The Blogger Behind the Curtain
When you come across a new blogger you like, or even a company product, what’s the first thing you click on when you head to their website?
More than likely, it’s their About page. As much as we like to think that our writing speaks for itself, it’s human nature to want to learn more about the person behind that blog post you thought was totally cool or that funny article you read.
Yet, writing an About page can feel daunting. You may be thinking, Why shucks, no one wants to read about little ol’ me. Au contraire. Learning more about who you are may turn that one-time visitor into a regular reader on your site. Blogging is all about connections and community. Just like in real life, getting to know someone personally helps solidify that bond.
That’s all well and good, but how do you write a good “About” page? Here’s a few tips:
- Think about your overall tone:
Remember in high school when you had to write those five paragraph essays where the middle three paragraphs were all about supporting your thesis? This is what your About page should do for your site.It’s up to us to decide how we come across on the web. You can write, re-write, edit, revise, and re-read all you want. Take the time to write down a few adjectives that describe the tone you want to achieve in your About page: What’s the overall purpose of your blog? What kind of impression do you want to leave with visitors? Don’t be afraid to write an outline, but don’t be afraid to free write, either. You can always go back and edit.
- Keep it short and sweet:
The average Internet user spends less than 60 seconds on any given site, which means getting your point across before a visitor’s attention begins to wane is crucial. Prioritize what your readers need to know about you. Is this blog a professional platform? If so, let your readers know about your greatest achievement in your career. Is your blog a creative outlet? Then give visitors a taste of your artistic MO. The point is to be informative and memorable, without overloading anyone. If they want to know more, they’ll contact you.
- To write in first person or third:
Remember when you wrote down some adjectives about your site’s tone? Well, now’s a handy time to refer back to those. Writing in the third person tends to lend itself to a more professional feel, whereas writing in first person emphasizes a direct connection with readers. As a handy alternative — and an easy way to organize your About page — consider breaking up your bio into a series of questions. Asking questions like, “What’s this blog about?”, “Who am I?”, and “Interested in hiring me?” visually break up your content and make it easy for your visitors to find exactly what they’re looking for.
- Think outside the blog:
Adding a picture to your About page gives your readers a visual to walk away with. Without it, your site is missing an essential element: you! At WordPress.com, you can easily set up an image to add to both your About page and your blog’s sidebar by setting up your Gravatar profile at Gravatar.com.On top of a photograph, you may want to get even more personal. More and more bloggers are including video introductions on their website. Hearing your voice, seeing your mannerisms, and watching you in action gives your readers a genuine glimpse into who you are. Then, embed that video into your About page and you have a face-to-face tool for interacting with your visitors.
The most important thing of all is to make sure you have an About page. If you’re still not sold on your tone, or you’re not ready for your webcam debut, that’s okay. Getting the information out there is most important and it’s also what the Edit button is for. As you change and grow, your About page should, too; your readers will appreciate the opportunity to take the journey along with you.
Do you have any tips on how to write an About page?