I wrote a little while ago about using pages for your blog in addition to posts. It seems like the most popular and in demand type of page, aside from your home page and the page where your blog posts show up, is an About page. So let’s talk about what might go on an About page. I have no great knowledge to share on this topic, but that’s okay. And while I’m normally not a fan of arbitrary capitalization, I don’t like arbitrary caps, but I’m going to capitalize About in this sense because it’s easier for me to see what I’m writing.
Doing a quick Google search to find out what should go on an About page, a lot of the results are geared towards business-oriented blogs. I’ve linked to a few of these at the bottom of this post, but for personal or mostly personal bloggers, some of that isn’t going to be super relevant.
Who’s your audience?
One thing that kept coming up in some of the blog gurus’ advice was that you’re not writing the About page for you, you’re writing it for your audience. Even if your regular blog posts are written as much for you as for your reader, the About page is different, and there would really be no reason to write it if you weren’t directing it at readers.
Potential readers may be having a look at your About page before deciding whether to follow your blog or not (and speaking of which, you’ll probably want a “follow” button to be pretty easy to find on your About page).
How much detail should you put about yourself?
Your About page will be partly about you, and partly about the blog itself. Probably at least a little of both is a good thing.
I’ve written and rewritten my own About page quite a few times. I started with more of an emphasis on the blog, but have shifted recently to more of an emphasis on myself. The current version starts with “I am…” and then breaks it down into sections: person with mental illness, mental health professional, blogger, author, and stigma warrior.
It’s probably not a bad idea to include an image, whether it’s your Gravatar, another photo of you, a pet photo, an illustration, or whatever. It gives the reader something to associate with you. I’m using a different photo from my Gravatar; it’s the one I use for author-y stuff. I like my Gravatar pic of me and Cookie, but the author photo seemed more appropriate for the About page.
I’ve been using my full name since publishing my first book, and I recently added the city where I live to my About page. Prior to that, I’d just been saying west coast of Canada, and didn’t really want to be searchable in association with my location. Then I decided I didn’t actually care. Regardless of how specific you get, readers would probably like to know at least what country you live in.
Should you enable likes/comments?
You have the choice to enable or not enable likes and comments on your About page. I have them turned off, but I’ve seen some sites where there are piles of likes and comments on the About page. My main reason for having likes/comments off on my permanent pages is to keep them cleaner-looking.
How often should you revamp it?
It’s probably worth checking it a couple of times a year just to make sure it’s still accurate. I’ve fussed a lot with mine over time because I didn’t really know what I wanted. Probably some consistency is a good thing, but then again, you’re may not draw many repeat visitors to the About page, so people may not even notice you’ve made changes.
Well, those are a few of my thoughts on About pages. How do you have yours set up, and what influenced those decisions?
To see what some of the blogging gurus have to say, you may be interested in: