In 2014, LinkedIn opened its publishing platform to all members, after initially only allowing a select handful of influencers to use it. Now, you can create an account and publish full-length articles on the platform for free.
The question is, should you? Is publishing on LinkedIn more advantageous for a brand than publishing on its own blog? Here’s a closer look at the pros and cons of publishing on LinkedIn vs. your own blog and our advice on what you should do.
Publishing on LinkedIn
LinkedIn provides a complete built-in blog functionality with the ability to format, add images in the header with the text, add hyperlinks, and embed videos, powerpoint presentations, and more.
When you publish a post, it is shared in the newsfeeds of your followers and connections like a regular LinkedIn update post. Additionally, it is displayed on your profile under the “Articles” section.
Readers can like, comment on, and share your article and members outside of your network can follow you from your article. Further, it can be searchable on and off LinkedIn if you set your profile to public.
- It’s free
- Your content gets shared with your LinkedIn audience (more beneficial to those with large networks)
- The platform helps the post to rank in search engine results
- At the bottom of your article, other articles are featured to encourage more reading
- Gain more followers and increase your reach
- Establish authority in your industry
- Raise brand awareness
- Great for professional lessons and thought leadership pieces
- Don’t have to worry about setting up or running a website
- The interface is designed to keep people on LinkedIn
- Analytics are shallow compared to Google Analytics
- LinkedIn owns the content and decides how it is displayed and shared
- Must include a link and strong call to action to direct traffic to your online property
- Not building any equity
The main benefits of publishing on LinkedIn are to establish thought leadership in your niche, grow your network, and expand your reach.
Publishing on your Blog
When you publish on your own blog, you have to buy the domain name, hosting, and software (like WordPress). It takes a larger initial investment of time and energy. However, after doing so you own the online property and have complete control over it. This can be great but challenging as it takes time to establish authority in your niche and drive the right traffic to your site. Publishing on your blog is an important step in getting on the map.
- Full ownership and control over all site elements
- Establish authority in your industry
- Increase traffic to your site
- Climb the search engine result pages for target keywords
- Share with multiple social media channels and email lists
- Set up opt-ins to build an email list
- Build the value of your online property
- Gain deep insights into your readership through Google Analytics
- You have to create/build/drive/reach your audience as there is no built-in user base/traffic source
- Harder to earn credibility with the search engines
- You have to run, pay for, and maintain a website
The main benefits of publishing on your own blog are the freedom to do what you want and the opportunity to build value in your own online property.
Should you publish on LinkedIn or your blog?
So where should you publish? Well, both have their respective advantages.
LinkedIn can help you to build brand awareness and expert authority with the platform’s professional audience. You don’t need to worry about buying a domain, setting up a website, or learning how to use WordPress. You can simply log in, publish, and reach an audience.
So if you don’t want your own blog (for example, you who work for a company and don’t need a website) but want to build authority and reach a professional audience, publish on LinkedIn.
On the other hand, having your own blog enables you to drive traffic to your website, completely control the environment, and build domain authority. You own everything and will be building long-term value in your own asset with each piece you publish.
If you have a business and you want to rank on search engines for specific keywords, drive traffic to your site, and convert traffic into sales, publish on your own blog.
The goals are different but both can be beneficial to a business and brand.
So what if you want to leverage the power of both?
There has been a debate about whether posting the same exact content on both a blog and on LinkedIn will cause you to be penalized by Google for duplicate content. While no concrete answer has been given, it is a risk. If you decide to do so, we recommend to change up some of the text (at least the intro), mention that it was published first on your blog and include the link, wait a few weeks between the second posting, and add an author bio at the end that links to your website.
If you want to play it safe, here’s what you can do. Rewrite the article so that it is not duplicate content and publish it in both places. Or, publish the full article on your blog and then create a short intro to the blog and publish that on LinkedIn with a link that will take the reader to your website to read more. This way you won’t have to worry and can take advantage of the benefits that both publishing options have to offer.
Have you come up with a strategy for utilizing LinkedIn and your own blog that has worked well? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.