What’s one of the first things people want to do when landing on a new blog?
Most (including me) want to know A) What is this blog about? and B) Who is the person behind it?
So it shouldn’t surprise you that the #1 piece of advice I give to bloggers is:
Put your photo and mini bio near the top of your sidebar!
An About page is usually the most visited page on any website or blog. That’s because new visitors to a site want to know more about it before they determine whether or not it’s worth clicking around.
Now, while it’s important to create a killer about page, I won’t be going into that here. Let’s talk about what makes your sidebar author bio and profile photo significant.
Don’t Make Me Click”
People are lazy. They’re impatient. They don’t want to click if they don’t have to.
That’s why it’s our job to make things easy for them.
A new reader lands on your page and wants to know more about you or your blog? Super! Let’s make it as easy as possible for them to know why they’re there: Yep! Put a mini bio near the top of the sidebar.
The month of May 2015 is all about sidebars and we’re working on them together in the Facebook community. Have you read all the Sidebar posts so far?
4 Ways to Give your Sidebar an Instant Facelift!
How to Really Organize and Prioritize Your Blog’s Sidebar (revised)
There are two essential parts to the Sidebar Bio:
The About Me
Your mini bio should be a few sentences that lead into your full bio on your About page. Despite the name “Bio,” it’s not necessarily all about you.
Here is what I recommend including in those few sentences (scroll down for your free worksheet below):
- How does your blog benefit the reader?
This is #1 and I see it missing from so many blogs. Tell me why I should stay and not click away? What’s different about your blog from all the others? Tell me here.
- A bit about you.
Keep this short (remember you’re going into detail in the About page). Just a sentence or two that either A) explains why you’re qualified to write about what you share or B) gives a little personal insight about you that may help others to connect with you.
- A link to your full About page.
A link that says “Read more” or “Learn more” should suffice.
A note to those on the Blogger platform: Do not link this to your Blogger profile page. That profile is too short and essentially useless. Please create a proper About page that is a part of your blog and branding.
- Ways to connect.
Putting your social media links and ways to connect are a nice touch to add here as it’s a logical place for people to look for them.
The Sidebar Profile Photo
Why should every blog should have a profile photo of it’s author(s) paired with the mini bio? Two reasons:
- It lets people see who you are, know that you’re a real person, and connect with you.
But won’t people judge me based on my photo?
No. And if they do, they’re not your audience anyway. Blogging is about connections and even though it’s in a virtual world and not the real world, it’s still important to be able to put names to faces and get to know each other.
- It helps people visually and mentally connect your blog to your other profiles.
When you use the same photo or same style of photo for your blog bio and your social media profiles, you become recognizable.
Your Photo Should…
- Be of high quality
- Show you as friendly and approachable
- Be of colors and a style that match your branding
Sidebar Mini Bio/Photo Showcase
Let’s take a look at some cute sidebar photos and bios. Please note that many do not include all the proper elements I’ve described above. They are only included here to provide creative inspiration.
Creative Ways to Frame Your Photo
Creative Ways to Position the Bio
While it’s common to include the bio below your photo, some of these examples below align it to the side instead. Another cool option is to overlay the bio on top of the image as in #2 and 4.
Round Photos are Quite Popular
Although I love the cutesy ways the bios are displayed in #1 and #4, you should know that using text as an image instead of regular text will prevent it from being read by search engines. If your bio is keyword friendly and you are optimizing your blog for SEO, you may want to keep that in mind.
You can of course add your text to the alt tag of the image and that will help of course, but search engine bots will always rank actual text on the page, that can be read by your readers, higher than alt text that is technically hidden from view.
More circles! And I love them (obviously)! Below are some unique ways to present your round photo. I love the ones encircled by flowers! How cute is #7, where she’s holding a sign? Or what about cropping your photo in a different shape, like in #8?
Your Challenge + Worksheet!
If your sidebar photo/bio is missing any of the elements mentioned above, your challenge this week is to download the Sidebar Mini Bio worksheet and update your sidebar bio and photo. Please be sure to share your changes or questions in the Facebook community!
If your sidebar photo/bio already includes everything mentioned above, good for you! Your challenge is to get in the Facebook community and help those who have questions or need feedback.
Learn How to Create a Unique Bio Photo
Need a new sidebar photo for your mini bio? Angie Makes has an excellent tutorial on How to Create an About Me Image in PicMonkey in just 2 minutes. Check it out!
Got questions or just want to share your cute bio/photo? Share in the comments below!
As always, the success of DYOB is dependent upon your sharing. Please share this with the easy links below if you found it useful!
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