Just in time for a spring spruce-up of your web home, my favorite book marketing guru Sandra Beckwith posted a how-to on upgrading the “About Me” page. On this website, the page is called “Who Is?”—a faint echo of the mystery theme (perhaps should be “Whodunnit?”). The post was written by serial entrepreneur Andrew Wise whose online success means his advice is worth listening to, and it’s of interest to all authors maintaining a web site or thinking about starting one.
The biggest reason not to “create and forget” this page is that our visitors read it. In fact, says Wise, it’s usually one of the 10 most popular pages on a site. I was surprised to learn that’s true of my site, too. New visitors want to know we’re reliable—regardless of what kind of stuff we write. He’s distilled a lot of insight into this infographic (click on it for a larger view).
At a minimum, the About Me page should:
- Prove yourself to be an authority in your field – a bit of a stretch for me, since I write about crime and am not a former cop or lawyer. But, my publication credentials speak to a different aspect of credibility, and they’re on another page altogether, my “Writing . . .” page. Hmmmm.
- Show your personality – make your text more of a conversation and less of an information dump; be positive and friendly.
- Include a picture of yourself – this responds to the human love of visual images. My page has only a thematic picture.
- At the conclusion, provide a way for readers to be in touch. I do that! But that area need tweaking. The ask is buried.
As blogger Rob Orr reminds us, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression.” In reviewing many About Me pages, he says the most important common denominator of the best ones is that they make a connection. In that sense, they are less about the author than about the visitors, a point many others make as well. How to translate that insight from commercial sites to the writer-reader experience is something I’ll be thinking about.
If you were coming to my website the first time, what would you want to know about me? Anything? Are you finding it? Come back in a month to find out “Who Is? 2.0”!