Guest post from Janice Wald, Reflections
My friend Adrian expressed interest in my blog post How to Write A Killer “About” Page that Will Attract New Followers so I offered to write about the experience of writing it, quite an ironic one, for her readers.
I had been reading articles by blogging gurus Jon Morrow and Neil Patel about the importance of a perfectly written About page. Both the content and the organization had to be just so, they said, since it’s the readers’ first impression of you, the blogger.
This made sense to me, but I had a huge concern when debating whether I wanted to write this information up for my readers. I give blogging advice at my site, and I certainly didn’t want to upset anybody.
The reason I was concerned was as follows. Both bloggers, men I highly respect in this field, indicated the personal information had to be last. They offered examples from successful bloggers—the personal information was always last.
The reason I was concerned about sharing that advice was this. People take ownership of their personal information. They are passionate about their past and proudly want to share that biographical information with others.
In the time I’ve been blogging, I’ve viewed many About pages. Most only have personal information. Now I’m going to come along and tell bloggers they not only need something else on their About page, but that element should precede their biography? After all, it’s supposed to be about them. What else could the page be about?
The answer is crucial. It makes a difference between faster readership growth and slower growth. Wouldn’t we all prefer the former? So, I took a gamble that my readers wouldn’t hit “unsubscribe” and told them.
The most important element of your About page is how you can help the people reading the page. Again, the most important topic on this page is not about you, the writer. The most important topic is the reader.The most important element of your About page is how you can help the people reading the page.… Click To Tweet
I explain in my post that people go to your page to check out your blog since they are considering reading it and possibly subscribing to it. You have seconds, while they skim, to impress them enough for them to become a permanent reader of your blog and not the millions of others out there.
So, impress them. Tell the reader what they will gain by giving up their free time to read your blog. How will their lives be better?
I like to publish as 2:00 am California time since the east coast will be waking up to find my post in their Email. Before I went to sleep and scheduled my post, I wanted to add a graphic the Pinterest crowd would love.
Pinnable graphics give your blog added exposure on Pinterest. In my post 4 Simple Ways to Start Blogging Creatively, I explain the importance of a pinnable image and how to make one. One aspect of a “pinnable” image entails a long picture.
I had a nail extracted from a flat tire the weekend I wrote the post. The mechanic offered me the nail. It occurred to me that would be a great image for a great title—how to NAIL your About page.
Finished, I scheduled it for publication at 2:00 am California time and went to sleep. If you use WordPress, maybe you’ve heard the little bells that go off when people write you. (I love those little bells.) The next morning, I woke up to the sound of those little bells ringing. The post was a hit!
No one was mad at me for telling them to put their love for their children and pets second to their blog’s mission. On the contrary, the post was reblogged four times! I received many new readers thanks to the exposure.
Actually, I felt like I better spruce up to look good for all the new traffic to my About page that I was receiving. I’d read an article about the importance of having a pinnable image on that page. The reason—the Pinterest crowd will promote your blog for you by sharing your image.
I work in a middle school where cartoons are still trendy. A student running for office had a poster of characters from Toy Story. The characters looked like a community all huddled together, so I put it on my About page with the caption, “Follow my blog and join my community.”
People have actually written asking to use my graphic on their own About page to represent their community! Even my graphic was a hit!
The most exciting part—I still can’t believe it myself—are you ready? I found out there are scouts that look for the best blogging articles on the planet each week and announce them on Friday of that week. They work for a site called “Amplifinds.” They actually picked my …About… article as one of the best “finds” of the week. There I was, on a list with famous bloggers. If you’d like to see my post on Amplifind’s list of the best seven of that week, here is the link: AmpliFINDS – Our Favorite Reads this Week.
In closing, I am happy to share the information about the importance of a well-organized About page with Adrian’s readers. I am still looking to grow my community. If you are interested in more blogging tips for reader engagement, content improvement, and site exposure, check out my About page! I even have a separate page for readers of guest posts. Click the link to read it and follow me over to Reflections.