Your About page is where you make your appeal to your community to sign up for your newsletter.
When readers arrive on this page, they may have read one or two of your posts, heard you speak on a podcast or seen your name mentioned elsewhere. They’re looking to find out a bit more about you and potentially deepen their connection with you and your work.
So this is your chance to fill in the gaps by telling them a little more about your project and the person or people behind it.
However: one mistake many publishers make is focusing entirely on the backstory, without making a compelling case for why the reader should subscribe. It’s important to make space for both.
Steady makes it easy to build your case by breaking down your About page into a headline, subtitle and description.
Note: if you are using Steady to offer memberships, the formula will be slightly different. Here’s our guide to writing a great Steady page for memberships.
Before you launch into your backstory, you need a short, punchy pitch that summarises what you have to offer. Not everyone will read the whole page, so you need to ensure that the most important messages appear in the headline. Ideally, this will also include a call-to-action: Subscribe, join, or support.
Here are some examples:
“Subscribe to the newsletter that puts Afro-German voices front-and-centre”
“Sign up for Balcony Gardening Weekly”
“Uncover your unconscious biases with the weekly Bird Brain newsletter”
The subtitle gives you another opportunity to make a case for subscribing to your newsletter. Describe your project, the topics it covers, or its perspective, in a sentence. How would you describe it to a friend, or a stranger? What are the most important details to include?
Once you’re done there, you can move on to the main “description” box in the About page editor.
Now it’s time to elaborate on what you and your project are all about. How did you get started – were you trying to fill a knowledge gap, or was there a question you just couldn’t get off your mind? Let your readers see your motivation, so they’re more inspired to come along for the ride.
Make sure to use a tone of voice that befits a conversation with a friend and don’t be afraid to get a little bit personal, especially if the topic is of personal importance. Many of the most successful newsletter writers are those that bring themselves to the page.
Ideally, you will be able to summarise your backstory in a couple of paragraphs, so you can move on to building your case in a more explicit way.
Passion and purpose
There are two crucial elements to nailing your About page text: passion and purpose. First, focus on passion, ie. what connects you and your community. What’s the thing you all have in common, the issue you all care about, the hobby that makes you tick? Meet them there.
Then, lead them to the purpose. Why is it important that they get on board with your project? What purpose will you be able to achieve together?
You might only need a sentence each to address passion and purpose, but it’s crucial that you cover them both. Then your community will be quite helpless to resist your appeal.
Finally, consider how you want to sign off: A personal thank-you, a rallying cry, or a simple call-to-action can all be effective ways to end your message so that readers will go ahead and hit “subscribe”.
Don’t forget to make the most of the visual tools at your disposal.
You can upload your logo, as well as a hero image, to your About page. And you can also insert images or even a short and simple video recorded with your mobile phone into your description.
Use these opportunities to show who’s behind your project and create some emotional connection with the reader. Don't be shy – a little eye contact goes a long way here.
Once you have filled out the description and added your images, you’re done! Now, it’s just about sharing, sharing, sharing. Before you know it, you’ll have your first subscribers signed up, ready for your next newsletter.