How to write an awesome About Page: Creating consistency across the web (part two)

female-865073_640Last week we talked about how to structure an About Page that can highlight your accomplishments. This week we’ll talk about the ways that your About Page can act like a resume and how to use the same information in your About Page across your social media platforms.

RESUME
An effective About Page will tell the readers who you are and why you are interesting. While there are many ways to accomplish this, the single most important element should be that your About Page shouts out loud that your blog is a serious reflection of your efforts in whatever genre you write in. There are a few ways that your About Page can do this:

WRITE IN THIRD PERSON
Last week we talked about the option of writing in first or third person. The reason you want to use third person is because it subliminally tells the reader that you are important. If you write in first person then the reader must take YOUR word for it. Third person takes the >you< out of the voice and gives the description an air of authority.

For example, check out this About Page.

LIST YOUR ACCOLADES
Unlike a resume or CV, you don’t want to list every professional experience or award you’ve had. Instead briefly highlight your accomplishments. Did you win some awards? Great! List awards, publications, projects, and experiences of note with hyperlinks to lead the reader directly to those sites or pages where the reader can learn more.

For example, check out this About Page.

LINK TO IMPORTANT SITES
Have you been published or mentioned on other sites? It is a great idea to list the names of sites that have hosted your work or mentioned you and your blog. The cleanest way to do this is to hyperlink each site name with a URL to the page that your work appears.

For example, check out this About Page.

USE PROFESSIONAL LANGUAGE
Even if your blog is casual or humorous it is important to use professional language with polished writing in your About Page. This tells the reader that while you can have a fun time in your blog posts you take your writing seriously enough to care about how the reader experiences your blog.

For example, check out this About Page.

HOW TO USE AN ABOUT PAGE ACROSS SOCIAL MEDIA
Once you have drafted a biography for your About Page that you think accurately describes you and your blog you can then take sections of it and use it across your social media platforms. This is important because it creates consistency for your public profile. This is especially important if you submit your Bangor Daily News blog posts for syndication at other sites. Readers from other audience pools will find your BDN blog and if they see the same bio it will make you appear more professional and cut down on confusion about who you are and what your work is about.

With regard to your Bangor Daily News blog, you should note that it is a simple process to edit the sidebar bio by simply going into your dashboard, selecting PROFILE then scrolling down to BIOGRAPHICAL INFO under the ABOUT YOURSELF header and editing the text box there.

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>> It is a wise idea to copy, highlight, and paste the short bio that appears in your BDN sidebar. This is the first peek into your About Page that readers will see on your blog. Since social media sites also have little blurb style about sections to click on it makes sense that you keep them all consistent. <<

Here are a few sites to consider copy and pasting your About Page information into:

FACEBOOK PAGE
If your blog has a Facebook Page (and it should) then you can take the most important lines from your Bangor Daily News About Page and paste them into the About section of your Facebook Page’s About Page.

TWITTER
Twitter is a fast-paced social media platform that doesn’t allow for long descriptions. The best strategy is to take whatever most used tag line you use for your blog and include that and your blog URL in your Twitter bio.

GRAVATAR
To streamline your bio beyond your Bangor Daily News blog you can use free Gravatar service. It allows you to upload an avatar (head shot) and brief bio, which is globally recognized through open source software.

SUBMITTABLE
If you submit regularly to other websites then you will likely have a Submittable account set up that includes your basic information including a bio. You can use the entire length of your Bangor Daily News About Page here.

An About Page is an ever-changing document. As your blog grows and your niche evolves you will find it necessary to add to or even edit out sections of your About Page. If you find that you are stuck in how to write one or you need some examples then it is a great idea to click around the Bangor Daily News blogs and see how other bloggers – especially in your blog category – approach their About Page style.

Stay tuned for next week!

Sarah Cottrell

About Sarah Cottrell

Maine-based writer Sarah Cottrell is the voice behind Housewife Plus at the Bangor Daily News and is a regular contributor to Scary Mommy, Disney’s Babble, and Momtastic. Sarah runs a popular Facebook page, @Housewifeplus where readers laugh and share stories from the parenting trenches. She is a co-author in several books including I Still Just Want To Pee Alone from the New York Times Bestselling series. Sarah’s work has also been highlighted and featured by SELF Magazine and National Public Radio.