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.
Thanks for this simple but effective guide. Top class.
Wow, hadn’t realised you can add your RSS URL in to a group like that. I’ve just been manually posting articles that I write one by one!
Impeccable timing! As a total Linkedin newbie, I found this post extremely helpful, thanks again for the great advice!
Hi Paul, unfortunately you’ll have to continue posting your blog posts manually to LinkedIn Groups. Currently, you can only add an RSS feed to a group if you are the group owner or manager. I know there are a lot of comments here so it is easy to overlook many of them, but I posted about this earlier. It is the 11th post from the top.
Sorry to disappoint ;-(
Great article Lewis. Linked In has seemed like ANOTHER social networking site to need my attention but I have ignored it until NOW thanks to you. Interestingly, even with my basic profile and with no updates since I set it up, it has worked for me. For example I was asked to chair a conference on women in IT last year. When I asked how they heard of me, they said Linked In. That didn’t motivate me to go and get more active on Linked In but you have so thanks.
i will try it then :D
It’s nicely done with great detailed picture on how to proceed, nice work ! The only things I’m not really doing at the moment is the answer part. When I go to Linkedin I get more into questions than answers . It’s like yahoo answer, when I go to yahoo answer it’s to ask question,not to answer questions , it doesn’t come handy, if we had a nice interface where we dont have to select category for the questions to answer then maybe I will spend more time answering question.
@Sean – oh no worries, I am a manager on at least one group in my tech niche so thats cool. I’ve also been meaning to start a few groups of my own so that will still be useful for those too.
@Paul – Sounds great! Looks like we share similar passions. What group are you a manager of? I’m a web designer and blogger myself, teaching others how to succeed online. I’d be happy to join and contribute to your groups! Feel free to connect with me!
P.S. Nice Thesis layout for your blog. I’m a Thesis user as well!
Lots to implement — just did #3.
never knew one can do much more with linkedin.com.wil check it out..thanks for the info
This is by far one of the most useful posts that I have read in some time. While I do have a LinkedIn account, with a half completed profile ;) I never even thought of it as another medium to attract traffic.
Very Very interesting.
I originally undervalued LinkedIn until I got schooled by enough people swearing by their results. I see how it’s a crucial part of today’s ever-connected world.
Revamping my profile was actually fun, since it was like a quick reflection on the story of my life and my portfolio of results so far … and it reminded me to write my story forward in a way that’s more compelling.
Finally! – A blog posts that explains the power of LinkedIn. I’ve read many posts that say to use LinkedIn, but they never go into detail how to exactly do so. Thank you so much for this much needed post. I can’t wait to begin revamping my LinkedIn profile.
Maybe linkedin just a site to send a resume when you are looking for a job. However, this can be used to improve the traffic from your blog. This can be seen from the post we have read the above. Such references are very useful for all bloggers who have know how and what tool used to increase traffic.
Thanks for the 10 Killer tips to drive traffic from linkedin.
Amazing article on optimum use of Linkedin Site. Many of us actually never go in to the depth of the things. Thanks for the great information.
Thanks for the great post.
Not easy but have to do…..
I have had a LinkedIn Account for years, but only recently started using it. Some of this information I didn’t know, but the stuff I did know is definitely true.
One thing that really helped me out with LinkedIn was to ask some of my Group Members to help me edit my eBook “How to Do a Year’s Worth of Bookkeeping in One Day”. Not only did I get great feedback on what is basically a niche market, but several members of the group subscribed to my blog just because I asked for their help. So if you’re not using the Groups feature, you missing out on what is basically free direct-marketing to thousands of people (since they get your notices daily or weekly in their email inboxes).
This is great. I will try this tip so i can drive traffic to my blog.
@E.T. You are right. The groups are extremely powerful for things other than driving traffic to your site.
I find that if you create a great niche group, the members are willing to support one another. Sort of like various forums online… people will recommend others, answer your questions, share advice, etc.
I use them to throw networking events in various cities around the world as well, and get anywhere from 300-500 people to show up who are in my groups, so they can meet one another in person and take the online connection offline.
There is so much more you can do with LinkedIn than just drive traffic, so I hope everyone gets the chance to learn more about it… and if you want some free LinkedIn Marketing tutorial videos, just sign up to get them for free on my site.
Keep the comments coming everyone :)
Hi Darren. seriously you have helped me a lot in making my blog up and running, your posts are like a self help book in how to make it in the blogging world.
Thanks for the advice.
I have for a very long time ignored LinkedIn in favour of Facebook and Twitter. This is a wake up call for me to get back there and get things done.
Thanks for explaining it. I have an account, and I just have had no clue what the point was of it, nor what to do with it. But I’ll try some of your ideas:)
As well as posting links to my blog posts and useful resources, I use the LinkedIn status update box to let people know when I’m available for freelance work. In my experience it’s been more useful to me than Twitter. I find that people tend to follow a lot more people on Twitter than they do on LinkedIn, so a lot of tweets get overlooked.
very useful tips. thank you. I’ll create my LinkedIn profile right now.
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.
i never knew linked in was good for building inbound links, and promoting blogs effectively, thanks for the post…
LinkedIn has increased my traffic substantially & contributed to my online visibility tremendously — I’m a fan! It’s an excellent marketing channel for my business.
two thumb up :)
Hi Lewis, thank you for the information
I will try to implement it on my blog.
hiii those this impacts but it’s a regrettable and temporary measure to combat a growing comment spam problem
The funny thing is that I’m going to Stumble the LinkedIn article LOL.
I have an account with LinkedIn, but I’m definitely one of those people who don’t do much with it.
There’s just so much to do and so little time.
Perhaps when I have more time…. yeah right, who am I kidding ;-)
Thanks Lewis for an insightful article.
Ok, you have made a compelling post as I never gave it much thought until now. Looks like I will be updating my Linkedin profile.
About a year ago, my friend told me about LinkedIn — actually she sent me a link and I signed up for it. That’s about as far as I got, not knowing all of these great features of it that you have listed! Thanks for the heads up — Now I will utilize this in my biz!! ;)
Great guest post. One of the most informative ones to date. I haven’t used LinkedIn yet because I figured it’s like all the rest and would just take up more of my time, but I’m going to give it a try after reading your post. Thanks.
Hmmn…THANKS for this post! There were definitely several things I am now off to do to optimize the pull I get from LinkedIn that I had no idea I could do.
I had a handful of the steps you mentioned done, but everything else was an eye opener. Thanks again!
Fantastic post. I’m just launching my blog and didn’t realize Linkedin had so many opportunities. Thanks! I’ll definitely be trying some of these tactics.
Awesome ideas ! Though everyone knows about it, but just like many other things we don’t pay heed to get the free benefits of networking on Linkedin. A must read and practicable post
LinkedIn first came up on my radar as a traffic source only a few weeks ago when someone posted a link to our website from a discussion inside a group. It’s been a great source of traffic, and there are still visitors from that thread even a month later.
The only issue with that however is that when I click to see the discussion thread, as I’m not a member of that group (and there’s no obvious way of even finding out what the group’s called!) I can’t see where the link was posted, in what kind of discussion, who posted, or the context.
Wow! I have already used some of the LinkedIn features you mentioned but thank you for finding and sharing more.
Really helpful. LinkedIn should have a link to your article to help publicize these beneficial features.
It is amazing how many elements you need to cover to make the grade. Good advice and I will go an set it up for our site http://www.instantsandbags.com
I am very appreciative for this post, so Lewis, thank you for that. I have implemented some of your suggestions already, my username is avilbeckford. And this evening I will do more.
I have learned so much about LinkedIn that I never knew before. I am happy when I get information that I can not only use, but know exactly how to use it.
There is also a book “How to Really Use Linkedin” for download for free, the light version at http://is.gd/8G14t. I have to finish reading it and see what other gems I can pick up.
Thank you! Avil Beckford @avilbeckford
I am a heavy LinkedIn user and find a lot of value you in it.
My main focus is to answer questions, not only does it drive traffic to my website, but more importantly, it solidifies many of the connections that I have and make throughout the site.
Excellent post. I especially like the add feed to a group option, as that may be a good way to plug your blog – if your blog is focused on the group niche and you produce good content.
This is a niche content site.
Great article man, very good read. I really didn’t think about leveraging LinkedIn to generate more leads.
I’ve given my LinkedIn profile some serious care lately due to Chris Brogan’s suggestions in his book ‘Trust Agents’.
I must also say that recently he (Chris Brogan) made a good point that I was also considering. How many different Social Media platforms should I devote time to?
I’m active on Twitter, Faceook and my own blog. Do have time for LinkedIn? I’m not sure. Do I see value there? Yes! But, how much value does it bring compared to the time, effort and involvement LinkedIn requires? I’m not sure of that.
Thanks for this post! I haven’t quite figured out how to use LinkedIn to my blog advantage but this helps a bit for sure! Great article!
It’s really very useful for me. Specially RSS, Iave not add RSS in my linkedin profile now Will add this.