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Blogging 101: Make Your “About” Page Irresistible

Today’s assignment: create and publish your About page, and adapt it for a widget on your home page.

Welcome to Blogging U! This course isn't currently active, but you can learn more about what we offer and register for upcoming courses on the BU home page.

You’ve now completed the first week — congrats! It’s been an incredible experience to read your stories, watch you getting your blogging legs, and see the connections you’re making.

This week, you’ll continue publishing and personalizing your blog to perfection. First up, we’ll tackle an element that all blogs need: an About page. Some of you have already written one; others have one in progress or feel stuck, and some of you don’t have one at all. Let’s change that.

Today’s assignment: create and publish your About page, and adapt it for a widget on your home page.

Why do this?

  • An enticing About page gives your readers an idea of who you are and what your blog is about, and shows off your unique voice.
  • A short description of your blog right on the home page helps rushed, indecisive readers decide to stick around.

Posts and pages work in harmony: posts are your freshest thoughts, and pages give readers a quick way to find timeless details about you. An About page is the single most important page you’ll have on your blog: it’s likely to become your most-visited content each day, right behind your newest post.

What goes on an About page? That’s up to you. If you blog anonymously, you could divulge what pushed you to start a blog, and what topics you address in your posts. If you do blog as your real-world self, an About page is the perfect place to say a bit more about your background.

Most importantly, your About page tells your blog’s story. As one of our favorite writers put it, it’s a meal, not a shopping list:

A shopping list and a delicious meal have a lot in common, but they’re not the same thing. Imagine a hungry friend comes over for dinner. Instead of serving your signature spaghetti, you serve a bunch of ingredients. “Pasta!” you announce. “Cheese!” “Tomatoes!” Half an hour in, they start to cry.

That’s what most About pages feel like. “I come from blah blah” you say. “I like dogs” you say. But it doesn’t hold together — it’s just a shopping list. Your job is make those parts into something greater than their sum. Tell us a story, connect the dots.

If you’re not sure where to begin, you already have great fodder for an About page — your first few posts. Copy those right into a new page, and start there.

If you haven’t written your About page yet, take a look at our About Page 101 tips. If you’ve already got something, check out our tips anyway — they’re good! — and then try your hand at  About Pages 201. Take your About page from “here’s a list of things about me” to “here’s a compelling story that will make you want to read more.”

Once you’re happy with your About page, distill it into one or two sentences and add them to a text widget at the top of your sidebar — shoot for the widget to have no more than 10 lines. Now, readers can learn more about you without a single click.

For those who need an intro to widgets, widgets are small doohickeys — that’s a technical term — that you drag and drop to add different functions and content to your blog. For more detail on working with widgets, head here.

If you’re having trouble making it short and sweet, ask yourself: if a total stranger found my blog and only remembered one thing about it, what would I want that to be? You can also add a link to the full page at the end of your short description with some simple HTML.

For a closer look at text widgets and some “About” examples, check out this post. For the basics on creating a new page, use these instructions.

Now that you’re getting to know one another a bit, you’ll really be able to give great feedback on each others’ pages, so be sure to head to The Commons.

Feel like posting today? Try a post inspired your About page. Here are a few questions to get you started:

What are the key pieces of your story you included in the About widget? Why did you make those the focus, instead of all the other wonderful things about you and your blog?

Are there topics you don’t ever want to write about? Why not? What fact was hardest to leave off your About page or widget?

What are the top three things you’d like to learn, or ways you’d like to grow, from blogging? The top three people you’d like to connect with?

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Comments

  1. I am not a gourmet chef — I can get past the shopping list of ingredients, but my About Page might come off as “Bloghetti and Tweetballs” cooked in a “Writer’s Block Crock pot!” Maybe I’ll season with some Wasabi Widgets! Thanks for the great (delicious!) article.

    Liked by 12 people

      1. Hiya. I created an image then added it to my sidebar using the image widget. I’m not sure if other themes allow this but yours has a sidebar so you should be ok?…

        Like

      1. I’d like to know more about WHY you love blush…the smells, the endless colors, the different applications and applicators…convince me that you are obsessed and that I must look no further for a blush guru! 🙂

        Like

      2. I got so distracted by Bronze Plum I almost forgot to look at your About page;) LOVE your header. Great posts. But think the Q&A format is clunking up your About page, because I don’t get to the interesting part until I get almost to the bottom of the page. It’s good info, just might be a quicker read in a paragraph format.

        Like

    1. I like the format of your About page. When I go to an about page (usually shortly after reading the first post) I like to find out about the writer and get a feel for their style You could include some more information about yourself, why you blog?

      Like

  2. Thank you so much for Blogging 101. While not an official participant and not part of the Blogging 101 Commons I’ve been reading all of the Blogging 101 posts and trying to apply them to my blog where I can. For example, I just revised my About page based on this post. Thanks again.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. How many tech-challenged bloggers does it take to create a widget? Ugh, thirty minutes later I have a few (and a headache). Now I just need to figure out why my only option is footer sidebars at the bottom of the page, making them pointless. Looks like a Widgets 101 Tutorial for me…tomorrow.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I ended up calling the ‘About’ page my ‘Baseline’

    Then I expanded a little more in a separate post and called it ‘Above the Waistline’

    Just that I’m not really that outgoing, preferring to hide behind the words…

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Why have 1 when you can have 3.

    http://cognitivereflection.wordpress.com/

    A while back I got some feedback on my about page. It was a little bit epic in that it was very very long and the person suggested I break it off into more bite sized chunks which I did.

    Etiquette, explains my etiquette when following blogs, and whilst not “about me” directly I figured it was worthy of that location. Something needs to click with me before following a blog, I will not blindly follow someone that follows me. I will read their stuff but I may find that there is little to no connection so I do not follow, it strikes me that some people see it as a race to get the most amounts of followers; I don’t see it that way.

    Then there is the about me bit, this has been drastically shortened now and is probably 25% of its former glory, but I cut it to remove information that I felt people didn’t really care about.

    Lastly, about the blog. This surprisingly enough is what I blog about, or at least my intentions, I know I sometimes go off on tangents but I suppose what is written here is the goal.

    Like

  6. Ah you will make me work today. Haha. I have avoid and ignored my about page. For me it is about the story. But I will take the challenge and try to do better.

    In the food analogy my description of myself would be much like that spaghetti with chocolate sauce paired with a beer. Nothing fits.
    (smiles)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Writing about yourself is the worst! It’s a tough challenge, but once you get it done, it’s done. And the great thing about this format is that you can always go back and add or subtract 🙂 Good Luck!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I remember reading this not long ago. It’s good. Short and sweet. Didn’t realise you were a crossfitter – that’s hardcore. I like the profile picture too. I wish I could post mine, but I’m blogging anon so can’t really!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Please add a “like” button to the page.
      I love the prose-y description.
      I would really like your photo to be bigger so that the page doesn’t seem too generic or empty. I get what you’re saying about clutter, but that’s a great pic to go with the mood of the words, so I would play it up more!

      Like

    1. I would make 2 changes~~ Break that long second paragraph up into 2 or even 3 smaller bites. Readers get scared when there isn’t a bunch of white space. Otherwise it looks like too much of a commitment to read it.
      The other thing I would do is to definately add a “Like” button to the page. Many times I won’t have anything to say, but I always want to “like” a page I’ve taken time to visit (as long as it isn’t misleading or offensive) to let the author know that I appreciated the time it took to share a thought with me…Just Mom’s oppinion 🙂

      Like