This is the one, single task that makes me shudder: Writing an “about” page.
I know from the onset I am screwed. Technically, it should be about me as the author – and, it’s already something I’m struggling with because I don’t like talking about myself; but really, it is more about the readers than it is about me.
So this is the page where I’m supposed to be beating my chest like the mighty Silverbacks, flashing out my achievements and bragging about me, me, me. Already I find that such a daunting task which was why I had preferred to refer to myself as the 3rd person in my previous “About”. I spent DAYS on end writing and re-writing that I don’t think I ever want to go into that again. I know it wasn’t perfect and less than ideal but I was sort of OK with it.
Then this assignment came. And here comes the nail in the coffin: Make it I.R.R.E.S.I.S.T.A.B.L.E.
How in the world do I do THAT? I’m terrible at such things and I cringed just thinking about it. I really, really do not want to be bragging about me!
But here’s the thing – I have to give my readers some insights about who I am, what I really blog about and the one most important criteria of why they would want to stick around. Which was why I took up #Blogging 101 anyway.
So I grit my teeth, sigh a big sigh and re-read my “about” page which I have neglected and ignored for the last one year. As I gleaned over to the 2nd paragraph, I got bored and clicked myself away. OMG. My “about” page was not only irresistible, it was irresistibly deplorable! Who in their right mind would read so much crap!
With flushed cheeks, I made my way to The Commons and asked for some feedback. I come to a conclusion that people are generally nice and tend to say nice things, which was not something I wanted at that point especially when I know I have such a crappy product.
I was seeking for pointers…constructive feedback so I have something to work on, and was half anticipating that someone would tear my “About” apart. I can take a beating pretty darn well, you know!
Response was swift and I had 2 responses within minutes with some thoughts and directions that I found to be invaluable. Something I could work with. I took their comments and spent another day and half to re-write my About several times over before heading back for more feedback.
Let me say this again: Writing “About” page is frickin’ hard. And I hated every.single.second.of.it.
But I had my focus and it was somewhat easier to work from there. I thought the hardest fact to leave out was bits of history of my life, and I realised it now, it really didn’t matter much. So here’s a shout-out to Caspar and Karyn for being such awesome, helpful classmates with my About. I hope to meet more like them.
If there are key things I have learnt on taking another stab at “About”:
“About” page is about here and now, with sneak peaks of the future. History doesn’t really matter
There are lots of inspiration out there and it’s easy to get side-tracked. So, keeping some directional focus in mind is important as in the end, I have to infuse what I have been inspired by with my personal essence and make it my own.
There is nothing more valuable than getting genuine, constructive feedback so you have something to work with. I need to remember to do the same to others looking for feedback
It is NOT EASY! And it will continue to be a work-in-progress as you go along
I’m still not sure if I have nailed it just yet and like I said, it will likely be on a continuos WIP mode. But I do think this new About is a good improvement from the crap I had before.
Here’s a checklist I found in the sea of information and with your feedback, I hope I have been able to check them all off:
About Page is actually about YOU who click the link to see it.
Talking to you, my readers , about why you should bother reading my site. (I hope that message comes through!)
Talk about the problems I solve. (I don’t claim to solve problems, but I do have anecdotes for reference)
Talk about how I can help. (I hope I can help ease some confusion whatever that relates to you)
Talk about what the readers are interested in. (I suppose you wouldn’t be here if you have no interest)
Worse assignment ever! There’s About 201 and even though I find that intimidating now, I believe it’s something I would have to do again in the near future.
Out of curiosity, how easy was it for you to write your “About” page? And what did you find most challenging about it?