Are You Blogging On LinkedIn?
LinkedIn has rolled out their blogging tool to most users: instead of only key “influencers” having the option to post long-form posts, now the rest of us can – hurrah! Long-Form Posts allow users to post blogs targeted at other people in their industry (not just those people you are connected with), giving a greater level of exposure than many of us can expect through blogs on our website.
How Do LinkedIn Long-Form Posts Work?
First off if you can see a pencil icon in your status bar when on LinkedIn, this is the icon you need to click to create a long-form post. Once in the tool bar is very similar to many other blogging platforms, allowing you to insert headers, bullet points, images and link to urls etc. This means you can optimise your post for SEO (both for searches internally on LinkedIn and externally – Google etc.). If you can’t see the pencil icon try using this link to create your first LinkedIn Long-Form Post: https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/author/createArticle?trk=pulse-write-hdr_btn
Once you’ve published a post it is distributed to other LinkedIn users in much the same way as other social media updates. First displayed in the newsfeed of your connections and followers (members are given the option to follow people who are using this blogging tool); likes, shares and comments then spread your post to a wider audience; and if your post is deemed of high-quality by the LinkedIn algorithm it may then be distributed further through LinkedIn Pulse, email and other channels.
While of course we never know exactly what these algorithms are looking for, we can assume that it’s content that delivers value, uses a variety of relevant and connected keywords and therefore when optimising your post you should bear this in mind.
Key Advantages Of Blogging On LinkedIn
The main advantage is numbers. I have a few clients who I ghost blog content for their LinkedIn profiles, as well as their websites, and there is a very obvious difference in the amount of readers on both platforms. LinkedIn certainly gets a lot of traffic and those posts appearing on LinkedIn get more readers and notable more engagement than those on their traditional platform.
However, it’s not all good because a lot of the engagement we see seems to come from other professionals in their industry (not necessarily potential clients). Presumably this is because the posts are being targeted at other people with an interest in a particular sector, and also that many of my client’s connections are colleagues or industry peers.
Of course, ideally you want potential clients and customers to read your posts and then contact you to buy your services or product. So instead you should be thinking of these Long-Form Posts as an opportunity to build your authority on LinkedIn, raise your profile and therefore when potential clients search for individuals with your expertise you, or your posts, are high in search results. All the interaction that you receive from colleagues and other industry professionals doesn’t go to waste, it helps establish you as that authority – provided the comments you receive are favourable!
Any other cons…?
Most of us aim to use a blog to drive traffic to our website and convert a visitor into a sale (or at least generate a lead). Of course, you can bypass this up to a point by suggesting the reader contact you directly, or when blogging on LinkedIn, visit your website. You could also suggest that they connect with you on LinkedIn and then you can start relationship building here. This may happen, but what many people struggle with is converting engagement on social media platforms into tangible leads. You need to get them away from the distractions of LinkedIn, including other people’s posts, and keep them all to yourself! It’s a pay off – greater opportunities for exposure and engagement, but a more competitive environment than your own company website.
Using LinkedIn Long-Form Posts As Teasers
So far I’ve only got round to writing one long-form post (you can see it here); the perineal problem of never having time to practise what you preach. I’ve been considering how to make the most of this opportunity and still get visitors to my website where I can then nurture them further. Just saying “visit my website” with a link to your homepage doesn’t seem enticing enough, even “for more tips and insights visit my blog” is not going to see a rush of traffic.
Instead I’ve decided to use LinkedIn to post teasers, or mini-blogs, that link to another blog on my site. The lonely long-form post I have written is linked to one with more information on the theme of adding value and sharing your expertise in a blog. My aim is to start a discussion on LinkedIn and back it up with tips and advice on this blog. With only one post under my belt it’s too early to say whether this tactic will be fruitful, but the particular post linked to from LinkedIn has certainly attracted more visitors than average.
I think that Long-Form Posts on LinkedIn offer individuals and businesses some interesting opportunities, both for networking, driving traffic to their site and for enhancing their profile and standing amongst other professionals. If you are using this tool, how are you getting on? I would love to hear what is working for you, whether you feel it has been beneficial to your business etc., leave a comment below.
To complete the circle I’ll be writing a LinkedIn post that links to this blog in the not too distant future, if you found me first there please let me know!
If you would like to discuss a blogging strategy for your business, perhaps including blogging on LinkedIn, please get in contact. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07910 774214.