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!
Page: About page
Homeschooling…On Faith and Coffee is about homeschooling, faith and family. It’s a place where homeschooling moms (and dads, too!) can come to share life and be encouraged as well as to find helpful reviews and ways to save on great homeschooling products. With her About page, Heather wants to encourage others by sharing about her homeschool and spreading the word about great products/resources available to homeschoolers. She wonders if she’s giving enough information, not too little and not too much. She wants this page to be engaging and effective but says that she feels the content is flat.
- Hooray for having a picture of the entire family on your About page. It’s a great picture! But (you probably know where I’m going with this), it’s a Christmas picture which automatically dates the image. If you have another image of the entire family that’s more neutral to seasonal changes, then use it. However, don’t sweat it if you don’t have anything like that. It’s too good of a picture to remove from the page if you don’t have one to swap it out with.
- You may want to try another font and color for your blog’s headings and subheadings. Perhaps a color from your navigation bar borders or from your social media buttons. Just this simple tweak could really make a difference in brightening up the page.
- It’s great that you’re linking to social media profiles at the bottom of your page. Helps to give readers a place to go. To add some color to your page, consider making those buttons instead of links.
- There seems to be a good deal of space above the “To Read More…” Go to edit the post and then click the Text tab to view the HTML of the post. See if you have a   in there, which will add extra space.
- I like the signature at the bottom of your post. Adds a little personalization & ties back into part of your blog’s content, writing about faith.
- You link to this page from your navigation menu which is perfect. You also mentioned your sidebar link isn’t working but that this page is usually linked from there. Both great places to link back to an About page.
- You can also consider linking to this page from places like your Twitter profile so people clicking the link get a little intro to you and your blog. It’s a good way to introduce potential readers to your content versus them just seeing your latest post (which if you write about many topics, may not be a topic they’re interested in).
- While you have links to follow you on various social media networks, I think you could give readers more links to your best content. I’ll discuss this a little more from a content perspective in the next section.
- Overall, I think you have a good start with this page. You share a little about yourself, encourage readers to subscribe/follow you and give them a little taste of your writing. There are two main elements I think you can develop a little more though.
- One is sharing more about your blog. I don’t mean just something like “I write about ___” but something more reader-centric. Why do people come to your blog? What makes them want to stay? Do you share a realistic view of homeschooling? Do you provide great tips for homeschoolers? Do you share inspiring posts about faith? All of the above? Well, tell them! When you do tell them, consider how you frame it. For example, instead of “I share tips for homeschooling your kids” you might say “You get homeschooling tips to make teaching your kids that much easier, from how to ____ (link to relevant post) to ____ (link to relevant post). In fact, you mentioned that you want to spread the word about great resources and products from homeschoolers. If that’s the case, then suggest a few products/resources you can’t live without, then link to a fuller resource page with even more!
- The second is sharing more context around the posts you wrote. I would even think about adding small images for each post or even just a single image that represents the content you write about (like a homeschooling picture). Now about the context, the post “Sitting Still is a Long Term Goal” isn’t a bad blog post title but on this page, I don’t know the context. Is it about your child? You? I could assume it was about homeschooling but for all I know it could be about getting kids to sit still in church. However, when I clicked to the post, it’s a great post about your son having a hard time sitting still during homeschooling and how you’re working with him to develop this skill at his own pace. THAT is something many parents can relate to (I don’t homeschool but I surely relate to it!). So on your About page, give a sentence or two of context to entice the reader to click through. Think of it like a really short movie trailer!
- In addition to those two points, consider adding more posts and dividing them into faith, homeschooling and family. Maybe 3 each. This would give readers a more organized view of what you write about, helping them navigate to the stories and posts they find more interesting.
- You also mentioned you wanted to share your homeschool. Do you have a post “touring” your homeschool set-up that you could link to? If not, that could be a cool page idea that you can link from this page. How your school supplies are stored, your “classroom” (if it’s anywhere or multiple places, then share that), etc. Give your readers a realistic, behind-the-scenes look at how you do it.
- Unless you are great about updating it, steer clear of mentioning kids’ ages when you’re in the “months” stage. Some brands will appreciate a blogger sharing their kids ages (easy to know if you’re the right demographic) but updating it monthly can get tedious. Perhaps say “three boys under six” or something else that won’t need to be updated. Otherwise, set a reminder to update it each month.
- Another suggestion regarding updating. Be sure to scrub your About page every few months. You mention the Fulfilling Your Blog site launching in March of this year but that was a few months ago. While no one expects you to update your About page super frequently, if you do mention dates like launch dates, make a note to go back and update it.
- You may want to consider moving the detail about where else you write down past your own content. The idea is that you want to drive readers INTO your blog, not lead them away to another site. Mentioning other places you write can increase your credibility as a writer so definitely keep them on the page. I just think the bigger priority is getting readers to read your content!
- As you add more content to this page and work on the structure, use subheadings to help divide the text. This helps our eyes more easily digest the text on the page by having a visual break.
Let me know your thoughts on the critique in the comments below. If you have an extra moment, head over to Homeschooling… On Faith and Coffee and give Heather some comment love.