Should Writers Be on LinkedIn?

Monday, December 23, 2019

I’ve been on LinkedIn for about 10 years, but I’ll admit I probably haven’t utilized it the way I should. After reading an article recently on how LinkedIn has changed its algorithms and how it can be beneficial for career advancement, I decided to take another look at the platform, which is essentially a social network that focuses on professional networking and career development.

You may be thinking, “I don’t use LinkedIn, and I don’t see how it could help me in my writing/editing career." However, you should realize that LinkedIn is an easy way to showcase your experience and skills and help you make connections in the industry that you may not be aware are out there. Here are a few examples of ways I’ve been using LinkedIn in the past few months.

First, I made sure I had my most recent headshot uploaded and my details (what industry I’m in, the area in which I live, my website linked, etc.) Second, I updated my headline with my new job title and fixed the dates on when I left my last job because it looked like I still worked there. Then I began engaging more with my connections by liking or commenting on posts or articles they shared, and posting more content related to my writing and editing platform. When I write a blog post I think my network would like, either here or on my own blog, I share it there. I also utilize the new hashtag feature available at LinkedIn to try and get more eyes on it. The new analytics LinkedIn is using shows me how many views each post I create gets.

As a magazine editor, I’ve discovered even more ways to use LinkedIn to my advantage. When I created a list of contributor’s guidelines for the magazine I work for, I shared the page in my LinkedIn feed. That post had 272 views—far more than any other post I’ve shared. And within a week of sharing, I had legitimate inquiries from new local writers and a few solid pitches from businesses for profile stories.

Here are a few tips as you navigate your way through the platform:

Make sure you have the most-up-to-date information on your profile, including a professional-looking headshot against a solid background. My headline was easy to come up with, as I have a specific title at a magazine. But if you are in the freelance space, consider using titles like Podcaster, Freelance Writer, Content Creator, Marketing Strategist, Blogger or Storyteller at (places you blog), Author of (name of your book), etc. Your profile should be as complete as possible. Fill in your list of skills and accomplishments and interests. Ask connections for endorsements. Think about what you would want a future employer, publisher or collaborator to know about you, and don’t be afraid to show off your copywriting skills.

And last but not least, don’t just use LinkedIn when you’re looking for a job or writing opportunities. Take time to regularly look through your feed, like or comment posts from your network connections, endorse people you know for their specific skills and share your own blog posts and other work. You never know when you’ll make an impression on a future employer, potential business partner or editor.

Renee Roberson is an award-winning writer and magazine editor who also blogs at Connect with her at LinkedIn.


Sioux Roslawski said...


Aaaargh. How much tech stuff can I take on? Creating a website. Instagram/Twitter. Facebook.

Now LinkedIn?

You're killin' me. ;)

Renee Roberson said...

I hear ya on that, Sioux! I feel like you have to pick and choose when it comes to social media. My daughter is on sites like Reddit and Tumblr and I've never attempted those. I also had to give up on Twitter because all the political fighting on there was stressing me out. I do like Pinterest (which doesn't require a ton of your time), Instagram, Facebook for mostly family and friends and now LinkedIn. I think for you, LinkedIn would be good because you could put your publication credits and your educational experience (it's like a less formal resume) so that people could see at a quick glance how great you'd do with school visits for book promotion.

Sue Bradford Edwards said...

Definitely some pointers I could use here. Thank you for the nudge. Grumble, grumble, grumble.

Angela Mackintosh said...

Renee, This is fantastic. Thank you! I need to start using LinkedIn because I have a lot of connections over there. I haven't updated my profile since like '06. Yikes! That's awful. =/ You just lit a fire under my butt and I'm making it one of my early 2020 goals. That's such a great idea to use it for calls for submissions/writing guidelines! I hadn't even thought of that. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, and cheers to a productive New Year!

Renee Roberson said...


I know, I'm grumbling about it, too. But I know it would be a great tool for you! Think of all the connections you can make to help your book sales and introduce you to new publishers!

It's hard to put one more thing on your to-do list, but the updating won't take too long and you can do it in stages. Of course I got inspired to get back and fix my profile after listening to an interview about it on the Goal Digger podcast, ha ha! I try to pop on there a few minutes each day just to browse the feed and post any new content I have. It would be a huge asset to you in your position! You never know what opportunities it can connect you with. I read somewhere that one way writers can use it is to reach out to employers and offer them your freelance services while they are searching for the right candidate. I had never even thought of that!

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