Far too often people find the process of writing an about page terrifying because talking about yourself and doing justice to everything that you have to offer isn't the easiest thing in the world to do.
And I totally get that, in fact, that's something that I've experienced firsthand. Although I'm a blogger, you'd be surprised by how many people have paid me to put their about page into words.
Their reasons for getting me to write an about page for them range from English being their second language, to a lack of time and resource to sit down and write.
I have a confession to make: I have re-done my "about me" page more than ten times.
And I'm not ashamed to say that because I want my story to be just as effectively told as the clients' stories that I've already put into words.
However, you don't necessarily need to be that obsessive, to write a really good about page, that makes you stick out amongst other professionals, in similar niches.
Today I'm going to give you a variety of helpful writing tips, on how to make a high-quality, professional about page.
1) Write Like You Talk
Getting pre-occupied with the idea of finding your writing voice is a bit like believing in things like sasquatches, and tooth fairies, and Santa Claus.
In other words, it's a nice thought, but not necessarily a practical mindset to get stuck on; especially if you want to write web content that doesn't inspire people to go to another website.
Instead of having a minor panic attack over not feeling like you've found your writing voice start paying close attention to how you talk.
A great way to do this is to pick something that you're passionate about.
The "something" that you choose can be anything from your favorite food to a band that you absolutely love, to a movie or TV show that you watch in your spare time, to just about any passion or hobby that comes to mind.
When you've chosen your topic, hit "record" on any device that you have at your disposal for recording audio, and just start talking about whatever that topic happens to be.
Start with the reason why you love your hobby of choice and then go from there.
Keep it spontaneous and don't censor your words. Just keep talking until you run out of things to say.
The reason why I said: "pick something you're passionate about," is because that will make the entire exercise a hundred times easier.
Don't show the recording to anyone, because knowing that someone is listening will make you feel like you have to cater to an audience, even if it's someone you deeply trust.
Sit somewhere quiet, and just pay close attention to your speech patterns.
Use anything that you notice about your speech patterns to influence the words you use when telling your readers about your story, values, and relevant background in whatever you happen to specialize in.
Once you write the first draft, get someone who knows you extremely well to read what you've written. Start by asking them if it sounds like you.
If they say "no" then rewrite it until what you've written resembles how you talked via the recording that you did about why you're passionate about a specific hobby or interest.
If they said "yes," then that's a really good sign that you're on the right track :)!
2) Be Mindful Of Your Audience
I know that I just dedicated an entire section to encouraging you to write like you talk, so this section probably surprises you.
However, at the end of the day, it's all about your audience, because if they don't care, your "about me" page will serve no purpose whatsoever.
But don't be discouraged, and feel like you have to sound like a generic template letter. Instead, once you've written a full draft, take a second to consider your ideal reader.
For instance, omit swear words, if you want to target a parenting blog or conservative institution.
If you use lingo that your audience will not understand either include an explanation in parentheses, or find another way to say the exact same thing.
3) Add a few personal tidbits about you
It's important to keep in mind that about pages aren't 100% about you. In fact, the name "about page" is a little bit misleading.
However, there's nothing wrong with adding a personal tidbit about the "you" outside of your life as a freelancer.
Personal tidbits, in moderation, are a great way to make your business a lot more authentic and relatable to your potential clients.
There are two ways to sneak in personal tidbits about your life, without them seeming irrelevant:
Add in a sentence that says something along the lines of "when I'm not writing, doing web design (or whatever you happen to specialize in) I'm often (insert stuff you like to do in your spare time here.)"
Or...dedicate an entire section of your about page to fun facts about you that's short, sweet, and to the point.
I said short, sweet, and to the point, because if you ramble on about your hobbies and favorite colors too much your about page will sound like an online dating profile.
4) Take the "strangers at a loud, crowded party" approach
Have you ever tried to explain what you do to strangers while hanging out at a loud, crowded party?
When constructing your about page treat your about page as if you're introducing your work to strangers, while in a similar environment.
Take a second to think about the last time that you looked up a business online, and read their website, before purchasing their products and services.
What was your priority? The following two answers will likely sound familiar:
- You wanted to find out how to visit their nearest location
- You wanted to find out more info quickly
If you think about it, explaining what you do at a loud crowded party requires a similar approach.
Be quick, simple, and to the point, about who you are, and what you have to offer, and your readers will feel compelled to find out more info.
5) Tell your readers what to do next
If you want to get the best possible results out of your about page, you need to tell your readers what to do next, when they're done reading.
And guess what? There are no right answers. A lot depends on what the goals of your site happen to be.
Do you want them to sign up for your newsletter? Is there a course that you're promoting? Do you want them to visit a specific page?
Be super upfront about what button you want readers to push, because let's be honest here, they probably don't know what they want to do next.
I also encourage you to embed other, related links to stuff like blog posts, testimonials, and LinkedIn, in sentences where having access to relevant URLs will strengthen your point.
6) Be visual
Show people an up close and personal shot of what you look like.
Break each section of your content up into smaller sections and add at least one photo of your face and/or you in action.
The web is a very visual medium, so your about page should be equally as visual.
Want to seem as credible as possible? Make sure that you also add social proof such as at least one testimonial, where you've been published, a "best of" collection of your social media achievements, etc.
7) Answer the question: "So what?"
Before you hit publish, take a look at everything that already wrote, that's not a personal tidbit added on to make your content a lot more engaging.
If it doesn't answer the: "so what" question, get rid of it. This will stop anything ranty and pointless from making it to your site.
Be ruthless. Don't get attached to any words or phrases. Just cut, cut, cut, whenever necessary.
Remember how I said that I've re-done my about page more than ten times? It takes an equal amount of patience to turn your story into an about page.
Whatever you do, don't overthink it too much. Just see it as a really cool opportunity to tell your story, and tell it with pride.
But I totally get it. Not everyone can write.
So if you're still a little lost, the good thing is I offer about page writing and editing services, and you can purchase my services as either an individual service or as part of a package deal.