LinkedIn has opened up its publishing platform to ALL English-speaking countries. Eventually LinkedIn will open the publishing platform to all members worldwide

The move toward allowing user-generated content on a massive scale aims to drive more traffic and page views to LinkedIn and encourage members to spend more time on the site. However, it just makes sense that you should be able to showcase your insights in more ways on the world's largest professional social network, as well as learn from others. If you're already blogging and creating valuable content for your network, this is an opportunity to potentially achieve greater visibility and engagement.

If you don't have access to the LinkedIn publishing platform yet, you will. When you do have access, you will see a small pencil icon next to the share box on your LinkedIn home page. Simply click the pencil icon and start writing! Share your stories, ideas, and insights with your LinkedIn network and beyond.

Your Turn to Build Influence

I've long-stated the following about becoming an online influencer:

You do have to invest your time in the activities that build influence online, such as publishing and sharing your unique and relevant thought leadership content that can help your network members get smarter, solve problems, feel better, and achieve more.

When you invest in building influence, you don't have to sell or pitch your products and services. If you're patient and diligent, building online influence will ultimately help you grow your business or advance your career.

Given that any content you publish on LinkedIn is going to be associated with your profile (and be visible to your network), you will want to ensure that the content you publish on LinkedIn is of the highest qualityYour LinkedIn profile, after all, is your professional online identity. That means your reputation is at stake. Don't publish anything that could jeopardize or harm your reputation.

Build Followers

Another awesome feature of the LinkedIn Publishing Platform is the ability to earn followers, and follow other publishers. I've been longing for this sort of feature as it's just not possible to build a targeted and intelligent network of connections on LinkedIn if you connect with everyone.

Now, if you produce helpful and high quality content, you can still grow your visibility and reach without allowing just anyone into your LinkedIn network.

It's also a good idea to follow existing LinkedIn Influencers so you can learn from their content and observe how they are using the publishing platform to grow their influence.

Keep Your Existing Blog Intact

The LinkedIn Publishing Platform should not serve as your primary publishing hub on the web. Remember, you don't own your LinkedIn profile :). Rather, this publishing platform can serve as an additional distribution channel for your content.

I'm finding that it's a great way to repurpose existing content that I've already published and get it in front of more people who might find it valuable.

I would recommend that you continue to publish your content to your blog first so that your original post and authorship can be indexed by Google on your site.

Your LinkedIn posts will also be indexed by Google and can receive +1's as well. This is great news for increasing your opportunity to get found in Google searches.

When you publish a post to LinkedIn, create a “bio” section where you include a short overview of who you are, who you help, and what you do.

In this section, consider linking your name to your Google+ profile, link to your primary blog or website, and you may even consider including a value-based offer. (you can check out my bio below to see how I've formatted this)

You will own the rights to any content you publish, and I recommend  you take a look at your rights and responsibilities within LinkedIn's publishing guidelines.

The LinkedIn Publishing Platform is not opportunity to advertise or pitch your services. It's a platform to showcase your thought leadership insights and grow your reach.

If LinkedIn likes your post, they may even feature it on LinkedIn Pulse. Another incentive to publishing high quality content!

Your Turn

What are your thoughts about the new publishing platform on LinkedIn? Is this something you will be leveraging to grow your online influence? Why or why not? Share your feedback with me in the comments section below!