I bet you think this page is about you. Don’t you, don’t you, don’t you?
A little play on the popular Carly Simon song there, just in case you’re too young to remember. 🙂
Whether vanity has anything to do with it or not, many bloggers — maybe even you — are making one enormous mistake when creating an About page for their websites. And that mistake is failing to understand who the subject of the About page is.
And it’s not who you think. The answer may surprise you.
Your site is your site, right? Everything there was created by you and bears your unique branding and reflects who you are and what you have to offer.
It’s natural that you might be tempted to believe that when you sit down to write your About page, you’re going to write about, well, you.
Well, not so fast.
And The About Page Subject Is….
It may seem like a trick question. After all, I just told you your About page is not about you. Scratching your head yet?
Let me satisfy your curiosity.
The subject, the target, the person you’re speaking to on your About page is your reader.
It’s all about them. It’s not about you.
Lose The Mini Biography
I know what you’re thinking. You’ve read many an About page that goes on and on about the site owner. They cover, in excruciating detail, practically every single inspirational moment in their life. You learn where they started, the challenges they’ve faced, and how they got to where they are now.
If everyone is talking about themselves on their About page, that must be what you should do, right?
The truth is, most people are doing it wrong.
But you’re not most people. You’re going to do it right. And I’m going to tell you how.
First, avoid calling your About page About Me, because it’s not. Instead, simply title the page About. Short, sweet and to the point. And it better steers you in the right direction in your subject matter.
You may be thinking:
But I have all these incredible experiences. I’ve overcome so many obstacles. I’ve accomplished so much. I know my story will inspire others. I want to tell MY story.
The desire to talk about yourself is enormous. After all, what’s everyone’s favorite topic? You guessed it. Themselves. Which is precisely why your topic has to be your reader, your visitor, your potential or existing customer.
You will have your day. You can share your story. You’ll just do it somewhere else. You can create a page called My Story, or something similar. And you can link to it on your About page if you like. But your About page has to speak to a different target. And here’s why:
- Your About page is the most frequently visited page on your website. It must immediately tell your reader why they should be on your site or following you at all.
- Your About page tells your reader what’s in it for them. It clearly outlines the value they can expect to find on your site.
- Reader time is short. You have a finite and limited amount of time to help your reader decide whether your website is a good fit for them. Your personal story, no matter how awe-inspiring it may be won’t accomplish that task for you. Remember, they want to talk about themselves, not you. So meet that expectation and that’s half the battle.
- The About page tells your reader precisely how you can help them. Your About page is where you cover your expertise and experience that makes you qualified to help solve their problems.
Honestly, visitors landing on your website are looking for answers to their questions, relief for their pain points, and help in solving their problems.
Your About page should let them know, fast, if they’re in the right place. Your visitors don’t have time to waste. Make it too hard, or talk too much about yourself, and your chance is gone.
And it may be your only chance.
As much as your backstory may be full of inspiration, the reader is more interested in someone else: Himself. Or herself, if you want to nitpick semantics.
Frankly, they don’t give a rat’s wiggly behind what your story is. They just want to know, Can you help me?
Once they feel you are qualified to help them solve a problem or assuage a pain point, then they may — may — be interested in your story.
But make no mistake. Your first order of business is to meet your readers’ needs, not espouse your incredible story of rags to riches, or unhealthy to fit, or whatever your story may be.
The Best About Page
The good news is that much of your story, your qualifications, and experience, will be very apparent on your About page. You are telling part of your story. But you’re telling it with your target subject in mind — your reader.
So what elements should you include on your About page? Let’s go over them here.
- Your name. Yes, you do get to tell people who you are. They do want to know there’s a real, live person behind the website. Introduce yourself right off the bat.
- A photo of you. See, it’s you again. People want to know what you look like. Everyone likes to put a face with a voice. So do post a good photo of yourself.
- A reason for visiting. Cover why your reader should be on your page, reading your posts, clicking on your sale items. Let your reader know how you can help them with their particular pain points and problems.
- Why you can help. Once you’ve covered the pain points and issues your visitor is hoping to solve, discuss how you can help and why they should trust you. Talk about why your unique skill set is perfect to help your reader solve their problems. Tip: This is a great place to include a link to other pages on your site. One of which may be your My Story page. Your reader is free to choose to read it or skip over it for the time being. But you can and should provide the link.
- Acknowledgment of reader interest. Your About page is where you can briefly cover, and link to, topics of interest to your reader. The more your reader believes you understand their problems and can help solve them, the more likely they are to explore further and perhaps subscribe to your email list or purchase a product.
What Not To Do
In an age when so much is vying for reader attention, you can’t afford to bog them down with too much unnecessary detail. Structure your About page accordingly.
Keep it short. Keep it succinct. Understand your audience and address their needs. Make your case for why you’re the best one to help them.
When you talk about yourself, do it in the context of how you can help your reader. Remember, the About page is about them; it’s not about you.
Writing an About page can be intimidating. But it doesn’t have to be. Once you clearly understand who the About page is about, it’s much easier to write.
Make sure your visitor knows that your page is about them. Once they understand that, they might just be ready to learn more about you.
So write a spectacular About page for your website.
Forget about what everyone else is doing. Everyone else is doing it wrong.
You’re going to do it right.
And you’ll stand out from the crowd, while you build your authority.
And that’s a much better deal for everyone, isn’t it?