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ebook cover How to create linkedin articles that people read and share

LinkedIn Articles Best Practises

How To Write LinkedIn Articles That People Read

How to create LinkedIn articles that get read and shared is one of a series of guides designed to help you simplify LinkedIn.

In this guide, I will assume that you have already created your own LinkedIn profile.

After you have configured and optimised your main LinkedIn profile - what can you do to expand your profile and keep it fresh? And more importantly, how can you build credibility and your reputation?

Continue reading to find out...

Image of Linkedin logo to depict articles

10x More Exposure

Increase Your LinkedIn Visibility

LinkedIn has over 600 million registered users worldwide. This is a fantastic opportunity to gain more visibility for you personally and for the services your offer.

Think of LinkedIn as a big database of potential clients or employers if you are seeking your next career move.

All you have to do is make sure that they find you!

One thing you can do to boost your chances of success is to publish inspiring articles on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Articles for business

The LinkedIn Algorithm

Before I delve into writing articles on LinkedIn, it is important to share some background on the LinkedIn algorithm, so you understand what will help you to get noticed.

Previously, celebrities and business figureheads such as Richard Branson and Bill Gates would dominate user’s feeds, making it much harder for the average LinkedIn user to gain any exposure.

This has now changed...

During 2019, LinkedIn updated its algorithm to make it a more even playing field and to boost activity amongst registered users.

LinkedIn even admitted there was a problem, they stated:

“More and more people are using the feed and giving feedback to their network’s posts: our members generate tens of millions of viral actions (likes, comments, and reshares), and the number is increasing more than 50% YoY.

However, we found that these increases weren’t equally distributed. In fact, at the beginning of 2018, we were in danger of creating an economy where all the gains in viral actions accrued to the top 1% power users, while the majority of creators who don’t receive much feedback were receiving less than ever.”

Discover how the LinkedIn Algorithm works

New Updated LinkedIn Algorithm

So they updated the algorithm to better promote posts from everyday users. Their goal was to encourage discussions between a wider range of people.

One key element they added was to reward users who create valuable content, referred to as “audience builders”, instead of simply showing content from people such as Richard and Bill, who tended to have a high number of connections or followers.

The idea is to keep users coming back time and time again to participate on the platform and in general, make LinkedIn more engaging and an active platform for business discussions.

As a result of more LinkedIn users seeing their posts (and articles) attracting responses (likes, comments & reshares), they will be encouraged to create and share content more often.

LinkedIn went on to say:

"The goal of feed ranking at LinkedIn is to help members discover the most relevant conversations that will aid them in becoming more productive and successful. Relevance is determined by our objective function which optimizes for three main components: The value to the member, the value to the member’s network (downstream effects), and value to the creator of the post."

This can be illustrated in the blackboard diagram below:

Diagram of how LinkedIn's algorithm works

Source:  https://engineering.linkedin.com/blog/2018/10/linkedin-feed-with-creator-side-optimization

In order to build your profile and presence on LinkedIn, you will need to create content (LinkedIn articles) which people in your network want to read, discuss and share.

So think about your specific audience, use #hashtags and include questions which will trigger engagement and comments.

Pro Tips To help you

LinkedIn Best Practises

Here are 12 best practises to improve your reach on LinkedIn:

  • Think about the most appropriate type of content for your post – will an image help illustrate it better, can you include a video or will the text be sufficient?

  • Diversify your content – include tips, opinions, quotes, videos, images or links to other content, to avoid it all being the same

  • Post content that will trigger a response – expressing opinions or asking direct questions will help

  • Remember to include keywords which users may be searching for – but don’t make it appear as if your content was written for robots

  • Invite others into the conversation by using @mentions - only do this with people who you know will respond with something valuable

  • Use #hashtags wisely – don’t flood your content with them, use them more as categories (2 or 3 at most)

  • Make sure you join in the conversation yourself – respond to comments to promote back & forth discussions

  • Think about optimising your content for mobile – approximately 60% of users access LinkedIn on their mobile phones, so prime your posts with compelling messages and images/videos which stand out

  • Time the posting of your content – LinkedIn is often busier in the morning when people are waking or travelling to work, then after lunchtime and into the evening

  • Upload native video to LinkedIn – start uploading videos directly into LinkedIn rather than linking from YouTube, Vimeo etc. LinkedIn prefers native videos

  • Use LinkedIn Live videos – if you have been granted access to the live video feature, it will be worthwhile testing this to improve your reach and engagement

  • Check your LinkedIn Social Selling Index (SSI) score – keep an eye on your SSI score each month to see which areas you can improve upon. Achieving a Top 1% score will help you.

Which is best and why?

LinkedIn Articles Vs Posts

A question that I always get asked is – “What is the difference between LinkedIn articles and LinkedIn posts and which is best?”

Let’s start with posts first.

What is a LinkedIn post?

Posts are what you “broadcast” onto the LinkedIn newsfeed (red section below) of your connections.

Image of a Linkedin post vs articles

Posts are a quick way to share content with your network and the wider community. They are limited to 1,300 characters and the positioning of any text in relation to an image or video is fixed – making them very easy to create and publish. That is why posts are what most users begin with.

However, there are some downsides to sharing posts:

  1. Their reach is largely dependent on the size of your network and the level of engagement – the smaller these are, the fewer users your posts will reach

  2. They can disappear into the abyss quickly. As more people share content, the quicker your post will be pushed out of sight

  3. They do not get indexed by search engines such as Google, so this confines the reach to within LinkedIn

  4. Posts also have very limited formatting options

What is a LinkedIn article?

Think of an article as a lengthy blog post or a magazine article. They are more in-depth and longer than LinkedIn posts. Longer articles (1,500+ words) tend to better received than shorter ones.

Note: articles can be up to 125,000 characters in length, so you can pretty much make them as long as you desire.

Any articles that you create are prominently located underneath the “About” section on your profile. This makes articles the ideal opportunity to position yourself as an industry expert, demonstrate your authority and become a thought leader.

Image of a LinkedIn article on profile

You also have access to editing tools, so you can style more professional looking content.

This allows you to insert headlines, multiple rich media items (images, videos, slides, links or snippets) and split your article into sections with sub-headings and paragraphs.

Linkedin writing articles image


LinkedIn Article Benefits

The three biggest benefits of articles are:

  1. They don’t get buried in the newsfeed like posts do. They remain prominent in the “Articles” section of your profile, meaning anyone who visits your profile can easily read them

  2. LinkedIn users who are not in your network can follow you from your article, it also means subsequent articles are presented in their newsfeeds

  3. If your profile is set as “public”, then search engines will pick up the articles, increasing your potential exposure to the entire Internet - not just to those within LinkedIn

You also have the ability to save your articles as drafts, allowing you to return later to finish them before pressing publish.

You don’t have that luxury with LinkedIn posts.

Which Is Best - Linkedin Articles or LinkedIn Posts?

As to which is the best – there are no correct answers to this, although I do recommend that you use both options.

To improve your standing on LinkedIn and to become an authoritative figure in your niche market, I would suggest you use LinkedIn articles.

To become more visible and to increase the size of your network – creating LinkedIn posts and interacting with other users posts will work best.

Personally, if I am looking to do business with another company or individual (or looking to recruit someone), I will read their articles (if they have any!) to review the quality of them and to see if they match the experience indicated by their profile (or CV).

I will rarely troll through their previous LinkedIn post-activity looking for reassurance – it is just too time-consuming!

Who sees my linkedin articles network image

Linkedin articles To share

How To Write LinkedIn Articles

Now to the section on how to write LinkedIn articles.

By frequently creating articles and publishing them on your LinkedIn profile, you will give users a deeper insight into you and/or your business.

If you are looking to win more new clients, keeping to topics which will resonate with their industry and the problems they may be experiencing will work wonders – especially if you can provide a solution!

Articles Quick Guide

From your LinkedIn profile homepage, click on the Write an article link at the top of the page.

Image of starting a linkedin post

This will open the LinkedIn Publishing page, to let you start creating your article.

LinkedIn publishing tool image


Upload A Header Image

Opening screen for uploading a LinkedIn article header graphic

Think about an image which will grab readers’ attention and which is also relevant to your text content.

The specifications for the image are:

  • 10MB file size limit

  • JPG, static GIF or PNG file format

  • 744 pixels x 400 pixels resolution

After uploading an image, you can insert a caption or credit by completing the Add credit and caption field beneath the image.

Write A Compelling Headline

Click on the Headline option and then begin typing your article headline. The headline is extremely important as its’ job is to entice users to click through to read your article.

Image of writing a linkedin headline


Use the formatting options in the toolbar to apply sub-headings and to highlight specific words or sentences by selecting bold, italics, underline and quote features.

formatting Linkedin headings options

It may be beneficial to link to external resources within the article content. To do this, highlight the word(s) you wish to create a hyperlink on, then select the link icon.

Adding links to article icon


When the URL box appears, enter the full URL (for example https://www.yewbiz.com) and then click Apply.


Insert Images, Videos, Slides and Snippets

I highly recommend that you include relevant images and videos in the body of your article. Click on the + icon to expand the rich media options below.

Inserting images or video option

Image showing how to insert image into LinkedIn Pulse


Depending on the rich media option you select, a pop-up window will appear directing you on how to upload or enter the resource - see below:


Upload image from computer iconExample - clicking on Image option

Insert video into article
Example - clicking on Video option

By using rich media, you not only make your article more reader-friendly it also boosts the chances that your article will be shared with other users.

You can view one of my articles as an example here "Outnumbered by Females".

I have used graphs and maps to illustrate the points in my article. You will also notice that I have ended the article by asking for readers to interact. By adding a call-to-action (CTA) it will increase the exposure of your articles.

Image of Outnumbered by females article


PS:
While you are viewing my example, please feel free to send me a LinkedIn connection request - I will be delighted to accept.

Publish And Share Your Article

Now you are ready to publish your article. Click the Publish button at the top right-hand side of the page. The following pop-up window will then appear.

Image showing how to publish a linkedin article


Complete the Tell your network what your article is about. Use #tags to help others find it field.

You have 700 characters to write a snippet which introduces your article to users. Use this as another opportunity to write a compelling statement to attract readers to click on the link.

I also recommend that you include 3 or 4 hashtags in here, as it will increase the article exposure.

To extend the reach of your article, consider sharing it on your Facebook and Twitter accounts and any other social platforms you have accounts with. You can also share the article link in your email newsletters to increase its exposure.

Re-sharing your linkedin pulse posts and articles

LinkedIn articles and activity

Re-share Your Article

As previously mentioned, one benefit of articles is that they stay visible much longer than LinkedIn posts.

However, sometimes it is worthwhile giving your article another boost by resharing it in a LinkedIn post at a later date.

Try to extract 3 or 4 different angles from your article. This will allow you to reshare an article 3 or 4 times by using a different angle each time.

This increases the chances of other LinkedIn users who didn’t see your article in their newsfeed the first time noticing it.

Great Tips To help you

Top 30 Tips On Writing LinkedIn Articles

To maximise the chances of your articles being read and “going viral” across the LinkedIn community, factor in these top tips:

Article Content

  1. The article headline is critical – make it short, engaging and around 40 characters in length

  2. Length does matter – to increase the chances of the article being shared aim for 1,500 – 2,000 words

  3. Pictures grab attention – use a captivating header photo which matches the article topic

  4. Write articles from the heart – find your voice and show your personality in the article

  5. Make it readable and kind on the eyes – use images throughout your articles to break up large blocks of text, this will save the readers eyes

  6. Choose relevant content – write about topics you know inside out so your experience shines through

  7. Use sections to split up content – break up into logical sections using sub-headings and paragraphs

  8. Present bold views or opinions – though it is best to keep this professional and don’t be overly negative

  9. Research keywords – determine the keywords readers may be searching for, then carefully intertwine these into your content

  10. Aim for evergreen content – writing articles which do not date, and which are not currently hot topics, will ensure that no matter when a user reads your content, it will provide value at that point in time

  11. Include a brief biography – even though readers will see your profile, add a small “who you are” paragraph at the end of the article

  12. Finish with a call to action– include a direct question asking readers to respond to your article, this is one sure way to extend the articles reach


End Goal(s)

Keep in mind that the reason behind writing articles is to achieve an end goal. This may be to win more clients in your niche or to boost your employment opportunities. Your articles need to follow a defined path to help you achieve this.

  1. Learn from the past – study your previous articles to learn what worked and what didn’t, then factor any learning’s into future articles

  2. Don’t worry about metrics – everyone continually checks the number of views, comments and likes in the hours/days afterwards, readers may see your article months or years later

  3. Being relevant is more important – the relevancy of your article to your target audience is more important than simply trying to go viral

  4. Articles are a long term investment – realise that articles are part of a longer-term strategy and they will stay around when LinkedIn posts have long disappeared

  5. Harness other influencers – if appropriate, consider referencing well-know influencers such as Richard Branson and Bill Gates, then @mention them in a status update


Get Inspired

Sometimes “writers' block” can make it difficult to start writing articles. Look at other sources of inspiration for ideas which you can adopt.

  1. Do you have a hobby – can you extract aspects from a hobby which cross over with your industry or work experience

  2. Look at LinkedIn communities – start following communities of interest, they will provide you will a constant feed of ideas to write about

  3. Do you have a hack or shortcut – is there something you know and use every day to make your life easier that you could share with others

  4. Sign up for news aggregators – subscribe to a few news feeds, BBC News, Google News etc. they will supply you with timely and topical ideas

  5. Use Google Trends – enter a search term or topic, Google will then supply a list of related or break-out ideas

  6. Speak with friends, clients or colleagues – ask them questions about problems they are experiencing, can you write about the solution. If they are having these issues, you can be assured others are too


Create A Schedule

The biggest challenge for most is finding the motivation and time to start writing articles and then keeping up the momentum. If you overcome these barriers, then you are already ahead of the game.

Your articles will gain greater visibility while other LinkedIn members procrastinate and don’t write a single line.

  1. Draft up a content calendar – use an electronic (or paper) diary to set a reoccurring alert to remind you to write an article

  2. Start small to find your feet – do not commit to writing a certain number of articles every week/month, start with one a month, then build up momentum

  3. Publish in the morning – statistics indicate that users are active on LinkedIn in the morning (travelling to work), then in the afternoon. If you publish in the morning, you can grab their attention


The Don’t Do’s

When you are new to writing articles on LinkedIn, sometimes you may get nervous or over-excited and make some faux pas. Here are a few things to avoid.

  1. Write short articles which are only 1 or 2 sentences – I have to admit, I did this back in 2015 when I didn’t know any better, so please ensure that you write quality articles

  2. Use the article as promotional adverts – if you try to sell, sell, sell in your articles, you will turn readers off. Give the reader value first and they will keep coming back

  3. Ignore thoughtful comments – when someone has taken time to leave a comment on your article, respond in a friendly and professional manner. This will encourage others to leave more comments which will result in greater visibility

  4. Stop writing articles – just because you don’t see immediate results, it doesn’t mean you are failing. With every article you publish, you will evolve and learn something new. Plus, if other LinkedIn users are not producing articles, it means more people can see yours
Laptop screen showing David Reid LinkedIn social selling index

Achieve top 1% status

LinkedIn Social Selling Index (SSI)

Many LinkedIn users are not aware that publishing articles can help increase their SSI score on LinkedIn.

It will also improve your effectiveness to establish your brand, find the right people who you want to do business with and build ongoing relationships.

Your LinkedIn SSI score is continually being updated, so by publishing articles, it can only boost your score and your visibility!

You can enroll in our free social selling index course here to learn how to achieve Top 1% status in your industry.

Free LinkedIn Articles eBook

How to write LinkedIn articles book cover

This eBook contains the complete guide on how to write LinkedIn articles that people read and share.

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