Your “About Me” page is probably one of your site’s most highly trafficked pages.
It’s the one page that’s almost universal among blogs (and websites in general). Needless to say, your About page needs to make a great impression.
Consider the following four tips that may help you improve what you’ve already got:
Tip 1. It’s Not for You
Given that it’s called the “About Me” page, you might make the assumption that you should write about yourself. You’d be wrong.
People are self-centered, plain and simple. If someone decides to read your about page, they’re trying to decide whether your newsletter is worth signing up for, whether your blog can give them useful information, or whether to hire you. They aren’t reading because they want to know your political party, or what year you graduated high school.
What action do you want to people to take after reading your about page? Does the information on the page encourage them to do that? The more irrelevant information there is on the page, the more likely a reader is to get bored and leave your website, possibly for good.
Tip 2. Save the Donate Link for Later
Imagine meeting a new person at a party. You might chat about work, the weather, or shared interests. What would you think if the first thing they said to you was,
Do you have $20 I can borrow?
The About page is often the beginning of a relationship between you and the reader. They’ve found your site and want to learn more about you. They don’t know you, they aren’t convinced that you do valuable work, and they aren’t interesting in giving you their hard earned cash.
There’s nothing wrong with asking for donations – it’s a legitimate way of funding a website. A “Buy Me A Coffe” button at the end of a useful article is a good way to ask – on the About page, not so much.
Tip 3. Consider the Tone
In doing research for this article, I noticed a number of About pages where the author would make bitter, sarcastic remarks. These were probably intended as humor, but without knowing the person’s sense of humor or being able to hear their voice, the joke was lost on me.
Personal example? People often mispronounce or misspell my name (Odai). Offering a pronunciation guide was somewhat pretentious, and making jokes about it was often lost on those who didn’t know me well. My current solution is to offer this snippet: “Rhymes with Okay”
Closely related to complaining is bragging, another all-too-common feature of About pages. Going back to Tip #1, if your bragging isn’t related to your website’s focus, get rid of it.
Tip 4. Brevity is the Soul of Wit
The longer your About page is, the less likely people are to actually read the whole thing (on that note, consider putting the crucial information first).
Keeping your About page short is a good way to force yourself to leave out irrelevant information, and keeping the brags/complaints to a minimum.
Stay Shakespeare, my friends.