Exciting isn’t it?
You receive notification that you have a new follower. You experience a rush of emotions. You feel validated, complimented, and like your voice has been heard and acknowledged. You feel driven to make your new follower’s faith in you well placed.
Other bloggers have the opposite experience when their efforts do not garner them new readership.
There are still others who feel a mixture of confusion when they have both experiences but can not rationally explain why sometimes they get new followers and sometimes they don’t.
This post will explain it. The key factor rests on the strength of your About page.
When people consider following your blog, they want to know more about you, so they look at your About page.
An About page is a page on your site where new visitors find out about you and what your blog can offer them. Important elements must be included on this page, so the visitors stay and become followers. By including those elements, you can convert them.
These are actions you can consciously take to remove the element of luck from whether visitors become followers or leave never to return.
If organic traffic, which comes from Google searches, sends visitors to your site, you need to be ready with a strong About page.
What to Include on Your About Page to Turn Visitors into Followers
There are eight important criteria for an About page listed in order of importance.
1. A name for the page.
I’ve been referencing it as your About page, but you don’t have to call it that. Should you call it that? As you can see by the screenshot, I didn’t.
What is this page about? (No pun intended.)
- Is it about you? Perhaps you also want to call it About Me.
- Is it about you and the co-authors of your blog?
- Is it about you and your business or organization?
The bottom line is–be specific.
2. Reasons people should follow your blog
Ironically, this is the one element, the most important element, bloggers leave off their About page!
There are more than 152 million blogs on the Internet. Why should busy people read yours? Start the content on the page by explaining what your blog can do for them. Will it inform them? If so, what information will they receive? Will it entertain them?
Do not worry about appearing spammy or self-promoting here. This is the place to promote yourself. You might have seconds that they spend skimming your About page to convince them your blog is worth reading. This is not the place to mince words.
Look at the underlines in the screenshot. At very top of the page, I tell visitors what they can gain from following my blog.
3. A free item people will get for following your blog.
Since there are over 152 million blogs on the Internet, bloggers offer their readers an incentive for following their blog. (Did someone say bribe? Not me.)
It should be something relevant to your topic that they can only get for following your blog.
Does this add to your plate when you’re already so busy? Yes, it does. How badly do you want new followers?
You do have an option. You can pay a service like MailChimp $10.00 a month to automatically shoot out your incentive to your new followers.
4. A way for people to follow your blog
Now that you’ve convinced your readers your blog is the place for them, get their Email before they change their mind and leave.
If you self-host, include an opt-in page, so visitors can put in their Email and follow your blog.
If you are like me, and you don’t self-host, your visitors unfortunately will have to take an additional step to sign up.
When visitors click my link, it will take them to Mail Chimp where they can sign up for my blog. Mail Chimp notifies me when someone has followed me, and I send the new follower my incentive.
If you self-host, where my link is will be your opt-in box.
5. Your name
I read an article about the importance of having your name on the About page. It sounded like common sense to me, but when I checked, my name wasn’t there! (It’s there now.)
Visitors want to know you’re a real person.
There is a technique used in persuasion called “countering”. It entails thinking of an objection and telling your audience why they are wrong to have that concern.
If their objection is they have many choices of blogs to read, and they are not sure your blog is the one for them, testimonials will help you counter their concerns.
By using the names of real people and linking back to their sites, visitors know you haven’t made up the testimonials yourself , and they have more confidence in you.
7. A picture
You need a picture, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be a picture of you.
A good friend has devoted his site to promoting his graphic design business. I would expect he’d have an image of a graphic he’s designed.
If you’re DIY blogger, have a picture of something you’ve made.
I’m toying of replacing my top graphic. Pinterest is a great source of traffic. Graphics of people don’t do as well on Pinterest.
8. Information about you
This element is last since it’s the least important part of your About page.
You should include this information because people want to know that you are indeed a real, relatable person.
However, of all the reasons they have to read your articles, that is the last.
I have repeatedly asked in this post why people would choose to read your post over the 150 million others out there. Is it because you have a dog?
I realize how harsh this sounds. If you have read my About Me page, you know that I love dogs.
Look, tell your visitors whatever you want, your favorite food, which celebrity you met as a child, your hobbies… Just put it last.
The About page is your visitors’ first view of you. Put your best foot forward, or at least, the best About page you can write. By including these eight elements and the instructions for incorporating them, you’ll be doing just that.
If you think bloggers and other content creators can benefit from these tips on how to write an effective About page, please share.
Readers, have you checked your stats? Do many people read your About page? Have you thought about using Google Adwords to see how many people searched for you? I’d love to hear your experiences.