LinkedIn has always been a powerful tool for job seekers . You can put your experience out there for the world (read: recruiters) to view, you can see who in your network might be able to connect you to your dream company, and you can also keep track of industry trends and insights from thought leaders through the LinkedIn Influencer program.
If you’ve been on LinkedIn lately, though, you’ve probably noticed a bit of a change . Now, you won’t just find posts from Richard Branson and Bill Gates, you’ll also find stuff from, well, pretty much anyone. LinkedIn essentially opened up its publishing platform to everyone. The question now is whether or not you should be posting.
There’s some debate about whether or not posting on LinkedIn can draw viewers away from your own website , but if you don’t already have a successful personal website or blog, you may want to try publishing on LinkedIn. Here’s why.
1. Your Audience Is Already There
The hardest part about blogging and becoming a thought leader is getting together a following. LinkedIn has already done that for you in the form of your connections. Like an update, any posts you write get onto your connection’s news feeds and, if they like or comment, they’ll get sent out to their connections, and so on.
In fact, strong content can get quite the audience, and connections and non-connections alike can follow your posts the same way they can follow, say, Arianna Huffington’s. Followers get notified each time you post new content. Pretty soon, you’ll get people tuning in regularly.
2. Your Insights Are Included in Your LinkedIn Profile
Speaking of gathering a following, your thought leadership will also appear front and center on your own profile and have its own section. This is yet another way for you to have a portfolio , in a sense, on your LinkedIn profile. Share your experience, skills, samples of work, recommendations from others—and now your professional insights into your area of expertise.
The posts themselves will also link back to your profile, and (bonus) they’ll be searchable. Publishing on LinkedIn is an excellent way to become more visible, which is great for job seekers and for people who just want to build their brand as an industry expert.
3. LinkedIn Might Promote Your Content
Aside from your network seeking your content, sometimes you can get featured on LinkedIn Pulse if your article is related to one of LinkedIn’s channels like Big Data or Professional Women . With over 340 million users, that’s a lot of potential eyeballs on your content.
You might even want to consider syndicating content you’ve posted elsewhere. If you’re not getting much traction with your own professional blog, LinkedIn might be a better fit for your needs and ultimately reach a wider audience.
4. You’ll Get Great Reader Engagement
Finally, those 340 million LinkedIn users are great about engaging with the content that gets posted. If you want reader engagement, LinkedIn has it. You’ll be thanked, challenged, applauded, and questioned. It can be a gratifying experience to continue sharing your expertise through comments, but be ready to defend your opinion.
Getting a conversation going , particularly with other industry professionals, isn’t always so easy on other platforms, so this is without a question one of the biggest selling points of posting on LinkedIn rather than your own blog.
Putting your thoughts and insights out there into the wild world of the internet isn’t for the faint of heart, but if you’ve decided to take the plunge, LinkedIn’s platform certainly is a compelling option for those seeking a wide audience, personal branding, and reader engagement.
Photo of man working courtesy of Shutterstock .
Lily Zhang serves as a Career Development Specialist at MIT where she works with a range of students from undergraduates to PhDs on how to reach their career aspirations. When she's not indulging in a new book or video game, she's thinking about, talking about, or writing about careers. Follow her musings on Twitter @lzhng.More from this Author