I have this naive belief that I can wing my way through life by being open to personal growth. This means I very, very rarely read how-to guides. Okay, disclaimer out of the way.
I want to talk today about how to write a great Twitter bio. Now, this is all purely my opinion, and what I have gleaned from using and observing Twitter, so take it or leave it as you choose. Even feel free to say, “Kelly, your reasoning is silly. I don’t like it.” I’m open to being wrong.
What is a Twitter Handle?
Basically, the Twitter Handle is the Twitter username. It should be as close as possible to you blog name. For example, mine is @BeAFunMum for my Be A Fun Mum blog. It’s important to keep it as short as possible because with only 140 characters available for tweets, if your Twitter Handle is long, it limits how many characters you, or people tweeting you, have to work with. For example, @BeAFunMumAustralia takes up 18 characters before you even start writing a tweet.
What is a Twitter Bio?
The Twitter bio gives you 160 characters to say, “This is who I am or what I stand for.” Again, I believe it’s better to keep this as succinct as possible. To give an example why, just take a look below at my twitter page (on the right hand side). It highlights similar people to follow and only the the first 60 characters of the bios are visible. The other reason is the nature of Twitter is punchy, fast and to the point, and I believe the bio should reflect that.
How to Write a Great Twitter Bio
I believe a great Twitter bio says less about you and more about what you’re about.
“A great Twitter bio says less about you and more about what you’re about.”
The trick is to give tweeters enough to be interested, but not quite enough to be satisfied. I’ll use two of my Twitter accounts as an examples of how I’ve (tried to) capture this.
Make it open-ended
I’m Kelly, a SAHM of 4 kids. I’m married and my husband and I live in Brisbane. Come visit my blog! (99 characters)
There’s nothing wrong with this. However, I may unwittingly turn readers/followers away. The above twitter bio says to me, follow-me-if-you-have-4-kids-are-a-stay-at-home-mum-are-married-and-live-in-brisbane. That is NOT the message that I’m trying to convey at all!
Instead my twitter bio is:
Love the Moment (15 characters)
That’s it. I figure, it’s pretty obvious via my twitter handle (@BeAFunMum) that I’m a mum so I don’t need to say that again. It doesn’t matter to Twitter how many kids I have because chances are, if you’re a mum, you may find something of interest on my blog. If you read my bio, Love the Moment, and think: that’s a weird airy fairy concept (which is true); you probably won’t like my blog (and that’s absolutely fine). However, if you’re like, “Yes! I love that concept,” then chances are that you may like my blog, regardless of your marital status, where you live or how many kids you have.
By leaving it open-ended, it gives the reader a chance to interpret the words while leaving a little bit of interest so they (hopefully) will be more likely to click through to my about page to see what it’s all about.
Make it intriguing
I’m Kelly and I love Jane Austen! Check out my blog to find out more. (69 Characters)
Again, there is nothing wrong with this but instead,
A little refined. Not so accomplished. (38 characters)
gives a little more intrigue. It’s obvious from my Twitter handle (@VeryJaneAusten) that I talk about Jane Austen on my blog so the bio is intended to define my interest in exploring the refined period surrounding the Jane Austen period and how it applies to my modern world.
The trick is to give tweeters enough to be interested, but not quite enough to be satisfied.
When it comes to writing a Twitter bio, it helps to know what sort of blog you’re running. Below are some examples.
Make it personal (for personal blog)
For personal blogs, the Twitter bios that suck me in say something that makes me think: OH YES! I can identify with that. For example, @WoogsWorld (Mrs Woog’s) Twitter handle:
During my waking hours I ferry kids around in the car while drinking takeaway coffees. I think about going to the gym every single day. (135 characters)
I’m read that and I’m like, “She’s understands!” I don’t care how many kids she has, only that I can identify her. The second half of the bio is a very clever Woogism (is that a new term?) that you want to read a couple of times. The clever play on words makes me want to know more about Mrs Woog. She got me. *Click* through to her website
write something strongly unique to you (eg. I like to eat ice-cream with a fork)
write something that people may be able to relate to (eg. Can someone remind me what sleep is?)
or tick both boxes (like Mrs Woog has)
Do you want to inspire?
When I thought about what sort of blog I wanted to create for Be A Fun Mum, I decided to aim to use my own experiences to inspire people to do their own thing. Hence, I’ve gone with more of a concept in my Twitter bio (Love the Moment). It’s a concept; a way of living; a goal; a dream; what else?
Is your blog funny?
I take my hat off to the Funny blogs/Twits. It’s one of the hardest niches to do well. The Twitter bio has to be catchy, make you smile and it CAN’T be serious. The twitter handle sets the tone of the blog; for example, below is popular blogger Kelly Oxford’s Twitter bio.
@KellyOxford Designed to make you feel like everything is going well. I am your Perestroika.
I actually don’t know her blog well but I would guess her humour is quite sarcastic just from her Twitter bio.
Is your blog about your business?
I realise it’s important to provide essential information about the service a business provides, for example, Blogging Tips. However, I do think you can say it in an interesting way. I love @ProBlogger’s bio.
I blog about twitter and tweet about blogging. Sometimes I blog about tweeting about blogging and tweet about blogging about twitter. (133 characters)
It says everything I need to know if a way that makes me want to find out more. How uninspiring would it be if the Pro Blogger Titter bio was:
Blogging Tips. eBooks. Resources.
I’m sure there are thousands of blogs that could boast the same thing.
Using defining words vs interest statement
Many will use defining words, role titles and business names in their Twitter Bio. This can be a good way to put your service or ideas out there. For example, I might write this: Blogger. Mother. Dreamer. The only problem is many people use this method so it gets a bit ho-hum after a while and does not set you apart from, for example the other 10,000 others who are a ‘Blogger’. As I glanced through some of the people I follow on Twitter, I found this one:
@JayWilk Geek with social skills. Collector of life experiences. Founder/CEO Firespring. Entrepreneur & Angel Investor. I tweet about Marketing, Social Media, & Tech.
He had me at Geek with social skills because it made me laugh as it brought a slight knock to societal stereotypes. I wonder if it was structured differenly, if I would even have it on this post?
@JayWilk Founder/CEO Firespring. Entrepreneur & Angel Investor. I tweet about Marketing, Social Media, & Tech. Geek with social skills. Collector of life experiences.
I don’t think so. Meh. Whatever. I would not have read past CEO.
If you want to use defining words or roles, I like a pull line first. For me, this might be:
@BeAFunMum Cookie Monster rocks my socks! Blogger. Mother. Dreamer.
Questions to ask
If you’re writing, or re-writing a Twitter bio, here are some questions to ask.
- What is something that is unique to me?
- What sort of blog do I have? (Funny, inspiring, personal, educational, business)
- What is the essence of my blog? (Tagline/slogan)
- What is something I have experienced that others may identify with?
Play around with combinations and words and you’ll be sure to produce an interesting and unique bio that says, “This is who I am.”
Twitter bios I like
Here are some Twitter bios I like for many of the above reasons.
@GoodGoogs Reformed Perfectionist, Parent Adventurer, All-Round Geek and Photo Enthusiast
@EdenLand Wordsmith. Recoverer of lost things.
@SquiggleMum a mother’s heart – a teacher’s mind – a writer’s hand
@ParentWellbeing We help parents worry less and enjoy parenting more!
@NotMartha I have proof that I have no idea what I’m doing most of the time.
@TheBlogess I have friends in spite of myself.
@Hello_Owl I like pre mixed coke and sushi. I’m obsessed with op shopping. I take a lot of photos. I’m short. Very short. I love my life.
@Rahest I am the rahest of all Rah’s!
@HollyHomemaker I have never quite gotten over the heartbreak of learning that George Michael and I bat for the same team.
@Sawhole @sawhole is an unfortunate nickname. www.madambipolar.com is about living with and supporting others with bipolar disorder.
@ReservoirDad I wear sunglasses because I have no eyeballs. I also have no hair but I forgot my hat.
@TheBernieBrand If it’s funny or weird, If it’s special or cute, If it’s annoying or wrong, Fear not, I will find it and… BAM!! It shall be blogged!
@NaptimeCocktails The Woefully Inept Guide to Early Motherhood by Gillian Martin&Emma Kaufmann (Finch Publishing)
@TwitchyCorner Working hard to maintain the illusion I’m Boss of the Boy & Girl. Witty people, retro style, TV, animals, trees & chocolate happify. Too camp is just enough.
@TheFarmersWifey How to completely change your life without losing your mind.