I attended Michael Hyatt’s Platform Conference last week, and yesterday’s “day of rest” consisted of sifting through the bulk of take-aways I came home with. After reading through my notes, I found that my About Page was sorely lacking. Perhaps yours, too? Here are the changes I made and why.
This was a tougher task than I thought it would be. I went through more drafts and revisions than I typically go through when writing. There were times I was digging deep into my vulnerabilities and passions that I wanted to quit. But, by the end of the day I had a decent About Page that I felt was much more accurate to who I am and more valuable to my readers.
Get to the point
I’m a go-getter and I have a lot to say, but the top of the About Page was hardly short and direct. Now I open with only three short paragraphs followed by a bulleted list of my five main interests. I remind readers that these are the things I will be blogging about.
To tell you the truth, that’s exactly what I would like to see in another’s About Page. I don’t want to be tickled with wordiness or fluff. Just get to the point and let me see if I think you’re cool or not.
Here’s how I kept focus: I stopped thinking of people I knew as the people I was connecting with. Instead, I thought of perfect strangers coming to my page and wondering why in the world would they want to subscribe to my blog. That’s one reason I have an About Page: to introduce myself to strangers. This is also why I put four pictures at the top, each representing the interests I like to write about. I had to get off my high horse to think that one through…
Remember “posers”? That was a teasing name my friends and I used in the 80s. Calling someone a poser was equivalent to calling them fake or a fraud, someone who tried to be like someone else. Well, I have to admit, when I read my original About Page, I wanted to get sick. I wrote it in September, and I don’t know what I was thinking. Perhaps I wasn’t thinking at all!
Perhaps this was my mistake: I was trying to be like most other bloggers. They write about productivity, social media, positive thinking, etc. I like to write about these things sometimes, too, but I hardly think of myself an expert in them. I’m a student when it comes to building my own platform.
Instead, this is what I resolved to do yesterday: get off my high horse and get real with my readers. I want to talk with them about what I know about. Self-employment, speech and debate, large families, and deep thoughts. I even restructured my navigation to reflect what is—for the most part—unique traits that I can offer others.
Get to the sale
I’m really not selling anything on ChrisJeub.com, but I do want visitors to subscribe to my site. I totally neglected this call-to-action on my previous About Page. I had thought that perhaps people wouldn’t want to be oversold on subscription. I mean really, the link is in the sidebar, just leave it at that.
Nonsense. Ask people to subscribe, especially on the About Page. This hesitation or doubt in the value of my own content—of who I am and what I have to offer people—is what Michael Hyatt calls “the resistance.” The resistance is a little demon in my head that attempts to push me down. In reality, I’ve got good things to say and I enjoy sharing. If someone wants to follow me and put me in their stream of reading choices throughout their week, I consider that an honor. If not, that’s okay too.
That’s the whole purpose of the About Page. The visitor can read about my interests and decide for himself or herself if subscription is worth the effort. But if I fail to get to the sale, visitors might leave without considering subscribing. Though subscription is free, that would be a loss for both of us. They would lose the valuable content I provide, and I would lose connection with some friends.
Visit my About Me page. Let me know what you think.
And for a laugh, you can view my old About Me page here.