A Guest Post by www.lewishowes.com on driving traffic to your blog with LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is the most powerful, yet under-utilised social networking platform on the web.
Whether you just created your first blog, or you are considered one of the top bloggers in the world like Darren Rowse, Chris Brogan, or Tim Ferriss, you are always looking for ways to generate more traffic to your site. Even more so, you are looking for qualified traffic to your site, (i.e people who are interested in the content you produce).
LinkedIn is a great way to generate free, organic, traffic to your blog.
“But Lewis, isn’t LinkedIn just a site to post my resume when I am looking for a job?”
No, wake up people! Although LinkedIn has been great for job seekers during the most recent economic cycle, it is much much more than that. Individuals and companies are achieving more professional goals than imaginable on LinkedIn. For example, LinkedIn can help you:
- Sell products
- Find new clients or employees
- Generate leads
- Receive funding for your company
- Obtain sponsorships
- Sell hundreds of tickets to your professional event
- Get national and local press coverage
- And last but not least, drive massive traffic to your blog
Achieving these goals on LinkedIn don’t come naturally. You’ve gotta work the system on LinkedIn and experiment with different methods. I’ve come up with the best ways to achieve those goals. Here are my top 10 ways to drive traffic to your blog using LinkedIn:
1. Complete Your Profile:
Numerous individuals have told me LinkedIn doesn’t work for them. I always ask them how much time they have put into using LinkedIn, their response – very little. If your profile is weak people will lose interest quickly and may never click on your website links.
If you want people to read your profile and click on your websites then make your profile concise, compelling and value driven throughout. Complete your profile 100%, add a great picture of yourself, and take the entire process very seriously. The more complete and compelling your profile is, the more people will read and visit links you have posted.
This advice goes beyond driving traffic to your blog. If someone were to Google your name (which most people do when they are researching you) your LinkedIn profile is one of the first things that pop up. Personally, my LinkedIn profile is the third result, and for Darren Rowse it comes up seventh (before Facebook or Twitter). Google your own name and check out what position your LinkedIn profile shows up. You must make your profile compelling.
2. Increase Your Connections:
The more connections you have, the more people will have access to your profile. Every time you take an action on LinkedIn (i.e. update your profile, join a group, recommend someone, RSVP to an event, etc… this shows up on the home page of your 1st degree connections). If you only have 100 connections, this limits the amount of potential clicks on your profile and website links per day. Constantly be updating and adding new connections.
3. Customize Your Website Links:
When you first create your profile your website links will look like this:
However this is not a “call to action” and you are missing potential traffic because of it. No one actually cares what your blog is unless it is relevant to them or solves a problem. Instead, customize your website links to attract more clicks and drive more traffic to your blog. If I were Darren, I would insert this:
The second image is more compelling and explains exactly what the viewer will see on the next page when they click on each link. In order to change your websites with a custom headline, click on the “edit” button next to one of the websites. View the image below for further details:
4. Answer Questions:
This is a great way to drive traffic to your blog. The more questions you answer, the better the chances are of that person asking the question to click on your blog to learn more about you. Not only will that one person be more interested in learning more about you, but also others answering that question. Additionally, when someone rates your answer as “The Best” of the mix, it will improve your thought leadership status. It moves you up the rankings as a “featured expert” in the category you answered in. When you are a featured expert people become more aware of your profile, and the chance they will click on your link to learn more about what you have to offer improves.
5. Update Status:
For you Twitter lovers out there, this should be an easy step to take. LinkedIn also has a status update feature that is a lot like Twitter, only it gives you 148 characters to work with instead of 140. Why is it so important to constantly update your status? Because it is the first thing that pops up the home profile for all of your connections. Check out your home page on LinkedIn and you will see a few status updates of those your are connected to. If they are smart, they will include some compelling copy with a call to action and a link back to their blog (something I do that drives traffic to mine).
6. Join Niche Groups:
Whatever your blog is about, there is an audience of people on LinkedIn that share interest with. To make it easy to find these people click on the “Group Search” tab and type in some key words that relate to your blog. I have a sports industry blog that focuses mostly on social media with an audience of professionals who work in the sports. I joined all of the professional sports groups I could find:
Some of these niche groups have thousands of members who are actively involved in connect with other members. If you are not in the groups where your audience for your blog is hanging out, then you are missing out on the opportunity for new readers, and organic traffic to your site. Join as many groups as you can after doing a key word search that relates to your blog.
For starters – check out the Professional Bloggers Group.
7. Post Comments In Groups:
Some larger groups are receiving hundreds of new discussion topics every few days (think of it as a forum). People are sharing points of discussion, commenting and giving further feedback and suggestions on those comments. Every time someone creates a new discussion topic, it shows up on the home profile of everyone in that group. If there are 100,000 people in the group, then you are potentially getting the attention of 100,000 other individuals for your comment.
8. Add RSS Feed to Groups:
Each group has a section that allows you to add a link to a website with the latest news you think is relevant to that group. It also allows you to add your own RSS feed or website link so it will automatically update the group every time you post a new article on your blog. This creates an automated flow of organic traffic that will show up on the home profile of everyone connected in the group. Again, this gives you more opportunities for people to view your blog.
9. Create a Group:
This may be one of the most powerful things you can do on LinkedIn. I won’t go into all of the amazing details on how this has helped me, but I will tell you that owning a group drives a lot of traffic to your site. I own several niche related groups on LinkedIn. For example, I created the Sports Industry Network group on LinkedIn and there are currently over 19,500 members. When a new person joins the group, they see a brief description of the group, my name as the owner of the group, plus my website url www.sportsnetworker.com. Since my group gets over 100 new members each week, that’s additional traffic from new members alone. That’s not even including the close to 20,000 members who are actively engaging in the group, and clicking on my blog links.
10. Add the Blog Application to Your Profile:
This might be the most obvious suggestion, but I still see some of the top pro bloggers leaving this feature out. This application posts the title and first paragraph for your most recent articles you have published on your LinkedIn profile. It is a way to give viewers of your profile a sneak peak of what they will read on your blog.
Go to “applications” and download either the WordPress or Blog Link application and add your URL for your blog.
LinkedIn continues to be one of the top sites that drives traffic to my blog, thanks to these 10 examples, but the power of LinkedIn doesn’t stop here. What other tips have you found through using LinkedIn to increase traffic to your blog?
Lewis Howes is the co-author of the LinkedIn book, LinkedWorking: Generating Success on the World’s Largest Professional Networking Website. He founded the Sports Executives Association and SportsNetworker.com, which provides daily social media and marketing tips for sports professionals. You can connect with him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/lewishowes or on his site at www.lewishowes.com.
Hello Lewis, Thankyou for a really helpfull post, since starting blogging a few months ago I have been trying out new social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Stumble Upon and getting great amounts of feedback from them. It sounds like your are extremely confident of the potential Linked In as, so I will give it a try! If it is as good as the ones I have just mentioned, then I will be a happy man!
I don’t see “manage news feeds” (mentioned in #8) in my LinkedIn Groups under the News tabs.
Does it only exist in some groups?
Thank you for that great insight into Linked-in … I recently started using it again and these 10 tips are a great help.
Now I’m going to opt in to your list, so that I don’t miss anything you have to pass on. :)
thanks for these useful tips. i have an account on linkedin but didn’t give that amount of importance. i am getting traffic from facebook, twitter, stumbleupon and the top notch blogs on which i made comments in my niche. Getting traffic from linkedin is really a good thing for me and my blog. thanks once again
Your article contains some interesting tips. I already customized my Website Links.
Although my time is limited and I prefer to spend it on photographing instead of “wasting” it on posting comments in forums or groups, I will try to have a look at some interesting groups on LinkedIn.
Yes, LinkedIn is a good source of traffic. My LinkedIn experience started the next day LinkedIn was created and I am doing all the things mentioned in the article. What is important to remember though, people do not come to LinkedIn to communicate with me. They go there to accomplish their personal goals.
Whew! never thought how useful LinkedIn to my blogs. I’d better try your tips. Actually, I just added it to my bookmarks. Thanks for sharing. :)
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Ya, I have an account in LinkedIn too, but after using it for a very short while, I became uninterested. I didn’t get much response, but I must have been impatient. I have also not tried all these tips. Thanks for the great tips, I am gonna try them now, slowly one by one :) Cheers.
To expand on #4, Using the Answers feature: I like to post TwtPolls there to get more responses then I follow up and update the Answer item with a link to a follow up blog post showing the Poll findings.
I have to explore LI groups more, thanks for the tips!
Thanks for the tip about customizing your web links. I never knew that option was there.
Great post Lewis! I use LinkedIn is a major part of my online and social media efforts. I use it quite often and a great majority of my blog’s traffic comes from LinkedIn.
One thing I’d like to point out however… In item number 8 “Add RSS Feeds to Groups”. You can only add your RSS feed to a discussion group if you are the owner or manager of the group stated as follows in LinkedIn’s help:
“Click the ‘Manage News Feeds’ link in the box on the left side of the screen. (This link is only available to owners and managers.)”
Otherwise, you must manually submit each new blog post to the group.
Again, great post and very simple to implement. LinkedIn provides higher quality traffic in my humble opinion as the people visiting your blog from LinkedIn are professionals looking to network with and expand their knowledge through the various connections they make. I’ve made many friends through my blog that have come to it through LinkedIn and highly recommend it!
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Great advice and excellent real life examples of how to make LinkedIn work for you. Thanks for the tips and for the details, they make your recommendations far easier to understand and implement.
I always thought LinkedIn was a fantastic profile site for showcasing myself as an industry professional but I never really considered it a social networking site. I tend to be rather shy about requesting connections but have always been eager to get to know others through LinkedIn.
You’ve offered some great suggestions. For me, the most powerful has been using the blog tool to display a link to my blog feeds and of course, the status update which I don’t use nearly as often as I should. Again, because I didn’t really consider LinkedIn a social network I held back on using it in the same way I would Twitter, Facebook, or Plurk.
Each of these sites really seems to serve a unique purpose in my networking efforts. It is obviously time I learned to use LinkedIn to it’s greatest power too. Thanks for getting me started on that!
I never really thought of LInked-in that way. I hope that it doesn’t turn into another facebook, where the traffic is worth very little, since it is so easy to get friends, but I will give it a try. A customer is a customer, right?
Thanks for giving another idea for multiple streams of income.
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Great post Lewis It’s really helped me a lot and introduced me to how to get traffic from social contacts etc.
If you are a professional and a firm wants to recruit you based on your profile, Promoting a “Personal” or “2nd Business” blog from LinkedIn is such a bad idea.
You need to take into consideration that LinkedIn has the highest average household income per user over any other social networking site (even NYTimes.com and BusinessWeek.com readers).
That being said, these are business decision makers you are targeting with your traffic from LinkedIn, not just farmvile users, or Starbucks drinking junkies (joke :)
LinkedIn is for real, and the network continue to grow (currently 60 million).
Give it a chance, and remember that you get out of it what you put into it.
Hope that helps, and thanks for your comments!
Interesting concepts. I have heard of this website buy never have really ventured to it in any way what so ever besides maybe the main log in screen. I like where you state answer questions. I feel this is a large thing in which one will gain trust in you as you help guide them and fill in the puzzle they are trying to view.
A very informative post .. never thought of LinkedIn as a traffic builder. Like that part of changing links
My question is this:
There are many very powerful social networks today that a blogger can use to drive traffic into his blog: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn…
Which has the biggest traffic potential?
Which is the one I should really focus on?
With my blog I currently only use Twitter and I’m thinking what should be my next step?
Thanx – Ami
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These are great tips, especially customizing your web links. I hadn’t even thought about that. Thank you.
I was putting off signing up for Linkedin as I didn’t want to spend more time on yet another social network. This article has proved to me I should take a look, and put in some effort to make it work for me.
Hello,just to ask a question,is that some social media site has fans from only certain part of the world?
From what I know,Friendster for example most popular at South East Asia region especially Phillipines.How about Linkedln?
Thank you Lewis for share. I had an account for some time now but never used it too much. During the last month I began to post articles, to connect with more people (every time i logg in i check people you may know) , join some groups and to begin answer questions. My goal for March is to create a niche related group.
Very useful information. I have had a LinkedIn for a couple months now but haven’t gotten around to really setting it up. I think I am going to do that right now and follow some of this advice – thanks!
Thank you very much for this insight. I have been a member of LinkedIn for several months but have never done a thing with it. This information will help me increase awareness of my site dramatically as I hope to create professional appeal for my niche site.
Great article. Most of things I’ve already been doing but I had no idea the blog application even existed… totally my fault for not rummaging through the site more. Thanks for sharing these tips!
Well, I had written Linked in off as something for “business people!” I’m hesitant to join in any more kinds of networks because I am already so distracted :) But I am going to look into it now. Thanks for a great post!
I’ve always used linked in for strictly professional reasons…professional in real life, not my online life. As things are pretty stable for me, I’ve had no need to use linkedIn, but perhaps I should take another look at it now.
Thanks for the ideas!
Thank you! I’m off to LinkedIn right now to get going on some good updates. I thought I was already doing a good job (and I was), but I can do even better. :)
Appreciate the fantastic, do-able tips!
Columbus, represent! :)
What if your blog is, um, if full of less than “professional” content (meaning, it’s more personal in nature or perhaps uses the phrase “dog balls” on a regular basis)? I feel like putting my stuff on LinkedIn will cause me to be taken less than seriously by potential employers…whereas if I remain somewhat anonymous on other platforms (FB and Twitter) I don’t have to pretend I still have a day job.
I’ve actually wondered about this question ever since your first LinkedIn speech at TM. Nice to see your name on this blog, BTW. I was wondering when this was going to happen! :)
Great article, and I’ve read many articles on Linkedin already.
Will customize my websites (be more specific than just “my blog” and “my company” and start adding RSS to my groups !
Thank you !
Submitting news to groups results in a lot of traffic to my blog, and I think you offer a lot of other great tips as well.
However, one of your tips seems to be incorrect. It looks like you can only add your RSS feed to a group that you created, rather than all groups that you belong to. Unless you know a way to do this to all groups, I’ll need to continue to submit articles the manual way.
Thanks for the post!
I had not really thought about using linkedin for this purpose. I just signed up for it one day because everyone else was signed up.
Great post, thank you. I have also found LinkedIn to be a great driver of traffic to my blog, primarily by posting links to relevant articles within various groups using a Share This button on my site. I was not aware you could set up an RSS feed for that, and will be looking into that.
LinkedIn has added a lot since I first set up my profile. I think it’s time to revisit in order to see what else I can do with it.
Keep up the great work!
You are right, you have to manually add your articles to other groups you are in, and you can only add yours to your own group.
However, currently each group is aloud to have up to 30 RSS feeds (I believe) so you could contact the group owner and ask (nicely) if they would add your site to their news feed.
If it adds value to the members of the group, and isn’t a conflict of interest then they should be willing to do it as it generates content for their group.
Hope this helps my friend
Thanks for the useful information Lewis.
I think Linkedin is getting more traction eventhough Facebook has a lot more traffic at present.
I particulalry liked the piece about customising your page because it’s so simple to do yet incredibly effective
Thanks for the great tips. My question is similar to Ami’s: With all the great social media sites out there to direct traffic to my blog I’m having difficulty choosing which one(s) I should concentrate my efforts.
I only have a limited amount of time and feel like my effort is half-hearted spread across several sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Digg, Delicious, etc., not to mention the fact that I follow several blogs and try to contribute comments here and there.
Sorry if I’m slightly off topic here, but what is the best strategy to take when getting involved with all of these different communities? Should I be half-hearted, but a part of all or should I concentrate my full effort on one?
Hi Lewis, thanks for this article. I have never knew what LinkedIn was besides that it was a social media networking site. It sounded as if in the beginning, it was only for people seeking jobs, but after reading this, I’ve learned that there is potential to drive massive traffic back to one’s blog. Although it might not be as popular as Twitter or Facebook, I think it will getting up there fast as I see it on a lot of websites. I will definitely have to check this out.
LinkedIn is my preferred social network. I have managed to make many real life connections, compared to other networks where total followers is more important.
Great SEO tip. Just changed my profile.
This was a really good article for me to read today, it just so happens that I have been expanding the reaches of my articles in numerous ways including LinkedIn. This really gives a good starting point to be effective with the site and what it has to offer. If you want to read more about what I’ve been up to on my blog. Feel free to check it out.
I already use it in a professional capacity for my 9-5 job, but I must admit, i never really thought of using LinkedIn for promoting my new blog.
I’m having some relatively good success via Twitter, so i guess it would be daft to ignore the potential of other networking sites.
Thanks for this.
I think LinkedIn is indeed underestimated by most bloggers as a traffic generator.
I wasn’t aware of it’s power myself, and used mostly twitter until now.
The wealth of information you provide is nothing but astounding!
Boy….its been mentioned a few times already in the comments but I have to say it again…I never would have thought of using linkedin in this way. There is definitely some untapped traffic there. I aint gonna lie – I want it….!
Many many thanks for the tips!
This has been on my list of to-do’s forever. Now I know I really need to make it happen. My blog has been performing well and since it’s a niche subject (concert photography) I know it can do way better.
I will take care of this ASAP.
Great Post! I created a Linkedin account a while back, but I never finished my profile. I guess I just couldn’t see the value of this site. Thanks for sharing. I am heading to linkedin now.
Glad to see everyone is enjoying the tips and starting to take action! Let me know how it all works out for you :)
For those of you wondering which social networking site to focus your effort on, the answer is all of them. You can easily update your status and automatically post your blog posts through sites like Ping.fm and Hootsuite.com. Simply set up a free account with the site of your choice and use these tools to help streamline and automate the process. This will save you valuable time while allowing you to syndicate your content to the various social networking sites in which you are a member of. I’ve been using both these tools for quite some time to automatically post my blog posts to all my social networking sites, including, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Plurk, Facebook, Digg, Delicious and more. This has allowed me to focus my main efforts on my blog.
@Taranfx – Sharing content from your blog on LinkedIn is not unprofessional at all. As a matter of fact LinkedIn is the third largest provider of traffic to my blog. I even receive several job offers as a result. The key is to ensure you are publishing content that provides value for your niche market and ensure your content also helps to establish you as an industry expert. If you do this correctly, then your blog will showcase your knowledge, as well as your character and personality, thus assisting in establishing credibility for yourself. It has been very successful through my experience. I’ve even had several employers take advantage of my consulting services.
This is great advice… I was just asking my business coaches this morning about how to better use LinkedIn… Thanks for the post!