Have you ever visited a blog that didn't give you any background information in the form of an About page? I have. And I always find that frustrating as a new visitor. I want to know what I should expect if I invest more time in browsing that blog.
Today let's talk about how you can avoid being one of these mysterious bloggers who publishes no background on their blog. Namely, let's talk about how you can write a better About page, so you don't leave readers guessing.
Is it About the Blogger or the Blog?
I've seen some bloggers and copywriters insist that your About page shouldn't be about you as the blogger. I disagree, strongly.
Blogs are a highly personal medium that revolve around relationship-building. And if you want people to be interested in building a relationship with you as a reader, it makes sense to share some personal background.
That said, you need to keep two things in mind:
- The personal background you share should be relevant to the blog in question. Rather than talk about your family life or hobbies, for example, you should talk about what makes you qualified to write about that blog's subject matter.
- While people will be interested in you, they're more interested in what your blog can do for them. So go ahead and include a blogger bio on your About page. But do it after you offer background on the blog.
The people who say you shouldn't focus on yourself on your About page have one good point, and it's what I mentioned in the second point above.
Readers want to know what your blog is going to do for them and they want to know what they can find there. But that doesn't mean you should neglect a more personal element. You just don't throw that at them first.
What Information Should You Include?
Now let's focus more on the first part of your About page -- where you tell readers about the blog itself. What kind of information should you include here? Here are some ideas:
- Make the general focus of your blog clear. Some bloggers bounce around between so many topics that readers might not immediately recognize the main blog topic.
- Mention some specific topics you've talked about (either based on blog categories or a few particular articles). This is what I did for a client's blog About page at Social Implications.
- Tell readers exactly how you hope to help them (like I do on this blog's About page). Benefits always outweigh features in copywriting. And yes, writing an About page is an example of copywriting.
- Let readers know how they can contact you. You can either publish your contact information directly on this page, or have a separate Contact page. If you have a separate contact page, link to it on your About page.
Do you have to include all of these things before (or instead of) a blogger bio? No. They're just ideas to choose from. Do what works for your particular blog and the audience you hope to reach.
Then keep an eye on reader questions that you might receive privately. If you get the same questions repeatedly, that's a good sign that you should update your About page with the information people want to know.
Have you seen any particularly outstanding About pages on your favorite blogs? If so, share a link to them here in the comments and tell us why you think they're effective.
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Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, and indie author. She began writing for clients in 1999 and started her first blog in 2004.
She owns 3 Beat Media -- a publishing and client services company which operates All Indie Writers as well as several other websites and blogs including The Busy Author's Guide and BizAmmo. Jenn comes from a background in online PR and social media consulting, having owned a small PR firm for several years before choosing to pursue a full-time writing and publishing career.
Jenn also writes fiction under multiple pen names in the areas of children's fiction, mysteries, and horror fiction. Jenn is an active member of the Horror Writers Association (HWA) and currently serves as the organization's Assistant Coordinator of Promotions and Social Media.
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