LinkedIn would like you to know that starting today, 25,000 members now have the ability to post long-form content. In other words, you can now blog on LinkedIn.
Honestly, I didn’t know you couldn’t blog on the site, but then again, I never gave it much thought. Though people have been known to leave extensive “status updates” on both LinkedIn and Facebook, they weren’t really built to handle a lot of text. And definitely not text with photos and charts – a.k.a. a typical blog post.
This new content system is designed to go along with LinkedIn’s Influencer program which already includes long-form content from Richard Branson, Martha Stewart and Bill Gates. They’re also adding new Influencers to the list including Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn, CEO of AOL Brand Group Susan Lyne, and Financial Expert and CNBC host Suze Orman.
LinkedIn says, “the average Influencer post drives more than 31,000 views and receives more than 250 likes and 80 comments.”
How does this help you? In theory, people who come to the site to read an Influencer’s post might just stick around and read your post if you put out helpful, well-written content.
Which brings us to the Publishing Platform Rights and Responsibilities.
LinkedIn is, with good reason, concerned that people will turn the publishing platform into a collection of advertorials.
LinkedIn discourages and may disable posts that self-servingly advertise a service, business, political cause or other organization or cause that does not benefit the broader LinkedIn community. Learn more if you’d like to advertise your business or service with LinkedIn.
They also warn you not to steal anyone’s work and they get pretty specific about it:
This includes other people’s posts, things that you have copied from the internet, or something that belongs to your employer and not you. Most content on the internet belong to someone, and unless you have clear permission from the owner to share it, you shouldn’t include it in your posts.
On the other hand, once you publish on LinkedIn:
LinkedIn may distribute your content, annotate your content (e.g., to highlight that your views may not be the views of LinkedIn), and sell advertising on pages where your content appears.
That last part is especially important because LinkedIn long-form content will be public. Your network will see it on their homepage feeds and people who aren’t in your network will be able to follow your blog if they choose.
And that last part is especially important because it widens the scope. As in normal blogging, people can follow and read your work without becoming a “friend.” I know I’m more likely to follow someone’s content if I don’t have to go through the whole request process. Plus, it keeps my newsfeed from filling up with small notations that don’t matter to me.
If your account has been enabled, you’ll find a small pencil in your status update box. Click this to go to the full posting form. I’m told you’ll find options for uploading images, etc. I don’t have the option yet. So what else is new.
Bottom line, this could be an excellent tool for anyone in the business to business game. Just remember to keep those posts informative if you want your follower list to grow.