With nearly half a billion members, LinkedIn renders an excellent platform to publish your ideas for a global audience.
Four years ago, soon after LinkedIn opened up its blogging stage to its wider membership past a handful of designated "Influencers," that I started to publish my initial posts.
I had been thinking of starting a site for at least a year, however, I kept delaying it for getting started. I wasn't sure what to write about, and I didn't have a process for pouring my thoughts out on the screen.
It felt strange to set a piece of myself out there for the whole world to see. I had been self-conscious about how my ideas would be perceived by people I knew --and the thousands of people I did not know.
Today, four decades later, I have around 200 printed articles on my LinkedIn profile, and I'm coming 100,000 followers and lead connections. While I've certainly put in the work --hundreds of hours' worth, by my very rough estimate --it has also been a fun and rewarding experience.
Here are just a few of the things I've learned over the previous four years which may help you with your posts on LinkedIn:
1. Write on something you are best at
I love to research and write about subjects that interest me personally. Sometimes, these articles attract a great deal of attention and engagement from subscribers. But I've discovered a pattern in my writing: Whenever I write about a subject I am deeply acquainted with--subjects I can write about without having to dip into other sources and quote experts or mention research-- the report flows more rapidly and readily through the writing and editing procedure. And it is these posts that tend to pull the most reader involvement, as measured by comments, likes, and societal stocks.
Even when I do write a post that I've researched completely, I still try to tie the outcomes from the research back to something I know about from personal experience. I add my own private commentary about what the research means for me.
2. Write to educate, entertain, inform, and encourage.
Of the 170 articles I've written on LinkedIn, I could probably sort them into four major classes: Those that inform, educate, inspire, or entertain. And these aren't all mutually exclusive, of course. I've combined two or more of those basic elements in several posts.
Articles that inform appeal to many LinkedIn readers who are hungry for information that can aid their careers or people who only have a desire for fresh knowledge. Articles that educate are for those who want to learn new skills they can apply now to their job and their lives --and in the fastest, most effective format possible.
Articles that inspire appeal to the powerful need everyone has for purpose and meaning. And, ultimately, articles that amuse scratches that itch readers need for tales that express feelings and thoughts they can relate to.
3. Write on relatable topics.
Talking of stories people can relate to, so make sure you write about relatable topics. One topic that will resonate well with LinkedIn readers will be work. In his excellent memoir and writing guide, On Writing: A Memoir of those Craft Stephen King observed that people really like to read about work.
LinkedIn is an international network of specialists, and one of its core purposes is to connect people with job chances. So anything that touches on the functioning world, if it relates to the challenges individuals face and offers ideas and ideas for dealing with them, serves as a good material to write around. Leadership is a subject of perennial interest on LinkedIn, and something anyone can relate to.
However, you don't need to write about the job, needless to say. There are hundreds of subjects to write about, and that I pay a lot of different kinds in my articles: Technology, education, advertising, writing, parenting, and more.
4. Write consistently or on regular intervals
As soon as I started writing four years ago, my mentor gave me this bit of advice that I've heeded ever since: "Shivani, be sure to write an article once a week. And be sure that you adhere to it, no matter how you are feeling at that time: Write and publish your one article each week."
I have a fulltime occupation and a full-time family life, which leaves me little time to write my posts. But I've somehow managed to squeeze in an hour here and an hour there in the evenings, in the evenings, and on weekends. I've done this because composing consistently helps me hone my craft, also it will help me build my own audience.