blogging

‘About’ pages and why they’re a good idea

42 Comments 03 January 2012

About The American Resident

Why have an About page?

Most of you probably think the About page is simply toooo much ‘me, me, me.’ It’s just too difficult saying anything about yourself beyond the facts, right?

It’s actually quite nice to read good things about a person and it provides confirmation to the reader that they have chosen a good blog to read. Just as they suspected. Which is why they wanted to know more about you. Don’t disappoint them!

Use your About page to let us know not just your job or your favourite books or that you have two young kids, use it to really make us smile and click ‘follow’. You wouldn’t want someone else downplaying your strengths and achievements would you? Why do it to yourself? You wouldn’t write a boring blog post on purpose, right? So why would you write a boring About page? If people are interested enough in you to click on the link that says ‘about me’ then give them something good to read.

And useful.

Because I am trying to make money through my blog (both through ads/editorial content and also by freelance writing) I have divided my About page into two parts, one for me and one for the blog. I have tried to mix facts with a few more personal or interesting things. It’s informative without being dull. Most importantly, it works–I receive requests for work through my About page.

I’ve also used it to redirect people who want or need more information about what I do or what the blog covers. It is a sort of landing page for people who want to know about me, but if they need more info, I have provided more links for them to learn more.

Examples of great About pages

A really fun post on About pages is on Blog Tyrant, which includes About pages from some big blogs as well as pro blogging sites. Smashing Magazine also has a great list. Although a lot of the info won’t apply to every one of us, it is an interesting read and may get your creative ideas flowing.

Closer to home, Nickie, who blogs at Typecast, has an eye catching About page with a lot of well placed, relevant information. Another great example is the nice, friendly, and interesting About page by Melissa on her Anglophile site, Smitten By Britain.

Over to you

Do you already have a great About page? Tell us about it below, drive some traffic to it! I’d love to see it!

Or are you inspired to work on one now? You don’t have to be trying to make money from your blog to create one–it is just another cool part of your site, a great way to show the readers who you are, no matter what your blog goals are.

Tomorrow I’m posting tips for how to create an About page, come back for ideas if you are inspired to do more with your About page!


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42 Comments so far

  1. Mari says:

    sometimes I forget about my About page and months can pass by when I don’t read it or update it, thanks for this timely reminder – I’m off to read those mentioned above and then mine too!

    • Michelloui says:

      I hope the links inspire you! Good luck–but also have fun with it. And remember you can change it, update it, play with it, so none of it is set in stone :)

  2. MrsB @ crankymonkeys in london says:

    I love About pages. I look for them immediately after landing on a new blog. If there isn’t one, I’m less likely to stick around…

    • Michelloui says:

      Glad to hear it! And good one’s are a joy to discover. I love the details on yours, including that you’re learning to hug more. That’s an awesome detail. It makes me think I’m reading the blog of a nice person who is happy and always working on it.

  3. Carole says:

    I must confess, my about page was hastily written. You have prompted me to review it and I may even record a welcome note as well and add YouTube as well. Do you think that would work?

    • Michelloui says:

      I LOVE the idea of adding other media to the About page! Videos people can click on to see more of whatever–a funny vlog about yourself, or a mini tour around your locale or something relevant to your blog would be really fab. Great idea, Carole!

      The only things I would caution against are music or speaking coming on automatically as someone opens the page as people are often at work or in a public space when they go online.

      • Carole says:

        Hi Michell,
        I agree re. automatic music. ;( I’ve been caught out by this LOL :)

        I was a little unsure about a vlog to compliment text so it’s interesting to hear your thoughts. Thanks!

        Better set forth with camera and get recording. :) Like the idea of using local scenery rather than my mugshot :)

        Carole 8)

    • Michelloui says:

      Definitely! I love that you have a You Tube channel! I think an Abotu vid there would be a great idea.

  4. Expat Mum says:

    I have an About page called “Who Am I”, which I clearly need to do more with. I also have a page called “You can Also Find me At” with links to the other stuff I do.
    I cringe when I have to promote myself though, so I always find it difficult to put too much in there.

    • Michelloui says:

      When I read ‘who am I’ I heard the Les Miserable tune answer triumphantly ‘I’m Jean Valjean!’ And if you haven’t seen Les Mis then just ignore me.

      You could seriously have an awesome ‘About’ or ‘Who Am I’ page–you have so much great writing experience and a book and upcoming projects! But also the charity work! I know it’s difficult, but you are allowed to promote yourself without losing friends. :)

  5. OK after reading this I will definitely revisit mine. I only just put mine back on, I thought it was a bit “much” so took it down. Then I realised it’s one of the first things I read in other people’s blogs so put it back on.

    But it’s pretty boring and says very little about me. Hmmm.

    • Michelloui says:

      Now listen: a seriously excelent writer like you needs an About page that matches your amazing blog posts. Glad you realised you need it–and that it’s one of the first things an interested reader will look at! I look forward to seeing the revamped page soon…

      PS Your voice is already there–just have more fun with it!

  6. See I have no problem with writing an About Me page, but I’m never sure what to say.

    There are plenty of things I could mention, but they aren’t pigeon holes I’m happy being stuffed in.

    • Michelloui says:

      Sounds like you’ve got an opening sentence right there… ‘There are plenty of things I could mention, but they aren’t pigeon holes I’m happy being stuffed in.’

      You’re a creative writer who could easily have a bit of fun dancing around the subject of being pigeon holed, I’ll bet. And because I’m someone who is interested in living a better life, more in harmony with the planet I am curious by your statement ‘Finally in August 2011 we joined others in making a commitment to living a low-carbon lifestyle.’ It makes me want to know more!

  7. Kate Takes 5 says:

    Always interested in About pages – mine is probably my most viewed page on the blog. I actually did a About Me vlog – is that cheating?!

  8. I think I need to do one of these but I am such a slow top when it comes to it…but this is 2012 and you never know!

    • Michelloui says:

      You never know…! Do it before BritMums, that way people who are keen to meet with you there know a bit more about you! I remember before Cybermummy hearing that people were looking for everyone’s About pages.

  9. Betsy says:

    I didn’t have a proper “about” page for months, but then I read an excellent one and resolved to sit down and write my own – and when I finally did, I actually enjoyed it! I think it can be a good way to focus your blog while providing readers with a context beyond your niche.

    • Michelloui says:

      Betsy, it looks like you’ve had fun creating your About page! I love the visual interest as well as the links you’ve included to other places across your blog. And I also love that no matter what point the reader joins you in your blog life, they can click on the About page and get up to speed.

    • Carole says:

      Hi Betsy,

      I love your “About” page, especially “Sometimes I follow links down the rabbit hole and end up in very scary places” Excellent!

      You have inspired me :)

  10. Gosh, I really have to sit down and revamp my about page. It’s quite dated and not really accurate any more.

    Btw, I emailed Erin today. It only took about three weeks to pluck up the courage! :)

    • Michelloui says:

      So have your About page ready for when the agents start checking in on you to see what you’re all about!!

      Btw…well done. I look forward to hearing good news :)

  11. I have changed my About Me page over and over in the past year, I’ve only updated it and cringed a few times, then wanted to shorten it and create an additional “for nosey people” page. I’m excited to check out others About me pages as I desperately want to make my professional website more unique. I don’t know why I got so hum-drum with it while my blog is as candid as it gets (minus a video). My goal is to make videos this year so perhaps that’s where I start. Great article! Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Michelloui says:

      Really glad this inspired you! And don’t forget, once you make your About page you can change it as frequently as you like–nothing is set in stone there. So it’s a great place to experiment an have fun!

  12. Thought provoking and some great tips. As a Kiwi and like the Brits we’re brought up not to talk about ourselves and not to “skite” (show off) so like many I have a hard job writing this About Me. But I always love to read everyone elses! (And therein lies the rub, and I can’t believe I just wrote “therein”.)

  13. Iota says:

    Therein is a great word, Jody!

  14. Great tips! THANK YOU! I have an about page which is more personal and a PR page which needs an overhaul, but I really like the idea of consolidating it all into one. Like Kate I have a vlog. I also have a cast list. A good tip is to make sure your name is there, so long as you aren’t anonymous, I think that’s why so many bloggers complain of emails addressed to dear blogger.

    • Michelloui says:

      That’s a really good point about having your name (if not anon, as you say) where people can see it.

  15. Sarah says:

    Great post! I didn’t have an ‘about’ page for a while and when I did add one I divided it into two pages – ‘about us’ and ‘our story’ – without really knowing what info would be most relevant or interesting. I am in the process of re-vamping my blog and now plan to give these pages a fresh look after reading over the links you provided. With any luck, I hope to attract new readers and maybe make a little money for my family with the blog at some point – through photography, writing or both. Thanks so much getting me one step towards my goal!!

    • Michelloui says:

      I love your About page Sarah and I have no idea if it is pre- or post- revamping! It looks great, it got me to read to the end, and it made me want to know more so I clicked on the link to learn more!

  16. Kater says:

    Hi

    Many people overlook putting something to connect with their reader in the About Us or About Me page. When you think about what to write, think about it from the perspective of your visitor. Don’t backstage your About page. Make it easy to find on your menu. I recommend a picture too. Some people are really hung up with that, but a picture helps your reader connect to you.

    Kater

  17. Becca M says:

    I’m really glad I came across this post – I have just updated my about me page to include some of your suggestions. Hope they add value, would love your input if you have a moment. Thanks for sharing

    • Michelloui says:

      I love that you added a fun fact about yourself! I think it makes people stop and think about you a bit more. And that means they remember you and return! You gave a lot of information in a short space, that’s great–it’s nice to know your story, why you do what you do and it’s great to see your passion for what you do come out in your story!

      And what a gorgeous photo!

      • Becca M says:

        Thanks so much for taking the time Michelle, I really appreciate your feedback – and thanks for the comment on Anna’s 7th giant cupcake! They loved it too, so all’s well that ends well.

  18. Just popped over to say Hi and thank you for your kind comment on my blog! That listography was a great exercise for me, I’ve met a load of new people from it. Stay in touch

    Fiona

    • Michelloui says:

      Will do. Memes and linkys are really useful for finding new blogs, aren’t they?! Thanks for stopping by!

  19. The Queen says:

    A little late to the game…but better late then dead right?

    Thanks for commenting on my blog tips list.

    I revamped my about page this morning. Let me know what you think!

  20. Great post. You should check out . There’s a ton of great about pages.

    Jeremy

    • Michelloui says:

      Thanks for this! Always eager to see new examples. Looking forward to checking out this link.


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