When you’re browsing online and you find something that you like, what do you do? Maybe you bookmark it for later or add the site to your favourites. If it’s a blog, you probably want to know more about who wrote what you’re reading. When I read a blog post that I think is useful or interesting, the next place I always look is the About page. I want to know more about the person who wrote what I’m reading, and what kind of site I’m on.
This is the same path that a lot of people follow when reading – which means it’s likely the same path they follow when they’re on your site. If they read one article, enjoy it, and then look to your About page to learn more – that page can make or break their readership. If they get bored in the first few sentences, or don’t see the value in what you have to offer, they might leave and never return. But, if you tell them what they want to know and establish yourself as a helpful resource, they might come back. They might even become a recurring reader.
Here are a few things your About page needs to tell your readers to keep them coming back for more.
Tell Them Who You Are
The most obvious part of an About page is this – who you are. You don’t want to write a novel here, don’t bore people with details, but give them a little bit of information about you. Your name, where you live, what you do, and some of your interests. You want to give them a little glimpse into your personality and the type of person and writer you are.
Tell Them What You Look Like
This is important – provide a photo of yourself. It’s proven science that people like seeing other people’s faces. There is an emotional reaction that occurs when you see a picture of someone’s face, even when you don’t know them, and that reaction is even stronger when the face is looking directly at the camera, and the viewer can look into your eyes. Get a good picture of yourself looking at the camera and put it on your about page. It doesn’t have to be taken professionally, just a good quality picture in a well-lit area. With today’s technology this is possible with any smart phone. Adding a photo of yourself to your site will make people emotionally attached to you and your blog – even if they don’t realize it.
Tell Them Why You Have Authority
I like to think that every person writing a blog has authority over the topic they are writing about. Authority doesn’t necessarily mean that you work in that field, or that you studied it in school. Authority just means that you know something about the subject you are writing about. A woman who has children has authority over a blog about motherhood, I have authority over design and blogging tips because I work (and went to school) in that field, and someone writing a lifestyle blog has authority over their own life. Authority is a very loose term to use in blogging – but you do need to establish it. At the very least tell your reader why you’re writing about this topic, and why you they should read what you have to say about it.
Tell Them Your Story
Your story is what led you to this point in your life. Maybe you’ve been blogging for years like me and you’ve finally found your passions, or you’ve had a long, difficult road to reach where you’ve come. If your story is a long one – I’d recommend that you write an entire post dedicated to it, and just link to it from your About page like I did with my blogging journey. You don’t want your About Page to be a huge, daunting block of text – just give your readers a little taste of your story and then give them the option to read the whole thing if they’d like.
Tell Them Your Struggle
Readers like to know that you didn’t just one day decide you were going to write a blog, and the next day you had a beautiful blog with interesting content and hundreds of readers. Your reader wants to hear that you’ve worked hard to get where you are. It makes them feel that the things they’re working for are a little more attainable, and that you are more relatable as a person. This doesn’t mean that you should make up something that didn’t happen, but we all face struggles in our lives, and it’s likely that your’s contributed in at least a small way to why you’re blogging.
Tell Them What You Can do for Them
You might think that an About page is about you, but in reality it’s all about what you can do for your reader. No one visits your About page just to learn about you, they also want to learn about how you can help them. I want my readers to know that I can help them build a beautiful online presence, so I tell them that on my About page. If there’s nothing that you can do for your reader it’s unlikely that they’ll come back to your website again.
Tell Them How to Get in Touch With You
Of course, you also want your readers to know how to get in touch with you if they have a question. You also want to make it very easy for them to start following you on social media. If they like what you have said on your About page, they will likely want a way to stay updated on what you write. Make it simple for them to find you on every social media network you have – put a link to all of them front and centre on your About page. If you’re open to receiving emails, you should also make it easy for readers to find your email address.
Tell Them Where to go Next
Last, but definitely not least, tell them where they can go next. If they’ve read your About page and are still interested in reading more, give them a few suggestions on where to click next. Readers in general like things that are easy and that they don’t need to think about, so if they have to browse around to find a post to read they’ll probably lose interest and leave your site. Instead, direct their attention for them by giving them a list of popular posts, or maybe a list of your favourite posts. Link to posts that are well written, popular, and will be a really great example of the kind of content you offer.
Building a great About page takes work, but it’s easy when you know how. Even while writing this post I found that I hadn’t done some of these things on my own page, so I went back and worked on it a little more. If you include all of these things in your about page, you’re sure to have an introduction that will keep people interested and coming back to read more.