If you’ve been following the Web Essentials Series you already know what should be on your About page and why it’s so important, and yet, for some people thinking about writing their About page makes most people break out in hives.

It’s my feeling that this is why there are so many pages out there that just don’t pass muster. No question, it’s difficult to talk about yourself and what you do.

Don’t fret! Magpie’s got 5 About page mistakes to avoid when writing your own.

You do not have an About page

Your business/band/artwork/creative enterprise is online 24 hours a day. That means that when you’re at the movies, having a pint or sleeping it’s still marketing for you. These days not having an About page is pretty much a giant sign that says “I really don’t want a relationship with you and I certainly don’t want your money. Please go away.”

Not having an About page is a huge mistake.

Your About page rambles on and on (and on and on and on)

There are a lot of things you can put on your About page, and many of them are important to helping the visitor decide if they want to do business with you. All of those things can be done in a few short, well-written sentences. An About page that’s more than 500 words is a death sentence. No one is reading that.

Your About page is only a video

Video is all the rage these days and to a certain extent the hype is warranted. Video is not, however, a replacement for well-written copy.

Some people love to watch video. Some people do not.

If the people who don’t stop by and you have nothing for them, you’re missing out on a group of potential customers just because you didn’t put any text below the video. That’s a crappy reason.

You write in the third person

I am the first person to admit that there is a time and place for third person writing. But your own personal About page is not that place.

Think of it this way: you walk into a business called “Carol’s Pottery”. There is only one person there. She is wearing a name tag that says “Hello, My Name is Carol”. You ask Carol what the shop is all about and what kinds of pottery they sell. Carol answers only in the third person.

All bro-jokes aside, this would be weird, right? Well it is. So don’t do it on your About page. Make it personal. Connect.

You didn’t proofread

This is true of every place on your website, but rarely is it more true than on your About page. You absolutely need to have every character in the right place while talking about yourself. It’s a sales pitch about you. Here’s an example:

“Hey, my name is Carol and I make incredible pottery that is durable enough for you to use with your kids. I believe family dinner is a tradition that shouldn’t die out and making pottery for families to use while they eat together is my way of helping to keep it alive.”

If Carol misspelled “helping”, all you would be thinking about is how “p” and “s” are not close together on the keyboard and why she didn’t notice. You would miss her lovely message completely and likely leave.

What About page mistakes bother you? Tell me in the comments!