I hate writing about myself on my website’s ABOUT page. I don’t want to boast about my accomplishments, but I sure don’t want my bio to sound like a CV.
Many of us probably feel this way. Luckily, a new theory regarding how to write your ABOUT page could help. A lot.
Recent stories, including one in Writer magazine, indicate that writing your ABOUT page as a narrative will help on the SEO and conversion fronts. In their words:
Creating your story ties together your history and unique philosophies into a narrative, one that is both visual and telling. Your story might include how you got started, including your personal history and important milestones in your writing life.
Your goal is to connect with your readers. And we all know that people relate to and remember stories, often forgetting the rest. None of us wants to end up in a mental trash can. Taking a story-approach to your ABOUT page can help.
Begin with a sloppy letter about your career. Starting at the beginning and going chronologically will help keep your thoughts organized and make the later process easier. Write about what:
- Inspired you to get into your line of work or to write your book.
- Led you to make the choices you did.
- A pivotal moment along the way.
I love the magazine’s next piece of advice—to show the story instead of merely telling it so that the reader gets to go along for the ride. The article brilliantly points out the difference:
If I wrote, “I got my start with poetry in November 2010, and it’s been an important endeavor to me,” there is nothing to see visually – it’s just comprised of “telling” details. Consider the following example and how a picture forms in your mind, placing you right there with the narrator.
My life changed the day I took my first step onto a layer of red-hot coals; surrounding me were other women, just like me, dressed in colorful shorts and T-shirts – only they’d already crossed, and seemed little deterred to do it again. With the full moon overhead, and a drum beating in the distance, I took my second step…somewhere around the third step, my first poem came to me…
Of course, you may want to share your philosophy about life, work or writing, and you’ll definitely want to share your credentials. Again, sloppy writing will help with the brainstorming. Don’t worry about how it sounds. You’ll have plenty of time to revise once you’ve got the initial words down.
Once you’ve got your initial copy banged out, tie it all together in a logical, story-driven way. Just remember the object here is to leave the reader with a real sense of who you are, not just what you’ve accomplished. That’s what will ultimately set you apart.
I recently revised my ABOUT page using this approach. While I still have some work to do on the evocative scene front, I hope my new ABOUT page gives you some ideas of how to revamp your ABOUT page.
(And yes, despite a rather acute fear of heights, that’s me climbing up to a 100-foot-high platform built in a legendary Northern California redwood.)
All that and more in my new ABOUT page. Check it out.