Although it’s often an afterthought, the “About” page on any blog or website is often the second- or third-most visited page, after the home page. That makes it pretty important to the overall success of your online investment in writing and selling yourself, given how many eyeballs are going to be looking at it.
But admit it: have you felt any enthusiasm for updating it lately? Or how about just making it better? Have you focused instead on content everywhere else but the About page? Yep, that’s me, too. I mean, sure I always look at someone’s About page after I’ve gotten hooked on the front page or a really interesting post. I’ve read some really great stuff on those About pages, things that make me want to know more about the blogger or the company I’m viewing. For myself, though, I have tended to live in denial or I just keep procrastinating about improving my own About page.
No more, though. It’s time to “be” a lot different in creating what needs to be an amazing About page. Try these 10 ways:
- Be authentic. This is “About” you, right? This is your chance to talk about yourself as the main subject matter. It’s OK to accentuate the positive or include some details that might border on the irrelevant. You want people to have a chance to get to know the real you or get a better feel for your company. Don’t present yourself as someone who you aren’t, with characteristics that don’t match your “real-life” personality. People are more perceptive than you give them credit for; most have no problem spotting phoniness and avoiding you in the future.
- Be truthful. This isn’t the same thing as being authentic. It’s what your mother always said. Don’t make up stuff. Don’t fudge your accomplishments. Don’t stretch the truth to its breaking point. Ever.
- Be interesting. If people have clicked on this page, they want to know something more about you or your company than what they read on the home page. Tell them a good story about what you’ve done to get here. Or about how you treat your clients. Or your philosophy on life, work and everything in between them.
- Be consistent. This ties to being interesting. If you have a certain style that you show in writing your blog posts or other content on your site, don’t switch horses midstream for the About page. There isn’t any rule that says your About page has to be straight-laced or button-upped serious if the rest of your site isn’t. It’s jarring and makes people wonder about your authenticity, or if multiple faceless people or even bots are writing stuff.
- Be informative. Should go without saying on any page titled “About,” right? But people often don’t talk about aspects of their past experience that could be relevant. Talk about your education or your work experience. What credentials do you have that might impress? Maybe even brag a bit about your accomplishments. If you don’t do it here, no one is going to do it somewhere else.
- Be persuasive. If people took the time to click on the page, there’s a good chance they might be favorably disposed, or at least curious, in finding out if there’s anything you could do for them. Tell people what you did (covered above), and then tell them what you can do for them now.
- Be brief. Your About page shouldn’t go on for paragraphs. Treat it like any other blog entry, and keep it under about 750 words or so.
- Be different. Chances are that you know what other types of blogs or businesses are out there that are similar to you. Take the opportunity in your About page to try to differentiate yourself from them, using some of the tips already mentioned here.
- Be engaging. Invite people to comment on your blog or give them a reason to reach out to you. Or offer them something in exchange for their time perusing your site, like a free consultation or a helpful set of tips. Some kind of call to action, even on an About page, is always appropriate. At the very least, remind people they can subscribe to blog updates or email newsletters. Chances are, given people’s surfing habits, it might be the last time you have a chance to engage with your readers before they move on to another site.
- Be available. Always include some of your contact information, like an email address or phone number, just in case people don’t see or surf to your contact page (another page you should always have). And make sure to respond to everyone who contacts you!
And that’s it. I’ve taken these to heart and just spent some time reworking my About page. You should, too. Let me know what you think in the comments.