Can’t I just rely on LinkedIn, About.me, Twitter and all those other “free” services?
In a word – NO! The reason is that you want to own your online assets as much as possible, not rent them.
There are a number of disadvantages to using these free services:
- They can lock you out. There is no guarantee of service with these free accounts. All of their terms of service state that they can shut down on a moment’s notice. And most of them stipulate that they don’t have to give you your content back.
- They can evict you. Your account can be removed at any time, for any reason, and usually without recourse. There are numerous stories of Facebook, Twitter and blog accounts that get shut off and even deleted. Sometimes these are accidental, other times they are due to alleged violations of terms of service, but every so often there is no explanation.
- They can use your stuff. On most of these networks, their terms of service state that while you maintain ownership of your content, you also grant them a universal right to reuse your content for their own purposes.
- They can relocate you. If a service gets acquired, its domain name might change, which means that your URL would change. The most valuable online currency is inbound links. If your domain changes, those links get broken and you have no power to repair them.
- They own your improvements. Search engine rankings are always maintained at the domain level. If your personal website is “you.facebook.com,” then all the search engine “juice” allocates to “facebook.com.” You can’t really earn any ranking for yourself.
Register Your Personal Domain Name Today!
Before you can build your house, you’ll need a plot of land on which to construct it. That Internet land is a domain name. You can register a domain for less than $12USD per year. I use Name.com and NameCheap.com. (affiliate link).