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One Cool Way to Grow Your Audience Beyond Your Wildest Dream

I have been writing on Medium for almost 18 months now. All this time, I had paid no attention to growing my audience. I have roughly 2600 followers, but I am aware most of them don’t read my articles.

I have a small number of subscribers to my publication Authorpreneurs, who get, on average, two articles a week from me in their inboxes. These are my niche audience who are interested in writing books. I write articles to provide them with writing, publishing, and marketing information.

In addition, I have been writing a Substack newsletter for more than 14 months. It is growing at a snail’s pace, but the subscribers are my die-hard fans who read everything I write and occasionally let me know if they liked (or disliked) a particular piece. 

Three weeks ago, I started writing on LinkedIn regularly. Imagine my surprise when I watched my connection swell, 10–60 comments on my post and whooping 490+ subscribers to my newsletter that is just two weeks old. 

What is going on here?

It is not that I have become a great writer overnight. I am still the mediocre writer who fights her daily demons to write a decent enough piece for publication.

But there are a few things in play here, though.

LinkedIn Algorithm

LinkedIn is at a point where Facebook was in 2012. LinkedIn wants to grow, and it wants its users to grow as well. So any post you write, if it gets a little interaction (as little as five comments in the first hour), LinkedIn sends it not only to all your connections and your connections’ connections and anybody who comments, their connections too. 

If your post gets a whole lot of interactions then LinkedIn sends it to everyone on the platform.

Of course, it is my hypothesis (I have no inside knowledge) but I have been seeing the magic happen for a few days now.

This recent one I watched unfolding was mind-boggling.

If your post gets a whole lot of interactions then LinkedIn sends it to everyone on the platform. 

This is exactly what happened to a fellow writer Sasja Nieukerk-Chomos who is also participating in 30 Days LinkedIn Sprint with me where we writing a post a day.

Sasja Nieukerk-Chomos wrote a post and it got close to 800 likes and hundreds of comments in the first hour. Then the post went viral. It now has 34,447 likes and 2679 comments and perhaps close to a million views (I can’t see the view counts only Sasja can).

Image by the author
Image by the author

Sasja Nieukerk-Chomos on LinkedIn: #leadership #psychologicalsafety #linkedin30daysprint | 2679…
18 years ago today my father took his own life. He was so damn tired. He was only 60 years old. My father was a…www.linkedin.com

Of course, the content of the post, the connection with the workplace (LinkedIn is a platform for professionals) and the touchpoints of the story helped but I haven’t seen it happening on Medium.

So in short, growth on LinkedIn is phenomenal at the moment.

LinkedIn Newsletters

I had my own taste of unbelievable growth. I started a newsletter on Linkedin last week which picked up 230 subscribers with the very first issue. This week when I sent the second issue of the newsletter the subscriber numbers swelled to 490 plus. 

It is not possible to get this many subscribers unless LinkedIn is promoting the newsletters. LinkedIn introduced newsletters just a couple of months ago, needless to say, they want more people to take advantage of that. But they are being more successful with it than any other platform including Medium or Substack. 

The reason is that most of the users on LinkedIn are professional and they are interested in certain topics. My newsletter is about writing, creativity, and productivity which are the right niche for the LinkedIn audience. 

Takeaway: if you want to start a newsletter think about LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Polls

Now here is the most interesting of all the observations. 

Last week, I wrote a little post asking the audience to help me choose the book cover for my next book. 

My coach suggested that I should formulated the post as questions in a poll, so that I could use the algorithm to advertise my book for free.

I used her idea about a book writing sprint I want to run. So I wrote a post and added a poll at the end of it. 

Image by the author

I have 857 views on the post so far. It will run for another six days. That’s for the power of running polls on LinkedIn. Now hundreds of LinkedIn users know I am creating a program. They feel part of its formulation, and I have people ready to take the course. They are even helping me shape the course. 

It is what my coach calls a win-win-win.

Takeaway

Tom Kuegler once wrote You Can Dominate Every Social Media Platform If You Do These 3 Things

  1. Write five times per week.
  2. Respond to every comment.
  3. Follow everyone who interacted with you in any way.

I am applying this approach to LinkedIn and it is working. 

I will keep sharing my LinkedIn learnings with you. Stay tuned.

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For more tips and motivation, subscribe to my newsletter at A Whimsical Writer.