In my daily web browsing, I come across a dozen of bloggers and, of course, I read their About pages as well. For me, it’s the first place where I land after I enter someone’s website. I think it’s a natural behavior not only in terms of how I navigate online but also because the most important thing for me is to meet the person behind the scene. It’s the phase one of starting a relationship or dropping everything and moving next.
I’ve been personally skimming through a bunch of blogs created with our WordPress themes in order to find the answer for several questions, such as:
- Does this guy or gal have an impact on a community?
- What motivates him/her to write?
- Is the blog only about one particular topic or can I find more than that?
- What’s the drive behind the statements?
At first glance, it may seem that these are my curiosities, not something that your audience genuinely care about. Oh well, I dare to contradict you. Even though I discovered interesting details while reading their stories, most of the times bloggers lack mandatory information (e.g., answers for common questions — who are you? what are you doing? why should I read your content?).
On the opposite side of the spectrum, there are inspiring examples as well. Bloggers who made me write them a congrats e-mail after reading their About page, bloggers who engaged me into a beautiful story that I still remember today, bloggers who made me subscribe to their newsletter, or to check out their Twitter account and push the Follow button.
My perspective is that these people should be the norm, not the exception, so I gathered the most important insights from some of our top-notch customers in order to helps bloggers (beginners and professionals) rethink this specific area of their websites and reshape it. Let’s dive in!
3 things to keep in mind while writing the About page of your blog
Before delving into the framework per se, I think it’s crucial to highlight three things that you, the blogger, should keep in the back of your mind. It doesn’t matter if you’re a fashion aficionado, a food lover, an addicted traveler and so on. The following directions apply to any digital creator who owns a www.
🤳 #1 — You first, audience second
You need to put yourself in the first place mostly because of an obvious reason: it’s your playground. Everything in your digital crib represents you. From how your blog looks-and-feels to how you approach commercial partnerships, everything defines you. If you write your About page to be sure it’s a fit for all possible people out there, then you will dilute your personality. You will be like everyone else, which is a complete nonsense. Who wants that?
I asked Steve, one of our customers, to let us know about his two cents when it comes to the About page. His insights make perfect sense for this first landmark:
“Something that would guarantee that any human being, anywhere on the planet would totally understand who I was just by reading it. And that is of course impossible. So I gave up trying and began writing my “about” page just for me. To be something that I enjoyed reading and writing. And this gave me permission to be a bit playful with it. (My current version says “Steve wrote all of this in the third person to make it sound like somebody else wrote it!”)
Your About page is like a fingerprint. It is uniquely you so don’t try to make it like everyone else’s. And if you’re not enjoying writing it, it is unlikely anybody is going to enjoy reading it. Experiment, play, have fun. What’s the worse that can happen? If you change your mind then change it! And, my big bug-bear with “About” pages: if your business is just you then say “I” or “he/she” rather than a mysterious “we.”
— Steve Chapman, Can Scorpions Smoke (About page)
⏳ #2 — Present, not future
I’ve seen several bloggers who are jamming all kinds of plans onto their About page. They focus on what what they aim to do or to accomplish and often miss to share what they’re doing in the present, at this particular moment. It’s like you apologize for the mess in your house by letting your guest know that in the future you have a personal plan to be more organized.
You should let your audience know about what are you doing right now with your blog — it’s not the place for wishful thinking. By giving concrete examples (e.g., help bloggers make money, educate single moms to manage it) you allow people to make an honest and transparent choice regarding your blog: keep reading and coming back, or continue their search and try to find other people who are delivering what they need.
This time, I reached out Ieva, our ambassador, to find out about how she keeps what’s important into the spotlight:
“Writing about yourself very often is one of the hardest tasks to do. My main tip is to keep it real and informative. Think about what makes your story special and stick with it. Then, add a dose of your experience which will hook your readers to learn more from or cooperate with you.
Writing a biography of your past is not necessary while you can wrap it up and give just the most relevant information. It’s a fun fact that you were a dancer at 10, but I won’t care much if I’m interested in your copywriting. Give me the info on what makes you the best as a copywriter. I have a pretty good guess it won’t be your dancing experience.”
— Ieva Laicane, The Random Passion project (About page)
🚀 #3 — Mission-driven instead of “just another blog”
There were several times when I got frustrated with the fact that some bloggers don’t clearly state their mission. I don’t refer to a sophisticated yet good looking statement that most of the companies hang on their walls. My expectation is to have a quick snapshot of the why behind your blog.
I’m not here to judge, so anything works as long is it true and coherent. Let your tribe know if your biggest goal is to learn others protect the environment and stop the food waste, if you empower people to make money out of their passion, or if you promote local artists to help them grab attention and recognition.
“I think every blogger has a different motivation to start and to run a blog. Maybe you want to inspire people with a certain lifestyle, with different stories or with coverings about the current social happenings. Just think of a person who comes across your blog and doesn’t know anything about your website. I think the most important thing to keep in mind for a catchy About page is to write about the main motivation to run the blog.
This goal is it what makes a platform individual. Maybe a simple claim sentence can help, here’s mine for example: Carmitive – The positive Fashion-Blogazine. So the readers know that my website is all about fashion and a positive attitude. This is what people will remember – hopefully. Just be sure they will keep on browsing through the rest of your website.”
— Carmen Jenny, Carmitive (About page)
Takeaways for writing a relevant story on the About page
Now that you have an overall feeling of what you should follow when writing your story for the About page, we can move further.
Please keep in mind that it’s not a recipe and you don’t need to stick to it entirely. It’s more like a light sketch which helps you have a solid foundation, but I highly encourage you to build upon it and make it even better.
💬 Communication Tips:
- Be fair: if you’re the only person behind the scene, always say I, not we.
- Start by presenting yourself and answer a simple question: Who are you?
- Continue by detailing what are you doing, but focus on relevant info, such as professional activity.
- Write as you speak, don’t pretend to be someone else by using fancy words or adopting a teacher-like approach.
- Be consistent by using the same tone-of-voice all over the place: be cordial, warm, and accessible.
📝 General Tips:
- Add a photo of you that’s both representative and helps you shape a better connection with the community you are trying to nurture.
- Present the passion which drives your blog in the right direction and creates stronger bonds with your audience.
- Provide useful details about your background if it supports the story and the motivation behind your blog.
- Let people know about the progress of your blog: how you started, what changed over time, and what’s today.
- Always include facts, such as real name, relevant links, other projects that make you feel proud.
- Structure everything so that people can easily understand the key messages and get a feeling about the person who’s running the blog.
If I should sum up everything I wrote above to only one main message, that would be to accept that your About page is dynamic and it changes as you do as a person. Make sure you always keep an updated version of your story in the digital and non-digital world as well.
As long as you stay true to yourself and you’re authentic, people will appreciate and make it count. If you need a helping hand to integrate the above advice or to get honest feedback on your current About page, please reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will gladly answer your e-mail. 🙌
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