The problem that plagues thousands of writer and author websites is poor ‘About Pages’. They don’t engage the visitor by revealing some history, experience, passion and direction.
Statistically speaking the about page of a website or blog is one of THE most viewed pages on the entire website, aside from the home page itself.
This means you want your author About Page to really sing and capture peoples interest, so they hang around, read your content, engage with you and then hopefully come back again.
Here’s a few tips to help you craft an effective About Page for your author website or blog.
It’s important to know what readers want from your About Page, so they become engaged with you. Here’s an outline of what to include below.
Be sure to include the following …
- A nice clear professional author photo
- Introduce yourself
- You are a published author, mention your books, experience and a little of your personal story
- What they can expect from your website or blog
- How they can get value from reading your blog and being your follower
- How they can make contact and connect with you
Make sure you don’t just …
- Prattle on about how great you are and all your achievements. You’ll come across as a blow horn and they won’t be back
- Have one long essay that isn’t broken up for easy reading. This is not a novel or new ‘self-help’ manuscript. You’ve done that. This is your About Page to present yourself and make a first impression to new visitors. It’s part of marketing yourself well
Make it easy to read
You can break up your about page with sub headings in your about page for easy reading and scanning. Finish off with a section with an action item that prompts people to take action and move them to the next thing, rather than leaving them to roam aimlesly around your website, risking them losing focus and leaving.
Consider headings or sections such as;
- How I got started / my personal story …
- What you can find on this website or blog
- Start here with a free … or To find out more …
Notice I didn’t mention ‘BUY MY BOOK!’. That’s because people need to know, like and trust you before they invest in you, or in this case, buy your book. With the exceptions of JK Rowling or Stephen King, the upfront blatant hard sell on a megaphone never works and only turns people away. Draw people into your author platform by engaging them, helping them, entertaining them and prove your expertise or value by offering content.
Some examples of good About Pages is Tim Ferris, Dean Koontz and Kathy Reichs. These authors offer a variety of information about them that’s easy to read. Whether you are a long standing author or a new author published yesterday, ask yourself;
‘How can I make my About Page engaging and interesting?’
Doing these things not only on your author website About Page, but consistently over your author platform, will entice others to find out more about you and follow you. Then when your book is available, that all too familiar barrier of the unknown is broken in place for book sales.
Take 5 minutes to improve your About Page now!
Great post, Anthony! I’ll be making changes:). Here’s a link to my About Me page:
Thanks for taking the time to critique!
Hi Maria, Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Here’s your complimentary free critique.
Just looking at your about page I see you have a nice clear professional photo of you which is excellent. This helps me engage with you more easily and I have a face to the story and info I’m about to read. Your page is nice and clearly laid out broken up into small paragraphs.
I think you can do a few tweaks on what is already a good page, which will really take it to the next level. Sound good? 🙂
I like what you’ve written in the first paragraph and that sums up nicely your experience and book interests. I don’t feel as though the second paragraph is all that necessary as I feel I know enough to begin with from your first paragraph.
I would simply launch into paragraph three where you describe your marriage and exploring multicultural relations. This is interesting and serves as your unique selling point and gives real world weight to your novel. This is exactly what you want in an about page. You should also expand on this for quality blog posts to engage and inform your vistors.
Further down the page I would add something that outlines to people what they can expect and benefit from by coming back to your site and following you on Twitter and Facebook.
What will you be writing about? What life experience can you draw upon to write about that others can relate to?
Then after this add a call to action such as a link to an ideal blog post you’ve written that will serve as a starting point, helping them get to know you further in context to something they can learn from.
You also have the option of inserting a couple of headings such as “how I got started” or “my story in 60 seconds” that kind of thing. It helps for scanning your about page as people do before they invest the time in reading it. Titles also serve to break up the text in an appealing way to the eye.
You’ll notice that blog posts on Book Cover Cafe are presented this way.
And last but not least, I recommend you reduce your website header with the large cover, down to a normal website header size and put more emphasis on your author name. The cover is too confronting to new visitors. You want people to see you, your book information, links, etc first. This is how they engage with you. ‘Then’ put emphasis on your book afterwards once they know, like and trust you.
Thanks for stopping by Maria and taking me up on a complimentary free critique. I’m sure you’ll have a nicely polished ‘About Page’ after a few small tweaks.
Another great post! I have been reviewing the ‘About Page’ on other websites to get a feel of how to craft mine. Your post has detailed that information very nicely. I’ve never thought about having different sections because I thought that the page should be short and sweet. Thanks for sharing.
Your welcome Karen. It’s so important to care with, yet most people think it’s just something to add to a page because, well, it seems to be the thing to do. The About Page is part of making your impression and capturing the visitors attention. Do that using the tips above and your readers will be back again.
Great post with terrific ideas for the about page. I keep tinkering with my “about” page and in its latest incarnation it’s been merged with my home page. Rather than have redundant information on my home page and about page, i decided to have a top section with a brief introduction with more detail below. I’m not sure if it’s working or not, I’d love to have your feedback on it 🙂
Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment on the ‘About Page’ post. Below you’ll find your complimentary critique of your ‘About Page’.
To begin, I really like your clean design. It feels light and inviting. Things are easily visible AND you have a great photo of you which helps me (visitors) engage with you. Love it!
I think there’s room for a couple of tweaks on what is already a good page, which will really take it to the next level. Sound good? 🙂
The About Page
When it comes to the online world, people visit websites and blogs to discover what ‘they are going get’. Everyone visits a website with the expectation of receiving ‘value’. It’s human nature. What happens with most writer and author blogs is they make the mistake of it being ‘all about them’ from the get-go.
It helps to see your blog as a tool in which to build a relationship with your readership. So before people frequent your blog or buy your book, they need to ‘know, like and trust you’. This comes from giving great value to ‘them’.
So with this in mind, my initial reaction to your Home Page/About Page hybrid is that it falls within this category which is not ideal.
To remedy this, I would simply have your About Page return to having it’s own page, people can ‘choose’ to view. They will, because About Pages are in the top most highly visited pages of any website or blog.
I like what you’ve written.
* You have a ‘call to action’ being ‘You can click over to my blog and …’
* You have made yourself openly contactable with your email address
* You have a really nice personal touch with the signature, Excellent!
Let’s just re-jig the order of your separate About Page.
* Your photo
* At the top of the About Page have ‘Welcome to my site …’
* Followed by ‘Meet PJ’
* Your ‘call to action’ which is ‘You can click over to my blog and …’ underneath it
* Followed by your contact details and personal sign off
Now for your Home Page
I would simply have your blog posts. This will offer people ‘value’ straight away as soon as they land on your site and you are quenching the natural ‘What’s here for me’ question.
Just one extra note is I would have your name in the website header be larger. Let people know confidently where exactly they are and who is behind this blog. With Book Cover Cafe you’ll notice I have my photo in the Book Cover Cafe header. It’s clear where you are and it’s clear who you are connecting with. People want to connect with people. 🙂
Thanks for stopping by PJ and taking me up on a complimentary free critique. I hope this helps.
Interesting and insightful post – thanks! I tried to keep my “About Me” page engaging, but simple and informative. It looks like I’ve already managed to hit most of what you advised. I’d be curious to know what you think.
I just came across this post in one of PJ Kaiser’s posts [you critiqued her page]. I don’t know if you are still offering a critique of the about me page. I do know I need help.
I am posting my link, but whether or not you are still offering a critique, I have tweeted this article because a lot of authors need help with this element.
[…] badge and a professional author photo of you (not cradling your pet dog) 2. About page: Be sure to create a compelling About Page, that shows who you are, why you started writing and arguably the most important thing, what are […]
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