This post is part of a five-part series about creating better blog pages. You can see all the posts in this series here.
One of the most important pages for your blog is your “about” page. Actually, you probably want at least two about pages – one for your blog and one for yourself. On the blog’s about page, you want to cover what your blog is about while on your own blog page, you want to talk about yourself.
Today, we’re talking about the page for you. Let’s look at how you can optimize this page for maximum benefits.
Telling Your Story
The best blog pages are usually extremely personal, telling the story of how you got to where you are in life today. The problem with this? Personal stories can be rather long. Most people won’t read past the first paragraph or two.
So, start your about page with a short version of your story. Cover the basics – who you are and why people should care. Be personable so readers can quickly connect with you.
If you feel compelled to write more, create a long version of your story to put after the short version. This is something I’ve done on Blog Zombies. That way, readers who want to learn more about you can, but you also don’t bore readers who just want a brief overview.
Every about page needs to include contact information. Yes, even if you have a special “contact” page (which I definitely recommend). Yes, even if your contact information is on your sidebar. When someone wants to contact you, it’s important to make this extremely easy. Otherwise, you could miss out on some really great partnerships with other bloggers and sponsorship deals.
It seems like a no-brainer that you should make your contact information readily available, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked for a blogger’s information and haven’t been able to find it–and I’m more patient that most. Most people will get frustrated after only a few seconds and move on to the next blogger.
In addition to listing your email address, you should also list any social network where you’re regularly active. For example, on my about pages, I always list my Twitter account, since that’s an easy way to contact me. You don’t have to list all of your social profiles here if you don’t want people to contact you that way, but if you don’t, make sure the buttons are easy to see on your sidebar or contact page (preferably both).
One of the biggest mistakes I see people make is failing to include a picture on their about page. People go to your about page to connect with you on a deeper level. It’s hard to do that when you can’t even picture the other people. You might not be able to look your readers in the eye face-to-face, but you can include a nice headshot so they can picture you when reading something you’ve written.
Even better, consider uploading a brief video about yourself. This is a great way to connect with your readers on a more personal level. Keep it under the two minute mark if possible; people have short attention spans!
Taking Your About Page to the Next Level
But how do you really make your about page stand out? What can you do to take your about page to the next level? That depends on your niche and your personality, as well as the tone of your blog. Here are a few suggestions that you might be able to use:
- Promote your mailing list on your about page. If people care enough about you to want to read about your life, they probably want to sign up to get emails from you.
- Be funny, clever, or interesting by doing something unexpected on your about page. Make it memorable.
- Make some lists about yourself. You can do this on your about page or on other pages and just link to them on your about page. For example, I’ve seen some bloggers do “101 Random Things About Me” lists.
- Get even more personal. consider adding pictures of your family, sharing a personal story of a struggle that you usually don’t share, or otherwise letting readers into your life in a very intimate way. This technique isn’t for everyone, but if your life is an open book, it might be a good option to help you connect with readers.
- Include links to places you’ve been featured or other places where you write. Once this list starts to grow, you can consider a separate page just for press, but if you only have a few links for now, just include them on your about page. You can also list places you’ve guest posted.
- Link to any books or ebooks you’ve written. Even if you have these products listed on their own pages, it makes sense to include them on your about page as well.
- Add testimonials from people who enjoy your work.
Examples of Great About Pages
No two about pages look the same–and that’s a good thing. You want yours to be completely unique, so it totally represents you and your blog. You can definitely borrow ideas from others, though! Here are some great about pages from across the web:
- Chris Ducker
- Allison Day
- David Murray
- John and Sherry Petersik
- Rachel Thompson
- Marc Ensign
- Jamila Rowser
- John Jantsch
- Anne-Sophie Reinhardt
As you can see, these pages are all extremely different! But hopefully you’ve come away with a few ideas of your own so you can totally revamp your own about page.
Join us tomorrow for Day Four of our Better Blog Pages series!