#1 Make sure your profile picture matches your bio.
A clear shot of your face is usually better than a company logo or a random kitten, because other users want to know who they’re connecting with. That being said, feel free to be as creative as you want, as long as it’s purposeful.
#2 Avoid 3rd person bio descriptions.
I’m often put off by bios that go like this: Joe Schmo is a mystery author and dog lover. He lives in Alaska and collects marbles. Well…is this account yours, or isn’t it? 3rd person bios can be confusing at best and pretentious at worst.
#3 Use hashtags, but don’t go overboard.
Hashtags (#writer, #amwriting, etc.) are a great way for people to see what your account is about even if they don’t read the whole bio. Hashtags stand out. But if your entire bio is one solid chunk of hashtags (which I see far too often), it becomes clutter and I’ll probably skip over it.
#4 Don’t put yourself on a pedestal.
So many author/writer bios say things like, I’m the next bestseller; my books will knock your socks off. No, I’m not exaggerating. There’s a line between confidence and arrogance. Don’t cross it. I’ll decide whether or not my socks have been knocked off, thank you very much.
#5 Sell yourself, not your products.
Your bio is there for people to get a glimpse of who you are and what you do. It’s NOT there for you to tell people how great your books are. Instead of saying I’m the author of [insert book title] which you can get here: [insert link]. Try something like I write romance books, and here’s my blog/website if you want to see more! I want to connect with people, not merchandise.
#6 Use the available link space for your website, not your book.
I strongly recommend using the link space provided by Twitter to direct people to your blog/website rather than your amazon links. Being personable is more important than trying to sell your product, and if I like your blog, I’m much more likely to come back for more. Odds are I’ll never even click on your Amazon link if that’s all you give me.
#7 Be creative.
Listing facts/info about yourself is fine, but in my experience, bios that have a humorous or creative twist get more attention. You don’t have to be a comedian, but try to throw in a line or two that stands out from the other 1.000.000.000 writer accounts.
#8 Don’t compare yourself to successful authors.
Please don’t try to convince me you’re the next Tolkien or Rowling, because you’re not. Trust me. Nor will all fans of Harry Potter love your book even more (yes, I’ve seen that). You can’t pretend to be as good or successful as those big names before you’ve even finished your second draft. Again, it’s pretentious, arrogant, and 99% likely to not be the case.
#9 Keep your bio clutter-free.
It’s fine for your personal account to include emojis, sparkles, symbols, and random upper case letters. Please keep those elements out of your writer/author bio, though. You can be as personable, fun-loving, and crazy as you want (Twitter needs more of you!), but your bio should still look clean and clear, because it’s your first (and sometimes your only) chance to communicate to the world.
#10 Stay focused.
I know you’re a complex human being. I know writing isn’t all you do or like. But if you use your account to connect primarily with other writers/readers/editors/etc., you’ll benefit from a focused bio. For instance, if I come across a bio that reads: Food junkie, gamer, writer, reader, photographer, lover of cats, distant relative of Scottie Pippen, french fry enthusiast, and defender of turtle-neck rights, how do I know what you tweet about the most? I don’t want to spend time sifting through your tweets to find what I’m actually interested (which, in this context, is the writing part). Nor do I want my home feed saturated with pictures of french fries.
These are some of the tips/strategies I’ve garnered from my own experience as a writer on Twitter, as well as from advice from people with a lot more knowledge than me. You don’t have to follow them if you disagree, but I do think they’ll help your Twitter bio perform its function to a higher capacity!
In the meantime, keep calm and write on, friend!