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How to Blog on LinkedIn (When You’re Not a Writer)

If your goal is to improve your online presence, as well as that of your business, and establish yourself online as a thought leader – to show authority and drive influence within your industry – then LinkedIn is an ideal place for promoting your personal brand and networking with your peers.

One of the best ways to showcase knowledge and expertise is by publishing blog posts on LinkedIn’s blogging platform – or Pulse, as it’s now known. A social hub for professionals looking for professional advice, you can use Pulse to drive a focused business readership to your thought leadership efforts.

The advantages of using LinkedIn Pulse are that both your connections and followers get to see your published posts and often the reach is greater than on any business blog – plus you can drive traffic to your business website through web links and calls to action.

Engagement can shoot up through comments on posts, giving you the chance to take the conversation with commenters offline and grow those relationships. Pulse is a great way of showing who you really are and building your profile – you become the trusted advisor who has something useful to say.

But here’s the problem – what if you’re not a writer or blogger and don’t know where or how to start?

We’re all told that we need to write more content to boost our profile, but what if you have a phobia of writing? What if you’ve never published anything online before? How do you know what to write and whether your post will be any good? Our worst fears might be realised if we publish something terrible and end up looking like an idiot rather than expert.

If these sound like your fears and you’re unsure where to begin or what to do, follow these five simple steps to becoming an online influencer through LinkedIn Pulse:

1. Identify your purpose for blogging and make a decision

First, you need to understand why you want to blog – is it to increase brand visibility and promote your business to a much wider audience or do you have something important to say?

While most people share updates and some will have a go at improving their profile, taking that first step to blogging is a whole new ball game. The key is making a commitment to sharing your know-how, then following it through. Once you figure out your purpose for blogging, make that decision to get started.

2. Understand what it is you want to say

What are you going to talk about and how often you going to say it? Are you going to write about an aspect of your industry, which might appeal to a niche market but probably won’t drive significant reach, or are you going to write on broader topics – sharing your many years of business experience on topics such as employee communication, sales excellence and project management hacks?

A combination of both is best – and a focus on quality, insightful writing that will start a conversation. Always repeat the mantra – is it useful, interesting, audience-friendly and unique? Aim to write fortnightly to start with, then adjust based on audience response and your own workload.

3. Know your target audience

There’s nothing worse than writing for the wrong audience – they won’t respond and your post views will tank. Determine your ideal reader (customer, colleague, employee?) and ensure your blog posts are professional and business-focused.

If you plan to write for your peers, show them how they can get better at what they do. If you’re writing for clients, current or potential, don’t give them the hard sell – talk to them about the issues they face and ways to fix them, whether it’s through the work you do or not. Give them business advice and industry updates or insights first.

4. Outsource your writing to a professional

If you’re time poor or inexperienced at blogging, then it makes sense to engage a content writer. A professional will work with you to develop your thought leadership ideas, draft the articles in line with preferred style and voice, while using relevant keywords, catchy headlines and appealing images.

A professional will also edit and proofread the piece, then publish it for you on Pulse. This not only frees up your time for the work of running your business but ensures that someone with digital content skills can get your first few blog posts off the ground.

5. Learn from the professionals then jump in yourself

Once a content writer has published a few posts for you and you’ve been part of the content creation process, seen how it’s done and figured it out, then it might be time to try writing a blog post yourself.

With increased confidence and a growing audience, you can build on the work of your contracted writer and start to write from the heart and with conviction about issues and topics that matter most to you and to your reader.

If you’re ready to promote yourself as a true industry expert and start blogging online, LinkedIn’s Pulse platform could easily be the best way to maximise your online efforts to drive visibility and customer engagement – and all with fairly minimal effort.

If you’re still unsure where to begin, let’s have a conversation about getting you started blogging on LinkedIn today.

How to avoid failing at content writing

How to Avoid These 5 Crappy Content Writing Fails

Powerful content can be an incredible tool for your business but it’s not always easy to create. Mastering the technique of content writing requires skill and expertise, often gained through many years of writing for varied audiences and mixed platforms.

The risk of getting it wrong, of drafting copy that is unappealing and ill-conceived, can mean wasted time and effort on something that won’t produce the desired result.

Instead of engaging hundreds of readers, if not thousands, you’ll end up creating a website of unread pages or a stream of blog posts that have little purpose or relevancy, lack consistency and offer no return on your investment.

Your content must be well-written, it must address your target audience and it must serve a purpose by answering the ‘so what’ before inviting the reader to take action and learn more about you.

This might seem over-the-top but it ensures your written words will be read and people will notice you. Done badly and your content transforms from a good idea to a crappy reality. Here are five crappy content writing fails and what you can do to avoid them.

1. A lack of writing skill

It’s one of the most common fails. Everyone thinks they can write, which means everyone is a skilled and qualified writer. Wrong. Entering your most passionate ideas into a blog template won’t get you the results you’re looking for. If the piece isn’t well-written and doesn’t provide meaningful value to the reader, it won’t get an online reaction, search engines won’t recognise it as being of high quality and you’ll wonder why nobody ever reacts or leaves a comment.

It wastes your time and theirs so spend the money and invest in a quality writer who can add value to your team. Play to your strengths and quit pretending you’re a capable online wordsmith.

2. Not enough time allocated

It takes time and effort to create a single piece of content. Think 2-3 hours to write a post from idea generation to review stage, then up to an hour for edits, then another hour for image sourcing, publishing, social shares and responses. And I’m estimating on the low side.

To reap the results of an effective longer-term content strategy, you need a longer-term content creation plan. A great online reaction won’t happen overnight and thought leadership, influence and authority take time to build. To create success, you need to adopt a consistent approach to writing, develop a content plan or calendar for the way ahead, and allocate time to deliver the work.

3. You forgot your audience

It’s a rookie writing error but we’ve all done it before. You have a fantastic idea for a post and you start writing away. Before you know it, you have the makings of a masterpiece and you hit the ‘publish’ button. Then nothing. Viewer numbers fail to materialise, comments never appear and any hope of significant traffic dies a sad and lonely death. So what went wrong?

The answer is you forgot to consider who you were writing for. Did you think about the reader and what they wanted to learn from you? Did you adapt your writing for the platform’s readership? Did you address the burning issues of your organisation’s demographic? If you ignore your target audience, your content won’t resonate, it will fall flat and nobody will take action. Think about your readers’ pain points, how you intend to fix them and the value your written work will bring.

4. Content was not shared

The best part about creating powerful content is that it can be shared far and wide, and generally for free. People won’t suddenly start reading your work and visiting your site without there being a promotion strategy in place. The worst mistake is to spend hours writing something great and then you simply publish it on your site or LinkedIn profile. You have to do more than that.

On LinkedIn, promote it to your groups, schedule interesting status updates with links to the content, include it on your company page and share it with your colleagues. Publicise it across social media – on your Facebook page, Twitter and Google+ accounts. And come back to it in the future. If the post did well, bring it out of the blogging archives and share it again at a later date or rework it into a new piece with a slightly different angle. The possibilities are almost endless.

5. There never was a purpose

Every piece of content you create must have a clear purpose behind it. Are you trying to fix a client’s problem or address a particular need? Do you want to drive traffic to a new campaign or is there a special offer that you need to draw attention to?

Ask why you’re writing the content or risk creating something that is doomed from the start. Ensure the content fits to a part of your business strategy. Take some time to think about why someone would read this piece of work. Create a plan for matching your content to platforms or publications based on the answers to these questions.

Avoid these content writing fails by understanding why you’re creating content and what you want to achieve in the first place. By thinking about each of the points above, you’ll ensure you add value to the content writing process and place a focus on content that is high quality not crappy.

Download this free eBook if you're craving change in your life but don't know where to begin. I'll show you how to turn a dream into reality

Learn How to Do What You Love Most With This Free Manifesto

Are you thinking about changing your job but are fearful of doing so?

Have you been offered an international assignment but the prospect of leaving loved ones is too much?

Or do you watch other people lead a more fulfilling, exciting life laden with opportunities and adventure, wondering why the same thing never happens for you?The Life Less Ordinary Manifesto - a guide to living a better life

I’ve experienced all of this and more. I changed my location, working world, way of life and approach to lifestyle. I wanted to live my life to the fullest, not watch it pass me by. I wanted more from this life and I point-blank refused to settle for less.

So I created a blog called In Search of a Life Less Ordinary, which has gone on to become a leading expat, travel and lifestyle site. The blog is about making major life changes for the better – from moving abroad to changing your working world, exploring the great outdoors to learning to make time for the things that matter.

I recently relaunched the blog and, with the relaunch, I released a new eBook called The Life Less Ordinary Manifesto. Best of all, I want to let you know that it’s completely free and now available to download.

The site and eBook are awesome. Russell’s openness and willingness to share his knowledge and experience are what make him one of my favourite online voices.
Katie Mayors, Host of Wanderlust on Bondi Beach Radio

About the Manifesto

I wrote The Life Less Ordinary Manifesto as a call for people to declare their intentions to live life differently – on their terms, not the way others expect.

It’s about knowing when it’s time to make those major life changes, whether changing a job, moving location or simply making tweaks to a currently unfulfilled life.

I wanted to create a short eBook based on popular blog posts that showed the challenges you might face in changing your life for the better and how to take those first small steps towards living a life with more fulfilment and purpose.

Helping you learn how to do what you love most. How to be who you want to be. How to find wonder in the world.

A truly original voice with a pen overflowing with insight and positivity. This book is packed full with gems of wit and wisdom.
Jack Scott, Bestselling Author of Perking The Pansies and Turkey Street

The Life Less Ordinary Manifesto - your guide to turning a dream into reality

What You’ll Learn in the Manifesto

If you’re facing difficult decisions and crave change in your own life, then this manifesto is for you. You’ll learn:

  • The steps I took to improve my life and give it greater meaning.
  • When the time is right to make those changes to live a less ordinary life.
  • That change won’t be easy but it will be worth it.
  • How to take those first steps to turn a dream into an exciting new reality.

How to Get Your Own Free Copy

You can get your own free copy of The Life Less Ordinary Manifesto by joining my newsletter list at the Manifesto landing page here.

Once you confirm your email address, you’ll receive a link to your free PDF copy of the manifesto.

This is excellent. I love it. But then I knew I would because it’s exactly what I believe too.
Vicki Jeffels, Award-Winning Expat and Travel Blogger

The Ways You Can Help

This manifesto is free and is being downloaded around the world. If you have already downloaded it yourself, then I want to say a heartfelt thank you. It means a lot to me.

If you would like to see the manifesto reach more people, please share among friends, family and within your circle of influence. Post the link on Facebook, email the manifesto page URL here to a friend, download the eBook and make copies for the people around you.

Most importantly, please tell me what you think. Did you enjoy it? Could you relate to it? Leave a comment below or email me directly using the contact form on the blog.

Download Your Free Manifesto Today

Time to change your life? Ready to stop dreaming and start taking positive action to make those changes?

Let’s do this.

Just enter your email in the sign-up box to get your FREE copy of my eBook. Once confirmed, I’ll send a PDF straight to your inbox — at no cost to you whatsoever.

I hope you love the new look site as much as I do and enjoy reading The Life Less Ordinary Manifesto. Don’t forget to let me know what you think below or on the blog itself.

The Secret to Blogging Success

The Secret to Intentional Blogging Success (Hint: It’s Not A Quick Fix)

Much is written about the art of blogging and the ways to achieve blogging success.

From the application of leading SEO techniques to the structure of paragraphs, using dot points and throwing in a couple of links, we’ve all read about those quick tips for becoming an overnight blogging sensation.

But there’s something you need to know.

Because it’s not just about structure, layout and headline. It’s about something more instinctive and naturally grown over the longer-term.

While it’s true that a blog’s readership can be improved by back links, opt-ins to newsletters and exposure on popular sites, tactics and techniques aren’t the be-all and end-all to creating a blog that matters.

The world’s top bloggers don’t reach millions of readers by employing enough white space, a few top ten lists and a daily stream of 400-word posts. The world’s top bloggers create success through time, patience, hard work and inspirational writing. The world’s top bloggers write from the heart with passion and emotion – and this is what is driving loyal readers to their sites over years, not months.

I started writing In Search of a Life Less Ordinary six years ago. After a slow start, the site picked up pace becoming one of Australia’s most popular expat sites and drawing in thousands of readers to its pages every single day. Earlier this month, I wrote a piece for The Huffington Post based on the experiences I share on my blog. The post reached hundreds of thousands of people, with up to 80,000 likes and 13,000 shares on Facebook alone.

And none of this success was achieved through an SEO quick fix or fast trick.

Create a niche

The best blogs have their own distinct, unique identity that comes from an authenticity that cannot be created overnight. The best bloggers do so with a sense of purpose that is obvious the moment you read their blog. They have a clear approach springing from a unique philosophy that they want to communicate. So what will yours be?

What will make your blog different? What experiences and projects make you unique? What authentic purpose can you bring to the table to grow long-term influence?

Stand out

There’s nothing wrong with a bit of competition but there are literally hundreds of thousands of blogs out there. It can be discouraging when nothing you do seems to work. The only way to survive is to focus on creating your own unique, high quality content.

Be the best you can be and the rest will follow. Write with passion and inspire others to share. Be creative, write from the heart, show the world that you really care.

Stick with it

Blogging requires perseverance and long-term dedication. You won’t create overnight success unless you have a radically different idea. And success built over the longer-term will bring a greater respect to your brand. It will also create a stronger blog that comes from posting consistently good content highlighting your voice and authenticity.

Businesses often struggle with the notion of blogging because it requires time and patience to build an audience and drive people to a site. But, as with any decent business, the path to success doesn’t always bring instant recognition or reward. All successful businesses are built one good decision at a time and the same is true of any good blog.

Think long-term

Create a blog for the long haul flight, not the quick domestic option. Don’t burn the blog too early on because it isn’t giving you a fast enough result. Think outside the box and consider the different directions and avenues the blog can take.

Take small steps to achieve bigger goals. By starting small, you’ll make inroads without becoming disheartened by the lack of traction you might see. Invest in your blog to achieve those future dreams. Remove distraction and think about bringing others on board who have a track record of blogging and know how to engage through their writing.

Above all else, remember the secret to blogging success isn’t a quick SEO keyword or a post’s structural fix. The key to creating something exceptional is patience and perseverance… plus a knack for incredible writing.

What are your secrets to blogging success? What have been your experiences in writing a blog?

Image credit: Secrets | Shutterstock