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Is Your Author “About Me” Page Boring Your Readers To Death?

man asleep at keyboard

Author “About Me” pages are some of the most boring spots in all of cyberspace.

Which doesn’t make sense.

An “About Me” page should be one of the most interesting on the site. But instead, what we usually get is a list of accolades without a spark of personality. Everyone has gone to college, married their high school sweetheart, runs 5ks, and lives in Dallas, Texas. They’ve written books, worked in ministries, and are just as interesting as Mr. Rogers’ sweater choices.

It’s like they’ve been processed in the bland biography plant, complete with lame author portraits. People crave authenticity. You may have done incredible things but are you relatable? Tell your story, not your GPA.

Here’s some steps on how to get started:

  1. Write down some of your great personality traits (outgoing, precise, reliable, funny, artistic, etc.)
  2. Add a few of your successes that relate to the platform you are buliding (won an investigative journalism award, earned a degree in —, writes columns about —-, spent a year in France studying cheese-making, etc.).
  3. Insert one or two quirky facts (you collect postcards, like to climb mountains, raise alpacas, participate in lawn mower races).
  4. Mix them all together in a creative blend.
  5. Add hyperlinks.
  6. Have someone proof your bio.
  7. Post.

All you are doing is writing your story. You get to edit it so just the good parts show up. The ones that you want to be known for. If you don’t know how to do this, you can schedule a branding consultation with Author Media.

Two Author About Me Examples

Bob the Biographer

Middle aged male biographer

Bob started attending UCLA in the fall of 1985. As one of the core residents, Bob had been able to do significant research with the anthropology department. Every year until 1998, Bob published an anthology of biographies, highlighting the stories of the other students living on campus.

In 1998, Bob reluctantly switched his major to Economics.

It was then that he was first introduced to the life and theories of John Maynard Keynes. He decided then that he wanted to become the foremost expert on Keynes. It wasn’t Keynes economic theories that fascinated Bob, it was the man behind them. In 1999, Bob married his childhood sweetheart, a banker named Sue.

In 2001, Bob started writing a musical about the life of Keynes. That year, Bob was also blessed with a puppy named Pet, and a daughter named Daisy. He continued his studies at UCLA.

In 2010, Bob celebrated his 25th anniversary at UCLA by publishing his memoirs of the campus. He just sold the movie rights to MGM.

Bob has since graduated college, become an accountant, and started running 5 miles every day. He continues to write his exhaustive biography on Keynes.

Bill the Biographer

Man on Motorcycle

Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, Bill was familiar with the legends surrounding Sacagewea. It wasn’t until he left the region that he realized that her story was largely unknown by the rest of the country. He set out to change that.

On May 14, 2005, Bill packed up all his earthly belongings and headed off with Hans Solo, his pet parakeet on the adventure of a lifetime – following the footsteps of Sacegewa and the Corps of Discovery. His book Sacagewea: First Lady of the American Frontier was published and received with critical acclaim in 2010. The book was accepted into the Library of Congress nine months after publication.

Bill and Hans Solo are back on the road, tracing the story of Sacagewea’s first-born. This time they are motorcycling with Hans safe and secure in his custom designed side-car. The Adventures of Jeanne Baptiste: First Son of the American West will be published in Fall, 2013.

You can sign up for Bill’s weekly author newsletter from the road where he discusses the history of the region.

Bill received his PhD in History from Reed College. He is a popular professor, with thousands of students signing up for his online history classes every year.

Conclusion

Your Author About Me page needs to be interesting. The above examples tell two very different stories. Bob is still figuring out his brand and Bill has his down to a science. In both bios, you get to know that the men are more than the books that they’ve written, the degrees they’ve earned, or the state they live in. Which one do you fine more relatable?

Practice writing your Author About Me page. Pretend you’re writing about someone else if it makes it easier. Still stuck? Author Media offers free consultations as well as copywriting services. We can help you.

What other tips would you add? What’s the best About Me biography that you’ve read?

 

About Caitlin Muir

Caitlin Muir knows the power of social media first hand. She's on the editorial team of The Social Media Club, which connects media makers from around the world to promote media literacy, industry standards, and ethical behavior. She blogs about faith, love, and social media at CaitlinMuir.com.

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7 Responses to Is Your Author “About Me” Page Boring Your Readers To Death?

  1. I would add one important mixer to this advice. Make sure that you are offering your story and expertise in a way that appeals to your readers – give them some benefits (reasons) for reading your works. Otherwise the bio can still be a litany of “you.”

    • Caitlin Muir #

      Great point! I think that’s where Bill’s biography sings. He offers books, newsletters, and online classes for history buffs.

  2. As a brand new author, I didn’t feel like I had a whole lot to put into my bio, so I tried to turn to humor. I am a list writer so I created a numbered list: Maria Grace has one husband, two black belts and two graduate degrees…. and continued all the way up to ten. Some of them are definitely funny, but I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback about it. I’m not taking myself too seriously and letting people get to know me a little. I may change it when I have a little more to offer, but for now it is at least a unique first effort.

    Thanks for the tips and new perspective on this.

    • Caitlin Muir #

      I like it. Lists are a lot of fun and they still share your stats. Great job, Maria! What kind of writing are you pursuing?

      • Right now I’m doing historical fiction, but I have a science fiction series in the works as well as a fantasy one.

  3. Great stuff here. Now I’m off to rewrite mine! What do you think about first-person versus third-person? Saying “Lisa Bartelt is a … blah, blah blah” always sounds a little sterile to me. I’d rather write my bio in the first person, but maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about. :) Thanks!

  4. As soon as I figure out who I am…I’ll share it with others.

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