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VIRAL MARKETING

How to Make Money by Blogging on LinkedIn

An entrepreneur reveals how he generated leads and revenue with his LinkedIn blog and show how you can do the same.
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16 million.

That's how many people viewed my blog content on LinkedIn last year. Those 16 million page views led to 300,000 followers, thousands of sales leads and books sold and more than $1 million of revenue.

I'm super lucky. I've been part of the LinkedIn Influencer program and that's been a huge part of my success. But now, LinkedIn has opened up its publishing platform to its 275 million users. Now, everyone can blog on LinkedIn. Now, with this roadmap, everyone can make money through LinkedIn. Here's exactly how:

1. Think of a great headline.

A clear, powerful headline that promises to deliver value to the reader counts for as much as 60% of the overall success of your blog post on LinkedIn, as headlines grab readers' attention in an increasingly crowded landscape. Use the headline to guide your content, and deliver what you would tell your best customer.

For example, if you're an accountant, you could try "5 Essential Tax Saving Tips This Year." If you're a small-business growth consultant, you could try "The Secret to Growing Your Business." If you're a recruiter, try "How to Find the Best Talent." Don't worry about giving away your secrets!

2. Find or take a compelling photo.

The "hero image" directly beneath the headline counts for about 30% of the overall success of your post on LinkedIn, as people notice images much more than they notice text. A photo of you, or you with one other person that the post will reference, is perfect. Choosing and licensing a photo from a site such as Shutterstock is another option. Don't ever skip the photo.

3.Write a concise post.

It depends on what you want to deliver, but typically, 400-600 words is good. Use bold, italics, number and block quotes to add variety to your post. Consider embedding Slideshare presentations and or videos through LinkedIn's easy-to-use toolbar. If you want to become a better writer, here is a post on writing that I wrote.

4. Include two strong "calls to action" at the bottom of your post.

Conclude your post with two calls to action for readers: The first should ask readers to comment and give them specific questions to answer related to your post. As comments are a huge driver of virality on LinkedIn, you'll want to solicit comments from your connections and readers. The second call to action is an offer--this is where you'll drive leads, sell books, or solicit app downloads. Drive people to a landing page on your website with a call to action such as "To learn more, click here." Consider a clickable picture here too.

5. Share the post on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

LinkedIn is most obvious network to share your post on, for obvious reasons. Consider sharing it both publicly (with all of your connections) and privately (through messages to key connections). Consider sharing it with LinkedIn groups you're in, and your company page if you have one. Don't be afraid to share it up to four times, as your friends and colleagues are logged in at different times through the day and week. Ask your network to share your post with their network.

6. Repeat steps 1 through 5.

To obtain the best results, blog consistently, at least once per week, on LinkedIn. Remember, you don't need to reach a million people on LinkedIn in order to make money, you just need to reach a few of the right people. And chances are, no matter what you do, the right people are in your LinkedIn network and your network's network.  To reverse-paraphrase the movie The Social Network:

You know what's cooler than reaching 275 million people on LinkedIn? Reaching the right 275 people, with the right message.

For more examples, ideas, and inspiration, feel free to check out my 98 posts on LinkedIn.

Here's to your first post, and to you making lots of money blogging on LinkedIn.

What questions do you have about LinkedIn's blog publishing platform? Let me know in the Comments section below, and I promise to answer each one.

Last updated: Mar 4, 2014

DAVE KERPEN | Columnist | CEO, Likeable Media

Dave Kerpen is the CEO of Likeable Local. He is also the cofounder and chairman of Likeable Media and the New York Times bestselling author of Likeable Social Media and Likeable Business. Want to learn about how to grow your business using social media in 2 minutes? Click here.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.



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