Having a solid bio or about section on your WordPress site is a must.
It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in — you need a bio to let people know who you are, what you do, and why you do it. Even if you’re in business (especially if you’re in business), you need to give people a little bit of yourself. After all, every transaction at the end of the day is between two people, so the more you can present yourself as relatable, the better.
That’s why we’ve put together this post, to answer every question you’ve ever had about writing a blog bio and how to display it properly on your WordPress site. So, get your pencils ready and prepare to take some notes!
What Should Be Included in a Bio?
What you include in your blog bio depends a lot on what industry you’re in and what the purpose of your blog is. If you’re in real estate, your blog bio will obviously say something different and focus on different things than if you blog to support your Etsy store.
First and foremost, you should emphasize your expertise. Those who click through to read your bio will want to know why you’re blogging in the first place and why they should even bother trusting your words. Using an example will probably make explaining this easier.
So, let’s say you sell an informational product and use your blog as a supporting platform for that. Your bio should talk about what experience you have that makes you an expert in the subject matter your informational product covers. You should talk about what training you have and what successes you’ve achieved in your field.
A few “must-haves” (if they apply) include:
- Your education
- Seminars, courses, or conferences you’ve attended
- Relevant publications
- Endorsements from respected peers
After you’ve talked about your qualifications as an expert, you can transition into talking about a bit of personal information. Some general background info is also nice for readers because it gives them context and a look at who you are outside of business.
Talk about where you grew up. Talk about your hobbies or interests. Talk about how you got into your chosen field. How much or how little personal information you include is up to you but it might help to read some of of the bios on blogs of other people in your industry. What do they do? What do they emphasize? Use that as your guide.
You’ll also want to make sure the tone of your bio matches the tone of your blog, so that means if you have an all-professional voice in your posts, your bio should stay true to that. And if you have a very conversational style, don’t suddenly get rigid in your bio. Consistency is key.
There are a few structural things you need to think about when putting together an effective blog bio. Before you get a single word down on the page, you should decide whether you want to write in first person or third person.
First person is much more direct and allows you to speak directly to your readers: “I grew up in Rugby,” vs. “Tom Ewer grew up in Rugby.” A bit of a personal touch can go a long way in terms of making you relatable to your readers.
You’ll also want to think about the length of your bio. Again, this will have a lot to do with what industry you’re in. A lawyer will need a much longer bio than a boutique business owner, for instance. But you’ll need to decide if you just want a small bio in an author box below your blog posts — which we will discuss more in a moment — a full dedicated “About” page, or a combination of the two. Look to your competitors for guidance and remember that sometimes less is more.
Note: even if your bio is relatively short, you’ll still only want to display a few lines below your posts and show the rest on its own page. It’s cleaner and makes for a less cluttered page.
The Author Box
As we mentioned previously, an author box is a little space that typically displays below blog posts that offers up quick facts about a post’s author. This is especially useful if you have multiple authors on your blog.
There are many plugins available, both free and premium, that accomplish this task. Here are just a handful that we’ve found useful and that you may want to consider:
Fanciest Author Box
The Fanciest Author Box plugin by Thematosoup is a personal favorite because it does absolutely everything you’d ever want an author box to do (checkout my full Fanciest Author Box WordPress Plugin review). You can customize it to accomplish anything you want from a basic bio box to something more complex. You can add or remove tabs across the top of the author box to display more information about you like your social media profiles, your most recent blog posts, and more. We actually use a customized version of the Fanciest Author Box here on WPExplorer- checkout my author bio box below.
It also comes with built-in Google authorship integration and you can easily customize the CSS to make it match your blog theme seamlessly. Fanciest Author Box costs $10 but there is a slimmed down, free version called Fancier Author Box if you want to give it a test drive before making any sort of financial commitment.
Author Box Reloaded
If you’re looking for something really simple that still displays all of your information in a stylish way, the Author Box Reloaded plugin is a good option for you.
Your author photo and a brief bio are displayed simply and tastefully beneath each of your blog posts. You’ll need to download an extension called Author Box Reloaded to add social media icons, however, which may be a drawback for some.
Again, this is a very simple option but if you don’t need anything robust, this is a good, free way to display your bio and let people in on who you are and what you do.
Custom About Author
The Custom About Author plugin is interesting because it’s one of the few out there that doesn’t require the creation of individual user accounts. Normally, you’d have to set up different user profiles, each with its own permissions, to get an author box to work effectively. This plugin, however, allows you to set up custom profiles for exclusive use with the plugin, rather than in the WordPress dashboard itself.
You can display your bio within this plugin however you’d like with HTML and with all the social media links you’d like. It’s free and another simple way to display your bio.
Writing a compelling biography for your WordPress site is difficult. It’s hard to sum up all of your relevant experience into a short space. And making decisions about how you’d like to display that information can also be tough. But hopefully you now have a firm grasp on how to go about both writing and presenting your “About Me” info and can proceed with confidence.
What’s in your blog bio? Do you even have one? Or, is that one of your rainy day projects? We’d love to hear your take on the blog bio, what it should and shouldn’t include, and your favorite way to display it. Sound off in the comments!