How I Decide Whether To Publish LinkedIn Posts Or Articles

Back in the day, it took a lot longer to write a post or an article. 

 

Most people I speak with have an “either or” attitude as to whether they should Post or Publish Articles on LinkedIn. I think this is the wrong way of looking at it. 

The way I see it, you should look at the strengths and weaknesses of each format and figure where they fit within your overall strategy. 

First of all what are the key characteristics of posts? 

  • Posts have a limited shelf life – they are part of your activity feed and disappear over time. LinkedIn says they are visible for ninety days
  • Posts also have no real formatting options, unless…
  • you can do a document post, which effectively embeds slides in your post. 
  • Posts tend to be short. The limit is 1300 characters, which is 200 words or thereabouts

And how about Articles?

  • Articles have more formatting options. It’s more like blogging.
  • Length limits realistically don’t exist for articles. I have seen 40,000 and 120,000 mentioned as the limits. There aren’t many people who are going to write seven or ten thousand word articles on LinkedIn.
  • All of your past articles are saved and can be retrieved and viewed by visitors to your profile, or readers of your current article. LinkedIn says they save articles for two years, but I have articles that are going on five years old that are still there. 
  • Articles can be found by Google. I have been fortunate enough to have three of my articles show up at the top of Google search results. This has resulted in tens of thousands of views, hundreds of comments, and several  work contracts. I receive LinkedIn notifications every week about likes and comments on articles I wrote three and four years ago.

Note that from having published hundreds of posts and articles:

  • Engagement is a wash. I find a good post will get the same engagement as an article and vice versa. 
  • Views are counted differently for each and shouldn’t be factor in your decision 

While I articles can be used to increase my reach (those ones Google likes has people constantly discovering me) their main purpose is to showcase my expertise. And while posts will demonstrate my expertise, the main purpose there is to increase my reach. 

With all of this in mind, when I am going to write on LinkedIn, what form it takes is usually guided by one simple observation: 

Articles educate, posts start conversations.