Your blog's About page or About section is one of the most important - and most often overlooked - parts of your overall blog design. A good About page can build reader trust and connection, showcase your expertise, get you work and help improve your SEO. Here's our tips for writing a strong About page along with some case studies from FBC Members.
Over the course of your food blog's life, your About page will be one of the most consistently visited pages on your website. But are you making the most of this very important, but often overlooked, page?
Over the last 8 years we've approved over 3000 FBC memberships and we've looked at the About page of every single one of those blogs. That's right. That's a lot of About pages! We look at About pages both as fellow bloggers who want to get to know you better, but also as people who help brands connect with bloggers. It's safe to say that when we see a good one, it stands out.
So let's dive in...
Why Is Your About Page So Important?
First things first. Why is your About page so important?
Well, there's several reasons actually!
- It's the first place people go when they want to know who's behind the recipes or reviews they're reading. Out of all the other food blogs out there, why should they listen to you?
- Google has this thing called E-A-T (Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness). Google wants to recommend pages that make users feel like they've reached a site that exhibits all of these qualities. Your About page can be a key ingredient in showcasing all of those.
- It's your opportunity to guide your visitors to the key areas of your site that you think will be most helpful to them.
- Any brand, agency, publishing house or journalist who is even remotely considering working with you is going to check out your About page. It will probably be their second stop after your Home page.
Those four reasons should convince you that your About page deserves a little bit more than a couple of sentences, which of course leads to one of the our most asked questions...
So What Should I Write About On My About Page?
There's two important things to remember before you start writing your About page.
First, while it is called your About page it's actually not about you (well it is, but hear us out for a second). It's actually about your readers. Your job is to tell them why they should stick around. What's in it for them?
Remember, there's thousands and thousands of food blogs out there. What are you going to do for them that's going to show them that your blog is the one they want to visit again and again? What makes you so special?
Second, Google's EAT acronym is actually a brilliant framework for an About page so start there. Show your Expertise, your Authority and your Trustworthiness.
Your Name and Photo
Let's start with Trustworthiness. Your name and a photo of you should be two of the first things people see on your About page. These are two big ways that readers connect with you. It's hard for most people to trust someone when they don't know who they are and they can't see them. They want to know there is a real person behind this content they're reading.
Brands, agencies, journalists - anyone who might have a professional interest in your site - also want to know who you are.
Can You Stay Anonymous?
As food writers there are times where you may have a legit reason for staying anonymous - like if you review restaurants or have a day job that requires a low profile on-line. That's ok. Can you use your first name only? Or create a fun pen name for yourself? Try to have some type of identifier that let's people know you're real and that they can connect with.
Just remember - if you ever want to write a cookbook, appear on television or even do sponsored work, you will have to reveal your full name. Even the duo behind Thug Kitchen had to give up their anonymity when their first cookbook dropped!
Next up is Authority and Expertise. Tell people why they should listen to you. Here's a few things you can include to show authority in your subject matter:
- education credentials - especially as they relate to food. If you're a Red Seal Chef, a Registered Dietitian, a Professional Home Economist etc, include that.
- employment credentials - do you work as a chef by day? Are you a freelance food writer? Do you work in food marketing?
- books you've written
- places you've been featured: publications, television, podcast interviews etc
- awards you've won ie: James Beard, IACP, Taste Canada, Saveur or other awards or distinctions
- relevant brands you've worked with on your blog or that you've freelanced for (these should reflect your niche - that's part of trustworthiness)
- other outside projects you've worked or collaborated on or spearheaded that relate to the content you produce on your blog
- classes you've taught or teach on a regular basis
- testimonials you've received
Ok, but what if you're not a dietitian or a chef and you've never been on tv or written a book? You just love to cook and you think you're pretty good at it. That's totally ok! In fact it makes you very approachable and relatable so take advantage of that.
Let people know you started your blog because you're the one everyone asks for the recipe at a potluck. Or that 10K people loved your One Pan Chicken Casserole so much they added it to their Pinterest boards. Find a way to let people know you're good at what you do and just as importantly, you're passionate about it.
According to this blog post by SEMrush, an SEO tool a lot of food bloggers use, Google has made it clear that certain types of content must be written by accredited professionals. This includes things like medical and financial information or "advice or information pages on any topic that can have a potential negative impact on a person’s health, happiness or wealth" . So be careful with the type of information you share on your blog when you don't have an appropriate professional designation or credentials.
Tell Your Audience A Little Bit About What Makes You Tick
You don't want to go on and on and on about your entire life journey but do give your audience some idea of who you are as a person.
If you had a unique journey that made you give up practicing law to cook gluten-free food every day that might be something your audience would like to hear about - the condensed version should be on your About page. You can link it to a more in depth blog post elsewhere on your site.
Share a few tidbits of personal trivia that are unique. "I love healthy food" is not unique - that's 80% of food bloggers (give or take). "I once won a pie eating contest in 15 seconds" is unique! They don't have to relate to food if you don't want them to. You just want people to be intrigued and feel connection.
Turn Your About Page Into A Map For Your Readers
Your About page is your opportunity to guide new readers through your website. Some bloggers even call their About Page a "Start Here" page. And while you may not want to use that term, reframing how you think of your About page can make it easier to write.
Here's some things you can include to help steer them to the things you most want them to see (this is also a great opportunity for SEO friendly internal linking!):
- a link to a couple of your most popular posts or "the post that started it all"
- a link to a post that talks about your food journey
- insert your most popular YouTube video
- links to particular resource posts - like if you have a series of "How To" posts that demonstrate specific techniques people find useful
- think of the questions you get asked over and over again - link to blog posts that answer those questions on your About page.
- Links to some of your best sponsored work - brands and agencies will appreciate this
Invite People to Connect With You
Do not waste the opportunity to invite people to connect with you when they've shown enough interest to hit your About page.
Include Contact Info
One of the biggest complaints we hear from brand and agency people is when there's no easy way to connect with a blogger on their About page. Make sure that info isn't missing! Agency people are busy and if they can't figure it out fast they move on to the next name on their list (remember what I said earlier? There's 1000s and 1000s of bloggers! Make it easy for people.)
A lot of bloggers will have a separate Contact page and that's totally fine. But, for all that is good and wise, please link to it on your About page!
Invite Readers To Connect On Social Media
Yes you have social media icons in your sidebar or header or footer (you do, right?) but on mobile they can be harder to find. So make it easy for people to connect while they're getting to know you. Extend a personal invitation - especially if you have one channel in particular like YouTube or Instagram where you want people to visit.
Pimp Out Your Email List and Email Freebie
This is also the perfect time to personally invite people to sign up for your email newsletter. Make sure you give them the ability to do that on the page and remind them of what a great freebie they're going to get when they sign up! (include an image if you can!)
Don't be afraid to promote anything else you have - like a course, ebook, shop or cooking classes. It doesn't have to be (and shouldn't be) a hard sell. Treat as if you're telling your audience about a tool you have that can make their life better. It's all about explaining the benefits for them!
Don't forget to make your About page easy to read. Include images or videos where appropriate. Break apart the text into chunks using appropriate headings or list formatting. Make use of internal linking where appropriate. Good heading structure and internal linking are beneficial for SEO.
Case Studies of Great About Pages From FBC Members
We thought we'd point you in the direction of some great About pages or sections from FBC Members in different niches if you need to get some ideas of how to lay out your information.
One thing to note is that each of these bloggers occupies a distinct niche. And, having met each of them in real life, one of the interesting things they've all managed to do (and it's not easy) is make their About pages reflect their real life voices and personalities.
Sweet Peas and Saffron - Meal Prep
Sweet Peas And Saffron: Denise is a meal prep blogger with an entire About section that's under her "Start Here" menu tab. Her Start Here page gives you the low down on what meal prepping is and points you in the right direction to get started with some useful internal links. Her "Meet Denise" page is a more personal look into who Denise is along with some of her favourite and most popular recipes. There's also a link to her free meal prep challenge and a section on how to get started with meal prep. Whichever of these pages you visit, you'll know very quickly what Sweet Peas and Saffron is and who's behind it. Denise does a great job of balancing out the content. None of the pages are too long or too short, there's lots of internal linking, images and good heading structures. And most importantly, it's done with her audience in mind. It's very easy to navigate, interesting and informative.
Bacon Is Magic - Culinary Travel
Bacon Is Magic: Ayngelina is a culinary travel blogger. Her About page is called "Hi! I'm Ayngelina". Right away it sounds friendly. Her About page is simple and straight forward. She introduces herself, gives you a very quick run down on her backstory and tell you straight up what she wants to do for you. There's an invite to join her email list and connect on social media, some very brief stats, a graphic showing where she's been featured, her contributors and then some tips on where to get started depending on what you're looking for. In the top right corner by her photo, there's links to contact her or request her media kit. It's a textbook About page - concise, to the point and informative!
Simple Bites - Family Food
Simple Bites: Aimée's blog focuses on family food the whole family can help prepare, from scratch as well as a bit of urban homesteading. She has a Start Here page and an About page that link to each other and that include simple internal linking so that readers can find everything they need. The Start Here page introduces new readers to Aimee and to the Simple Bites community and then guides them through some of Aimée's favourite recipes.
The About page introduces them to Simple Bites and links to Aimee's more personal bio. This is another way you can make your about pages more reader friendly - give them a brief intro to who you are but give them the option to link to a more in depth bio. One thing about Aimée is that her family spends a lot of time outdoors - cooking, gardening, eating, camping. Her about pages are chock full of inspiring photos that reflect their lifestyle.
Meghan Telpner - Health Professional and Entrepreneur
Meghan Teplner: Meghan is a Certified Nutritionist which puts her in the health and wellness field. Inspiring trust and displaying expertise for her readers are going to be very important for her. She also has an about section. It starts with Meet Meghan which has a brief overview including links to high profile press mentions. Then it gives you a chronological run-down on what Meghan has accomplished including education and business milestones. There's also a testimonial from Alicia Silverstone and then a "choose your own adventure" style section showing readers where they can go next.
Meghan also has a tab called Meghan's bio which includes her official press bio - both a long and short version - and press images. As somebody who does a lot of speaking engagements and media, this is a great idea making it easy for media, journalists and potential speaking clients to get the info they need. Because she does so much media, she has an entire Media page including video and podcast links making it easy for people to research her. She rounds it out with a Work With Her Page and what she calls "Love Notes" - which is more testimonials.
You might also find these blogging resources useful:
- Choosing the WordPress Recipe Plug-In That's Write For You
- How To Start Building Your Email List
- How To Make Great Pinterest Graphics For Your Food Blog