One page on our website that is constantly overlooked is our about us page. How many times have you been to a website and clicked on their about us page and found that it isn’t carefully crafted and doesn’t look very professional?
Writing a good About Me page for your blog takes some time and a lot of trial and error. You want to come off as approachable and interesting, but also authoritative and knowledgeable. It isn’t easy, and can often lead to a lot of frustration.
To save you some time and a lot of headaches, I’ve compiled a “top 10” list of things you should and should not do in your About Me page to make it the best, most interesting one that it can possibly be.
DO Prove Yourself To Be An Authority In The Business.
People are going to your About page to find out a little more about you, so it’s only natural that you try to “prove” yourself to your readers. Explain what sets you apart from the other bloggers in your niche, and be sure to mention any awards you may have won and some of the most popular articles you’ve written. This is your chance to prove yourself as a big deal in your niche, so don’t waste the opportunity.
DON’T brag about how great you are
Let’s be honest: truly great people rarely talk about how great they are. The numbers usually speak for themselves. If you can show someone that you’ve done a lot for a particular niche through pointing out awards won and high-authority testimonials, the implication is already there and bragging is simply unnecessary. Those who brag are usually those who don’t have anything to back it up. “I say I’m great, and therefore I am great” doesn’t cut it for readers.
DO make your About page all about your audience.
Ask yourself this question: What problem might my readers have that I have found an answer to? Once you are able to answer that, you have found what your About page should be about. Your main purpose in the About page is to explain this common problem and relate it back to yourself. How did you manage to solve this problem? Did you have the problem also? Tell your audience about it.
DON’T make it all about you
I know that it would seem like your About page should, well, be about you. To some extent, it should. You should tell your story, and you should post pictures of yourself and introduce yourself to your readers. But never forget that the About page’s ultimate job is to sell you to your readers. You should never stray too far from them. Yes, you are telling them about you, but it’s for one reason: to gain their trust.
DO write in first person
Not only is it conversational and friendly, but it just sounds a whole lot better. I don’t know about you, but I really enjoy reading something in someone else’s voice, and this helps the whole thing feel a lot more authentic.
DON’T write in third person
She couldn’t believe that some people actually got away with writing their About pages in another person’s voice. It seemed preposterous to the simple-minded blog writer, who had always been taught that these should be written from a first person point of view. Confusing, isn’t it? I suppose that some people can get away with doing this without sounding utterly pretentious, but it isn’t easy — and it isn’t preferred.
DO use an informal writing style
People don’t like being overwhelmed by someone with an expansive vocabulary and intricate writing style. There is a time and place for that sort of thing, sure, but the About page of your website isn’t it. Be conversational and approachable. Talk to your readers as if you’re talking to an old friend you haven’t seen in a long time.
DON’T use text lingo, or say anything unprofessional
LOL! SOOOO kewl! Luv it! Luv u! HMU L8r! No. This doesn’t belong anywhere in the professional world — not in text messages, not in emails, and definitely not on your website. I won’t judge you if you talk to your friends and family like this, but it has no place on your website.
DO Share A Story About Your Life
Everyone likes a good story. When you first meet someone, you typically base whether or not you enjoy that person on your first interaction. Although your reader can’t talk directly to you, you can talk to them — so make it count! Tell an interesting story and keep them intrigued the whole way through. If they enjoy your story-telling techniques, they’ll be sure to come back to your page for more.
DON’T Go Off On Irrelevant Tangents.
Telling the story about how you got your first job is great. Telling the story about your first kiss may not be. Everything that you say on your About page should be relevant to the rest of your website. If you are a digital marketing niche website, you want all of your stories to easily relate back to that. Yes, you can gloss over your childhood and history, but don’t spend fifteen paragraphs discussing the time you threw up on little Sally’s hair in the second grade. Funny story? Maybe. Relevant? No.DO use statistics and numbers when you have them. DON’T confuse people with business jargon.
DO Use Pictures
Humans love seeing other humans. Not only is a picture a great use of space by breaking up large blocks of text, but it also raises interest when readers are able to put a face behind the voice they are hearing in their minds (see effective web design). They are reading what you like, and it’s only natural that they want to be able to see you. If you are uncomfortable with posting pictures of yourself on the internet, that is understandable. Keep in mind, however, that your readers probably don’t want to read seven bulky paragraphs of text, so you should still consider breaking it up with some sort of image.
DON’T Use Pictures You Wouldn’t Want Your Mom To See
This is the thought process that I usually have. When posting an image on a professional website, see if it passes the ‘parent’ test. If the image is something you wouldn’t want your parents or boss to see, then maybe you shouldn’t be posting it. High resolution photos are usually best, and make sure you look professional. Instagram filtered selfies with bottles of booze? Not so much. Think about the message you are sending to your readers with this photo before you click the ‘post’ button.
DO Be Unique
If you are savvy with HTML and you think you can make a killer, unique About page, I say go for it. Anything that can set you apart from your competitors will ultimately work to your advantage. Be unique and use your talents to your advantage. Make sure you using a color combination that is visually appealing, too.
DON’T Rely On A Flashy About Page To Make Up For A Lack Of Content
If you spend seven consecutive hours staring at your computer screen and making a flashy About Me page, you may think you can skimp on content and get away with it. WRONG! Regardless of how ‘pretty’ a page is, it is absolutely worthless if you don’t have the information to back it up. A pretty page is not more powerful than an informative one. Remember that.
DO Show Your Personality
If you’re funny and you crack a lot of jokes, be funny and crack a lot of jokes. If you swear a lot, don’t censor yourself for the sake of your page. If you have a very specific writing style, make sure you write that way in your About page. This is your chance to show your readers just what they’re getting themselves into when they subscribe to your blog. Don’t be afraid to show who you are, because chances are that they like you for you already.
DON’T Be Fake
If you’re not funny, don’t force it. Your discomfort will show through and you will come off as someone being completely fake. People will appreciate your authenticity if you are just yourself, and don’t pretend to be something or someone that you aren’t. It’s okay if you aren’t this hugely charismatic character all the time, so long as you’re being you.
One thing I really hate to see is flashy pictures of expensive cars, houses, watches, etc. You don’t need to “wow” people with fancy pictures of your personal property or expensive cars.
DO Offer Contact Information
Your readers like to feel that their opinions matter. It is extremely important that you, as the blog owner, offer a place for your readers to speak with you. Whether it is a comments section at the bottom of the page, or you simply post your email address, you should always keep those lines of communication open.
DON’T Bother If You Won’t Respond
I know you probably feel like you have better things to do than respond to three dozen emails all complaining about something or other in your blog. Truthfully, you don’t though. Your blog is run for the readers. If you don’t have readers, you don’t really have a blog anymore. You should only post contact information (and, really, you SHOULD post contact information) if you plan on actually opening the lines of communication between yourself and your readers. Don’t offer an email only to never respond to them. They will lose trust and respect for you.
DO Provide Social Media Information
Similar to above, you want to be able to open the lines of communication between yourself and your readers as much as humanly possible. With so many social media options out there — Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc. — there’s something out there for everyone.
DON’T Overwhelm Your Reader
I realize that this may sound silly. I did just tell you to offer your contact and social media information, after all, but hear me out here. If you are a reader and you’re faced with the options to add someone on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Tumblr, leave a comment on their site, email them, call them, or send a written letter, what do you do? I don’t know about you, but I’d probably stare at my screen for a while and try to figure out what the best way to contact them would be. Offering too many options can leave your reader feeling overwhelmed, and ultimately backfire on you when they decide not to contact at all. Stick with a few contact options and social media options to really optimize the experience for your reader.
If you’d like more information on how to make the best possible About Me page for your blog, check out this awesome infographic.