The books we write, are not the only thing we are marketing to readers. Most people are interested in the person behind the words. So, we have to accept that some of the marketing needs to be focused on us. The best place to start is with an About Page.
What is an About Page?
In it’s simplest form, it’s a Page all about You. So, whether you have a website, a blog or a combination of the two, you should include an About Page.
Recently, I’ve visited some blogs where there was no About Page or a template one that still had its placeholder text.
The About Page is important. People want to know about you. We are fascinated with the behind-the-scene lives of authors, artists, musicians, even business owners.
It is one of the most frequently viewed pages on websites and blogs so make sure you have one and are using it to give people a glimpse of who you are.
An interesting About Page can be what draws a reader back to your website/blog.
What is the preferred length of an About Page?
This is personal preference (as most things are), however, my opinion is to keep it short. Nothing more than 6 short paragraphs.
Take your time, write it out and then edit it. Cut out long-winded, uninteresting parts that clog up the flow. Don’t reveal every little piece of yourself. It’s just meant to be an overview.
If in doubt, aim for short and sweet.
Should it be in 1st Person or 3rd Person?
This is again personal preference. I find 3rd person About Pages often come across more professional and somewhat detached. These can be good if you are going for that, or for a website (without a blog) as it comes across more businesslike.
First person is a little more personal, more inviting. However, in first person, I think you definitely need to aim for short.
What sort of detail to include in an About Page?
There are several things you can include. Don’t feel you need to add them all, choose just a few.
– Name: Include your name. It may sound silly, but I’ve visited blogs that did not state who the writer/blogger was.
Unless your blog is your name (and even then, still throw your name in your About Page), please include your name in your About Page. If people want to connect with you, they will want to know how to address you.
Ideas of things to include:
– Origin Story: Tell people why you started writing.
– Some credentials: If you are published, if you’ve done freelance work, if you have a degree in Creative writing – these can be added but don’t list all your credentials if you have a lot. Pick one or two key pieces to include.
– Share facts about you: Let people know a few facts about yourself. For example, where you live, hobbies you enjoy, how long you’ve been writing etc.
– About the reader: Let the reader know why they should visit your blog, what they can gain from reading your work, your About Page doesn’t have to all be about you.
– Pictures: If you are comfortable with including a photo, then, by all means, do so. Don’t feel like you have to only include a standard headshot. Be fun, show your personality.
Just consider the tone of your About Page. If you have written it in a professional voice, don’t add in a silly, comical picture. Match the photo to the tone.
– Contact: Either add a way to contact you or link to your contact page.
Try to avoid time-specific information. Are you currently pregnant? Are you pitching to an agent? Are you moving house?
Don’t include information that is shortly going to change, otherwise, you will find you are either constantly popping back to update your About Page or if you forget, you will have an outdated About Page.
My About Page
My original About Page was a long list of funny and weird facts about me. I didn’t know what else to write so I just put that up along with a photo or two.
It worked for a while and it was better than not having an About Page. However, just because you create an About Page doesn’t mean you shouldn’t revisit it.
I now have a more succinct About Page that mentions a little about me, what I write and then includes photos as I prefer something more visual.
I’ve kept it in 1st person and made it more playful to go with my voice and tone. This is seen immediately, as I changed the page title from “About Page” to “Who, Me?”
Examples of About Pages
Bryan Fagan’s About Page on A Crack in the Pavement.
Lorraine Ambers’ About Page over on her blog.
Don Massenzio’s About Page over on his blog
Your About Page should be simple, clear and include just a few key points about you. Does yours?
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Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. So what about your own About Page? Are you happy with it? Looking to edit? What do you like to see in an About Page? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Check back on Wednesday for another Guest post. Don’t forget you can follow me on Social Media, links below 🙂