Discover the 7 components of an optimized bio with 7 high-converting author byline examples to show you exactly what to aim for.
Creating quality content is challenging.
You have to find a unique angle on an often well-covered topic. You have to research data to back it up. You have to create a compelling headline.You have to create curiosity in the opening, polish your grammar, get the tone right, yada yada … all this while fitting the piece into your brand’s or client’s overall content marketing strategy.
With all that work, it’s important that you are getting maximum value out of your content, whether it’s published on your website or a 3rd party publication.
One incredibly easy yet often overlooked way to increase the value of your content is to optimize your author bio.
There is actually quite a bit of value you can derive from your bio, and yet most marketers and writers simply throw something together and never think about it again. Such a waste!
Today, I’m going to highlight the 7 components of an optimized bio, with 7 high-converting bio and byline examples to show you exactly what to aim for.
Before we begin, let’s cover the basics.
How To Write An Author Bio and Byline Examples
A byline is a short paragraph that tells readers a little bit about the author and how to contact the author or read additional content by the author.
In most online content, the author bio can be seen at the end of the article.
Author bio of Aaron Orendorff from Fast Company.
As a general rule, you want to keep your bio to 2-3 sentences or 40-60 words. This gives you enough room to include the 7 components we’ll talk about today without creating a wall of text that scares off readers.
An author bio is sometimes confused with an author byline which is technically not the same thing.
An author byline is a line at the top of an article that names the author, usually lists the date, and occasionally includes additional information
Author byline example on Fast Company article by Aaron Orendorff.
Author bios and bylines have become much less distinct in the internet age, and on many websites, the two will be merged in some form or other. But in most cases, you will have the ability to create a distinct 2-3 sentence bio for yourself that shows up at the end of any article you write.
So let’s talk optimization. The following 7 components will help turn your author bios into legitimate lead generators for your business.
STEP #1: Say who you are and what you do
People who consume your content have got three big questions:
- Whoare you?
- Whatdo you do?
- Whyshould I care?
Your bio should answer all three.
Nail them and they’ll be keen to find out more about you — and gladly follow you into the kingdom of your products and services. Most bios don’t address these essential queries. Some do but in a dry matter-of-fact-Wikipedia way. Think of your bio as an elevator pitch in two or three sentences.
Henneke Duistermaat gets hers right.
Henneke Duistermaat from Copyblogger. Source
She sums up who she is, what she does and who she does it for using an engaging style. Crucially, she tells readers the benefits of doing business with her. Because there’s something in it for them, her readers would want to check her out.
STEP #2: Establish your authority in the space
Authority is the tipping point of winning a hesitant prospect over or boosting your trust with clients.
Becoming a trusted voice in your space draws more prospects and causes your clients to stay with you longer. That’s why influencer marketing is the rage right now. Use your byline to underline your authority. Prove you’re worthy of a prospect’s business.
Here’s a great example from Ann Handley.
Author bio Ann Handley, Get Response blog. Source
Pixel after pixel, Ann proves her authority… Wall Street best seller, CCO, Entrepreneur columnist, keynote speaker. You may not have her star credentials but there’s always something to share.
Your vast experience maybe? An industry award? Or a mention by a notable publication?
Whatever it is, slip it in. Impress clients before you say a word. However, don’t shamelessly brag about everything you’ve ever done as Sammy Blindell points out in this post:
“Brand, don’t brag. It’s easy to compose a list of all your accomplishments — and it’s also a mistake. Use only those achievements that your ideal customers will see as beneficial to them, because this is about THEM. If you recently completed some extensive training in recognizing dog aggression, your financial planning audience isn’t going to care. In fact, they’ll probably turn away from your brand. However, if you were a keynote speaker and advisor for the annual International Financial Advisory Convention, that matters.”
Amen to that Sammy.
STEP #3: Include an image with some personality
I’m amazed how many content marketers miss the importance of a photo on social media profiles. It’s SOCIAL media for goodness sake — how can you socialize behind a silhouette? That’s like showing up at a party in a hood.
LinkedIn statisticsshow having a profile photo can get you:
- 21x more profile views
- 9x more connection requests
- 36x more messages
The same applies to your content marketing, and yet many marketers use a photo that either looks like a mugshot or a shot where the cameraman said, “Say ‘professionalism'”. Ugh!
Want to boost your brand’s perceived competence, likeability and influence? Use a professional shot with some personality!
A great example comes from John Nemo.
John Nemo’s bio. Author of LinkedIn riches. Source
John’s shot exudes confidence, warmth and authority. Prospects are more likely to connect with him. And, oh, please smile. It makes you more likeable. To improve the quality of your photo use editing tools like Pixlrand Fotor.
And then put your best face forward so people fall in love with you and your brand.
STEP #4: Inject your personality into the bio copy as well
When you really think about it, you and your competitors sell similar products.
The differentiator? Your uniquepersonality. Personality, an aspect of authenticity, leads to higher ROI and appeal. Sadly, when people write business copy, they insist on sounding business like — whatever that means.
As a result, ho-hum bios abound.
People do business with people. So you better sound like a human. You’ll bond better with your audience and win more business. Jorden Roper reveals a glimpse of her personality very well.
Author bio of Jorden Roper from Clearvoice. Source
Jorden isn’t just a freelancer. She’s a fuschia-haired one that frolics with Chihuahuas. I have an inkling that, like her Chihuahuas, she’s:
Bold. Lively. Devoted.
In one fell swoop she humanizes and brands herself by talking about her pets. Let your hair down. Flee from high sounding nothing akacorporate speaksqueak.
Be yourself. Be human. Be relatable.
Then more people will desire to learn more about you and your products.
STEP #5: Include a lead magnet in your byline
Your conversion goal for your piece should extend to your byline. For better conversions, your offer should be related to the subject of your piece or at least relevant to the topic.
Discussed pitching? Offer readers a pitch template.
Enumerated on the benefits of content creation and management software? Offer readers a demo.
Talked about the health benefits of sex? Offer them hands-on private coaching sessions at the nearest hotel. Nah, bad idea. But I’m sure you get the hang of it.
Your bio is a great opportunity to attract direct leads from your reader base.
Here’s a great example from Beth Heyden.
Byline example Beth Hayden from Be a Better Blogger blog.
What the byline doesn’t show is how the offer is an extension of her piece. Here’s a snippet of one of her main points.
Excerpt from Be a Better Blogger post by Beth Hayden. Source
Her offer? A free report entitled ‘The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Warm Welcome Message.’ You’d almost feel dumb not to sign up for it since the report completes the piece. This way, her conversions are likely to soar.
Note the singularity of her offer. Countless content strategists overload their bylines with links which overwhelms readers and tanks conversions. Plus, by making one uncontested offer, eyeballs are instantly drawn to it.
STEP #6: Follow up your bio link with a landing page
Capitalize on the heavy lifting done by your content by linking to a landing page not your homepage.
People who read all the way down your content are potential red-hot prospects or brand loyalists in the making.
Don’t let their enthusiasm go poof — into cyberspace oblivion, without harnessing it. Reward them with something special, on a special page tailor-made for them.
Give them something cool and useful like:
- A super-relevant lead magnet
- A discount on your latest product
- A free beta version of your product
- A slot to win a prize in your competition
See how Jacob McMillen does it below. This byline example on a guest post:
Jacob McMillan author bio on the CrazyEgg blog.
Takes you straight to this landing page:
Landing page from Jacob McMillan author byline. Source
Notice how his CTA, the last words on his bio, are the first words on the landing page? This way the byline is perfectly coupled to the landing page thus increasing conversions. When a reader clicks his bio and lands on the landing page, she smoothly continues her conversion journey.
Harmony wins the day.
Step #7: Be very specific in everything you say
Your bio offers you a chance to position your brand favorably.
Be clear about what exactlyyou do. You’ll generate more interest, attract higher quality leads and close more sales.
Next time I see a byline that reads ‘Andy Awesome is a marketer who resides at…’ I’ll organize an online march against dud bios. Dude, you ain’t saying nothing. They’re 271 bajillion marketers out there. Add a descriptive to specify what you do.
Only then will you stand a fighting chance of being heard above the me-too roar.
Lianna Patch stars in this regard.
Lilanna Patch author bio and byline example from Copyhackers. Source
Need help with email and landing pages? Then Lianna’s your girl. Her copy makes that crystal clear.
Brand yourself precisely. You’ll see an uptick in the number of prospects who approach you.
Finally, use your bio to boost your rankings for your target pages as Jacob McMillen explains:
“Bylines are a great place to link to a primary service page you are hoping to rank in search. It can be really challenging to rank service pages over blog posts, but including a back link to my main service page in every byline is one of the biggest reasons it’s ranking front page for 40+ key phrases.”
Conclusion: Get Every Ounce of Juice From Your Author Byline
Here’s the heart of the matter:
Your bio is an intricate part of your marketing and branding.
It’s a tiny hinge that swings huge marketing doors — a gateway to your world. So value it and craft it with care. Stretch all your investment in PPC and FB ads, SEO, outsourced content, site design and more to its fullest potential.
Make every click count.
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Qhubekani Nyathi aka The Click Guy is an irresistibly handsome (wife’s baseless claims!) web copywriter and content strategist. He helps social good-driven brands rapidly grow their impact and income (in that order). Get his quick conversion-focused content packs and win more business.
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- How To Write An Author Bio: 7 High-Converting Byline Examples Turning Readers Into Leads - September 26, 2017
Bylines in Newspapers and Other Publications
Bylines on paper usually appear after the headline or subhead of an article but before the dateline or body copy. It's almost always prefaced by the word "by" or some other wording that indicates that the piece of information is the name of the author.
- Where you're from and where you live. ...
- Relevant personal background information. ...
- The themes you love to write about. ...
- Relevant qualifications or experience. ...
- Any awards you've won or publications you've been featured in.
A simple example of a byline is: “Jackie Smitts, Staff Writer.”What should I write for a byline? ›
A byline is a short paragraph that tells readers a little bit about the author and how to contact the author or read additional content by the author. In most online content, the author bio can be seen at the end of the article. Author bio of Aaron Orendorff from Fast Company.How do I get my first byline? ›
- How to Get Your First Byline. Some writers produce a few articles for local newspapers for free when they first start out as journalists or professional writers. ...
- Write for Local or Regional Publications. ...
- Start a Blog. ...
- Get Your Own Online Column. ...
- Online Article and Content Services. ...
- Finding Other Freelance Work.
#1 – Author Bio Formatting
Although you are writing the author bio, it still needs to be written in the third person no matter how quirky it is. In other words, avoid using “I” as your sentence subject but utilize your name or last name instead.
Using catchy phrases that sum up important messages above every few paragraphs will make your article easy to read. Include quality data. Statistics from reputable sources are a great way to strengthen your argument. Perhaps your client has data from a survey or white paper they commissioned.What is a byline outline? ›
The term “byline” tells the readers who wrote the article by giving credit to the author – literally, the “by whom.” You don't have to be employed at that publication or even be in the editorial field to write a byline, or contributed piece.How many words should a byline be? ›
The sweet spot for a byline is about 700 to 1,000 words, and most editors prefer the shorter end of the spectrum. A good rule of thumb: If your byline exceeds two pages of a Word document, it's time to make some edits.What is an author introduction? ›
A preface is written by the author and tells readers how and why the book came into being. An introduction introduces readers to the main topics of the manuscript and prepares readers for what they can expect.
Ask a question or set of questions. Describe the setting so readers can imagine it. Give background information that will interest readers. Introduce yourself to readers in a surprising way.What is a sentence for author? ›
Author sentence example. It's a famous author named Miss Gladys Turnbull. He is the author of some commendable verses. He was the author of military reforms, which included the improvement of artillery.What is an opening byline? ›
The byline (or by-line in British English) on a newspaper or magazine article gives the name of the writer of the article.Where does writing a lead begin? ›
Start in the middle of your story. Once you begin, you can usually find your lead buried a few paragraphs down in this “get-going” copy. Your lead is in there — you just need to cut away the other stuff first.What is a lead paragraph *? ›
What is a lead? A lead is an opening paragraph that gives the audience the most important information of the news story in a concise and clear manner, while still maintaining the readers' interest.What does a good bio look like? ›
Your bio should include important professional roles and achievements. It's also valuable to add passions, personal interests, and how you bring your values to your work. Finally, your bio should give your readers a chance to get to know you. So, it should reflect your personality.What bio Means example? ›
Bio means of life or living things. An example of bio is biography which is the story of a person's life.How do you introduce yourself in a short bio? ›
- Your name.
- Your current job title.
- Your company name or personal brand statement.
- Your hometown.
- Your alma mater.
- Your personal and professional goals.
- A relevant achievement or accomplishment.
- Your hobbies.
- Welcome the introduction.
- Summarize who you are, what you do and what you're seeking.
- Solidify contact.
- Say "thank you" verbally and in writing.
Things You Should Know
Introduce yourself casually to new friends with a handshake and a smile. Then, offer your name and ask for theirs. If you're giving a speech, offer your name and relevant credentials. For example, if you're giving an academic speech, mention your research.
- Keep it brief. ...
- Use a third-person voice. ...
- Start with a one-liner. ...
- Sell yourself. ...
- List achievements sparingly. ...
- Include some personal tidbits. ...
- Use a professional photo. ...
- Hannah Lee, author of Bloom Where You're Planted.
Good writers, like any good communicator, worry about one thing and one thing only: connecting their audience to the story. Good writers construct their writing in a way that's understood by their target audience. Big words, little words, made up words and even text speak are all up for grabs.What person should a bio be written in? ›
The information should be written in the third person instead of the first person so that it is useful to the intended audience. A bio can range from a few words to a page, depending on the intended purpose.How do you write a bio with no experience? ›
- Step#1: Write in the third person. ...
- Step#2: Mention your credentials. ...
- Step#3: Write your most outstanding achievements. ...
- Step#4: Add your previous books. ...
- Step#5: Mention some important names. ...
- Step#6: Don't leave out anything important.
The byline for a journal article gives the name of the writer, and can include additional information, such as the data and a brief article summary. Name appearing in the byline reflecting contributors that deserve inclusion as authors of the research.How do I write my first introduction? ›
A self-introduction should include your name and occupation (or desired occupation) and key facts that will help you make an impression on the person you're communicating with. In a few sentences, cover the most important things others need to know about you.What are the 7 ways to begin a story? ›
- Introduce a key character's name (and how they got it) ...
- Begin with a landmark personal or historical event. ...
- Sow the seeds of your story's world. ...
- Start in the thick of action with dialogue. ...
- Introduce a strong narratorial voice. ...
- Begin with a character doing something unusual.
So, whatever type of story you want to tell, you'll find great sentences to start a story in the list below! Jack hadn't meant for it to happen... The wind swirled around me and the world went black... At first, I couldn't understand why I had woken up - then I felt the icy fingers close around my wrist...What words should I use to start a story? ›
- I didn't mean to kill her.
- The air turned black all around me.
- Icy fingers gripped my arm in the darkness.
- Wandering through the graveyard it felt like something was watching me.
- The eyes in the painting follow him down the corridor.
- A shrill cry echoed in the mist.
An "example sentence" is a sentence written to demonstrate usage of a particular word in context. An example sentence is invented by its writer to show how to use a particular word properly in writing. Such examples are placed following a given definition, to make it clear which definition they illustrate.
- Introduce the text you're writing about in the beginning of your essay by mentioning the author's full name and the complete title of the work. Titles of books should be underlined or put in italics. ...
- In subsequent references to the author, use his or her last name.
Short sentences improve readability.
Whether you're writing a novel, a short story, or a piece of academic writing, you can make your writing more accessible with short sentences. When sentences are short, the audience can easily understand your storyline.
Write the title in normal English-language capitalization. Never all in caps. Add your byline below the article title. Do not format the text in the article (only exceptions are: bullet comments and numbered paragraphs in a section that details a process or sequence).Is byline same as author? ›
What does Author/Byline mean? The byline gives the name of the author of the article.What is another name for byline? ›
An author's purpose may be to amuse the reader, to persuade the reader, to inform the reader, or to satirize a condition.