Some people have asked me recently why I am no longer regularly publishing long-form content on LinkedIn. As an early adopter to the program, I was an advocate for this LinkedIn feature. I helped my colleagues to do it. I encouraged friends to try it. I even wrote blog posts about it.
But after going semi-viral and accumulating over 2,000 followers, I’ve cut back on LinkedIn Publishing.
I have a few reasons why—some are legitimate, some aren’t super profound.
The first reason is that I got busy. I have a life, ok? I started doing CrossFit. I went on a three-week vacation. Work continues to be exciting and busy. And on top of all of that, I was doing some freelance work on the side for awhile.
Another reason: I’ve decided to prioritize my own blog. I’ve opted to post some awesome blog posts there exclusively. I’ve decided to build up my own database, turning on lead forms on my site so I can occasionally email people with new content.
The third reason is a bit vain, but a complaint I hear from others. Since LinkedIn opened up publishing for everyone, the views on my LinkedIn posts have plummeted. If I work on a post on LinkedIn and I only get a few dozens of views, is it really worth my time? Probably not—especially if I can get that many views (if not more) from syndicating on Business 2 Community or just from my own blog.
The best way to get a lot of views on LinkedIn is to be featured on LinkedIn Pulse. But cracking that code is impossible. Some of the posts that I worked hard on—those posts that I thought for sure would get picked up by LinkedIn Pulse—went nowhere. And some of my so-so posts were, oddly enough, picked up.
More crucially though, the quality of posts published on LinkedIn has, in my opinion, vanished greatly since LinkedIn Publishing was opened to the public. The content has become often mediocre…and sometimes even downright shitty. It has become a wasteland of re-published (read: duplicate) content. (Side note: I am guilty of this wrongdoing; I repost some of my blog posts on LinkedIn.) When the overall quality of content on a platform declines, participating becomes discouraging.
The bottom line: LinkedIn Publishing is ruined for me, and we marketers are partly to blame. Quickly browse some of the articles on LinkedIn and you’d quickly realize that marketers are using it as just another way to push not-so-great content. LinkedIn Publishing is no longer a tier 1 content platform. It’s not even tier 2.
But should you follow my lead and also abandon LinkedIn Publishing? Not necessarily. There are some good reasons to keep on writing for LinkedIn:
- You only blog on LinkedIn. I believe every inbound marketer should create her or his own blog. Afterall, opening your own blog on WordPress or Medium is super easy. But I understand that some people have legitimate reasons for not wanting to create and maintain their own blog. If you’re one of these people and LinkedIn is the only place where you share your own content, then by all means, continue to do that.
- You’re a LinkedIn Influencer. Becoming part of the LinkedIn Influencer program is the only sure way to get high traffic consistently. LinkedIn pushes its influencers pretty heavily, and many of these influencers bring their huge network and reach to the site.
- You’ve tested LinkedIn Publishing and you find that it’s actually leading to inbound traffic in leads. I’ve used UTM tracking to monitor the performance of my posts and of my colleagues. While we do get some traffic from these posts, this traffic is incremental and often not significant enough. LinkedIn Publishing is hard to scale right now (and it’s not like you can pay LinkedIn to advertise your post), and so I find that the few leads that we get from this tactic is not worth the effort, especially compared to other inbound marketing tactics. At least not yet.
LinkedIn Publishing started as a very promising platform. It was supposed to be an opportunity to spark interesting conversations about anything related to your profession. It was supposed to lower the barrier for building thought leadership and influence. It was supposed to bridge the gap between content creation and online professional networking. That promise has diminished.
Smart inbound marketers know that they have to be picky with their time. We all only have 24 hours in our day, and we have to double down on the tactics that work—and identify and quickly abandon those that don’t. LinkedIn Publishing simply isn’t making the cut, and I’m opting out for now.