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BIOGRAPHY WRITING

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❶This may seem like an extreme example, but I once read a bio with this exact information in it.

The Art of Bio Writing

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Why Do You Need a Good Bio?

Is it to purchase your books? To hire you as a speaker? Contract your consulting services? Keep this because you will be using it later, as you write the rough draft of your bio. If you end up selecting first person, you should probably also create a copy in third person for other uses.

I have found the process below helpful. If you follow these seven steps with your first bio, you will find that retooling your bio for other uses will be much easier:.

In copywriting, we call that lead sentence and paragraph the big idea. You open with this because it is your most important stuff, the reason your blog or website exists. Include only what is relevant.

And how do you decide what is relevant? You should have already defined this. If you want to sell your books, lead with the work you have published or the book you are working on. What you start with is what your readers will remember most about you. These fun pieces should shine a light on your personality and relate in some way to the person you have become.

Here are a few questions to start your thinking:. What are your top three passions? This thinking will lead you to the things you really care about and eventually to the stories you want to tell your customers. A descriptor bar is a fun, visual tool that allows your customers or clients to see at a glance, in very few words, what you are about.

It is essentially a list of key words and phrases that describe you. Think of adjectives or nouns that get to the core of your likes, dislikes and passions. Brainstorm your list of words. It may include hobbies, favorite foods, your perspective on life, favorite movie, what you are particularly good at, or something else.

Play with the pieces of information accomplishments and personal facts until you have the right mix. A length of paragraphs works well and shorter is even better. You can fix all the problems when you edit. Are your paragraph transitions smooth? Move sentences and paragraphs around if needed. Are they the right ones? Is your personality coming through or do you sound like a cardboard person?

Are you sharing the right things? Does it sound like you? Would a friend be able to tell this is you without seeing your name? Reading your draft aloud at this point will help you identify any spots that are awkward or cause you to stumble.

Edit your draft based on these factors. But do not give it to your mother or your best friend. Read it again, this time to identify problems with grammar or word usage.

Editors call this copy editing. Sentence and paragraph length: Are sentences short and uncomplicated? Do new paragraphs introduce new ideas? Remove any terms or acronyms that are known in your field or industry but would be Greek to your readers.

Have you used a longer word when a shorter word would do just as well? Are there any unnecessary words? Are you overusing exclamation marks, italics, bolds or capital letters? Now is the time to put on your proofreading hat. Professional proofreaders do way more than this, but for the purposes of your bio, you can focus on a couple of things:.

Go ahead and run spell check. Look for improper punctuation marks, as well as places they should be and are not. Also, keep an eye out for things like missing or improperly used apostrophes and commas. If you have other good material that gives readers a fuller picture of you, include a link or two.

Some readers will not want more, but others will be curious enough to follow the links. I used to have problems with my contact forms. But now I use the premium plugin Gravity Forms, which never fails me. And keep it handy for those times when another blogger might want to interview you, or the press needs a clean, complete bio to go with a story. Hey, next year you might climb Mt.

Or write a book. You might join the hole-in-one club. Or master conversational French. Profiles are easy to edit—much easier than writing the first one from scratch. Be sure to update yours regularly so when things change, your colleagues, customers and prospects can keep up with all the cool things you are doing.

Think for a moment about all the places where you hang out online. Each probably has a slightly different flavor, tone and audience. The bio that works best for introducing yourself to new friends and followers on one platform will not necessarily be the right one for others.

Here are a few ideas:. This is the one you just created. Writing it first allows you to pull some of the good information in it to use in your other versions. This full version is likely anywhere from two paragraphs to four or more. This is the micro-version of your bio. The bio box version usually includes your photo, too, so readers can connect a face to this interesting person they are reading about. On my blog, the bio box appears on the sidebar of every post.

Here is what my bio box looks like:. Since Twitter is the micro-blogging platform, everything is shorter there, including the space you are allowed for your user profile.

Also consider telling people what you will be tweeting about, if only just a couple of your topics. It helps people decide whether they want to follow you. And again, think about your keywords. Your bio is searchable within Twitter and will also show up in search engine results, so be sure it says the right things.

Similar to the bio-box version, but shorter and without the photo, the well-written one-sentence bio looks like it was ridiculously easy to create. The fewer words you have to work with, the more important it is to make every word count.

If you pull it off, you have something that will intrigue people and make them curious to know more. In this way, it is similar to an exceptionally crafted tagline. Think of the one-sentence bio as a modern, digital version of that networking relic, the elevator speech.

For the one-sentence bio, especially if you use your blog, website and social media platforms for marketing your business, it helps to answer three questions as you think this through. Take a piece of paper and create three columns: As you brainstorm words and phrases, keep in mind that you should aim for less formal, in a writing style that sounds like your voice.

If it feels like you when you read it aloud, you have succeeded. This is your audience, the people you are trying to attract. Go for the specific rather than the general.

Try defining your audience in a few different ways, so you have options to work with when you put your sentence together. What is the major benefit you provide to your clients or customers? Do you help them do something better, stronger, faster? Do you achieve other certain results for them? Later, you will decide on the most important one, the one that addresses their greatest pain point.

Now there may be several things you do, but the one you choose should be the one that makes you different. Make that third list, this time focusing on the things you do to get your customers to that result. Your prototype is I help [audience] to [benefit] by [action]. I help smart solopreneurs [audience] get more of their ideal clients [benefit] by designing engaging, action-focused marketing materials [action].

I help busy first-time home buyers with young families [audience] find homes that fit their budget and lifestyle [ benefit] by doing the research for them upfront [action].

You get the idea. Like you would with a Chinese restaurant menu, play around a little, taking one from Column A, one from Column B and one from Column C. Watch for the length and bulkiness factors and work with different mixes until you find the one that resonates with you.

Try them out on friends, family and colleagues. After you have selected the one that best conveys who you are and who you serve, take another look at it with these questions in mind:. Down the road, you may make changes to your one-sentence bio, depending on any new directions you take your business in. But for now, you have a place to start and something to work with.

And if it includes something about respect and the importance of community, it will also provide guidelines for the kind of behavior you want to see on your blog. When you share the principles you live by, you are building trust with your readers and potential customers. You are also creating a more inclusive community because, by sharing your personal side, you show that you want your blog to be a welcoming place.

And when your values come through,the right people—your ideal customers—will find you. This is not meant to be the definitive guide to writing for the search engines.

Instead, I will walk you through some brief, actionable ideas for ensuring that your bio is findable in search. Follow the instructions there, making sure that before you start, you are logged out of all your social networks. We will focus here on two of the most popular social networks, Facebook and Twitter, and look at how to optimize our bios for them. Suffice it to say that keywords are a critical piece of your bio—really any part of your website and blog.

Having a keyword-focused bio helps you get found by the right people, the ones you want to work for or with. With your mission in hand, make a list of keywords you want to be found for when people are doing Google searches. Depending on the social platform, there may be other things to consider when tweaking your bio for each one. Here are some tips for two of the popular social networks:. Your profile on Facebook, whether you use your personal name or you have a business page, is fairly simple to optimize.

In the case of Facebook, it is the name of your page. It may be your personal name or your business name. Search engines will pull in this name. It appears in search right under the page name.

This is the spot to describe yourself using some of your target keywords. But choose carefully because you have limited space. Keyword-rich Post s — It goes without saying that, in addition to an optimized bio, you should use some of your target keywords in your Facebook posts, too.

Try to make them a part of your content without hitting readers over the head with them. If you are on Twitter, you might have underestimated its potential for improving your SEO results with your bio.

Here is how to do that:. Optimize your title tag — The name you use in your Twitter bio will be your title tag. Optimize your Twitter bio — Again, this is the meta description that Google uses in the search results. Google will display that after the title tag, so try to get the most important keywords in here. It is followed by a list of keywords that describe his key services. Tweet high-quality content — You can support an optimized bio by sharing useful content related to helping other people.

The rules of good copywriting for the web apply equally to your online bio. At the minimum, it needs to be clean and easy to read. No one is going to plow through lines and lines of text, with no breaks and no end in sight. You will increase the chance readers will stay on your bio page if you help them get through your content as easily and painlessly as possible.

Avoid writing long, unbroken paragraphs of text. White space between lines of text gives your readers a chance to digest each point you make and helps tremendously with the flow.

Web users are notorious for skimming and scanning. Make it easy for them to move from section to section. Underlining, bolding and italicizing can drive a point home—if used occasionally and in just the right place. But line after line of italics or bold will do just the opposite, making you appear to be shouting and making it hard for the reader to tell exactly which are your important points.

Your visitors are jumping from site, looking for a real person. You will connect with your readers on a deeper level if you include a photo of yourself on your bio page.

The photo you choose will either draw people into your bio or turn them away. It is critical to get this piece right because when the reader sees your face, she will get an all-important first impression.

So choose an image that sends the right message. Your avatar is a graphical representation of you. It can be a real photo or an illustration, such as a cartoon portrait of you. On some social networking sites, such as Twitter, people use their business logos. Unless you are in the Witness Protection Program, you should have your own, unique online avatar.

You have seen them before. Perhaps you even have one yourself. Having a generic avatar means that you are leaving it to someone else to define who you are.

Consider trading it for one that connects with people in a more personal way. But if you are marketing yourself online in some way, we need to see who you are, so we can trust you—so we can build a relationship with you. A gravatar, which stands for Globally Recognized Avatar, is simply the same photo that follows you from site to site across the Internet. It is connected to your name and email and gives you consistency—on your own blog, when you talk on Twitter of Facebook, and when you comment on other blogs.

When you register for your gravatar , they will ask you for your email address. That is how people get their photos to appear alongside their comments. It should give your readers a sense of who you are.

You have certain personality traits that are unique to you. Think about how other people perceive you—your friends, your colleagues—and how you might describe yourself in just one or two words. What do you think should be inscribed on your tombstone? We went around the table.

Each teacher before me had something dry or witty or clever to say. When it was my turn, I paused. I was still weighing the questions and all the possible answers, searching for just the right one. They had me pegged. I like to ponder things before I make a decision. I try to turn things over, look at a situation from every angle.

And I am highly uncomfortable replying off the top of my head. You might have noticed that my about page photo and social media avatars strike a pondering pose.

Give some thought to your brand and how you come across to other people as well as how you want to be perceived. Think about your biggest asset, your most positive, truest personality trait.

Try to portray that in your bio photo and online avatar. I once made the decision not to follow someone on Twitter based on his avatar. In it, he was yelling and shaking his fist at the camera. Keep in mind that your face and body language will send certain messages to would-be social media followers and blog subscribers.

Be sure it is the message that you intend to send. Other examples might be crossed arms or finger pointing at the camera in a scolding kind of way. On the other hand, if you are aiming at attract an audience that loves confrontation, this may be the pose you consciously choose. You might love that green tint in your face, but you might look nauseated to someone else. A purple face can make a person look angry. There are some causes we all agree with fighting breast cancer, for example and then there are statements we make that may turn people away.

I unfollowed someone on Twitter once, not because of anything he said in his tweets. Second of all quality is not our only concern in the type of services we offer. Although it is the main reason why we have remained in business, we also put other factors into consideration when offering our business.

The other important point which we factor is the making sure that we observe and meet the deadlines set by our clients. We are a very time conscious service delivery company where we guarantee to always submit your biography needs within the timeline you set. Although this is not common in the biographies we submit to our clients, there are times when the client might not be pleased with the type of biography submitted to him. If such a case should arise, you should make sure you contact us and notify us and we guarantee to offer free edits and revisions to a biography that our writer may have submitted to you but not in the top most quality.

If the biography does not meet the standards even after the revision then the client will be entitled to a full refund of the money spent on that project. You do not have to subject yourself to extensive researches about how to write these biographies, the reason being that there is an alternative of getting your biography written for you by the real professional in this industry.

Executive Bio Writing Services. Please accept our Terms. Your message has been successfully sent! We will get back to you soon. Professional Assistance with Any Biography: Executive Bio Writing Services Why You Need Us for the Best Executive Bio Writing Services Although people only think of a biography as an autobiography, there are other biography types that one may be asked to write and a perfect example of another popular bio is the executive biography.

The Advantages of Using Our Writing Services Although this is not common in the biographies we submit to our clients, there are times when the client might not be pleased with the type of biography submitted to him.

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