LinkedIn provides virtual networking opportunities for users from all corners of the globe, but for the past two years it has also become the go-to place for many professionals who wish to publish long-form content.
As the world's largest professional network, LinkedIn launched its own publishing platform, Pulse, in February, 2014 to give users a meaningful new way to establish their professional brand. Pulse provides an opportunity to share professional expertise, but also to write about challenges, opportunities, and industry trends.
In other words, it provides an opportunity to really establish yourself as a "thought leader" in your field.
How to publish on LinkedIn
On your LinkedIn home page, click "Publish a post" to take you to the LinkedIn Pulse editor.
Once you're in the the LinkedIn Pulse editor, you'll come across a number of key features to familiarize yourself with.
If you've written any previous posts, you'll see them appear In the top left-hand corner under "Your Posts." Under "Your Posts," LinkedIn will also give you writing ideas based on your LinkedIn usage if you find yourself experiencing writer's block.
Above the editor, you'll find a large gray area for your featured image. Simply click on the gray box to upload an image from your computer. Images that are at least 700 x 400 pixels will give you the best results.
Follow the page down to "Write Your Headline" where, you guessed it, you write your headline! Noah Kagan from the marketing blog, okDork, analyzed 3,000 of the most successful content pieces on LinkedIn's publishing platform and gives the following tips:
- Headlines with titles between 40 and 49 characters perform best.
- "How-to" and listicle headlines offer best results.
- Headlines in the form of a question perform poorly relative to "how-to" and list-style headlines.
Remember, every time you publish a post, your connections get a notification that you have done so. The notification, however, only contains the title of your post, so if you don't capture people's attention immediately, they'll be quick to hit the exit button. To read Kagan's full analysis, click here.
Below the headline is the editor containing different formatting options that allow you to insert headers, quotes, and make other adjustments to the overall look and feel of your post. The icons on the far right of the editor let you add links, images, and video.
Scrolling to the very bottom of the page, you'll come across an area that lets you add tags to your post. This is a very important feature of the LinkedIn editor because by labeling your posts using categories, you make it easier for people to find your content.
Once finished, simply click "Publish" or "Save" the post for publishing at a later time.
Now that you know how to publish on LinkedIn, let's look at some suggestions for using the publishing platform successfully:
- Write about areas in which you have specific expertise.
- Do express your opinion(s) but don't go for the shock factor.
- There's no limit on word count and LinkedIn users tend to prefer longer posts. Try to make your post more than three paragraphs.
- If you have any relevant images, videos, or past presentations, include them in your post.
- Make sure you do your own editing because LinkedIn won't do it for you.
- Be authentic.
For more tips, go directly to LinkedIn.
If you'd like more information about LinkedIn's publishing platform, check these out:
- Best Practices for Publishing Posts on LinkedIn
- Here's What I Tell People When They Ask How to Crush it as a LinkedIn Writer
For some inspiration, take a peek at this week's top LinkedIn posts:
- Why the Future Is Bright for the World's Poorest Farmers
- Why We Snap at Work
- Let's not wait a century: 3 ways to close the gender gap now