This past Tuesday (2/7/2017) I woke up to find several emails waiting for me. I’m paraphrasing but they all sounded something like this.
“I just realized branded.me changed to remote.com. I used branded.me to create my website, and now all of my content, photos, posts, etc. are all gone. Do you know who I can contact to get it back?”
Did you use branded.me as your personal website as well? If so, you’re probably in the same boat. If you’ve been following me for any length of time you know I recommend two things consistently.
Own your domain
Whether you plan to use it or not in the immediate future doesn’t matter. What matters is you secure your firstnamelastname.com before someone else who shares your name gets it first.
Start a website
A website is the best way for you to control your online (digital) brand. It’s inexpensive and it will save you from losing all of your content unexpectedly.
The best way to accomplish the items above all at once is to buy your domain and hosting at Bluehost. It’s who I use and who I recommend as you’re getting started. As many people discovered this past week, without owning your platform you are at the mercy of others.
This is true for About.me, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. Yes, some of those companies are on more solid ground so to speak but they also all change their policies regularly and every time they do you risk losing your content or worse giving away your rights to it.
Unfortunately, this is the risk you take when you build your brand on rented land. The landlord can decide at any moment to make a change that essentially kicks you out of your home. In branded.me’s case, they appear to have completely changed directions, from a personal brand landing page to a remote work job board.
Sadly, this is not the first time I’ve seen something like this happen. eOLIO, another personal brand landing page platform closed its doors in May of last year.
I have nothing against using personal brand landing page sites like branded.me when used as a part of your overall branding strategy.
In fact, I teach you how to do this in my upcoming book, CareerKred, but these sites should not be your only digital branding strategy. I recommend using these sites as billboards (blog post) on the Internet highway.
Back to branded.me. I lost my content as well but because I used it as a billboard, I didn’t have anything there beyond the basics so I really didn’t lose much from a personal brand standpoint, a few backlinks and a couple of blog posts. But for those of you who did build up your branded.me site, I hate to say it but you may be out of luck.
So what happened to branded.me?
Your guess is as good as mine. If you asked me to make one, a guess that is, I would say it probably had to do with money and interest. I find it interesting they have chosen to rebrand to a job board for remote workers. They seem to now be a competitor to sites such as UpWork, the freelance site Danny Flood and I discussed during this podcast.
The branded.me situation should serve to remind us all that building your brand on someone else's property is risky. It's much better to build your brand on land you own.