how’s your bio? tips for developing a great bio

how's your bio? tips for developing a great bio

This month we’ve been focusing on ways to get our blogs off to the best start in 2015. Last week, I shared one of the items on my blogging checklist is to review and update my about page and social media profiles quarterly. If I’m honest though, that is one of the hardest tasks for me.

Does anyone but me find writing a bio incredibly difficult? Describing yourself without sounding vain or pretentious can be a huge challenge. Most bloggers have a tendency to oversell or undersell themselves in their bios.

So how do we learn to write an effective description of ourselves? What does a good bio need? The information and examples below will help you develop a great bio you can use in any situation.

Do’s and Don’ts for Bios

DO:

  • Allow your personality to shine through. Don’t hide from those things that make you unique.
  • Use keywords. What do you write about? Those words need to be in your bio.
  • Proofread well.  Your bio is not the place for typos.
  • Invite people in. Think of your bio as an opportunity to welcome people to your online home.  Be inviting and give them a reason to want to come on in.

DON’T:

  • Be something you’re not. Let your bio be a place where people see the real you.
  • Drone on and on about how awesome you are. Share your success and your foibles.
  • Forget to include a call to action. Ask the reader to check out a favorite post, join you on Instagram, or subscribe to your blog.

3 Types of Bios

Brief: This is the 140-character bio best suited for social media. Think in bullet points for this one not complete sentences.

Example: Erin Ulrich on Twitter — “Founder of Design by Insight. #GenesisWP Recommended Developer. Co-author of The Growly Books. Jesus follower. Works best with coffee in hand.” This gives you both a taste of her professional accomplishments and her personality.

Medium: Think 100-200 words here. This is the bio you include in your About widget on your blog or in the author box on a website or blog.  You can give a little more detail here, and, in some cases, include some social media or other connections.

Example: Holley Gerth’s bio on (in)courage — “Holley Gerth is cofounder of (in)courage as well as a best-selling author of several books, wife to Mark, follower of Jesus, and friend to YOU. She’d love to have coffee with you. As the next best thing, she hopes you’ll stop by and say hello at her site.” If you know Holley, you know she is passionate about writing, encouraging, faith, and her family. This bio gives a snapshot of Holley’s heart and invites you to connect deeper with her on her personal blog.

Full Bio: This is your About page bio. Use this one to tell your story. A great About page will draw the reader in. Keep the actual bio around the 300-400 word mark, especially if you will be including other information on your About page. {If you have questions about what else to include on your about page, check out this post.} You can include links to tell more of your story, in fact, you SHOULD do this. In the example below, you can see how Suzie uses links to enhance her bio and encourage her readers to dig deeper into her blog.

Example: Suzie Eller’s bio on her About page

Leading women in a new direction in family, faith, and feelings

Suzie is an International Proverbs 31 Ministries speaker and author, former radio co-host, and Bible Gateway blogger. She’s a woman who believes that our past shapes us, but does not limit us! (Read Suzie’s story)

She has been featured on programs such as Focus on the Family, Aspiring Women, The Harvest Show, KLOVE, It’s a Miracle, MidDay Connection, DayStar, and hundreds of other radio and television programs. She served as co-host of the syndicated radio show,Encouragement Cafe with host Luann Prater.

She is an author of articles, columns, and seven books including her most recent books: The Unburdened Heart: Finding the Freedom of Forgiveness and The Mended Heart: God’s Healing for Your Broken Places. She can also can be found on Crosswalk.com and Believe.com. Most important, she’s a mom, wife, and “Gaga” to five beautiful babies.

Suzie lives in NW Arkansas and when she’s not writing or speaking, she’s with her family, or hiking, or filling the kitchen with smells of her love language of friends and cooking.

Crafting a great bio is going to take time and multiple drafts. Ask others to read your bio and help you hone it to fit your message and your personality. Developing a great bio is worth the effort.

What do you think is the hardest part of writing a great bio?

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4 Comments

  1. Great info! I sent an email to my team of writers this morning, asking them to update their bio pages. Then I sent this to them to help! Good timing. 🙂

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