Have you written the perfect blog, news article, guide or story and now you need to finish off the project with an author bio? Did you know that there is an art to writing the perfect author bio, and all too often this is an art that doesn’t get enough respect and attention? Think about it – you’ve gone to the trouble of writing a fabulous piece, and it is a reflection of you and what you’re capable of producing. So, why throw an author’s bio together at the last minute and not have it live up to the same quality standard?
Before you churn out a generic author bio, why not browse through these 10 tips to ensure you’re creating something great, memorable and far from average?
Come Up with a Killer Opening Byline
For many writers, this tip will end up being the hardest, as there can be a lot of pressure on trying to come up with the perfect one-liner. Every author bio needs to start with an opening bio, which is meant to capture the reader’s attention in one sentence, as well as hint at the theme of this latest offering. The idea is that it causes them to want to read more.
The Bio Should Be Short and Concise
The first tip is to ensure the author’s bio is always brief. You don’t want to be crafting multiple paragraphs worth of information; just stick to the basics and the most interesting bits of information. Depending on what the piece is about, you may also want to include facts in your bio that relate to the subject. For example, state whether you have experience or expertise in the subject area.
Experts suggest that the ideal length for an author’s bio is around 300 words. This is just enough to pack it with useful information but isn’t too much that it will look like a wall of text.
Make It Interesting with Personal Information
Of course, you don’t want to get too personal with your bio, but a little bit of personal information sprinkled in can help spark the reader’s interest. Readers can sometimes relate to the subject matter better a little better if they have a connection with the author.
Include a Photo
Another thing you’ll find in an author bio is a photograph. Typically, these are headshots or photos from the waist up, and the picture needs to be professional. A selfie is most definitely not professional looking enough. Many authors end up hiring a professional photographer to do headshots that they can use for these exact purposes.
The headshot can also be used on any professional social network accounts or a business website you may have, so it will be money well spent.
Go Ahead and Tout Your Achievements
This is also a great opportunity to tout your achievements and credentials. This will give you a sense of authority and credibility, creating trust with the reader. If you’ve won any awards, you’ll want to mention them. If you have any specific training and credentials, they should also be pointed out. You are building a picture for your readers. On the flip side, you don’t want to list every single thing ever, so your bio shouldn’t be a bullet list of your achievements. Focus on highlighting a couple of the most important and relevant only.
So, what are the important credentials? This can include such things as holding a college degree, an accolade, appearing on a bestseller’s list, courses you have taken, and so forth. Also, try to be clever about how you mention these items by working them into sentences rather than listing them.
Mention Previous Published Work
Again, it’s about building a loyal following and creating a sense of creditability, so listing your published work will help. Not only is this a way to show you are an experienced writer, but it also gives readers a chance to check out other work that you have done.
Showcase Your Personality
As a writer, you understand how important it is to connect with readers. This is usually done by creating some sort of emotional response or reaction. That same principle can be used in your author bio, eliciting some sort of emotional reaction. Because it’s just an author’s bio and not something too heavy, humor or personal anecdotes can work well.
Make Sure to Use the Third Person
As a writer, you are probably well aware of this tip already, but any author’s bio must be written in the third person. This keeps it professional sounding, which is what you’re aiming for.
Don’t Skip the Editing Process
Just as it’s important to have any story, article or blog you write edited, the same practice should apply to your bio. Get someone in the know to take a look at it, read it over and make sure it hits the right notes and is free of any mistakes and issues. Just because it is short, doesn’t mean it doesn’t need editing.
Should You Keep the Same Bio for All Work?
Once you craft that perfect author’s bio you, may be wondering if you should use it across all your work, or if you need to change it up. This is a personal choice, but keep in mind that your bio will become part of your image and brand. Even the bio picture that you use will become part of your brand, acting as a logo image if you will. So, if you want to stay consistent, it can be wise to keep the same bio, just updating it every once in a while, as necessary.
Just because the author’s bio isn’t as exciting as the actual story or article, this doesn’t mean it shouldn’t get attention. Taking the time to craft a flawless bio that readers will want to read can pay off. Remember, your bio will be part of your image and branding, and that is necessary to build a loyal following.