Twitter gives writers a wonderful place to meet, discuss favorite topics, receive support and learn about great resources. Your tweets are number one in attracting your followers. However, writers still need a good bio because many Twitter users don’t follow someone who lacks a bio or creates a useless one.
A bio does the “first impression” thing for you unless you have no photo. No photo is the first thing that turns away many people before they bother to read the bio. Your Twitter bio gives you a 160-character short ‘n powerful opportunity to share your experience, build your credibility, identify your writing genres and highlight your personality.
Let’s get to work on building an effective bio in Twitter for writers.
What do you do? Are you a technical writer? Author? Business writer? Editor? Who are your readers/clients? Some people search by job, industry and publication type. If I were to do a search for you — how would you want me to find you? These answers will give you the keywords to include in your bio.
My keywords are writer, editor and games. (I do game reviews.) I built my bio around these keywords and added a touch of my personality: “Content maven aka writer, editor and bookwormette who plays with words and games (www.thegamezen.com) in between PTA work and refereeing the kids.” you can add another URL in your bio, but it won’t be clickable in Twitter.
Remember your bio can affect your landing on someone’s Twitter list. I use people’s bios to decide where they belong in mine.
Think about your “Location”: While most writers can work from anywhere, we still need to put thought into our location. Though I only have two local clients, I’ve had lunch with someone I met in Twitter. If you don’t live in a major or known city, you may want to add the closest one. For example, I’m in Plano, so my location says “Plano, Texas, north of Dallas.” Doing this can help you get on location-based Twitter lists like my Dallas-Fort Worth list. I also debated the use of “Tx” vs “Texas.” Some people use “Tx” to represent “Thanks,” so “Texas” it is.
Some of you may not be aware your location shows meaningless numbers as UT: 12.345678, -234.5678? Twitter applications like Ubertwitter allow users to set the location based on where they are. Can you figure out where the person is located in an instant? (You can enter these coordinates in Google Maps to find the person’s location, but how many people bother?)
What kind of link do you have in “Web”? Are you using a short URL service (bit.ly, ow.ly, is.gd, etc.) in your URL? Most of us think it’s spam, so we don’t click such links when they appear in “Web” even though we do it all the time in tweets. Use a regular URL.
If you have more than one Web page, where should your “Web” link land? Sometimes I want to learn more about the person. Sometimes, I want to go straight to a blog, if they have one, to take our conversations to a deeper level. Some people create a landing page specifically for Twitter, which is where my link goes. Still, I wonder if pointing to my blog would be a better idea. What do you think? If you don’t have a web site or blog, then use your Facebook or LinkedIn ID.
Don’t stress out in trying to write a perfect bio. Many people keep tweaking their bios as they become more experienced with Twitter. My own bio is probably the fourth version. So go and write a bio without worrying about these details; it’s better than nothing. You can also read other bios for inspiration. Here’s a first draft to get you started in writing a decent bio.
“Writer who covers X topics for [magazines, newspapers, web sites or whatever to give people an idea of what kind of publications you write for]. When not writing, I [what you do that lets you throw in more of your keywords.]”
Just be yourself. That’s what makes you stand out. There’s no one like you.
Important note for new Twitter users: Create your profile first. Tweet second. Follow last. Twitter users see blank pages or those with one or two tweets as a spammer or someone not taking Twitter seriously. Follow AFTER you create a bio, upload an avatar photo and write a few tweets. Tweet for at least a week or so before you start following people. If you follow before your account is ready, you’ll miss out on follow back opportunities.
What do you look for in a Twitter profile?