By Sheila Jamison
A pithy little bio can help establish a Blogger’s point of view, credibility and personality. So many bloggers are used to observing and reporting on external subjects that they may find writing about themselves awkward. In actuality, it’s central to establishing and/or introducing yourself to an audience. As you seek to engage, inform, entertain or instruct a community of users, your blog should present a point of view that stakes out your unique online identity, piques user curiosity and fosters productive bonds. Whether visitors agree or disagree, like or dislike, your content or viewpoints, a dynamic representation of who you are will keep them coming back.
Here are some informal tips on writing bios — condensed from my close to 30 years experience creating bios for a dizzying array of folk — from registered dieticians to Diet Pepsi’s “Uh Huh” Girls to CNN anchors — to help you answer the question, “Why should anyone listen to you, Blogger?”
Consider starting off your bio with a relevant occurrence, memory or accomplishment; be it factual, fanciful or somewhere in between. For example, a hair product blogger may go with something like:
From the first time I saw The Ikettes on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” I knew that hair would somehow, someway, guide my future.
Don’t use humor or hyperbole if that’s not your thing, but do offer something memorable or touching, even.
Work in reverse chronological order — most recent information comes first. Only expand on experiences that add to your blog’s mission. If you blog about food, no one needs to know about that time you worked with New Kids On The Block. (Unless you were their chef…)
Take on a conversational tone — a bio shouldn’t read like a resume. Gerund and participial phrases can enliven verbs and enhance sentence flow.
Limit bio copy to 250 words or less, and make it them the best 250 words you’ve got. Less is more in building blog readership. If you have more than 250 words to share, hyperlink to another area for those who want to read more.
ALWAYS enlist someone reliably literate to proofread. Don’t leave yourself needlessly open to annoying corrections of grammar and usage in reader’s comments.
In summary, your bio should establish your bona fides in whatever it is that you’re staking your claim.
About the author
Media specialist, copywriter and hair gel enthusiast Sheila Jamison has a diverse background in public relations working at such companies as AOL Patch, The College Board, Turner Broadcasting, Revlon, Columbia Pictures and Ogilvy & Mather. A native New Yorker and graduate of Duke University, she is a long-time resident of the East Village. Follow Sheila Jamison on Twitter @BuppyHipster.