Think LinkedIn is all about showing off your resume and qualifications or simply a tool for performing a job search? Think again. LinkedIn is actually a very beneficial tool for mommy bloggers and can be an incredible resource for your blog. Considered the ultimate B2B social networking platform, I use it extensively for my social media clients and believe it is one of the most effective drivers of leads, traffic and referrals (when used correctly).
Now you might be cringing at the thought of adding yet another social media platform to your efforts. I promise you will not be disappointed. Thankfully, once set up, LinkedIn requires less time and effort than maintaining a Facebook page or keeping up with Twitter.
Here are a few reasons you want to be on LinkedIn:
- Decision makers are on LinkedIn – including the kind that make the decisions about where to place advertising dollars. For mommy bloggers, that could mean the difference between blogging for fun and blogging for money.
- LinkedIn results appear high in search engine rankings. LinkedIn also has a powerful built-in search mechanism. You want to appear in these search results.
- Expand your brand and reputation by establishing yourself as a blogging authority and expert in a particular niche (i.e. adoption, green living) by participating in discussions and helping other members.
- With LinkedIn, you have the ability to build a powerful network – people you can call upon for guest blogging possibilities, to interview for specific posts or ask for commentary on topics you cover.
Here are my specific, broad recommendations for getting the most out of LinkedIn if you’re a mommy blogger:
- Take the time to build your professional profile on LinkedIn – consider it the epicenter of your efforts. If you already have one, don’t be afraid to let the world know that you’re a blogger – a mommy (or mom) blogger! Retailers, advertisers, other moms…they all adore and seek out bloggers like us. And they are looking on LinkedIn.
- Post a picture of YOU – not your logo or some other icon. If you’re a mommy blogger and the blog is about you, people will expect to see you. Faces resonate with people. Don’t be shy. When choosing an image, make sure to keep it classy and professional. Unless you have an edgy persona that is built into your brand, opt for conservative over colorful (if you know what I mean).
- Include a link to your blog under Websites. Customize to show the name of your blog by choosing “Other” from the dropdown menu and typing the name of your blog into the text box. This further promotes your blogging efforts. People are more likely to click on a customized link than one that says “Blog” or “Company Website”.
- Your blog may not be your full-time job, but if it does not interfere with your current job or is in no way a violation of your employment contract, be sure to add it to your headline. For example, let’s say you work as a graphic designer for a leading website and have a popular blog that you maintain in the evenings. Your headline might read: Graphic Designer for a Top Web Company & Influential Mommy Blogger
- At the end of the day, your blog really is a job – whether full-time, part-time or just every now and then – and whether or not it’s a labor of love or genuinely making money. So make sure to post it under your Experience section. For a title, feel free to get creative. When I maintained a small business blog called Babe of Business, I used the quirky title “Chief Blogging Chick”. It didn’t interfere with my goals for LinkedIn and showcased that I was also a creative type.
- Seek out recommendations! If you have faithful readers or people passionate about your blog, ask them to recommend you or write a nice review. This substantiates your blog’s credibility and will increase its readership. When requesting a recommendation or connecting with others, get personal! Do not use LinkedIn’s canned messages. They are tacky and signify to the other person that they are not worth your time.
- Join some groups and make sure to actively participate in the discussions. Choose groups that are relevant to your blog or blogging industry. If you blog about single mommyhood, you might be able to reach new readers by joining groups designed for women entrepreneurs or single working mothers. Just make sure to follow the group’s rules and posting guidelines. Don’t spam or engage in direct self-promotion.
- Spend a little time each week answering other LinkedIn member’s questions. Look for those that tie into what you cover on your blog or share your specific experience as a mommy blogger with others.
- Share your blog posts! There are a number of ways you can do this on LinkedIn. You can share an update directly with your connections, post to groups (do this thoughtfully and in a non-spammy way) and/or email to people in your network who might benefit most from the content of your post. Always make sure to include a link.
There are so many possibilities with LinkedIn that it would be nearly impossible to cover them all in just one blog post. Look for future posts that detail how to create and manage your own groups, how to effectively reach out to potential advertisers and ways that you can build a powerhouse network of connections.