I’ve got to admit…
As an online marketer, I use to blow off social media.
SEO and guest posting always sent me more traffic and subscribers, whereas social media only sent a short term surge of traffic at best.
But the social media channel that I’m most excited about is LinkedIn.
In January 2015, LinkedIn opened up its publishing platform to its members in all English speaking countries and will continue to roll out access to people in other countries.
Last year, I studied how top writers were getting featured on the Pulse and published this study, including details about average post size, popular topics and other details.
This post ended up being one of the most popular posts on my blog, getting over 3,000 social shares and getting featured on LinkedIn’s blog as one of the top 10 LinkedIn marketing articles of 2014.
After that, I had to experiment with publishing my own posts on LinkedIn. I got about one out of three posts featured in a content channel and got hundreds of LinkedIn followers and new email subscribers.
Do you want to get more leads for your business or your content marketing?
Then let’s take a closer look at how the Pulse works and how you can use LinkedIn to generate more leads and subscribers for your business.
Here's What You'll Learn:
- How to collect leads and readers from LinkedIn so that you can build your audience.
- How to create a squeeze page that converts visitors into raving subscribers so you can grow your mailing list.
- When you should publish and what days are best so that you get the most traffic.
- How you can get the most out of LinkedIn so that you don't miss a single bit of traffic.
- How to demand attention to your well written articles even if it didn't get any love
- and much more
(P.S. If you'd like to download a free checklist of 31 blog traffic secrets click here or the image below)
1. Master the Headline
If you don’t have a big following and want to succeed with publishing on LinkedIn, then you absolutely must nail the headline.
While writing strong headlines is important for any type of content marketing, it is especially important on LinkedIn when you are competing for attention with thousands of other publishers.
After you publish your article, the headline is displayed to your followers and other LinkedIn members.
Your article is competing with many other articles, so it needs to stand out to get clicked and shared. If your headline does really well, your article may even go viral within LinkedIn.
There’s no simple formula for generating headlines that work every time, but some of the headlines that worked for me were list post headlines and questions. For example:
-Is College a Waste of Money?
-7 Careers to Help You Become a Business Owner
-4 Steps to go from Wantapreneur to Business Owner
Suggestion: Take some time to study the headlines that are working on LinkedIn. Most likely, they will be different than the headlines that work for your blog.
2. Grow Your Followers
When studying articles that got featured on the Pulse, I noticed that some posts were written by people with hardly any followers while some other writers had several thousand followers.
Do followers really matter?
The answer is a definite “yes”. The more followers you have, the more people that will see your article and possibly share it.
As an example, let’s take a look at Brian de Haaff’s posts. Brian just started publishing in 2014 and grew his following to over 50,000 within a year:
Even posts that don’t get featured by LinkedIn will often get around 1,000 views.
Before I started publishing on LinkedIn, I had less than one hundred followers. I worked on networking and forming new connections and grew my network to over 500.
Some of the people who read and shared my article were new people that I connected with online through LinkedIn groups.
Suggestion: Asides from publishing consistently, grow your followers by networking and connecting with people both online and offline.
3. Target Content Channels
Don’t have big following yet? No worries, you can still compete with established influencers by getting featured in a content channel.
If you read articles on the Pulse, you will quickly see that the most popular topics are careers, business and self improvement. This makes a lot of sense if you think about LinkedIn’s audience and why they are on LinkedIn in the first place.
But what if you don’t want to write about these topics or they aren’t relevant to your own business?
Fortunately, LinkedIn has created content channels that its members can follow if they are interested in a particular topic. As LinkedIn publishing continues to grow, I suspect they will continue to add even more channels.
Some of these channels have over 100,000 followers so getting featured on a content channel can give your article tons of exposure.
Here is a full list of content channels that you can target with your content:
Suggestion: Target your articles towards a specific content channel. Take a look at the types of articles that are doing well in these channels and formulate your own content strategy accordingly.
4. Pick the Right Publishing Day
Does it matter what day you publish your post on?
The answer is “yes”. Overall, people are most active on LinkedIn during the work week, so Monday through Thursday are good days to publish your post and get featured.
However, LinkedIn’s population is huge and there are plenty of people online during the weekends too. In fact, I’ve seen weekend articles that got over 15,000 views from non-influencers with small followings.
Suggestion: Publishing on Monday through Thursday will give your article the best chance of reaching the most viewers. But consider publishing on the weekends if you want less competition as weekend articles can still do well.
5. Consider Leveraging Popular Topics & Discussions
While reading articles on the Pulse, one thing I noticed was that there were usually articles that were related to current news or events.
For example, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was a popular topic in 2014 and a guy named Avinash Murthy wrote this post that ended up getting over 350,000 views:
Although I haven’t had as much luck writing on popular topics, I did write a tribute to Leonard Nimoy when he passed away that ended up getting featured. I wasn’t really expecting it to get featured since there were already other articles about him, but I noticed that a few Leonard Nimoy articles were featured that weekend:
An important thing to note about popular topics is that there will be a good amount of competition from other writers. Put some extra thought into your article and figure out a way to make it stand out.
Suggestion: Pay attention to recent events, news and popular topics and consider writing an article related to those topics.
6. Tweet to the Editorial Team
If you think you wrote an amazing article and it doesn’t get featured within the first few hours after you publish it, consider tweeting it to LinkedIn’s editorial team for consideration.
You can tell if an article got featured by scrolling to the bottom of the article. If it got featured in a channel, there will be a link to the channel where the article was featured on. Otherwise, this area will be blank:
This discussion in LinkedIn’s official Writing for LinkedIn group explains how to inform the editorial team about your content.
Basically, you will want to tweet your post to “Tip @LinkedInPulse” with a reason why your post is unique.
For example, I tweeted one of my own posts to LinkedIn’s editorial team when it didn’t get featured within the first few hours.
And a few minutes later, they featured it on a content channel.
Suggestion: If you wrote an amazing article that you think should be featured, then send a tweet to LinkedIn’s editorial team if it hasn’t been featured within the first few hours of publishing.
7. Send Traffic to a Squeeze Page
While this may sound obvious to the experienced digital marketer, sending LinkedIn traffic to a landing page is one of the most overlooked opportunities for LinkedIn publishers.
In fact, around 50% of articles featured on the Pulse didn’t link out to anything. And most of the articles that did link out only linked to a home page or a Twitter account.
Here is a screenshot of one of my landing pages. This landing page design is a design that has been thoroughly tested by Lead Pages to maximize email subscribers:
The typical blog might get a 1-2% email opt-in rate for traffic that lands on a blog post. This lead capture page is converting close to 40% of visitors into subscribers to my email list.
Suggestion: Be sure to link out to an email capture page at the end of your article to capture leads.
How You Can Get the Most from LinkedIn Publishing
What’s exciting about LinkedIn publishing is that you can potentially get lots of exposure and real leads from short articles. Articles are published instantly and some posts took me less than an hour to write.
In comparison, creating a long form blog post complete with images, finding places to guest post or publish your content and writing a compelling guest post email can take well over 20 hours. And that’s not even counting the time required to do research or perform your own experiments.
So what about you? Are you excited about publishing on LinkedIn?
My initial experiment with publishing on LinkedIn has encouraged me to plan a second phase experiment where I will continue publishing on LinkedIn and hope to do even better.
If you are an open or strategic networker, feel free to follow me or even introduce yourself and connect with me on LinkedIn if you want to follow along.
(P.S. If you'd like to download a free checklist of 31 traffic hacks click here or the image below)
Brian Lang has been an online entrepreneur and digital marketer for over 10 years and writes about his experiences and marketing experiments at Small Business Ideas Blog. If you’d like to download his 16 page study on how top publishers got featured on the Pulse plus a free copy of his high converting squeeze page, visit this page and click the download button.