Want to know how to post an article on LinkedIn?
When you can do it well, it’s a fantastic way to increase your exposure and build an audience who will keep coming back for more.
The good news is, writing and posting a compelling article on LinkedIn doesn’t require as much hard work as it sounds. Nor do you need to be the world’s most talented writer.
In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know. We even throw in some tricks of the trade as well!
What’s the difference between a LinkedIn article and a LinkedIn post?
Where LinkedIn is concerned, size really does matter.
When you write and publish a LinkedIn post or status update, LinkedIn only gives you 1,300 characters to play with.
That might sound like a lot, but it isn’t.
Especially not if you want to create content that will draw in your reader and keep them hooked.
That’s why knowing how to write and post an article on LinkedIn is so invaluable, because the character count of a LinkedIn article is much bigger – 125,000 characters.
That gives you much more space and opportunity to position yourself as an expert, share some thought leadership content and make an impact.
Writing a LinkedIn article allows you to go in-depth on a subject and share your knowledge and expertise.
Anyone can publish an article on LinkedIn, whether they have a free or premium account.
However, LinkedIn has issued guidelines to deter people from flooding their network with spam, PR, and content with no value.
If what you publish violates their policies, LinkedIn could remove the content, suspend your account, or take other action.
Posting an article on LinkedIn
To start with, take a close look at your LinkedIn profile.
Below the About section is an Activity box, which shows the last four things you did on LinkedIn.
Like many LinkedIn users, it’s probably telling you that you liked or shared other people’s content.
When someone looks at the Activity box on your LinkedIn profile, that’s what they’ll see too.
If you’ve written an article – even if it was months or years ago – the last article you wrote will have pride of place in that Activity box.
Just think about how much exposure that Activity box can give you and your brand, and how many opportunities you’ve potentially wasted if you don’t use it.
The last article listed in your Activity box could stop your visitor from scrolling past and quickly convert them into a customer, a new follower, or a valuable contact.
But, if all the Activity box tells them is that you’ve liked or shared somebody else’s content, they may click on that other person’s content instead.
You’ve lost an opportunity and possibly handed it over to a competitor.
Make sure your Activity box is working for you as hard as it can.
Writing a LinkedIn article with a catchy headline and relevant and informed content that shares valuable information is a guaranteed way to get even a mildly curious visitor interested in who you are and what you do.
Also, when the visitor opens your LinkedIn article to read on their desktop, they’ll see a link next to your byline that (when they click on it) displays all the previous LinkedIn articles you’ve written.
Consider this your online portfolio, a place to showcase innovation, developments in your brand or business, or share a comment on issues that you care about or important to your target audience.
Remember, the more LinkedIn articles you write, the more you’ll highlight your brand and position yourself as a thought leader your readers can trust.
What topic should you choose for your LinkedIn article?
Who’s your audience? What do they want to read?
Those may sound like obvious questions, but they’re something a lot of LinkedIn writers forget to consider, especially when they’re learning the ropes.
Don’t fall into the trap of choosing a topic that’s so niche it would only interest you and the five other random people who are obsessed with Elvis-impersonating squirrels.
It’s essential to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise.
Write about the latest news from your industry, or answer a question that’s a trending topic.
What are the people around you currently talking about?
Look at their LinkedIn profiles and the other social media they use to find out what’s on their minds.
Have any of your recent LinkedIn posts received more Likes, Shares, or comments than usual?
If so, could you turn them into a longer-form article that will keep the interest going?
If you want to write an article that will appeal to readers outside your industry, choose a universal topic: i.e. something we’ve all experienced, thought about, or been irritated by.
Maybe even use an example from your own life, like How working from home unexpectedly improved my career chances, or Are you also paranoid your Home Assistant is listening in to everything you say?
When your topic is something you’ve been through that other people have experienced too, you’ll write about it with much more energy and authority.
More importantly, your reader will automatically feel a shared connection with you and want to find out more.
Once you’ve decided on your topic you’re ready to write.
Writing your LinkedIn article
Go to the LinkedIn Home tab. Click the Write an Article link to open the LinkedIn Publishing tool.
This is where all the magic happens.
Choose an attention-grabbing headline
Your headline should tell people what your article is about and encourage them to click on the headline to read it.
But, don’t choose a headline that’s only clickbait. LinkedIn readers are extraordinarily savvy to clickbait, and a clickbait-sounding headline will turn people off.
Choose a headline that is intriguing as well as informative, but make sure your article can deliver what your headline promises.
What keywords will your audience be searching for?
Using one of those keywords in your headline (or a number, like 6 ways to get a better night’s sleep) will help push you towards the top of the list when a user types that word into their search engine.
If you don’t know the best keywords to use, a keyword research tool (like the Google Ads keyword research tool or SEM rush) should give you plenty of valuable ideas.
All you have to do is type in the most relevant words to your article or business, and Google Ads (although other keyword research tools are available!) will suggest a shortlist of keywords you could use.
You can also find out how often each of those keywords is searched for per month so that you can include the most popular ones in both your headline and your article.
A word of caution, using lots of keywords in an article can make it stilted and difficult to read.
It’s vital that your article flows so that your user enjoys reading it and continues reading until the end.
Don’t make it evident that you’re keyword optimising, and never put keywords ahead of readability.
Write a catchy introduction
Getting the headline right is just the start.
Writing an introduction that is as strong and compelling as possible is equally as important.
Also, because the first four lines of your last article’s introduction will appear in the Activity box on your LinkedIn profile, it must grab your reader’s attention straight away.
Remember, the LinkedIn audience are very busy, professional people.
If your headline and introduction don’t instantly make them want to know more, and if the rest of your article takes longer than five to ten minutes to read or is a slog to wade through, they won’t look at it.
They’ll keep scrolling and read your competitor’s article instead.
Writing the main article content
Before you start writing, know what you want to say and the structure you want to use.
An article, like a good story, should flow easily from beginning to middle to end.
Stay ‘on brand’ and ‘on message’ because unnecessary sidenotes and detours will dilute what you’re trying to say and could easily confuse the reader.
For example, suppose your article concerns how customer service is suffering now that delivery drivers are under more pressure.
In that case, it’s probably not a good idea to throw in an anecdote about your neighbour Fred, who took in the parcel for you when the deliveryman left it outside your door and missed the end of his favourite quiz show.
Also, choose your words carefully.
If any of the words are so unusual that your reader might need a thesaurus to understand them, cut the word out and choose a more straightforward word instead.
When you’re writing and posting an article on LinkedIn, it isn’t time to show off your highfalutin vocabulary.
Never forget that you’re writing for your reader, not for yourself.
Keep your writing tight and concise.
After you’ve written the article, go back and edit out everything unnecessary.
Your article shouldn’t read as if a machine wrote it.
Make sure your voice is in there because how you say it is as important as what you’re saying.
What is your writer’s voice?
It’s your personality and tone and everything that makes your writing unique from somebody else’s.
If this is your first article, you probably won’t know what your voice is yet.
Finding your voice can take time and practice, but it isn’t difficult.
All you have to do is let your personality show in your writing.
To do that, write down what you want to say in the way you want to say it, and don’t be afraid to express your opinion.
When you’ve been writing for a while, you’ll start to notice specific ways you express things, the rhythms you use (whether your sentences are short or long).
For example, you may use humour to keep your message entertaining.
This is another reason why editing the article is essential.
When we write in our voice, we’re letting our words and ideas flow.
So it’s necessary to go back afterwards and cut out anything that detours from our message or sounds stilted.
Check your grammar and spelling too.
You don’t always have to stick to the grammatical rules.
Some writers have made a very successful living by throwing grammar out the window.
But you need to know what the rules are before you know how to break them.
The bottom line is, if a reader likes your voice, they’ll probably keep reading even if they’re not entirely convinced about what you’re saying.
Working on finding your writer’s voice is especially important if you want to build up a loyal readership.
People who like your voice will look forward to reading more of your writing.
The importance of structure
The structure of an article is its backbone.
It’s the spine you hang your ideas on and the journey your reader will take from the beginning of the article to the end.
The clearer the structure, the easier your ideas will be to follow, and the better your article will be to read.
The structure of most articles – whether they’re written for LinkedIn, or a magazine, newspaper or website – is usually in three parts:
· An introduction that outlines the main point of the article and draws the reader in.
· A middle that discusses the topic in a concise, clear, and exciting way. That can often include using quotes and images to support the article, break it up and make it more accessible.
· An end that draws everything together, wraps up your viewpoint and makes it memorable, and concludes the article with a Call to Action that you want your reader to take.
Give each idea its own paragraph.
For example, if your article is about five ways to destress after a busy day at work, each ‘way’ should be given its own paragraph.
Use compelling quotes
When you know how to post an article on LinkedIn, you’ll realise that using quotes can be extremely useful.
If there’s a quotation that someone else has said that backs up what you’re saying or helps give the reader an objective opinion, consider using it.
However, every quotation you use should serve a purpose- either emphasise a point or present an opinion.
When you choose the quote well, it can add texture to your LinkedIn article and bring it to life.
Just like everything else in your writing the quotation should be concise, clear, and relevant.
If it isn’t, don’t use it.
Any quotation you use should always be attributed to the person who said it, with the exact words placed within quotation marks.
For a quote that includes two or more sentences, the quotation marks should be at the beginning and end of the entire quotation, not at the beginning and end of each sentence.
If you want to be extra thorough, you could link directly to the quote by hyperlinking to the original source.
Tufty Cottontail of The Squirrel Casting Agency says, “The number of Elvis-impersonating squirrels in the UK has increased dramatically over the last six months.”
We’ll talk more about hyperlinks (what they are and how to use them) in the next section.
If you don’t choose to use a hyperlink, make sure you cite the origin of the quote somewhere within your text (either in the body of the article or listed at the end.)
That way, your reader will know where the quote came from.
Avoid using secondary sources
Sometimes, you’ll find that the sources you want to quote have got that information from somewhere else.
In other words, they didn’t originate the quote themselves.
This can happen a lot when you want to quote data and statistics.
The best practice is to follow the secondary source back to the primary source and directly link it.
It might involve a bit of extra digging, but it’s correct article etiquette.
The plus side is that you might find even more helpful information when you go back to where the quote or data originated.
The difference between links and hyperlinks
Include links to other sources if they add additional evidence or provide further reading.
Unlike adding links to a post (when LinkedIn only allows you to include one link per post), you won’t be penalised for the number of external links you include in a LinkedIn article.
Once again, though, don’t use so many links that the article reads like a laundry list.
There are two ways of adding links to your article.
The first way is to copy and paste the external sources URL into the text of your article, so it looks like this:
But it looks ugly and awkward and stops the flow of your writing.
A better, less intrusive way is to add a hyperlink to your text so that your writing keeps flowing and the reader can click on the highlighted words to find out more.
For example, if we hyperlinked the above URL, it would look like this:
Click here to find out how Google Maps are outperforming TfL Go – which will take your reader to the source URL.
It’s easy to do.
Just select the relevant text, click the Link icon on the LinkedIn Publishing toolbar, enter the source URL, and click Apply.
Hashtags are like keywords that you add to your article to give the reader a deeper understanding of what you’ve written.
You must add hashtags to the article before you publish it. Once it’s published, you can’t edit or remove them or add more.
Open your draft article on the LinkedIn Publishing tool.
Click Publish at the top of the page.
A pop-up window will appear.
Type in all the relevant hashtags that will tell readers what your article is about.
The hashtags won’t be included in your article, but when someone searches for that word or phrase on LinkedIn, your article will appear.
The hashtags will also be included in the commentary that’s above your article in the LinkedIn feed.
Including images and video in your LinkedIn article
Articles with images engage far more readers than articles without images.
Research conducted by Buzzsumo.com revealed that articles with pictures every 75-100 words received twice as many shares as articles with fewer images.
You can add a cover image at the top of your article by clicking in the space above the headline and uploading the image from your computer.
A 2000 x 600-pixel image is the optimal cover photo size that LinkedIn recommends.
Be aware that, in large pictures, a lot of the image may be lost when your latest article appears on your LinkedIn profile.
Choose an image that has the most important visual at its centre.
Once you’ve added your image, the LinkedIn Publishing tool gives you the options to position it or delete it.
There’s also a field beneath the positioning and delete buttons where you can add a photo credit and caption.
You can create your own cover images in Photoshop or use a graphic design site like Canva.
If you don’t have a cover image you can use, stock photo sites like Shutterstock and Unsplash have a wide range of royalty-free stock images you can choose from.
Alternatively, sites like Flickr.com/creativecommons offer copyrighted images that you can use for free but under certain restrictions.
Look for an image that’s so compelling people will want to click on it when it appears in their LinkedIn feed.
Make sure it visualises what your article is actually about.
Don’t use a cute cat for your cover image, and when people click on it, they discover your article is all about how the Hadron Collider could open up a black hole that will swallow the universe.
However, if your article is about how the Hadron Collider could produce a cute cat that will swallow the universe, you might be on slightly safer ground.
It’s still a bit shaky, though.
Embedding images and video within the body of your LinkedIn article
To add an image or video within your LinkedIn article, click the icon to the left of the article.
A pop-up window will appear that offers options for adding images, video, slides, links, or even small pieces of code.
The file size limit for images you can add to your articles is 10MB, and the LinkedIn Publishing tool supports the JPG, static GIF, and PNG file formats.
You can add multimedia elements anywhere in your article by clicking the icon. LinkedIn doesn’t allow you to copy and paste.
End your LinkedIn article with a Call to Action
Every LinkedIn article should end with a call to action.
If it’s longer than 1000 words, some writers recommend including two or three additional calls to action throughout the body of the article, but only if that’s appropriate.
Just like links, hyperlinks, and tricksy formatting (which we’ll mention in a moment), it’s best not to overdo it.
As a general rule, including a single call to action at the end of your article is the accepted way to go.
A call to action can be many things.
· You could gently ask the reader to take a course of action (i.e. ‘Now that we’ve talked about the benefits of recycling, why don’t you start recycling too?’)
· You could set them a question to think about (i.e. ‘What’s the biggest bad habit that’s preventing you from achieving your dreams? How will you overcome it?’)
· You could ask them to get in touch with you and encourage them to find out more about what you do.
The call to action is also where you can add links to your website, social media, or podcast.
It could even be as basic as inviting people to share, comment, or like your article.
What’s the purpose of a Call to Action?
The role of a call to action is to increase engagement with your audience, so they’ll keep returning to your profile and eventually want to get in contact to learn more.
Arguably, it’s the major reason why you wrote your article in the first place, otherwise what was the point?
That’s why getting everything that comes before the call to action right, especially the topic, the headline, and the introduction, are so essential.
Do a final formatting check
Formatting your article correctly will make it much easier to read.
It also means the reader won’t be overwhelmed by a barrage of text and information, which is especially important if they’re looking at your article on a mobile app.
While you’re making your final edit and double-checking that your writing is the best it can be, pay attention to how your article looks on the screen.
Watch out for blocks of text and shorten any paragraphs that are too long.
Adding subheadings and bullet/number points to break the content up and give it variety will improve readability.
You could also emphasise notable parts of the text by using bold type, italics, or underlining.
Don’t overdo it. A little bit of formatting goes a long way.
For that same reason, don’t use different fonts in your article unless there’s a genuine reason for it.
An example of this might be, ‘I always recommend using Calibri 11pt in a Word doc because I once used ALGERIAN 14pt IN A WHITE PAPER AND IT WAS A BAD IDEA. You can probably see why.’
A final tip: How many times in your article do you say “I” or “Me”?
If your article has more references to yourself (“Me”) than references to the reader (“You”), change them.
You’re not writing for you; you’re writing for your reader.
Too many “I” or “Me” is a big flashing warning sign that the balance of your article is off, and that’s almost certainly because you’ve been writing about a topic that interests you but isn’t relevant to your audience.
If you can’t change the “Me” to “You”, look very closely at what your article is about.
Is there a way you can reframe it so that you can keep the essence of what you’ve written but adjust the topic so that your reader will find it interesting too?
If not, this is the time to reluctantly put the article aside until you’ve found a solution.
Don’t beat yourself up about it. It happens to all of us from time to time.
Start work on a news article and leave your unconscious mind to mull over your current article’s problems.
You’ll solve them eventually. No writing is ever a waste of time.
How to publish a LinkedIn article
Now that you’ve completed your edit and finished all your checks, it’s time to publish your LinkedIn article.
As you were writing your article, LinkedIn automatically saved it as a draft. To publish it, just click Publish at the top of the page.
Hold on for a second, though.
If you’re still not sure about releasing your hard work into the wide world, and you’d like a few people to preview your LinkedIn article before it goes live, the ‘Share Draft’ option on the LinkedIn Publishing tool will let you do it.
Be careful, though.
Once you’ve sent your test readers the preview link, there’s nothing to prevent them from sharing your article with other people.
This might sound like over-cautious advice, but only share your article with people you trust.
When you’re ready to go, just click Publish!
By the way, if you don’t have time to write your article in one sitting, LinkedIn Publishing has a hack for that too.
When you’re ready to resume, open up LinkedIn Publishing, click the More button (it’s next to the Publish button) and then view the options to see all the articles and drafts you’ve saved.
Find the draft you want to work on and start writing.
How to share a LinkedIn article
Now you’ve published your article, you’ll want people to read it.
Click the Share button at the bottom of your article, and LinkedIn will show you your options.
Don’t forget to share your article on your personal LinkedIn feed.
Also, if you haven’t already added hashtags, this is the time to do it.
Hashtags will help to increase your article’s reach and vastly improve its staying power.
In the years to come, when you’ve written so many articles that this one has long been forgotten, you never know who might search on one of those hashtags and discover your genius?!
Ensure your LinkedIn profile is set to Public (you’ll find this option in your LinkedIn privacy settings) because that will increase your article’s visibility.
Click on your profile photo, select Privacy Settings, and click on Edit Your Public Profile.
On the next page, check that your profile’s public visibility is set to On and that the Articles and Activity setting is set to Show.
You can also share your article on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter and in an email newsletter.
Another tip is to keep re-sharing your LinkedIn article on your news feed to increase its lifespan.
Every time you post, find a new angle to focus on so that people who previously overlooked the article will realise there’s something in it that’s relevant to them.
Don’t just regurgitate the same post repeatedly because a) that’s lazy, and b) it’s a guaranteed way to irritate people and lose you followers.
How to analyse the performance of your LinkedIn article
Whenever someone clicks on your article to read it, that counts as receiving a view.
To find out how your article is performing, click on your profile photo, select View My Profile, and scroll down to Articles and Activity.
Once there, click on See All Articles to see how many times it’s been viewed and reshared and the people who have looked at it.
No one else has access to this data, and it lets you see how well your message is working, who’s engaging with your message, and – if your message isn’t working – it indicates there’s something you may need to change.
Many people underestimate the value of writing an article on LinkedIn, and that’s a mistake.
LinkedIn articles may not get the same view numbers as LinkedIn posts, but that’s because all someone has to do to view a post is scroll past it and not even read it at all!
That means, even though you’ll almost certainly see a lot more view numbers for your posts than for your articles, that doesn’t mean people have actually looked at them.
Every time you write a LinkedIn article, you’re building your authority and credibility and establishing yourself as a trusted expert in the eyes of the readers who matter.
When one person views your article, you’ll know it’s because something about it has piqued their interest.
When a hundred people view your post, that could simply mean they scrolled past your post while looking for an article they did want to read that was created by somebody else.
Writing a LinkedIn article is a terrific way to stand out from the crowd, get your voice heard and your brand seen.
With this How to post an article on LinkedIn guide, you’ll quickly be able to increase your content footprint and do precisely that.
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