About 18 months ago, I published my first article on LinkedIn. It’s called ‘Something is better than anything’. Since that day I’ve published 17 LinkedIn articles. Some have generated a great response, others have only reached a handful of people. But that’s not what matters – what matters is that I pushed Publish each one of those times.
Every time I click Publish, I put myself ‘out there’ and share my thoughts. And I think you could benefit from doing the same.
Blogging helps you develop your “voice” – who you are, what you stand for, what you’re interested in. It helps people get to know your viewpoint. It’s a perfect platform for introverts – we can do plenty of research, write at home in peace and quiet, and press Publish when we’re ready.
I want you to post on LinkedIn because I want to hear what you have to say. I want to get to know your “voice”, and I want a diverse array of content to read.
Blogging is such an easy way to communicate your ideas, and if you’re on LinkedIn, it’s available to you right now!
I hear people say they want to blog but… English is their second language. But they can’t write. But they have nothing to say. But maybe no one will like it.
None of these reasons should be good enough to stop you. Every blogger I read has improved over time. We all have to start somewhere.
So let’s get started.
Choose a topic
Draw on your own experience in the workplace to pick an interesting topic. You don’t need to be an expert. Think about the things you can’t help but talk about with your colleagues, the things you get excited about. Or you could describe something you’ve tried at work – a new technique, something you’ve done differently.
People learn a lot from other people’s experiments, successes, and failures. In fact, hearing about other people’s challenges is often the best way to get the courage to try something for ourselves. Your journey could have a profound impact on someone’s life, but you will never know unless you share.
Do some research
If you’re thinking about writing, you probably enjoy reading blogs. Look at a few blogs that you like and see what stands out about their structure, tone, and content. Do you enjoy a list of tips, a personal story, a set of learnings, or something else? Perhaps you could use the same “framework”.
Here’s a simple framework you could follow (thanks to Rachel Klaver for the tip):
- Intro – describe why you’re writing about your chosen topic.
- Detail – give some context for your story.
- Learnings – provide three takeaway tips for your readers (bullet points work well).
- Conclusion – refer to your introduction and summarise your key points.
When in doubt, just write
There are hundreds and thousands of articles online with tips on how to be a better writer, but if you’re starting out the best thing you can do is just write. No matter how many articles you read, you’re only going to learn once you start to write.
Set aside some time in a quiet space and write what comes to mind. Remember, a first draft is just that – a first draft. It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece; it just has to be a beginning. It’s also a good idea to set a time limit for your first draft (maybe a couple of hours), then leave it for a day and read it with fresh eyes. Don’t spend too long reviewing and editing before you hit publish. Some bloggers I know publish as soon as they hit their time limit, no matter what they’ve written. They say this gives them a sense of urgency and they’ve found that that there are no major consequences if what they’ve written isn’t ‘perfect’.
Practical steps to writing on LinkedIn Pulse
Now that you know why blogging is important, here’s the nuts and bolts for publishing on LinkedIn.
- Click the ‘Write an Article’ link (under your profile details on the homepage).
- Write your article (I usually leave the headline until the end – see below).
- Use the pre-set formatting to break up your story. You can insert images, links, and videos, and also embed podcasts, tweets, and other media.
- Choose a short and specific title that will set the tone for your article. People who follow you and your connections will only see the title in their notifications so try for someting clear and catchy.
- Upload an image at the top of the post (700 x 400 pixels). You can create free images on sites like Canva or Pexels. Remember to only use images you’re entitled to.
- Do a final read through to check spelling, grammar, and flow.
- Click the Publish button. LinkedIn asks you to enter some hashtags to help with searching. Hit Publish again. Once this is done, your post will be live and available to read. This is usually the point I realise I missed a spelling mistake or want to change something! From the homepage click ‘Write an Article’, then top right click ‘More > Articles’. Select Edit, make changes, and click Publish again.
You’ll get LinkedIn notifications each time someone responds to your post. To view stats and interactions, follow these two simple steps:
- Go to your profile page by clicking on your photo/name on the LinkedIn homepage.
- Scroll down to the Posts section. Click View Stats. Clicking on each post shows you the number of views, likes, comments, and shares for that post. Comments are shown at the end of the post and you might need to click ‘Show More’ to see all of them. Here, you can like, reply to, flag, and hide comments.
And that’s it!
Now all you need to do is write your first post. Let me know when it’s published so I can read it 🙂