LinkedIn has over 500 million users worldwide.
I remember about ten years ago when it wasn’t crazy to think that social media sites like LinkedIn would go by the wayside.
The thought was that nearly all people would be on Facebook and that Facebook would simply add the features that other sites had.
But LinkedIn is still here and it’s very useful for a lot of people.
The reason is that people are on LinkedIn for professional reasons.
Intent is huge in business.
That’s why SEO is one of the most sought after sales and marketing channels. When people search for something you can usually figure out their intent.
The intent with Facebook is to keep up with personal information amongst friends and family. While that’s very useful it’s a little tricky when it comes to business.
But when users are on LinkedIn they’re usually thinking about their professional life.
Now, how can you earn the attention of users on LinkedIn?
The ways are pretty simple, but they do take effort.
One way is to publish articles on LinkedIn.
Basically, LinkedIn allows you to publish articles on an area of your profile. And those articles will be shared with your connections via the feed.
The feed is what you see when you go to linkedin.com and login.
Publishing an article on LinkedIn is just like publishing it on a blog or similar site.
But here are some tips for LinkedIn-specific articles.
1. Look At What Your Connections Already Like/Read/Share
There are a couple ways to do this.
First, I like to look at my own feed. I look at what my connections are sharing. Usually they’re sharing articles, videos, etc. They’re liking things. They’re commenting on things. They’re sharing regular text updates where they discuss certain topics or ask certain questions.
Second, I also like to go to a few connections and check out their profiles. I’ll see if they’ve published articles. I’ll check out their activity and see what they’re interested in.
Third, sometimes I’ll go off LinkedIn to see if the person uses Twitter or another site to see what they’re sharing on that site.
What I’m trying to do is figure out what the most popular topics are that my connections care about.
You can start by publishing LinkedIn articles about what you think your connections care about, but a little research upfront can really help cut into the learning time.
There’s still a learning curve, but this effort really helps.
2. Identify Gaps In Popular Topics
Once you start seeing similar trends in topics you want to go a step deeper.
You might see that your connections are sharing a large percentage of articles on investing. Retirement savings. Things like that. So you know your connections are interested in this topic.
Now go to Google and find the top ten or so online sites that publish articles about investing.
Or just click on the articles your connections are sharing.
See what those sites are mostly writing about and look for gaps in their coverage.
Maybe they’re talking a lot about stocks. You could write articles about stocks, but you might find more success by writing about other areas of investing like investing in private businesses or even “boring” investments like storage facilities and commercial real estate.
Identify the topics your connections care about and look for the gaps in coverage.
3. Answer Questions
An overarching strategy for writing articles is to answer the questions your connections are asking.
Sometimes your connections will ask questions directly right on their feed. They’ll usually start with something like, “Does anybody know…” or something like that.
Other times you’ll have to get more creative…
You could visit the articles your connections share and skip to the comments. See what people are asking.
Search for the topic of the article on Google. See what the suggested searches are and see if any are in the form of questions.
Type the topic in Quora and see what questions people are asking around that topic.
Or direct message a few connections on LinkedIn and ask them what information they’re looking for right now as it relates to their job.
Once you have the questions you have your assignments for writing. Aim to answer the questions.
4. Include Stats/Research/Quotes
This is something people seem to really like. It kind of validates claims you make in your articles.
Let’s take the investing topic above.
If you write an article about investing in storage facilities and want to really convince people that it works then include a link to a study like this one.
Studies, surveys, research, quotes and even your own data can really provide value to your connections when they’re reading your articles.
5. Aim For Quantity
But shouldn’t we aim for quality?
Yes, but I’m a believer that you can’t get quality without focusing on quantity.
I was just listening to the Shania Twain interview on the Bobby Bones Show.
One thing they touched on was the days leading up to Shania getting signed by a Nashville label. She was taking on any singing gig she could. And she was writing every day. As many songs as she could write.
Maybe she knew what she was doing or maybe not. It doesn’t matter. She wrote a lot of songs and that was a learning experience. Over time she got better and better and it lead to her eventually writing hit songs.
If she would have sat down with the goal of writing only one song, one really great song she probably wouldn’t have done it. She needed the quantity to learn what quality was.
Take the same approach with writing articles. Aim for quantity. It will lead to quality.
6. Focus On The Long Term
Publishing articles on LinkedIn is a long term strategy.
We’re talking years.
But that’s the timeline for just about anything worth doing in business.
Look at any successful person and chances are they spent years getting to the place they are now. Lots of years.
We could look at the Shania example. Years of writing songs before she wrote a hit.
Get into a habit. One article a month. One a week. One a day. And do that for years.
Then look at engagement a year at a time. Maybe six months at a time. That’s where you’ll see consistent growth.
Looking at it day to day or month to month won’t give you a good indication. There can be too much fluctuation especially early on.
LinkedIn is a great place to engage with professionals. If you’re in business and you sell to other businesses it’s a great network to build. Or if you’re looking to hire the best people it’s a great network.
Publishing articles on LinkedIn is a great way to provide value to connections. It’s a way to engage them and to build your following.
The tips above are straightforward, but they will work to help you publish the best articles on LinkedIn.