Writing Your First Pages: About, FTC Blogger Disclosure, Privacy Page
This is part eleven of the One Week Blog Challenge series.
By now you should have your blog all setup and ready to launch. The first post I would recommend writing is the About Me page/post.
Worpress automatically includes an about page with some dummy text. Personally, I like deleting that page and writing a post with the standard page slug (yoursite.com/about/) so it shows up in your feed as your first post and that you can link to from your header / footer in the future.
The About page should set the tone of your site. I really recommend making the post as personal (and non-robotic) as you can – like you’re talking to a friend. This sets the stage for the rest of the site.
A Good About page should answer the following questions:
- Who Am I?
- What is this Blog About?
- What you should expect to see on this Blog & what goals you have for the site
The added benefit of the last part is that it will give you more clarity about what topics you should write about.
Add any indicators of trust or credibility to your page. If you are part of an organization, have won some awards, or have been recognized by some authority, it can help people trust that you know what you’re talking about. If not, don’t sweat it – just substitute personality for credibility.
I would highly recommend adding a picture to the post. It adds a personal touch and a face to the site that people can identify with. People will feel more connected once they see the actual person behind the site. This is a good time to get over your fear of being seen. Just put all that away and add a picture (or tw0).
FTC Blogger Disclosure
Since I am assuming you will be making some money from the site, preferably affiliate income, you should protect yourself by disclosing how and in what ways you intend to do this. It also lets your readers know what your personal ethics lie and what to expect from you.
Tim Ferris, Trey Ratcliff, and John Chow have some good examples of disclosure pages. Here’s some more information about why you might want to add this page to your site. You can use a policy generator to make it easy, but I recommend just writing it in a conversational tone and/or adding some humor to it like the examples above.
This also adds trust to your site in the eyes of the almighty Google and other search engines. You might want to noindex, nofollow this page so you don’t waste any Pagerank juice. This is boring stuff so I’ll leave it to others to provide further explanation.
Your contact page should ideally have a contact form (see the contact form 7 plugin) and other ways to reach you including social network links (facebook, twitter, linked in) and a mailing address (if applicable) so people can reach you in whatever way suits them best. I also like adding my email address to the page but I’d recommend obscuring it with something like name [at] gmail [dot] com so scrapers are less likely to harvest it for spam.
I would also recommend adding links to your Twitter, Facebook, Friendfeed, Linkedin profile pages somewhere in your About Page as well.
Next up – Some Posts You Might Want to Start with