Tuesday December 2, 2014
Here’s an article I wrote for LinkedIn Pulse that got a lot of shares. Viveka asked me if I would share them on her website as well.
Does your inbox ever get flooded with people asking you the same question over and over? Well mine has been lately. There is a very hot topic out there that is leaving many of LinkedIn's content creators puzzled.
Several of my articles have been featured on Pulse. I have been featured on Business Travel, Recruiting and Hiring Sections, Sales Solutions Sections, and more. Ever since my first article got featured on Pulse and went viral across the internet, I have been getting a massive influx of messages from people from all of over the world asking me:
How do I get my article featured on Pulse?
Having your article featured on LinkedIn's Pulse greatly enhances your distribution range. It can be the difference between getting a few hundred views on your article to getting tens of thousands of views. I have heard many people comment on this topic, and give their opinion as to what they think the secret is to getting featured. The fact of the matter is nobody knows for sure the exact formula behind the algorithms for Pulse, except for the mad scientists at LinkedIn. So while I don't have an exact answer to this burning hot question within the LinkedIn publishing community, I CAN tell you what has worked for me.
First and foremost, choose a topic that is relatable to your followers. The more organic viewers, comments, likes, and shares you get on your article substantially increases your chances of getting featured. If your goal is to get featured, the topic must also align with one of the Pulse channels. If you are thinking about writing an article on an advanced technique in basket weaving, it might not get featured in Pulse. There is no basket weaving channel on LinkedIn. I'm not saying don't write your article on basket weaving. Read why every article on Linkedin is good. However, if you were to write an article on how you turned a basket weaving business from a small start up in a developing country into a global enterprise by utilizing organic marketing efforts with little to no investor money into a profitable global organization, you might have a smash hit on Pulse. The point is, when choosing a topic to write about ask yourself, what Pulse channel can you envision your article being featured in? If the topic does not fit into one or more of the Pulse channels, chances are it will not be featured.
There is no substitute for excellent content. In order produce quality content write about the areas that you are passionate about and have expertise in. It is not enough to just provide facts in your article. People come to LinkedIn largely because they want to connect with other professionals. If all you provide is hard data your followers will go elsewhere. People read content on LinkedIn because they want to be inspired. In order to inspire people you must show your human side and let your readers get to know you a bit through your writing. When possible tell a story from your career or life experience that is relatable to the topic. Most importantly, you must provide value to your readers. People read content on LinkedIn because they want to take away something that can immediately be added into their professional knowledge bank and used to grow their skills.
Use a catchy headline to draw in readers. Yes, some people consider this click bate. However, to me its only click bate if you mislead your readers by having a good headline and then a poorly written article that provides little to no value. Viral articles contain both a catchy headline, and are backed up by engaging and value based content. Also, consider that a poorly written headline will cause your article to be invisible to readers.
Do your best to find topics that are unique and original. However, with so many publishers now on LinkedIn that can be hard to do. Don't let the number of posters and volume of people posting on the topic you want to write about deter you. Recently, I had spent a good deal of time writing the article 7 Signs it is Time to Quit your Job. Right as I was getting ready to hit the publish button, I happened to glance at Pulse and there was an article on the
EXACT same topic as mine. I was devastated to think that my hard work to write what I though was one of my better articles had just gone to waste. Then I thought "oh well someone just beat me to the punch." I wasn't going to publish it. I was afraid that people might think that I was merely ripping off a topic from another author and trying to jump on the topic bandwagon to ride the success of the other author. Then I spoke with the amazing group manager at Publishers & Bloggers, Elizabeth Dehn. She encouraged me to publish it anyway. She reviewed my article, and compared it to the one that was on Pulse. She pointed out that the only similarity was the topic. She told me that my article was unique, because I was providing my own professional insights and experience. I am sure am glad that I followed her advice and published it anyway. 7 Signs it is time to Quit went on to receive 385,000+ views and was the most viewed article of the day worldwide on LinkedIn! To think I was going to delete it. Whew! So, even if the topic is far from original, own it and make it yours.
Many of what I consider to be my best articles were not featured by LinkedIn Pulse. If I am being honest, I have no idea why not. I see great content from authors everyday that are not on Pulse. What matters most is that the feedback you get from your readers and the satisfaction of knowing that you put out content to world that other professional are deriving value from. I never started publishing with the intent of being featured on Pulse. I merely did it to improve my skills as a professional, and to grow from this excellent opportunity LinkedIn has provided me. Being featured on Pulse on several occasions has more than exceeded my expectations, and been the icing on the cake to a truly wonderful experience.
LinkedIn Publishers, are there any tips you would add from your writing experience that have helped you get featured on Pulse? Please share them! I have also noticed that there has been some recent changes to the way Pulse is featuring articles. Does anyone have any insight they can provide on that? Hopefully by putting this out there it will reduce my email load. As always, thank you for reading!
About the Author: John White is a dad, MBA candidate, sales and marketing expert, B2B technology and communications consultant, and influential blogger. Please visit my profile to connect with me on LinkedIn and on Twitter @juanblanco76.