I was one of the first 150 people to publish articles on LinkedIn, along with my good friends Richard Branson, Jeff Weiner, Arianna Huffington, and T. Boone Pickens.
Truth be told, I don't know these folks, and virtually no one knew me when I started. But over the past nearly two years, I've seen firsthand the power of LinkedIn not only as a publishing platform, but also as a powerful tool to supercharge your career.
A few months ago, LinkedIn started opening up their publishing platform to all. If you don't already have the ability to publish articles on LinkedIn, you will soon. Go here to learn the details, and to request early access.
LinkedIn articles spur more intelligent - and civil - discussions than any other business site. Trolls are rare and offensive behavior almost unheard of, because this is where business professionals go when they need a new or better job.
Compare LinkedIn to other sites or to your company's own blog, and there's no comparison. There's more traffic on LinkedIn, more sharing, and far more opportunity.
But, beware of one trap: don't publish crap.
If you publish unclear, poorly written, typo-laden articles... you will undercut your reputation, rather than enhance it. (To avoid problems, check out my LinkedIn article Five Writing Tips that Can Double Your Salary).
If you don't have the time to write great posts, turn to someone like me, a ghostwriter who knows how to make your best ideas clear and compelling. Many of my clients find it much easier - and more effective - to talk with me on the phone, then let me do the actual writing.
But no matter how you manage to create new articles, get involved. The faster you start to build your list of followers, the better prepared you will be as LinkedIn's publishing program grows and becomes an even better source of new business and career opportunities.
Take it from me. Two years ago, I had a few hundred followers. Today, that number is more than 130,000.
Other articles in this series: