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Add an ‘About’ Page to Your Blog

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.

Other Factors

  • 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.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Rick Blythe says:

    I have been trying to figure out the best way to do this (for some time) in my version of WordPress (which doesn’t support static pages). I want the About page to have the same look and feel of my main page. One of these days…

  2. Sean says:

    Yes, this is very easy to do in MovableType – and you are right, I always click on someone’s about page

  3. Glen says:

    I never really considered the about page for my two blogs but it for sure makes sense I will for sure be adding them to my blogs…great tip.

  4. I have an about page but do not feel it is that important, I have no idea how many people visit it and rarely do I read others about pages. They are more important I feel to those who are or are trying to be an ‘authority’ on a subject – but then this should come across anyway in the quality of the posts.

  5. Sean says:

    I guess it depends on the person – for me I am very visual so I always want to know what the person looks like so I can put a face with what they are saying, so usualy check the About page to see if they have a picture posted

  6. John Campea says:

    Good stuff Darren. I’ve been telling people this for years. I think I’ve got all the basics covered in my “about” page: http://www.themovieblog.com/about.html

  7. Hear hear! It’s amazing how hard it is to find out whose weblog I’m reading sometimes.

    I’d suggest a “contact” page (like Darren’s or mine) as well. Often people want to contact you in general (and in private) rather than comment on a post.

  8. Ken Musante says:

    I totally agree with you. An official “About” page all about me is something my blog is missing. Blogger’s Profile page just doesn’t cut it for me. I suppose an About page gets a lot of hits because, with a blog, what’s written is just as important as who wrote it.

  9. I have the standard bio part, but was inspired to offer something a little different a few months ago. I wrote a list of 100 things that I thought my audience might like to know about me. It remains one of my most frequently hit pages:
    http://imaginactive.typepad.com/100_things_about_me.htm.

    Yeah, it sort of violates most of the points that Darren mentions, but I think it just goes to show that there’s not one way to go about it. Just have fun with it.

  10. Lisa says:

    I do have an about page, more for the business side of my site than for the blog, but I’m not putting my photo up there. I’ll put photos of the little guy (nothing too close up of his face, but he’s not even two and I don’t use his real name on the blog either – Jeff Goldstein has been thru enough to make me cautious if I wasn’t before (which I was)) but there are some creepy people out on the internet who don’t need to know what his mama looks like. I have an e-mail listed and need to work on a contact form in the future – just limited time of course.

  11. I think many people find it very difficult to write about themselves. I’ve got an article and free template called “How to Write a Short Bio” that makes it much easier. You can see the full template here…

    http://www.becomeacertifiedcoach.com/how_to_write_bio.htm

    or a mini-version titled “How to Write Your ‘About Me’ Page that was published right her at Problogger.net…

    http://www.problogger.net/archives/2006/11/24/how-to-write-your-about-me-page/

    Hope the template makes the process less agonizing for folks!

  12. I have been using the standard about page in Blogger, but there really isn’t room for links to posts, and other stuff. I think I’ll do another one, thanks for the idea.

  13. Chris Pallé says:

    The about page is very popular page on my blog. About as popular as a “work” page. I just took my work page down and am adding the content to the about page because that can really cover it, but if traffic doesn’t double, then maybe the work link will come back.

    Anyway, to some of the comments regarding the difficulty of writing your own bio: keep it simple to start and make a link to a longer written version. I used to have this, took it away, but now I’m going to bring back.
    Another really good approach: give links to all your social sites. I have links to flickr, linkedIn, boxesandarrows (where I’m an editor), etc. it a really quick way for people to get to know, plus drive traffic to your other sites.

    Yes, though. Cannot stress the About page enough. That’s one of my top pages.

  14. Shine says:

    I do find that when a particular post attracts me, the next thing I do is either click into the About page or check out the popular / recommended posts. So, it’s about time for me to review my About page la.

  15. Edie says:

    Really great post!

  16. Lanna says:

    I’ve always paid attention to how people write about their “About Page”. Thanks for the insight tips here. I agree that we should not hide from our readers and the “About Page” is the only place our reader can learn about us.

  17. Misssy M says:

    I’m taking your advice. I’m writing some info on my profile page where previoulsy I had none. Just to see….

    I can write blog posts like a good un but this profile info is the hardest thing I ever had to tackle. How to sum up yourself in a few sentences? How to not sound like an ad? How to not come across as arrogant by selling yourself (the curse of being Scottish- never blow your own trumpet, people will think you’re a dick…sigh) How to make people want to jump into the site?

    Well I decided to just tell people what I’m not and at the same time reveal my kind of writing…because I figure that I’m more likely to establish a rapport with people who like and dislike the same kind of writing I do.

    We’ll see….

  18. I’m pretty new at blogging. I did an about page but, it was more about the blog than me. I’ll probably have to start a new blog somewhere else. My blog rolls so my about page can only be seen by subscribers. Other than that, the entries are limited to the last few. I’ve been picking up more views, and even a few subscribers. If you could take a look and offer suggestions it would be a great help.

    sweetromance

  19. I’m pretty new at blogging. I did an about page but, it was more about the blog than me. I’ll probably have to start a new blog somewhere else. My blog rolls so my about page can only be seen by subscribers. Other than that, the entries are limited to the last few. I’ve been picking up more views, and even a few subscribers. If you could take a look and offer suggestions it would be a great help.
    http://www.myspace.com/sweetromance2

    sweetromance

  20. Rosie Nieto says:

    Thanks for this information Darren. I will add your tips to my about page immediately. I love learning important blogging tips and have just found your site. I just subscribed to your feed!

  21. Rosie Nieto says:

    Thanks for this information Darren. I will add your tips to my about page immediately. I love learning important blogging tips and have just found your site. I just subscribed to your feed and look forward to learning more.
    http://www.nakedladyrealestate.com

  22. Deep Arora says:

    Absolutely amazing. You have explained providing a nice framework of aboutme page. I was wondering for last three days what to write for an aboutme page at my new blog..and you have just solved my problem mate..

    Thanks,
    Deep

  23. randy says:

    actuly i want to thank you not just beacause you help me but beacause you have make this site to help everyone ho want to make a about me page
    i was confused it’ was so hard to me to make it and now its so easy and everyone like what i write on my aboutme page
    so thank you!!

  24. Sara says:

    I didn’t have an ‘About Me’ page before, but now I realize some users really love it. I will be adding one! Thanks again for advice, and thanks to everyone who commented here too.

  25. Berry says:

    Thanks for your information Darren, I have included About me in my website but I think I have to re write it again to make it more informative and friendly.

  26. Jessica says:

    Thanks for the About Me sample writings. Appreciate the tips!

  27. Armil Velos says:

    Thank You! Your great guidelines for creating an About Page convinced me outwardly to add an About Page to my personal blog.

  28. Joel Lucks says:

    I’m trying to wrap my head around the differences between a Blog and a website. Generally, people seem to refer to a Blog as a Journal. I think I get that part.

    How different is its design from a website? Is a blog more opinion than information? Should a link from a website to a blog be made, or is it a standalone entity?

    Can a blog be used to promote other businesses and websites that my business interacts with?

    Are there blog templates to choose from, or is it a “free flowing” design of whatever a person wants?

    Joel Lucks
    Long Island, NY

  29. This has always been my week point. I am horrible at writing good about me bio pages. I think my biggest problem is when it comes to talking about achievements and various accomplishments. I am very modest so I hate writing about everything I’ve done.

  30. Andrea Hill says:

    Wow, contact details… I can’t believe I didn’t think about that!

  31. Joel says:

    Andrea,
    If you don’t mind me asking, how are you getting three columns on your blog? Are you using Blogger.com or another platform?

    Joel Lucks
    Long Island

  32. Daniel says:

    Good points. Again, thanks.

  33. Chuan Wen says:

    good idea!
    add an ABOUT page is easy people get to know author and contact them.
    thanks for sharing~
    :)

  34. Brad Owens says:

    Thanks so much for all the tips. I love reading through your website. You have helped me out a ton. After a few hours reading through these posts and putting together a few ideas, I think I have finally created something I’m proud of. Check out my final product:
    http://www.owensdomain.com/about/

  35. Seth says:

    About pages are important. I know when I started reading Problogger that was the first thing I checked. I thought, why should I keep reading. After the about page and some amazing posts I have been hooked ever since!!

    Thanks for the information.

  36. Sankar Datti says:

    Thank you so much Darren, I have to write a About Page for my Blog by following your instructions. Hope it will improve the relation between me and my blog readers. The way you express your thoughts is really impressive. I can read your blog for hours without feeling any bore.

    Thanks
    Sankar Datti

  37. I just added an “About Us” page to my blog. I started my blog in April of 2008 and just got my Navigation Bar up yesterday. I’m so excited about that.

    I’d really like some feedback on my “About Us” page on Karen & Gerard Zemek at http://www.zemeks.blogspot.com if anyone would like to check it out. It’s a personal blog on a variety of topics including activities, information, opinions, spirituality, quizzes, humor and cats.

  38. Avanika says:

    I just started my blog, and you’ve been a great help. One of the first things I did was add an ‘About Me’ page.
    I love your blog :-)

Trackbacks

  1. [...] xcellent Blog herald articles on making your blog sticky (here and here). And add to that Adding an ‘About’ Page, Purple Cow Blogging & The 4 [...]

  2. [...] Adding an ‘About’ Page “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.” Darren Rowse mentions transparency, engagement and the opportunity of highlighting your best writing as advantages of having an About page and goes on to define what he believes it should contain, how you make it and what else you should consider. Interesting is also that he uses the dual About page approach where one is about him and one about the blog. For that approach to make sense do you have to have a lot to say though so it is not for everyone. [...]

  3. [...] written a previous post on some of the aspects to include in an About Me Page which might help you as you do [...]