In defence of LinkedIn articles

The relentlessly helpful® blog by John Espirian

19 May 2021
In defence of LinkedIn articles

As discussed in LinkedIn view counts explained, articles typically receive the lowest view counts of any type of content on LinkedIn.

But while shortform posts are great at getting you visibility, longform articles are great for building authority. People who know their stuff are able to go into length in their articles. That showcases their experience and expertise in a way that isn’t possible in shortform posts.

Anyone doing serious due diligence (business research) on you on LinkedIn will probably look at your in-depth content as a way of determining whether you have the first clue of what you’re on about.

Those people might also be searching on Google. Note that longform articles on LinkedIn are indexed by Google whereas most shortform posts are not.

See the tip for speeding up the indexing of articles on your own blog, taken from my business blogging guide.

If you don’t publish any articles, you might be missing out on showing your value to that prospective customer.

Who knows? Perhaps they’re skipping your profile right now for that very reason.

As an old boss once told me: “We never hear from the people who almost become customers.”

Here are some examples of articles that have been successful for me.

And by “successful”, I mean that the articles have achieved good public engagement signals and have also led to private conversations and – more importantly – some cash money in my pocket.

In each case, click the image to view the article in question.

Update: 27 May 2021.

LinkedIn recently introduced a 3000-character limit on shortform posts.

This is significantly longer than the previous 1300-character limit. Pieces that might otherwise call for an article could now be contained within a post, and this could arguably reduce the need for creating articles.

However, articles can still be much longer than posts. Also, the ability to embed images, videos and posts into articles means that they offer something that can’t be matched by shortform posts.

Weight loss tips from a former fatty.

Actually, I’ll start with an article that has not led to any business but whose reactions and comments confer an air of success. (Note: engagement metrics do not pay the rent.)

This one’s been useful as a “getting to know you” piece to which I can refer people.

There’s another popular article I wrote that plays the same role.

Business value: maybe people feel better about hiring someone who isn’t practically perfect in every way(?)

Weight loss tips

LinkedIn articles – get your longform content right.

The next one is an article about articles. Meta much?

Business value: people ask me to write LinkedIn articles.

Longform articles

Blog posts versus LinkedIn articles.

And then there’s one about blog posts versus LinkedIn articles.

Business value: people ask me for content publishing strategy help, and they buy my book.

Blogs versus articles

LinkedIn view counts explained.

My article about LinkedIn view counts has performed really well. People are often confused about this one, which made it a perfect topic to write about in more depth than you can in a shortform post.

The image below takes you to the LinkedIn article but the version of this piece on my website looks nicer and is more up to date, so smart people will click this link instead.

Business value: people ask me for LinkedIn tips, book consultations and (admittedly only occasionally) buy my LinkedIn course aka the LinkedIn Leaders Playbook.

LinkedIn view counts

How to use bold & italics on LinkedIn – and why you perhaps shouldn’t.

This was funny. I was showing a tool that you can use to add faux bold and italics characters to LinkedIn profiles and shortform posts (both of which normally support only plain text) and telling people not to use it. No surprises: they didn’t listen.

Business value: people ask me for content creation and profile optimisation tips.

Using bold and italics on LinkedIn

Republish your blogs on LinkedIn and Medium.

This is pretty much the basis of what became chapter 29 of Content DNA. I think this is my personal best for an article view count.

Business value: people ask me for content publishing strategy help, and they buy my book.

Republish blogs on LinkedIn

Here’s a useful insight from an expert proponent of LinkedIn articles:

Bruce Johnston

Bruce Johnston.

I have always preferred articles to posts.

There are people that say that posts generate more views but they are different types of views – impressions versus an article’s clicks.

In my experience a typical article would get 700 views and total engagement (likes, new followers, profile views, commenst and shares) would be around 200. A typical post of mine would get 7000 views and total engagment of around … 200.

So for me, one is not better than the other in terms of what matters: engagement.

But … articles stick around. I still get comments and connection requests based on articles I wrote 4 years ago. Never had that with a post.

I still get people contacting me out of the blue because an article of mine appears at the top of Google search results. Never had that with a post either.

Let’s wrap up.

Most LinkedIn articles won’t get good view counts.

That shouldn’t stop you creating at least a few articles to add depth to your LinkedIn profile. When written properly, LinkedIn articles can reveal your expertise for your subject matter.

What’s stopping you?


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John Espirian

I’m the relentlessly helpful®️ LinkedIn nerd and author of Content DNA

I teach business owners how to be noticed, remembered and preferred.

Espresso+ is a safe space to learn how to ethically promote your business online and get better results on LinkedIn.

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