The Most Overlooked Piece of Real Estate on Your Blog
There is a place on your website that you’re probably neglecting. It’s the same place new visitors flock to every day to see if what you have to say is worth listening to. And many of these would-be readers leave your website, disappointed.
What is this place, this magical part of your blog that, if you paid more attention to it, could be a big-time difference-maker?
It’s your about page.
Say what? You mean, that silly little “about me” page I created on Day 1 of my blog and haven’t been back to since?
Yep. That’s the one.
Why your about page needs more attention
Other than your homepage, which is usually the first place most first-time visitors drop by, your about page is the most important, and often the most viewed page on your website.
Why is this?
- Because nobody reads something from a writer they don’t trust.
- Because people want to connect with other people – especially on social media.
- Because sometimes it’s hard to tell what your blog is actually about, even after reading a few articles.
An about page is a powerful resource, because it can quickly and easily address those three issues in one fell swoop. A good about page will immediately build trust with a first-time visitor, make readers feel more connected to the person behind the blog, and give them an idea of what to expect in the future.
Three keys to awesome about pages
So what does a good about page contain? A few things (with some real life-examples):
- A welcome. This could be as simple as a headline that says, “Welcome to my blog!” followed by a brief bio on who you are and what you do. Chris Guillebeau does a great job with this without getting too wordy, as does Penelope Trunk. (Note: I recommend writing your About page in the first-person as this makes people feel more like they are talking to a real person. I learned that tip from Michael Hyatt.)
- A promise. This is where you tell the reader what it is you do, why you do it, and how often. For example, my friend James Clear promises on his about page to send you helpful habit-building articles via email twice a week (every Monday and Thursday). He sticks to that schedule and to his published values regularly, because he understands that delivering on what he promises is essential to building an audience.
- An invitation. This is where you ask people to follow your journey, to read a few articles, or maybe even to subscribe to your blog. See how I do that on my own about page. I learned this from Derek Halpern who leverages his about page to get more email subscribers. It’s a smart strategy.
It has to be epic
Okay, so you’re still not convinced. Or maybe you are, but you don’t know what that means for you. Fair enough.
How about one last story, and some practical application for how you can turn your about page into a powerful resource that gets shared across the interwebs? Great. But I have to warn you: this isn’t easy. Your about page has to be over-the-top awesome.
As an illustration, let’s take a look at Clay Collins.
Clay is the founder of a software company called LeadPages. But before he did that, he was just a blogger trying to generate leads for his online business. When he turned his average, run-of-the-mill about page into an epic story of awesomness, he saw his social shares go through the roof and his traffic explode.
This is what I call the “Epic Story About Page.” It tends to be more long-form, usually 500–1500 words, and it only works if you have a really good story to tell (fortunately, you do).
Basically, this is just an article sharing your story and inviting readers to join you. It works when you offer valuable content that encourages people.
The lesson: Don’t just tell us about you. That’s a rookie mistake. Instead, share an inspiring story that will compel people to not only join you but tell their friends about you. Good stories spread.
So what does this mean for you?
Well, that’s kind of up to you. I suggest you begin here:
- Review your about page. If it’s less than a few hundred words, you might want to beef up the content. Make sure you have a welcome, a promise, and an invitation.
- Tell an epic story. In addition to the three keys, make sure you bio section is amazing, the kind of thing that could be turned into a movie. How do you do this? By focusing on your struggles, on the areas in your life where you saw some kind of extraordinary breakthrough (you may have to dig, but we all have those stories).
- Ask people to read and share. This is the last step, when you see if what you’ve written is actually good. Because if you share your about page and people don’t respond by telling others about you, then you haven’t scratched the right itch. You need to go back and tweak things.
What’s something that I missed? Have you seen other examples of powerful about pages? Share in the comments.