I've claimed several of author profiles on book-based websites, but when I was doing some research recently, I found that there are journalist profiles out there, too. Since I write nearly-journalistic content, I figured I deserve one of these profiles. The website lets me set it up for free, but it won't "verify" the profile until I submit information that says I work for a legitimate media outlet. Like Fox News, I suppose.
Even if I'm not verified on the website, the profile is very well-conceived, and I'm allowed to link some of my best articles from one place. It allows me to show off my writing and influence. I'd recommend people who blog or write other online content to set up a free profile, like this one for Brian Jaeger (me).
I bet the website doesn't submit non-verfied or even non-paid profiles to search engines, so I'd also go ahead and submit an article linking to your profile (like this article), submit it to your favorite webmaster tools, and have it crawl the page and all linked pages. I don't really know if that will get it indexed from the other site, but it's worth a shot. If it works, you've just gotten a bunch of relevant links to your own articles from a highly ranked website, as long as you've added your articles to your portfolio. In fact, assuming it will work, I'm going to load up more articles in my portfolio so that I get even more love.
After years of having author profiles on other sites, however, I kind of think they don't do much for me. I spent a lot of time when I first published my writing in order to set up profiles, but it's probably a small part of the marketing of your book. Case in point, I co-wrote a recent book (Wild West Allis) with a friend, and he posted it to Facebook once it was on Amazon. It's now my second highest selling book after only one month, with most of my offerings being available for several years. Therefore, at least initially, a Facebook post about your books is much more lucrative than spending the time to create profiles. Over time, your friends and family will stop buying the book, and maybe the profile will convince someone on the fence to drop a five-spot on your creative work.
I'd like for there to be a way to track how many people actually read one of my articles based on linking it from a profile-type website. Or if Google sees these links as arbitrary or somehow wrong. I'd like to say that doing the work to get your writing and name out there does more than just buying link juice from some Chinese company, but I don't really know for sure.