Enhancing the WordPress Author Page with Jetpack

If multiple contributors write for your blog, your readers might want to know more about whoever wrote the articles they’re reading. Additionally, your writers will want to get the recognition they deserve. To satisfy your readers and writers with a single solution, you might want to create a WordPress author page.

A well-crafted WordPress author page allows site contributors to present their credentials and affirms their professional clout, as they can share personal information about their writing experiences and links to their portfolios or past work.

Today, we’ll learn why author pages are beneficial, and how you can use Jetpack to create WordPress author pages that will make your contributors proud to write for you.

Add authority to your content with author pages

Imagine that you are creating a blog to promote your music school. Your school is staffed by many successful musicians, and letting them contribute to your blog might help to increase your school’s reputation in the music school industry. In this scenario, show off the accomplishments of each teacher with an author page.

Author pages can make your content more compelling by telling an audience why they should care about what your authors say. If readers know that your authors are experienced professionals, they may be more inclined to read and trust your content.

For example, let’s say that your site features a post about preparing for a music recital. This post will be more influential if your readers understand that it was written by a music teacher with more than 25 years of experience helping students prepare for recitals. This will elevate your post from “just another article,” to an authoritative and trustworthy resource.

Make your authors feel valued

Author pages can also improve the morale of your contributors by making them feel like their individual talents and backgrounds are valued. This can encourage writers to create even more content for your site and care more about the quality of what they’re creating.

Authors who feel valued might share and promote your site content, often without being asked to do so. Sometimes, authors have sizable followings and sharing content with their own networks can drive more readers to your site.

One way to encourage authors to share their content is to use Jetpack’s Sharing feature, which places social sharing buttons at the end of each post. With the click of a button, authors can share their latest posts on Facebook, Twitter, and more.

Add detailed contributor information to establish credibility

You can use basic WordPress functionality to create a full author profile, complete with a profile photo, a short biography, and links to an author’s website or social media profiles.

Go to Users > Add New to edit a writer’s basic information:

Creating a new user profile in WordPress

Be sure to use a good profile photo. Publishing author profile pictures reassures readers that your authors are real people, making it easier for them to trust that your content is reputable.

Author profile pictures typically take the form of headshots. Profile photos can also be pulled from a WordPress user’s Gravatar, which is a profile photo that follows users from site-to-site. If a Gravatar doesn’t make the cut, try out some helpful plugins to pick author photos, such as User Profile Picture.

Use an author-friendly theme

Another thing to think about: you may want to experiment with themes to find the perfect layout for your WordPress author pages. If a theme change is necessary, you can use Jetpack to search for free themes, and try them out before you commit to one.

Here are some examples of author pages on different themes. Ixion features a streamlined design and displays author names on author pages and at the tops of posts:

An author's page on the Ixiom theme

Gazette has a prominent author biography section, and includes image thumbnails within an author page’s post feed:

An authors page on the Gazette WordPress theme

If you upgrade to a Jetpack Professional plan, you can also select from premium themes, which offer even more styling options and settings for author pages.

Here is one example of a premium theme, Natural, which has special author page settings:

An author page on a premium WordPress theme

Customize author pages with widgets

Another opportunity for drawing attention to your authors lies within the sidebar. You can tailor the widgets that appear in your site’s sidebar to highlight your authors, or to complement your author pages.

Jetpack’s Authors Widget can be used to display the names and photos of everyone who writes for your site. You can use this widget to show off every talented contributor at the same time. Even better, visitors can click on any author listed within the widget to view their individual author page.

Using Widget Visibility settings with an authorYou can also use Widget Visibility to customize how your sidebar appears on every individual author page, giving you the opportunity to display more details about your authors, from videos of their past performances, to personalized lesson bookings.

Widget Visibility can also help you show or hide certain widgets on articles written by specific authors. If you want to declutter your sidebars to only showcase specific author information, you can do this as well.

Great widget options for an author page sidebar include the Jetpack Twitter Timeline widget and the customized Social Media Icons widget. You might also let your authors promote their own shows or events with the Upcoming Events widget.

Show off your writers with these tips

Jetpack offers a wide range of features to help you get the most from your WordPress author pages. Using these can help to make your authors feel valued while harnessing their authenticity and expertise to make your site more authoritative.

Do you have any tips for showing off your blog’s contributors? Let us know in the comments!

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Linda Scott profile
Linda Scott

Director at Silicon Dales.

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