By Debra Arko, Featured Contributor
IN MY LAST article, Things I Learned From Writing On LinkedIn shared my finding of why if you can write you should write posts and more here on LinkedIn. This article gives you the checklist to do it professionally.
1. A Popular Topic Headline
Have a headline that grabs attention. Buffer is great for helping you keep track of feeds you want to post and they publish their own articles. A popular article: The Anatomy of a Perfect Blog Post: The Data on Headlines, Length, Images and More, it’s worth the research if you want to write well.
2. Seek The Pulse Channel
This is where you want your content to appear. Here others see it and decide to follow you. Being listed on the Pulse Channel, it’s all about quality content. I have made it here once and with your help I can do it again [so can you].
3. Images Say A Thousand Words
Every article needs an image. The rule of thumb is one image for every 300 words. People like visual concepts and it breaks up the words on the page making it easier to read! The image also should go with the article. Don’t put a picture up of your dog if you’re writing about how a smile builds trust unless you are talking about getting a dog to trust you.
4. Write As A Leader
Everyone wants to write for LinkedIn not everyone should. Content is public and the reader most often wants to learn something new or from a new perspective. A rule of thumb, write what can help others. You will always have antagonists who disagree with you. Don’t let it get to you. Some people live to create drama. A leader doesn’t engage this behavior.
5. Write For Your Heart
Focus and clarity are important. Every writer that goes back sees something to rewrite to make his or her information flow better. Write first from your heart and then edit days later to make sure your message is worthy of publishing.
6. Write For A Specific Audience
When looking to write for your audience you have to know who is in your audience. Review their profiles and learn their interests.
An easy way to ‘audience proof’ it is to ask yourself this question. “If I were ________ would I read this?” Alternatively, “If I were _______ would I keep reading this story?”
Many writers try to compose for everyone on LinkedIn. Aunt Sue isn’t interested in leadership; her interests are around retirement for schoolteachers.
7. Best Time To Publish
Years ago a friend suggested that early in the week is best. Personally, I have not found this true. LinkedIn understands business happens 24/7 and so does life.
8. Inform And Inspire
If you have your target audience connected to you, then you understand what topics interest them. If you want to grow an audience, you write more broadly. If your topic is travel and you want to engage Aunt Sue, you might write about travel spots for retirees. On the other hand, you will inspire her if you share a story about ‘other’ retired teachers wonderful memories of Europe. Why teachers, keep in mind there are 193 groups for teachers with the most active group boosting 35,000 members and 152 discussions for the month of June 2014.
9. Publish A Finished Article
I believe no article is ever finished, done yes; it can be done and ready to publish. As I come to the end of this article, for instance, I want to share more but we’re looking at a word count off the charts! A finished article should be about 300-650 words.
You’ll find I chose to make this a 2-part article due to length. If I come back a month from now there will sentences I think will flow better with an edit or two. A good writer never feels finished.
Publish an article or story that is clear. Check for grammar issues and know there may be a few that slip by you and your editor. Realize you must make a point and make it.
Remember it doesn’t hurt to remind the reader what the point is in your story. For instance this article is about what I learned writing on LinkedIn. It is my hope that it will help you.
10. The Bonus
People love bonuses and sales. So include one when you can. My bonus to you is the idea of making a list of things to do or follow – readers love it!
[images courtesy of: Presenter Media]