These are the changes I often get caught up in making, spending hours working away on my blog, seemingly without a lot to show for it.
I did that today.
In between reorganizing my sidebar (only to move everything back to where it was when I started) and starting the project of putting all of my old posts into categories, I made a big change. A change I have been talking about for a long time, and putting off for just as long.
I updated my about page.
No longer does it say "I have a daughter named Katarina who is seven years old." This is important, because although I do have a daughter named Katarina, she is now ten years old. That one sentence has been a glaring reminder of just how long it has been since I touched my about page.
A tip from me to you: Do not wait three years to update your about page.
In honor of my newly updated about page, and because I know I'm not the only blogger who needs an update, I am going to share a list of things that will help to make your about page awesome.
How To Write An Awesome About Page
When you meet someone for the first time in person, you tell them your name. This is what you should do on your about page, too. If you want or need to be anonymous on your blog, you can pick a pen name for yourself, but you need to give your visitors and readers something to call you.
A picture of you.
If you are not blogging anonymously, you need to have a picture of yourself on your about page. It does not have to be a serious, professional headshot, but it does need to be large, in focus, and not contain partially cropped bits of your family or friends.
A picture of your family.
If your family is a big part of your blog, and you feel comfortable sharing pictures of your children, you need to include them on your about page. If you do not write about your family often, you can skip this step, but parenting and lifestyle bloggers especially need to give their new readers an introduction to the family members who will be making regular appearances in their posts.
If you are a craft or food blogger, don't just tell me you share great recipes or tutorials, show me a couple of pictures of your best work. Make my mouth water for yummy food or my fingers twitch with the desire to craft.
Information about you.
This is the heart of your about page. What do you want people to know about you? What makes you special? Your about page should make a visitor want to immediately subscribe and follow you everywhere, because they are convinced that you are awesome. This should be easy, as you are awesome. Just make sure you let that show.
If you want to use your blog to help you sell a service, build a freelance writing career, work with brands, or any other career furthering goals, you can include some résumé information. Link to any major awards or recognition you have received, share big achievements, and mention brands or businesses you have worked with in the past. This does not have to be long, and it does not have to be exhaustive - just give readers the best highlights, and link to your LinkedIn profile if you want to share a detailed résumé.
An overview of your blog.
Tell us about your blog. What inspired you to blog? When did you start? What can readers expect to find on your blog? Why do they want to read YOUR blog instead of the millions of other blogs that are out there?
Your about page is a good place to include links to a few of your favorite or most popular posts, either within the text, or in a short list. A good about page will inspire people to stay on your blog and do more exploring; giving them links makes it easier.
If you have well-defined categories, you could even take your about page up a notch by sharing a short blurb about each category before sharing links to relevant posts. You get bonus points for adding picture headings for these category blurbs.
Engage your readers. Your about page is a place to show potential readers what they will get out of reading your blog. So even though it is a page about you, it needs to be about your readers, too. Draw them in. Show them how your blog adds value to their lives.
Your contact information.
I know you have your social media profiles linked in your sidebar, and you have a whole separate page on your blog for your contact information (you do have both of those things, right? if not, you need to add them immediately), but you need to put it in your about page, too. Don't make people go on a treasure hunt to find your twitter profile or email address.
Your about page should match your blog in style and voice, and not sound like a stale press release. It doesn't matter how interesting your story, categories, or links are if your writing is forced and boring; visitors will be running away as fast as they can click the little red x in the corner. Let your natural writing style rule when you write your about page. Example: If you are a humor blogger, I want to laugh when I read your about page.
- If you have a free ebook or anything else that you give away on your blog, include information about it on your about page. Let visitors see your generosity.
- If vlogging is your thing, add a short video to your about page, but make sure to include written content as well.
An about page should be seen as a work in progress. I'm not going to wait three years to update mine again, and neither should you. I know it seems like it is just hidden away on your navigation bar, and creating new content is more important, but a day focused on updating your about page is time well spent. It is the first thing that many visitors and potential new readers look at to decide if they want to come back, often even before they read your latest post.
Is there anything else you like to see included in an about page when you visit a new blog?