How To Write An About Page For Your Blog
This week, among ten thousand other things, I decided that I wanted to re-write my About page. Because I felt that I didn’t have enough to so already, clearly.
So, me being me, my first step was a profound amount of research. Whilst I definitely think checking out other people’s advice is a sensible thing to do, I also think it’s important to take a break from it and mull it over before you start creating. That way you are ensuring that you are still putting your personal stamp on your project, whilst keeping some of the more technical points and advice in mind.
So, with that said, here are a few pointers that I have picked up and discovered in my own reflection period respectively. After reading this I encourage you to go away and consider your own thoughts and ideas as well, before tackling that ultra-important About Page.
After all, if there is anywhere on your site which needs to display your own, very particular brand of awesome, it’s the About Page.
Who Are Your Writing To?
With all of my content, the first thing I always consider is my audience. I mean, you are not writing these blog posts and About Me pages just for yourself, right?
So who are you writing to?
We’ve talked at length about how to find out who your ideal audience is, so think about them when you are writing. Why would your ideal audience be interested in you? Do you have similar likes and dislikes? Do you have similar life experiences?
Better yet, address your audience’s pain points, identify with the struggle that they are going through and that you also went through. Common experiences are a fantastic way to bond with people online and in real life (that green leafy expanse beyond your window…or grey, concrete expanse hiding behind your blinds).
Basically, make your story relevant to your readers. I’m not saying change your story, after all that is what makes you unique. Rather, highlight the aspects of it which will resonate with your audience.
Whilst some of us are just blogging for fun, most of us are running some kind of business or service and you want to make sure to mention this in your About page. Now I know most of you are now cringing because the word ‘salesy’ has just popped into your head.
Think of it as explaining to your audience what you love to do. Rather than just saying, ‘I write blog posts for business owners’ explain why it is that you write blog posts for business owners. What about it makes you excited to get up in the morning?
There is no better way to sell something to me than by expressing your passion. By telling me about it in a way where I can tell you clearly love what you do. It implies a level of care and knowledge that elevates that person above the competition.
Use your words
Conveying your personality through your writing can be tough but it doesn’t need to be as ‘in your face’ as some people assume. For example, I wouldn’t consider my blog posts to be humorous but people often pick up on hints of humor here and there which helps convey my particular tone of voice.
There are a few bloggers who have a very strong tone of voice, for example they often include a particular set of slang words and expressions, which really convey their particular voice. Unfortunately, I also see a lot of new bloggers using the same words and expressions in their own writing. Now, I’m sure this is probably an after effect of having read so many of this popular blogger’s posts that they have subconsciously incorporated it into their writing. It happens.
For example, I like to write fiction as a hobby, just to unwind in the evening. And if I was reading a book at the time, I would often find my writing influenced by that author’s style. Now, I don’t necessarily think this is a bad thing because you do pick up techniques and tips this way. However, the important thing is to always put your own spin or reinvention on these techniques to make them truly yours and to create your unique style.
So, again, I would encourage you, if you have been reading a lot of a particular blogger’s posts, to take a break before writing your own. Being inspired is great; being over-influenced should be avoided.
Practice on a Person IRL
I write about this a lot but I do find that it is easy to forget, whilst we are typing away at our laptops or looking into a camera machine, that there is a real life person on the other end. This is why I also cringe when I see social media updates that look something like ‘now in my Etsy shop: This thing, only $10’
Would you legitimately say that to someone in real life? I’m assuming not.
It’s OK, we’ve all been there, and it’s such an easy trap to fall into.
And this goes for your About page as well. You want to make sure your authentic voice comes through in your writing. Now, obviously we don’t write exactly how we talk because it would be exceptionally tedious to read;
‘Hi there, so, I er, wanted to talk to guys today about, like this great place to I went last weekend. Ah, it was, er, oh yah, Disney Land.’
We don’t notice these ‘fillers’ such as ‘um’ and ‘ah’ so much in real life speech so much but obviously we don’t want to include them in our writing.
However, the best way to make sure that your voice is coming across true to yourself, is to read your About page aloud. Ideally to another person. If you find that some sentences run on too long, or sound stilted when you read them then you can make edits as you go. Also, if you find yourself reading sentences that you are far too embarrassed to read to a real person, you might consider changing those sentences to something more natural sounding.
Grow With It
One of the main reasons I decided that the About page needed an update was that myself and the business was evolving. Whilst your core brand values are likely to stay the same, the way you convey them or the route which you are taking your business down may stray and alter as time goes by. This is a good thing, change is a good thing or your business will be left behind. So do try and update your About page to reflect who you are as a person and who your business is as it changes over time.
The Technical Bit
Well, I say technical. Whilst the above might give you a general flavor for the feel of your About page, many of you will be thinking.
‘Great but what do I actually write in this thing?
An Introduction to You
If you were to write about who you were, your life experience, how you got where you are today and what you do now we’d be looking at a pretty hefty bibliography. And unless you are selling your memoirs, that’s probably not what people came to your About page for. They just want to know what you are about and why you are ‘qualified’ to talk to them about whatever it is you are talking about.
So try and keep it simple and to the point. I often challenge myself to write a guest post style bio. Obviously, your guest post bio serves a different purpose so it’s a little different but I am referring to the word limit. If you have a hundred fifty words to tell people who you are and what you do, in a way that makes them want to click through to your website, then you’ve done a good job.
Now, once you’ve finished obviously you can relax the word limit and expand or add things as necessary. However, giving yourself a strict word limit really helps you focus on the important things you want to convey.
Your Work + You
So we talked a little about this above but obviously you want to convey to people what you do. As we discussed, you want to really talk passionately about your subject in a way that conveys your excitement, depth and understanding of your topic.
To add another level of personality, you might well want to talk about how your work effects or plays a role in your life. People love a behind the scenes story and identifying with people, so adding how your work fits into your world adds an extra level to the uniqueness of your story.
From a purely business perspective you will want to make it clear what kind of clients you would ideally like to work with and who would be suitable for your services. Ideally, I’d recommend actually putting this somewhere near the top of your About Me page, so people can make a quick decision about whether this website is for them or not.
What Do You Want?
Also focus on what you want the outcome of this page to be. You may be tired of me saying this, but what is your purpose here? Do you want people to start reading your blog? To sign up to your emailing list? Or to hire you?
Focus your content to direct your reader through your story and to your desired outcome.
If you are drawing up a more ‘start here’ style of page, you might want to suggest your favorite posts for your reader to go to next. You don’t want your About page to be the end of your reader’s journey but rather the beginning.