One of the ways you can make your blog more engaging for readers is to consider adding a feature that I’ve noticed that some bloggers are increasingly avoiding using – an About page.
About Pages: Two of the most viewed pages on my blog here are my About ProBlogger and About Darren pages – this gives me some indication that people reading this blog are a little curious about what this blog is about and who is writing it. This is the case on most of my blogs.
I can only speak for myself – but one of the things that frustrates me about many blogs is that they lack much in the way of information about the author/s of them. For some blogs this is more important than others (and its a personal preference thing about how much authors choose to reveal of who they are) but I find pages without an About page can be quite frustrating.
Why have an About Page?
There are a number of advantages of About pages that bloggers should consider.
Transparency: This is one of those words of the moment around the blogging community – everyone is calling for bloggers to be as transparent as possible, to name their interests, income sources, objectives etc – an about page can play a part in this.
Engagement: I know some bloggers prefer to write in a more impersonal style – but I’m a heart guy – I like people – I like a bit of humour, personality and emotion from time to time in blogging and an About page can really help create a more personal connection with your readers. Sure not everyone is like me and won’t appreciate the ‘gush’ – but I suspect plenty of your readers will appreciate a little more information on the person they’re reading.
Highlighting Key Pages: An About page has the ability to propel your readers deep within your site to your key posts. Is there an article that you’re particular proud of that sums up what you’re blog is about? Is there a sponsor you want to highlight? Is there a page with an income stream that you’d like to expose all your readers to? Are there some categories that you’d like to highlight? Your About page will get read – and its an opportunity to introduce your readers (particularly first timers) to your key pages.
Key Features for Your About Page
So what should an About Page include?
This is really a matter of personal preference and something I’d like to hear your opinions on but here are a few things I include on some of my blog’s about pages:
- Photo: I like to see some sort of picture of the person I’m reading. It definitely adds something for me.
- Blog objectives: Succinctly sum up the point of your blog. What is it about? What will readers gain from it?
- Introduce Yourself: You probably want to keep your introduction down to a short one – but particularly talk about your experience with the topic you’re writing about. Why should they listen to you? What is your context and background?
- Introduce Blogging: Depending on your topic you might want to introduce the idea of a blog (or at least link to an article/post about it. Many first time blog readers don’t understand things like categories, comments, RSS etc. Also point them at some good starting points in your blog – key articles etc.
- Contact Details: I’m planning a longer post on this later – but consider giving your readers a way of getting in touch with you. Again its about transparency and interactivity.
How do you create an About Page?
The simplest way to do it is to write a normal post on your blog titled ‘About (insert your name, or your blog’s name here)’. You might want to change the date of your post to an older one if you have that capability. Then simply link to your own post from your sidebar or menu where ever you want to place it.
- Privacy: Its common sense really but its worth saying. Most good bloggers have boundaries around privacy – its worth thinking it through and sticking to them
- Keep it Short: Again – common sense here. Yes people want to know about you – but only to a point. Don’t ramble.
- Keep it Relevant: I’ve already mentioned it – but don’t take the opportunity to tell readers about your whole life if your blog is on a niche topic.
- Make it Prominent: Don’t hide your About Page away. Put it high on your side bar, menu or in your header. People won’t use it if they don’t see it.
By no means is this a definitive guide to everything you’ll find on a good About Page. I’m interested to hear how (and if) you write yours. What do you include and exclude? What would you add or subtract from my lists above? Feel free to link to your examples of About pages if you’re particularly proud of yours.