It’s always among the first pages I ever look at when I go to any website. If it sucks, or is just otherwise not interesting, I’ll just leave.
If you look at your website analytics, it’s also likely among the top visited pages on your website.
It’s your about page and it’s one of those things that falls under the old adage that you never get a second chance to make a first impression.
You want your about page to be awesome. It’s an area where you can show off your creativity, and personality, and make a connection with your visitors.
The best about pages are part bio, part personal story, part what you’re up to and a whole lot of ‘how I can help’. Stuffy, corporate-speak about pages are bounce rate inducing, sleep-promoting, naps waiting to happen.
So where do you look for inspiration?
A while back I worked on recreating my “about me” page because, quite frankly it sucked. I was reminded about how it sucked by Marc Ensign’s post on that very same topic and was convinced it was time to do something about it. I couldn’t wait any longer.
But I wasn’t all that sure what I wanted to communicate or where to begin. The old standard of writing in the third person, sounding like a résumé page, or just generally coming off as cheesy were all out of the question.
But I knew something had to be done, so I started looking around and asking about who was crushing it with their about page, and I found some gems.
As I was working on my page I found a few questions that I needed to answer.
- How can I help?
- Who am I?
- What do I do?
- What am I doing/working on?
- What can others expect if they work with me?
The thing that resonates most with me is pages that make a connection and that point to their subject as being human and approachable.
It’s was admittedly a difficult exercise. So I started looking and asking around and here are eight pages I found that are awesome.
I have to start with the one who gave me the virtual kick in the tail to get things moving. His page is personable, inviting, and interesting. He’s a great story teller and it really comes through on his page.
Pat has a lot of things going on and that’s what caught me most about his page. His story is fantastic and something I find incredibly inspiring. I love how this page gets in to the different projects he’s working on, and how he has them featured on this page.
It was Derek who pointed out that these pages are not so much about me, but about my visitors. He has a great page. He also wrote a great post on the DIY Themes website that helped shape my thinking on the way that I wanted to build my page.
Peep’s page is fantastic. It’s clear about what you’ll find on his blog, who his target audience is, who he is, and clearly how he can help.
Sonia’s page features a Q&A style interview, and I really like what she did with it. Not overly long, but short, sweet, clear and to the point. I borrowed elements of this approach for my page.
This page was pointed out to me by a member in a community where I’m involved, and the other part of the interview-type inspiration came from this page.
Amy’s page is great in telling her story, which I love. She excels at telling her story which brings a very human feel to her and her page and really communicates how she would be a great person to work with.
Michael’s page is very fitting for him and what he does. The big thing that I like most about this particular page is his colophon. This is borrowed from the print world, and I think is a fantastic addition to his page. If I ever get done designing mine, I will be adding it here.
It takes time to create a great about page, but it’s worth the effort. There is a lot you can learn from the pages these people have created and use for your own site.
You should always be refining and making your page better and better and keeping it updated with the things you have going on.
So grab a little inspiration and get to work! Your about page is among the most important on your site – don’t neglect it any longer!
image by Quinn Dombrowksi