Your Facebook and Twitter blog promotional campaign are both mapped out, but how else can you broaden your readership? Try LinkedIn.
Home to 300 million job seekers and professionals, and still growing, LinkedIn is currently the largest professional online network in the world. This is an excellent site in which to promote professional and business blogs, as well as niche blogs that appeal to specialized interests of particular professional groups.
So, how do you expand your blog community in LinkedIn?
1. Build a branded and goal-based company profile.
Determine what your goal is for joining LinkedIn. If it’s to promote your blog, then focus on pertinent information that you want your potential readers to see. Make sure it’s also personalized so your profile viewers don’t feel as if they’re merely looking at a wall.
2. Make connections.
Search for people you know and add them to your network. Ask your friends to introduce you to new connections, and follow influencers in your field as well. If you don’t know anyone in the site, join targeted groups or create your own.
3. Give and request recommendations.
LinkedIn recommendations are specific endorsements about a person’s key professional strengths. Take the time to write and give them to your network members, and request for them as well. Not only does this help place the spotlight on your best aspects as a blogger, but it also demonstrates that you are willing to put in a good word for the people around you.
4. Be active.
This is not just about Liking and Sharing posts. Make time to share your input on various posts by your connections and in your groups. Ask questions! It’s a great way to express your interest in what other members think. Also, take the chance to engage your network in discussions related to your blog’s subjects. This will help establish you as an authority on the content that you publish.
5. Share links to your best blog posts.
Invite people to check out your site, but don’t be pushy about it. This is simple but tricky. I’ve seen some well-known authors and bloggers get called out for promoting their website too often or too aggressively. Remember that you are extending an invitation, not merely pushing people to go out of their way to read your blog. Most importantly, don’t spam the site with links to your blog. Use analytics and exercise good judgment in determining when to post.
6. Share other links.
Don’t make your sharing activity all about you. Exercise generosity and share your connections’ links once in a while, or share other interesting reads that you’ve found all over the web.
7. Share your LinkedIn profile link on your blog.
You can place your link on your sidebar, in your About page, and even in your signature. Aside from helping increase your connections, it also shows your existing LinkedIn community that you take their presence seriously in your blog.
8. Engage with commenters on your blog.
Some of them may be willing to present you with more professional opportunities.
9. Use LinkedIn’s automated features.
LinkedIn has an RSS feed in which you can feed your blog link. This can be shared to groups and individuals, so they’re automatically updated on your latest posts.
10. Focus on relationships.
Of course you’re working hard at creating engaging and valuable content for your blog, and promoting it effectively inside LinkedIn. But what ultimately makes it work is the people you connect with. Make sure you nurture your relationships with your network so they’ll see that you value them as more than just blog viewers, which they are.