Does your About Me on your blog need a makeover? My author bio certainly does. This post is my 100th blog post – a milestone! It’s time to learn how to write a bio that, well, doesn’t suck. Alright, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my closeup.
Potentially, your ‘About Me‘ page could be seen by a vast audience that includes:
- Anyone in the world who randomly finds your site (an unquantifiable possibility)
- Potential employers (more than likely not)
- Potential significant others (scale of 1 to 10 = 1)
- Your mom (a certainty)
Jokes aside (except for your Mom), your author bio is an excellent way to show your audience who you are and why they should trust you. It also serves as a means to succinctly define your expertise.
It’s your opportunity to tell the world who you are and what you do, so don’t squander it.
How to Write a Bio
The first thing to know: There is no “right” way to author your ‘About Me’ bio. Some read like resumes, and others read like fun stories.
But, how do you summarize 52-years of life and 35-years of your career in one pithy sentence?
Before you begin: Decide what tone to take
- Should you be serious?
- Do you mention your family?
- Do you inject wit?
Obviously, the tone of the bio depends on where it will appear.
1 – If you are writing a guest post targeting Mom’s in business, then you might mention kids or your experience with kids or being a Mom.
2 – On the other hand, if writing a bio for a trade journal or a speaking engagement your focus might be on your years of experience, expertise and education.
Here’s a snapshot of my current “folksy” bio desperately needing a makeover:
No matter what the audience or the tone, there are a few things to remember that will make writing your bio easier.
Thanks to Nicole, at Black Coffee Communication, here are the 9 steps on how to write a bio for your blog that makes you stand out.
Writing a short bio that grabs your audience
1. Identify your audience
The easiest way to do this is by having a good look at your blog, publication, conference or speaking opportunity where your bio will appear.
- What is its voice?
- Who is it targeting?
- What is the aim of the event or publication?
Jot down everything about yourself that matches the answers you get from your research above and that might appeal to the audience.
→Once the brainstorming is over, start culling/reducing/organizing to build your idea.
3. Pick and Choose
Be brutal – just cherry pick the most relevant, interesting stuff and ditch the rest, especially the fluff.
4. Give yourself a time limit
Once your fingers hit the keyboard, and you start writing the bio, you should be able to write a short one within 30 minutes, a longer one in an hour. A time limit will make you write from the heart, which is where the best bios live. Then put it aside for an hour or so before a final proofread and edit before sending. Don’t sit on it too long or it will never finish.
6. Inject some personality
Even the most professional short bios should include something that shows you are a real person.
For Pete’s sake, make it interesting!
And not just for Pete… for everyone.
Listing awards, accomplishments, medals, blue ribbons, trophies, and honorary titles make you look accomplished in your field—but most people couldn’t care less about that stuff. Especially if your accomplishments are industry-specific, it’s likely that your customer doesn’t even know what any of it means.
So, stick to stuff that your potential audience understands. Speak their language. And not only that, make it fun, interesting, and engaging. That’s what will catch their eye.
7. Write in the first person
There are two sides to this argument: When thinking about how to write a bio, should you write your bio in the first person or in the third person?
Unfortunately, there are downsides to both.
- If you write in the first person, you can’t really brag about yourself, because it can come across as conceited.
- If you write in the third person, that can get weird, too… especially if the rest of your blog or website is in the first person. Because then people know you’re bragging about yourself and that you just wanted to disguise the fact that you were doing it by pretending someone else wrote it.
So, what do you do? Ultimately, this comes down to personal preference and your audience. In my opinion, the first person point of view is the most intimate way to write you bio.
8. Include contact details
Well, duh, but in all the stress this is sometimes forgotten. And don’t forget any social media profiles.
Now for the unveiling. Here’s what I came up with by following these eight steps:
About Debra Garber
Head of Finance & Operations at dlvr.it. Slipped a writing sample under the CEO’s door and now, happily sharing my experiences traversing the wilds of social media. Backyard chicken farmer. Will trade social media tips for organic eggs.
Final Step (#9):
Get a second opinion.
Ask several people – colleagues, co-workers, family members, and friends – to review your author bio and provide feedback. After you receive the feedback, edit your bio as needed.
Thankfully for me, my daughter and son-in-law, both writers, arrived just in time to open a bottle of wine, ask some great questions and slash away at my blog bio.
Version 3. We’ll go with this one for now:
Take a deep breath.
Unfortunately, you are not done!
LAST STEP (this may be the most important one): Include an amazing photo
Yes, investing in a good headshot is worth every penny.
Think about all the times you’ve read a great blog author bio and then squinted at the blurry, green-toned, unflattering image of the person it described? Doesn’t it kind of dampen your enthusiasm and admiration for them? NOT because of the way they look, but because they clearly didn’t make the effort.
The Quality of the Image Does Matter!
And, whether you like or not, people’s first impressions can be significantly affected by the quality of your photo.
Here’s a must read: The Anatomy of a Picture Perfect Profile Image on Social Media
After following this guide, I uploaded a much better image, and voila…
What’s your opinion on how to write a bio?
Have you seen a great short author bio on the web?
Have tips to share on how to write a bio?
Is your blog ‘About Me’ awesome?
Please share. We’d love to hear from you.