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How Your About Page Can Make or Break Your Blog

This guest post is by Lea Woodward of www.DotNetConnector.com.

Did you know that the second place many new readers go after hitting the home page of your blog is your About page? Go and check your stats and you’ll probably see that if it’s not up there at #2, it’s probably still pretty high up on the list of “most viewed” links. Chris Brogan noticed this, so it must be true!

This isn’t really a surprise—most people are curious to find out more about who writes the blog they’ve just landed on. While they’re looking for this information, they’re probably thinking three things:

  • Who is this guy or girl telling me all about how to make money blogging?
  • Should I stick around and read more?
  • Is it worth me bookmarking or subscribing to this site and coming back again?

If you don’t lose readers at the home page (which you can avoid by compelling headlines and killer content to browse around), the second most common place to lose them is at your About page.

Here’s how to avoid that—and how to ensure your About page makes your blog, rather than breaks it.

Introduce yourself

Tell us what your name is, and include a photo. This sounds simple but I can’t tell you how many About pages I’ve read where the blogger frequently mentions “I” and “me”, or “we” and “us”, where the username is “admin” and there’s no mention of a name (or names) anywhere on the site—not even the About page.

The exception of course is if you’re blogging anonymously, but even so, it’s nice to give yourself (or your alter ego) a pen name. People like names and they like to put a face to a name, even if it’s cartoon one.

Remember the mantra: WIIFM?

Somewhere up near the top of your About page, it’s a good idea to tell readers what’s in it for them if they stick around on your site and even subscribe. They’ll be scanning your page thinking, “What’s in it for me? Should I stick around?” If you can answer that succinctly early on, you’ll save them time and attract the kind of audience you’re actually looking for.

About them

If your blog covers a wide range of topics and it’s not super-targeted, it can be useful to actually state who your blog is for. You can even be as obvious as to include a “Who this blog is for” section listing a few items describing your ideal readers. It’s a fast, simple way to help readers figure out whether they want to stick around or not.

Be personal, but not too personal

It depends upon the topic of your blog, but it’s usually a good idea to share your credentials or expertise in the topic you’re blogging about. If you don’t have any, and you’re writing more of a “share your journey” blog, then say this. It helps people figure out where you are on the path in relation to them, and whether they’ll get something from sticking around.

The depth and level of personal information you share will depend upon the type of blog you’re writing—whether it’s a topic-focused blog or more of a personality-based blog.

Determine the goal of your About page

As you’ve probably gathered by now, your About page isn’t just a place to tell people more about you: it can be so much more. You need to determine the goal(s) of your About page, and then make sure that your page achieves those goals. For example, your About page can:

  • be an ideal place to highlight your best content, allowing you to share links to deeper content within your site
  • encourage people to sign up to your newsletter—which works especially well for “behind the scenes” newsletters and those which are used to share more personal information from the blogger
  • give readers other ways to connect with you, by sharing links to your social media profiles and encouraging readers to connect with you there, too
  • provide readers with social proof and testimonials, helping to establish your credibility and authority from the start.

Always end with a call to action

Your About page is a great place to encourage those who’ve stuck with you until the end of the page, to keep going … but you do need to give them some direction. This goes hand in hand with the point above: once you’ve determined what you’d like your About page to do for your site and your readers, make sure you end strongly by giving readers pointers about the next steps to take, should they be interested.

The above advice can be summarized in the following three points. Your About page should, at the very least, achieve the following:

  • Introduce the person and personality behind the blog.
  • Help new readers easily identify whether your blog is for them.
  • Direct them to do something specific once they’ve read it (whatever it is you’d ideally like them to do next).

Take advantage of this golden opportunity to make another great impression on new readers and create an About page that helps your blog stand out from the others.

What does your About page say about you?

Lea Woodward helps bloggers and online entrepreneurs craft About pages that make stronger, deeper, longer-lasting connections with readers at www.DotNetConnector.com. You can connect with her on Twitter @leawoodward or on her personal blog, www.LeaWoodward.com.

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Comments

  1. Andy Merrett says:

    My “about” pages tend to hover around the #40 position of popularity, because people are generally looking for the evergreen content that’s in #1+.

    Sorry to be picky but with regard to: “While they’re looking for this information, they’re probably thinking…: Who is this guy or girl telling me all about how to make money blogging?”

    Why are we still so hung up on the relatively few bloggers blogging about making money from blogging? We bloggers are a diverse bunch – that’s the whole point of niches, of which there are thousands upon thousands.

    • Lea Woodward says:

      You’re right, Andy – and I don’t blog about making money either. I could have been more creative in the example I chose – fair point ;)

  2. Mike Lopez says:

    Just checked my stats and it’s true. Hmm, never thought of that (yeah, I haven’t been checking my stats for months). I need to make that page look better. – Mike

    • dotCOMreport says:

      I check my stats regularly and yeah, the About page gets a lot of visits. If I like a blog enough to read a few posts, I’d generally check who the blog author is and what they’re passionate about.

      Great tips Lea; thanks.

  3. Toby says:

    Wow great post and a much overlooked area, I’d not thought about that page in so much depth before, now you raise it -it makes sense I’m off now to update mine and consider the points you raise many thanks

  4. Jia Jun says:

    Agree~ Thanks for the post Lea Woodward.
    You make some great points here, one of the thing I will apply right away is the call to action, which lead readers where should they land next after get to know me.
    Others I will improve it as well, to attract readers to know more about me, and my contents in my blogs, everything. :D
    It’s like a poster or even trailer of our website, people get the understand about what is in that website, and whether they should stick with it and read on.

  5. Kat Fulton says:

    Great! Thanks a lot! I’m totally revamping my about page, and I just inserted a call to action. Small steps, but should reap great benefits. Thanks for posting this~

    • Lea Woodward says:

      Kat – really interesting work you do. I love the beginning of your about page – the links to the questions and further information is a nice touch.

      Can you add a call to action at the end of the “About Kat” section too? You kind of get to the end of the page and think…now what? Maybe even reiterate the questions at the top?

      • Kat Fulton says:

        Did it! Thank you for your help – fabulous tips. Now, I’ve got so much more to work on . . . (in addition to my offline work, too!) Thanks much! =)

  6. Craig says:

    I never put my about page up when I moved from textpattern to wordpress. It’s funny that I just got it up yesterday, and here comes this article tweeted to my inbox. Thanks for the information; if I use what you say as measuring stick, it looks like I’m about half done…

  7. Great food for thought, here. It’s causing me to go back and reread my About page – something I haven’t done in quite a while – and to think about how I can make better use of it. Thanks for giving me reason to take a fresh look.

  8. Man is a social being, even offline when you are interacting with others you indeed would want to know something about them. I agree totally with Lea Woodward.

  9. I agree with a few others who’ve noted that what stuck out for me was putting a call to action on my about page. I may have heard that bit of advice before, but it didn’t stick for whatever reason. Thanks for the reminder, I have a new item on my to do list now :-).

    • Lea Woodward says:

      Cheryl – I like the split of your about content between the 2 pages…definitely add a call to action, it’ll really help introduce people to the next step in their exploration of your site :)

  10. Togrul says:

    Thanks for sharing this Lea,

    I guess I need to have a look at my Abouth page after I’ve read this.

    Cheers,
    Togrul

  11. I’m definitely going to look at mine when I leave here. So many people (you’re right about that) don’t even include one.

  12. Stefano says:

    Hi Lea, thanks for this post with many practical hints: to me it can be very helpful since I have just started blogging (though trying to avoid “analysis/paralysis” and keep going and making mistakes …).
    In my blog the usual content you’d find in an “About” page is split in two pages: a “Topics” section introducing the contents of the blog with some notes for the readers, and a “Authors” section where I put personal information about me (with picture, real name, personal information related to the blog, etc.). My “call to action” is for anyone willing to contribute regulerly as a co-author (that’s why the page is “Authors”) or with guest posts.
    How do you see this approach of splitting the section?
    Thanks,
    Stefano

    • Lea Woodward says:

      Stefano – I like the idea behind splitting Topics & Authors. How about adding a call to action at the end of the “Topics” section though? Don’t end it with the apology!

  13. Daniel says:

    Good points, Lea.
    If I have read an interesting article, I often tend to end up on the about page.
    Maybe it’s just a case of wishing to put a face and a personality, to the content I am reading.
    After reading your article, I see there is far more that I could do within this section of a blog(Website).

    Daniel.

  14. Wasim Ismail says:

    About us page is defiantly one the most important pages on a website, hence its usually the second button on the navigation just after “Home”. Like the idea of having a call of action on your about us page, it should have a clear info about whom you/company are, your goals, future past, basically everything what one would need.
    Some even split the about us page into sections, with a sub menu, such as, History, Company, Future, Achievements….etc
    Nice Work

  15. Looks like i have lots of reword to do.
    Thanks for the fantastic post

  16. Nikhil Varma says:

    You are exactly right Lea. I did not have About Page when I started my blog because I did not want to show off my name and photo. But later as part of the customary practice I added an about page with both and showed the result. The reason why it turned out better for me could be because I had written a story which my dad had told as well. It conveyed the theme of the Blog well. Readers love stories rite..

  17. Great article!

    I am forever changing my “about me” pages – as the blogs develop and grow, the message I wish to put across also changes. Don’t forget to also add links to your mailing list and twitter account within the body text on the “about me” page.

  18. Teguh Bayu says:

    Your blog is very nice and helpful. This is my first visit and I intend to be your loyal reader

  19. Simon Turner says:

    Hi Lea. This was a very practical post which is a great reminder. My blog is still quite young but I noticed very early on that people were heading straight for my About page – it has ranked 2nd or 3rd over the whole lifetime of the Blog, so far. I decided to create a different approach to my About page – I called it Simon Turner 101 and simply listed 101 (interesting?) facts about me and what I am trying to do.

    This has actually been a big success. I have been surprised that people have even asked me if it’s ok to copy my idea, which of course, it is. I didn’t come up with the idea – but cannot quite recall where I saw it.

    The good thing is that knowing the About page is such a magnet for visitors means I can work on strategies to use it better and better to keep people reading and coming back.

    Thanks for this info.

  20. I’m in the midst of reworking the ThesisReady about page… I’m glad I read this. I saw so close to making a huge rookie mistake and leaving out my call to action. Yikes! That’s marketing 101 stuff!

    Thank you!

  21. Talk about coincidences! I was just lying in the bath this morning thinking I should rewrite my about page and wondering how I should go about it…

    Thanks for the great tips!

  22. Thanks Lea,

    I recently re-did my about page after looking at how Copyblogger does theirs. That said, my About page is one of the least viewed pages on my site..!

    Still, developing an objective for your About page, creating calls to action that are designed to fulfil the objective and couching the page in terms of the benefits your site offers to readers is, without doubt, the smart thing to do.

    Cheers,

    Martin.

    • Lea Woodward says:

      I wonder if that’d change if you changed the position of the about page on your navigation bar…that said, you’ve got a nice little box right up at the top which tells people instantly what they’ll get from your site so that may reduce the need for people to check out the about page. If it’s working where it is, no need to change :)

  23. Ben says:

    Hmm, I checked my stats and can’t find that anyone checks my about page. Guess I must be the exception.

  24. Great post, Lea. It highlights what, to many bloggers (myself included), is almost an afterthought. Your comments resonate with me precisely because the “About” page is generally where I go first. Nice fresh thinking.

    Jeff

  25. I would have to agree…people buy (and work with…) PEOPLE, not a Company….

  26. Pete Carr says:

    Hi Lea,
    It took me a while to realize the importance of an about page. You are spot on though, it is the second most viewed page on my blog. With comments too.
    Pete

    • Lea Woodward says:

      Definitely – and the about page is even more important when the blog is clearly by a single person who is sharing their advice and knowledge about the niche in question. A good about page can be a great place to build credibility or establish the foundations of it.

  27. Allie says:

    This article has been very helpful to me! I have been stuck on my About Me page. It is one of the hardest things to write for a blog. Mostly because you have to write about yourself, without sounding full of yourself.

    I will be working on it this week to fine tune it to your suggestions. And thanks so much for the “call to action” tip. I always wondered why I read an about me page, get to the end and feel a little lost. What do I do now? Some direction at the end is great so the reader can continue reading your blog.

    • Lea Woodward says:

      You’ve made a pretty good start, Allie :) Figuring out what to say on your about page is a great way to clarify what your blog’s/business purpose actually is…once you’ve done that, it can help to clarify who it’s for and then what your readers would like to know about you and your site which would help then connect with you and you connect with them.

  28. My two biggest takeaways from your article: tell them what’s in it for them, and end with a call to action. I think it’s now time to go and update my about pages :)

    • Lea Woodward says:

      Spot on, Steve – I definitely think those are the 2 key ingredients of a decent about page, above all the others (except perhaps ensuring you mention your name, if you’re not blogging anonymously).

    • Lea Woodward says:

      Spot on, Steve – I definitely think those are the 2 key ingredients of a decent about page, above all the others (except perhaps ensuring you mention your name, if you’re not blogging anonymously).

  29. I have been planning to go back and revisit my about page soon. I write from a very personal standpoint, and have a lot of the personal back story on my about page. I also want to start being considered as a freelance writer and eventually consuting, so I think I need to break up the about page some and make some changes. I may make a “work with me” page as well.
    Thanks for the insight!
    Bernice
    The Gifts of Imperfection- A Giveaway!

  30. Hey Lea this was good. I need to add the best of content I never seem to get the time.

  31. I like to stay all mysterious. I hardly say anything.

  32. I’ve tried using the ‘about me’ feature on a few on my blogs but they don’t tend to get many hits, so I removed them altogether. Could it not make the site look more professional if it’s anonymous?

  33. Well thanks
    just check my about page and determine
    you are right viewers should understand who the writer or blogger is before they react or act on what they are reading

  34. It’s something that I think I need to go and put a bit of work in to alright. Even though it’s one of the first places I’ll stop by on other blogs it is probably one of the pages I am least likely to edit on my own blog as I always forget about it!

    • Lea Woodward says:

      Niall – that’s one of the reasons I started Dot Net Connector! I noticed how often I went to read someone’s about page but how neglected many of them are. Plus it’s a great way to get to know clients better :)

  35. Susan says:

    Thanks for the kick in the backside…not only was mine boring, it was 18 months outdated, with information that was flat-out wrong now! I’ve updated it (and, yes, added a photo) and I like it much better. Great ideas.

  36. Karen Cioffi says:

    Great information, and makes sense. Whenever I go to a new site, especially if I’m thinking about subscribing to that site, I want to know who the site owner is and what qualifies him/her to be offering the info.

    It’s a shame, but I still come across sites where I have to search to find out who the owner is. In fact some sites if the info is there it’s hidden so well, I can’t find it.

    Thanks for sharing this.

  37. I’m in awe to think such simple, clear advice could make such a huge difference!

    I’m decidedly going to add a “call to action”! Ha!

    Many thanks!!!

  38. What great advice. I’m going to edit my info right now !

  39. Wow – great post! And talk about a call to action! My About page just went through a serious update, giving people the option to follow me on twitter, friend on facebook, and sign up for the newsletter – none of which were there before!

  40. Shaleen Shah says:

    I like the last tip you wrote here – to end the About Us page with a call to action. I believe I will have to revamp my page then and see if I’ll get more sign ups then. Now, my question to you is – do you believe that the design of your website alone has the power to turn off your site visitors? I think there are people who judge a website not by its content, but how it pleased their eyes. I hope I’m wrong with this assumption. Thanks for the awesome tips!

  41. Ben says:

    Hmm, must be the exception to the rule since no one seems to stop by my about page or at least the stats don’t show it.

    Nice reminder that I do need to update it.

    • Lea Woodward says:

      Hey Ben – not sure if blogspot/blogger logs visits to your about profile in the stats so maybe that’s why? For sites where the about page isn’t in the top 5 most viewed pages, it’s usually because it’s not an obvious option in the main navigation bar and/or because the link to the about page is more difficult to find. That’s not always a bad thing but if the success of your site relies upon your audience connecting with you/your team, then it’s useful to make the about page easy to find.

  42. Emily Foshee says:

    Thank you for the valuable info in this post. The About Me or About Us page is vital to a blog’s success for so many reasons. The biggest reason, to me, is this page gives your readers a chance to relate to you. If written correctly, the About page presents you a real, live, human being that has climbed up through the ranks and how has years of experience to offer the reader. This info should be close to the top of the page. People are so pressed for time today that they’re not going to spend more than 30 seconds on your site if they don’t think your information will benefit them.

    Emily Foshee

  43. Steve Roy says:

    Lea,
    Great article and well timed. I had a reader recently blast my About Me page and I decided to revamp it. Your suggestions came in handy! Thanks

  44. Alex says:

    This is by far the best post I have read about… the about page.
    I like how you created the framework and even a goal for the page!
    Certianly puts what is required into a good order, especially when highlighted with a CTA

    I so need to redo mine, there is no WIIFM or CTA (or any other acronyms for that matter)

    Thanks Lea!

  45. Vivek Parmar says:

    that’s a great read. An about me page is something that will help you get most from it.
    Let’s say for example, if i’m new to problogger – after reading content i like to check the about me page so that i can learn more about this blog in less time and if the interest matters then i like to subscribe to his blog.
    An about me page works as a first impression you made on any other. So make it as much fresh as you can

  46. I have a high number of people check out my about page, but I still don’t think the majority get the concept of the website. Perhaps it’s time for a rewrite. :)

    However, the ones that do, seem to love the idea.

  47. Just finally updated two of my about pages from two sentences to more. Might be long winded now but they will know more about me than before. It is always a balance between too much information (in the wrong hands) and being open enough for the target audience to attract visitors that are really interested

    http://www.freelancetourist.com/about/
    http://www.eileenludwig.com/about/

  48. Gin says:

    I love the About Me page. The perfect opportunity to reach out to the public and say, ‘Hello!’ and I have been told it’s like l am talking as if l’m right there which they like. Great tips and reminder! :)

  49. Hi Darren,

    My about page need a revamp. It is static and uninteresting.

    Call to action is something I never thought about. Thanks for sharing this post.

  50. Jason says:

    My about page totally needed this article. Thank you so much for sharing it. I think I improved it about 800% by applying the changes. I had a couple of them already, but the rest made it even better. Thanks!

    -j