June 8th, 2017
12 min read
Most bloggers realize that they need an “About Page” on their blog. However, that doesn’t mean it is done very well.
Truth is, most about pages suck. They are a wasted opportunity.
If all you do is write some boring bio of yourself, that isn’t a great about page.
If you just write some generic description of why you started the site and what they can expect, you’re on the right path, but we can do better.
And we need to. Because…
Your About Page Is A Sales PageYour about page is actually a sales page for you and your blog. Treat it accordingly.Click To Tweet
Typically, a sales page is thought of only as something which tries to convince the person to buy something. But, let’s think bigger.
Your about page might not be trying to sell something for money, but it is selling you. It is selling the reader on WHY they should care about you, your blog and your business.
Like all great sales pages, it needs to have a call to action, too. Well, if you’ve just convinced somebody why they should pay attention to what you’re doing, the next natural step would be for them to opt into your email list.
According to a post by Aweber, one company increased their subscriber growth by 158% by adding a lightbox opt-in form to their about page.
Your about page is actually one of the top list building locations of your blog. It also happens to be one of the most visited pages for people who are newly arriving to your site for the first time.
So, it is worth spending a little extra time to make an about page which truly makes an impact.
A Basic About Page Template Layout
We’ll get into the specifics of the content on your page below, but first let’s look at a basic structure of your entire about page.
Bear in mind that this isn’t set in stone. In fact, my about page deviates from this in some ways. But, it identifies several important elements of your about page.
What To Do With Your About Page Content
First, let’s discuss the words which go on the page. Obviously, I cannot tell you what to say since every site is different. However, there are certain guidelines that I think you should try to adhere to.
#1 – Just Call It “About”
Always make sure the page is found in your top navigation bar and labeled with a simple, predictable title like “About”. No kooky titles as it may get glossed over. You can call it something different on the actual page, if you wish, but it should simply be called “About” in your top menu.
Don’t try to stuff the “About Page” info into a sidebar widget, either. It won’t get nearly as much notice there as it will in your top menu. My testing has always shown that’s where it gets the most clicks.
#2 – Quickly Answer The Question, “Why Should I Care?”
At the top of your About Page, you should immediately call out your target audience and let them know they’re in the right place. You can even begin with a headline that is designed to really get their attention.
Tell them what your site will do for them and why they should care.
This is how you should BEGIN your about page. Don’t launch right into you and your bio. Make it about them and the benefits to them. Look at how NerdFitness begins their about page:
The image, first, provides a lot of credibility an social proof. But, then the first line of text immediately calls out what this site is about (fitness). It also does a great job of working in their unique branding with the labeling themselves as underdogs, misfits and mutants. Funny. 🙂
#3 – Establish Credibility.
This goes tightly with #2 above, but you need to focus on establishing your credibility. What, in your background, gives you the altitude to talk about what you do on your blog?
Here’s a tip for you… If you don’t feel you can establish suitable credibility on your own, you can “borrow it”. See, an indirect way to establish credibility is by association with known sources of credibility. One way to do this is to take quotes from the media about your niche. What you’re doing is establishing the importance of what you’re doing and, indirectly, propping up your credibility.
Another way to do it (and you see this often) is pictures of yourself with known credible sources. If you go to a conference or trade show and end up meeting credible people in your niche, get your photo taken with them. 🙂
#4 – Use A Photo Of Yourself
People are visual (well, most are). Plus, we bond with people, not blogs. So, show yourself!
There is nothing more “blah” than a big long text-only About Page.
Also, put some thought into the photo you use and how it affects your branding. Simple profile shots are OK, but sometimes come off looking stuffy. If “corporate” is the brand you want to portray, then fine. But, you can also use a photo of you doing whatever it is you speak about on your blog. Or a photo of you with your family. Basically, something that shows some personality.
Your readers should grow to know, like and trust YOU.
#5 – Tell Your Story
Now, this part usually comes naturally. I see a lot of bloggers who give long backgrounds about themselves on their blogs. That’s fine. But…
Make it interesting and memorable. And the way to do that is through storytelling.
- What are the life events that led you to begin your blog?
- What were the dramatic turns that happened?
- What interesting things have you experienced in context with your niche?
- What unexpected twists have happened to you that, if that didn’t happen, you wouldn’t be blogging right now?
- How can you bring it together into a cohesive backstory for yourself?
Sometimes, this can be difficult. It may not seem as if your life was that exciting. That’s fine, too. But, excitement doesn’t have to be the name of the game. Life isn’t a Hollywood movie for all of us. Just bring your backstory to life and inject some emotion into it. Surely, you were feeling something. 😉
In my market here, there’s always that typical “guru” story pattern. You know the one where the person lost it all and was in debt or homeless, then discovered some “secret” and now he’s a millionaire.
My backstory isn’t like that at all. In fact, it’s pretty damn typical of most people. But, if you look at my about pages (both here and here) you can see I brought life to it anyway. In fact, I even called out the stereotype:
In this market, some people think we’re supposed to have magical powers. Some kind of rags to riches story where I discovered some “secret” and today I’m making millions.
That’s the guru story pattern, but unfortunately I’d be bullshitting you if I tried to walk you down that road.
And so it goes into my backstory.
The big thing is that this isn’t a resume. It isn’t supposed to be a Wikipedia entry. This is your backstory. Tell it like a story.
#6 – Tell Them What you Believe – Your “Why”
There’s a fantastic TedTalk from Simon Sinek called “Start With Why“. If you’ve never seen it, I definitely recommend you watch:
I encourage your to use a portion of your About Page to share your why and what you believe.
Why did you start your blog? Why did you start your online business? You know most people don’t do that, right? But, you did. Why?
And, what is it that you believe? What are the beliefs that drive what you’re doing?
Those who resonate with what you believe will be attracted to you.
#7 – Funnel Their Attention
They’ve come to your about page. They’ve found out why they should care about you. They’ve learned a little about you (the parts that matter). Now what?
Give them your call to action.
After all, this is a sales page for you and your blog. And all sales pages have a call to action.
Now, the difference with your about page vs a classic sales page is that you will likely have several calls to action. What you’re doing is providing them ways to connect, learn more, etc.
Some potential “next steps” might include:
- Opt in for your highest converting lead magnet and join your list
- Connect with you on social media
- Take the first steps on the transformation that your business provides (for example, a “getting started” page)
- Get them to subscribe to your podcast (if you have one)
You get the idea.
But, this is valuable real estate. Don’t waste it.
How to Make Your About Page Beautiful
Some of the best About Pages d0n’t look like a typical blog post page. Yet, most themes don’t provide a way to make a page look unique (without a ton of custom code), so the About Page looks like a blog post.
My students and readers know I’m a huge fan of Thrive Themes. And, once again, Thrive Themes presents an easy way to create a fully custom About Page without any HTML coding required.
See, when you’re using Thrive, you get their Content Builder. You can then take over the page and build your page with Content Builder rather than just typing into the generic Wordpress editor.
Both of my about pages were built exclusively using Thrive Content Builder, without any custom HTML necessary.
A lot of modern pages using a classic row structure. Different full-width rows down the page, each with different background colors or even full background images. These rows span the entire width of the screen, while the text remains in the middle.
This is easy to pull off with Content Builder by using the “Page Section” element. Each page section is a new row. You can define each one as you want. Then, you drag your text and images into that page section.
Here’s a quick video demo of what I mean:
Using something like Content Builder, you can create beautiful about pages.
But, one thing you’ll also need are compelling images. And not all of us are hiring professional photographers to stage and frame nice photos for our website.
Getting Great Images For Your About Page
One thing you can do is simply go through your photo archives. Pictures that you’ve taken on various trips or other events in your life. Most of us have quite a collection of photos we’ve taken over the years.
As you go through there, look for photos that you could repurpose into a photo or background image for your about page. Sometimes, you end up taking truly awesome photos that would work great on your website even though that certainly wasn’t the intention when you snapped the picture. Now days, many of us travel with full DSLR cameras. Plus, even the mobile phone you carry with you has a pretty decent camera.
You’ll want to pay attention to how the image is framed. Since these photos weren’t taken for this purpose, it usually comes down to luck on if it is a good fit. Sometimes some minor edits and crops in your photo editor can do the trick.
Another option is simply to go out and purposely take some photos for use on your website. You could do it yourself, with the help of a friend, or even hire a photographer to take some multi-use images for use on the web.
If you take photos specifically for your page, then once again, pay attention to framing. For instance, let’s look at the current header background image on Pat Flynn’s about page:
Pat’s family is posing on the right side of the frame, allowing a lot of empty space to left side. Typically, people usually center the item of attention in the frame when taking a photo. But, in this case, the framing makes perfect sense since it allows the image to be used in a full-width row and have text on the left side.
So, when you take a photo, keep in mind potential uses for it on your site. Perhaps off-center posing makes more sense.
Lastly, remember how powerful storytelling is? Well, photos of you DOING THAT are powerful. For instance, on my about page, I talk about my desire for time freedom and that a big thing I like to do with that is go out camping in our RV. So, I share a big photo of my family and I along with our motorhome.
Not every photo has to be you posing and looking like a professional. You’re human. People like that about you. 🙂
Now, It’s Your Turn
This post was a complete waste of your time unless you now go put it to use. So, here’s what I want you to do…
Go check out your own about page.
Identify 3 or 4 things that you can improve about it. Then, make it happen.
Don’t worry about making it “perfect”. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be making edits to your about page from time to time for… years. 🙂 My about page has seen so many versions, it’s nuts.
If you want to try prettying it up, I’d highly recommend you consider a page takeover with a landing page creator that will give you far more flexibility than the standard WordPress editor. I am a huge fan of Thrive Content Builder (and all of their tools, really) personally and would recommend that if you don’t already own something you love.
As you make changes to your about page, don’t be afraid to model what other people are doing. Trust me, the people you’re modeling probably modeled somebody else, too. Don’t copy anything, but there’s nothing wrong with using another site for motivation and ideas.
Lastly, if you want to take this same level of strategy to all of the pages (and even the layout) of your whole blog, then we have a course on that inside The Lab. It is called the Perfect Blog Blueprint. In that course, we go much further than just the about page of your blog.