If there’s one page most websites have in common, it’s this one:
The “About” page.
It’s usually front-and-center on every navigation menu. People can, and often do, click it right away. And if you’ve ever looked at your website stats, you probably know just how many people click through to your “About” page.
Given its popularity, it’s something you should put some real thought into. But a lot of people don’t - they just throw some text up and never update it.
Don’t do that…
Instead, do this:
- Sit down
- Put on your thinking cap
- Write an awesome “About” page
Not sure what makes an “About” page awesome? That’s what this post is all about. I’m going to dig into what you should discuss, and how you should discuss it.
Information you definitely need to include:
The “About” page...it sounds so simple. Do you really just babble about yourself and your website?
Eh...kind of. But it’s a bit more nuanced than that. You want to also convince your reader why they should read your site or buy your products.
You can do that by writing about...
What value you offer your readers
You might be tempted to immediately launch into the history of your site....
But that's really not the best approach.
The very first thing you should address is the value you or your site bring to readers. You want people to become repeat visitors, and the quickest way to do that is to tell them what’s in it for them.
Everyone is a little selfish at their core (and reasonably so). Sure, they want to hear about your great accomplishments and background - but only after you address what they get.
Note - this section doesn’t have to be long. You should be able to summarize your value in one or two sentences. Then you can move on to the next sections and give your readers a bit more feel for your style and background.
Look how Peep Laja and ConversionXL instantly showcase the value they offer. No beating around the bush - it's the first thing people will read.
But first - remember to specify who your readers are
Before you do that, you should address one more thing…
Who your target readers actually are.
When combined with your value statement, this quickly tells people if your site is a fit for them. These two ideas can even be included in the same statement:
For example, if you have a website targeted toward new parents, you could say something like:
“Cool Parenting Site is a website dedicated to providing new parents with information that makes their parenting lives easier”.
Readers will instantly know what to expect and who the website is writing to.
Look how Derek Halpern defines his target readers at Social Triggers by the questions they're likely asking themselves. Anyone who's ever thought about those questions instantly knows that Social Triggers is a site targeted to their interests.
Give some background about your site
Once you get your value proposition out of the way, you can dig into the history of your site. If you’re creating a new site, you might not have a lot to write about yet. You can consider writing about the motivation for creating the site and how you intend it to be realized.
If your site is more established, you can dig into some concrete details. You still want to talk about the motivation for creating your site, but you can also discuss ideas like:
- Notable milestones - what milestones has your site reached? Have you been around for X years? Published 1,000 posts? Sold XX products? These milestones build your reputation and make readers trust you more.
- Any relevant traffic statistics - on a similar note, do you have any notable traffic statistics? Maybe X visitors per month. Or X daily readers. Or X social media followers. These help give your site social proof.
- Important mentions - have you been featured by a major website or news organization? If so, you should definitely talk about that in this section. Again, it adds credibility to your website.
The "About" page at Pat Flynn's Smart Passive Income is a great example of this. In just a few paragraphs he shares the origin story, his site's founding date, and what makes Smart Passive Income unique.
Talk about yourself (just a bit):
You don’t need to solely focus on the site - it’s good to bring in your own background and personality, especially if you’re the sole voice behind the site. Depending on the focus of your site, you could even consider including this section before you talk about the history of your site.
When you talk about yourself, you should:
- Reinforce your motivations for starting the site - talk about some more personal reasons for starting your site. No need to open up like you’re at the therapist, but people like to hear a bit of your personality.
- Showcase your experience - talk about your relevant skills and knowledge. Readers are more likely to trust your content if they believe you’re qualified. These could be things like previous websites you’ve run, your job history, or your education.
What not to do - list a bunch of random facts about yourself. It’s definitely good to showcase your personality, and a few zany facts can do that. But don’t go overboard and start listing, say, all your favorite cheeses. Keep it to a few of the best ones to give a personal feel while remaining credible.
Look at Mark Sisson's "About" page on Mark's Daily Apple. He highlights his past experiences and credentials. Then he connects them to his motivation for creating the site.
How to present your information:
Now that you know what to write about, here are some stylistic tips for how you should actually handle your text and page layout:
Make it about your readers
I already mentioned it in the first section - but try to write all your text so it connects with your readers. Don’t write like it’s a personal diary. Always remember that the goal of your “About” page is to turn new readers into repeat visitors. Even though the page is “about” you, it always needs to speak to your readers first and foremost.
Make it a unique design
Whenever possible, a great way to make your about page stand out is to actually give it a custom design. With custom websites, this means added custom code. Thankfully, with WordPress, you can easily do this using one of the many page builder plugins out there.
Style it in a way that it stands out from your normal pages - this makes it memorable and eye-catching.
Neil Patel even went as far as creating his "About" page in a video format - you can bet that makes him stand out from the crowd.
Include your own picture (when necessary)
A great way to up the personality of your site is to actually include a personal photo. Personal photos make your website more trustworthy to readers and give them a real person to connect with.
Not every site needs to include a personal photo, but if your individuality is a big part of your site, it’s a great thing to add.
A.B.P. Always be personable
Unless you’re in an incredibly serious industry, write in a tone that’s conversational and approachable. You want to be professional, but also make it easy for readers to connect with you.
The “About” page is one of the most important pages on your site. Give it the attention it deserves by implementing some of the tips above.
Do you think I missed a tip? Do you want to share another great example of an “About” page? Let me know in the comments!