Welcome to another page critique! About pages, PR pages, product pages and so on are critical in helping you meet your bloggy goals. Each week I dissect a page on someone’s blog as a way to refine it into being more awesome. Read, learn and apply these tips to the important pages on your own blog. Here we go!
Blog: This Sorta Old Life
Page: About page
Rita blogs about making a home and family the second time around. For her About page, she’s hoping that readers get a clear understanding as to what the blog is about. She wants them to know who she and Cane are, what they write about and how they blog (informal; share through storytelling). She worries that the page is a little too long and wonders if their Subscribe page should be merged into the About page.
- I think it’s great that visitors first see both an image of you and Cane and of your house without having to scroll down (it’s called “above the fold”). The image of you two help readers match the writing to a face (two faces in this case). And the house image pulls readers deeper into the page to keep reading.
- The only thing is that the colors and font seem different than the rest of your blog. For example, the “So… what’s this blog about, anyway?” is a different blue than the blue behind your SM buttons and further down in your sidevar. While that blue does seems to match the email icon, it should really be more in line with the blue used in your overall design. Also the font from “you might think this…” and the other subheadings doesn’t seem to tie in with the rest of the blog fonts. The color works though so I’d make the font match one of the others. A good rule of thumb is to use no more than 3 fonts. Including the two in your header, I see four fonts above the fold (perhaps even five if the main content is a different font too).
- While I love about pages with images, I do think you have a few too many. I really enjoy the story you’re telling and in doing so, you’re sticking the part that describes the core of your blog after many, many pictures. I think you can still drill down the same point but with fewer pictures. Instead, just use the text and only a couple of pictures in this first part. So for example, you could say “We also like to write about making cool stuff from old stuff, making cool stuff from inexpensive new stuff or or finding cool old stuff that used to belong to someone else.” You still are linking to the posts, just not including the big images on this page. Plus, you might increase page views by getting people curious about what these projects are (especially if you adjust that sentence to be a bit more specific).
- Kudos to linking to this page from multiple places (within posts, the menu bar, your sidebar)!
- Towards the end of your page, you have a few lines with red text in them (ex. “Want or need a do-over?“) When it comes to your main content (not headlines), be careful using color for text that isn’t a hyperlink. Many people will immediately assume that theoe red words were links.
- For your email address, make it a hyperlink and use “mailto: YOUR EMAIL” in the URL field. That will make it easier for a reader to email you since it opens a new message in their email program.
- Can I say that you have a knack for weaving a story together? I really enjoy how you transition from talking about your house to talking about your home. Love it!
- But you are right- this page is quite long! While you want your About page to do the things you mentioned (let readers know what you write about, etc), you also want to encourage action such as subscribing or clicking to other posts. With so much text and large images, that goal gets muddied a bit. Remember that most people skim pages and many will get tired of scrolling down so much.
- As for what to cut out, I mentioned to cut out some pictures in the beginning. I also think that the part in between “We transformed our lives into something beautiful, functional, and useful.” and “The more we live…” should be removed. While there’s nothing wrong with it, it’s just too long when you look at the page overall and makes it take longer to get to the part about you guys “making a family.”
- Also, for your headline of this page, I’d be more specific instead of the general “what’s this blog about anyway?” Use this as a chance to foreshadow important information that’s further down on your page.
- I really like the line “We’re living our story for us, but we’re writing it for you.” It’s perfect! While saying “we” is totally fine there, the next few sentences have a lot of “we.” In reading the next few paragraphs, the word just seems to pop out. Try to re-word some of those sentences (and/or condense this section to be shorter) to reduce so many uses of the word “we.” Instead, flip things around to focus on the reader, a.k.a. “you.”
- You asked about whether you should merge the subscription page with this one. You’ll be happy to know that I don’t think it should be merged! However, I do like the “we write for those who…” section and wonder if you can work it in without things getting too wordy. As long as you’re encouraging subscription in this page (and you are), they can remain two separate pages.
Let me know your thoughts on the critique in the comments below. If you have an extra moment, head over to This Sorta Old Life and give Rita some comment love.