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Is a Bio Really Necessary?

  1. profile image0
    Ian McKayposted 9 months ago

    When writing articles, Hubpages requires that we add a bio to expand on our knowledge, insight and experience of a subject. This is all well and good if you have years of experience in journalism, or creative writing, have a degree in physics or are an expert in a chosen field. For most of us, however, I would imagine that the majority of hubsters are merely part-time writers who enjoy voicing their opinions on subjects and topical events or insights into their hobbies.

    Therefore should it need to be a requirement to add a bio on this basis? Saying something along the lines of, “Ian has absolutely no experience in the field of animal cognitive science, but enjoys dabbling in the study of it via reference books and websites”.

    It doesn’t quite have that ring of authority about it as saying you have a degree in behavioural science or a Master’s degree in animal biology does it?

    Maybe this encourages people to fluff out the truth of their knowledge or outright give a false impression. Personally, I would rather leave the bio blank and if it isn’t accepted for vertical hubs, for that reason, then so be it. From what I have garnered so far, the moving of hubs gains little value to the number of views anyway (I could be wrong?)

    So far, so good. have written eight articles so far on a variety of subjects that interest me, this being the ninth:

    1.    All of which have been featured.
    2.    Four of them have the ‘HubPro’ icon next to them.
    3.    Two have been placed on vertical hubs, featuring less than authoritative bio’s
    4.    Two have been recommended for vertical hubs, but I haven’t added a bio due to having little to no experience to add to it, so despite being good enough for the move, they probably won’t be due to my reluctance to add a bio that makes me sound like I have no knowledge.
    5.    All the articles have had a score of at least 78 at some stage, although it seems the score goes down as the article gets older with fewer views? One reached a high (for me) of 90, which I thought was rather good, although I’m sure some of you have done far better.

    Anyway, my point is that this suggests there is a certain amount of quality to the articles I am writing despite the lack of professional qualification. So why the requirement to add a bio? If they are good enough to be moved, then move them. If not, don’t. Having a bio added makes no difference (that I can ascertain) to my views or following. I don’t mean to sound churlish about this, but I feel it could actually have a detrimental effect to add something highlighting your lack of qualification on a subject. If you go to read an article but scan the bio first, surely this can put readers off continuing to read if they perceive a lack of professionalism in it, or take the article less seriously than they otherwise would.

    On the flip side of this, I do understand that a good bio, which highlights the author's expertise is obviously a good thing as it encourages the reader to know they are in the hands of an expert and good information should be therefore be contained within.

    Does anyone else see this as a problem? As I said earlier I don’t believe for one minute that all the people writing here are experts, but more likely enthusiasts who enjoy writing articles that put their ‘voice’ on favourite subjects and hobbies into the cyber world to see how it is received by the readers.

    Opinions Please
    If you are a hub writer yourself I would much appreciate your opinion on this matter. Maybe you can give advice on how you word your bio’s to get around this issue in a way that makes it seem less amateurish, or maybe you agree and would like to see bio’s either removed or the ability for your article to be moved to a vertical site without the requirement of a bio being attached?

  2. Jesse Drzal profile image98
    Jesse Drzalposted 9 months ago

    You sound a little misguided about the authors here. Many of the authors are real professionals that work in the fields they write. If anyone feels they need to flub a bio to fake authority then they should not write about the subject. People already have their guard up reading online and spot bs from a mile away. So it won't work anyway.

  3. tomsmithnow profile image85
    tomsmithnowposted 9 months ago

    I think it's better to have a bio just to give others a little idea of who you are & where your info. is coming from. It sounds like you are successful in writing your articles. So adding a bio could not hurt, but it may actually help or enhance your profile or website a little. I think you could even just state that you have read extensively about whatever subject you desire, whatever subject you are interested in and it also gives you a "niche" of what you are about, what interests you or what your passion is about. That is what I have done. Continued good luck in your writing. Sounds like you are definitely on the right track since they are moving your articles to vertical sites. Congratulations!

  4. Jodah profile image90
    Jodahposted 9 months ago

    Ian, the bios are actually quite a recent addition to HubPages (maybe two years) so I doubt they will abolish them, and I think you are right that any article without one will not be moved to a niche site. I only have qualifications in one field of endeavour..Permaculture, and actually have written only a couple of hubs on the subject. I write mostly poetry and have no real literary qualifications like a large number of other hubbers here. With the bios, however, don't ever say I have no qualifications in this or that..treat it like selling yourself in a job interview.. Concentrate on your abilities whether you have qualifications or not. Say something like: "Ian is passionate about, or has researched and studied... extensively."

  5. theraggededge profile image99
    theraggededgeposted 9 months ago

    Like Jodah says, a bio doesn't have to display qualifications or long-time experience (unless writing in specialised topics like medicine or health advice). It can simply state why you are passionate enough about a topic to write about it. It could explain your interest in the subject. Ask yourself why you are writing the article and create a bio around that.

  6. Marisa Wright profile image98
    Marisa Wrightposted 9 months ago

    I agree with Jodah and Raggededge.

  7. profile image0
    Ian McKayposted 9 months ago

    Thank you for the advice guys. I guess I could have summed up the question in one sentence rather than protracted article lol... Do you believe a bio should be required, or optional, in regards to being valid for moving to a vertical site? Oh, how I procrastinate at times!

  8. Marisa Wright profile image98
    Marisa Wrightposted 9 months ago

    It's not a case of whether we believe it's necessary or not.  It's necessary because HubPages has decided it's necessary - they are a business, it's their site and their privilege to require it

  9. paperfacets profile image89
    paperfacetsposted 9 months ago

    There are plenty of articles in the Letterpile and Owlation verticals that do not have bios. I am a bit irked that the bio is mentioned all the time as a must. I have decided they want a thoughtful couple of sentences and I deliver a bio hoping it is okay.
    Are you experienced? That is all that is available to some of us in creating the bio.

    1. profile image0
      Ian McKayposted 9 months agoin reply to this

      The only 'experience' I have is in the paranormal field, but I like to write about many different things and that's where my problem lies. As Marissa says, this is a business site and if they are the rules, we have to play by them. I will just take the advice given to me and try to sell my articles by saying things like "Ian is passionate about..." etc.

  10. Craypoe profile image93
    Craypoeposted 9 months ago

    I just use the bio section to promote the things I do. I don't get into my qualifications to write about this thing or that thing. I figure that if someone wants to find out more about me, they can check out my work and decide if I have any credibility regarding the subjects I write about.

  11. psycheskinner profile image82
    psycheskinnerposted 9 months ago

    You can certainly write a minimalist bio if you prefer.

    As it happens I am an psychologist specializing in animals and can accurately say I have a PhD in animal cognitive sciences--but that is beside the point.

    1. profile image0
      Ian McKayposted 9 months agoin reply to this

      That's cool! That is a fascinating topic to me and I wrote an article about the subject of animal intelligence, particularly in the avian family. You may enjoy reading that? I would much appreciate any professional feedback you can give me on that particular hub.