How to Write an Effective About Page

by Stephanie Bryant

Your About page.

Cursor blinking. You can almost hear the taunting.

Most of us are intimidated to write one. So we hurry through what we don’t enjoy.

Maybe you’ve been busy creating a small company and have forgotten the About page, knowing it hasn’t been updated in awhile. But the latest campaign was more important, right?

Somehow you’ve overlooked the About page as the number one place your potential customers are clicking to see if they want to connect with you.

You can Google ‘How to Write an About Page’ and you’ll find some very sad and predictable efforts. I think most of the articles were filler for a slow day or written to check this task off a larger list. Quick: Who are you, What do you want out of your site, What are you selling, etc. {If you’ve found a helpful article on this topic, please link to it below. I’d love to read it.}

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the realm of Social Media, it’s that you can create the rules and then break them and begin again, with sometimes even better results. Expect the unexpected. So, the below are only suggestions, not hard and fast rules, but what I believe to be effective methods to connect with your consumer.

{I’ve included a few examples, too. Most are not organizations or businesses. I think corporate should take cues from social media influencers. They are shaping the way consumers want to interact.}

  • Don’t make her scroll. Keeping it brief is difficult, that’s why it’s art. It’s the start of a conversation and your site is continuing that conversation. Lisa does a perfect job.
  • Make sure you answer who you are. That’s why she has clicked on your About tab. She wants to know who’s behind your blog, site, store. It’s important to her.
  • Describe your roles in unique ways. Create words if you have to. If the reader isn’t clear on what it means but has a fuzzy idea – Super! Now, you’ve given her a reason to dig deeper on your site. Ann Voskamp is a “determined laundress, chief bottle washer, desperate Grace-clinger.”
  • Save something for later. If you’ll whet her appetite, then she’ll want more from you. She’ll come back. Pique her curiosity and make her want to read you, work for you, love your product before she ever purchases it. And she will purchase it. {If this is difficult to do, then you may need to examine what it is you do and why you do it.} Sarah Markley from The Best Days of My Life drops hints of her moving story of redemption, leaving her reader wanting more, eager to click on other pages of her site.
  • The difficult part of writing your About page should not be a lack of content, passion, or story. Your consumer should understand the why very quickly, without you stating your brand promise or mission statement.
  • Always tell a story, don’t pitch me. {But you’re thinking “I’m selling a product! Of course I need to pitch them. My online visitor needs to know how wonderful my company is and the ten benefits of my product.”} Talk with your consumer like you’re face to face. Would you grab her arm and begin a product demo or tell her the entire history of your company? I would hope not. Or would you tell her why Red Letter Words are in your home, like Dee, and win her business and friendship?
  • A running list is not the best way to engage with your consumer, but then again the rules can be broken and set you apart. That’s art. Ruthanne @ Eclectic Whatnot is a perfect example of expressing her blog, her vibe, her style and what you’ll receive from her writing . . . all based on a very thought-filled list.
  • Manage expectations. Not yours’. Your target audience. This is a perfect spot to set the tone for your site and help them to understand what they’ll find when they visit. Esther Havens is someone I want to work with becuase of her site — featuring her talent.
  • Be yourself. If she reads only your About page and then meets you at a conference, would she be surprised? Or pleasantly find you are the flourishing real-life version of your online persona?
  • Make sure all parts of your Social Media footprint are communicating the same message. Your twitter bio, Facebook profile, and About page should be sisters.
  • And the biggest secret is. . .the About page is not really about you at all. It’s about them, her, him. It’s about your reader, your consumer and how you are, and will continue, to serve them.

What company or blogger’s About page inspires you? Who do you think is doing it well?

  • http://www.inspiredtoaction.com/ Kat @ Inspired To Action

    Great advice! Guess I know what I’ll be working on tomorrow. :-) My about page is SUCH a hodgepodge. Sad, really. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Anonymous

    Stephanie, Ruthanne’s link is bad. Also, now I’m feeling insecure about my About page and wanting you to come critique it. :-)

  • http://twitter.com/stacey29lincoln Stacey29lincoln

    Good stuff to think about Saturday over my 2nd cup of coffee!

  • http://www.sbryant.me Stephanie Bryant

    If you specific questions about your About page, lets discuss it in the comments. I’m more than glad to help.

    Thanks, Dawn. The Eclectic Whatnot link is fixed now.

    • http://www.sbryant.me Stephanie Bryant

      I can tell it’s early. There should be a ‘have’ between you & specific. Thanks in advance for grace. :)

  • http://www.inspiredtoaction.com/ Kat @ Inspired To Action

    Stephanie,
    Do you have any tips on sharing your “credentials” (the things that communicate social proof to new visitors) without coming across as boastful? Not that I have a lot of “credentials” but, you know, someday. :-)

    • http://www.sbryant.me Stephanie Bryant

      Try recommendations from those that you’ve worked with in the social space. That way it doesn’t feel like boasting but is a glimpse of what future companies and organizations will experience when they work with you.

  • http://www.4tunate.net/ QuatroMama

    These are fabulous. Great suggestions and insights. Thanks for investing in us!

    • http://www.sbryant.me Stephanie Bryant

      My pleasure. Glad you think it’s helpful.

  • http://twitter.com/parresia Julie Wilson

    I guess the reason I haven’t created an About Me page yet, is that I haven’t figured out who I am yet…

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  • Nancypantsgirl

    I spent a lot of time on the computer earlier this week editing and uploading Blissdom photos… and not feeling well. In between I redesigned my blog and rewrote my about (me) page. http://www.shawnanigans.net/?page_id=2

    P.S. I’m so glad I was able to meet you before getting on the plane.

  • http://www.natashametzler.com/ Natasha Metzler

    Lovely reminders. I tried something totally different with my about page with amazing results. Stepping outside the box is a brilliant suggestion (while still answering the unspoken question that readers are asking when they click “about”) 

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