This is a guest contribution from Natalie Gowen.
Today I’m talking About Pages. Or, rather, I’m talking about About Pages. Either way – please don’t go screaming from the room.
Yes, your About Page is one of the most important pages on your site. Yes, it can make a deep emotional connection with your readers. Yes, your About Page can grow your readership and increase your business with tremendous effectiveness.
And yes! About Pages are the hardest pages to write. If you suffer from About Page Anxiety, you are not alone.
Getting clients to hand over About Page content for their website is the most dangerous part of my job. It’s like taking candy from a baby – where the baby is a starving lion and the candy is a fresh gazelle.
It doesn’t have to be that way. You can stand up to About Page Anxiety. You can write a compelling story about your site. You can tell writer’s block to go bother someone else. You can be the proud owner of an About Page that sells you and your blog and convinces people to keep reading.
All it takes is 5 simple elements:
1. Tell your readers why they should care.
When a new visitor comes to your About Page they want to know one thing – what’s in it for them? Answer that question and you also give your readers a reason to dive deeper into your site or add you to their bookmarks.
Your benefits can be real or intangible, either way – be clear about what your blog offers. For example:
You’re a humor writer and a mom – readers care because a good laugh brightens their day, and hey, at least they’re not cleaning poo-based finger paint off the walls.
You’re a business coach – they care because their dreams are like a frozen computer and you can teach them how to reboot.
You’re a fitness blogger – they care because you provide daily motivation to move a little bit more than they did yesterday.
Starting off your About Page by focusing on your reader is the best way to spark a connection.
2. Give them reason to believe you.
Giving people a reason to care about your blog and sharing the benefits you offer can lead you to make some pretty big claims. Using the examples from above:
The humorous mom can make her readers problems fade into the background with a few minutes of laughter.
The business coach gives hope that a side gig can become a full-time job.
The fitness blogger sells a vision of his reader’s future self, the one that can jump off the couch and keep up with the kids.
To help your readers believe you, they need to trust you. Do you have a degree? Are you featured on top blogs in your niche? Do you have clients that adore you? Is the proof in the (social media) pudding?
Your About Page is the best to explain enough about yourself that readers know you’re not just blowing smoke.
3. Get personal
Your readers will come back for the benefits you provide, but they will connect deeper if they can tell you are a real person, with real struggles and real victories.
Getting personal doesn’t have to mean divulging every last detail about your life. If you want to retain some privacy, let your personality show by sharing:
- Your values
- Your interests and hobbies
- Your goals, hopes and dreams for the future
Most of all – make sure you include a good, clear picture of yourself. It’s always easier to like someone if you can see their eyes.
4. Be available
Don’t play hard to get. After all, blogging is about connection – so be reachable. If someone really resonates with your purpose and wants to reach out, let them. You can make it easy:
- Using your website’s email forms
- Sharing your email address as an embedded link
- Adding links to social media and connecting off the blog
5. Extend an Invitation
Readers on your About Page have knocked on your door. Are you going to let them in?
Like vampires, first-time visitors to your blog need a specific invitation to go deeper into your website or come closer to becoming your client. Otherwise, they’ll close the browser and will soon forget all about you.
The best invitations are extended as a Call to Action. CTAs are traffic building, business-growing workhorses. The key to an effective CTA is to:
- Be direct
- Be relevant
- Be simple
If you’ve covered the first four About Page elements, you’ll be surprised what readers will do. They’ll follow you on social media, join your email list, read more posts or even buy your products. You just have to ask.
The Long & Short of About Pages
When you break it down, your About Page should be pretty simple. Whether you write in first or third person, it doesn’t really matter. If it’s long or short, that doesn’t matter, either.
At the end of the day, if you’ve covered the 5 main elements let your About Page be uniquely yours and kick About Page Anxiety out the door.
Natalie Gowen is a brand and marketing strategist for creative and passionate entrepreneurs. As part of her mission to eradicate boring About Pages, she’s the author of the e-course and workbook, About Page Mashup