Your about page is arguably the most important page on your website. It’s the place that people go to when they’re ready to learn more about you, and it’s also where other bloggers will go if they want to feature you in one of their stories or rank your blog amongst a list of the top sites in its niche.
That’s why crafting a killer about page is so important. It’s your chance to sell yourself to anyone and everyone who might be stopping by the site, and the message you share will determine what people think when they think of you.
Luckily, you don’t have to write like Hemingway or to be a superstar web developer. It’s easy enough to get a WordPress blog off the ground, and it’s just as easy to write a killer about page – as long as you know what you’re doing.
You just need to put a little bit of work in to make sure that you know both what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Here’s how to do just that.
Step #1: Know Your Audience
There’s no point creating content if you don’t know who you’re creating it for. That’s why you need to get a decent understanding of your audience before you start writing. If you’ve already launched your blog then you can take a look at your Google analytics, check which posts are the highest performers or even consider creating a survey or asking your readers some questions.
Most bloggers start to pick up a pretty good idea of who their audience is within the first couple of months, but they don’t always take the time to actually write it down and to think about what that audience looks like.
If you’re just starting out, you can’t check your analytics or your historic data to get an idea of who’s consuming your content, but the good news is that you’re in the perfect place to decide who you’re actually trying to reach. You can be more targeted with your content from the outset and work on developing a specific audience, instead of just whoever you end up with.
Many bloggers find that it helps to create a buyer persona, which is what marketers use to develop their campaigns and to make sure that they’re reaching the right people. You can do this at a basic level by finding a representative photograph of your typical reader and identifying what makes them tick – and why they’re coming to your site in the first place. Then when you’re creating your about page, you can check back against your persona to see whether you’re answering all of the burning questions that they have.
Step #2: Identify What’s Needed
Before you start to write your about page, you’ll need to identify what information you’re going to include on there. It’s usually a good idea to break information up into sections to make it easier for visitors to read and so that they can easily navigate to the specific information that they require.
Some of the most popular sections include:
Your author bio is one of the first things that people are going to look for. They want to find out who’s behind the site, and this is your chance to set yourself up for success by showing how you’re qualified to write about the subjects that you cover. Of course, not everyone is confident enough to put themselves out there, and some people write about topics that require a degree of anonymity. If that’s the case, consider creating a pseudonym with a fictitious biography, although make sure you explain that it’s a pseudonym so people don’t feel tricked or lied to. It’s also a good idea to include a photograph if possible.
Your mission statement is basically the reason why the blog exists, and while we’re not suggesting you go all corporate and write something full of marketing speak, it is a good idea to explain why you do what you do. Perhaps you’re blogging about beauty because you want to become a makeup artist or perhaps you’re writing about consumer electronics products because that’s how you make a living. There’s no shame in having a commercial purpose, as long as you disclose it, and in most cases readers would rather have an opinion from a professional. If you can make a living from your blog, it tells your readers that you’re serious about what you write about.
Social Networking Links:
Social networking sites are a great way for you to keep up the conversation with your audience between blog posts, but they’re not going to follow you if they don’t know you’re there. Adding links in your header and footer is one way to remind people to follow you, but it’s also a great idea to include links on your about page, too.
As your blog starts to become more popular, you’ll start to notice the same questions cropping up over and over again. Instead of manually typing out an answer every time you get the question, create an FAQs section on your about page with all of the information that people want to know. That way, you can just link them to that page if they ask you. If you’re just starting out, you can still use a little imagination to think up some questions and to jot down the answers. You can even work backwards by figuring out what you want to say and then posing yourself a question that forces the answer you want to give.
If you receive products and services for free in exchange for a review then you’re legally required to disclose it. When it comes to affiliate links and other types of monetisation, while you may not be bound by law to disclose it, it’s usually a good idea to do it anyway. Otherwise, your readers may complain if they find out you’re making money off them without them knowing it. While you should disclose these relationships in any individual blog posts that are affected, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t include it in your about page as well. As a general rule, the more open and honest you are, the better.
Once your blog is well-established, you’re likely to find that more and more companies and third-parties want to work with you, and you’ll start to receive emails from people who want to pitch their products. By creating a set of PR guidelines for your about page, you can tell people what information you want to receive from them and what kinds of opportunities are available. Don’t be afraid to charge people for these opportunities. After all, if you didn’t have something that they wanted then they wouldn’t have approached you in the first place, and you’re giving up your time and audience in return.
Any Other Info:
Every blog is different and so only you can ultimately decide what needs to go on there. If you’re blogging for business then perhaps you want to include some information about your company. If you use your own quirky review system then this is where you’d explain it. Perhaps you have some favourite quotes that you want to share or you just want to link to some of the other blogs that you like to read. Don’t be afraid to add whatever you need to so that your about page really stands out from the competition and shows some personality.
The content that you include might be dictated by your WordPress theme, so if your existing theme isn’t working out then it might be time to look for another. When you’re looking for a new theme, try browsing lists of themes so you can look at multiple themes at a time and be sure to click through to a live demo so you can see what it will ultimately look like.
Step #3: Write the Content
Once you know who you’re writing for and what information you need to include, you’re ready to go ahead and start writing. Don’t worry too much about getting it exactly right the first time because you can always come back and edit it. Instead, it’s more important to focus on getting it down in the first place. It can help to get rid of any distractions and to force yourself to sit for half an hour and to type whatever comes into your head.
As you go along, be sure to leave space for images and to add header tags throughout. They’ll help to break up the information while improving SEO, which is always a good idea when you consider that your about page is likely to be one of your most important pages and that it will attract inbound links from other websites.
When you’ve finished the first draft, head back to the start and read through it again, making further changes as you go along. If there are sections that you don’t like, rewrite them – or consider removing them altogether if they’re not adding anything to the page.
Step #4: Proofread
We touched on this in the last point, but there’s a difference between editing and proofreading. Once you’re finally happy with your about page, the final step is to thoroughly proofread it. You can do this yourself, but it’s always better to get someone else to take a look at it if you can. After all, two heads are better than one.
This is also the stage at which you’ll want to double check the layout. You can preview the page before you push it live to see how the different elements look, and be sure to check it on mobile devices as well as on a desktop computer so that you know exactly how it looks – no matter what device people are using.
The good news is that this is the final step in the four-step process. Once you’ve finished proofreading the page and you’re happy with the content, you’re good to go. Hit the publish button, go through to the URL and make sure that it looks as it should do. Then go for a little lie down – you’ve earned it!
Ultimately, your about page should be exactly that – it should be all about you, which means that only you can truly decide what needs to go on there. It really depends on what the blog is about and what kind of person you are. If you’re a private person, you might want to focus solely on the blog – and perhaps even to use a pseudonym for your articles to maintain your anonymity. But if you’re outgoing and full of personality then it’s a great place for you to express yourself.
On top of that, your about page doesn’t have to be set in stone. In fact, it’s usually a good idea to revisit it every six months or so to make sure that it accurately represents who you are and what your blog is all about. You might find that it evolves over time as you get a better sense of who your readers are and what they want from you, and if that’s the case then you’ll need to make sure that your about page is still relevant.
When you get it right, you’ll know it. And until then, you’ll just need to keep on iterating with new and improved versions until you get there. Either way, though, your about page is only going to come in useful if people are able to find it. If it’s hard for people to find the link then they’re not going to read it, so make sure that it’s well signposted from across the site.
Remember, not everyone arrives on your homepage. Sometimes they come in through links to specific posts or they arrive through a search engine. Regardless of how they arrive, though, you’ll want to make it as easy as possible for them to find out all about you. And that’s what creating a decent about page is all about.