LinkedIn is a virtual playground for B2B organisations. Unlike other social media platforms, LinkedIn’s main function is to specifically provide an online professional networking space. As such, all posts and articles shared on this platform have a (mostly) corporate slant. Hence, the attraction for individuals in B2B industries. Now, we’ve previously explained why B2B blogging matters more than ever when it comes to increasing awareness, building trust, and even bringing in new leads. With this in mind (considering its audience demographics), blogging on LinkedIn should form an integral part of your B2B blogging strategy.
So, let’s take a closer look at how blogging on LinkedIn can help your business.
Articles vs. Posts: Ways of Blogging on LinkedIn
What’s the difference between an article and a post on LinkedIn?
This can be confusing. Mostly because you start to compose both in the same place on your profile. The status bar at the top of your LinkedIn homepage.
To add to the confusion, people sometimes use LinkedIn’s 1,300 character limit for posts as a microblogging tool. Effectively writing really long posts that act as a short blog.
There are benefits to doing this, of course. For instance, you can drum up some decent user engagement and interaction from within your network (and beyond) via the comments beneath the post. Using hashtags makes your content searchable too, and you can incorporate links to your website.
However, it’s important to remember that your content doesn’t belong to you. It belongs to LinkedIn. And if it goes down or your profile gets deleted, so does your content. Furthermore, you can’t back it up.
These are two key benefits of having a blog on your own website. Nevertheless, there are still plenty of benefits to blogging on LinkedIn which we’ll explore in detail below. But, for the sake of balance, we felt it necessary to mention some of the cons as well as the pros.
So, back to posts and articles. Essentially, a post is something akin to a status update (as you would on Facebook). Conversely, an article is simply a blog by another name.
LinkedIn articles offer you some basic editing tools that allow you to create a large, visible headline, separate body copy, and the chance to insert various media into the document (images, videos, slides, links, snippets).
For the most part, posts tend to be short(ish) and sweet(ish). Whereas articles are more in-depth explorations of a topic, benefitting from formatting to make them more visually and aesthetically appealing.
How Do I Start Blogging on LinkedIn?
It’s important to realise that blogging on LinkedIn is just like blogging anywhere else. Firstly it needs to have a purpose and an audience in mind. Then it needs to provide a unique perspective or insight that’s of value to your readers.
Get to grips with blog writing. Check out these Social INK Guides:
- How to Start a Blog
- How to Start a Blog for Free
- Generate Blog Ideas That Will Grow Your Business
- How to Start a Blog as a Small Business in 7 Days
Once you know what you want to write about then it’s over to your LinkedIn profile to click the ‘Write an article’ link on the status bar. Before you do this though, we recommend you type up your blog article in Microsoft Word or on Google Docs first. For one thing, it makes it a lot easier to check spelling and grammar. Additionally, you can more easily edit your blog and play with heading formats, without the risk of publishing an unfinished piece by mistake.
After you’re done writing, consider finding an appropriate or eye-catching image to use as your LinkedIn blog’s cover image. The more visually appealing it is, the more likely you are to attract people’s attention, gain readers, and amass engagement.
Check out these 12 Free Image Sites to Raise Your Content Marketing Game for inspiration.
With that done it’s just a case of copy-pasting your content into LinkedIn’s editor (see the images above), checking the formatting, and adding any links or rich media, such as images, videos, or slides to jazz up your text.
Then it’s time to click ‘Publish’. You can’t preview your content before you publish but the draft form is an accurate representation of what it will look like once the blog goes live. You also have the option to share your draft with other people before you publish. After all, a second set of eyes might pick up on something you missed.
Why You Should Blog on LinkedIn
Previously in this blog, we mentioned some of the potential drawbacks of solely blogging on LinkedIn. It is ill-advised to concentrate all your content marketing and social media marketing on a single platform. Especially one that you have no control over. We would always advise having your own blog on your own website held on servers maintained by a reputable host, as well as blogging on LinkedIn.
Given these points, having a blog on LinkedIn does have some additional benefits that make it very worthwhile for businesses and individuals.
The Compounding Effect of Shares
Firstly, LinkedIn articles are very easily shared. And not just by your network. LinkedIn members can easily search for articles by keyword and find hundreds of relevant blogs. As a result, it’s extremely important to write LinkedIn blogs that are interesting and shareable. The better the insight and the more entertaining the read, the greater the chance it will be shared. In fact, sharing is one of the greatest benefits of blogging on LinkedIn. All users need to do is click a button and off it goes to their network. Effectively, blogging on LinkedIn becomes another great way of promoting your business — for free.
If you write something insightful and shareable, you’ll soon see engagement increase with reactions and comments as well as shares. All this has a compounding effect on the attention you drive towards your business. With this in mind, it’s always useful to include links back to your website, blog, or specific landing pages both within your article and in the first comment box beneath the post. Just to make sure people know where to find out more about your business.
Notify Your LinkedIn Network
Another key benefit of blogging on LinkedIn is automatic notifications. As soon as you publish an article on LinkedIn all the connections within your network receive a notification. LinkedIn puts your blog in front of people who already share a level of connection with you and already browsing the platform. Effectively, this equates to free (targeted) advertising.
Thought Leadership Blogging
LinkedIn is a network of professionals. Business insight and thought leadership pieces are very much at home here. Blogging on LinkedIn is an opportunity for you to show you know your stuff to an audience of professionals. People who are looking to connect and network with people of expertise, knowledge, and experience. LinkedIn articles are a great way to prove you know what you’re talking about, and by extension, build trust and confidence in your brand. If you’re in B2B, this is invaluable.
Tips for Blogging on LinkedIn
Now you’re ready to start blogging on LinkedIn, here are a few tips to make sure you get the most out of it:
Avoid writing about multiple topics in one article. Keep your blog focused on one topic area and go into detail showing your expertise.
Of course, make sure you write on topics about which you have some level of knowledge and expertise. Remember, LinkedIn is a professional network. There will be people on there with a similar (better) understanding of what you’re writing about ready to comment or even call you out if you make unsubstantiated claims.
Establish a personable relaxed tone of voice in your writing. Just because LinkedIn is professional doesn’t mean your writing has to be stuffy. With this in mind, make sure your written tone of voice is an authentic representation of who you are.
Feel free to have an opinion. Just make sure it’s appropriate for the LinkedIn audience.
Only publish a blog on LinkedIn when you have something valuable worth sharing with your audience. Generally speaking, the more you blog on LinkedIn the greater your credibility and the stronger your professional profile will become. Dependent on the quality of your blogging, of course.
As with any type of blogging, pictures, videos, slides, and external links help break up the text, add variety, and show off your knowledge and expertise. So, consider jazzing up your articles to make them extra shareable.
LinkedIn offers some further suggestions for writing articles, here.
Can I Post My Blog on LinkedIn?
Remember when we said it’s always better to have your own blog as well as writing articles on LinkedIn? Well, that still stands. But, you can, of course, use LinkedIn to share articles taken from your own blog too. In fact, it’s good to strike a balance between blogging on LinkedIn directly and using it as a platform to share content from your own website.
To share a piece from your own blog, just write a post on LinkedIn (not an article!) and paste the link in. LinkedIn will automatically fetch a preview (page title, description, and thumbnail image) for the link. This means you can delete the URL you pasted into the post. It’s tidier that way.
Just be aware, link previews don’t always display properly. So you might want to brush up on how to fix link previews.
You may also be interested in our guide to Social Media for Small Business.
If this all sounds great but a little overwhelming, book a free consultation. We’ll guide you through exactly what you need to do to optimise your LinkedIn profile and help set you up for blogging.