Contributing to blogs is a good way to get your name out there, promote your current projects, and draw traffic back to your site. But not all guest posts are created equal.
If you aren’t optimizing the author bio you get when writing for another site, you might be missing out on traffic and quite possibly, revenue. Here are a few ways to get the most out of your author bio.
Decide on a Format for Your Name
Since you want to start building value around your name, you should pick a format for your name and stick with it. While this might seem fairly obvious, there are a few factors you should consider.
Do you want to use your entire name? Will you select a format for your name that you will keep even if you get married or legally change your name? Do you want to use a pseudonym and keep your real name private?
Don’t think about it too hard, but consider it before you pitch.
Set Up Google Authorship
Also, before you start pitching for contributing opportunities, make sure that your Google Authorship is set up. A big reason why you are guest blogging is to increase the authority of your Authorship. So set up your account first.
- Sign up for a Google account. (You more than likely have this already.)
- Set up a Google+ account. (This will be synched with your Google account.)
- Optimize your Google+ account by completing your profile. (Make sure to add the headshot.)
- Add sites that you contribute to. (In your profile you can add links to your author page.)
Google Authorship can be a little confusing, so make sure that you know how to link Authorship through both of Google’s two methods.
Add Links to Social Sites that Matter
In your author bio, it is not necessary to link to every social site that you belong too. Instead, link to the social sites that matter most to business and online authority.
Always link to your Google+ account. This will help trigger your Authorship value, so always use your name as anchor text and link back to your profile page.
Always link to your Twitter account. By including your Twitter handle, you are giving the audience a way to reach out to you as well as giving them your information if they decide to tweet out your article and give you credit.
Sometimes link to your LinkedIn profile. If you are writing in a space that is closely tied to your business, you may want to consider adding a link to your LinkedIn profile as it is a good way to connect with potential clients.
Never link to your Facebook profile. Most of the online world considers Facebook a more personal social platform, so you can leave this one out.
Keep It Short and Sweet
Before you send over you author bio, look around the site and consider the average length of other author bios. Unless you see other authors consistently using long bios, keep yours to about 3-4 sentences.
Anything shorter than that doesn’t say enough. Anything longer, says too much.
Consider the Site’s Audience
Before you go cramming your author bio with links to all of your past, present, and future projects, take a minute to consider what the site’s audience will be most interested in.
If you have a lot of projects and are frequently contributing to sites in a variety of industries, start a list of your projects and note which project is best for which type of audience. That way you can quickly and easily select the project that would most benefit the audience of your latest guest post.
Link to Your Website and Blog
This is probably the most important elements of your author bio. Never forget to link back to your blog, website, and professional portfolio. That link will offer value in terms of traffic sent by readers as well as increased optimization in search through backlinks.
This is a big reason why you are guest posting and contributing in the first place. So don’t forget it.
Show Your Personality
If you have additional space in your author bio after you have added all of the essential elements, go ahead and add a sentence that showcases your personality. Readers like to see real people so mention a hobby, a pet, or an unusual fact that gives readers a look at the person behind the byline.
Ask for a Revision
If you have contributed posts in the past without following these rules, don’t fret. Most publishers are pretty easy going when it comes to revising author bios for their writers. Making a simple request won’t hurt as long as you don’t rush them to change it.
So before you send that next guest post, make sure that your ‘about me’ is optimized to get you the best bang for your bio. How are you using guest posting and author bios to help build your brand?