4 Tips to Write a Compelling Op-Ed

April 14, 2023


Written By: Shaelyn Stone


An op-ed (formally “opposite editorial”) can be an effective way to widely share your opinion on an important, timely topic.
But writing an op-ed may not be as simple as it sounds. What does it take to write a compelling opinion piece that will grab an editor’s attention and resonate with readers?

Sunwest Account Supervisor and media relations expert Shaelyn Stone shares four tips that will make your op-ed stand out and, hopefully, get published!

Identify the right topic.

  • Utilize this winning equation: current event + your passion + your expertise = a compelling op-ed.
    • The topic must be timely and relevant.
    • Ideally, your chosen topic should be something that moves you emotionally. If you’re taking the time and energy to write a 600+ word article, shouldn’t it be on something you care about?
    • Don’t fall prey to imposter syndrome when writing an op-ed. If you’re writing about a topic that’s very familiar to you, be confident that you have a seat at the table.


Bring a new insight or perspective.

  • Don’t simply repeat what someone else has already said, or your voice will get lost in the noise.
  • Many times, the uniqueness of an op-ed is found in the writer’s personal experience. So don’t be afraid to share relevant pieces of your personal and/or professional journey.


Stay true to your own voice.

  • Some people like long, complex syntax. Others like to keep things short and simple. Your particular writing style is part of what could make your op-ed intriguing for audiences (as long as it’s easy to read!). Be confident in being yourself when writing your op-ed.


Always think about the call to action.

  • Without a call to action, an op-ed isn’t an op-ed. This is your chance to inspire readers to “go forth and…” What’s the action you’re asking people to take? And who, exactly, are you asking to take that action?
  • Remember, attention spans and memory capacity of audiences are extremely short these days. That means you must grab a reader’s attention quickly. Make sure your “ask” is crystal clear.