Wondering what the value of linking to my profile page would be, verses the value of links to articles. Not an overboard linking campaign, mind you, just occasional links from other blogs I work on? Also, is there value in placing a link in the main template or a widget, as opposed to placing it within a single post?
You really want to concentrate on creating links to articles from appropriate places which will drive relevant traffic. This has two effects
1. Increases the number of links to your article (good for SERPS)
2. The traffic will be more likely to read what you have written and stay on page, which is great post PANDA.
As for linking to my profile page the only times i feel this would be of much use would be for freelance websites to show them examples of work and maybe if the blog is representative of what you write about. Just my tuppence worth
As for the widget i actually use this on some of my blogs and it does drive traffic, so it's worth using this.
I don't really see the point. Although your profile page is like your "homepage" now that you are on your own private subdomain, it's also your least profitable page. Sure, a link here and there on a forum signature or your own website won't hurt, but there's no need to waste time on it. Posting in the forums and on the site automatically creates dozens of internal backlinks for you and backlinks made to your articles also send on some Google love to your main profile page, as they all link back to it.
I think that if you did link it, a link on all pages would be more valuable than a link from a post - a post will take longer to be well ranked on Google and therefore less likely to be seen as a "good quality" backlink.
Linking to your profile page will help build your authority, but as WryLilt said, posting to forums and stuff will do it naturally. I don't spend a lot of time linking to my profile page, but I do look for opportunities to have it done automatically for me (forum signatures, guest blog posts, etc.).
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