Any savvy writer will tell you: An “About Me” page on your author website is an absolute necessity. The “About Me” page is usually one of the first pages new readers will visit, and the first stop for literary editors and agents who are interested in your work. But that doesn’t mean you should dump anything and everything onto your “About Me” page—no agent, editor, or reader wants to know the exact date you got your first haircut. Here are some suggestions from the experts at Web Design Relief on what to include and—just as important—what not to include on your “About Me” page to strengthen your author brand.
What To Include On Your Author “About Me” Page
Your Author Biography
Your author bio is the most important element of your “About Me” page. Writing it might seem challenging, but it doesn’t have to be—as long as you remember to include the basics:
- The genre or genres in which you write.
- How many books you’ve written and/or where your work has been published.
- Professional achievements related to your writing, such as awards, best-seller lists, even blurbs from prominent experts in your field or from fellow writers.
- Relevant proof of authority in terms of work experience, education, and other credentials. What makes you uniquely qualified to write what you do?
- Writing-related side-hustles, such as whether you’re a journalist, a reviewer, a podcast host, etc.
- A writing style that fits with your author brand.
- A personal touch, which may include a mention of your family, pets, your work for charity, or whether you have an unusual hobby or a surprising educational degree. The personal touch usually comes at the end of the bio.
Photo Or Video Introduction
Whether your author publicity photo is an impromptu selfie or a professional portrait, you should have at least one picture of yourself on your “About Me” page. By nature, people respond to and remember faces, which will make you more memorable.
Depending on the genre in which you write, you may also want to consider adding other visuals that are in sync with your author brand. Some ideas include posting pictures of your work space, the setting of your books if you write a series set in the same town, or other writing-related photos that expand the world of your stories or give the reader a deeper sense of who you are as a writer.
Many authors who are comfortable with video embed short videos on their “About Me” pages. They often use these videos to introduce themselves, welcome readers, and invite visitors to browse, join the newsletter, or read an excerpt of their latest books.
Every page of your author website should have a clear call-to-action based on your goal, whether it’s to sell your latest book, sign people up to your newsletter, or direct potential readers to an excerpt on another page of your website.
Since a newsletter is one of the best ways to corral readers, nurture a connection, and ultimately market your future releases, you should make sure to have a “subscribe to my newsletter” button on your “About Me” page.
Social Media Connections
Clickable social media icons provide a subtle invitation for website visitors to join you on one or more platforms. If you’re particularly active on Facebook or Twitter, consider using website plugins to display your recent posts to intrigue your website audience and tempt them to follow you.
What NOT To Include On Your Author “About Me” Page
Personal Contact Info Or TMI
Never include your home address, employment address, or personal phone number anywhere on your “About Me” page. Most importantly, avoid inadvertently including private information that is commonly stolen for identity theft, such as your exact birthdate, your mother’s maiden name, the first street you lived on, where you and your spouse met, your first pet’s name, etc. Sharing some of the details of your life on your “About Me” page is a great way to make connections, but for safety’s sake, be sure to maintain healthy boundaries.
And avoid oversharing. Telling visitors a few interesting tidbits about your life is fine, but don’t drone on for paragraphs about the spelling bee you won in third grade or how old you were when you had your wisdom teeth removed.
Question: What kind of information do you look for when you check out an author’s bio?