LinkedIn’s Blogging Platform: Should You Use It?

Yesterday, LinkedIn announced that the in-app blogging platform they initially launched to just a small set of influencers, will now become available to all LinkedIn users over the next few weeks.

Should you jump in and start using the new LinkedIn blogging platform?

Probably not.

Opening up the blogging platform to all users certainly makes sense from LinkedIn’s point of view. They’re trying to get everyone (not just salespeople and recruiters) to spend more time on the site to build their audience frequency and overall engagement. If more long-form content is available, it will naturally keep people on their site.

To answer the question of whether you will benefit from using LinkedIn’s blogging platform, just ask yourself: Why am I writing?

Corporate blogging

LinkedIn’s new platform doesn’t change anything for corporate content marketing bloggers; you’re going to want to stick to your current platform. You might want to write slightly longer blurbs or executive summaries on LinkedIn when promoting your posts, but your main content should reside on your own platform. Here’s why:

  • Your own content platform offers links to other properties to which you want to push traffic, such as your corporate marketing site. It provides an excellent place to capture email subscriptions, the Valhalla of corporate blogs. It also enhances your overall property’s SEO value in a way an external blog will not. Plus, full control over the platform can enhance your insight and optimization efforts with richer analytics.
  • Your goal is to emphasize your company’s expertise, not LinkedIn’s ubiquity. Your own platform will provide much greater freedom to communicate your brand.
  • The sum is greater than the parts. You are, presumably, posting content in concert with other members of your team. Together, the editorial calendar will provide a cohesive whole. To best achieve this, you all need to be blogging as a team on your corporate blog —not as individuals on LinkedIn.
  • Over time, you’re building a significant corporate asset — you’ll want to control the platform it resides on. Why risk LinkedIn changing the rules of their service and wrecking your lead generation engine?

Personal brand blogging

Here, the questions is: how committed are you to this project? If the answer is “not very” or “until I find a job,” then LinkedIn might make a fine spot to post up some proof of your expertise or writing ability.

However, if you are aiming to build a personal brand, you’re going to want to own the platform for most of the same reasons a company would: long-term SEO and lead collection, richer analytics, branding, and control.

Make LinkedIn work for you

Don’t split the baby by publishing the same articles to both your blog and the LinkedIn blogging platform. There are potential SEO penalties for creating duplicate content across multiple platforms; and you risk undermining your goals of creating more traffic on your own site.

Instead, to get the benefit of both, use the LinkedIn blogging platform to simply publish teasers of your articles with links to the full content housed on your own site. This makes LinkedIn’s new blogging feature set work for you, and not the other way around.

Rich Quarles

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