2017 What is Thought Leadership? Writing Great Content for Beginners and Intermediates alike! | The Millionaire Dude

Content: Thought Leadership


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At some point or another, you may have read the phrase, “Content is King“. There is certainly some validity to this statement, but I employ you to dig a little deeper on the subject. What I mean to say is “The Right Content is King”. The “Right” content is referred to as Thought Leadership. What’s the difference? Well, as time progresses, we move closer and closer to AI (Artificial Intelligence) and along the way, search engines like Google (who are on the forefront of AI) develop more and more sophisticated algorithms to crawl webpages searching for, what it believes, is exactly what the user wants. Google’s current (2017) and greatest desire is to provide the best user experience possible!

What does Thought Leadership and Content Marketing have to do with Google?

When a user logs on to Google and types in “how to make fresh lemonade”, the search engine is doing its best to find real recipes, tutorials, and similar interesting / relevant material. With equal importance, Google is trying to prevent the user from landing on spam sites, dangerous malware, and boring material. Yes, that’s correct! Google pays people to evaluate the search engine and provide feedback. The search engine giant has become so adept at this, they have actually taught its algorithm to sift through site content with great precision weeding out sites that “borrow” copyrighted material, have material with little relevance, or material the program considers…BORING! 

Dude Tip: once content is written and published on a website, it is automatically copyrighted

(For more insight on Google Page Ranking visit the article Google: Getting Ranked)

So, with Google doing what it can to provide the greatest user experience possible, it has designed a strategy to reward sites that post original, interesting, and relevant content (that isn’t ad focused). Sounds like a lot to be wary of, but in reality, knowing this makes a bloggers job a little easier (IMHO).

The Right Content is King: Thought Leadership

Thought Leadership: A thought leader can refer to an individual or firm that is recognized as an authority in a specialized field and whose expertise is sought and often rewarded. From the greatest Thought Leader online: Wikipedia

The main idea behind thought leadership, is to become an authority among your peers and within your industry. As an authority, you must produce unique, interesting, and thought provoking material. Your content should dig deeper into answering important and sought after questions. It also needs to be written in a format your audience enjoys reading (not boring) lol. (Is anyone else a little bothered by the fact a computer program is telling us what is boring? but The Dude digresses…)

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The Thought Leadership Goal?

In the past, bloggers have been reviewing products, writing material, and ad marketing to sell these products. This writing style worked well in the past, and review sites are still relevant. But as the future of search engine optimizing continues to change, so has the content writing. Therefore, the goal of thought leadership is really to create more of a space that emphasizes content value over advertising. Our readers are becoming more savvy and learning to block out the “in your face advertising” techniques of old. Now they seek sites with real answers to their questions and a “not so salesy” approach. Think of it as a move away from the annoying used car salesman tactics and a move toward the “take a look around my site, If you need anything, I’m here to help!” approach.

What’s In It For The Marketer?

The idea behind blogging and selling products online has been to “solve a problem”. Someone has a problem, they turn to Google or YouTube to solve it. If our information and product solves our readers problem, they become a buyer and we earn a commission. However, these days, if our material is more like a sales page than information, the reader is inclined to move on and never return. If that isn’t bad enough, your sales page is going to get penalized by Google’s new algorithm for lack of relevant and informative material. The result is, you’ll drop off in rankings.

As a Thought Leader, the owner of the site can focus on real solutions to their readers problems, instilling confidence in their site. If your readers trust your site, what are the chances they come back or share the material? In one case study of Thought Leadership, an automotive company was able to increase their sales over a 9 month campaign. It took 3 months before sufficient traffic generated revenue. But month 3 proved to be profitable, and from there the revenue increased significantly. By month 9 they were bringing in almost an additional $40k a month. Thought Leadership helped them increase their page ranking and the revenue generated from the site shows the power of this content marketing approach!


Tips To Get You Started:

  • Identify Topics that closely match your niche
    • Find out who the authorities are on this topic
      • Compete to provide stronger material than your competition
  • Identify ALL the Questions and potential Problems your audience is asking and trying to solve
    • Make a list and attempt to solve each one starting with the most popular
      • Look at your competition and seek to have the strongest answer to these questions
      • Answer the questions in way that adds value to your readers
        • Ex. Video Tutorials, Pictures, Thought Provoking Analogies

Lastly, don’t forget to inject your own personality into whatever you are writing. People identify and REMEMBER personalities. You may be liked and you may be hated for expressing yourself, but you’ll always be remembered. I will never forget watching the Howard Stern movie “Private Parts” when the producer asked about his ratings. The response was the average person who liked him listened to his show for (let’s say) 1.5 hours. The one’s that hated him, listened for 2.5 hours. Both had the same answer as to why they listened: “They both wanted to know what he was going to say next”. Be bold and be yourself!


What do you think about being a Thought Leader? What is working for you? I’d like to read your comments!

Check Out These Other Related Articles:

Thought Leader-On My Dudes!

-The Dude

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22 thoughts on “Content: Thought Leadership

  1. I love what you did with this article. You really hit on some very strong points that many people may not know about how goolge works. It is pretty interesting how darn smart they are at searching content on the web.

    But I agree this is a good thing. It is great for the people searching for good stuff on the web. And it is also good for people who are genuine and hard working!!

    I have been making websites on the web doing it the wrong way by creating several websites at a time. Yet I have one website that google loves.

    If only I had focused all my time on that website. I would be on the first page big time. So I know your advice is good advice!

    1. Nice to meet you and thanks for the comment! Starting several sites at the same time is like starting several brick and mortar companies at the same time lol. That sounds intense! Glad to hear Google loves one of your sites! Google Analytics is a great tool for taking content to the next level and figuring out which keywords work. Some people choose to use a service like Jaaxy. But if you don’t want to put money into that, you can just check out Google Keyword Tool. For anyone that doesn’t know, you WILL have to set up at least one account wiht a credit card. Doesn’t mean you need to start an ad, but that is the “cost” of the service.

  2. Hi There,

    Very thought provoking article and I do totally agree with your article. In Particular injecting your own personality and a little humour here and there where appropriate. Thsi technique helps to humanise your brand and standout a little more Vs being a cold boring web page/web site.

    There are particular reasons as why, in a competitive market that people choose to buy from you are not a competitor, or one of teh many competitors!.

    My own humble opinion on that is that people connect to people and not the particular site in question (but the person behind the content!)

    1. Good to meet you Derek! I certainly agree. When you are yourself, everything just works better. The funny thing is that people are scared to be themselves, as they are concerned they will be offensive. I say, the heck with that. If you are an offensive person, own it! You will piss people off, but you will find others that equally offensive and love you for being their voice! These people will be far more loyal to you than if you choose the middle road. lol. Thansk for the comment Derek!

  3. What a real eye opener this article was!
    I wholeheartedly agree with what you say about switching focus from being sales oriented to solution oriented and it is something I endeavour to do myself, but I had no idea how the search engines worked in this respect.
    I particularly like you reference to the movie ‘Private Parts’ to emphasise how important it is to make your site visitors remember you and to stimulate an urge in them to come back and check up on what you’re doing. Comments are content and content means rankings at the end of the day.

  4. Thanks for the information. I’ve been thinking about your suggestions even before reading your article. For now I’m not trying to sell anything and am just concentrating on content in my blog. I think I’ll infuse the affiliate marketing in a little bit later than most as I want to make sure to provide quality content so hopefully, Google search engines will take this into account. Thanks again for the suggestions!

    1. HI Jeremy, nice to meet you! One thing at a time is how anything gets done. I like your approach, it is important to focus on the content before entering your affiliate links. Other than writing excellent content… what are you doing to promote your articles? Remember, Google 1st needs to index your site (so make sure to submit your xmlsitemap through the Search Console). After that… make sure you are associated with the normal media networks. G+ and YouTube are the best because they are both owned by Google. and google loves google. Naturally.

  5. This was very informational. Thanks for taking the time to write. The more and more the age of the internet grows, the more value Google wants to provide for the reader. I am so glad that we’re moving past the sales type blogs because I hate those. I think they’re a waste of time. I will continue to pump out genuine content and focus on providing information for my readers.

    1. Agreed! Part of me misses the Google Hacks when you could post a bunch of bs backlinks and get ranked #1 lol. But this only makes sense. That said… working from home is now challenging bloggers like ourselves to put our quality work and therefore ultimately making the world a better place. The weak will fall off whilst the strong and dedicated THRIVE! So Thrive-On Jonathan!

  6. Hi Anthony,

    Being helpful goes a long way in Google’s eyes. Excellent points here.

    Gone are the days of gaming da Google system with blogs suffering from ad frenzy and other desperate, manipulative maladies related to putting monetization over sharing helpful content.

    Hold this intent: help people. Naturally, the intent will bleed through all you do with your blog and brand. Meaning you will write helpful posts that have a solid shot of ranking well in Google as your reach expands.

    I never try to be a leader, honestly. I just have fun and help folks with blogging. The fun and helpful energies flow through my posts and I have reached page 1 on Google for some wicked competitive keywords.

    Thanks for sharing 🙂


    1. Hey Ryan! I always thought the best leaders were the ones that rose above. In other words, those that were not intending to be leaders, but through them just being themselves, they reached a level of authority for which people can learn from. If you did it having fun all the way through… how cool is that? lol Thanks Ryan. I’ve learned a lot from your bloggingtips.com site as well. As always, thanks for the comment. Enjoy the weather!

  7. Great article Dude! I especially like your point about reviewing the competition’s material and striving to provide better and more complete information for your audience. As a newby blogger, this is an extremely helpful article. It’s easy for a newby to get caught up in worrying about rankings and forget about why you’re really there, to help people. Thanks for the reminder!

    1. Thank Ryan! Long gone are the days of hacking Google and I think it is for the betterment of everyone. It used to be generating as many links as possible regardless of the type of website. Then it was product focused domain names that would get you 1st position. All of these things led to salesy sleazy tactics to get sales. There are still many tactics being used, but the consumer is getting wiser and so is google. The tried and true “great content” will always be. It will take longer… but the end result will be a solid and lasting website that helps people and rewards the owner for their efforts.

  8. I agree with all your points above.
    The struggle is real for bloggers that want to create review post but does not want to come across so ‘salesy’ – lol, I learned anew word from you.

    Therefore things like video review works these days. Apart from readers that tend to appreciate media content, they will feel it is a genuine review as they see the reviewer actually buy and test a certain product.

    1. Hi Habil, that is the truth. If you are providing reviews, it is important to learn as much about the product as possible. Don’t lie. If you are just writing content, it is important to provide well detailed information. Don’t be afraid to go past 1000 words. As we progress through this new age of content writing and google page ranking, more words seems to provide evidence of quality. However, fi people bounce frmo your website too quickly because you are sacrificing quality for wordcount, you will eventually provide google wiht evidence that your site is less than adequate for its users.

  9. Seeking real answers to real problems really hit me in your post. It’s easy to get side tracked, and I totally agree. Folks get tired of in your face advertising. We all just want an honest assessment with honest advice to make informed decisions. It’s difficult to try and interject my personality in my posts, but it was a great reminder. Would you say that the number one focus of being a thought leader is just being yourself?

    1. Hi Patrick, nice to meet you and great question. I think it depends on your audience and your site. If you are site is political or entertainment i would definitely say personality over information. If your blog is about software and tech support, I would focus more on answering the big questions dominating the industry with a little personality. Either way, when you are writing, your personality will eventually shine through. If you check my #1 recommendation, you will see I may have added too much personality there. I scaled back on my other pages. I am just trying it out, and you can do this as well. See what style works best for your audience.

  10. What an interesting article. I find it fascinating how google is forever changing their parameters of how websites and articles get ranked. It’s good to know their latest thinking!

    Thought Leadership totally makes sense – I see an awful lot of articles with far too many advertisements and pop-ups and it just puts me off reading them. I’m very pleased it’s heading this way – to more authentic, authoritative content.

    1. Hi Louise, nice to meet you! I completely agree. It is not as easy to get off the ground anymore, but it is certainly taking a step in the right direction for the average person to have a legitimate site and earn an income.

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