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9 Comments

  1. Posted February 23, 2013 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    I would love it if you would let me know what you think of my author description.

    Thank you!!

    • Posted February 23, 2013 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

      Just to clarify this for everyone, an author description is the bio written in WordPress on the My Profile panel of the WordPress Administration Panels > Users. Your bio is found on the About Page and includes the purpose of the site. What you have done is summarized the meeting of your husband in a post. This doesn’t qualify for either the author description nor the About information. You are not on WordPress, but that doesn’t change the terminology of the parts and pieces.

      A charming story, your author description is: “Teressa Morris is a part-time bookkeeper, full-time blogger, wife and mom of one teenager, one adult child and two furbabies.”

      I’d love to rip this apart in depth for you, but I’ll summarize with questions. Does your blog deal with bookkeeping, being a wife and mother, teenage life, mother of an adult (that’s just worded so oddly – why not say two grown kids?), and furry creatures? Or is your blog about all of these things? Is it important to identify yourself as a blogger on your own blog? How do you make your income as a blogger? Through bookkeeping, blogging about parenting, or furry creatures?

      Going through your site and reading your About Page (see many of the blog exercises about defining who you are on your site, the Prove It series, and this article on About Pages and bios for more on the subject), you are covering some fascinating subjects but none of them have much to do with your bio or author description. The great content is lost with the mix poor advertising and blogging contests, gimmicks to make money that aren’t working for you or your readers. The issues on transgender, parenthood, and struggling to survive in this economy are tough subjects, deserving each one their own site. If you focused on these three, you would be golden, but the site covers a wide range of unrelated topics, which is fine for a personal site, but not the site of a professional full-time blogger.

      As you stated you are a full-time blogger, which implies professional, I’m responding as a professional to a professional. All of this is more than what you requested, but your bio needs reworking from the About Page to the author description, honing the rough diamond to the true treasure you and your blogging really is for people, especially those dealing with the same struggles.

      Use these blog exercises as an opportunity to go through your categories and topics and hone them down to the ones attracting the greatest traffic and interest. Clean up your navigation, ads, and the odd design elements that make the site difficult to read and use. It won’t take much work, and in WordPress it would be much easier than what you are using, but you should be able to quickly update the site to be clean, well structured, and organized to benefit your readers, focused on the topics you are so passionate about. They are topics so many people need to hear and read, to know they are not alone.

      If I was to find one phrase that sums up the glimpse of what you blog about I would have to say “you are not alone” is key. You have a huge audience to reach out to, parents, those struggling with children who are “different,” understanding transgender issues (this is huge and you appear to be tackling it like it is “normal” instead of sinful, evil, and disgusting – congrats!!! Good for you!), and finding self-value in these hard times. Your words reassure people, give them faith and courage to go on, and really connect. Don’t let the surface details get in the way of that. It is so necessary right now.

      Thanks for letting me be blunt. I do hope it helps. It is offered with love as I recognize the beauty in your passion and it really moves me.

    • Posted February 24, 2013 at 12:04 am | Permalink

      Lorelle-I really appreciate the advice, although I honestly thought all I would get was a critique of the author description at the end of the post,as you say at the end of your blog. I will definitely rewrite that description and think about the other changes you have suggested. Just to clarify, my blog is self-hosted, but it is definitely using the WordPress framework. I installed WordPress myself and have built the blog from scratch.

    • Posted February 25, 2013 at 9:38 am | Permalink

      Ah, so it is. I looked at didn’t notice much under the hood that was WordPress but now I see it. Odd. Thanks for clarifying that.

      As for the additional advice, as you pointed to a post that told your story, I assumed that you meant the biographical story to be your bio and description. I’m thrilled that you know the right terms as so many I work with don’t, and much of my time is spent teaching them them the names of things. I come from the school of thought that if you don’t know the names, it’s really hard to get help and fixes. Good for you!

      I do hope I helped. You are doing some amazing things on your site that so many people need. Thanks for taking the risk to share so openly and help others. You are amazing!

  2. Posted September 9, 2013 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    Hello Lorelle,
    I’ve found, over the past year, that I have been unable to get it to update my Bio and (not the avatar, the other one… they call it something else.. bragatar or something). It saves the information, but won’t update it on the site. I saw something about disabling a plug-in on a website, but I have never put on an “edit author slug”.. unless it’s in the prog already?
    Help please?
    have posted to the forums and never had any answers.
    Thanks,
    Liz

    • Posted September 9, 2013 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

      It is called a Gravatar and you can sign into Gravatar.com to update your avatar image. Gravatars are built into WordPress. To change your Gravatar, sign in and change the image. The image is associated with your email address. Check your email address associated with WordPress.com or your site to ensure the address matches.

      This has nothing to do with the author description or a WordPress Plugin (no hyphen in the spelling).

      I’m sorry you didn’t get the answers you need. This is a common question and a search should have turned up an answer. Thanks.

    • Posted September 9, 2013 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Lorelle, I’ve sorted that bit out… but have been unable to change the bio.,.. if you look at my site, you see the bio as shown. What shows up when I go into my profile for editing is:

      Hello, I am excited to have completed my first novel, an Historical Fictional Suspense with Romantic Elements: “Seventeen year old Aleksandra Lekarski, alone and running to prevent her pa’s killer from obtaining a secret which could allow world domination by the Czar, conceals herself as a boy Pony Express rider in 1860′s Utah Territory. …thanks so much for visiting. Lizzi”

      but when i hit update, it saves this last bit correctly, every time I open it, it’s still there… but it doesn’t change it on my page…
      I’m not understanding this..
      Thanks!

    • Posted September 10, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      There are profile text areas all over a WordPress site, but it sounds like you are talking about your Gravatar profile. Go to Gravatar.com, as mentioned, and change your profile there. It may take time for your profile to update on your site and across the web with sites and services using Gravatars. If it continues to be a problem, contact Gravatar for more assistance as I do not specialize in their service.

      On WordPress, there is the bio area set under Users > My Profile that may appear on author pageviews and a text area in the sidebar in a Text Widget you may customize to use as a bio, which it looks like you have done.

      If I may, I also recommend you clean up your sidebar and add a search form at the top. I had a terrible time finding information on your site. You may also wish to categorize your posts to help users find related content on the site. This added to the confusion in navigating around the site.

      Congrats on the writing and book and I hope this help.

    • Posted September 10, 2013 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

      Thanks very much! I really appreciate your comments and your taking the time to answer.
      The gravatar was changed two days ago and still hasn’t changed on site.
      Will work on it later!
      Thanks again,
      Kindest regards from NZ,
      Lizzi


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