27 Ways To Breathe Life Into Your Blog's "About" Page

This article, from social media expert John Haydon, originally appeared on his site on 8/11/09. The tips here are not aimed at authors and publishers specifically, but will be very useful to anyone with a site or blog.

Every three or four months, I take a look at my About page and ask myself two questions:

  1. What are my business goals for this page? In my case, I do strategy consulting and build what I call “social web systems” for small businesses and non-profits. I want this page to help visitors imagine getting results by working with me.
     
  2. Is this page a true reflection of myself? This is a hard one because, like you, I am constantly evolving – and evolutions resist being bound by words.
     

The answers help me to start breathing new life into my About page. Below are a few things I’ve picked up along the way, either from other About pages and/or through trial and error. ;-)

The obvious

  1. It’s not about you. It’s about the visitor. Speak to them – as if they’re sitting across from you at a coffee shop.
     
  2. Answer questions. This person sitting across from you – what questions will they have about who you are and what you do?
     
  3. Open your door. Put links to your about page in a few places. I have mine in my footer, my nav bar and sprinkled throughout posts.
     
  4. Testimonials. Still the quickest way to establish confidence with potential clients.
     
  5. Have a photo. The quickest (and oldest) way of reading someone is through their face. And for God’s sake, smile!
     
  6. Keep it simple. Depending upon your strategy, less can be much more. Danny Brown teases visitors with an outline of services and provides a link to contact form at the bottom of the page. Beth keeps things short and sweet too. 

    Beth Kanter About

     

  7. Make it interactive. If you have a lot of information that people need to know, break it up into sub-pages, like Epic Change did.

    Epic change about

     

  8. Page Directory. Lots of info still? Try putting a table of contents at the top, just like Alltop does.
     
  9. Have a phone number. I can count on one hand the number of times new clients have introduced themselves with a paypal payment. Most of the time, we talk a few times -through email and on the phone.

    [Publetariat Editor’s Note: This is a good tip if you do consulting or other for-hire work, but you’ll probably want to keep your phone number, address and other personal information private otherwise.]
       

Read the rest of the article, including tips #10-27, on John Haydon’s site.

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