LinkedIn just announced it’s adding blog features to personal profile pages. The company wants to be more than a search engine for resumes and professional contacts; it’s looking to become the go-to place for professional content.

What’s in it for you?

This new feature, which combines social media and content marketing, could mean big things for small businesses like you.

For starters, the content you create has a ready-made audience. It can be tough to get views on your business blog, but if you publish on LinkedIn, you share it with the professional contacts you’ve already built.

“The ability to compose blog posts that your connections can view means you have the ability to create targeted content that will be displayed directly in front of the people your business is looking to target,” says Victoria Garment of Software Advice, who is already thinking about how this new tool could fit into her company’s marketing plan.

Aside from getting traffic, the posts become part of your profile, so you’re showing industry leaders that you can walk the walk and talk the talk. By creating these longer-form posts, you become a thought leader in your field.

Plus, this new tool gives your brand a voice, Garment says. Through well-written posts you can educate people about your brand, tell them why it rocks, and start a conversation about your business in the comment section.

How is this feature different than what’s already available?

Right now, everyday users can share a few words or a link to an article, but you can’t write anything of substance.

Back in 2012, LinkedIn allowed high profile users, or influencers, like Bill Gates, to write blog posts. By following him, you could read the content he shared on your home page. You could also follow a news channel to see news that interested you. Everyday users could consume the information, but couldn’t write any kind of long-form content – until now.

This new feature gives you the same power as Bill Gates. Well, he might trump the number of followers you have (he has 1.5 million) but you can write and share content just like he can. People can follow you too, which makes your content appear in news feeds.

Wondering how a post looks on LinkedIn? Here’s an example.

How does the publishing feature work?

If you’re ready to whip up a blog on your LinkedIn page, here are some instructions to get started:

  1. Starting on your home page, go to the Share an Update box.
  2. Click the pencil icon. This opens a writing tool.
  3. Write your post.
  4. Add an image by clicking the camera icon. Click browse, select the picture you want to upload, and click submit.
  5. Click publish when you’re ready to share the post.
  6. You can also save a post or preview it before posting.

If you go to your LinkedIn home page and don’t see these options, don’t worry; you might not have the feature just yet, but it should show up on your page soon. According to LinkedIn, the new tool will gradually become available to all users.

Do you have plans to use this new LinkedIn feature? Share how in the comments.

This post contributed by guest author, Lisa Furgison. Furgison is a media maven with ten years of journalism experience and a passion for creating top-notch content.

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© 2014 – 2018, Contributing Author. All rights reserved.

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