In my last post, I talked about how to make space for yourself on social media. A great way to get noticed is writing blogs and articles for sites online. I recommended taking advantage of LinkedIn and its free blogging platform. Now I'll give you a few tools for doing exactly that.
A quick word about fear: Telling yourself you don't know what to write is cop out. Look around at the quality of blog posts on the LinkedIn Pulse or other websites. Do you read posts and begin to break apart arguments and points made there? Then you have what it takes to write a coherent article for publication. Get over yourself and do it.
Posting on LinkedIn is not like writing a term paper for college. You must keep the length of your dissertation between 500 and 700 words otherwise people will tune you out. Doing this will also force you to get to your point quickly. The majority of readers on LinkedIn don't want to take more than five minutes to read anything. Keep it short.
Pick a point and provide three supporting thoughts. Things work best in threes. There are tools within the template that allow you to set apart your thoughts with numbers or bullet points. Use this feature. It breaks up the page and makes the post more readable.
Keep your paragraphs small. If you put more than five sentences in a paragraph it's too much and the eyes of the reader will get lost in the sea of words. Keep your paragraphs short and simple. It may look funny to have a bunch of small paragraphs on the page. It's actually easier on the eye and will help keep the reader engaged.
Be Authentic And Real
You aren't writing a research paper to present in front of a tenure panel. You are collecting your thoughts and opinions about current events based upon your life experiences. Don't be dry and factual. Be authentic and real without crossing into needy and complaining.
Readers connect with emotion. Emotion sells. Facts just support emotion. Being humorous and honest about where you've been is great. Keep it professional. Connect with colleagues in your former field with common experiences.
One more tip: For the love of all that is holy, DO NOT sit in your proverbial rocking chair whining about how great things used to be. People just don't want to deal with bitter old person wagging their finger at the world. This is especially true when responding to comments you may receive on the post.
Use Tags To Get Noticed
At the end of the template is a feature where you can tags your post with relevant subject heading making your post easily found via search. This is especially helpful because professional groups on LinkedIn will search the Pulse on a daily basis to find people like you writing about topics they want to read.
The tags will automatically populate once you type in a few letters. This is also a great learning experience for you as you figure out what topics and ideas are relevant in your field today.
If a group picks up your article, you'll see the name tag and header at the bottom of your post just above the comments. It's quite satisfying to have your work featured elsewhere on the site. The comments and likes you get in response to your work will guide your future endeavors.
Proofread Your Work
Bad grammar and poor spelling will kill your credibility. Take the time to get the syntax and structure correct before you hit the publish button. Fix the details. Quality matters. It won't make you look awesome if your ideas and thoughts are incoherently written, but poor grammar and spelling will kill the best ideas before the end of the first paragraph.
Don't stress if you miss a comma or word, you can always go back into the post and revise it then republish it.
Use The Link Tool
You can answer a lot of questions about the background of your ideas by using the link tool in the template. Copy and paste the links to your sources into the pop up window when you click the icon. This will help you build credibility. Doing this shows you have taken the time to look at current information before you make your assertions.
It also helps those who wrote your source work with SEO and indexing. Authors have reached out to me thanking me for the links. The connections you create build the reach of others as well as help you get noticed.
Use this tool to build an ongoing thread to past work. Quote yourself from previous posts with links to build an ever-growing story about your professional growth. It's another way to develop credibility with readers.
The link tool helps you answer the question of why without the need to go off on a tangent losing the reader in the process. If the reader has a question and you provide an answer they can quickly click to get, you've built more credibility.
Be professional and thoughtful. Be honest and get to the point. It's easy to take advantage of the platform and use it to free form your feelings about the nature of the universe. That's not what LinkedIn is about.
You'll see many posts for real estate listings or Kickstarter campaigns. Thoughtful discourse is a much better read than someones blatant attempt to get you into a multi-level marketing system.
Be persistent and patient. You won't build an audience of 10,000 until you build an audience of one. Consider posting once or twice a week. Focus on quality. Keep moving.