Written on March 23rd, 2005 at 01:03 am by Darren Rowse

Random Blog Tip - Adding an ‘About’ Page

Blog Design 17 comments

One of the ways you can make your blog more engaging for readers is to consider adding a feature that I’ve noticed that some bloggers are increasingly avoiding using - an About page.

About Pages: Two of the most viewed pages on my blog here are my About enternetusers and About Darren pages - this gives me some indication that people reading this blog are a little curious about what this blog is about and who is writing it. This is the case on most of my blogs.

I can only speak for myself - but one of the things that frustrates me about many blogs is that they lack much in the way of information about the author/s of them. For some blogs this is more important than others (and its a personal preference thing about how much authors choose to reveal of who they are) but I find pages without an About page can be quite frustrating.

Why have an About Page?

There are a number of advantages of About pages that bloggers should consider.

Transparency: This is one of those words of the moment around the blogging community - everyone is calling for bloggers to be as transparent as possible, to name their interests, income sources, objectives etc - an about page can play a part in this.

Engagement: I know some bloggers prefer to write in a more impersonal style - but I’m a heart guy - I like people - I like a bit of humour, personality and emotion from time to time in blogging and an About page can really help create a more personal connection with your readers. Sure not everyone is like me and won’t appreciate the ‘gush’ - but I suspect plenty of your readers will appreciate a little more information on the person they’re reading.

Highlighting Key Pages: An About page has the ability to propel your readers deep within your site to your key posts. Is there an article that you’re particular proud of that sums up what you’re blog is about? Is there a sponsor you want to highlight? Is there a page with an income stream that you’d like to expose all your readers to? Are there some categories that you’d like to highlight? Your About page will get read - and its an opportunity to introduce your readers (particularly first timers) to your key pages.

Key Features for Your About Page

So what should an About Page include?

This is really a matter of personal preference and something I’d like to hear your opinions on but here are a few things I include on some of my blog’s about pages:

  • Photo: I like to see some sort of picture of the person I’m reading. It definitely adds something for me.
  • Blog objectives: Succinctly sum up the point of your blog. What is it about? What will readers gain from it?
  • Introduce Yourself: You probably want to keep your introduction down to a short one - but particularly talk about your experience with the topic you’re writing about. Why should they listen to you? What is your context and background?
  • Introduce Blogging: Depending on your topic you might want to introduce the idea of a blog (or at least link to an article/post about it. Many first time blog readers don’t understand things like categories, comments, RSS etc. Also point them at some good starting points in your blog - key articles etc.
  • Contact Details: I’m planning a longer post on this later - but consider giving your readers a way of getting in touch with you. Again its about transparency and interactivity.

How do you create an About Page?

The simplest way to do it is to write a normal post on your blog titled ‘About (insert your name, or your blog’s name here)’. You might want to change the date of your post to an older one if you have that capability. Then simply link to your own post from your sidebar or menu where ever you want to place it.

Other Factors

  • Privacy: Its common sense really but its worth saying. Most good bloggers have boundaries around privacy - its worth thinking it through and sticking to them
  • Keep it Short: Again - common sense here. Yes people want to know about you - but only to a point. Don’t ramble.
  • Keep it Relevant: I’ve already mentioned it - but don’t take the opportunity to tell readers about your whole life if your blog is on a niche topic.
  • Make it Prominent: Don’t hide your About Page away. Put it high on your side bar, menu or in your header. People won’t use it if they don’t see it.

By no means is this a definitive guide to everything you’ll find on a good About Page. I’m interested to hear how (and if) you write yours. What do you include and exclude? What would you add or subtract from my lists above? Feel free to link to your examples of About pages if you’re particularly proud of yours.

17 Responses to “Random Blog Tip - Adding an ‘About’ Page”

  • I have been trying to figure out the best way to do this (for some time) in my version of WordPress (which doesn’t support static pages). I want the About page to have the same look and feel of my main page. One of these days…

  • Yes, this is very easy to do in MovableType - and you are right, I always click on someone’s about page

  • I never really considered the about page for my two blogs but it for sure makes sense I will for sure be adding them to my blogs…great tip.

  • I have an about page but do not feel it is that important, I have no idea how many people visit it and rarely do I read others about pages. They are more important I feel to those who are or are trying to be an ‘authority’ on a subject - but then this should come across anyway in the quality of the posts.

  • I guess it depends on the person - for me I am very visual so I always want to know what the person looks like so I can put a face with what they are saying, so usualy check the About page to see if they have a picture posted

  • Good stuff Darren. I’ve been telling people this for years. I think I’ve got all the basics covered in my “about” page: http://www.themovieblog.com/about.html

  • Hear hear! It’s amazing how hard it is to find out whose weblog I’m reading sometimes.

    I’d suggest a “contact” page (like Darren’s or mine) as well. Often people want to contact you in general (and in private) rather than comment on a post.

  • I totally agree with you. An official “About” page all about me is something my blog is missing. Blogger’s Profile page just doesn’t cut it for me. I suppose an About page gets a lot of hits because, with a blog, what’s written is just as important as who wrote it.

  • I have the standard bio part, but was inspired to offer something a little different a few months ago. I wrote a list of 100 things that I thought my audience might like to know about me. It remains one of my most frequently hit pages:
    http://imaginActive.typepad.com/100_things_about_me.htm.

    Yeah, it sort of violates most of the points that Darren mentions, but I think it just goes to show that there’s not one way to go about it. Just have fun with it.

  • […] xcellent Blog herald articles on making your blog sticky (here and here). And add to that Adding an ‘About’ Page, Purple Cow Blogging & The 4 […]

  • I do have an about page, more for the business side of my site than for the blog, but I’m not putting my photo up there. I’ll put photos of the little guy (nothing too close up of his face, but he’s not even two and I don’t use his real name on the blog either - Jeff Goldstein has been thru enough to make me cautious if I wasn’t before (which I was)) but there are some creepy people out on the internet who don’t need to know what his mama looks like. I have an e-mail listed and need to work on a contact form in the future - just limited time of course.

  • I think many people find it very difficult to write about themselves. I’ve got an article and free template called “How to Write a Short Bio” that makes it much easier. You can see the full template here…

    http://www.becomeacertifiedcoach.com/how_to_write_bio.htm

    or a mini-version titled “How to Write Your ‘About Me’ Page that was published right her at enternetusers.net…

    http://www.enternetusers.net/archives/2006/11/24/how-to-write-your-about-me-page/

    Hope the template makes the process less agonizing for folks!

  • […] Adding an ‘About’ Page “I can only speak for myself - but one of the things that frustrates me about many blogs is that they lack much in the way of information about the author/s of them. For some blogs this is more important than others (and its a personal preference thing about how much authors choose to reveal of who they are) but I find pages without an About page can be quite frustrating.” Kevin mentions transparency, engagement and the opportunity of highlighting your best writing as advantages of having an About page and goes on to define what he believes it should contain, how you make it and what else you should consider. Interesting is also that he uses the dual About page approach where one is about him and one about the blog. For that approach to make sense do you have to have a lot to say though so it is not for everyone. […]

  • […] written a previous post on some of the aspects to include in an About Me Page which might help you as you do […]

  • I have been using the standard about page in Blogger, but there really isn’t room for links to posts, and other stuff. I think I’ll do another one, thanks for the idea.

  • The about page is very popular page on my blog. About as popular as a “work” page. I just took my work page down and am adding the content to the about page because that can really cover it, but if traffic doesn’t double, then maybe the work link will come back.

    Anyway, to some of the comments regarding the difficulty of writing your own bio: keep it simple to start and make a link to a longer written version. I used to have this, took it away, but now I’m going to bring back.
    Another really good approach: give links to all your social sites. I have links to flickr, linkedIn, boxesandarrows (where I’m an editor), etc. it a really quick way for people to get to know, plus drive traffic to your other sites.

    Yes, though. Cannot stress the About page enough. That’s one of my top pages.

  • I do find that when a particular post attracts me, the next thing I do is either click into the About page or check out the popular / recommended posts. So, it’s about time for me to review my About page la.

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