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Write Blog Posts That Win On LinkedIn by Answering These 4 Questions

Written by Zachary Chastain  ()
on November 10, 2016 ·

Professionals overwhelmingly prefer to use LinkedIn to learn more about trends and news in their industry. According to a MarketingProfs.com survey, 32% of people who use LinkedIn use it to read updates in their feed. In BuzzSumo's analysis of 25,000 LinkedIn posts, they found that along with list posts and content that share advice on being successful, posts that focus on trends and current newsworthy topics were top performers on LinkedIn.

So, how can you write newsworthy blog content that you can share and promote on LinkedIn? You can start by asking yourself these 4 questions. 

1. How Does This Impact My Audience? 

You should ask yourself why the topic you're writing about has impact, and not just whether it has impact, but whether or not it has impact for your audience. In order to write content that will appeal to your audience, you need to understand why they care about the topic you're writing about. How does it impact their work and their lives?

  1. Include this angle in the title. For example, if you're writing about LinkedIn advertising best practices, you'll want to include something in your title about creating successful LinkedIn ads, because your readers don't care about best practices, what they really care about is making ads that will get them results.
  2. You should explain at the beginning of your blog post and social posts promoting your blog post why what you're writing about matters to a reader from your target audience. This is your hook, the reason that the reader will set aside the time to either read or skim your content, rather than just bounce away.

 

2. Is this Information Timely? 

Why are you telling your audience about this now? Why not last week or 6 months ago? What is going on right now that makes this information relevant to the reader?

You can make evergreen content more timely by connecting it to a current event. If you're writing about earned media you could connect it to Donald Trump's campaign and examine how he earned billions of dollars worth of free advertising from media organizations. If you're writing about best practices in your industry, you could connect your recommendations with the findings of a recent study or industry report.

Not only does this make the information seem more timely, but it also serves to provide some authority to your content. It's not just you saying this, other relevant and respected sources are agreeing with you.

 

3. How Can You Communicate Authority? 

It's not enough to just share timely and relevant information, you also need to impart some degree of authority on the subject. If you're running a blog about gardening and you write a post on astrophysics, then unless you're Neil deGrasse Tyson and you've taken up a gardening hobby, people are unlikely to take you seriously.

It doesn't have to be that extreme though. Even if you're writing about a topic that you have domain knowledge and authority on, it can be difficult to demonstrate that authority without also beating your audience over the head with it. If you take the wrong approach you'll come off as bragging or selling yourself too hard and it will turn readers off.

Again, like I mentioned with the previous question, the best way to demonstrate authority without coming off like a self-interested jerk is to find other credible sources that agree with you and support your stance. Now it's not you saying that you have all this knowledge and experience and of course you're right, it's other respectable sources within your industry or who are otherwise relevant to the topic you're writing about that say you're correct.

You can also establish authority by linking to previous posts you've written on the subject. If you write frequently on a subject and support your conclusions with 3rd parties frequently your perceived authority on the topic will grow with your audience the more you write and the more knowledge and experience you demonstrate through your writing.

 

4. Is There a Conflict?

Conflict is interesting. We tend to think of many aspects of life in terms of winners and losers, successes and failures. It's tricky to cover conflict in a constructive way in your content though, and it's easy to let your content take on a negative vibe or to let yourself get sucked into the conflict.

Here is how you can include conflict in your posts in a constructive wayt:

  1. Stay objective. The easiest (though probably the least interesting) way to avoid getting suck into a conflict or taking the low road in your support for one side is to simply not take a side. You can report on both sides of the conflict in as factual a way as is possible, avoiding bias as much as you can. This is the safest option, but it also strips away your personal thoughts from your content and it might not be the most engaging way to write, especially if your audience doesn't expect you to be an unbiased source of news.
  2. Temper your bias. It's okay to add some bias to content about a conflict if you believe that one side of the conflict appeals more to you or to your audience. However, avoid painting the other side of the conflict as worse than it really is. Stick to the facts and make a logical case for your views.
  3. Attack arguments, not people. Remember that if you are taking a side in a conflict you're writing about that you are arguing for your viewpoint, not attacking those who disagree with you. No matter how heated the debate on your content might get, or just how strongly you feel about the subject you're writing about, remember to take a step back and be respectful of the people you're disagreeing with.

Always remember that when writing about a conflict you're aiming to write an opinion piece that analyzes that conflict and adds a unique perspective to the discussion, not a hit piece that tears into either party with a vitriolic tone.

 

If your blog post contains all 4 of these elements then you've got the potential to write a newsworthy blog post about a topic that will matter to your target audience on LinkedIn. Remember to try to include as many of these elements in your LinkedIn update as possible. 

You may not be able to include every one of these elements in your post every time. That's okay, just like you avoid keyword stuffing in SEO, you want to write your post to appeal to your audience, not a checklist. If it doesn't fit this particular post you can leave it out.

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Topics: LinkedIn, LinkedIn Advertising

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