“Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers.”
I’ve determined that the scariest page to create on a blog is the About Me page. Seriously? This page alone made me delay starting my blog by three months.
Being new to blogging, I did what I imagine many people who are uncomfortable tooting their own horn do— I started googling blogs like crazy. Unless you happen to be a proud braggart, then brag on my friend! I’m envious, and this post is probably not for you.
The rest of us, be warned. This innocent foray into the blogosphere can intimidate as much as it informs. One friend I know has had a blog for years, and her About Me page still says “Coming Soon.” Some blogs are so down-right eloquent and beautiful they will just make you want to give up and crawl under your down comforter of obscurity. After all, it’s cozy, warm, and safe under that comforter. And fluffy, don’t forget fluffy.
Experts will tell you that the About Me page is the most important page of your blog. That it will make or break you and I’m sure they know what they’re talking about. I also think researching About Me pages has the potential to break the most experienced member of our tribe of prodigal writers. You have to resist the fluffy comforter trap and do it anyway.
To save my sanity, and yours, I only looked at writing blogs while researching. I don’t have the time or inclination to spend the month looking at About Me pages of every specialty. NaNoWriMo is coming and I have to drive my daughter and her friends to a middle school dance in an hour.
During my flash stalking of other writers’ websites, I am drawn to one thing time and again— Personality. Now, I’m not talking about what kind of blog you’re writing, I’m talking about what you communicate about yourself online that the reader infers. What are you relaying to make me, as a reader, stick by you moving forward?
It’s all there on the About Me page. And it will twist your already jittery gut with anxiety when you realize you have to make one too. Anxiety, but possibly a touch of excitement as well. This is your moment! What personality do you want to put out there?
I am encouraging you to go with your own.
There are bloggers trying to come across as the entrepreneur, the minimalist, the guru, or some other “category” of specialty. That’s great if you are those things. If you know you have that in you, have been afraid to fully show it, and now you are putting that side of yourself out there for all to see, I applaud you! I just think you should be authentic at the same time.
And especially, read as authentic. Be you.
Be the entrepreneur, but show me who you are at the same time, don’t just try to sell me on your talents or your latest freelance writing class. Be the guru, and at the same time, hit me with that touch of you that makes your friends want to hang out at your kitchen island drinking pinot noir and talking for hours.
And what if you aren’t those things and you want to start a blog anyway? Does that mean you shouldn’t? If you aren’t an “expert” is that a sign from destiny saying “Hey, you! Who do you think you are? Stop immediately and retreat under your comforter!”?
My recommendation is to just be yourself on that scary About Me page. Make it conversational. Visualize yourself sitting across from your close friend, sipping that wine, and explaining why you want to start a blog. Chances are you’ve already had that discussion, if only in utter fear they will stumble across your blog by accident and out you to all your friends and family. Just write that conversation down.
Remember, you deserve to be here too, there is room for us all. If we make a mistake, we’ll get through it without too much damage. But just in case, save me some room under your comforter. I hear it’s cozy.