There’s a wide range of what good short-form content, such as LinkedIn articles and professional blog posts, looks like. Part of what makes writing (and reading) such pieces enjoyable is the room to be more creative than in other types of content. As such, length and structure may vary widely across posts. That said, a LinkedIn article or blog post should still achieve a few key things to be effective and worth your reader’s time.
- It is educational or actionable. This point really gets down to “so what?” If your readers don’t come away having learned something or understanding how to do something, you’ve likely wasted their time.
- It pairs a subject people care about with a sharp viewpoint. A good article should obviously cover a subject people would be interested to read about. And readers want more than opinions pulled from other sources or a general commentary on a subject. Blogs and LinkedIn articles are personal and should therefore express a point of view.
- It has a catchy title. A title can make or break a piece of content. Misname it and people may never find it or may not be curious enough to click. If you’re struggling, titles with “why,” “what,” “when,” and “how to,” grab a reader’s attention, as do list titles. And do your best to keep the title relatively short.
- It has an accurate title. Titles are important—and difficult—enough to deserve two points. Too many blog post and LinkedIn article titles promise something and then don’t deliver, which can erode a reader’s trust in your content. A catchy title isn’t effective unless it sets appropriate expectations. Be sure to use key words that signal to the reader what to expect. Doing so will also likely help your article turn up in web searches for the subject you’re writing about.
- It’s easy to read. Readability comes down to both structure and tone. Much writing benefits from subheads and clear formatting, but these tools are especially important in short-form content, which people often want to read quickly or skim. The key points or takeaways should be easy to find, and the tone should be somewhat conversational and approachable. Avoiding jargon can help improve readability. So too can using personal pronouns (I, you, we)—a technique that’s passable in blog and LinkedIn writing but generally frowned upon in other business writing. A final readability tool is writing short, easily digestible sentences and paragraphs. Your reader shouldn’t have to work hard to grasp what you’re getting at.
All these tips assume you already have something to write about. If you want to write a LinkedIn article or blog post but are struggling with where to begin, try thinking about options in three categories: professional expertise and experiences, industry trends, and lessons learned. If you can come up with a topic that fits in one of those buckets, you’re off to a good start.