LinkedIn for Bloggers – Branding, Authority and Traffic

When it comes to connecting with bloggers, I usually have no problem finding their Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon, and even YouTube channels. What I do run into is a lot of bloggers who do not have a LinkedIn account, which is a shame because there are a lot of untapped opportunities for bloggers on this social network.

Some Interesting LinkedIn Stats

LinkedIn is the top professional social network. While it is not as large as Facebook or Twitter, it still has the following numbers to back up it’s importance:

  • Over 15 million unique visitors per month
  • Over 90 million members
  • Google PageRank of 9/10

If those don’t impress you, how about the number of people who have the following in their profile:

  • 43,112 results for blogger
  • 6,243 results for video blogger
  • 67,085 results for blogging
  • 56,163 results for WordPress
  • 4,917 results for blogging expert

Needless to say, there are lots of bloggers and people interested in blogging to network with, and you will want to network with them!

Strengthening Your Personal Brand

If you are building your personal brand (as you should be), you will want to have strong profiles on the top social networking sites, and what better network to become a part of than the top professional social network. There are many things you can do with your profile that will make it stand out. Here are the parts you don’t want to miss setting up.

Headline

LinkedIn Profile - Headline

Your headline is what comes up in search results, and it is also going to be your first impression on new connections requests that you send. You will want to put what it is you do, whether it is blogging, freelance writing, search optimization, gardening expert, etc. here so that people will know who you are and why they want to connect with you.

Photo

For bloggers, I would suggest using a profile photo that people would recognize, such as the same picture you use for your Gravatar, Twitter, and Facebook. You will want people to easily recognize you across all of your social media properties, including LinkedIn. Needless to say, you will want this shot to be a professional one.

Current and Past Jobs

LinkedIn Profile - Current Job Positions

Your jobs don’t necessarily have to all focus on what you’re doing full time. As you can see with mine, I include my full time position, my role on my own blog, and my most notable regular guest blogging position. If you offer WordPress consulting or other freelance services, those can go here too.

Websites

LinkedIn Profiles - Websites

While there are default ways to add your websites to your LinkedIn profiles using the words My Website, My Company, and My Blog, I highly suggest NOT using those. Instead, use the Other option so you can customize your links’ anchor text.

LinkedIn Profiles - Websites Setup

This really has nothing to do with SEO value. Rather, you want people to make your text something that people will want to go and check out.

Twitter

Don’t use one of your website links for your Twitter. Instead, add your Twitter account via the Twitter settings.

LinkedIn Profiles - Twitter Settings

This will also allow you to incorporate your tweets as status updates. If you don’t think every tweet should go through your LinkedIn account, you can select the option to only share tweets ending in #in instead so you don’t clog up your connections news feeds with a lot of #FollowFridays and other chatter.

Custom Profile URL & Privacy Settings

Be sure to customize your profile URL so it is easy to share.

LinkedIn Profiles - Custom URL Privacy Settings

Also, make your privacy settings as open as you are comfortable with so people can learn more about you and see why they would want to connect with you.

WordPress Application

Is your blog on WordPress (self-hosted or WordPress.com)? Then you can use the WordPress Application on LinkedIn to show either your most recent posts or posts that are tagged LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Profiles - WordPress Application

This is a great way to share your latest blog posts with visitors to your profile.

Amazon for Authors

If you have published a book, you can use the Amazon Application to showcase your latest two books right on your profile.

LinkedIn Profiles - Amazon Application

Or, if you have a friend who has recently published a book, you can share it with your visitors.

Developing Your Network

Once you have a great profile setup, you will want to start connecting with others. You will want to connect with as many people as possible as LinkedIn uses a system of 1st connections (people you’re directly connected to), 2nd connections (people who are connected to people you are connected to), and 3rd connections (kind of like the six degrees of Kevin Bacon thing). You can get certain contact information and privileges based on your relationship to someone, so the more people you know, the larger your network will become.

The great thing about LinkedIn is, unlike Facebook, your connections can’t write on your profile wall and, as a general rule, cannot drive you bananas with spam event and application invites. So it really doesn’t hurt to connect with a broad range of people.

With any network, it’s best to start with your own email contacts as these should be the people you know the best. Under your Contacts menu, go to Add Connections, and let LinkedIn peruse your email contacts to find people on LinkedIn and send them an invite.

LinkedIn doesn’t let you personalize invites using this method, which is why it is essential that you have a recognizable photo and headline. If you’re not sure that people will recognize you, you might want to go into detail on your headline and say blogger at XYZ.com so people will know who you are.

Once you’re done with your email contacts, be sure to connect with others who publicly share their LinkedIn profiles on their website or other social profiles, and likewise share your LinkedIn profile URL on your online properties so people can connect with you.

Building Your Authority

There is lots of talk amongst bloggers that the way to dominate your niche is to build yourself up as an authority in it. LinkedIn gives you several ways to prove your authority on any topic.

Recommendations

Recommendations are powerful testimonials that tell visitors to your profile that you not only offer something of value, but people have been helped by you. You can get recommendations for past and current job positions, which includes your blog.

LinkedIn Profiles - Recommendations

So how do you get recommendations? Think of it like an extremely powerful form of commenting. Find people in your network whose work you respect, and give them a recommendation. Chances are if they know your work, they will recommend you in return. You can also go under your Profile menu to the Recommendations section, find the job that you would like to be recommended for, and select people in your network to request a recommendation from.

Groups

There are a lot of great groups on LinkedIn (yes, actual active, non-spammy groups) where you can connect with people in your niche and your industry. If you are regularly an active participant, you can be listed on the group’s homepage as a Top Influencer which can lead to more recognition.

LinkedIn Groups - Top Influencers

You can join up to 50 groups, so don’t be shy about joining them to see which ones are the best if there is more than one that you are interested in. The best part about groups is you can also connect directly with members of the group without having 2nd or 3rd connections in common.

Answers

Another great way to show your knowledge in your industry is through the LinkedIn Answers area. Similar to Yahoo Answers, it is a place where people can post their questions and you can, of course, answer them. The best part – this area also highlights experts in the industry.

LinkedIn Answers - Blogging Experts

Again, another way to get noticed and make new connections!

Driving Website Traffic

For many, social networking comes down to how much traffic they can drive to their website. LinkedIn doesn’t disappoint in this aspect either.

Sharing Links

To share your latest blog posts with your connections, I would suggest using the Attach Link option in your status box.

LinkedIn Profiles - Attach Link

This allows you to have the link title, description, an image, and an additional comment which will make your update much more noticeable in your connections’ news feed and on your profile.

Sharing with Groups

Don’t just stop there though. Once you have shared your post, use the Share link beneath the update to go beyond just your connections and share it with the groups you are a member of as well.

LinkedIn Share Link with Groups

With the update above going to just those three groups in the dropdown, I expand the reach of this post from just my 1,000+ connections to the groups combined 175,000+ members. Talk about an opportunity to drive traffic with new visitors! Just be sure that the group you are sharing with is open to such promotion, and that the post you are sharing is absolutely relevant to the main focus of the group.

Want to Get Results on LinkedIn?

Are you excited about LinkedIn yet? Because you should be!

This is really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to LinkedIn. There are so many more ways to utilize this powerful network.

Lewis Howes is a LinkedIn rockstar – literally. He and his social media savvy partner Sean Malarkey have created a great course called LinkedInfluence which helps you get the most out of LinkedIn. If you are looking to grow your network, build your authority in your niche, drive more traffic to your sites, find a job, get leads, make sales, and connect with key people in your industry, then this course is definitely for you.

I have bought it, listened to every module, and am proud to recommend it as an affiliate because I have applied some of the strategies already and seen immediate results, like going from somewhere beyond page ten in the LinkedIn people search results to the first page for some major keywords. Plus you get some great bonuses, including a 55 minute training video on LinkedIn Ads worth $97, and three eBooks – LinkedIn Master Strategies, Linked Working, and Twixplode – worth $147.

So if you want to go further with LinkedIn and are planning on investing into any course in the near future, make it this one. It’s really a fantastic deal – it seems like a lot of courses recently have been almost ridiculously expensive, but this one is only $97 for a limited time. It is really a fantastic deal. Don’t miss out on it!

Your Thoughts on LinkedIn

Do you use LinkedIn? What kind of results have you seen from it? And if you don’t, are you convinced to now? :)

Also, whenever you do create your profile, be sure to connect with me on LinkedIn!

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Comments

  1. says

    I agree. LinkedIn is totally under appreciated. It really opens you up to another niche. It may not be “hip” but it has tons of value! I learn so much being on there and it is a shame that many people don’t find it to be an essential tool for branding. And thanks for the tips. They are very helpful.

    • says

      I have to admit, I was one of the under-appreciators until just recently. There is SO much you can do on there though, whether you’re just a blogger or a blogger building a business.

      • says

        I did not originally think that way I did either. I was recommended to it a few times then one day I was bored (that’s also the reason why I originally signed up on FB too. Lets keep that on the down low lol) and I decided to play with it. If I only listen to advice sooner. =P

  2. says

    I have not used it before, But It seems like a smart place to be. I am looking for blog networks. It is great to get to know people my niche..

    • says

      I think LinkedIn assumes that since it’s a professional network, they don’t have to worry about the information being too personal, as most people would want to share most of their resume content with possible employers, clients, etc. There are a few items I wouldn’t want shared with the general public, like my phone number, but if I don’t add one, it’s not too much of an issue.

  3. says

    Great info Kristi.

    I really enjoy LinkedIn. Probably the best Social Network to use for Niche marketing.

    I captured a couple of minor tips here I need to use to fully optimize my profile.

    The only weak spot is LinkedIn location service. If I use the Tupelo zip code I end up in Florence Alabama. I have used Greater Memphis. But still not what I want. So I really hope they soon fix that. Been one of my pet peeves with LinkedIn.

    But LinkedIn Answer is a great resource for valuable info.

    And of course Lewis Howes really knows his LinkedIn stuff.

    Cheers.. Are
    Are Morch just posted How To Provide Proper Social Response

    • says

      I haven’t tried much with location, but the few searches I did for people in my area worked out pretty well. It really aims for major metro areas though. Definitely something they could work on. And yes, Lewis knows his stuff!

    • says

      I guess it might depend on the niche. I notice that every time I answer a question or spend a few days interacting in groups I end up getting new contact requests stemming from those. I have heard of others who have luck with that, so maybe keep working on it. Really if you take about 10 minutes a day just checking in on new questions / discussions and respond, you might see some results after the persistence, when people begin to start recognizing your name as being helpful in that area.

    • says

      I started the same way you did. When I added in my blogging, that was when my LinkedIn experience really started becoming exciting!

  4. says

    Thanks so much for your post! We had heard great things about LinkedIn but didn’t really know how to use it. Your tips are great! Thanks so much for sharing!

  5. says

    Wow! I had no idea all those functionalities were already built into linked in! I’ve had a profile for ages with just a link to my blog and that’s it. I had no idea you could integrate it with WordPress and Twitter and the like. My goodness! You blink an eye and you’re already behind the times!

    • says

      Good point. I know someone else who is doing something similar. I guess you could build up your pseudonym specifically in the blogging arena with a separate profile and use it simply to build that image and authority, but maintaining two profiles could be a time challenge.

    • says

      Yes, reminds me I forgot to mention the tags for your connections. Very helpful in getting to know who you are connected to for what purposes!

  6. says

    Great and detailed post. One thing I did not know about at all was “you can use the WordPress Application on LinkedIn to show either your most recent posts.” I have looked around and don’t see where it is I am suppose to do this? Any guidance?

    My guess is it would be helpful for many people (because it doesn’t seem obvious at all, where LinkedIn hinds this). Or I am missing something obvious.
    John Hunter just posted Investment Risk Matters Most as Part of a Portfolio- Rather than in Isolation

    • says

      Hi John,

      Sorry about that – sometimes I forget it’s not new to me anymore. You have to go under the More menu, Get more applications, and then select WordPress. From there, if you have never used the application before, it will ask for your blog URL. Underneath that, it gives you the option to select either all of your recent posts, or only posts tagged with LinkedIn.

      If you have used the application before and just need to change the settings, you’ll need to go to the same area and edit your blog to get those options. I hope that helps! :)

  7. says

    Kristi, I’m on LinkedIn and I do most of the techniques you discuss here. I’ve been using LinkedIn to connect primarily with people in my specific field (freelance writing for college textbook publishers), so I’ve been connecting with editors and other people who work at the major textbook publishing companies, along with a few other select freelance writers and business people I know are top notch, including some in the blogging/social media area.

    I don’t put my LinkedIn profile out there for all to see because:

    1. I’m concerned I’ll get lots of connection requests from spammer types, like the spammers that frequently follow me on Twitter, and that it could take significant time to figure out who’s legit and who isn’t.

    2. I want editors who check out my profile to see that I’m primarily connected to other quality people in the field and related fields, and not a wide range of people of varying skills, interests, and qualifications.

    I’m still feeling my way with LinkedIn and learning what I can about it. (Social Media Examiner, which you write for, has a lot of good posts about LinkedIn.) However, I still am very much a newbie there.
    John Soares just posted The History of Social Networking — Plus My Story

    • says

      I was the same way about LinkedIn – not wanting to connect with possible “spammers” or advertisers and such. Then I found out there was a limit of 30,000 and I figure, I’ll probably never hit that anyway, so how does it hurt to connect with just about anyone? In my case, people in just about every industry can benefit from blogging, so connecting with a blogger for advice isn’t too far fetched. And although I don’t need them, I do end up getting consulting requests from people in various industries thanks to being connected with me (or being referred by one of my random connections).

      The thing I like about LinkedIn is the spammers aren’t really as intrusive. They can’t write on your profile, and the direct messages seem to be pretty low compared to other networks. But you definitely have to use the network as you see fit, and if that is how you want to do it, then that is fine. :)

      One thing I would suggest, in the long run if you do decide to open yourself up to more people, is to take advantage of the tags. That way, you can tag the most important contacts you have coming in, and one day if you want to prune the list, you can just sort your contacts by untagged and sort it from there. That’s what I plan on doing one day – the tagging, not necessarily the pruning.

        • says

          Besides, John, you can always refuse to recommend or refer a connection if asked, claiming you don’t know that person well enough — which can become fodder to grow a relationship with that person!

          You also may never know if a 2nd or 3rd degree connection of that “spammer” is someone who could be your next best client.

    • says

      Thanks Dan! Yes, there are a lot of people with pretty bland profiles, many of which I know have websites and other online properties that they could be showcasing on this network. Hopefully this will be a nudge in the right direction for them!

  8. says

    Thanks for the outstanding tips Kristi. I’ve been on LinkedIn for 3+ years, but I just started blogging. Q: What do you recommend if the title of your blog is longer than LinkedIn allows? Should I stick with “Blog” or use some creative abbreviations?

    • says

      That’s great to hear! I would go with something descriptive that describes the essence of the blog. Most people recognize mine as Kikolani, but if they come across my profile and haven’t heard of it before, I think that Blogging Tips or Blog Marketing would sum it up for someone deciding if it was a website they would be interested in. So whatever that short summary of your blog is would be what I would go for in that case. :)

  9. says

    Once I build a presence on twitter and facebook I’ll definitely trying to grow my linkedin profile but I always thought that it is not personal enough and only suitable to find jobs through business contacts.

    • says

      It’s much more than that Andreas. I direct message people regularly through LinkedIn for chat, and have made lots of contacts just for blogging, strengthening my relationship with them.

  10. says

    Hey Kristi, hope you’re settling back in after your trip to Oz! Did you get to see the penguins?

    I was surprised that changing the labels on links to external sites doesn’t have SEO benefits. Why is that? For example, my retail consulting effort is called “Interstratics”, but my label for it in LinkedIn says “Big Picture Retail Insight”. Doesn’t having “retail” connected to the Interstratics.com hyperlink help, even if only a little?
    Alexa Samuels just posted How LinkedIn changed someone’s life in a way you couldn’t predict

    • says

      Yes, we got to see the penguins! They were so adorable, waddling around and going to their homes on the beach to feed their babies.

      The SEO benefits of links on LinkedIn are iffy. Basically, they are all nofollow, which tells the search engines to essentially ignore them. But there’s lots of differing opinions on whether search engines actually ignore those links or still give them some sort of value for being on the profile. So I just assume that the anchor text / label you give them is more for describing your site to visitors of your profile than it is for gaining the proverbial “link juice.” Either way, it certainly doesn’t hurt to have them labeled well. :)

  11. says

    Hi Kristi, I discovered your blog via Ana Hoffman and I am thoroughly impressed! I am one of the many people who have a Linked In profile, yet I am guilty of not utilizing it as well as I should.

    I thank you so much for this incredibly detailed post. I thought I was somewhat familiar with it, but apparently not! :-)

    I will definitely print this off actually, and head over to Linked In next week and compare point for point!

    Thanks for all the time you took to share all these tips!

    ~Jayne~
    Jayne Kopp just posted Get in to the Rythm of the Law of Rythm!

  12. says

    Wow Kristi, You are an excellent writer and offer superb material in areas I am passionate about. I was no where to be found on Linkedin for my keywords, then I learned from Sean and Lewis and I am on page one for my keywords. I highly recommend LinkedInfluence also.

    @ClayFranklin

  13. says

    Kristi, let me say that I honestly appreciate this post. You outlined and explained all the major benefits of LinkedIn.
    What I like about LinkedIn the most is that it is a great learning resource. I joined relevant groups and they are a deep pool of knowledge. Questions and answers are also awesome and I still prefer them to Quora.
    I am still not using LI to its full potential at the time, but I enjoy it a lot. And I agree with all the readers who said that LI is under-appreciated.
    BTW, love your LI profile. :)
    Goranka just posted SEO optimizacija sajta za lokalnu pretragu

  14. says

    Hi Kristi,

    I am on LinkedIn but I’m not really that active there. I get invites to connect with people but it seems that the majority of them are in some type of offline business. I’m an affiliate marketer so I haven’t connected with anyone actually looking for what I have to offer. I found the site to be really confusing which is why I guess I haven’t spent much time there.

    Thanks for this though and I think that maybe over the weekend I’ll get on there again and really take a better look around. I’ve got a list of things to do this weekend and will be sure to add that to it.

    Enjoyed the post and thanks for the information.

    Adrienne
    Adrienne just posted Damn Those Hackers- Don’t Let This Happen To You!

  15. says

    I’ve been using LinkedIn but I don’t see ANY traffic coming from the site. True, I probably need to spend more time there but the site navigation is confusing.

  16. says

    Stinks the links went from followed to a 302 re-direct. With the way no-follows are showing up in Google link checks though, I’d hesitate to remove my custom anchors just yet.

  17. says

    Very thorough and extremely helpful, Kristi. I have a nice little to do list just from reading the post, and great resources to turn to once I’ve finished my list.

    My LinkedIn account has been suffering from years of neglect, but, as you point out, I’d be a fool to waste the opportunities waiting there for me and my blogs.

    Thanks for sending me the link to this post. I appreciate it.
    Brad Harmon just posted 3 Myths About Online Branding

  18. says

    Awesome explanation about LinkedIn, excellent tutorial for us this is my second read now it seems to be a addiction of your insights analysis of web marketing, we normally use sites but we never try to get involve as much as you explain about more features, keep it on in future I wanna more big outputs from you.

    Thanks and Regard
    Brainpulse just posted Editing A File In File Manager In Cpanel

  19. says

    Nice tutorial Kristi :D

    I created my LinkedIn account long ago when I first got started my online business. But I stopped using it after one month or so. One thing I can tell you that even with my “unprofessional” way of using it, I still learned many things from people I connected with at that moment. So, it’s definitely worth another try!

    Thanks for sharing.
    Duy just posted By: black_raven