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Better Blog Pages: Optimizing Your About Page (Day Three)


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.

Contact Information

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).

Your Picture

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:

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!


The New About Me: Who Taught You How to Write Your Bio?


Session Title: The New About Me: Who Taught You How to Write Your Bio?
Speaker: Michael Margolis
Date: Tuesday May 24
Time: 3:45PM
Where: Jacob Javits Center 1A15

Your About Page is the #1 page people visit on your website. If you don’t know how to tell your story in a manner that sticks and resonates, you are loosing your audience, and you are loosing business too. Forget, the buzzword sleaze around personal branding, we’re going to discuss how to bring your unique personality to the surface through more storytelling. Yes, we all have a bigger and epic story to tell. And it’s the story everybody’s waiting to hear. You’ll be able to apply the insights from this workshop directly back to your About page, personal bio, and overall social media presence.

Key Take-Aways From the Session:

  • Take home a seven-step bio template for how to transform your bio into a story
  • Learn how to communicate about yourself with less ego and more mojo
  • Understand when and how to use external validators without being a jerk or douche
  • Transform the way others perceive your worth and value (with a better story)

The son of an inventor and artist, Michael Margolis is obsessed with storytelling and do you get people to believe in your story. As the Dean of Story University, Michael teaches online courses like The New About Me; designed for creatives who need a better back story for their brand. Michael also curates the Reinvention Summit, a virtual conference on the future of storytelling with 37 speakers and 500+ participants in its first year. His work and ideas have been featured in Fast Company, BrandWeek, and Storytelling Magazine. Michael’s book, Believe Me: a Storytelling Manifesto for Change-Makers and Innovators is available for free as a digital download. Michael is left handed, color blind, and eats more chocolate than the average human. His TV guilty pleasures include Celebrity Rehab and Millionaire Matchmaker.

Overheard on #Blogchat: Your Picture (@AngelaMaiers)


Do you participate in #blogchat? Every week, this weekly discussion on Twitter focuses on a specific topic and bloggers everywhere are invited to join in. Because I often have more to say than what will fit in 140 characters, every Sunday night (or Monday morning), I post about some of the most interesting #blogchat tweets. Join the conversation by commenting below.

(Still confused? Read more about #blogchat here.)

This week’s theme: driving the RIGHT traffic to your blog in 2011 vs just getting MORE traffic

One of the themes of the night was talking about how to get readers to stay on your site, to become fans and even customers or subscribers rather than leaving your site after their visit. It doesn’t matter if you bring in traffic from social media recommendations, social bookmarking, SEO, or another source – if they read your post but never come back, their visit to your site essentially means nothing.

Tweeters at #blogchat offered tons of advice on how to convert more first-time readers into regular readers, and one that I find especially important is this:

@AngelaMaiers: Your readers need to see your face- they need to know WHO u r before they care WHAT u have to say

Earlier this month, Nikki posted about the importance of having a good About Me page, and I truly believe that Angela that hit the nail on the head with one of the most important points – including a picture.

The chance that I’ll read your blog regularly – even if you write awesome content – is significantly lower if you don’t have a picture of you on your blog somewhere. If you honestly aren’t comfortable, even a caricature or cartoon of some kind works – but if your face is a logo, I have a really hard time thinking of you as a real person, connecting with anything you say.

I think that this all raises an even more important point: while education is important on a blog, if you don’t have personality while you are educating me, I’m not likely to become a regular reader. There are so many boring blogs out there. I think, sometimes, that we’ve lost the reason blogs came into existence in the first place – to allow the blogger an outlet, a place to show their personality. Even some of the experts out there, some people who I really respect and who are regular speaker at BlogWorld and other blogging events…I go to their blogs when I want to know something, but I don’t read regularly. They bore me, and there’s so many bloggers out there that I can probably find someone to teach me the same thing but with a little personality.

Personality is everything – and I think we’ve lost track of that at times. So give me your picture! Tell me about you! Give me super valuable information, but mention your kids and tell me where you’re going on vacation and share an embarrassing story. Every blog should be a personal blog – because otherwise, you just run a boring website that’s updated regularly.

Thanks, Angela, for your great #blogchat comments!

30 Days to a Better Blog: Add/Edit Your About Me Page


30 Days to a Better Blog: Add/Edit Your About Me Page

Take a look at your blog’s static pages. Do you have an About Me page? If no, it’s time to make one! Your About Me page is the first place someone will head to learn a little bit more about the person behind the blog they’re reading. Yes. That’s right. The About Me page is about YOU. Not your blog. Okay … okay … it can talk about the blog a little. But, really, a reader should be able to garner everything they need to know about your blog by reading your posts.

As Alli says in her What I Learned From the 12 Days of Blogging post: “Part of the reason I read any blog is its writer. So tell me about yourself! As someone hunting for information, this was also important to me. I want to know why I should care what you say. Do you have education? Experience? Life circumstances that qualify you to write in your niche? I want to know that I’m getting good tips, not just “well, maybe this will work because other people say so” advice.

What should you include on your About Me page? Any or all of the following:

  • Your name
  • A recent photo
  • Your education and/or work history (if relevant to the blog)
  • Why you started the blog
  • Your goal(s) for the blog
  • A link to your contact page (and an invitation for people to contact you)
  • Links to other blogs/websites you may write for or run

And most importantly (in my opinion) – try to use your voice! Your About Me page should be a quick and easy way for a reader to learn about you … it shouldn’t be a bullet-point list from your resume.

Let us know what you edited on your About Me page.

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