What are the most effective ways to market your personal site/brand (preferably for free)?
So, this is super easy to do in terms of strategy and execution, and consistency is what’s usually difficult for most people.
First, realize that nobody cares about your personal brand or your website. What you need to do is use your website as a social hub for all the content that you create. So, you should go to SquareSpace and just create a website or a blog on there. Do not do anything crazy. I love Wordpress, but it’s quite complicated for what you need these days. After creating a website, I would pay $5 for a branded gmail address which you can do through SquareSpace as well.
The hardest part of this, in terms of consistency, is going out and finding your audience and then creating content for that audience. We purpose that content back to your blog. For instance, you would go to LinkedIn or Quora and provide content, blog, visuals, and write about whatever your expertise is or about what the crowd is asking for - wants answers to.
Once you are done with that, take that answer and repurpose it for your personal website and eventually Google will start indexing those answers and picking them up. That’s kind of like icing on cake. The number one goal should be getting your knowledge out to the people who are asking for it.