One thing all bloggers seem to struggle with is writing their own bios. They can talk about themselves all the live-long day in blog post after blog post, but when it comes to summarizing themselves in an About Page or a Bio, they choke.
For any blogger who wants blogging to be more than an occasional hobby, a good About Page is essential. And it should be prominently linked from the navigational menu at the top of your blog because it is the first place a marketer or new reader goes to learn more about you!! My About Page is consistently one of the most often viewed pages on my site.
The first thing you want to decide is if you are going to write in first or third person. This depends on the purpose of the blog and your writing style, but most bloggers will want to write their About page in first person. If you write your blog from first person point of view, then definitely write your About Page the same way.
Not only that, but write it in your voice. Don’t try to suddenly sound like a press release. This is part of your blog’s resume, and you want it to sound like you and showcase your personality and your writing ability.
Here are the components of an About Page. Not everyone will use all of these components, but this is a checklist that gives you a place to start.
Components of an About Page
1. Bio. Who are you? What makes you special? What sets you apart? Where do you come from? Keep it short and to the point, but make sure to infuse your personality into this section. Be specific. Tell where you are located, how many kids you have and their ages, and what you do. Keep this part current because marketers may be looking at your blog, and they often will choose participants for campaigns based on age of kids and geographic location.
And make sure to use a photo. People want to know who is talking to them.
Here is mine:
Welcome!! I’m Jo-Lynne, and this is my blog. I’m a 39-year-old wife, mother, blogger, brand advocate, community manager and social media consultant living outside of Philadelphia with three lively children (ages 6, 9 and 12) and a very easy-going husband (because someone in this house has to be!) We make our home in a rural suburb of Philadelphia.
I go on to share more about myself a little bit later, but this is the Cliff’s Notes version.
2. Mission Statement. Consider this your elevator pitch. Everyone should have one — a short summary that quickly and simply defines your product or service — or in this case, your blog. You need a paragraph that says clearly what your blog is about. What can people expect to get when they visit?
Here is mine:
Musings of a Housewife is a personal memoir and lifestyle blog where I write about faith, food, fitness, fashion, family travel, and anything else that strikes my fancy. (I’m also a fan of aliteration, can you tell?)
3. More details about the blog. Here is where you can expand on your elevator pitch. Think about who you are writing for, what services you are providing, what problem you are solving. I’ve heard it said that if you can solve a problem for someone, you will have a successful blog. Perhaps you offer craft tutorials for busy moms or recipes for vegetarians living on a budget or review travel destinations for families or entertain by storytelling and anecdotes about life as a stay at home mom of five. Whatever it is, expand on that here.
Since my blog is a bit of a potpourri, I take a few paragraphs to explain the key topics I write about — faith, food, fashion, fitness, family travel.
Use photos and links. Link to some of your most popular posts or categories. Use a lot of paragraph breaks. Keep it interesting.
4. Resume. You may want to provide some basic resume material — especially if your blog is one that provides a service. I detail briefly some of my professional gigs and accomplishments so that if a brand is reading, they get a sense of what I have to offer. This is not an extensive resume. I offer that in my Media Kit. But this gives an overview of who you are in the social media space and what you have to offer brands — if that is of interest to you, of course. If you are blogging as a hobby, you can use this section to tell what you do in your professional life, or just leave it out — but your readers will enjoy knowing that too!
Blogging has opened up many exciting doors of opportunity. One of my greatest honors was being named one of the 50 most powerful and influential women in social media by Nielsen Online in 2009. I’ve made appearances for Hebrew National, Huggies, Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdales and traveled to the corporate headquarters of TJMaxx, iRobot, Chick-Fil-A and even Disney World.
I am a regular contributor to The Skinny for Therapon Skin Health and Family Your Way, I occasionally write for major companies such as this series of articles for Udi’s Gluten Free Foods and this post for Boston Market, and I’ve been a brand ambassador for Kidworth and YouGiveGoods. I’m currently a Community Leader for Udi’s Gluten Free Living Community and Social Media Manager for Rose Romano’s Italian Gourmet Toppings. I also recently joined the ranks of the FitFluential Ambassadors.
5. Call to Action. At the end, you want to make a clear call to action. Anyone who makes it to the end is likely interested in what you have to say or what you have to offer and wants more. Tell them where to get more.
Do you produce a product? Tell them how to buy it. Do you offer a service? Tell them where to find it. Do you want them to sign up for your newsletter? Follow you on Twitter? Facebook? Subscribe to your feed? Tell them how. Use links. Make it easy for them.
I do it all. Perhaps it’s a bit of overkill, but I want to make sure people know where to find me.
My monthly email newsletter is another great way to stay in touch. And be sure to follow me on Twitter — I’m JoLynneS. I’d also love it if you’d follow my Facebook Page. We have a lot of great conversations over there.
I’d love to hear from you! Feel free to email me anytime at [email protected]
Then be sure to make your About Page available. Link to it in your nav bar or put it at the top of your sidebar. I do both. I link to mine from my little photo/bio box at the top of my sidebar, as well as providing a link in the nav bar.
One more thing to consider: make a video! A short video is a great way to introduce yourself to your audience and showcase your personality. I keep meaning to make one and add it to my About Page. I’ll get around to it some day.
Was this helpful? Can you think of anything I left out? Feel free to leave questions in the comments.