I moderated a panel a couple years ago at IFBcon and a question about writing an About Page came from a blogger in the audience. She was having trouble getting one together, and in general, with “selling” herself and her blog to potential partners. Ideas floated around and there was even a suggestion of crowdsourcing, but at the end of the day, you can't get around it: you MUST write your About Page and I believe you must do it yourself.
Writing your blog's About Page is a crucial exercise, and ironically, one of the biggest self-made obstacles new bloggers have to overcome. (I think it's so interesting that even though we've decided to put ourselves out there on the internets, we still have a hard time identifying what we want to say about ourselves!) Writing your About Page can actually help you narrow down your niche if you haven't done so already, it will sell you to potential partners/clients/etc, it will help your readers to connect with you on another level…I could go on.
How to get started on your About Page
Ultimately, whether your blog is your business or just a hobby, you should be comfortable talking about it and by extension, yourself, and it should come naturally. To get you there, think about these things:
- What is your blog ABOUT? What is your niche? Explain it a little bit
- Why did you start your blog? What was the “aha” moment, or push for you to actually begin blogging? What's the story behind it?
- What are your goals for your blog?
- What sets you apart from other bloggers? are you younger? older? etc.
Now, just write everything down!! You don't necessarily have to start by writing paragraphs or lists, just write down words and whatever comes to your mind – all over a piece of paper (I'm old-fashioned that way) – then start putting everything together in a way that makes sense. Even if this is difficult for you, or you keep putting it off because nothing comes to you, you're going to have to JUST DO IT (props to Nike). Make a deadline for yourself, set some time aside, whatever – but the only way it will ever get done is if you sit down and do it.
Your About Page should contain all the most important information at the top (above the fold): a picture, your name, age, city, and the elevator pitch for your blog (mission statement that you can relate to someone in less than a minute). Maybe you're not comfortable putting specific information on your blog, but honestly, if it's on your Facebook page, you can put it on your blog.
What needs to go on your About Page?
- Information your readers might not get from just reading your blog (don't recap things you mention in blog posts frequently, add something interesting and relatable – but keep it professional)
- Explain your niche, what are you interested in it? Do you have a professional background in your niche?
- Goals for your blog – are you a photographer and you take clients? are you a model looking for jobs? are you a writer and interested in doing freelance work? Use your about page a sort of a mini-CV
- Your editorial policy (how you choose what to write about, any disclosure from affiliate relationships, sponsored posts, etc., and how you conduct reviews) – or link to your editorial policy
- Social media links – where can your readers/partners find you other than your blog?
- Other blogs you might have
Your About Page can be comprehensive, as long as you keep the paragraphs super-short, or use bulleted lists that are easier to scan, so readers can get through all the information quickly. Break everything up in to easily digestible tidbits, or use links to go to more information, it's up to you. Just don't write a dissertation!
Also, make sure to update your About Page as information changes (I just remembered to do this several months after I turned 40, because I think my age is important). I love blogs that have a sidebar widget with a picture and a few sentences about the blogger, then the option to click for more – it's an easy way for a new reader to get acquainted with the blogger quickly AND an effective way to keep readers on your site and interested.
Your blog is a reflection of you, and your About Page is an indispensable tool for engaging with your readers and selling yourself to potential partners. Take writing it seriously, but don't let it intimidate you. Just do it!!
How did you write your About Page? was it difficult? What are the key components of your About Page?
[Image credit: Shutterstock.com]