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Top tips for getting your long-form content right on LinkedIn.

Here are my best tips on getting your LinkedIn articles right. For more context, check out my interview with Mark Williams on the Linkedinformed podcast, episode 252.

Briefly, why bother with articles? Because they’re a great way to demonstrate your authority. Normal posts in the feed are excellent for visibility, but articles can help sway the minds of decision-makers. Articles might not rack up the same views as posts, but they’re important all the same.

Top tip: publish to your home base first.

Publish your articles on a platform you control before you publish on LinkedIn or anywhere else.

There’s more detail in these two articles:

The headline matters.

The headline of the article matters. As many as 8× more people look at the headline as look at the body copy, so you need a headline that draws people in.

People are getting wise to clickbait headlines – “you won’t believe what happened next” – so don’t be too sensationalist, and make sure the body content reflects what’s been promised by the headline.

If you’ve already published the article on your blog first (a good idea), I recommend tweaking the headline when republishing it on LinkedIn. This gives you two tickets in the SEO lottery.

You can check the strength of your headlines via the CoSchedule Headline Analyzer.

Get the intro right.

Your latest article is featured on your LinkedIn profile. This displays a 4-line intro on desktop and mobile, so it’s important to write something appealing in those opening lines.

LinkedIn article preview on profile
Get your 4-line preview right to entice more clicks

Unlike traditional academic writing, it’s best to lead with the key takeaway or stat from the article.

Choose a cover image.

I create my cover images in Photoshop, but a popular free alternative is Canva. You might also want to check out my list of free image download resources.

Dimensions of 1200×630 pixels work well for cover images but it’s important to note that when the latest article is featured on your LinkedIn profile, only the central square of the image is displayed.

Therefore, it’s best if the central 630×630 part of the image contains the most important bit.

LinkedIn article cover image
LinkedIn article cover image – landscape format is good, put the important stuff in the central square

You might even want to have a special square image in the article while it’s the featured item and then replace it with a landscape image once you publish your next article. That feels like a lot of hassle to me.

When you insert the cover image, click the middle button to scale the image to the same width as article.

LinkedIn article cover image scaling
Click the middle button to scale the cover image to the same width as the article content

The main article content.

I find that the best performing articles are quite long. A previous analysis of my own content showed that 2000–3000 words worked well for me.

Blogging surveys report that even the average length for an article is now well over 1000 words, with longer posts performing better.

That said, length for length’s sake isn’t good. The writing still needs to be tight, so edit to cut out the fluff.

Highlight the quotable stats in the article. This is where the bold and quote options are your friends.

Include links to further reading/evidence. Unlike links in posts, links in articles aren’t subject to any algorithmic penalty.

Did you know that you can embed your existing LinkedIn posts and videos in LinkedIn articles? Here’s a quick how-to:

To embed any post in a LinkedIn article:

  1. Click the ellipsis (…) on the post you want to embed.
  2. Click Embed post.
  3. Click Copy code.
  4. In the article, click to expand the square media panel.
  5. Click Links.
  6. Paste the code block you copied.
  7. Press Return.

To embed a video post and display only the video in a LinkedIn article:

  1. Click the ellipsis (…) on the post you want to embed.
  2. Click Embed post.
  3. Untick Include full post.
  4. Click Copy code.
  5. In the article, click to expand the square media panel.
  6. Click Links.
  7. Paste the code block you copied.
  8. Press Return.

End with a call to action.

The article should end with an action that you’d like the reader to take.

If you published the content on your blog first, I’d also recommend linking back to the source article. This is a useful sign to search engines but also guides readers to where they should be able to get the latest content from you.

LinkedIn article call to action
LinkedIn article call to action

The experience of consuming the content on your website also ought to be a little better than it is on LinkedIn, as LinkedIn articles are very limited in their display features.

Don’t just give readers a taster of your content.

I can’t stand LinkedIn articles that are a few lines long and that instruct the reader to click a link in order to read the whole piece.

The more clicks you force on people, the more you’ll annoy them. People are on LinkedIn for a reason, so serve them where they are.

Get more visibility for your content.

The big view numbers on LinkedIn tend to come from posts rather than articles. I talk about the differences in these figures in LinkedIn view counts explained.

To take advantage of the power of LinkedIn posts, you could start by publishing your content in a document post.

LinkedIn document post
LinkedIn document posts perform well in the feed

You could then publish that document as a media item on your profile.

LinkedIn media items on my profile
LinkedIn media items on my profile

Such document posts are great for short-term engagement. Once you’ve had the benefit from that, you can republish the content as a LinkedIn article.

This gives you the benefit of long-term authority. LinkedIn articles are easy for interested readers to locate, because your activity section has a dedicated tab to display all your articles in one place.

Limits and previews.

LinkedIn articles can be 100K+ characters long, which is easily 14K words. In practice, few blog posts will come anywhere close to that, so you can all but forget about length limits.

If you want to give people a preview of your LinkedIn article before it’s live, use the More | Share Draft option. That way, even those without a LinkedIn account can review the content before you hit the Publish button.

Share a draft for a LinkedIn article
Click More | Share Draft to share a preview of your LinkedIn article before publishing

Be careful, though: once your colleagues have the preview link, there’s nothing to stop them sharing it with others. Give such links only to those you trust.

Let’s wrap up.

LinkedIn articles are often undervalued because they don’t get the same view numbers as posts in the feed. But they’re great for building authority, and people who click through to them may be more inclined to get in touch about hiring you.

Follow the tips above to increase the size of your content footprint and become the person of trust in your industry.

Be better at LinkedIn.

Buy my online How not to be a LinkedIn Loser course today.

Get up to speed fast for only £199.

Find out more

John Espirian

John Espirian

I write the words that go on B2B websites. I also offer LinkedIn consultancy and profile reviews.

My book is Content DNA.

Espresso: digital caffeine by email.

Regular tips to improve your web content & LinkedIn presence.
Always under 200 words.

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