Author Name. Nuisance or Necessity?41
Photo by TonivS Every free template includes the author’s name near the content of each post. You would have to look hard to find one that didn’t. But why should you keep the name there?
Single and Multiple Authors
The purpose of giving the name so close to a post is to give credit to the person who wrote that post. This is important in multiple-author blogs where the author changes from post to post. Regular readers will be interested to know who is writing which posts, and the writers deserve credit for their work.
However, in a single-author blog, the author does not change from post to post. Regular readers do not need to be told your name over and over again as they know it already and can assume that the writer hasn’t changed.
For a new reader, your name matters little. They will read the content first, and if they liked that, they may then choose to discover a little more about you. There is no need to plaster your name on every post though. There are other methods of doing it.
Getting Your Name Out
Instead of forcing your name upon your regular readers again and again, why not use another method of introducing yourself to new readers?
- The About page. The most obvious solution is often the best. Provided the link to the About page is clear, your readers have access to all the information they will need about you.
- The blog footer. In Darren Rowse’s recent Problogger redesign, he moved his photograph and blurb into the page footer. This works because the information is there for those who want it (the reader who read the whole page), but not in the way of those who don’t (Regular readers).
- The website title. Many bloggers name their websites after themselves. For example, one of the most popular online money-making blogs is written by John Chow, and the site title is simply John Chow Dot Com. With that title, is there any need for John to write “Written by John Chow” under every headline?
As with all aspects of design, there are exceptions to the rule. Lorelle VanFossen blogs about blogging, and focuses on the community aspect in particular. She is very personal, and ends all of her posts with an authentic signature. If a similarly unique touch would lighten up your blog, go for it!
So, do you show your name on your blog? And more importantly, should you?
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