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Write a Better About Page for Your Blog

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on November 21, 2012 in Copywriting for Bloggers
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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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.


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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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9 Comments

  1. Sharon Hurley Hall November 21, 2012 Reply

    Good advice, Jenn. I’ve used combinations of those approaches. I also find that after a while, I want to refine the about page, either because the focus or content has shifted slightly, or simply to keep it fresh.

    • Jennifer Mattern November 26, 2012 Reply

      It’s definitely a good idea to revisit your About page from time to time — especially if you go into a lot of specifics. I found an outdated on recently on one of my blogs where the About page still mentioned specific series that we no longer covered. At the very least, I’d suggest revising the About page whenever you make significant site changes. But a quick quarterly (or even monthly) check-in certainly wouldn’t hurt.

  2. Anne Wayman November 21, 2012 Reply

    Ah, Jenn… I’ll have to check and see how well I conform to your list… I do like knowing a bit about the blogger as a person… not a ton, but a line or two or three.

    • Jennifer Mattern November 26, 2012 Reply

      For me it depends on the blog and how personal the tone is. If the blogger shares a lot of personal stories, I want to know their background more than that of a blogger who solely offers tips in their niche. It’s still good to know a few things about that latter group though — namely what makes them qualified to offer those tips.

  3. Cathy Miller November 22, 2012 Reply

    Hi Jenn: I took a slightly different approach when I launched my business blog. It’s that middle child of 7 hang-up about doing the same thing as everyone else. ;-)

    My Home page is a scaled-back version of an “About” page. I welcome readers to my site and tell them a bit about myself. I’ve received positive feedback. I’m getting ready for a re-design and playing around if I should go the “traditional” route of an “About” tab. Thanks for some food for thought, Jenn.

    • Jennifer Mattern November 26, 2012 Reply

      When I have a static homepage on a blog, I always try to give at least an “about paragraph” if not a whole page. Then I’ll go into further background on the About page. It can work to have just the homepage, but I’ve had people get frustrated if they can’t find an About page. I tend to get suspicious of sites that don’t have one, because it’s so common among scraper sites. Of course, I know you, so I don’t find you suspicious in the least. ;)

      Along those lines, I’ve had issues with contact pages. I used to simply put my contact information on the About page. But although it seemed like common sense to me, a lot of readers couldn’t seem to figure that out. I’d get comments complaining that they couldn’t find contact information. So now I try to keep a separate page for that, just like I always keep a separate About page even if the homepage has some of that information. We have to remember that not everyone comes through our homepage. Search engines and links elsewhere drive traffic to internal pages, and if those visitors aren’t familiar with your site, they might not know where to go for that background info.

      One tip if you want a static homepage — try to keep some dynamic element there. I’ve found it helps with rankings because the content never appears to be stale compared to similar sites where the blog is on the homepage. I just overhauled the homepage for All Freelance Writing, so you can see what I mean there. I start out with static information about the site. Then there are icons linking people to our features (because it’s not just a blog). And under that I have excerpts from the latest three blog posts. That means the homepage will have static content at the top, but the lower portion is still dynamic, showcasing fresh material. Just an idea. :)

      • Cathy Miller November 26, 2012 Reply

        Good to know I’m not suspicious. ;-) Who knew the scrapers & I have something in common. Blech.

        Thanks for the tips, Jenn. I know I need to change some things and it’s been on my To Do forever. I always appreciate your insight.

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