13 January 2014

i ♥ my blog: task 2 – update your “about me” page

I ♥ My Blog: Task 2 - Update Your "About Me" Page
Today’s task is to update your blog or website’s “About Me” page.

One of the things we’ll be talking about this month is reader engagement, and how to effectively interact with your site visitors in a personal way. Your “About Me” page is one of the critical first steps in making sure your audience knows who you are and what you’re about. Why? Besides the fact that it literally tells your readers the answer to those questions, the About page on almost any website is typically one of the highest trafficked pages (for obvious reasons). So if you haven’t updated your About page in a while, now is definitely the time.

When it comes to updating your About or About Me page, there are a few things you need to consider:

about … who?

What is your “About” page … well, about? Is it about your site? Is it about you? The answer is: it depends on who you’re trying to reach, and what you want your site, overall, to do. If your site is primarily for a business, organization, or something along those lines, your About page will most likely focus on explaining what the mission of that business is. If your site is more personal, the About page should be more personal as well. If you’re somewhere in between … so should your About page be.

who’s on first?

Many people write their About page in first person, especially if it’s a personal blog. Keep in mind, however, that a first person About page is, by nature, a lot less formal … and can come off as unprofessional. That’s not to say it’s wrong, or bad, to write your page in the first person. Just keep your reader in mind. Third person is the standard for a “specialized” presentation of a person’s biographical or professional information; it can also, however, come off as distant to your readers and make them, in return, feel distanced from you. Whichever you choose, know why you chose it … and make sure you stay consistent.

feelings … whoa, whoa, whoa

Just as you must carefully cater the content of your site to what you intend your site’s purpose to be (sticking with your selected themes and addressing your selected audience), you must also carefully consider the personal information you share on your About page. You can, for example, share a lot more of your interests on the About page to give readers a better sense of the “you” behind the site; it’s your place to diverge from the carefully planned path of your site to show your readers that you’re more than just A, B, and C … there’s also a little “Z” in there, and it makes you a more interesting, and relatable, person. What you want to be careful of, however, is sharing too much. This is a bio … not an autobiography. Make it personal and personable … just don’t make it so personal it’s overwhelming!

we go together like …

Make sure you’re sharing links to your other websites, content, et cetera that’s available to your readers. Let them know that they can find you in more places than just your site. Share your accomplishments, or provide links to other pages you frequent, especially pages related to your topic.

be different

Your About page doesn’t have to be a block of paragraphs. It could be a poem. It could be a top ten list. It could be a video or series of photographs and images. Maybe you’ll split your About page up … Many sites have separate Bio, Links, and other pages that combined do the work of a single About page with more room for flexibility and creativity. Figure out what works for you (and what will work for your audience), and run with it!

Your Turn: Take some time this week to visit some blogs or websites you read frequently, or new pages, and check out their About pages. Is it an “About” page, an “About Me” page, a Bio, a Welcome page, or something different? How can you steal ideas to revamp your About page for the new year? (Keep in mind: maybe your About page doesn’t need a major update … don’t fix what ain’t broken, y’all!) Share your plans for your About page … and drop by with a link so we can all see what you’ve done!


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2 comments:

  1. I just edited my About Gerry page, but you've given me more food for thought. I'm revamping the blog, getting rid of the static front page and going back to the blog posts up front instead. I think that's where it's headed. Back when I started (when was that--about 50 years ago?), I thought the blog would be a mix of writing and writing business. It's gone instead more toward memoir and personal narrative, and I think that's going to be its identity, at least for now. I'm looking for a new theme, too--maybe a new look would energize me, and maybe readers, too. Thanks for this series! I'm glad I caught you over on Google+. (Now that editorial calendar--that's an entirely different animal! I'm off to read that post now.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awesome, Gerry! It's always fun to get to think about where a site is headed and how each and every choice makes some kind of difference. At least ... I find it fun :)

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