Writing about … you: How to write a good bio
That’s every writer’s favorite thing, isn’t it? Every day, we write about ourselves and we write about how amazing we are because selling the fruit from our talents is something everyone should appreciate and love, right?
It’s almost ironic how difficult it is to write about ourselves. If you agreed with the above statement, you might not need this article at all and I wish you the best of luck. For those who thought the above statement was a joke, it was meant to be. That said, you are amazing and everyone should appreciate the fruit of your writing talent, so it’s best to learn to do it well.
Hi, my name is…
Don’t write that. In fact, start with what comes after that—your name. You are the main character now, so start with your name because, yes, your bio should be in third person. Otherwise, you’re like the first statement up there and give the self-centered impression. Even if you’re self-centered, write in third person. It looks good. That’s the goal.
You can end this sentence in a couple ways, one of which is a history: Jack Bringham has been a writer since birth.
Please don’t do that. I hope your talent doesn’t have to date back to birth because although that gives you a lot of time for improvement, I can’t say it’s a good idea to be proud of something you wrote when you were five. For nostalgic reasons, sure, but not for a professional profile. Many writers started writing as children.
Jack Bringham has been a professional writer since 2012.
Better. Keep in mind that you need to give yourself some type of reference. If you’re not getting paid for it, you’re not a professional. If this is simply a bio for your website/blog/social media page, you can have a little more fun with it. Either way, give yourself some type of credible title, something that makes you stand out.
Jack Bringham is the author of three literary novels, all published before earning his bachelor’s in English in 2013 at Hogwarts.
Use a real university, but there you go. Make yourself relevant. I just made a nonexistent person relevant. You can make your existent self relevant, too, just don’t lie. I lied.
‘I’ve learned a lot’
Me, too. Where did you earn your education from, if any? If you don’t have degrees, provide experience. Were you a part of a published, collaborative novel? Have you been a speaker, won any awards, or is your profession in the field you’re writing a bio for? (If you’re a science teacher and you have a science blog, for example.)
If you have a degree, what is it and where is it from? You might even throw in the year.
Try to narrow your achievements when you name them. Especially if you have a lot, keep in mind that people won’t read the whole list if you give it to them.
They won’t. Cut them down. Name the most important ones. Actually, name the most relevant ones. You’ll change this depending on the bio you’re writing whether it be for writing, your profession, a prospective profession, etc.
If you’ve been published in a magazine or newspaper, that counts. You can use that. Remember, though, keep in mind what your purpose is for writing the bio and fit it to meet those needs. If you’re writing a science blog, choose that science magazine you were published in, not the normal writers magazine.
You wrote the hard stuff, now write the stuff you’re excited about. What are you working on now or what do you plan on working on? Do you have any upcoming publications? Any future events you’re going to attend? You’ll have to update this part often because, well, I’d hope you understand why but you won’t always be working on that project or going to that event. Don’t get lazy on this. This is your ad. Make it short, professional, and full of information about how amazing you are.
Don’t get lazy on this. This is your ad. Make it short, professional, and full of information about how amazing you are. Don’t think you have to include your associate degree, your bachelor’s, and your master’s. If your bachelor’s is different from your master’s, fine, use both. But, see how short you can make that bio. The shorter, the better.
Sum it up
This was short, but not as short as your bio should be. Keep these things in mind when writing, and don’t hesitate to look at people’s bios for examples.
- Keep it short
- Only provide relevant information (doesn’t matter that you have a bachelor’s in science if your bio is supporting something you’re doing in the field of geography)
- Use important information FIRST (This means if you really want to use the fact that you are an advocate for homemade cat food, that should be at the bottom unless you’re blogging about that particular topic)
- If you have many talents, don’t share them all. Share the important ones and leave the rest for something else
- Include a photo of yourself! I didn’t review this part, but do it
- Remember, it’s about YOU
Get a free self-publishing guide!
Sign up to receive a free step-by-step graphic list of what you need to do to become a self-published author.
You'll also be updated on future editing tips and writing advice.