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Should Your Brand Have a Blog? The Benefits of Thought Leadership
How to Get Started Writing a Blog
- Choose your topics wisely.
- Have a clear voice.
- Use outside data or information.
- Make it easy to read.
- Make it personal.
If you’ve been wondering if your brand should have a blog, you probably already know the answer. There is really no downside to having a blog, and there is plenty of upside. A well-written and informative blog can attract new business, improve your brand recognition, keep your existing customers engaged, improve your SEO, and more.
What is Thought Leadership
Of course, having a blog on your website allows you to show you’re an expert and a leader in your field. Thought leadership is a type of content marketing where you showcase the talent and expertise of the people inside your business. You consistently answer the biggest questions people have related to your industry, and provide them with useful information.
Your blog posts can contain answers to frequently asked questions, case studies, white papers, interviews, webinars, infographics and more. The content should be informative and relevant to your audience. To stand out as thought leadership, the content needs to be well-researched and authoritative. Consumer and B2B companies can both use Thought Leadership to support their overall mission and branding efforts.
Because your thought leadership highlights your authority and expertise in your industry, it helps build trust between your customer and your brand.
What Thought Leadership is Not
A note on what thought leadership is not. Thought leadership is not self-promotion, or telling the reader about new products and services. There’s a place for that in your email marketing or on your social media channels.
The Benefits of Thought Leadership
Of course the main benefit of thought leadership is it increases your brand profile. That in turn results in a direct benefit in three main areas.
- Increased sales. Becoming an authority in your field through Thought Leadership results in increased sales. By sharing your knowledge and expertise, you gain the trust of your customers and peers. Consumers and business leaders are more likely to purchase goods and services from a company they trust.
- Increased influence. As a Thought Leader, you will become recognized as an expert in your industry. As a result, your thoughts and opinions carry greater weight, which increases your influence.
- Increased opportunity. As your profile as a Thought Leader rises, you may enjoy increased opportunities. This could include broadcast or print interviews, speaking opportunities, invitations to join the board of an industry organization and more. You can also create your own opportunity by becoming a guest contributor to various industry blogs.
How to Get Started Writing a Blog
As a thought leader, chances are all you have to do is write the blog, and someone else will take care of the technical aspects of optimizing it for SEO and actually loading it onto your website. With that in mind, we’ll just focus here on the actual writing. Some things to keep in mind:
- Choose your topics wisely. A good place to start is by writing blog posts that answer some of your customer’s most frequently asked questions. Another source of good topics is to discuss your take on industry trends or industry news. Go into some depth in your answers. Avoid blog posts that are a sales pitch in disguise.
- Have a clear voice. It’s actually a really good idea to write a blog post in the same way that you would speak out loud to someone. It’s more conversational, and lets you get your point across in a clear and concise way. Do your research on any topic, but put it in your own words and let your expertise shine through. Do not steal other people’s work.
- Use outside data or information. Yes, you are the expert, but using outside resources to back up what you are saying increases our credibility. You can use expert quotes, industry research or statistics, links to industry articles, and more. As a matter of fact, adding links to your blog helps your SEO efforts.
- Make it easy to read. By this we don’t mean dumb it down. What we mean is make the structure of the blog post easy to read. This means short paragraphs, use of headings and sub-headings, bullet points and numbered lists. As far as using big words or big concepts, know your audience and include definitions or examples accordingly.
- Make it personal. Use this opportunity to share your stories of success or failure. Your experience is valuable to your reader, and helps build a relationship.
Don’t Give Up!
Becoming a thought leader is not something you do overnight. It takes time and effort and a dedication to the article writing. But once you get started, you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to write down your thoughts on a question or topic. And if you really know your stuff, that expertise will shine through and you will gain credibility for yourself and your brand.