Back in March I wrote about a personal social media study I did in trying to increase my overall influence online. I mentioned in that post that I’d started writing articles on LinkedIn, and how it had started bringing me some attention.

Ylva Johansson
Creative Commons License Socialdemokraterna via Compfight

At this point I have 21 articles there and I’ve started to see a pattern. There are some things that seem to help determine how many eyes are going to see what you’ve written.

I can’t guarantee that every post you write, even if you follow these rules, is going to get seen by more than 1,000 people like this post on getting unstuck did but there seems to be some rules to follow if you want as many people to see your posts as possible.

First, unless you’re a known entity or someone that LinkedIn has determined is a major influencer across the board, list posts seem to get viewed the most. It’s probably for the same reason they work so well on blogs; people like seeing something that they expect is going to have specific points that maybe they can identify with.

Turns out it doesn’t matter if you use an actual number or write it out as a word, but lists work well. Also, it helps if you bold your numbers in the article, whether it’s the word or the actual number (like I’m doing for this post).

Second, although this goes against the grain of how some people think, longer articles seem to get more attention, even if they’re list posts. My longer articles, which also have been list posts, have more numbers than all my other posts, and if you know me you know that I’m not normally about really short posts to begin with. Substance seems to be a big winner, so if you’re writing a long post make sure you have something to say.

Third, short titles don’t work well either. I’ve never really paid much attention to titles on this blog for every post but I’ve noticed that on LinkedIn you’ll get more eyes if your title is long enough to tell people what you’re writing about.

LinkedIn smurfs
Mark Jen via Compfight

Fourth, write articles where you’re offering something to help others. My posts that have helped someone in some fashion have garnered the most attention. Even on a post like this, where I gave 7 ways to tell if you’re a bad leader, got 400 views because there was a perceived value. Actually, there was a major value in this post but if you’re a bad leader you might not have picked up on it. lol

Fifth, it’s smart to have some kind of picture to put at the top of your article. They give you the opportunity to put a picture with the pixel size of 698×400. Just like with blog posts, images seem to help rather than having a big gap without anything there.

I have tons of pictures so I go through them looking for something I think might fit. Since all my pictures are much larger than that I can crop when I need to before resizing.

Sixth, don’t forget to do the spacing like most of us remember to do when we write our blog posts. It helps with readability.

Seventh, when you’ve completed your post LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to add 3 categories to your articles. However, you have to use the categories they give you if you go that route; if it’s not there then you don’t get to do anything.

I’ve found that the articles I’ve written that get the most attention are those that I haven’t categorized. What happens is that if your article is seen by enough people, and that magic number is usually at least 100 people, it’ll decide where to put it so you don’t have to. Truthfully, that works better anyway, and it takes the pressure off you to have to do it.

That’s pretty good stuff to consider if you’re just starting out or have been thinking about doing it. If I get anything more out of it I’ll certainly write about it here.
 

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