Day eight’s assignment blends in nicely with something that I’ve already said for several of these topics, which is that people care more about you if they feel like they know you. That’s why having a good “About” page is an important asset. Your “About” page is a place where you can talk a little about yourself, show the world who you are, and hopefully make prospective readers feel like they’ve become familiar enough with you to be interested in what you have to say on a day-to-day basis.
That’s why day eight’s assignment is create and publish your About page, and adapt it for a widget on your home page.
You might not think that having an “About” page is really all that important, but let me tell you this: I’ve been posting on this blog for over two years now, and of all the posts I’ve written, my “About” page is the most visited page on this blog. That means that on a regular basis, people wander past my blog, stop for a second, and then click on the “About” page to see – duh – what I’m all about. Whether or not they decide to stick around after that point is their own call, but without that “About” page, many prospective readers may have simply wandered back to wherever they came from, uninterested in someone who isn’t even willing to give a little bit of personal info.
I’ll admit now that before I came across this particular assignment, my “About” page was not thrilling. I hadn’t thought about it in a while and when I went to take a look I found this:
No Page Left Blank is a blog by Tracey Lynn Tobin, pre-published writer.
I am a 29-year-old Instrumentation Tech by trade, a writer by choice, happily married, and I have a three-year-old daughter. My aspirations are to publish some of the many novels and short stories I have in the works. My favorite genres are fantasy and horror, and I have a particular fondness for zombies.
Not an overwhelmingly interesting little blurb, is it? There are a couple of important bits of information in there, such as the pre-published writer bit, and perhaps people might be a little bit interested when they see that I’m a tradeswoman, and that I like zombies. But there is so much more to know about me, so many more things that I could mention that would possibly help convince people to stick around on my blog. So, in light of this assignment and that realization, I decided to do a little rewrite. My “About” page now reads:
Well hello there! Thanks for dropping by! My name is Tracey Lynn Tobin, and you’ve stumbled onto my blog!
I’m a pre-published author of various genres of fiction, who moonlights as an industrial instrumentation technician (tradeswoman, for short). I’m happily married to the man who turned me into a zombie-maniac, and we have a three-year-old daughter who is already more into superheroes than I could ever hope to be. When I’m not working on my blog, I’m writing mainly in the horror and fantasy genres, but I’ve also been known to dabble in supernatural, sci-fi, and even a little bit of romance. On the blog I discuss everything from my writing process, to the wonderful world of parenting, to my goals and aspirations, and whatever happens to spark my interest at any given time. My ultimate desire? To become a published author and spend my life writing awesome books.
Want to know a little more? Here you go!
See how that’s a lot more informative, a lot more personal, and a lot more fun? Now, if given the chance, which of the “About” pages would inspire you to stick around, hmm?
The second part of the assignment is, of course, to adapt your “About” info for a widget for your home page, and while I understand the importance for such a thing, I’m going to skip it. Why? Well, as a writer who plans to be published sometime in the future, I’ve already taken the leap of sharing a personal photo on my blog, and while a blurb from my “About” info would be nice as well, I feel that the photo itself is enough. Lots of bloggers aren’t going to want to share something like a photo because it puts you out there to the world in a way that not everyone wants, and in such a case an “About” widget would be an excellent compromise. Myself, I think that when people see my photo it’s enough of a jump-start toward convincing them to stick around for a moment, and hopefully that moment leads them to the “About” page. If I’m wrong, please let me know. I’ve been wrong before, and I’ll be wrong again.
So go ahead, have some fun! Make your “About” page one that gets people interested!