publishing high-level content on external websites, whether it’s industry publications or editorials, you can create exposure that attracts new readers to your brand and your business.

For example, our CEO regularly publishes content on long-form publications like Search Engine Journal, that provide useful and authoritative information on SEO-driven content marketing. 

By publishing high-level content to readers on different platforms, you drive eyeballs to your business, establish yourself as an authority, and build up readership on that website and your own. 

Want to Become a Thought Leader in Your Industry?
You will gain strong authority within your industry through our Awareness PR service. This is a hands-off guest posting program. We complete the strategy, ghostwrite all content, and take care of distribution.

Types of Thought Leadership Content

Thought leadership content is not limited to blog posts and case studies. In fact, there are dozens of creative ideas to help you plan out your thought leadership content strategy. 


Content Form Examples Mediums 
Long-Form Written Content How-to’s

Evergreen Content
Personal Storytelling

Case Studies
Data-Driven Research

Business Website

Industry Publications

Personal Blog



Opinion-Based Content Editorials
Q and A’sInterviews
Business Website
Industry Publications 
Video Content How-to
Business Website


Social Media

Podcasting/Audio Interviews

Long-Form Informative Content
Round Table Discussions

Business Website
SpotifyApple Podcasts
Twitter Spaces
Journalistic Content Interviews



Soft News Hard News


Press Release Platforms

Online Editorials

Social Media Content Twitter Threads

LinkedIn Thought Leadership
Sharing Thought-Leader Content





11 Tips for Writing Thought Leadership Content

11 Tips for Writing Thought Leadership Content

Now that you understand the basics and importance of thought leadership content, it’s time to discuss how to write thought leadership content for an audience. 

1. Research Your Audience

First and foremost, thought leaders should have their finger on the pulse of their industry. If you want to write thought leadership content, you need to write about topics that appeal directly to your readership.

Identify which websites pull the most traffic and active readership in your industry and see which posts gain the most traction.

Create a list of topics to see which topics are trending and have low barriers of competition to write about. 

While we love SEMrush, any keyword planner and topic research tool will suffice. There are several free topic research tools and places to find trending topics, including:

  • Google Trends
  • Ubersuggest
  • AnswerthePublic
  • Quora
  • Reddit

2. Become a Topic Expert

Once you find a list of suitable topics, it’s time to research those topics. Ideally, you’ll want to analyze the top 10 results on any search engine results page (SERP) and see what Google and readers find the most useful.

One strategy is to skyscraper content, which means taking the best content you can find and writing a better piece. 

To accomplish this, use tools like AnswerthePublic, questions found on Quora or Reddit, and even questions found at the bottom of SERPs to find subtopics to discuss. Ideally, you’ll want to provide information about every possible subtopic and idea related to your central thesis to provide readers with the most in-depth information they can find. 

3. Provide Real-World Answers

After outlining a list of subtopics and questions, you’ll want to provide detailed answers. One tip we suggest is providing direct answers to questions for SEO value. Rich snippets are answer boxes that anyone can rank for and provide direct answers in search results. 

As previously discussed, thought leadership content provides useful information. So by answering your reader’s burning questions directly and succinctly you could increase your brand authority and trust. 

4. Write a Compelling Title

Now that we’ve set up our outline and provided a foundation for writing thought leadership content, it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty. 

Your title is one of the first areas you’ll want to consider. The title doesn’t need to be clickbaity, but it does need to entice users to click and read your article. 

Consider these tips for crafting the perfect title for any thought leadership piece:

  • Make titles actionable (e.g. ‘How to Become a Topic Authority’)
  • Enrich titles with keywords
  • Keep title tags less than 70 characters
  • Mention a list- makes content more scannable and easier to digest
  • Ask a question
  • Be Inquisitive (e.g. NYT The School Kids Are Not Alright)
  • Be Controversial or Contrarian (e.g. HBR You Don’t Need a College Degree to Land a Great Job)

The key to a great title is to entice readers to click and to provide the context of what they’ll be reading. The last thing you want to do is provide a misleading title and get lambasted by your readers who end up bouncing from your site. 

5. Start with a Strong Hook

According to most research, you have about 7 seconds to make a strong impression before users will bounce from a website. 

That’s why it’s important to start off with a strong hook to capture the reader’s attention and hold it. There are many ideas to create a strong hook to begin your article, including:

  • A good quote
  • Throwing readers in the middle of a scene or story
  • Making a controversial or contrarian statement
  • Sharing an alarming statistic or fact

What you don’t want to do is start diving into the body of an article unless you are providing a direct answer to a reader’s question, as asked in the title. 

6. Make Content Scannable

Furthermore, if you want to keep the reader’s attention, you need to break up the content. How many of us have clicked on an article and saw an endless scroll of paragraphs and clicked away. 

Break up content by:

  • Turning paragraphs into lists or bullet points
  • Limiting paragraphs to one or two sentences
  • Adding extra spacing between headers
  • Making headers specific (i.e. Asking direct questions readers came to have answered)
  • Inserting images or other media
  • Featuring a video or infographic before the text for quick consumption

Readers who read your content for your thoughts will be less intimidated by broken-up content and those who come for specific answers to subtopics will benefit from being able to scroll and get those answers. 

7. Use Simple Vocabulary

Writing thought leadership content is not about writing puff pieces to inflate your ego. Thought leadership content should be written to match your audience’s knowledge level and can be quite simple. 

First, avoid confusing jargon and lingo. 

Secondly, don’t assume your audience knows anything they don’t. Provide details and explain your points thoroughly so the average layman can become informed or inspired by your thoughts. 

8. Develop Your Voice

Next, you’ll want to develop a unique voice that separates you as a writer or a thought leader. This could include developing a certain style or perspective of a topic. 

There are many ways to develop your voice and it will ultimately depend on the type of content being written. However, by writing with authority, sprinkling in personal anecdotes, and experimenting with different styles, you could develop a unique voice that is recognizable to your audience. 

9. Write with Authority 

Ultimately, thought leadership boils down to topical authority. However, you’ll need to adjust your writing style to become more authoritative or confident in your voice.

Some tips include:

  • Providing direct and succinct answers
  • Writing in an active voice
  • Cutting out fluff when unnecessary
  • Backing up claims with evidence (i.e. trusted sources, data, research)
  • Being as thorough as possible

Authoritative sources are the end-all sources of information required to complete a task or understand a subject. Be as thorough and useful as you can to earn that trust and veneration. 

10. Tell a Story Through Content 

As much as it’s important to be authoritative, it also pays to be relatable. Research shows that people desire storytelling, so telling a story with data, adding in personal anecdotes, or providing historical context for a given topic is a great way to hook readers and keep them engaged. 

Additionally, if you’re telling a personal story about a topic, you could make topics more relatable by relating your failures and successes in dealing with a situation. 

One of the most popular emergences in the content marketing industry has been the rise of data-driven content. Telling a story with data is a great way to provide them with a foundation and context. 

For example, data-driven content about the rising mental health epidemic is a great way to lead into an important topic, discuss factors leading to this rise, provide historical context, and offer possible solutions. 

Don’t be afraid to tell a story, even if you don’t think of yourself as a topical authority just yet. People desire stories and easily get bored by bland facts and descriptions. 

11. Add a Call-to-Action

Finally, thought leadership should inspire action. For people in the political sphere, it could involve advocating for policy reform or a new zeitgeist. For us, in the B2B sphere, it could include just pushing people toward your website or services. 

Regardless, be sure to end all content with a CTA that inspires your readers to take the information you’ve just provided so they can apply it to real-world problems you just solved. 

One great tip is to have your readers start small. For example, say you’ve provided a how-to video or blog on composting. Instead of encouraging viewers to go out and spend lots of money on a new compost kit, have them start small with a DIY plastic bin from their closet and allow them to track their progress. If they’re encouraged by their progress, then you could include links, videos, or content on composting bins and products your business provides. 

Ultimately, your thought leadership content should encourage readers to continue engaging with your brand, whether it’s signing up for a free newsletter that leads to a future purchase. 

5 Strategies to Pump Out Thought Leadership Content Like a Pro

Now that we’ve established how to write thought leadership content, it’s time to leverage the following strategies to become a thought leader through content.  

1. Increase Your Writing Output

While we often state that quality trumps quantity in writing, thought leadership requires greater devotion to the craft. If you want to keep readers continually engaged with your brand and seek new customers, you need to produce content frequently.

At a minimum, weekly posts on your personal blog or website will keep traffic flowing to your website and readers coming back for more. Ideally, you would want to post multiple times a week, as readers can quickly become bored and lose patience waiting for new content. 

Additionally, you should write 1-2 pieces of long-form or editorial content on authoritative publications to keep gaining exposure and your brand relevant. 

The key to this strategy is to keep your brand relevant and your thumb on the pulse of the conversation. 

As a bonus, you should focus your early strategy on developing content clusters to build authority and appeal around a specific and niche topic, then expand to other areas. 

2. Invest in a Ghost Writer

As a self-starter and executive, it’s tempting to retain full creative and quality control by writing content by yourself. Yet, I’m often reminded of the opening of a Beach Boys song, “I know so many people who think they can do it alone.” But as Brian Wilson later says, there’s a better way to live.

Consider enlisting help from a highly qualified ghostwriter to augment your thought leadership content strategy.  

Ghost-written content is beneficial to your thought leadership strategy in two ways:

  1. Ghostwriters can help you keep up with the volume
  2. Ghostwriters provide high-quality content

Whether you’re a good writer or not, any C-level executive could benefit from a highly skilled ghostwriter. 

The ideal ghostwriter will match your voice, mimic your expertise, and write with authority. 

We have lots of experience writing for C-level executives and understand the delicate balance it takes to balance out a thought leader’s voice with the need to provide easily digestible information for readers. 

By hiring a ghostwriter, you won’t only get to increase the volume and quality of your content, but you’ll be able to focus on projects more important to your bottom line. 

As a side note, many white label agencies offer ghostwriting services so that you can gain access to a ghostwriter, team of editors, and even marketers to help you market your content. 

3. Find a Good Editor

Perhaps, most importantly, investing in a good editor is critical to any writer’s success. 

Again, you could either hire an editor in-house or contract editorial work from white label services specializing in content. 

Ideally, a good editor will:

  • Fix poor grammar
  • Eliminate any fluff
  • Keep content focused
  • Ensure all SEO boxes are checked

Similar to a good ghostwriter, a good editor will save you time from doing the work yourself so you can focus on more important tasks.

4. Be Strategic About Where You Publish 

Pumping out 2,000-word evergreen posts for your blog is great. But what if no one reads your blog? 

One idea you should think about is where you publish your content. Obviously, guest posting on a highly trafficked website will drive eyeballs to your content, but also think about where your readers flock.

Is your content more likely to appeal to business clients on industry publications or everyday readers on personal blogging sites like Substack or Medium? 

Like topic research, research your audience and find out where they go for information. One tactic is to look at where competitors or other thought leaders in your industry publish and mimic that strategy. 

5. Market Your Thought Leadership Content for Traction

Finally, you’ll need to do a little marketing to drive exposure to your brand. 

Consider the following strategies to market your thought leadership content:

  • Enrich the text with long-tail keywords
  • Share the post on social media platforms
  • Build organic links to it 
  • Feature it in your newsletter
  • Include links to it on PPC ads
  • Publish it on multiple mediums (E.g. A blog post on your blog and a video version on YouTube)

Contracting a digital marketing agency is a sound strategy to help market thought leadership content and drive eyeballs to it. 

Producing thought leadership content is a great strategy to build your personal brand, gain leads for your business, and establish yourself as a topic authority.

However, becoming a thought leader is not an overnight process. It takes time to develop a readership and requires a big investment to produce long-form content and lots of it. 

Experiment with thought leadership content by researching and writing about a single topic close to your heart. From there, get it edited and market it around to high authority websites and see if you can get it published. If you start to see results and want to publish more, make it a part of your business plan and consider investing in a ghostwriter or partner to assist you. 

Ultimately, we’ve seen many clients experience a tremendous ROI from investing in thought leadership content and elevating their brands and businesses to new levels. 


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