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Benefits of Including Personal Information on Your Website
By Michael Bloch

Many web site owners disclose little about themselves on their sites. This may be for reasons of confidentiality. But remember, especially if you are running a commercial site, that if you want people to purchase your goods and services, they need to be able to trust in you.

Would you trust someone with your hard earned money if you didn't "know" them? Not all of us can be a Fortune 500 company with international recognition.

Take as an example the situation with "mainstream" commerce. Small business survives mainly on the "personal" feel they deliver to clients. In fact, the personal touch allows them to charge more than their big brother competitors and not only survive, but thrive. We engage small business services as we know Tom, Dick or Harry - the owners - we trust them as humans, rather than as a business name.

When I ran my mobile computer business and sold PC's, most of my clients already knew what type of computer they wanted. They knew how much they wanted to spend. What they didn't know was who to trust. I spent more time selling myself than my product!

So, what is one of the ways to personalise and humanise your site?

The "About" page - in the case of small sites, it's more of an autobiography.

Write a few paragraphs about yourself, remember to include the following things:

  1. A photo of yourself (preferably sober) helps people to identify you as a human being rather than as a robot who produces html. Also, when you are communicating with your clients via email, they will then be able to put a "face to the name."

  2. List your experience in your given area of expertise - don't be shy about listing your achievements, but try not to go overboard.

  3. Reveal some (desirable) personality traits that you have to your readers.

  4. Your contact details. Invite your visitors to communicate with you.

  5. Some of your plans for the future (relevant to the site.)

To view a sample of a personal "About" page - go to www.tamingthebeast.net/admin/about.htm

If you are that concerned about your privacy, it may be time to reconsider your role in the Internet. The truth is, that probably anything that has ever been recorded about you by a government agency, financial institution or hospital is available via the Internet. You just need the right address and password.

If someone really wants to know about you, they will find out whether you tell them or not.

Michael Bloch is with Taming the Beast.net (www.tamingthebeast.net/)
www.tamingthebeast.net has great articles, tutorials and tools for site owners, web developers and Internet marketers!

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