Twitter Bios

by Kelly on October 19, 2011

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 twitter bio

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

For my @BeAFunMum Twitter account (linked with my Be A Fun Mum blog), I could say:

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

@VeryJaneAusten (linked to the Very Jane Austen blog) could very well use this Twitter bio:

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

Personal blogs

  • 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.

  1. What is something that is unique to me?
  2. What sort of blog do I have? (Funny, inspiring, personal, educational, business) 
  3. What is the essence of my blog? (Tagline/slogan)
  4. 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.

@TheMolk Geek Evangelist. Purveyor of fine opinions, #geek excellence & poor spelling. #AuTechHeads core team member. Microsoft #CareerFactor participant.

@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.

What do you like in a Twitter bio?

What makes you click follow, and even better, click through to the blog or website?

Have you read an awesome Twitter bio lately?

{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

Veronica @ Mixed Gems October 20, 2011 at 9:40 am

Thanks for sharing such practical tips. It really helps that you’ve given concrete examples too. I guess it’s about first impressions, isn’t it?

Reply

Kelly October 21, 2011 at 2:35 am

Thanks for you feedback Veronica. I tend to think so. Especially with Twitter, which is fast paced and punchy, you really have to make an impact quickly or people will move on.

Reply

Janet October 24, 2011 at 12:01 am

Don’t suppose you wanna re-write my Twitter bio for me??! ;-)

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Janet October 24, 2011 at 10:19 am

Scratch that, I managed to come up with something all by myself!!! “an Aussie gal endeavouring to follow in the footprints of Jesus – and encouraging others to do the same, through Footprints magazine and blog! Find out more at http://www.footprintsaustralia.com.” Much better!

Reply

Kelly October 25, 2011 at 4:46 am

Nice Janet. I like. Here are a few extra brainstorming ideas too:

* Are footprints a guide or a blueprint? ((then little intro here like above)) — Twitter landing page would need to answer this question…

* Footprints fade into the distance but you only need to take one step at a time.

* To follow is to obey. One footprint at a time. ((then little intro here like above))

I would have the link from your Twitter account go directly to a sepcial Twitter Landing page where you introduce yourself and elaborate on what the Footprings Mag is all about. The thing is you CAN’T say it all on Twitter so what you need to think about is getting them to click through to your explanation page.

Reply

Janet October 25, 2011 at 9:01 am

Okies, now you’re getting too technical for me ;-) . How do I do a special Twitter landing page???

Giving some thought to your suggestions!

Reply

Janet October 25, 2011 at 9:09 am

“Footprints: an inspirational poem; the Chinese symbol for peace – and a magazine & blog to encourage women to follow in HIS Footprints across the nation of Australia!”

Thoughts? Feedback??

Reply

Kelly October 26, 2011 at 8:53 am

YES! That’s so interesting!

Reply

Kelly October 26, 2011 at 8:56 am

All I mean is creating a dedicated About Page on your blog that you use on your Twitter profile. So it might be http://footprintsaustralia.com/blog/about/twitter. You can then put all your about me/footprints stuff there but you might start with something like.

“Thank for coming over from Twitter. You want to know what I’m all about and really quick? Here’s the low-down:…….”

Reply

Sierra - The Wicked StepMum October 25, 2011 at 3:35 am

I’d love your feedback on mine! I’m @wickedstepmum and my bio reads ‘So what happens when Prince Charming comes with a hoard of kids and an ex-wife? You become a Wicked StepMum, and start writing a fairy tale.’

Do you think that’s ok?

Reply

Kelly October 25, 2011 at 4:33 am

It’s fantastic because it’s the beginning of a story. The only comment I would make is the second sentence stalls me a little. I suggest something like this:

What happens when Prince Charming comes with a hoard of kids and an ex-wife? The fairytale begins…

This brings a little more intrigue and it’s punchier so I would be like — The fairytale begins — *click* Question and then BOOM: quick answer — *click* … Does that make sense? Of course, just my opinion.

Your Twitter ID already says a lot so you don’t need to define yourself in your bio.

Great work!

Reply

Sierra - The Wicked StepMum October 26, 2011 at 6:17 am

Thank you so much :) I really like the ‘boom’ like you say :) Thanks for your advice, taken and used :)

Reply

Kelly October 26, 2011 at 8:51 am

You’re so welcome! :D

Reply

Janet October 25, 2011 at 8:58 am

I love it!!!

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Sierra - The Wicked StepMum October 26, 2011 at 6:20 am

Aw shucks! Thanks heaps!

Reply

Jay Wilkinson October 25, 2011 at 5:47 am

Love this article. Bang-on Brilliant. -@jaywilk

Reply

Kelly October 26, 2011 at 8:49 am

Thanks Jay. And thanks for being a Geek with social skills ;)

Reply

edenland October 25, 2011 at 5:51 am

Kel this is AWESOME. Well done, man. You know your shiz X

Reply

Kelly October 26, 2011 at 8:50 am

Naw, lovely Eden. Thanks for you.

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Kelly Exeter October 25, 2011 at 1:46 pm

Hey Kelly – thanks for this great post – I think about my twitter bio a lot. I don’t want to be TOO open ended – but I also want to be a little clever, and I don’t think the below (which I am having a hard time improving on) is *quite* there. Maybe if I take out ‘blogger’ – because it’s almost a given on twitter!! That makes the road to ‘professional lifehacker’ which is my ‘what is that’ hook a bit quicker … but not too quick!

ORIGINAL
Writer, blogger, designer, professional lifehacker. My mission: help you find more time in your day for yourself and your family.

SLIGHTLY IMPROVED VERSION
Writer, blogger, professional lifehacker. YOUR mission: more time in your day for yourself and your family. MY mission: to help you find it!

Reply

Kelly October 26, 2011 at 8:49 am

You know, I think if you just started with Professional lifehacker, I would be FAR more interested. I like that a lot. Then, when I click over to your web address, it’s clear on your website what you’re all about.

Professional lifehacker. YOUR mission: more time in your day for yourself and your family. MY mission: to help you find it!

I LOVE that. For me, it’s a lot about rhythm. I read ‘Professional Lifehacker’ and I’m like, “What on earth?” and then I clearly see the PROBLEM and the SOLUTION and that’s all I need to be interested. Three things there: Interest/Problem/Solution — a winner I reckon.

Personally, reading the three words ‘writer, blogger, professional lifehacker’ takes much of the interest out of the ‘Professional lifehacker’ for me, and also the rhythm of the three Interest/Problem/Solution is a little interrupted. It’s all rather fascinating, isn’t it?

Reply

Kelly Exeter October 26, 2011 at 8:54 am

Thanks so much Kelly – You’re absolutely right – heading over to twitter to do that now!

Reply

Josiah Leach January 6, 2012 at 1:41 am

My bio -
“social strategy & implementation. will work for shoes.”

Reply

Kanimoli July 18, 2012 at 9:53 am

Hi! Can you write a Twitter bio for me please ? I don’t have any idea. I wanna include Niall Horan too.I’m a fan of him :) I want it to be really awesome.

Reply

Kanimoli July 19, 2012 at 7:36 am

I got one! ‘I have a boyfriend in a band, 1D.We love to play games and I’m pretending to be his big fan and he don’t know I’m exist’

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Sherri October 9, 2012 at 6:38 am

I realize this post is nearly a year old, but I got great use of it today!! Just signed up for Twitter, actually… thanks for helping me write my new bio:

@PaintedVintage – Re-Loving furniture, because I am socially clumsy…

What do you think??

Reply

KK October 15, 2012 at 1:28 am

I dont know how to fix it can you help me Kelly!!

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