Write An Amazing "About" Page for Your Blog or Business | Nadia Eldemerdash | Skillshare

Write An Amazing "About" Page for Your Blog or Business

Nadia Eldemerdash, Writer, editor, and blogger

Play Speed
  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x
6 Lessons (29m)
    • 1. Intro to "Writing an About Page"

      1:58
    • 2. Deciding What to Write

      3:10
    • 3. Style and Tone

      4:27
    • 4. What NOT to Write

      6:39
    • 5. Examples of Successful About Pages

      10:42
    • 6. Class Project: Write Your Own About Page!

      2:31

About This Class

Whether you're a blogger, entrepreneur, or small business owner, it's crucial that your "About" page reflects your brand and your mission. The "About" page of a site is one of the most important - and most visited - pages on any website - and when someone is on our "About" page, it indicates a serious interest in your work. It's up to you to take advantage of that interest with an "About" page that informs and engages. 

Basically, you've already got your reader where you want them. Now it's up to you to keep them there. So how do you do that? In this class, we'll talk about how to approach the task of writing an "About" page: what you need to consider in terms of content, style, and branding to create a page that converts visitors into customers and readers into fans.  

6efeffe9

Transcripts

1. Intro to "Writing an About Page": Hi. Welcome to this class. We're going to be discussing the most effective ways trying an about page for your blog's or business site. Now, for those of you who don't know me, my name is Nadia, and I'm a freelance writer and editor. I have my own block, and I also write Web copy for clients in a lot of different kinds of industries. So I am very familiar with this content, and I'm very excited to share with you my knowledge and experience today. If you're taking this class, you probably already know how important the about pages. But what you might not know is that the about page is the second most viewed page on a site . The first is the home page and the about pages where the readers air going when they want to learn more about you and who you are and what you dio. So it's very important that this page makes a good impression. And this is something that you might have known if you checked your own site traffic stats , and you can go ahead and do that today as well and see how your about page is doing. Compared to other pages on your site. So in this class, we're going to learn what questions we should be asking when we write in about Paige and how to enter those and engaging. Wait, how to talk about your mission in a way that relates to your audience what not to write, because what you don't say can be just as important as what you do say. And we're also going to look at real examples of about pages from websites so that we can get a sense of what kinds of techniques they're using, what works for them and what may also work for you at the end of this class. My goal is that you should be able to write your own about page for your blogger website. If you haven't done that already, you should feel confident in doing that. If you have, you can take these techniques and go back to your own about page and see what needs to be changed. If anything. All right, let's do this. I'm excited. I hope you are, too, and let's get started right away. 2. Deciding What to Write: Whenever you write something, it can be hard to know where to start. So to start your about page, you're going to ask yourself four questions. Who am I? What do we dio? Why do I do it? And how am I different? And these last two questions are going to be particularly important, and we'll talk more about them later. Now, as you answer these questions, make sure that your tailoring your answers to fit your audience and their interests So think about who is your target audience. How old are they? What do they do for a living? What are some of their problems? What are some of their goals in life? What and how do those things connect with what you're doing and what you're providing? Because ultimately you're eater is trying to find out more about you, but they're doing that to benefit themselves. So that's something that you have to keep in mind when you're writing. So, for example, when you're writing, who am I? You're answering that question. Think about your experience, your knowledge or authority. Why are you someone they should come to for the information that they're looking for when you're thinking What do I do? Think about your products, your services, why those clients or the audience needs that information or that product that you have when you think about how my different think about your approach, your special offers. If you have those. If you have a specific background that gives you an edge pitch that think about your values , your mission. All of those things are going to help secure part. But they're also going to speak directly to your audience and what they're looking for. Depending on what you want to do with your site and the structure of it, you may also want to include a few other things. You could include testimonials from your clients. You can reach out to clients and ask them specifically for testimonials. Or if you have a claim that has left you a particularly complimentary comment on your website or on your blog's or on your social media sites, you could reach up to them and ask if you can take that and future on your website as well . You can feature work samples to give perspective clients a better idea of what you do. You can include free added value products. So a lot of independent, particularly contractors and freelancers, to do this will include worksheets, for example, pointers lists of tips and these are all free downloads, and the advantage of that is that they get also get email addresses through this kind of added value. And that gives them a direct point of contact to this person that they know is interested in what they have to offer. You can include your contact information and a call to action, and this is one that I highly recommend. So ask your audience in the about page encouraged them to to subscribe to you two like to you to call ur. Contact you through your website that call taxes going to engage your audience and people do respond to them. So next time we're going to talk about the style of writing and how you can dealer that style to reflect your brand and reflect who you are. 3. Style and Tone: Hi. Welcome back. Today we're talking about style and tone, and in the last couple of classes, we've talked about how the about page is an opportunity for you to connect with your audience. And because of that, it's really important that you come off as sincere and authentic, but without being cheesy or over sharing or any of that kind of thing. So how do you do that? It's kind of It's a balancing game, and we're gonna talk about playing that game today. So what you want to do is you want to incorporate elements of the personal, but by demonstrating how big neck to your professional persona. So you can mention things like your personal history, your family background, your childhood experiences, schooling, for example. So as an example, if you are a dentist, your you have your own clinic and your father was also a dentist. You could mention that in your about page, you can talk about your influences and your work, have how those impacts your approach. Influence can include mentors, teachers, former employers or even employees that have really helped guide your process. And then you also want talk about your motivation so what are you in? This four? And these motivations can be philanthropic, the committee personal, but they can also be professional and financial, and I know it seems sort of counterintuitive that you should be writing about your professional or financial goals. And of course, you don't want to dwell on them too much. But people do understand those, and they do respect them now. The things I've noticed with most about pages is that people either struggle to write about themselves at all. They don't like writing about themselves, or they kind of go in the opposite direction where they're writing too much. So what you want to do is you want to again strike a balance. Be proud of your accomplishments. But don't brag. Don't be smug. So the best way to do that is simply presenting your accomplishments in the street forward manner and then linking them to your values and to your mission. Also, you want to acknowledge any hope that you've received, and this again goes back to the beginning, where we were talking about using mentors and personal experiences as part of your professional story. But then, at the same time you want to focus on the future. Remember, again like these in the last time, The, um, reader is really here to learn about how you can benefit them. So don't focus too much on what you've accomplished in the past for other people. Focus instead on what you can do for your clients or your readers in the present day. A few other points you're going to want to consider writing in the first person versus the third person and the third person is a common form, but it can kind of come off as detached. And the implication is that someone else wrote this for you. You didn't write it. And even in cases where that's true, that's not necessarily the impression you want to give. You want to give the impression that you really dedicated some time to do this, to develop that personal connection with your reader? I prefer first person because of that very reason, because it is more engaging now what kind of style is expected by your audience, and this again goes back to looking at your audience and your target audience and seeing who they are, what, what their age, what their interests are and what their expectations are. And so if you have a casual SIA casual blawg, maybe a lifestyle block, for example, um, or maybe your readers tend to skew younger or your clients skew younger. You might want to go with a more casual style in a more casual vibe. But if you're a professional site and you're offering professional services than be professional, be formal and be kind of conservative, I would say in your style and again, this is something that you're going to have to judge for yourself. Each UH, website is going to be different in each audience. Group is going to be different as well. But again remember that your audience has to be the number one consideration when you're writing the about page. Then again, you want to also be consistent, so be consistent with your tone throughout the site, and that's going to help establish your brand in your voice as ah, as a site and as a professional. So if you're going to be very casual in your block posts, don't be extremely, ah, professional and stiff in your about page to keep that casual style throughout. I hope that was helpful for you guys. Next time we're going to talk about what not to do. The mistakes that I've seen that I believe people should try to avoid. I'll see you then. 4. What NOT to Write: it's the fourth class, and so far we've talked about what to write, how to write it. And as important as those things are and they are crucial, obviously have something to write. It's also important to know what not to write. And again, this is your chance to connect with your audience. So the last thing you want to do is to come off as off putting snobbish, stiff or boring. And so I'm going to go over some of the mistakes that I've seen on about pages that I feel are the most common, and that I think people are most likely to dio because they're not aware of the kind of impression that it may be giving the first mistake. I like to call it the life story page, and this is the most common mistake that I see where people start from the very beginning of their childhood and then all the way through the present day. And this is a don't because it is not relevant to your reader. Not relevant means that it's boring, you know, and the life stories kind of style. This is kind of thing that requires a very skilled professional writer to be successful. And even then, life story type um, structures could be very cumbersome to read very though very slow, especially on mobile platforms, which nowadays most people use treat anything or to check anything online that on the mobile platform it's really going to look just long and overwhelming to your audience or to your reader. And that's the last thing you want. Now some of you may be thinking, Well, last time you said I should include my personal history in my mentors and my influences and so forth, Absolutely. But my advice is summarize and condense, so you want to kind of keep it short and keep it to the most relevant point of your, uh, to the most welcome point to your work. So I've given you an example here. This is one sentence I fell in love with reading when I was a kid, so I decided to pursue a career in journalism there that brings in your personal story, your personal interest versus this, this long, kind of ongoing paragraph that I kind of wrote just off the top of my head about how you loved writing and you did it in school and so forth and so on. Nobody needs to know all of that. Okay, What I want you to do is when you're writing this and you're writing that personal kind of part of your about page, think about your resume. When you were in college and you started writing a resume to apply to internships and jobs , you didn't include the lemonade stand you opened when you were 11 years old one summer. That's because it's too far away and it doesn't have anything to do with what you're trying to do right now. And when you graduated from college, you took how all of the high school jobs that you had in your CV before and you replaced them with the experience from college. That's because the experience from college is much more relevant, and it deserves more space and more detail. So think about it in the same way the next don't is what I called my hobbies page, and this happens. I think when people are trying to, uh, really make themselves stand out and they don't want to come off as being very generic or robotic. Like every other website that offers this service or this product out there, and so they go to kind of the other extreme, and they go into too much detail about their hobbies and their interests and those hobbies and interest. Sometimes we'll have nothing to do with their work. So these kinds of pages there not only offering irrelevant information, but they also make you seem distracted. And when you seem distracted, you're making the reader kind of second guess themselves. What is this page about? Why am I here? Maybe I should go somewhere else because they're not getting the information from you, that there that they need and that they're looking for. I've given you an example here, and I'm not going to read through the whole thing. But you'll see this is a kind of example where, for example, this woman that I'm imagining she has a professional site. Maybe she's an accountant or an architect or interior designer. And so she does have this personal element again that ties into her work, but at the same time gives her personality and gives her life kind of outside of that work , versus kind of going into a lot of detail about her kind of personal life and what she's doing outside of work. Now this isn't This isn't just go for professional sites if you run a hobby site. If you run a lifestyle site, don't tell me about your job. This is not what the reader is looking for. And again, you have to remember that your audience needs to be at the forefront of what you're writing . This goes for all kinds of writing, but especially for the about page, because that's really what they're there for now. Our last don't is the one where it's a very kind of negative view of the world I call the Everything is the worst page, and this sometimes happens when you're trying to make a case for your product or service, particularly in an industry where maybe things have not been going so well. Or maybe people have tended to have bad experiences. Think like car dealerships or something like that. And in an attempt to make a case for yourself or for your service, you paint this very dark picture for your audience. Now that's going to be a turn off because people don't respond well to negative messaging. They respond a lot better to positive messaging. So here is my example. Your business is terrible and will fail without my help versus saying your business will be even better with my help. Those are the kind of the two different kinds of everything is the worst, where they're kind of painting this picture of you because you need their product or their service. Your whole business is going to kind of fall apart without their help. Um, that's not what the reading wants to year, and that's not what they want to know. They want to see what you can do for them, not why their their work is not up to par, whatever it may be. So one thing you don't want to also do is trash your own industry or trash competitors. First of all, it comes off as kind of petty and unprofessional on. Also, if the industry as a whole is terrible or if your competitors air so awful, why should we then take your word for that? You're going to be somehow different. You see what I mean? The whole point of the about pages to really sell yourself as a professional. As an expert in what you're doing. And the best way to do that is to focus on your positive traits versus the negative traits of other people or other businesses or other sites. Next time we're going to leave the sides at home and we're gonna go out into the Wide Wide Web and look at about pages and see what we can learn from them. I'll see there. 5. Examples of Successful About Pages: Hello again. This is a new kind of ah thing for you to start out this class with, but that's why we're here. We're going to look at about pages on websites today, and we're going to talk about that. We're gonna talk about what they're doing, Gray. Maybe you're thinking wrong. If anything, and we're going to hopefully learn something from that and be able to apply it to our own work or your own work here. What? You're about pages on your sites. So let's get started. We're starting out with this website. It's called co kobo ebooks dot com. This is an E book Andy magazine site that I use. Sometimes I have their app on my iPad and they're really fun. And this is their about page. So one thing you'll notice design wise and this question is really about design. But it's what it's worth looking at in terms of, you know, the spacing of the words and so forth is that there's really it's really comfortable. There's a lot of space, Um, and I think that's a really good way to do things. So we're starting out open up to a whole new way to love reading. So this is really smart because the people who are going or looking to buy books or people who want to read books, people who love to eat, and now it makes the case for the reading. You reading puts even more of these experiences that our fingertips, because kobo is an online only platform, they don't sell like, um, physical books. So they're going to really be selling you in this about page on, um, the electronic books in the electronic readers that they prevent. You've got the call to action in the added value sign up today. Cult action getting at get a $5 account credit. And now they're selling you on the site itself because you can get. Nowadays, you can get electronic books everywhere, but there's something you want. Cobo, as the site to get them from our library is huge, and it's always growing. Find them all in our safe and dedicated kids store, so you have something for Children. It's that's something you are looking for so they're setting themselves apart. And the more you read, the more we can help select the books. We think that you'll enjoy most So they've got that personalized recommendation on again. They're using that. They're putting that at the forefront to set themselves apart. They're talking a little bit about their e reader here, and this is something that's going to be specifically for people who are interested in e readers. Um, but they've got all the features of it on there, and it's a shop. Now again, that's that call to action. Love Reading on the go Try the free reading app So free again is one of those words that kind of brings people in. Get the app again. Your call to action. You've got this pretty picture of this nice relax, lady. She's having cooking time. She's not reading, which is a little bit weird. But anyway, and then talk about a perk were the only globally bookstore to offer reward points with every purchase, what you can redeem from a catalogue of over one million e books, etcetera. So this is again saying themselves apart. So how am I different? That's that question that they're answering, that they've been answering throughout this about Paige, and they've got that learn more. But in there and so you see that they've really included all of the crucial pieces of information. You know who they are. You know what they're doing. And you know how they're different from other people who are doing the same thing. Particularly Amazon, I imagine, is their biggest competitors. One thing that I would probably do differently is me. Move This perks up because that's something that's really going to attract people. Um, that they can, you know, continue to collect those points on on books. I think that might be moved up a little bit, and I think, yeah, that's about it for me. Personally, I really like this. Obviously, I use this website a lot, so I may be a little bit biased, but I think it gives you a good sense of what kind of information what sort of content you should be prioritizing. And I especially like the way that they've incorporated that call to action and that added value regularly throughout the pool post because it keeps you scrolling right, and that's very smart as well. This is another website. It's the Tempest dot Co two news site, so it's not selling. They're not selling a product. They're just providing news articles and you can kind of see that I'm already logged in. So I do, Ah, work for this website and this is up there about page. So first they've got this picture. They've got these three women who are very different look very different, and that you'll see really connects with their whole message about diversity. And then it says, we're excited you're here. Now let us tell you a bit about ourselves. Our mission, right at the four fund, the Tempus is run by divers, millennial women. So that checks with the picture for the world where empowering, disrupting an amplifying all at once. So it gives you a sense of what these are, What this site is going to be really focused on. Women, young people, world, so different cultures, different races, different ethnicities, etcetera, empowering, disrupting, amplifying. So probably they're looking for controversial topics. The Tempus is leading media and tech company, and you'll notice this is a lot. This isn't much bigger font. So if you're skimming this, say, on your mobile device, this is what's going to catch your eye in the beginning, and then you're going to maybe scroll down. If you're interested in that it will scroll down through the rest of the piece tells you a little bit about the about the website. Who, who they are together building a community of multicultural craters, taste makers and influencers. So why they're doing this launched in 2016 so history of the website were not about consuming the normal here to disrupt median start global movement. So again, just constantly and the word choice here is really, really important. And it's Quinton pretty important for you to the kinds of words that you use are going to give an impression about your brand in your voice and your style. So make sure that the words that you're using if you are a very active brand or very active personality, make sure that your words are reflecting that so and then you have underneath that you have a note from our founder and this is her. She has a picture of herself and pictures. By the way, now that we're here, it's always recommended to put a picture of yourself on your own site says people kind of relate to that a little bit better, and it gives them sort of a face to think about when they're thinking about your brand or about your site. And she's talking about here about why she why she started this swept site on what she's doing with it. Um, she's talking about her history, her personal, that personal almond here. Figuring out what led me to that decision takes me back to being the awkward, slightly pudgy, verbose self that I was at 14 years old, always on the fridge of the social circle, etcetera, etcetera. I had a fire freaking out gaps in the market. She's she started out. That's her entrepreneurial kind of background. And then how she sort of connected that entrepreneurial background with that, um, as she described herself verbose, awkward teenager. And that kind of became the Tempest. And it's quite long you're going to kind of go through it and, um, that's really all there is. That's their about Page. I think he gives you a very good idea of what the site is about. Um, and I think it's very, uh, helpful that she has that kind of personal element to it, because when you're working with Boggs and media sites and news sites, there do tend to be kind of impersonal and detached. And with this there's kind of a face behind the work and that it's a real person and they have, ah, particular mission. They have value, have particular values, and that's something that helps readers relate to them. And for a site like this, it's all about that personal connection. This is a, uh, thinks this is a website. You'll leave hammocks dot com They right. They create, uh, hammocks. People who are in developing countries make hammocks, and they saw them. And so it is. It does have that kind of philanthropic aspect to it, and so are Moto. Do good, Relax. So they've got that do good right in there in the very beginning, because the philanthropic part of their business is a big part of who they are, what their message is. In addition to sustainable social change, we believe passionately in travel naps, good food, great friends, etcetera, etcetera. And so that also kind of fits in with the idea of what a hammock is. A hammock. You think the beach you think relaxing vacation, that kind of thing. And so they're bringing all of that in and connecting the two together. They're also saying, we this is a company. So when we say we about the company, this is not like everybody's getting together at a conference room and write and get all together, But they're referring to themselves in the first person because it does quit that kind of engagement in that kind of personal feel. And you really feel like that there's a human being behind screen on the back end of the website who's actually doing all of this. Then they give you a breakdown of how does it work? It's not a charity and imparting community transformation. So how how are we different? That's the question that that answers, and it's all about sustainability. It's something and there that's really their focus. And so that's the kind of person that they're going to attract, someone who's really committed to sustainability, to poverty, alleviation, to development on all of those kinds of things founded from a vacation inspiration again, that personal touch and you can you can have that read more options. So if you don't necessarily want to read, the entire story can just you could just kind of scroll down, and that's a good option to. If you feel like, um, perhaps your story is a little bit disassociated from what you're doing right now, or if it's if it's really long. Even after you've summarized it, you find it's a little bit much or you have so much else. Do you want to include that? You don't really want to focus on yourself? You could maybe consider including on a different page, and maybe that will help you. For those who do have that kind of reluctance, see to write about your own self that can help. You kind of get past a little bit and then full circle there, kind of repeating themselves a little bit here. And that's kind of the only thing that I would maybe criticizes that it does seem sort of, uh, repetitive in some places and then a theory, and you have the call to action, and you might want to move your call of action up again. As I said, because you have no guarantee that your reader is gonna get all the way down here, I hope that this was hopeful for you to see these examples. I recommend that you actually go to them. Please Of course, we're not going to read through them word by word, uh, in this class. But I recommend that you go through them and go to websites. Did you like and go to their about pages websites that you frequent and see what they do and see what your competitors websites are doing and take what you can from that, um, and revise it to fit your own style and if it what you're doing, So that would be my recommendation in our next class. We're going to wrap up, and we're going to hopefully get you started on your own. About Page. I'll see you guys. 6. Class Project: Write Your Own About Page!: all right. It's our last class, and in this class we're really just going to go over everything that we've looked at over the last 45 classes. So where it's really kind of a revision. And so what we've learned so far is that when you start their about page, when you start asking yourself questions about who you are, what do you do? Why are you doing it and how are you different? You're going to answer those questions with your audience in mind. So answer those questions for your audience. Remember that this is a pitch to them. It's not just writing about. You include personal touches that make you stand out, but at the same time, don't dwell on too much personal detail that doesn't connect with your professional or with your site's purpose. Be proud of your accomplishments and present them, but in a straightforward manner. Don't brag. Focus on the future and what you can provide for your readers in the present. We talked about Don's don't write your life story. Don't talk about hobbies or interests that aren't related to your site. Don't focus on negative aspect. Focus on the positive people respond to that better, so just keep those points in mind when you're writing. And now that we've gotten all those points and we've had a chance to look at some about pages and see what they're doing right and what there may be doing, maybe a little bit wrong, it's time for you to write. So what you're going to do is you're going to write an about page for your business or blawg or, if you have one, already want to go back and edit it. Remembering all those points, including the personal touches, writing for your audience, not for yourself. My advice is particularly if you are not comfortable with this kind of format or you're not comfortable with the style of writing is to keep it short, keep it under 500 words having that word limit. And finally, Edwards is a is a full page single spaced. So having that words limit is really gonna help you consider what is absolutely crucial to include and what really doesn't feed into your your story or your businesses story and, of course, half fun, because when you have fun, it comes off and you're writing and people will enjoy it more. That is my advice. So I hope that this class has been really helpful for you. I really enjoyed doing it. And I hope that you have to stay tuned for more writing. Class is coming up soon for me. And I hope that you guys have an awesome breast of your day or whatever you're doing. Have a great time. I'll see you guys soon. Bye.