It happens all the time and it drives me crazy. I discover a new food blog. I go to the About page to find out more about the writer. There is no photo and no identification. Here’s all it says:
- Welcome to my blog. It’s really original.
- This is a yummy chronicle of my exploits and experiments.
- I created this blog because I love kittens, butterflies and strawberry yogurt.
Argh! A blank page would be an improvement over this generic stuff. I go back to the Home page to look for more clues but find none. I’m losing interest…
If your About page is anonymous or generic, you are losing readers. Right now a piece is missing. That piece is you. I won’t become a regular reader until I know you.
It’s easy to come out of the closet. Just fix these three things on your About page:
1. You’re anonymous.
Please. I want to know your full name. Don’t just tell me your first name. Tell me where you live. Say when you started your blog and why. Give me a few paragraphs. Be specific.
You’d be surprised by how many bloggers fail to list their names, including those big enough to get press mentions. When I want to contact them, I have to look up articles to find their names. Sometimes I look at Twitter feeds to see if I can find a first name, or Google their blog name. That is just ridiculous to make me work so hard.
2. No photo.
I want to connect with you, because blogs are personal. Show me what you look like. Use a headshot, or a photo of you making Chicken Veloute, if your blog’s about French cooking. If you have the wrong photo on there, please exchange it. I don’t want a photo of you and your spouse, unless you write a relationship blog; or you and your children, unless your blog’s about feeding kids. Don’t show me a photo of you in a gondola in Italy when your blog covers Florida restaurants.
3. No contact info.
Who knows why people want to contact you? Maybe they want to advertise, offer you a guest post, feature your blog on their website, see if you want to write for their publication, or offer you a book deal. Give them your email. Even Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman, lists her email and a snail mail address. If she can do it, so can you.
If you’re nervous about spam, use the [at] sign instead of the @, such as dj[at]diannej.com.
Now, two questions:
1. Am I the only one who’s annoyed by anonymous About pages?
2. If you don’t want to use your full name or a photo, please tell me why.
(And if you want to know what’s supposed to appear on an About page, see Guidelines for Writing a Good About Page.)
Photo by Stuart Miles, freedigitalphotos.com.