Writing a Good Profile Bio
By Joan Whetzel
Beyond creating your expertise by writing and promoting your well-written articles, authors serious about making a living at writing need to set up several internet accounts. Whenever writers set up an account on any writing site or job site designed to help them find writing jobs, one of themost important parts of setting up the account is the profile bio. But many people aren’t quite sure how to write the bio - what information to include and whether to write it in first-person or third-person. There are several tips for creating a profile that are good to keep in mind.
The Author’s Name
This may seem obvious, but including your name in your bio leaves little doubt as to whom it refers. It also assures the reader that the author took his or her bio seriously. Make sure the name appears the same way in every bio posted, so that whenever someone is looking you up on the internet, all of your bio’s, accounts, and writing credits show up. The same holds true when adding your name to whatever you write and post or publish on the internet.
The Author’s Photo
Either use the same photo or photos that are similar enough that people looking for you (hopefully to pay you to write for them) will be certain they have the person they are looking for. Most writing and job sites that allow posted bios have a place for writers to upload their photo.
The Author’s Email Address
This one is an iffy proposition. You don’t want everyone and their brother contacting you. For regular writing sites, it’s best to keep the email address private, between the writer and the writing site. For job sites, it’s best to make this available for those employers seeking your writing skills. On social media sites, you may not want to post your email address, or at least don’t make it public. Be careful when and where you post it.
First-Person or Third-Person?
Most writing and job websites allow only enough room to write, at most, one paragraph. So writers need to use the space judiciously. For most sites, it’s recommended that the bio be written in third-person. Most writers find it hard to write about themselves in the third-person. All I can say is to pretend you’re writing it about someone else. With social media sites it’s acceptable to write about yourself in the first-person. Forums and other sites where writers talk to each other, first-person is also okay. But third-person sounds more professional and reads like the bio’s on the back of a book jacket.
What Information to Include
What information you include may vary with the website. For a writer’s website where you will be posting your writing, it usually appropriate to include any of the following:
· The types of stories readers will find posted on this website under the writer’s name.
· The writer’s interests and hobbies.
· Any education or life experience that makes the writer an expert in the areas that he or she is writing.
For professional and job related websites, the bio needs to sound more like a cover letter. They should include:
· How long the writer has been writing.
· Educational background.
· Highlighting skills that may not show up on the resume.
The most important tips to remember are to keep it short and to the point, keep it sounding professional, to provide the information that will make readers want to read what you write, and to proof it for grammar and punctuation mistakes.