Many of you have already connected your blogs to your Facebook and Twitter accounts. Should you do the same with your LinkedIn profile? Here are some points to consider.
It’s becoming increasingly difficult to separate our personal and professional lives — in real life and online. In this post from last year, Ben points out some of the potential benefits — and drawbacks — of linking your blog to your LinkedIn profile.
Many WordPress.com bloggers are already enjoying the benefits of connecting their sites to their social networks via Publicize. Sharing your posts on Facebook and Twitter might be a no-brainer — clearly, all your friends and followers want to read your latest piece of staggering wit. But what about professional social network LinkedIn?
Here are some points to consider before you decide to push your blog’s content to your professional profile, too.
Making the link
LinkedIn is the biggest and most vibrant business-oriented social network. It has hundreds of millions of members, who use it for job searches and for social interaction with actual and potential colleagues. It’s also increasingly becoming a forum for the exchange of ideas between professionals, companies, and leading thinkers.
Setting up your blog posts to appear in your LinkedIn profile will be a breeze, whether or not you’ve already used Publicize. To connect your LinkedIn account to your WordPress.com blog, head to your dashboard. Then, go to Settings → Sharing , and click on the “Connect” button next to the LinkedIn logo:
You’ll be taken to your LinkedIn account, where you’ll have to log in and approve the connection. In case your blog has multiple contributors, you’ll have a chance, during the setup process, to determine whether the content others produce will also be released to your LinkedIn feed.
Once the connection between the two platforms is established, each time you publish a post on WordPress.com it’ll also appear on your LinkedIn newsfeed, just as it would on Facebook, Tumblr, or Twitter.
Looking to make the most of your blog’s connection to LinkedIn? Here are some quick tips:
Blog your way to the corner suite
For some WordPress.com users, the advantages of this connection are obvious. If your site here is your primary professional home, or if you often write about work-related topics on your blog, having a presence on LinkedIn can give you a double boost.
First, you become a more visible, high-profile commentator on the state of your profession, be it teaching, plumbing, investing, or artisanal cheese-making. This might lead to unknown benefits for your job (or job search), and open the door to interesting new opportunities and acquaintances. You make yourself known in a community of like-minded professionals, and take part in another public discussion, one that might be different in tone and focus from those you normally engage in through your blog.
Not less important, publishing on LinkedIn can broaden your blog’s readership and increase its overall popularity. It’s a form of syndication: readers who might never have heard of your blog if it had stayed only on WordPress.com now have the chance to consume and comment on your content. Sounds great, doesn’t it?
Over-sharing as a professional hazard
Well, if your blog focuses on your alcohol-drenched travels through South America, chronicles your love life, or is full of vocal (negative) opinions on notable members of your profession, posting to LinkedIn might warrant a second thought. In fact, any personal post, even the most mundane one about your uncle’s 70th birthday party, might feel out of place on a platform dedicated to (mostly) professional interactions.
If you don’t want to think twice about anything you write, connecting your blog to LinkedIn might be something to reconsider.
There is, of course, nothing inherently offensive about any of these topics, just as there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with dressing up whichever way you please. In a work-related environment, though, some people are used to certain codes of behavior, be it the things one talks about or the print on one’s shirt. Appearing disrespectful of these codes might alienate some readers with whom you’d still like to enjoy a professional relationship, if not a personal one.
As a rule of thumb, if you don’t want to think twice about anything you write, and even more so if you tend to approach sensitive or controversial topics regularly, connecting your blog to LinkedIn might be something to reconsider.
Finding a blog-work balance
Even with these caveats, it’s important to stress that blogging on WordPress.com and maintaining a lively presence on LinkedIn are not mutually exclusive. If you wish to enjoy the benefits of linking these two platforms without worrying of separate worlds colliding, there are still ways to do that.
First, on any Publicize-connected account you have, you can decide which of your posts will get posted, and which won’t.
Say you’d like your LinkedIn connections to read your insightful review of your new smartphone, but not your equally sharp critique of Fifty Shades of Grey. Easy! In your post’s Publish module, on the Publicize line, click on “Edit.” Then, depending on your preference, leave the LinkedIn box checked for publication, or uncheck it to leave it out of your feed there.
It’s important to note that even if you don’t publish a specific post to LinkedIn, as long as you publish anything there, you never know which content on your site your connections might choose to visit.
For even greater separation between platforms, you might consider having multiple sites: for example, a work-friendly blog, and an I-don’t-care one. LinkedIn connections are made per blog, not per WordPress.com account — and since you can have as many blogs as you wish, you can compartmentalize your audience in whichever way you see fit.
How do you mix blogging and work? Have you connected your blog to your LinkedIn profile? If so, what advice do you have to share? If not, what were your concerns? Feel free to share your insight with us!