Who Is Joshua Wilner- Or What Should Our “About Me” Pages Say

Ralph Waldo Emerson, ca. 1857

“I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.”- Ralph Waldo Emerson

A dear friend of mine once instructed me to give up blogging entirely because he believed that it was inherently risky. He told me that people thought that bloggers were narcissistic and that writing my thoughts down opened me up to far too much risk.

I thanked him for his concern and explained that we disagreed about the value of blogging and the risks. He is a very accomplished attorney and someone whose advice I don’t disregard with reckless abandon, but that doesn’t mean that he is always correct.

Why Do I Mention This?

I love to write and produce an enormous amount of content the bulk of which you won’t find online.  Writing is what I want to do with my life. Words are endlessly interesting to me and  I love watching the words flow  from the keyboard onto the screen.

If I had a wealthy patron or was fortunate enough to win the lottery I would devote a substantial part of my time to storytelling. I am good at it and there is no doubt in my mind that I have more than a few books just waiting to be pulled out of my head and put down on paper.

The intersection between blogging and the dream of writing books is found in the world of business and freelance writing. Or more to the point it is found when people use search engines to locate my website and to try to find the various cyber outposts in which I have either hung a shingle or shared some piece of the puzzle that is me.

It is also why I pay attention to the About Me page of this blog and that of other bloggers.

That page is one of the most highly trafficked of any blog and sometimes it is the only connection you have between prospective employers and you.

How To Write a Good Bio

There are 1,028,378 posts floating throughout the blogosphere on how to write a good biography. Quite a bit of includes contradictory instructions in which you are told to always write about yourself in the third person and to never write about yourself in the third person.

It is easy to become confused and wonder if your bio should look like:

Joshua Wilner has been crafting compelling and creative content for more than 20 years now. He has an extensive background writing for the web, in print blah, blah, blah.

Or

Hi. I am Josh Wilner and I am glad you decided to visit. When I was younger I wanted to become the next great sportswriter. I entered multiple contests and made my family proud winning multiple writing awards in junior high and high school.

Midway through my college days I shifted my focus from becoming the next Jim Murray and decided that I just wanted to focus on becoming a reporter. I held numerous positions on the college newspaper and eventually became the Editor-In-Chief.

During the two decades since my college graduation I have been published in both the print and online worlds and helped many companies increase marketshare blah, blah, blah.

It is probably obvious to you that I am not a big fan of writing about myself in the third person. It is not because I can’t do it but because I prefer to provide information about myself while showing some of my personality and style.

Some people have suggested that doing so is a mistake but I disagree. It is impossible to please everyone and I think everyone is better served by getting a sense of who they are speaking with.

But What About The Bio

Ok, let’s circle back to the bio and the actual content of the “About Me” page. I am getting ready to redo my page because it is weaker than I want it to be. There is room for more information about who I am, what I have done and what I can do.

That needs to be included as does something that makes it clear that I can write in a variety of styles. What should also be included is a stronger call to action. What do I want people to do when they read it and what steps should they take after having done so.

One of the things that I love about blogging is that it is a dynamic environment that lends itself to change. It is easy to turn on a dime and make some adjustments.

Some of those adjustments will come immediately and some will take some time. Part of that is because I need to see what keywords are being used to find me.

Ultimately the goal is to provide information that is useful, practical and actionable. It might take some time to make it happen but we will get there sooner than later.

What about you? What do you want to see in a  bloggers “About Me” page? If you have a blog are you happy with your page? Share it with us in the comments. We’d love to hear what you have to say.

(Visited 18 times, 1 visits today)

6 Comments

  1. Ralph September 9, 2012 at 4:19 am

    Josh, totally agree about the first person thing. I just went back to our about page and had a second look. Even though it is written in the third person it works well for the theme of the site.

    When i visit an about page an image of you is critically important to me.

    The other thing is that I have left about pages when there is a novel to read about the person. If you have too much stuff there then it get’s a little annoying. Imagine, don’t you want people to know enough so they can sort out if they can connect with you intellectually but not give away everything about you? They may wan to discover some of that on the blog, no?

    Anyway. I am no expert but we redid our about in June and it works much better now. We basically made it a little more human. I think that goes a long way to garnering interest…….a little personality never hurts.

    • Josh September 9, 2012 at 11:42 pm

      Hi Ralph,

      One of the things I love most about blogging is that it lends itself so very well to individuality. There may be cookie cutter designs but that is not the case with content.

      It really is based upon what works for you and makes you happy or so I think.

      I agree with you about the issue with too much information. Sometimes it can be overwhelming. I want to learn about the person but some of that should come from reading their blog.

      There is only so much I can absorb in one sitting.

  2. Hajra September 5, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Its like a two edged sword… trying to be modest and yet telling them how awesome you think you are so as to tempt them to stop by. I still don’t work too much on my About Me page.. let the readers figure out by reading my posts…

    • Josh September 5, 2012 at 11:59 pm

      It really is a double edged sword. It takes some patience and effort to try to make the page read in a professional manner that provides an accounting of your skills and abilities without making you sound obnoxious.

  3. Jayme Soulati September 5, 2012 at 9:32 am

    Heck, forget about the About Me page; write the entire website! Now, that’s a total nightmare…in the third person no less, acting as if you didn’t know your inner-most secrets and trying to sell while not being pushy and trying not to show your #RockHot personality.

    • Josh September 5, 2012 at 11:58 pm

      That has to be all sorts of fun, but it is a good test of your writing ability. I don’t mean that to sound snarky either. It has to be challenging but it also provides a reasonable chance to spread your wings and test yourself.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  
Please enter an e-mail address

You may also like
9 Shares
+1
Tweet8
Share1
Pin
Share
Stumble