A Change, Long Overdue

I have been blogging now for almost four years, and I will soon publish my 1,000th post. Every so often, a new-ish writer will ask me for advice about his or her site or ask me to help them out in some way. When that happens, I try my best to give honest feedback and actually sound intelligent.

In other words, after all this time blogging, one would think I would have figured it out to some extent.

Well….

Last night I was talking to one of my favorite PR people about one of her events next week in New York. We have known each other for a couple of years, and whenever our paths cross, it is truly a delight chatting with her and catching up a bit. Near the end of our phone conversation last night, she asked if she could give me a suggestion about my blog.

I immediately said “Of course!”

Ever since day one (January 12th, 2012) I have strived to improve the content I post here, so any advice, particularly from someone “in the biz” would be fantastic.

After assuring her that I did indeed want the feedback (I guess bloggers have a reputation of not taking outside input very favorably), she said:

“Your bio on your site, it, well, is not very good.”

Or something like that.

The view of the Schlossberg from the Kaysersberg castle.

The view of the Schlossberg from the Kaysersberg castle. One of my favorite views in all of Alsace. I figured this post needed a picture or two.

I tried to remember what my bio, or the “About” page even said.

She continued: “I read it again last night and it does not accurately describe you or your abilities as a writer, or what you try to do on your blog.”

Basically, although she would never put it this way, she was saying: “It sucks.”

I thanked her for her advice, letting her know that I would be addressing that page immediately. The second I hung up, I grabbed my laptop, turned it on, and navigated to my “About” page.  Here is what I found:

I have been a wine lover for some time now, but I try not to take it all that seriously.  I am also a Cat 3 cyclist, a husband, and a father of two great (most of the time) boys.  I love to combine all my passions when I vacation, especially when I am going to my in-laws.  Since they live close to Napa and Sonoma I can go there and get loaded as well as ride my bike in glorious California.

She was right. It sucked.

Gratuitous tractor picture--I love tractors.

Another gratuitous picture–I love tractors.

When I opened the page to start editing it, I saw a scary sight: “Published on January 16th, 2012.” I was horrified. Just about every time I go to a new website, I look for the “About” page first, wanting to know some background on what I was reading. And there was my bio that bears little to no resemblance on what I am trying to do on my blog.

Oh boy.

I was embarrassed.

In my defense, I really do not like writing about myself unless it is in a self-deprecating way and revisiting my own “About” page is as exciting to me as a root canal. But there it was, for nearly four years I have been telling people that I see wine as a means to getting “loaded.”

Yeesh.

So I have spent some time over the last twelve hours rewriting my “About” page, a task I should have addressed long ago. If you have the time, could you go over there and tell me what you think?

ABOUT PAGE

Be honest, I can handle it (I think).

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About the drunken cyclist

I have been an occasional cycling tour guide in Europe for the past 20 years, visiting most of the wine regions of France. Through this "job" I developed a love for wine and the stories that often accompany the pulling of a cork. I live in Houston with my lovely wife and two wonderful sons.
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60 Responses to A Change, Long Overdue

  1. sallybr says:

    I love it! I think you did a great job, but honestly, I don’t think the former page “sucked” – it was just simple and joyful. I think that this new one is definitely a lot more “professional”, and now I am afraid of looking at my own about page which is 6 and a half years old…. maybe you could take a peek and send me a smack upside the head? 😉 (I can take it)

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Yeah, that is better. Now, you’ve got me thinking how crappy my “about” is. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That is so funny, last night I updated my about page, it’s not very good and I didn’t change the content but provided an update. I have to go look at your about page I remember reading it a while back and thought it was good. I am coming onto my 4th year of blogging and I think I will re do the about page for my anniversary. Good reminder thanks Jeff.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Beth says:

    I commented on the about page, but I love that the storyteller told his own story. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Fiona says:

    Funny, this. “About” has been a theme I’ve bee reading about on a number of blogs this week and your new iteration is much, much better. 1,000 posts in four years – phew! Congratulations – in anticipation! I’m on 114 in 21 months and am just under 500 shy of 1,000 views. But I only post once a week…. usually.

    About that “about”: I confess that it’s a pet peeve of mine that if a blogger’s bio doesn’t do it for me, I don’t follow him/her. It’s the second thing I look at after that first piece that “led” me there. If it’s very cryptic and doesn’t suggest a “good” or logical reason for anonymity, I’m instantly put off.

    I admit to having re-visited mine a couple of times as my blog has begun evolving. (I see that I need to add that I live in a great wine-producing region :P) I guess it’s a bit like the ubiquitous resume that one should review from time to time. What a necessary pain in the a….

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sean Munger says:

    Hmm, maybe I should overhaul mine too!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve always struggled with the About page. My first one was approximately the length of Moby Dick. My current one is probably woefully short, but I’m unwilling to change it because 1) laziness and 2) I really really really hate writing about myself.

    The new one is really good, well-written (not a surprise). But maybe both pics in the cycling gear is a little too obvious? I’d substitute a non-cycling one for the second. But keep the first one that shows you ROCKING THE FANNY PACK!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Theresa says:

    Great reminder to go do an update on my ‘About’ page! Yes, things change.

    I think the rewrite captures the essence of where you are and how you got there much better than the previous page but I do have one bit of constructive criticism. (You said you could take it.) Personally, I think it is a bit too long. The beauty of the old one was that it was both humorous and succinct…even if it was a little bit off-course from where you find yourself today.

    My suggestion would be to revisit it in a few weeks and then fine-tune. Knowing you, it will evolve to become even better. That’s the thing about change. You’re never really done doing it. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Josh says:

    Jeff,

    Much better. I think when someone feels like they get to know you through your About page, they’re more likely to come back for more content.

    In regards to the name, I never once assumed when I first started following you that you were getting gunned and then riding your bike around recklessly. It’s a clever way to combine your two biggest passions into one catchy title. If someone assumes otherwise and criticizes you for it, they probably haven’t looked at your blog at all, so who cares?

    Cheers
    Josh

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Kat says:

    First, congrats on the milestone! It’s not easy to maintain a blog with passion and conviction. Second, I think your About page describes your blog MUCH better, as well as shows you in a bit more “serious” light instead of a “drunken cyclist.” 😉 Nice job! I hate writing About pages, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Lisa says:

    Well, it is much better than before. You’ve made a clearer description of what this site is all about. And good job on making it clear that you do not ride under the influence, as what your website URL may suggest! 🙂

    You know, more cyclists are getting into coffeeneuring. Is there a way to do it with wine, instead of coffee?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Leeann Froese says:

    I like the updates Jeff – looking good. I also just updated the About page on my Town Hall Brands company site last month – it does take some time and effort to reflect and I agree is not that easy to do (and I am open to any changes). When we do our corporate materials (even though we write for a living) we hire an external editor to review and make sure that we are presenting ourselves in the way we hope others to see us, as well as conveying the who / what / when / where / why that is required.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Pamela says:

    ¡Me gusta! I think an About page should always leave the reader feeling as if there’s a real person behind the blog, and you succeeded. Cheers/Salud!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Your new About page is wonderful. Interesting. You share how multi-faceted you are. Explain the name, and your focus. Photos are great!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I think it’s good to revisit your “About” page once a year. I probably need to split mine up and have an “About” page and something along the lines of a “Work With Me” or “Media/Press” page. A tip I got on my “About” page was to link to your existing content that’s an example of your experience. Like where it says, “…and have ventured into Oregon, Washington, and New York…” have a link pointing to a blog post from each state, etc.

    Also, I’m squatting on the URL for “TheGuyWhoRidesaBikeHardintheMorningSoHeCanEnjoyaNiceBottleofWineWithDinnerandNotFeel GuiltyAboutIt.com” so you’d have to pay me an exorbitant fee to claim it. So stick with TDC.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Alright, it is now entered on to the salendar to revisit the page in October next year. Thanks for the tips and let me know your price for the domaine name. I likely will have to start squirreling away cash right away to save up. Can I pay you in coins or unused metro cards?

      Like

  16. Mz. Nichols says:

    Sheesh! How much will you charge to redo my Welcome page? I will send wine!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  17. dwdirwin says:

    I give it 2 thumbs and a big toe up! I find the “about” thing isn’t that important to me since I’ve followed you awhile and have learned “about” you through your posts, but I can see that a good about would be advantageous to gaining new followers. I probably should change mine since I describe myself as a newbie blogger and have it describe the winery instead.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, those of the “old guard” likely don’t ever go there, but I do know that I always go to the about page when I visit a blog for the first time. A pet peeve: I don’t like it when there is no photo of the author.

      Like

  18. barnraised says:

    Love it. Especially the little disclaimer 🙂 Definitely don’t change your name. I’m also guilty of the outdated “about” page. You’ve inspired me to get to thinking about and updating mine….soon, I hope!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Outstanding! The new page has much more “personality”! It’s fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Lynn Millar says:

    I must have read your About a long time ago. I go there first too after someone ‘follows’ me or is a new ‘like’. — Suggest shorter before getting to second paragraph –
    Beginning in 2012, I thought that I would write equally about wine and cycling, my biggest passions.
    Soon my focus became almost exclusively on wine for one simple reason: I found the more compelling stories involved wine–from the vineyard, to the tasting room, to the table. Just about every time there is wine in a glass, there is a story to be told.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Jeff, very impressive, though you forget to mention that you accept wines for review. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Even though some say it is a little long, I read all the way through it to the end, so you must be doing something right!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. lolabees says:

    This is funny… I keep thinking I need to go back and make my blog better, but I never seem to find the time. it’s so easy to keep on truckin’ and never look back. Off to see the new about page…

    Liked by 1 person

  24. momof3 says:

    A very wise boss once told me: don’t bury your lede. And your lede is your third paragraph: I am a storyteller. Don’t make us wait til the third (albeit short) paragraph.

    But you need to add to that because you’re also a story listener, and that’s important too.

    I would like to read more in your About section as to how you’re able to get these great stories, both cycling and wine. I do neither. I run and drink beer. But i’m an avid reader because of your story-listening and story telling.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Manu Stanley says:

    I also strongly recommend that you keep changing as you evolve. For me, I keep doing that. The new About section is great and presents your interests in more detail. Honestly, the new About section matches the weight of the content (and the efforts you take create its idea) that you present through this blog. If I am not mistaken, you have a profile in About.Me and that’s where I found you. In my case I have created an About.Me box on my blog. Though I haven’t tracked the count of my posts, I have been blogging since 2004. Hope this helps. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Miia says:

    It reads well, it is attractive and professional. And funny. Reminds me that my About is probably the worst text in my blog…. and has no photos! I liked your two photos. Summarizes well your blog 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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