LinkedIn has never been one of my favorite social media platforms. I’m not a big fan of pushy sales people and LinkedIn is full of them. Recently they have been trying to shift that culture to encourage more sharing of useful content. They started the journey when they introduced Pulse and LinkedIn influencers. This hand picked group of influencers set the stage for quality content. The articles they wrote were helpful and not spammy like many of the blog posts we see shared in groups.
After several months of these influencers setting the tone, LinkedIn opened up their article platform to allow other users to create their own content. This week, they’ve taken it a step further by making the article creation process easier. They describe this new experience as
clean, elegant and intuitive
In my experience, the less complicated you make a user experience, the more likely they are to use the tool. In other words, bells and whistles are fun, but can be very overwhelming.
The Writing Layout
The article creation tool on LinkedIn is fairly simple with three main sections:
- A primary image that acts like a “cover” for your article with a recommended size of 698×400 pixels.
- A headline
- And a place to start writing your article which includes a fairly basic WYSISYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor for formatting and adding media to the article body
I noticed the WYSIWYG has H1 and H2 tags. I started learning HTML back in 1994, so I know what that means. I’m curious how many of you out there really know what the H1 and H2 buttons are for. Leave me a comment below and let me know.
The ‘H’ stands for heading … so heading 1 and heading 2 with heading 2 being a sub-heading. The OCD programmer in me wants to challenge the decision to include H1 since that should ALWAYS be the title or headline and there should only be one H1 on a page. That’s SEO 101. Since there is a place for your headline already, there’s no need to have an H1 tag available in the body of the article. Instead they should have H2 and H3 tags or sub-headings and sub-sub-headings.
That’s a little best practice knowledge for you.
Advice from LinkedIn
LinkedIn offered some good advice to potential article writers:
- Pick a vibrant visual
“Cut visual clutter and pick one that has one strong, central focal point. Go for crisp colors or dramatic black and white – and make sure the image ties in with the themes in your blog.”
- Choose a killer title
“Help LinkedIn members find, like, share and comment on your insights by firing up your piece with a catchy, interesting title that aligns with your subject matter. As with the rest of the new writing experience, simple is best—no need to make your title overly complicated.”
- Be thoughtful about length
One of the nice things they’ve done with the new layout is make the writing space look nearly identical to the way the article will appear in its published form. You can see as your writing if you created a giant wall of text that will run people off.
- Concentrate on the content
“The best posts incorporate the experiences and perspectives that are unique to you, the author—and leave readers with something to think about.” In other words, give value and don’t try to hit people over the head with a sales pitch!
I’d love to hear your thoughts about LinkedIn articles and this new layout. Join the conversation by leaving a comment below.