On one level, LinkedIn announcing the rollout of its new user publishing platform may not sound like big news for your business. It's basically just blog functionality built into your LinkedIn account.
But on another level, it's great news for your business. The LinkedIn publishing platform could help you to build your network, engage with new customers and build your credibility as an expert in your niche.
Essentially, the creation process is the same as for any other blogging platform, such as Blogger or WordPress. Once you hit publish, your new content will appear near the top of your LinkedIn profile.
So on the technical level it's not tough to achieve. It's what you actually publish that you need to master.
In this article I'm going to discuss lots of ideas on how you can maximise the benefits of using LinkedIn's new publishing platform. But first, let's start by addressing what appears to be the biggest concern about using it.
Are There SEO Concerns Related To Using LinkedIn's Publishing Platform?
Unlike most areas of LinkedIn, the content you post using the publishing platform is viewable without logging into a LinkedIn account. This means Google can crawl and index your published content.
Some people are asking if this raises concerns around duplicate content.
Well, without stating the obvious, it only raises that concern if you do post duplicate content.
On top of that, duplicate content is only a major issue if it's duplicated across the same domain. That's when Google will hate you.
What we are talking about is actually syndicated content, across multiple domains. This happens all the time, and you don't see sites like Yahoo News being told off like a naughty schoolboy.
But to be really safe, there are a few things you can do to put your mind at rest:
1. Only publish the same content to your LinkedIn account once it has been published and indexed by Google on your main website/blog.
2. Rewrite the content for posting to LinkedIn. Refresh the copy so that it is not duplicate. In a way, you should be doing this anyway unless visitors to both destinations are identically targeted.
3. Only publish existing content to LinkedIn if you truly think it will add value to your LinkedIn audience and build your network. Don't publish everything you create just for the sake of it.
4. Use the rel=canonical tag in your initial version and refer to number one above.
What Publishing Strategy Should I Employ On LinkedIn?
The first thing to consider is what your publishing strategy is going to be, in detail. This means clearly understanding who your audience will be and who you are seeking to attract through publishing on LinkedIn specifically. Ask what your purpose for publishing is – and answer it!
This will allow you to generate highly relevant content that creates following, sharing and discussion opportunities.
Some people will make the classic mistake of trying to sell. Remember to add value, never sell.
Talk about business challenges and how you are overcoming them, hinting at excellence. Talk about your plans for the future, talk about your increased customer base, but never tout for business.
And remember, stick to your business expertise. Although moaning about how Manchester United lost last night may gain you empathy in the comments, it is not going to generate new business. On top of that, you are watering down your overall key message.
People want to follow and read what industry leaders say. They want everything to be tightly on topic, address concerns and answer questions. Anything you do which veers off topic may lead to them running for the exits.
You Need To Understand About Writing For The Internet
How you structure a blog post for consumption online is different to writing for other purposes. If you have not written a blog before, the style of writing can seem alien to you, especially if you are of the generation that remembers when there was no Internet.
In a nutshell, think about structuring your LinkedIn articles using the following guidelines:
1. The title is everything. If you don't hook people in from the title, they won't even bother reading the first paragraph.
2. Spend time writing a great first paragraph. Once they have read the title, they need to read a great first paragraph the gives a compelling reason to continue. When writing for the net, the only objective of each paragraph is to get the person to read the following paragraph.
3. Structure tight, punchy sentences. No rambling, multi-line sentences unless absolutely necessary.
4. Rarely use more than two sentences per paragraph. If you look at the best online writers, most of them only ever use one or two sentence paragraphs. This allows the eyes to drift down the page more easily.
It's especially important to remember that people will be browsing your LinkedIn publishing platform content on multiple devices. So text has to be easy to read at any resolution – and even on a shaking train!
Would You Like To Take Your LinkedIn Publishing To The Next Level?
If so, use video.
By 2017 67% of all material consumed online will be video. The best and most cunning in any niche are already embracing video blogging.
Video allows you to engage and convey ideas at twice the speed written content can. It allows you to increase the resonance of your message through audio and visual stimuli. In short, using video hits all the senses at once and creates faster understanding.
On top of that, seeing the person behind the words and the passion they have for the topic, builds on the cornerstones of doing business. They will get to know you, like you and trust you.
Finally, Make Use Of Every Last Resource!
Once you've finished your written, or video content, make sure you maximise the chances of people networking with you.
Put a bio at the bottom of your published piece, so that people can read more about who you are.
Use some of this space to link your website, to your Twitter feed, to your Facebook page. Try and get them to connect with you somewhere.
Also, make sure you have open comments and that you manage them.
People already buzzing online about the LinkedIn publishing platform are saying that there is a lot of profit in the comments. They are finding that lots of people who are commenting are not already networking with them.
This allows you the opportunity to personally respond to a comment and potentially gain not only a new person to network with, but to demonstrate credibility and professionalism with everyone you engage with.