This is a guest post courtesy of Georgina.
Writing a great bio is a key skill to master, especially if you are using your bio to convert readers into something more, such as a subscriber or a client.
However there are a crap ton of really good writers out there, that still seem to fall short in the bio department.
Maybe it’s because they are writing about themselves, or maybe they are over-thinking it… who knows.
Regardless Georgina presents ya’ll with some great tips to get ‘er done, right now.
Yes, rewrite that bio immediately!
Oh and drop a comment or two below if you’ve got a few tips of your own.
Creating a solid author bio is one of the most important elements in developing your online presence.
After all, if someone really enjoys an article that you have written but they cannot find out more about you from your bio, then you may have missed the opportunity to convert someone into a loyal follower.
The length of a bio is important. Too short and you will not be able to provide sufficient information to have the reader take further action.
Too long and the reader may become disinterested by the third or fourth line and click away before they reach your call to action.
The best practice therefore is to keep your author bio to a maximum of four sentences or 100 words so readers will be much more likely to read it.
Atlanta search engine optimization firm, Everspark Interactive, advises that whilst a bio should be concise and to the point, it also needs to contain enough information to entice a reader to look for more from you.
The best bios will also include a unique hook that makes them stand out from the crowd. Readers enjoy learning something about writers that they can relate to.
For example, if you are a published novelist who also happens to be obsessed with “The Simpsons,” then you could include a blurb about your novel and end the bio with a line that mentions your obsession with the long running TV show.
By doing this, a bit of your personality comes through, and it makes you seem more accessible to your readers.
What to Include
A bio presents a unique opportunity to send a message to the reader. Wherever you publish an article or text, the bio is your chance to introduce yourself and promote products, services or something else that will interest the reader.
A good bio consists of-
- Your name: Using your actual name is always the best way to build a following. However, if you are going to use a pen name, then you need to stick with the same one on every site. Otherwise, your branding efforts will never have a chance to take off, and you will have difficulty building a strong base of readers.
- What you do: keep it concise and no more than one to two sentences, especially if you wish to promote something else within your bio.
- Links: typically you will be allowed up to 2 links within a bio. Consider linking your name to a social media profile, adding your website address or linking to another article you have written on the same or related topic. You may want to add your email address, but do consider that the potential for it to end up on every spammers mailing list! Link to a social profile where people can contact you or add your email address in words e.g. myemail[at]someplace[dot]com.
- A call to action: aim to include something within your bio that will encourage readers to click on and find out more about you. For instance, ‘to find out more about our services visit……’ Be careful to avoid what could be perceived as ‘hard sell’ tactics and most importantly, keep the info you place in your bio relevant to the text it is attached to, for example, if the article is about shoes don’t then give a call to action which asks readers to click through to a site about oak flooring!
Bios are not just about introducing the writer of the text that precedes it. Indeed, bios have become important marketing tools, particularly online and where links can be added to further boost traffic and rankings.
Just as with any promotional text used to advertise a business, a bio can be used to help raise brand awareness, whether it be for a business, person or product or service. Content writers, for example, need to be just as aware of their branding efforts as any other small business owner.
After all, as freelance writers, they are in business for themselves. Having a strong online presence is an important aspect of both building a following and acquiring new prospects.
Always include your name and website or blog name (if you have one) to help support your branding efforts and concisely explain what you do and what you can offer the reader.
Selecting an Image
Some people are strongly tempted to use an image in their author bio that is not of themselves, but this is a mistake. Again, readers want to be able to connect with you, and putting up a photo that does not contain your face will make you seem more abstract to them.
Make sure that you take the photo seriously. The worst thing that you can do is post a poorly lit and composed image that you took of yourself.
Instead, you should think about what you would want your photo to look like if it was on the back of a novel. Make sure that you keep it friendly looking, though, so that you do not end up looking pretentious and turning off your audience.
Customization for Different Sites
It is okay to customize your author bio a little to better appeal to a specific audience, but make sure that you keep most of it the same.
Consistency is what will help your branding efforts the most, so you do not want to create something completely different for each site. You should also consider creating a longer bio that people can find if they click-through to your webpage.
Having a longer bio will give you an opportunity to expand upon both your accomplishments and your personality.
It can take time to fully perfect a winning bio and it can be difficult to measure effectiveness unless you continually monitor traffic numbers coming your way from each published bio.
However, by keeping your bio fresh, interesting and a reflection of your personality, you will give your readers the opportunity to truly connect with everything that you have to say.
Over to You
There you have it. Tips for writing a kick ass bio. Did you find this post useful? If you did, I’d love it if you’d help share it and pass the usefulness on to someone who needs it. You know who they be! 😉 (And yes that poor example of grammar was on purpose dammit!)