Dedicated to all the Pulse Writers who aspire to influence others week in and week out by stepping out onto those skinny (and crowded) branches.
Daniel Roth, Executive Editor at Linkedin wrote an excellent article on how to be successful writing on the Pulse Platform but what happens after you hit that little “publish” button?
I often get asked how someone can grow their audience on Linkedin as a Pulse Writer and what they should (and shouldn’t) be doing to achieve a greater following. After speaking with a handful of “Influencers” regarding this topic, it became evident that although they were all gracious and inspiring, my answers didn’t lie within this group of talented individuals. Due to their status as Influencers and the preferential treatment they receive from Linkedin, their insight was great but not entirely applicable to the rules everyone else has to play by.
As a self-proclaimed workout addict, I decided to tackle this subject in a fun and creative way using a chart that most exercise enthusiasts know all too well…the Training Heart Rate Zone diagram.
What I love about this chart is how it simply flows into the necessary steps to achieve a stronger and healthier you or in this case, your audience. Regardless of where your writing pulse may be, there are some key actions you should be doing at each phase to ensure you are on track to meet whatever your goal(s) may be on the Pulse Platform.
Let’s break this down by stages so you can follow at your own pace and determine where you should focus.
Stage 1: Fat Burning Zone – ” Warm Up“
If you are just starting off and hit the publish button for the first time then you first deserve a huge congrats! Way to go, now it’s time to get work. Stage One is all about the Warm Up, that means making sure you have done some of the basics that sometimes we (all) forget to do. Mundane as it may sound, these are critical to starting off on the right foot and where most of the heavy lifting begins. In no particular order:
- Spell check and then spell check your spell check.
- Make sure your topic is engaging for your audience and not solely for you and/or about you. People’s time is limited so be respectful and make sure you are always intending to provide value to your audience.
- Always put your audience first and be thinking about what they might want to take away from your article.
- Create a catchy title that can fit on one line or two at most to ensure it’s easily read across different Linkedin and Social Media platforms. Although the platform is flooded with “numbered tips” and “science backed” articles – there is a reason they trend well so look into it before turning a blind eye.
- Create a Twitter account. It’s super simple and Linkedin makes it even easier to publish directly to your account. This will expand your articles reach exponentially but make sure you use the proper hash tags or else it will drift in cyberspace looking for a home.
- Spend time on Pulse and research (and read) both the different channels as well as what’s trending both from viewership but also within the key writing themes for the calendar year.
- Keep you article under 700 words max. I know there is some debate about this point but a wise man (and Influencer) shared this wisdom with me and it works – trust me. Anything too long and you will lose your audience. Note: this article is well over that # but I felt it warranted the content.
- Refrain from posting your articles on Friday night. Most people view their Linkedin accounts during the workweek and from their office so pay close attention to the day and time you choose to publish and see what works (and doesn’t). Avoid the algorithm trap that people talk about relentlessly on Linkedin – it’s not worth your time.
- Definitely upgrade your account to a “Premium” version as this will allow you greater access to analytics so you can understand who is reading your posts and from where. You will begin to understand who your audience is, who is sharing your work and where to spend time growing your audience base.
Stage 2: Weight Control Zone –
” Fat Burn“
It’s been a few hours since you hit publish…so now what? Assuming you have done all of the steps from Stage One, there are few things you should be aware of and start doing now to ensure your article is seen and heard versus falling to the wayside of the millions of potential readers on Linkedin. In no particular order:
- Don’t hit refresh every minute looking for statistics as this will only drive you crazy. You should however be checking in regularly to see if your article is tracking with the public. Don’t panic if it takes a while to pick up some steam and remember to refer back to Stage One around the timing of your publishing.
- Like running for the first time, you have to start slow but you have to start and then be consistent with your habits. Check in each day on your baby to make sure it’s getting the attention it deserves and needs.
- No matter what, do not change your articles title after you publish it thinking a newer “snappier” one will increase views. This will only confuse your audience and anyone whose read it (and shared it) previously.
Stage 3: Aerobic Zone –
Similar to the previous stage, Stage Three is all about building the steam to get you through the week and hopefully increase your exposure and eventually grow your audience. If you have gone through the first two stages then this stage truly becomes about engagement. If you were fortunate enough to have people like, share and maybe even leave a comment on your article, well then…a job well done! But before you go celebrating – you still have some work to do. In no particular order:
- Acknowledgment goes a long way and I personally look to thank each and every reader who takes valuable time out of their lives to read my posts. Do the same, not because I am telling you to but because it’s the right and respectful thing to do. Don’t make it a sonnet or bear your soul to this person but a simple and professional thank you will suffice.
- If someone shared your article, find out who and where and leave a comment so they know you appreciate their efforts in extending themselves and their brand with your thoughts and words.
- Comments are the golden egg when it comes to true engagement. Having people take the time to write something (hopefully nice) is proof positive you are doing something write…um, I mean right. Read ALL the comments (even the ugly ones) and respond to the ones you wish to engage with. Do NOT engage in banter or any unprofessional or rude commentary. Be above it no matter what. Although it “feels” personal – it’s not and they most likely don’t know you but simply reacting to your story. Remember you are writing on an open forum and with the criticism of others come the responsibility of your own actions. Breathe and relax, it’s not the end of the world and shouldn’t be the end of your writing on Pulse.
Stage 4: Anaerobic Zone –
So if you are at this stage of elite writing and have tackled the first three stages then you are clearly doing something right and your audience should be steadily growing. Just because you made it to the finish line, you still need to stretch and prepare for the next race. Elite athletes train all year and are always looking at how to improve their performance. Writing is no different. In no particular order:
- Keep vigilant regarding the previous three stages but also begin to explore new and different styles of writing (i.e.: using charts to illustrate your narrative) as well as imagery and tone.
- Don’t be afraid to take some risks and test the waters with your writing. I have done this from time to time and it has proven to both grow my audience and my skills as a writer. Resist the trap of becoming a one-trick-pony and always writing in the same tone and style. It’s okay to break free from time to time.
There is no simple or quick fix when it comes to expanding your audience and no matter what course of action(s) you decide to take, patience and humility are critical to enjoying a long and fruitful writing journey on Pulse.
The floor is yours:
What’s tips do you have to increase your “Pulse” on Linkedin?
Please leave your comment below as your insights are greatly appreciated and a learning opportunity for everyone reading this article.
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