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Dear LinkedIn Writers: What We Don’t Know Can Sink Us

by Michal Lusk, Featured Contributor

Second of two parts (See Part One HERE)

WITH HUNDREDS of millions of LinkedIn members already used to consuming content on the site, LinkedIn may be the best platform for launching a quality blog and establishing yourself as a leader in your industry. But the quality must come first if you want to attract readers, connections, and followers. I usually know after a few sentences if I would want to read other posts by a particular writer, or even if the article is worth finishing or not. I really do want to read your posts. So help yourself help me.

Devil in the Details

Yes, grammar, punctuation, spelling, and usage, often seem like they come from the devil. They probably don’t, write-for-us-in-blogbut getting all those confusing rules, marks, and meanings correct and in the right spots is devilishly tricky, but terribly important. Missing or misusing the mechanics of writing hurts your ability to communicate and hampers your credibility. Conversely, a well written piece with excellent mechanics shows you care enough about your subject and your readers to put in the time and effort to get it right.

Some writers “get” these details, but many struggle. If you struggle, even multiple read-throughs may not catch errors. What else can you do? Know you need, and ask for, help: make sure your second or third opinion is from someone who “gets” the details and can “CYA” in that area. Keep a reference guide (even the Internet works) to spot-check rules. Or call in a professional (proofreader, that is). Your job is to write, communicating the ideas. Letting someone else handle catching and correcting mistakes can make sense.

Points for Style

Know your audience and make sure your writing style matches their reading style. With some audiences you can get away with a more casual, conversational style. But for other readers, mind your “Ps” and “Qs.” What word choice, tone, level of formality, and vocabulary will resonate with your targeted readers? Great ideas plus thorough proofreading without the right style still equals failure, so make sure your style matches your intended audience.

Looks Matter

Once you’ve perfected your piece, you’ll want to format it attractively. Sadly, LinkedIn’s formatting options are pretty rudimentary (room for improvement here, LinkedIn). I have had trouble getting posts to look the way I want, with occasional ugly surprises. I recommend you preview your article to make sure you like the appearance before hitting publish. You can edit later, but a little extra time at this step yields a better result. And one or more photos add extra attractiveness and interest.

Develop a Writing Process and Keep the Pipeline Full

Advice on blogging abounds, as does pressure to churn out multiple articles per week. Posting several times a week works if you have developed a writing process to keep new articles in various stages of completion flowing through your article pipeline. Writing is not a static event wherein you disgorge fully formed ideas on cue. Rather, it is a process of coaxing out the words to express what you see, then revising and refining. What process works for you? How many times do you need to proofread? Who can you ask for a second opinion? How much time should you let your articles rest to gain perspective? Would paying a proofreader be worth it for you? Working out your process and knowing how many articles you want to post weekly will let you know what you need to keep in your pipeline.

None of this is new, nor is it rocket-science. Mostly it’s what I’ve learned works for my process. Please do share what works for you in the comments. Taking the time to eliminate errors and ensure your article clearly says what you want it to say in an attractive way pays off in a more professional post that boosts your credibility instead of dragging it down. You are a LinkedIn professional, and a publisher with fantastic ideas to share. I can’t wait for your next post.


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Michal Lusk
Michal Lusk
PASSIONATE, intense, driven, focused, caring, committed to excellence: No matter what I do, I have a passion for doing it right. This, along with strong writing and communication skills, sensitivity to people—whether clients, customers, or co-workers, excellent attention to detail while keeping sight of the big picture, flexibility, plus a little “geek” thrown in, has allowed me to gain broad experience across numerous industries, from legal to automotive to non-profit ministries to real estate to marketing. Wherever I go, I find ways to increase profit, whether by eliminating waste, improving productivity, or just plain uncovering new business opportunities, while improving client/customer satisfaction and employee engagement.

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CONVERSATIONS

  1. Aloha Michal,

    What a beautiful introduction sharing skills of personality traits and interest. Having all those skills takes work as well commitment to a complete change in perspective reaching the right audience. Strong writing and communication skills are critical in a multi-cultural population and building relationship in a growing business. Correlations of many accomplishments dealing with people thoughts, feelings, and behavior move the hearts of mountains and have no limitations to reaching the stars that’s far beyond the universe. I treasure your rare statement, “PASSIONATE, intense, driven, focused, caring, and committed to excellence: No matter what I do, I have a passion for doing it right.” I focus and live by these statements which bring my journey to many harsh challenges entering into defeat as well victory. This path leads me to continue growing in helping people meet their needs and recognizing every person has a different perspective of what their needs are at the moment. I am who I am, striving to become better than better and seeking the power within perfecting the passion of doing what is right. I am a simple person living in a complex world.

    Linkedin has given me the opportunity to express my experiences and also learn from others that do not have the experience of expanding their ideas to benefit their business as well. If I have nothing to do in life, I would probably be on LinkedIn 24/7 acknowledging and responding to other comments and making adjustments to my own life becoming more efficient than who I am today. I have made many mistakes but without mistakes what have we learned? Many times I have wondered how all these peopled place their article on Linkedin to get comments or start a multi interaction generated. Take care and stay in good health always.

    Charlie

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