LinkedIn for Bloggers
Years and years ago, when I worked in recruitment, I had to become seriously good at LinkedIn. You wouldn’t actually believe how many Doctors there are on LinkedIn. It was like a free headhunting resource that anyone who had the time to invest in learning the platform properly had access to. Since then, I’ve pretty much always used it. Although I didn’t use it much in my care job – I have always used it for my blog. Recently, I made a blogger group on LinkedIn and I have been surprised at the feedback on how much LinkedIn for bloggers just simply isn’t happening. There are a number of different bloggers who are using the platform really well, and there are some who have admitted to me they don’t even know where to start. There are a number of ways LinkedIn for bloggers can be a helpful resource and a great source of traffic. You just need to know how to use it.
Get the lie of the land(scape)
One of the first and best things you can do if you are going to try and use LinkedIn for generating traffic to your blog is to find out how all of the social channels you are using work. I wrote a post a little while ago on how the social algorithms work, which is a good start. If you want to start really using social like LinkedIn to drive traffic though, you’ll have to get down to the knitty gritty. With LinkedIn I found myself that it was a good strategy to start with my profile so that I appear in searches (I used this book). Then, I built out my knowledge of the platform as a whole. I read some great books about LinkedIn on my Kindle for iPhone app, and I actually came across LinkedIn for Dummies, which was incredible. One of the tricks to LinkedIn is to get people talking in the comments sections of your posts, and trust me, EVERYONE has an option so it isn’t hard to do! I’ve had a few set-back where trolls have questioned how appropriate what I am posting for is for LinkedIn (how horrid they were you would think it was nudes but it was literally a restaurant review), but all said and done I now get slightly over 50% of my traffic from LinkedIn.
Complete your profile
This may sound like an obvious tip, but so many people don’t realise that they haven’t completed their profile properly. As a blogger, you are going to want your profile to show up in searches made by PR’s or brands, so the more information, the better. Ensure all of the links to your website and social channels are working and up to date. You may even consider adding links to a few of your favourite articles or any guest articles you have written for bigger websites, which shows big brands trust you to create content. You also need to be mindful of the job role you are creating for yourself. For the last year or so, it certainly seems that “blogger” is out and “influencer” is in – so why not add both? Think of what you would search for as a brand looking to work with someone, and work back from there.
Build connections the RIGHT way
LinkedIn for bloggers isn’t all about just connecting with potential clients who may want you to create content for them. It is a great way to build up a network of other bloggers to lean on for support and see how they do things differently to yourself. When you first start on LinkedIn, it can seem like a good idea to just accept everyone that requests you, but this can be counter-productive. If you only accept people in your field, this gives you more of a chance of showing up in the “people also viewed” section. If you just use a scatter approach and add everyone, LinkedIn will not be able to define your industry and you will just show up in random searches. By honing this down to the industry you want to be associated with you give yourself more of a chance of the RIGHT people finding your profile. Also, as a blogger, you probably enjoy reading other blogs, so other people who blog are more likely to enjoy yours. It makes sense, right? LinkedIn for bloggers doesn’t have to be over complicated.
Be an active member of the LinkedIn community
There is nothing worse than link spam. You know the bloggers I am talking about right? The ones that literally do not engage with anyone or anything and just constantly post links to their content. Well, LinkedIn for bloggers isn’t different in this respect from any of the other social networks. Unless you are a valuable member of the community you have created it is unlikely anyone will read your content. That isn’t to say that you shouldn’t post links – just think about how much you are contributing other than them. Comment on other peoples posts, join groups, create thought-provoking statuses that encourage reaction and then just drop in your links when the time feels right for you to be able to share them organically. If you have an article that is relevant to a conversation that is going on, by all means, post your link in the comments. You can also post links to articles and ask for peoples opinions, which is a great way to engage.
Groups aren’t just valuable for finding like-minded people. LinkedIn for bloggers is all about connecting AND learning. Your first port of call will obviously be any blogger groups available, but you can also branch outside of this to find some help in other areas. There are a number of digital marketing groups and groups that cover things that could be really useful to you, like groups that focus on SEO tips. The more groups you are a member of, yet again, the more searches you will show up in. It isn’t unheard of for brands and PR’s to trawl through groups to find bloggers that look suitable for their projects so the more groups you join the more chance you have of being found. Groups are also another great opportunity to find appropriate and relevant times to share your content.
Share content that promotes engagement
Like Facebook, LinkedIn’s algorithm thrives on engagement (unlike Instagram and Twitter it is cumulative and doesn’t depend on the engagement of a small sample of followers in the infancy of the post). Thinking every piece of content you write is going to work on LinkedIn is one of the biggest mistakes you can make as a blogger using the platform. If you really want LinkedIn to work for you, you are going to have to have a separate strategy and certain content earmarked for sharing on the social network. As it is more “professional” than the other networks more “professional” posts tend to work well. LinkedIn for bloggers also works really well if you have a piece of content that encourages debate. If you have written a post that comments on something in the news or a certain situation being discussed on social media it is likely this post will get a lot of attention. LinkedIn also tends to be a “slow burner”. You will usually find successful posts were actually created days, if not weeks ago. If your post doesn’t get engagement in the initial stages after you post it don’t get disheartened and delete it.
Follow influencers and comment on their content
Like Twitter, LinkedIn has recently started to verify people that are influencers in the business community – like Richard Branson. Due to the fact these accounts have huge followings, if you write a comment on their content it could mean it gets seen by a LOT of people. Make a list of influencers who fit your niche and follow all of them and look for opportunities to comment to boost your own profile, or even share articles that you have written that apply to the conversation. Obviously, if the initial post is promoting the influencers own content, they are not going to be thrilled with you sharing your own. But if the original post is just a conversation piece and you believe your content fits in with the discussion then by all means share it in the comments. Be prepared for backlash though, if what you have written is a bit controversial. If you don’t feel like you would be able to deal with negativity then it isn’t advisable to share your content on a post that could have such a wide reach.
Think of how you can benefit people
Recently, I realised what a MASSIVE head start I had doing a 9-5 job in digital marketing (and now programmatic media buying). Some of the terms the affiliate networks use honestly seemed like complete jargon to me before I worked doing this role. I wrote a post explaining some of the digital marketing terms, and it got loads of hits. Although LinkedIn’s algorithm is slow, you need to realise that the actual people using this network are more ruthless and business minded. They are people that skim over 100s of pieces of content on LinkedIn per day – so making yours something that will benefit them is a great way to stand out. Even people who are experts in a field may be interested to read your content to see if there are any different ways they could be doing things that would be more beneficial to them. Think about it from your own experiences. If you are on LinkedIn are you more likely to read an article about someone’s day out or an article that tells you how to absolutely smash Instagram stories? If you are on LinkedIn the chance are you have your “professional” head on and will be more open to content that teaches than content that you would engage with if you were scrolling through another social network, like Twitter.
Once you have started driving traffic, you may consider buying a book to help you make money from blogging.