I’ve always been a proponent of your own domain name. I still am. But I recently took a quick survey of About.Me and discovered that there might actually be some potential there for new Web citizens who haven’t got around to building their website yet.
If you have a limited marketing budget but you’re ready to start marketing yourself online right now, then this might be a worthwhile free option for you.
Here’s how an About.Me profile could help you:
- If you’re a freelancer and you’ve started using the freelance sites like Guru.com and Elance.com but don’t have a website, About.Me could serve as a place to send potential clients to as you are building your website.
- Ditto if you are a local business person just getting started with your local online marketing.
- You get 50 free business cards just for signing up.
- You can secure your profile address at About.Me to prevent others from getting it first and doing damage to your reputation. It will look like this: About.Me/YourName.
- It’s free.
- You can set up an About.Me profile page in about 10 minutes, whereas a website will take at least a couple of hours and probably longer depending on its complexity. If you hire a web designer to do it for you, it will cost you money.
- You can link to your Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, and other social sites around the Web from your About.Me profile page.
- You can also link to your websites so if you build your About.Me profile first, then you can add a link to your business website after you get it set up.
I wouldn’t expect a great deal of search engine traffic from About.Me. .Me domain names don’t typically do well in the search engines. But you can drive traffic to your profile page from your active social networks, which makes it a worthwhile starting place if you are just getting involved in Internet marketing.
Another thing I like about About.Me is its robust analytics features. You can see how many people are viewing your profile and where they’re coming from, plus which of your websites they are visiting from About.Me. That makes it infinitely more valuable than most free web hosts.
Bottom line: I wouldn’t rely on About.Me as a primary Web presence, but it is a good free place to start and could serve as an additional place for branding you as well as providing you with an inbound link to your business website.