LinkedIn (LNKD) made 25,000 content sharers very happy last week with the announcement it is expanding its publishing platform to eventually allow all users—ALL USERS—the opportunity to write and share posts. Starting immediately, 25,000 English language LinkedIn members will have the ability to publish content on LinkedIn. The company will be expanding steadily the capability to all members in multiple languages over the next few months.

With content strategy and content marketing motivating many marketing campaigns, news of LinkedIn’s open publishing platform is music to many a marketer's ears. According to LinkedIn, the executive social media platform consistently looks for new ways for members to share professional insights and status updates.

The expansion of LinkedIn’s publishing platform—and LinkedIn’s testing of a new feature that allows members to write longer-form posts detailing expertise and professional interests—is a testament to the importance of thought leadership, online reputation and content creation for business marketing.

Trumpeting the importance of thought leaders in late 2012, LinkedIn launched its Influencer Network—allowing its members to follow LinkedIn Influencers including Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Deepak Chopra, Arianna Huffington, Mark Cuban, Meg Whitman and, of course, President Barack Obama. Within 24 to 48 hours of posting an article, millions of page views could be scored by leading LinkedIn Influencers, opening doors for hundreds of thousands of new followers for the fortunate, deserving thought leaders.

Now, positioning what it has termed the Definitive Professional Publishing Platform, LinkedIn is opening its publishing platform to all members, delivering a powerful new way for LinkedIn members to build brands, share expertise and establish thought leadership. Members also will have the ability to follow other members that are not in their network and build their own group of followers.

LinkedIn is tagging its content publishing initiative "Unlocking the Experts," and believes members will benefit greatly by learning from the 277 million members and around 500 Influencers. LinkedIn said it will regularly evaluate its Influencers and will work to only include the most engaged, prolific and thoughtful contributors.

So, it seems, one does not need to be a CNBC host, internationally celebrated motivational speaker, political leader or even a business magnate famous for founding a group that started in mail-order records and ended up flying the friendly skies. To be a contributor to LinkedIn’s publishing platform, one needs only to be an expert willing to share ideas, best practices and inspiration. LinkedIn is opening its doors to your digital content. The world is waiting! Learn more about LinkedIn’s Publishing Platform today.

Marie Alonso is an online marketing and media strategist at Miles Technologies, a leading IT company. The Miles Technologies team contributes business-driven content to The VAR Guy regularly.