31 Days to a Better Blog--Day 5: Audit My About Page
The latest task in Darren Rowse's 31 Days to Building a Better Blog project was to audit my About Page.
One of the key pages on a blog is the about page. This page is often used by new readers to a blog to gather information about you and your blog and based upon what they find on this page they could be making a decision as to whether they’ll subscribe to your blog or not.
As a result, your About Page is a key conversion page on your blog and it therefore needs to be reworked regularly.
As a result it’s essential that you provide up to date, useful and well written information on this page.
Include compelling reasons for people to keep tracking with your blog and provide them with the means to do so within the content (RSS, newsletter etc).
Based on feedback from my first-time reader audit, I had already changed the title of my About Page to be more "descriptive." Rather than calling it a "Newbie Guide to The Bamboo Project," you'll now see in the sidebar that the link to that page says "Wondering What this Blog is All About? Start Here!"
But after reading Darren's guidelines on what to include in an About Page, I knew I needed to do more work. So here are my key additions:
- A section called "What Is a Blog and How Do I Use It?"--This includes a brief description of a blog and how to use tags, RSS and archives to access content.
- A section on Commenting--Step-by-step instructions on how to comment, including notifying readers that I use a spam catcher that adds an extra step. I also encourage readers to email me if they have problems.
- A Section on RSS and how to use it--I followed my own advice and added a section on how to sign up for RSS. I reference it in my About Page, but you'll see in the left sidebar that I've also added it as its own section. Again, I tried to make the title as descriptive as possible--"Want Automatic Notification When I Add New Posts? Read More Here!"
According to my stats, my newbie page is one of the more popular pages on my blog. Although it's too early to tell, I'm hoping that these additions make it easier to use the site. What I may start doing is sending the link to new readers when I respond to their comments, in case they haven't taken a look. I may also conduct some kind of reader poll at some point in the future.
Also, keeping with my pledge after yesterday's assignment, I'm going back to a few posts to add in this new content.
A couple of additions to our 31 Day Challenge, including our first guy:
- Brent MacKinnon
- Alex Miller
- Nancy Riffer--Be sure to drop by Nancy's place to welcome her to the blogosphere. The 31 Day Challenge is what motivated her to start her own blog, Freelearning, and I think it looks great! Remember how motivating comments can be when you're first starting out. . .
Also, be sure to check out what all of our participants are up to (you'll see them listed in the right sidebar). People are really getting into this.
If you want to join us, you can read more here. And if you want to win a kilo of chocolate for your efforts, stop by Sue Waters' site to sign up.
This is a really cool thing you're doing here. I had - at one point- considered doing the same thing, but I chickened out cuz I am SO bad at staying with a schedule. I realized i had to go at my own pace. (Including the About Page. I, too, think it's very important to make the About page be about the blog - not a bio of the writer.) Thanks!
Posted by: Christine Kane | August 05, 2007 at 02:38 PM
The Audit My Page challenge got me half-way. I cast an eye on the order in which my right sidebar was arranged and tinkered with that. I have yet to add an 'About' section, which I think is a great idea. The one thing which I'll need to keep in mind with all of this adding stuff, is layout and design. I like a clean, 'white-space' minimalist look. I'm turned off by 'busy' websites. I suspect clutter could result if too much starts appearing on the front page. It's always a balancing act. Trade offs etc.
Posted by: Kate Foy | August 05, 2007 at 05:02 PM
I don't believe blogger has a way to do an about page. I think all we have is the profile link. Right?
Posted by: Danielle B. | August 05, 2007 at 09:59 PM
Christine--you definitely don't have to do these exercises on a schedule! The only reason I'm doing it is that a public commitment means that I'll actually go through each day's activities. I've decided that I need to keep moving things forward here, so this was the way to do it.
And Kate--I hear you on the clutter. I'm afraid I'm moving in that direction here and trying to decide if I need to make some changes to the design.
Posted by: Michele Martin | August 05, 2007 at 10:03 PM
Hi Danielle--you may want to check out Tony Karrer's site. He uses Blogger and created his "About" page by just writing it in a post and then putting a link to the post on his front page. You can see it here:
Posted by: Michele Martin | August 05, 2007 at 10:14 PM
Hi Michele, thanks for your useful pointers with my blog. This morning I've added a related posts section at the bottom of each article and also as you suggested, and RSS link nearer the top of the page too. I'm still looking and thinking about my 'About' and will probably implement several about pages...author, site/blog (how to use it and who it's for), and about keeping up to date with RSS! (Phew!)
Posted by: Laura Whitehead | August 06, 2007 at 08:39 AM
I just read your post on writing an about page. I think I have more work to do. I have been writing a blog for about 5 years. Sometimes I am a very diligent poster, other times I have let it go...so I have lost readers. Now I am back into writing, so I have to figure out ways to generate comments again and attract readers. Your posts are helpful.
Posted by: ralph poole | December 22, 2007 at 12:40 PM