Do Great Links Make Best ‘About Me’ Copy?

Writing a good ‘About me’ section is tough. Author and journalist Leo Benedictus’ ‘About Me’ page is short – just 218 words – but uses many witty and informative links to engage the reader. It all adds up to a great job of selling the man and his first novel The Afterparty.

Benedictus worked as an advertising copywriter and it shows. The content is fresh and engaging. I was filing it away as best practice before I’d even explored the links. There are about 30 which entertain and inform. Discover them for yourself by going to Leo Benedictus’  About Me now or read on for an overview.

Evocative scene setting:

  • December 1975: Movie magazine covers from that month and year
  • late 1990s Youtube video of  Underworld’s ‘Born Slippy’ anthem
  • 2002: Youtube video of David Beckham’s World Cup penalty against Argentina

Some nice jokes illustrate his story:

  • Jon Snow: Links to exotic tie selection
  • Random House: Youtube of a ‘random house’ music mix
  • concentrate on writing: Man modelling Marks & Spencer dressing gowns
  • Mention of a special immigration issue of the Guardian’s G2 section published in January 2005: Sun newspaper story ‘Harry says sorry for Nazi outfit’

But on a business note he makes sure to communicate his credentials:

And of course it all leads on to the sales (in the nicest possible way):

  • buy it now links to buy the book on Amazon
  • Or you can read the first chapter here.

And here’s the rest of the links that spice up the story:

When I tweeted a link to Leo Benedictus he tweeted back: ”Gosh, thank you JPD! Wonderful to be noticed. I took more trouble over it, and pleasure in it, than it is decent to admit. L’

I disagree. This ‘About me’ column perfectly reflects the person and the product that it is promoting. The opening paragraph of  Sam Leith’s review of The Afterparty in the Guardian:

‘Strap yourselves in, postmodernism fans. This is a book within a book, based on a true story. Well, not true-true. That is to say, the true story that is fictionalised in “The Afterparty” (the book-within-a-book) isn’t actually true: it is a figment of the imagination of the author of The Afterparty (the book under review here).’


If you know of better, please share. Some of the qualities we are looking for seem to be:

  • Short and sweet
  • Engage and entertain
  • Show don’t tell
  • Be appropriate
  • Be inventive
  • Subtly sell and promote

By the way, sadly the many links don’t help with Google search rankings because they are going the wrong way. Ah well, you can’t have everything.



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