If you’re struggling to get your voice heard in your industry, I empathize with you. In a world where everyone’s being bombarded with content, ads, videos, and notifications of all kinds, it’s difficult to broadcast your voice, even if you’re yelling.
That’s what makes LinkedIn Pulse one of the easiest ways to get yourself heard by the masses!
The Pulse of Pulse
In the past several months, I’ve had a lot of success on Pulse. Pulse is LinkedIn’s publishing platform, curated by a team of editors. As you’re about to see, this has tremendous benefits for you and your brand.
Pulse can come in handy if you don’t have a large social following or other means to advertise yourself. You no longer need to guest post on Forbes to get worldwide visibility.
By publishing on Pulse, you can:
- Make fresh connections in your industry
- Find new clients
- Build your mailing list
- Get more eyes on your personal blog
- Drive traffic to your site
Basically, you can get more attention and drive that attention wherever you want. No matter where you are in your career, Pulse is a great tool to expand your horizons and get noticed.
And, perhaps best of all, it’s completely free. There are loads of legitimate marketing techniques out there that work, but some require a hefty upfront investment. With LinkedIn pulse, you can literally have a marketing budget of $0 and get a great ROI.
How Much Success Can Pulse Bring?
I mentioned earlier that I’ve had success on Pulse. Let me share some of my numbers with you to show you exactly how much success. As of this writing, here are my top 3 LinkedIn posts:
Stop Asking Me What I Want To Do With My Degree 5,572 views
Not too shabby, considering I didn’t spend a penny. LinkedIn did it all for me.
And with these posts, I’ve been able to drive traffic to my blog, build my mailing list, and make new connections.
Even better, some posts can reach the 10k view mark and go far beyond. Think about that: You have the ability to reach thousands of people without spending any money. It’s one of those “too good to be true” moments, but I assure you it’s the real deal.
In this guide, you’ll learn:
- How Pulse works
- How to write for LinkedIn
- How to write a Pulse-worthy post
- How to keep the momentum going
- How to use other social media networks to maximize your reach
How Pulse Works
First, I recommend checking out Pulse if you haven’t already. Go to the Interests menu on your LinkedIn homepage, then select Pulse from the drop-down.
You’ll see a stream of posts, written by LinkedIn users in every industry. These are general posts that the editors felt would appeal to the most people. Generally, these are big-ticket items, like presidential or corporation news.
If you click the hamburger menu on the left, you’ll see different categories pop up. These are Pulse’s channels, which include Productivity, Student Voices, and Technology. When you browse different channels, you’ll see different posts.
Getting published in these channels will expose your writing to thousands (possibly tens of thousands) of readers all over the world. And since each channel is a niche of its own, most of the views will be professionals from your industry. And that’s fantastic.
A little behind the scenes explanation: Pulse is curated by a team of editors who pick out posts that stand out to them. (More on this in a minute.) But it’s also a platform that’s visible to people who follow you.
When you publish a post on Pulse, your followers will see in their news feed that you’ve posted. They might also get a notification. Of course, if you don’t have any followers, no one will be reading your posts!
That’s where getting featured comes in. If the LinkedIn editors decide to feature your post in a channel, it will be visible to all LinkedIn users. These users can like your post and follow your profile.
This also means that you don’t need to be a superstar in your industry to be heard. I had my first LinkedIn post featured, and I had no previous experience. I hadn’t even been on LinkedIn for too long. And this is totally possible for you. There are no barriers to getting featured––all you have to do is write a great post.
LinkedIn editor Daniel Roth wrote up a good explanation of what happens after you hit “publish.” He brings up a few excellent points that I’ll touch on later.
So now that you know how Pulse works, you’re ready to move on. It’s your goal to get featured, and you’re going to make that happen.
How To Write For LinkedIn
Even if you have prior experience with writing amazing blog posts, you’ll need to get used to LinkedIn’s atmosphere and community. Just like Reddit’s user base is typified by snarky humor, LinkedIn’s user base is typified by work-related posts with zero fluff. (I’ve seen people call out authors who write fluff.)
The typical LinkedIn user is typically 25-40 with a white collar job. There are a fair bit of entrepreneurs on LinkedIn as well. Overall, the content is aimed at the business professional.
When you’re writing for LinkedIn, keep these stylistic points in mind:
- Give helpful advice. LinkedIn users like actionable advice that they can use that same day. Tips that are off the beaten path perform well.
- Omit needless words. Heed Strunk’s advice, and deliver a lot of content in as few words as possible. Many readers may be viewing your post on their phone during their lunch break, so keep it concise.
- Make use of subheadings. Subheadings make it easy for readers to scan, and they increase the overall readability of your piece.
There are also a few popular formats I’ve seen pop up:
- Advice posts. Some posts help readers improve their productivity or make changes in their business.
- Opinion posts. Some authors take a current event or trend and write about it. There’s little soapbox-standing; it’s opinions as they relate to the bigger picture.
- Lifestyle posts. Some posts delve into personal perspectives. For example, I wrote a post on tools I use to increase my productivity. The post was written from my unique point of view, and others can use it to help themselves.
Naturally, there will be a lot of format-blending. The best way to decide on a format is to browse Pulse and find popular posts. Find ones you enjoy, and then use those as inspiration to create your own.
How To Write A Pulse-Worthy Post
It should be no surprise that the editors choose to feature posts that meet the above criteria. While there’s no guarantee you’ll get featured, there are techniques you can use to dramatically increase the likelihood of that happening.
To find out what makes a Pulse-worthy post, we’re going to take a look at my top 3 posts and see what makes them tick. There are some common traits in these posts, and since they’ve all done well, I’m reluctant to shrug it off as a coincidence.
I’ll also be picking out other popular posts that have the same features so you can see it’s not just a fluke. And if you include these elements in your post, there’s a much greater chance you’ll be featured as well.
A catchy headline
From copywriting legend David Ogilvy: On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”
So the headline is 80% of your post. That’s a big deal.
For my articles, I always try to include a snappy headline that’s not clickbait or cliche. I like questions or commands (“Are You Ready…?” and “Stop Asking Me…”). I also like using headlines that make you do a double take (“I Can See Into The Future…”).
All of these are solid options for your post headline. I’ve found that questions and commands perform best, but you might have success with a wackier headline.
This is another area where browsing Pulse is beneficial. See what others are doing for their headlines, and if you see any you like, bookmark them for reference.
Each of my top 3 Pulse posts featured quite short paragraphs. I average 3 to 5 sentences per paragraph. The main benefit here is that shorter paragraphs look less intimidating. And since the actual post only takes up half of your screen, you have to be extra careful not to create behemoths.
I should also mention that I’m not a fan of the blogging style where the author writes lots of one-sentence paragraphs. I only use one-sentence paragraphs for effect. When I want to emphasize something, I’ll write it in a line by itself. Do this too much, and you run the risk of sounding gimmicky and fake.
But one-sentence paragraphs have their place. (Check out the next technique!)
This was something I didn’t notice until I went over the posts for this guide. Each of my top 3 posts began with a one-liner introduction:
- To the person who’s asking me what I want to do with my degree: Stop.
- Every day, nearly every hour, I look into the future. In fact, I am right now.
- Content marketing is going to look much different in the near future.
Granted, the second one is technically two sentences, and the first one is formatted differently, but they read like one-liners. And that’s what matters.
A short, one-line introduction pulls your reader in and assures them that this won’t be a dense post. It’s the hook of your post that engages the reader and convinces them to keep reading.
My top 3 posts all have closing statements/paragraphs that are definitive. They restate my main point with powerful wording. There’s no wishy-washy implications here.
While some are long and others short, I make declarations:
- But the fact is, you’ve asked me what I want to do with my degree. I wish you hadn’t. But I’ll give you the standard “I’m not sure yet” and move on with my day.
- University may cost a ridiculous amount of money, but it should not cost anyone their sanity and happiness.
- That’s the future of content marketing.
See how firm these are? They’re decisive and direct. End with this kind of closer, and you’ll leave your readers wanting more, which is good.
Link to my site
Two of my top 3 posts have links to my website, and I got a good amount of traffic from those links. One post had a link to my signup form, and my signups spiked that day. I was able to get the emails of people that, if not for Pulse, I would have never reached.
I place these links at the end of my posts underneath a line (–––––) for visual appeal and maximum attention-grabbing ability. I suggest you do the same, because if someone reads your entire post, they’ll likely want to hear more from you.
Are images necessary?
Recently, I’ve been having problems uploading images to LinkedIn. Two of my top 3 posts have images, but the third one doesn’t.
With content marketing in general, I don’t think images are crucial, but LinkedIn may be a different story. I couldn’t help but notice that the post without an image got the least number of views. The two posts with images have 5,572 and 3,496, while the post without an image only has 1,337 views.
This might be because on Pulse, posts with images have greater visibility. If you’re scrolling through a channel, a post without an image and just a headline may not be obvious. For that reason only, I suggest including a great image. (If you need images, check out this post.)
How To Keep The Momentum Going
You’ve written a blog post that ticks all the boxes and engages readers. Now what?
Since your goal is to get featured, that will be first on your priority list. Remember that post from LinkedIn editor Daniel Roth I mentioned? That’s going to come in handy now.
Notify the LinkedIn team
Usually, when you publish a post, it’s a waiting game. You have to wait until the editorial team reviews your work. Sometimes, that’s the next day. This has happened to me quite a few times, and it might happen for you. (That’s why this guide promises almost overnight success.)
But if you want to get ahead (and why wouldn’t you?), you can follow one of Roth’s wonderful tips and notify the LinkedIn team on Twitter. When you share your post on Twitter and include “tip@linkedinpulse” in your Tweet, your post will automatically be flagged for review. I haven’t personally used this, but a lot of featured posts happen this way.
Participate in the conversation
Responding to comments is one of the best actions you can take after your post has gone live. By keeping the conversation going, you’re continually giving people more chances to participate, and LinkedIn readers like to participate.
And if readers get more involved, they’re more likely to share the post as well. If that wasn’t enough, you can even remind readers of your site or email list in comments––but only if it’s relevant. If they ask where they can see more of your work or posts, tell them. Don’t over-promote yourself.
Utilizing Other Social Networks to Expand Reach
You know that LinkedIn can be a potent tool on its own, but when you combine its power with the might of other social media networks, you can have outstanding results.
The most important concept here is knowing which social networks your post will perform best on. Since Pulse posts are business-oriented, you’ll want to share it among like-minded people.
If you have a good-sized following on Facebook or Twitter, and if your followers enjoy businessy posts, then by all means, share it. If not, send it to friends, colleagues, family members, or followers that you know will enjoy your post and find value in it.
A few other great places to share your content:
- Appropriate subreddits: Depending on what you write about, you can share your post on /r/entrepreneurship, /r/marketing, /r/smallbusiness, and so many more. There are loads of subreddits, so find one or two that are most relevant to your post’s topic.
- Quora: Using Quora to share your post is more difficult because you need to find a relevant question. If you wrote a post on productivity techniques, and someone on Quora is asking how to enhance their productivity, then answer and link your post.
- LinkedIn groups: Another great LinkedIn resource. If you’re a part of any groups that allow (or even encourage) self-promotion, then share your posts.
Just by being featured, you should automatically get hundreds of views on your post. If it performs really well, you could see even higher numbers.
Another benefit of being featured is the number of followers you’ll gain. I’ve gotten over 150 followers from my most popular posts, and while that might not seem like a lot, that’s over 150 people who will be seeing my posts in their feed and who might subscribe to my list or even hire me.
Remember, quality trumps quantity. Put your best work out there, and you’ll do well!