It seems to me that some website owners have an easier time proposing marriage than they do writing a solid About Me Page.
If that’s you, you’re probably overcomplicating things. Good About Me Pages are straightforward and communicate a few key things.
But just because it’s simple to create these pages when you’re making a living online, it doesn’t mean they’re always good.
What is a good About Me Page?
Your About Me Page is typically one of the most visited pages on your site. So keep reading to find out how easy it is for you to write one that is stunningly helpful and user-friendly.
A good About Me Page will serve both your readers and your business.
It builds trust and helps someone make the decision to further their relationship with you after your blog launch — whether that’s in the form of signing up for your email list, requesting a consultation, or buying one of your products.
What to write in About Me
A strong About Me template is similar to a strong copywriting offer:
- Present what you’ve got
- Explain what it’s going to do for your website visitors
- How they can take the next step to get more from you
If someone wants to learn more “about you,” it’s a chance to show them why they’ll benefit from choosing you over someone else who seems similar to you.
So, when you’re wondering what to write in About Me, don’t overthink it — just like when you’re coming up with a tagline.
Your text should represent the unique value you offer throughout your website, and in the products or services you offer.
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7 mistakes to avoid with your About Me Page
There are certain mistakes that I see again and again on sites that deserve better.
These mistakes are easy to fix and they’re pushing away the people you want to bring closer: your wonderful website readers.
If you’re looking to rebrand your business, take a look to see if you’re making one of these seven common mistakes.
Mistake #1: You don’t have an About Page
You might have some interesting content, a nice custom header, and a sweet design.
What you don’t have is an About Page.
It might be completely missing because you think “About Pages are a cliché.”
Or because you’re freaked out about writing an About Page, you’re just hoping no one will notice it’s missing.
Or you might have called it something clever like “Experience” or “The Scoop” or “But Wait, There’s More!”
When it comes to the interface on your website or blog, never forget the words of usability expert Steve Krug: Don’t Make Me Think.
I don’t want to look at your “Resonate” Page and wonder if that’s where I find out who you are, what you do, and why I should read your site.
So, it’s time to learn how to write an About Me Page. And don’t be clever. Call it About.
Mistake #2: I can’t find your name or credentials
Let’s say I want to link to you, or tweet about something cool on your blog.
I would really like to know who you are. That means I need your name.
Not a spammy name like “The Real Estate King.” (Please don’t comment under those either. You can’t believe how bad this makes you look.)
Your name. As in, “What do I say when I’m introducing you?”
Unless you are Madonna, you need a last name, too.
Incidentally, if your name is Dave Smith or Cathy Johnson, try including your middle name to make yourself more memorable and give you a decent chance to rank for your own name in search engines.
It works for David Meerman Scott and Carole Sevilla Brown, and it can work for you. If your middle name is common too, find a family name to put in there.
Please note that this does not have to be your real name. Some people would rather keep some distance from readers, for security reasons or just to have a little privacy.
There’s nothing wrong with that. Many people work and write under professional pseudonyms. You can, too.
While you’re in there, make sure you’ve listed your credentials — all of those things that tell us you actually know your topic.
If you’re a registered dietician and you have a nutrition site — put that on your About Page.
List any certifications, awards, or other credibility boosters.
Mistake #3: I don’t know what you look like
When it comes to advice on how to write an About Page, I’m making this one optional. In today’s environment, some folks get more than their fair share of harassment or abuse if they post a photo.
But much of the time, if I want to hire you, refer you, recommend you, or even pass you some readers, I’ll feel more comfortable if I have some sense of who you are.
I get that from two things — your writing voice and your photo.
When I have a face to put with your name, you become much easier for me to remember. That, combined with some well-written content, starts to help me feel like I know you.
And I’m much more likely to link to you or otherwise help you reach your content marketing goals if I feel like I know you.
Mistake #4: The writing is boring
This one hurts, I know. Let’s get it over with so we can move on to more pleasant topics of conversation.
For some reason, when people sit down to write an About Me Page, everything they know about creating interesting content suddenly flies out the window. Their usually great writing style starts to suck.
To fix this unfortunate problem:
- Use your own writing voice.
- Be ruthless about pruning out any corporate-speak or hypey jargon.
- Don’t be afraid to be a little funny, if you can pull it off.
- Don’t be afraid to unleash your inner dork, either, if that’s part of who you are.
Remember, along with your photo, this is where I go to figure out who you are and whether or not I like you.
If you’re avoiding a photo, your writing voice is all I have to go on.
Mistake #5: Using only video
Video is a great way to create quick rapport on your About Page … for site visitors who like video.
But visitors who are coming to your site at work may not want your voice, however delightful, blasting from the speakers in their cube.
They also may not have 6:23 minutes to spend figuring out who you are.
Lots of web users love video — and some hate it.
If you use video on your About Page, keep it short, make it interesting, and include some text for the readers in your audience.
Mistake #6: You go on (and on and on)
I’m a fan of storytelling. It pulls the reader in, it engages like nothing else, and it’s one of the few techniques that actually sometimes changes people’s minds.
Stories are awesome.
Long, boring stories aren’t so awesome.
If you’re going to tell me the story of how you came to be here, please for the love of Pete make it interesting.
What do your readers find interesting? Themselves, and things that benefit them.
Those are two good places to start when brainstorming how to write an About Me Page.
Mistake #7: I bet you think your About Page is about you
This is perfectly natural, even if you aren’t so vain.
What most site owners miss is that your About Page is actually about the person who clicks the link to see it.
Talk to that person about why they should bother reading your site.
Expand on the problems you solve.
Explain how you can help.
Point out shared interests.
To quote Brian Clark:
“What do you need to know? You need to know whom they admire, and what they aspire to, despise, fear, and cherish.”
– How to Craft a Marketing Story that People Embrace and Share
Yes, it’s a spot for you to talk about yourself — but only in the context of how you serve your readers.
If you absolutely can’t resist self-absorption, create a personal blog or social media account and throw in a link to that.
You can put all the tedious details there, and warn people that’s where you talk about your struggles with your cat’s gluten sensitivity.
For your About Page, keep it about the reader — and how you help that reader.
Winning About Me examples
Now let’s take a look at About Me Pages that get it right. These strong About Me examples skip the mistakes mentioned above and jump straight into the good stuff.
Kat Ambrose is one of Copyblogger’s Certified Content Marketers, and her website displays her content writing and copywriting services. Kat’s About Me Page balances her credentials with how she actively helps clients.
She expands on her background after giving an overview at the top of the page. This way, Kat satisfies readers who want just the most relevant information and those who are looking for more details.
Binging with Babish’s YouTube channel has more than 8 million subscribers, so you know a number of those fans will also check out the About Page on the Binging with Babish website. There you’ll find a brief bio of the cooking show’s host, Andrew Rea.
The photo of Rea here is important, because he doesn’t show his face during Binging with Babish episodes very often. Readers also get a summary of his unique experience and what he offers in his videos.
Finally, we’ll finish our About Me examples with Luvvie Ajayi. Since she’s a seasoned blogger, her writing voice naturally shines on her About Luvvie Page as well. Readers get an accurate slice of what they’ll find in her personality-filled articles.
Now you know what to do — and what not to do — when writing your About Me Page. Have fun!
Reader Comments (155)
Two more mistake people make with the ‘About’ page:
1. Not giving social media profile links – Who doesn’t have a profile on FB, Twitter or LinkedIn?? The About page should link to the person’s social profile page (its a priority). This makes the person more approachable from the reader’s perspective.
2. Not giving contact details – Yes, blogs/websites do have Contact page but the About page should have contact details too…it could be an email or a phone number.
Sonia Simone says
Those are two great ones, thanks Chitra!
“It’s all about the music and not so much about the musician…”
Thanks, I needed to hear (umm… read) that. I’m working on getting my website name out there but drowning in a sea of social media. I’m good with creating content – in fact I love creating content – but this whole business of what to share, when, where and why is draining me.
I know being connected is very important for any brand. I get that. But the next time I feel overwhelmed by the nitty gritty of what goes where and why, I’ll remember the music. So thanks!
Vanderbilt Wife says
Oh so true. I HATE it when I cannot find a way to contact someone. And if you have a Twitter account, for the love of Pete please make it easy to find. Sidebar or about page.
Those are great points Chitra! I’m a student @NewhouseSU currently studying Social Media Theory & Practice with @dr4ward in his #NewhouseSM4 class. I loved this article but I think you added some great insights of your own. In terms of personal information, people are often times wary of putting too much ‘revealing’ information online. While that is understandable, you need to create an engaging online identity if you expect people to remember you. Also, your point about including links to other social media profiles plays to the value of consistency in your online identity. Pictures, accounts and a large range of social media engagement shows others that you are involved!
Michelle Daly says
Oops, I hadn’t realised how much I was doing wrong. Thanks for the tips, they’re certainly food for thought. I’m going to read over them a few times so they sink in. 🙂
Josh Sarz says
Nice one, Sonia. I like the way I wrote my About page, but it might need some tweaking. It has the reason why the site can help people, a little social proof and a little personal story about me.
I was thinking if sales-letter-style About pages would work. Since the About page is kinda like a landing page, you can sprinkle a little long-copy-magic here and there. I haven’t tried it yet, so I was wondering what you thought about it.
That’s if you can spot this comment among the couple hundred others.
Sonia Simone says
It could work — but you need to think about what you’re selling with that long copy. A sign-up for your email list, perhaps?
Like all long copy, it needs to maintain attention. But absolutely, pull out all the copywriting skills you’ve got. 🙂
YES! I have definitely been putting this off. Thanks for the tips and the motivation to get going on this!
Thanks for the insights. I made all these mistakes. I don’t have an About page as I thought it’s a waste of valuable page, so I put it under Contact or Home. I don’t like my own name so I could create a new pen name, and would encourage myself to publish my pen name more. Not that I dont want to put my personal pictures it’s just that I don’t look good and could turn visitors off. Wonder if I could put a picture of my brother or a friend who looks better.
Desolo Sub Humus says
Use YOUR picture or don’t use one at all. Using someone else’s picture is about as honest as pushing snake oil and will likely drive people away from your site if they find you’ve been trying to pass off someone else as yourself. There are exceptions, but typically they involve large business sites and royalty-free images from stock image banks.
Susan Jones says
Be yourself and be proud. 🙂
Others are much less worried about and much more accepting of you than you are yourself.
Steve Bursten says
Thanks for reminding me the importance of our About page. I left it off a couple of recent sites and you are correct, it needs to be on every Website. Thanks!
Elly Earls says
Thanks for this Sonia. I’m in the process of getting my blog ready to launch and was toying with the idea of using an avatar – think will stick with a photo now though!
Wasim Ismail says
About us page are probably one of the most important pages, general visitors go to, especially if you’re a local business, such as “garage, florists, solicitor…etc”. People like to do business with people, by getting your about us page right, you can build a level of trust, and assurance with your visitors (potential customers) and portray to them exactly whom they would be dealing with.
Your post was actually timely as I am developing a new site and was thinking about the “about” page. Thanks
Susan B. Bentley says
I worry about coming across as too cheesy with starting off with ‘Hi, I’m Susan…’ and have said on my about page what my business is all about and how I can help potential clients – how can I best get my name in without it sounding too AA-like? Also, been teetering on the photo bit for some time as I don’t consider myself photogenic at all!
Sonia Simone says
Take a look at Terry Starbucker’s About Page — he starts right off with a “Hi, I’m Terry.”
I know I sound like your mom, but you’re probably much more photogenic than you think you are. 🙂 A good professional photographer can be worth the expense to get you a shot you feel decent about. I’ve found it really useful for getting clients to let them see a face so they can start to make a connection.
Tea Silvestre says
Sonia’s totally right. A photographer whose talented will know exactly how to capture your inner and outer beauty — believe me. Every photo I’ve ever had taken by family and/or friends has been crap. But the right lighting and camera angle can do wonders. (And I do the “Hi, I’m Tea” thing on my about page: http://thewordchef.com/about/)
Vanessa Pagé says
My pet peeve is *definitely* the too long About Me pages. I don’t have the patience to read your life story
The whole idea of posting your photo concerns me…especially an African-American woman, there are still a lot of closed-minded and (gasp!) racist individuals in the world – believe it or not people! Even though we have a black president, I am still turned down for positions based on my race, therefore posting a pic doesn’t always work in my favor, it actually works against me.
Sonia Simone says
Since you’re not linking to a site I don’t know what you do, but there’s always the consideration — do you actually want to land clients who are going to turn tail and run because you’re African-American?
Ultimately we all decide for ourselves, but I’ve seen again and again that engagement goes up when we come out of hiding and reveal the real person behind the business. And I see lots of successful African-Americans who are proudly showing their true selves with their sites. 🙂
I agree and can relate. Me and my business partners are African-American and although we are very reputable, I feel as though its only because of word of mouth and our services speaking for themselves. My partners do not want to post pics of themselves on our website nor provide a their personal social media link (which I don’t think is a must because we have a social business page and letting random people in on the good, the bad, and the ugly that we share with out personal friends and family is not ideal to me. I have to separate my business and personal life, period). We all believe, much like yourself that actually posting a photo will hinder us and drive business away. This is a factor than non-blacks don’t think about and is a very real issue for us. However, once we get a few more high-profile customers under our belt…it wont matter because whats good for the goose is good for the gander and people wont care but until then, unfortunately, some of us have to keep a low profile.
Mia Sherwood Landau says
This is a great article, Sonia. I was almost “there,” but you pushed me over the brink in this article. Now I’m all the way there. The truth is, About pages are the first thing I always click on when I’m surfing…. why didn’t I think that’s what other people do, too? Well, let me clarify …. that’s what interested, engaged people do, too. Visitors who click away instantly are not my people anyway. My About page is not bait for them, it is only bait for people who are poised to like and follow me anyway.
Sonia Simone says
I got the idea because I had a whole stack of websites to visit and link to, and so many of them had About Pages that didn’t answer my questions or left me otherwise scratching my head in some way. 🙂 It’s a common affliction!
Ooohh, the notorious About Page. I have to say that I am one of those people who can write blog posts with ease, but I hate writing About pages or Landing pages. Something about those words just simply scares me. LOVE the last tip. I totally got that wrong and will have to do some rewriting. Thanks for that, Sonia.
Louise Desmarais says
It’s the dry corporate speak that drives me ’round the bend!. Like this lovely example: X is a company that assists organization’s operational and financial areas with the alignment of business processes, people and computer-based technologies for the purpose of achieving optimal work environments that support an efficient and effective asset life cycle. What????
Also, to your point in Mistake #1.Calling an About page “About” is also important for search. Google looks for an About page on websites as part of its algorithm.
Stacy Strunk says
Our blog is more of a hobby blog, so I took a more informal approach. My blog partner and I wrote about each other. I thought it was easier than each of us writing about ourselves.
Sonia Simone says
I think it works! I got a good idea what the site is about right away.
I’ve used that trick before for bios and I like it. So much easier to write about someone else. Maybe I should ask Robert to write one for me so we can add it to the CB About Page. 😉
Alex Taylor says
Thanks for this post – I needed it.
On several of my blogs, I’ve kinda taken an easy (and incorrect) way out by having both an “About” page and a “My Story” page. I know I need to consolidate them into one high-quality page that does everything a good “About” page should do.
Also, that’s a nice insight – that the about page is actually about the visitor who’s reading it. That’s something that’ll be good to keep in mind as I write the content.
Katherine Haag says
I’m in the process of putting a resume website online. The About page was the place I got stuck. I agree, Alex, about the about page actually being about the visitor. Never thought about it that way…
After reading that tip, all of a sudden I was writing answers to all of the things Brian Clark said visitors were looking for when they came to my site. My perspective changed enough that I wasn’t blocked anymore!
My site will launch within the next two weeks and I had not even given any thought to an About Page……..until now! I will put one together starting today. Thanks for the ‘heads up’ and great advice. I look forward to all emails from Copyblogger.
Sonia Simone says
Best of luck with the new site!
David Gadarian says
Hi Sonia. Great stuff. I went in and just updated my about page – thanks for the gentle nudge. I cleaned up the top but I also added a third “section” that really gets to the heart of why people hire me. Now I’m stuck – should I lead with the last section or leave it where it is? http://www.gadarian.com/about/
The About Pages I respond to generally are very personal but I’m not sure if my potential clients would feel the same?
Sonia Simone says
I think I’d move that third section to the top with some tweaks.
I also think the voice could be more personal. My guess is your clients would feel the same — not that you have to post a picture of your dirty dishes or your puppy dog, but that the voice could be a little more relaxed and informal. Let people know they’re hiring a person (or a team of people), not a corporate entity.
Linda/Positive Spin says
Oh my goodness… what useful advice.
I just reviewed my About page and have tweaked it accordingly. I was advised by another site to put some testimonials there too. I hope that’s OK?
Thanks so much for this.
Sonia Simone says
I think testimonials on an About Page are great — Johnny Truant does a nice job with that.
Nick Stamoulis says
People want to do business with or buy a product from someone that they can trust. They want to know who is actually working behind the scenes. Without that personal element, it’s harder to gain trust.
Dava Stewart says
Last week, my site was re-designed, and the designer did something that surprised me: she made the left-hand column on every page show the text from my About page. I’m not sure yet how I feel about that – I think I like it, but it has also made me ridiculously aware of the copy. It’s hard to resist the urge to re-write it. Again.
Thanks for the tips. I rarely use my last name when commenting, but will from now on 🙂
Sonia Simone says
Nice to see you, last name and all!
That is interesting, make sure to watch your site and see if your time-on-site goes up. You might get a friend to help give you a gut check on whether the copy actually needs reworking or if you’re just wanting to tweak it for the sake of tweaking it. I am a fan of writing & rewriting those important pages until they’re just right, but we can definitely take that to extremes. 🙂
Candace Godwin says
Writing “about yourself” is a struggle, but I have managed to get those pages on my website and my hobby blog. I think Mistake #7 is really key and I’ll be reviewing my pages to make sure they focus on how I can help my clients and readers. Great reminder and super advice. Thanks!
My pet peeve is those who make their educational degrees the focus. It’s like they earned them, they want to flaunt them. The truth is, many today don’t care about your degrees. They care whether or not you have common sense, integrity, care and have anything to offer them.
Desolo Sub Humus says
I think it depends on the person. I’ve had people tell me I should just give up running my own site until I have a degree in music from a ‘respectable university’, specifically Julliard. They don’t care so much about the quality of the music, but they care about whether I’m ‘established as a professional musician’ and which major music label I’m signed to.
Luckily there are still some people out there who do care about liking what they listen to, at least in my genre. I use my About Me to find future fans who have not been brainwashed into thinking that a degree and a contract guarantee great work and that a lack of either one guarantees that you’re just a kid with an app and a website.
Hashim Warren says
I just ran the numbers on my About page yesterday. First time visitors who read my About page are more likely to subscribe to my site than readers who browse my blog archives.
That’s how important my About page is!
Sonia Simone says
Awesome example, Hashim, thanks. 🙂
Deborah Taylor-French says
Thanks for terrific advice and tips.
When I began my Dog Leader Mysteries blog a year ago, I didn’t have an About page. I wrote a Welcome page my blog offered and a touch about me. Now I’ve created an About page, plus a sidebar widget with a summery of what I write about and why, in case visitors don’t want to click on another page.
Since I have a noncommercial WordPress.com site focused on saving dogs lives and animal welfare, I noted that I pay to keep ads on puppy sales off my blog.
This month I want to build a Web site where I may sell my writing and related dog parenting and dog adoption books. Any tips for visually engaging readers on my new About page? I have great photos of dogs on my blog. Can I use a few of those?
Sonia Simone says
Absolutely — if there’s one thing dog people love to look at, it’s pictures of dogs. 🙂 Just make sure you’re also using that nice picture of yourself for the new page, so folks can relate to you and not just the dogs.
Deborah Taylor-French says
Will do. Thanks.
So, I just happen to be on site with a company famous for it’s big yellow phone book. (Under contract I can’t say their name and / or byline any of my work.) I thought you might find this interesting: The head haunchos here, in most cases, DO NOT want websites created with an about page. Their numbers show the about us page to be the least visited — they recommend making it into a service based page instead. (The small site package only includes 5 pages.) Curious on your thoughts of this since your article is converse to their philosophy / numerics?
Danielle Lynn says
Oh Sonia, I could hug just hug your article. But then I’d be hugging my monitor and people would stare.
My ‘about page’ pe’ peeve? When I read the first line and it says “We are a company that specializes…” then my head hits the desk. I’m getting a lump there.
I also don’t want to hear about any more ‘quality’ companies where ‘service is our top priority.’
That being said, I’m one to talk – my own about page needs a good scrubbing. But now I know where to look when I want to remind myself of what not to do! 🙂
Lauren @ Pure Text says
Yes! I believe my About page is dead on according to this post.
Rachel Poling says
I work with a lot of musicians, especially classical musicians. I have the biggest pet peeve about how notoriously dry and boring their “about” pages are! OMG! It is soooo bad. They are often just a listing of their education and important shows they’ve done, or important roles they’ve sung. No writing style, no humor, no personality, just a listing of facts strung together with “and”s and “then”s. For being creative people, that certainly isn’t very creative. I think you’ve just inspired me to write a blogpost specifically about writing musician bios! THANKS!
Desolo Sub Humus says
In the case of musicians and bands, the dry, boring, always-professional-never-personal About Me tends to be recommended. As a musician, I can’t say I’m thrilled with the format, but it’s what’s needed. Fans may like creative About Me pages/sections, but if the musician plans on getting signed or playing a concert, the musician needs to let labels and venue owners know what they have accomplished.
Paragraph 1: Describe your music and write your mission statement.
Paragraph 2: List your accomplishments.
Paragraph 3: (optional) List your future plans for your band/music project
A creative About Me would be far easier to write, IMO, but those tend to come of as the ramblings of middle school kids playing at being a rock band.
Roberta Budvietas says
Sonia, does the about page not depend slightly on what your web page is trying to do? Are you saying that even the sales letter pages where you are telling people about yourself should have an about page?
Anne-Marie Watson says
Great post and you are so, so spot on! I am probably gulity of the boring sin above but thanks to you I am going to revisit this page immediately:)
My pet peeve with About pages is when it’s very anonymous and there is no name or background etc. Why bother putting in general waffle that could be about anyone? It drives me nuts and often puts me off using the product or service offered.
judy cullins says
By now, I’m a fan forever, Sonia.
I’m Judy Cullins, infamous book coach. How many times have I wrttten my About JudyCullins–let me count the ways!. at http://bookcoaching.com/judy-cullins-platform.php
Advice from branding people don’t use your approach–I like it myself, because this is likea welcome blurb–reach your visitor where he/she is now. What’s their concerns, problems in your niche? What can you do for them.
So back to my About Page to shorten it, ,make it less me and more YOU–just what I advise my clients to do in their web sales letters, their books and their blogs.
Thank you so much.
PS I wonder what your about page says. Got a link for us?
Brian Clark says
Yes, it’s at About in the top navigation. 😉
It’s also the first link in this post.
Joel Libava says
Long time no talk 🙁
The worst About pages are the ones that don’t exist.
No About page=no cred.
The Franchise King®
Lena Merrin says
How do you do it? Each time I start thinking of some website related problem, you post something on the subject and rescue me. I love you guys.
Emmly Jane says
WOW! What timing. I just put my first about page together this morning because I noticed several visitors there yesterday. I know I need a picture. I am working that one. Anyone willing to give me feedback? Too long? Too boring? I am thick skinned and can handle critique well. Would be willing to reciprocate as well.
Blessings to all,
Jeannette Paladino says
I think it’s important to include client testimonials. You can “brag” about yourself in your About page but it’s more credible if your clients do it for you.
I think I may be guilty of making mistake #7. My About Page is probably too much about me and not enough about what the reader will gain by visiting my blog. Thanks for the tip!
Dragan Palla says
I like to see name and picture on About page. They make blog more personal and close to the reader.
I also find some difficulty when need to tell a little bit about me :).
Very interesting and useful post.
Tealia Carriere says
great post, ill for sure be editing my page. quick question, should i have an ‘about me’ page AND a social media page or do i link them together and how so?.. once again great read!!
Belinda Weaver | Copywrite Matters says
Great post Sonia – of course! I particularly love your last point about context. I pull my eyelashes out when I read blurbs like “XYZ has been growing in size since 1982. With over 250 employees and national offices ….” SNORE.
Explaining your experience is great but only if you relate it to how you can help the reader. Answer the “what’s in it for me?” question with the lens of your experience.
I would also add the fact that your About page should have a call to action – linking people back to why they are there and nudging them along to getting in touch with you.
I added a little extra to my About page (http://www.copywritematters.com.au/about/) with some other things people might find interesting (http://www.copywritematters.com.au/things-you-dont-know-about-me/)… I wanted to give my visitors an even greater insight into my life and it’s had a fabulous response so far. I’d love to know what you think!
PS I don’t really pull my eyelashes out.
MaLinda Johnson says
Cats with upset tummies will definitely be more at home on Facebook than on an “About Me” page. Great post!
You bring up a lot of good points in this article. It’s not easy to create a well written page that explains your site’s focus and goals. Because most people have little foreknowledge about your website, having a detailed “About Us” page is absolutely crucial. It’s also important to present yourself as a personable human being without coming across as self-centered.
You can look at my “About Us” page by clicking on the tab located at the top of the page:
Although your article has a lot of good points, I disagree with you regarding the use of photos and real names. I include my real name in my “About Us” page and profile, but I prepare my articles with a pen name. I’ve noticed that other science writers (and writers in general) use pen names. In my case, the pen name that I chose reflects the theme of my website and is therefore memorable. I had included a personal photo but decided that an image would be better suited to the website, again this is because it is more reflective of the focus (but if you visit my Google profile, you can see my photo).
The main thing is that the About Us page gives visitors a brief overview of your site’s mission and values which will help in their decision to continue reading your articles.
Brian Clark says
From this very article:
“Please note that this does not have to be your real name. Some people would rather keep some distance from readers, for security reasons or just to have a little privacy. There’s nothing wrong with that.
Johnny Truant, James Chartrand, and Terry Starbucker all work and write under professional pseudonyms. You can, too.”
Fritz Buzzard says
I thoroughly enjoy your emails, but I have a couple of issues:
1. The font size is *microscopic*. Please don’t forget about us myopic types. I have to select your text and copy it to my programmer’s editor to render it readable..
2. Your apostrophes are being rendered cross-platforms as â€™ (sic). Do you know of a fix for this?
Many thanks & keep up the good work!
I’ve been writing as Bellesouth for more than five years, and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. That’s my pseudonym and I’m sticking with it!
My pet peeve with some About pages is overuse of abbreviated online text. I’m not a fan of LOL at all, but if you’re going to use it, at least have the decency to keep it away from your About Me page.
A good, down-to-earth writing voice is key. And you have to let your readers know that you are a bona fide human being.
Jonathan W. says
I really enjoyed this article. I do agree that even with my web page i absolutely did not want to make an about page mainly because I did not know where to begin. Alas, I did create an about page and it will definitely be getting a much needed update after reading this. Thank you.
Jonathan W. says
I am also studying Social Media Theory & Practice with @dr4ward at @NewhouseSU and I have subscribed to the copyblogger blog. Our class #NewhouseSM4.
I didn’t notice that the first time around. Thanks for pointing it out.
and maybe add a callto action as well???
Doug Francis says
Thanks, getting some insight is very helpful as I have always felt my page was pretty darn good, but it’s time to tweek. I am always surprised when a client mentions something he/she could only have found on my “About” page.
Yes, they really do read this stuff!
Adam Collings says
Some great tips here. The first page I always look for whenever I go to a website for the first time (blog or otherwise) is the About page so my biggest pet peeve on about pages would be their absence.
The Real Estate King says
So I shouldn’t say I support world peace and the restablisment of the unicorn populations in the Midwest?
Sonia Simone says
Ryan Biddulph says
Spot on points Sonia!
I might retool a bit. I had a decent length about me page, then a shorter one, than a clever one, now a quickie. Need to improve the benefits to readers though. I have the name, picture and contact information down, as readers need to be able to contact you immediately after they learn more about you.
As for pet peeves I feel simply not explaining who they are, is a big mistake. I know, I need to dig a little deeper on this 1 myself. Use names. Real names. Unless you are – or plan to – become a world famous person, stick with real names, it makes you look real, it makes you feel real, and it will improve your readership and business.
People who hide, have something to hide. They lack belief in self, or in their viewpoint, or whatever. So hiding is definitely not a good thing because it does not vibe with a calm, confident assured blogger.
I feel that opening up and talking about your self is key. Then, letting readers know how you can help them, this is a biggie. 2 steps to take to a successful about page.
Good homework for me here.
Thanks for sharing Sonia!
Paula Wallem says
LOVE IT! Great list!
I see it way too many times, the “about us” is just the template that come with their 5$ website… Or it’s filled with what we call “Marketing poison”, things that will not make a buying decision (or give you credibility) “we are the number 1 in such and such” (says who? your mom? LOL) or “such and such lives with her wife so and so and their four kids…” Do I really care about your living situation???
Richard Alan says
Great post. I started my blog about 3 weeks ago and just added an About page last week. (Actually there are 2 because I can’t figure out how to get the duplicate out.) The blog has gone through multiple revisions in the 3 weeks because I was making most of the mistakes you write about. I do explain why I’m blogging in my first post, but not on the About page. Should I repeat the information there also?
Thanks for the great information.
Beatrix Willius says
great advice. But how do I make my writing less boring? How do I make the writing sound less enterprisey and more like a human?
Linda Adams says
If you use a photo, make sure it’s a good photo. I remember running across a writer’s site, and she’d posted this horrible photo. The first thing I thought when I saw it was that someone insisted she have a photo up, she posted the most least flattering one out of spite. She was dressed in a sloppy t-shirt, and her hair was stringy –and she was frowning at the camera.
She got a new book release and replaced the photo with a much better one.
David Edwards says
Very cool post!, I have been delaying an about page for a while. I’ll make sure it’s live next month. ;]
Chris Taylor says
So many people overlook the About page, or just pass it off as a secondary page. They should know that people actually read them to find out more about the company and if they want to do business! Great post.
Katherine Wildman says
Sonia – great advice, so simple and yet sooooooo easy to forget. Next thing on the list – photoshoot (and red lipstick!) .
Jamie Northrup says
I’m one of the people who doesn’t like video, but if you are going to put a video on your about page, make sure it’s under a minute, or else it’s too long.
If you can make (or have one done) an infographic about who you are is sweet, I’m thinking about having this done since I don’t have the graphic skills to make it look nice enough.
Archan Mehta says
I don’t have a photogenic personality. Hence, no photos. My face looks like I just walked out of mug shot academy.
Sorry for being facetious, but that’s just the way I am. Also, I don’t have an about page, but I’ll let you know when I start a blog. Everybody keeps telling me my blog would rule the internet, but I know they are all lying because they want my dead end job. If you have an about page, people, please consider introducing comedy: people like people who can make them laugh. That’s what makes Johnny Truant popular; and that’s why Sonia is a treat to read too. Cheerio.
Kristine Remer says
I whole-heatedly agree with these tips. I would also add that you should have a professional headshot on your website, then consistently use it across all your social properties so that people begin to recognize you. Headshots don’t need to be stuffy though – have fun with it & show your personality.
1 major mistake when writing an “About” page blog post regarding making a better about page:
1) Not giving some bad-ass examples/samples.
Hey, nice tips above but without a few examples/samples we’re missing a big part.
Charles Specht says
Hmm, I think I made the mistake on #4 and #7.
Antwuan Bell says
I was kind of hesitant about putting an about me page on my blog as well due to not having the success of many of the top leaders. This post has change my view point about it and I realized that some success is better than no success. People need to see where your at right now and how you are growing. While there are many people who do not have the big success either, they are looking to grow with someone who is moving forward and reaching for the dreams.
Thanks for Sharing!
Johnn Four says
I agree with making your About page focused on the visitor. At my RPG gaming site I started it off with my blurb, and then asked all members to tell me about themselves by leaving a comment on my About page.
This has worked very well:
* I get to know my course members better
* Members get to know each other better
* Site visitors get to learn about who’s in the community and to see if people like them are liking my course
Each time a new member joins my course I send a follow-up email asking them to introduce themsleves on the About page. That’s generated good response so far.
Kerch McConlogue says
MY pet peeve about About Pages.. people who think I care about their dogs or kids or cats. I don’t!
Kids do kid things. Pets do pet things. You are not responsible for either’s accomplishments.
Now MY three kids are not axe murderers. I say that’s an accomplishment!!
And I think nobody gives a rip about that either!
Desolo Sub Humus says
Sadly, many people still don’t understand #7. I think the easiest way to figure out what should and should not be in the About Me or Biography section is to ask yourself a couple of questions.
1) What is the purpose of my site? Is it a blog about my day, am I trying to sell a product, or am I trying to get people to look through information on the site?
2) Does my About Me or Biography pertain to me personally, my life, or the purpose of my site?
If your About Me pertains to anything other than the purpose of the site, it’s time to re-evaluate why it is even in there at all. Unfortunately, there are people out there who do not understand that when you make a website, you should make it for your users. It may belong to the owner, but it is not necessarily FOR the owner.
Natalie Blackburn says
Great article, I’ve already written and re-written my About page several times without much success! Will take another look now with these guidelines in mind.
I agree that it is definitely about ‘selling’ your site and telling your reader why they should be on your site instead of someone else’s. It all just takes a bit of practice I think!
Rob Schwarz says
Yeah, my latest blog’s About Page is pretty terrible. I still haven’t added a photo, and you’re definitely right about one thing: The writing is boring. I think. Just need to keep telling myself “It’s about the reader!” and not about myself. Thanks for the tips!
Sonia Simone says
Romy Singh says
Sonia you nailed it agin. All these are common mistakes that almost every bloggers makes, when it comes to blog about page.
The one mistake that I’ve seen in lots of bloggers about page is, they try to sound smart by using lots complecated and cliche words that very few peoples know. They forget about there readers, that they don’t have dictionary in their hand while reading your blog about page. So using complicated words only going to make your story harder to understand and as we all know that readers are big fans of easy-to-understand things not of harder things.
The easier story you’ve for your readers the more enjoyly they will read it. So stick with simple and make it simple.. 🙂
I have tried to write an about us page for my service website many times. Every time I haven’t published it. I am gonna follow some of this and see if it applies to my situation.
This post make me more confident about my about page. When I started my blog, I followed Darren Rowse’s tips about about page. Now, I read this post,and make more confident about it.
The only problem about my about page is I think that it is a little bit too long. 😀 I’m planning to cut it.
Thank you,Sonia! Great post!
Kathy Colaiacovo says
What a great post… It is the most annoying thing to me when visiting a website – you generally are looking to learn more about the business – if the about page is not useful, I leave, frustrated. It is the most bothersome on Service based businesses too. If you are going to provide a service fro me, I want to know about you.
Rosendo Rivas says
Great post Sonia. Most bloggers forget how important an About Page really is. I know I did for the longest time. After reading this I really have to work on mine. Mistake 7 is killing me. Seems to me this is pretty crucial to an about page, well besides having one.
What I love from About Pages is that I could quickly find their social media links and connect with them. If I just read a great article I want to see what else they have to say. It gets really frustrating when I can’t find one. It’s also frustrating when some just ramble about different subjects.
Kyle LaFontaine says
I think the biggest frustration I have with About pages (especially bloggers) is when the author does a poor job of presenting their value. Of course I want to learn about them and get a feel for their personality and what they are all about, but the author should communicate why I should be returning and what solutions they can offer to the reader. It seems common to read an about page that explains the profession/credentials of the author, but fails to explain why/how they can connect with me, on a human level. Thats probably the largest factor in my decision to keep returning to the site. Not because I’m looking to take, but rather, I want to be able to connect and exchange with the person.
I’m currently re-tuning my about page. This was great!
Lucille Zimmerman says
I used to have a straight forward, boring “about” page. Recently, I found a bunch of amazing blogger ladies in Canada and realized it was their interesting about pages that made me like their blogs. I needed to now more about them than the educational details. So here’s my attempt at making mine more interesting: http://blog.rumorsofglory.com/about-2/
Wow, am I ever nervous to comment before I go spiff up my about page!! Hopefully, I will beat you over there. My pet peeve probably fits into #7, but what I HATE in about pages is a long list of randomly dumb information such as your favorite flavor of black tea or why you suffer guilt for picking your toes. While I agree that a bit of dorky and quirky add flavor, the completely arbitrary list of info ensures that I’m bouncing right out of there. The About page should be full of links that draw me further into your blog. Also, regarding those of you who claim no pictures is better than a crappy one, I beg to differ. I just put up a very “unprofessional” picture on my speaking page, but have had nothing but positive feedback. I’ve realized that even this imperfect picture helps me to seem more approachable.
Darlene Hull says
Great post – I especially like the tip about the About page not being about you! Well done!
Another awesome post! About me page have always make me sweat quite a bit. I never really felt good about them. But this post now clarifies a few things so thank you. Keep on the great work !
Well — I’ve decided I’m game for a full-on critique. I like that people commenting here feel free to speak their mind — so “speak away!” I have high hopes we can get beyond “oh, it looks nice,” because I’m really looking for honest-to-God critique. http://www.workplace-excellence.com/about-leadership-development-inc/
What do you like? What do you NOT like? But if you say you don’t like something, offer a suggestion for what to do instead / what you would do different.
Don’t know if this is an appropriate forum for this, but here’s a chance to offer your .02. And thanks in advance for your feedback.
Bob Waltenpiel says
Unbelievable! I actually didn’t need to change my about page after reading this article.
This is so much different than every every article I read at CopyBlogger. If I followed every bit of advice, I would never get anything done. Thanks!
The Collective says
Very good tips. Thanks!
I don’t have a full page, but I do have a blurb on the side of mine that explains the reason for my blogging (and my baking) and gives a bit of info. Is there a reason About should be a completely separate page? I feel like I need a mission statement with a bit of personality and that should cover it.
Sonia Simone says
The biggest reason for me would be that you want to put information where people expect to find it. So when someone lands on your site and thinks you’re cool, you put the “here’s where you find out more about me” in the place that they’re most likely to look.
Is it a fatal error if you don’t? No. 🙂 But Steve Krug wrote a great user interface book called “Don’t Make Me Think” that talks about putting web page elements where users are accustomed to finding them. What we as the page creators think is obvious can be baffling to new readers, even if it’s front and center.
Shane Fielder says
Sonia, this is awesome advice. I am guilty of a few mistakes here, but they will be corrected very quickly! Thank you for your competence and help here!
Michael LaRocca says
You brushed up against my pet peeve when you mentioned the lack of a name. If the website doesn’t have a Contact page, then I really want to see some contact information in the About page. Email, Twitter, LinkedIn, something. I mean, if someone’s gone to all this trouble to convince me to get in touch with them, and succeeded, they need to tell me how. I’m peeving over here!
Sreejit Poole says
My pet peeve on about pages is when someone talks about themselves in the third person, as if we don’t know that they are the ones that wrote it. My own about page has gone through so many changes over the years that the comments on it have nothing to do with what is currently written there. I’ve gone from my own stated purpose to telling you everything about me to now just being in a keep it simple phase and letting you know whether or not this is the place for you. But I am breaking one of your rules. Somehow, I don’t like calling mine “about” and instead call it “welcome.” Do you think that’s too complicated?
After reading your article I just checked my About us page and felt ashamed of how bad I have made it. Going to spend good time creating a catchy about us page with your tips.
Amelia Franz says
Clients often miss out on the unique opportunity a great About page offers. It’s a chance to stand out, be memorable, friendly, and approachable. But they want to make it yet another hard-sell sales page by beating visitors over the head with a list of benefits.
Of course, the story you tell is always shaped by what will resonate with your prospects and help solve their problems. It isn’t a complete bio. You need to carefully select and shape the narrative. And yes, it IS ultimately about the site visitor.
More often than not, though, About pages are missed opportunities for clients who are uncomfortable with revealing themselves or simply unaware just how important it is to link a face and a memorable (and relevant) story to the service/product they’re selling.
Icy Sedgwick says
Well here’s a question. I write fiction, so what do I put on an About page? I talk about the genres I write, which helps the reader of my website but it’s also kind of talking about me…I’m not helping people solve problems, I’m just trying to entertain them. And surely they click on the About page on a fictioneer’s website to find out who they are?
Some very good advice, I particularly like the point about including a photo to let people know what you look like. People respond to images of other people and I think it adds to the whole experience.
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