Blogging vs LinkedIn Articles


 

If you’re proficient on LinkedIn, it’s likely you’ve noticed the little option when you click in the text box inviting you to publish an article. LinkedIn Articles is a great way to show your audience your expertise in your field, and I know from experience that it can lead to commissions and sales.

I’ve blogged a little bit about LinkedIn Articles and how they can be a good option for your business profile in a previous post, but I’d like to delve a little bit further. Because although you can use both LinkedIn Articles and blogs to drive new business to your website, there are, of course, some differences that might enable you to make the right decision for you. I mean, should you do both? Just blog? Just publish on LinkedIn? It can be a little confusing!

If you follow me on LinkedIn, you might have seen some of my articles on there. But recently, I’ve learned that I’ve been doing it all wrong! Yes, even I make mistakes sometimes.

I’ll explain a little bit more about that later. But first, I wanted to say a little bit about each option, the differences, and the pros and cons.

First up, blogging….

I’m old enough to remember when blogging first became a thing. Back then, it wasn’t used by businesses at all. Instead, it was used in its purest form, as a weblog. It was predominantly used by kids and teens, as a sort of online diary, and from what I can remember, it was all very…angsty. There were a few people using it to write stories and fanfiction as part of other websites, for things like popular TV shows and bands etc. It very quickly got a reputation, and one which stuck for a long time. I think that’s one of the reasons why businesses were so reluctant to jump on the blogging bandwagon when things started to change.

How did blogging become mainstream?

Things changed in the early 2000’s when politicians and journalists began to use it. Once that happened, businesses began to see how it all worked, and began to roll them out as news pages. The rest as they say, is history, and now all of the big corporates have a blog on their site.

And now, many smaller businesses are seeing the potential, too. How do I know this? Well, apart from the fact that some of them pay me to write for them, I do a lot of stalking research.

I’ve said many times before, but I truly believe that having a business blog holds a lot of important benefits, and can make such a difference in gaining traffic for a website. It can establish you as an expert in your industry, and give you loads of material to share on your social media platforms.

Blogging is big business, and now all the big players have one – just Google some of your favourite brands and you’ll see what I mean.

So, what about LinkedIn Articles?

This is a reasonably new player. LinkedIn, for those who are familiar with it, is a business platform, and until recently, was predominantly used for job searching. Over the past few years, though, it has become more and more user-friendly, and is now widely used for B2B companies, in order to gain visibility and get leads.

As a business platform, it’s incredibly powerful yet very few know how to get the best from it.

I’m not going to spend time talking about the benefits of the platform as a whole, but let’s talk about the recent developments of LinkedIn Articles, because used right, it can be a really useful tool for your business.

If you’re a regular user of LinkedIn, you’ll likely have an established group of people (connections) who interact with you, and recognise you when you post to the main page. This means that unlike a blog, where you have to work to bring people onto your website in order to read it, your LinkedIn Articles will be readily shared by the platform with no effort from you – as you use the platform to post, comment, share etc. people will naturally look at your profile and see your articles.

As an addition, you have the ability to share older articles in a post, to remind people to read it, and encourage them to read your other articles on the platform.

It provides a very simple, clean way to share your articles, and requires surprisingly little effort from you – and you have the benefit of a ready-made audience.

BUT…

Yes, I’m afraid there is a ‘but’! You have to be an established user of LinkedIn – don’t expect to get loads of people reading your articles if you haven’t posted to the site for weeks, never interact with other users, and haven’t utilised your profile I to attract people to you. You must have a following, and be an active part of the LinkedIn community. Of course, this is an easy one to remedy.

Which is better – blogging or LinkedIn Articles?

Each have their pros and cons – let’s look at both.

Blogging is perfect for driving traffic to your website, and is extremely SEO friendly. In fact, if you are looking to ensure that you rise to the top ranks of Google, having a blog is essential in assisting in that. If you’ve got a well-designed website with a strong call to action, then having a blog attached to it can not only drive that traffic to it, but it can get you so many more sales!

Blogging is always part of a bigger plan, and works best with a well-built website, and a strong social media presence.

I see a growing number of smaller businesses these days who opt not to focus on their website, if indeed they have one at all. While I don’t necessarily advocate this, some businesses seem to thrive with just having a social media presence. For B2B businesses, I’ve seen many of them focussing all of their attention, and having great success, on LinkedIn alone.

If that’s you, then I’d absolutely say get to work on creating some great content for LinkedIn Articles, because you’ll likely already have an established audience who will read your work, and be willing to share it.

However, do bear in mind that if you choose to do this and this alone, you will not rank on Google, or be searchable on SEO, so your audience will purely be limited to your LinkedIn connections.

Can I use both?

Yes, you can. Now, remember when I said earlier that I’d made a mistake? This is what I meant. Because I had chosen to push my most valuable blog posts by ‘copying’ them over to LinkedIn Articles.

So why is that a mistake?

Well, I have read a theory that the powers that be on LinkedIn don’t like you doing this, and they can penalise you for it. I’ve searched around for facts on this, and to be honest, I can’t see that there’s any truth in it, even on LinkedIn’s Terms and Conditions.

However, my thought process is this:

By simply copying the same article over, I’m missing out on driving traffic to my own website. So, there are 2 ways I can deal with this problem.

I can write completely different material for each platform, and simply link my blog posts as separate entities within my feed.

Or, I could publish part of my blog posts on LinkedIn Articles, and then provide a link to the full piece, forcing my readers to go through to my website.

Either of these would be acceptable, in my view. I’ll have to try both and see which is the most effective.

In any case, I hope this post gives you some food for thought, and helps you to decide which option is best for you.

 

 

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