You probably missed it. Linkedin now allows you to blog! It’s not on WordPress, but you can now do ‘long format’ posts. Actually, they made it kind of a quiet thing.
I’m a member of a group on Linkedin aptly titled, “Writing on Linkedin” and while I’ve participated in a few discussions I am following one thread closely. It started off with a bold statement “Killing my WordPress blog in favor of blog posting on LinkedIn“. You can see how that might grab my attention, eh? Here’s the original post.
I’m feeling a bit of DejaVu…
WE’VE BEEN HERE BEFORE
I remember back in the day when ActiveRain started getting popular. More than a few people thought “Since I can blog on ActiveRain for free, why don’t I just kill my website and just blog there?” And some of them did. Like Kevin mentioned above, suddenly he’s getting a bunch more exposure – the people at ActiveRain did too. Thanks to the points system, they also started getting a ton more comments, further validating their efforts. All seemed good.
I remember back in the day when Facebook Pages were all the rage. “365 Things to Do In _____” sprung up everywhere! If you posted cool and interesting things, people flocked to your page. People commented, shared, liked and so on. Nearly every real estate agents had a 365 Page going and some had multiple pages for each area they serviced. Some people even got greedy and started creating pages outside of where they lived in the hopes to sell or rent those pages to the actual agents that lived in the town. Greedy people suck! But I digress. It was the Heyday of Facebook Pages and most agents created the page, and then created the post directly in the page. No need for a website… Facebook Pages are free! All seemed good.
I even remember when Facebook upped the character limit from a small 160 characters to a HUGE amount. People could now write copious amounts of text. Who needs a website when you can write your whole manifesto in a status update? All seemed good.
Going back even farther, I remember when Facebook started allowing for the creation of “Notes”. At the time this was a big deal. You could essentially blog on Facebook! Want an example? Here’s a Note I did from back in 2009 (CLICK HERE). Heck, if you could “Note” – do you really need a website? At the time, all seemed good.
ALL THAT IS GLITTER…
In all these instances I’ve heard the same question… “Do I really need a website?” and from the start, my unwavering answer has always been YES! You need a HOME BASE. A place you own. A place you have control over. A place that has YOUR Calls to Action, YOUR Lead Capture, YOUR Incubation System. A place that isn’t going to change the rules.
When was the last time you saw or read a “Note”? (other than the one I showed you) Notes have virtually disappeared from the Facebook Landscape.
As for the increased character limit – these days everything over a 100 or so is tucked under a ‘see more’. No matter how compelling your statement is, for most people all they’ll ever see is that short beginning.
As for the “365 Things To Do In ______”, Some of them still are going well. With the recent change in Page reach (or lack of it), most of them have been abandoned or soon will be. Some of them were taken over by Facebook and turned into community pages (even the successful ones) – stripping them of all posts, photos and content by the former page owners.
ActiveRain changed hands a few times. Reliability and up time suffered and some got tired of it having technical issues. Some got tired of all the “Nice Post, Bookmarked for later” comments. Some got annoyed that they were on the same site as their competitors making it easy for the public to switch to another agent. Speaking of the public, there was also an outrage when A/R was no longer free. Just recently there was yet another outrage when the domain switched to http://activerain.trulia.com. In the end, change happens. You can’t control what you don’t own.
THERE IS A SILVER LINING
But some people did it right. People like Dale, who had a regular WordPress site started each of his 365 days by writing the post FIRST on his website, then sharing it on his 365 Page. Fans of his page would see the post in Facebook, click and be brought to his website. Guess what he had there? Calls to Action and Lead Capture. Dale owned his content from the start. Dale pulled in over 17,000 Fans on his page. Dale drove many to his website and converted some to clients or referrals. His Website? Clark County Real Estate Guide.
Quite a few people have made ActiveRain work and some still do. For those with a HOME BASE, they use A/R as yet another place to broadcast their message. Getting more eyeballs on your content is always a good thing – right?
HERE IS WHERE KEVIN IS WRONG
What tickles Kevin’s fancy is ‘exposure’. You can see that in his post. You can also tell that where he stated, “Most of my blogs are first written on media sites and then I post to my WordPress blog.” Kevin has been chasing the allure of exposure. Exposure is good but he’s gone about it all wrong.
I’ll argue that I would rather have 10 people read my post who are genuinely interested (or the target audience) than 10 thousand people at random.
Beyond the Lead Capture and Calls To Action that I mentioned above, I want to talk just a little about duplicate content.
When Google finds more than one instance of a article they simply list the first instance in their search engine and ignore the rest. (Google Canonical Listing) That means that when Kevin posted to social media sites first, his WordPress site was completely ignored by the search engines. If the perfect potential client was Googling something that Kevin could provide, Google wouldn’t possibly show his site to them. He was operating invisibly. No wonder he never reaped any benefit from his site.
Secondly, if and when that client landed on the same content (let’s say Linkedin), when they got there – there was NO Lead Capture, No Call to Action, and certainly No Incubation Process.
Finally, when will we learn. These sites we use may be free, they may be fun, but we’re playing in someone else’s sandbox. At any point they can change the rules or even pack it up and go away.
Kevin Jens Cox (I do hope you have a Google Alert for your name), what you should do is this…
Keep your WordPress Website. Write spectacular content for the person you hope to business with next. Make sure that site has a proper Robots.txt file, a proper Sitemap.xml file and is submitted to Google Webmaster Tools (and Bing). Make sure you have also setup Google Authorship. Publish your content, wait until the Google Bot has indexed your site, then copy and paste into your Linkedin Blog. If you are looking for better calls to action, lead capture, and an incubation system, post some of your original post there with a ‘…read the rest of the story’ link back to the website.
Matter of fact, I think I may just do that with this post. 😉
UPDATE: I did post it on Linkedin but instead of a complete copy and paste I cut snippets and rewrote other sections for the Linkedin Audience. You can read it
(of course you’ll also want to share it on all the Social Networks as well)