Judging a Book By its Cover: The Importance of Completing Author Profiles
Imagine for a moment that you have been searching online for ways to lose weight. You encounter two articles; both offering the same amount of information. One was written by an anonymous source while the other contains an author biography that lists previous experience and industry knowledge. Which piece of content would you deem to be more trustworthy?
The scenario mentioned above serves to highlight a very important principle. The digital content creation community has become increasingly associated with a degree of anonymity. After all, Textbroker clients are not normally allowed to contact authors directly. They instead rely upon core traits such as reliability, attention to detail and technical prowess. This is the very same reason why author profiles have become pivotal assets which should be leveraged to the best of their ability. Let us look at the reasoning behind such an observation before moving on to discuss how you can present yourself in a personable and yet professional light.
Starting Off with Strong Foundations
There is a very good reason why authors are required to create a profile when first registering with Textbroker. This will illustrate to staff members and the general public the specific qualifications which an individual brings to the (digital) table. From general information and writing abilities to languages, interests and travel experience, an author profile is actually quite similar to a traditional resume from the perspective of a client.
Would you take your vehicle to a mechanic who is not able to demonstrate prior experience? Would it be a good idea to consult with a nutritionist who cannot prove that he or she possesses the proper qualifications? In the same respect, is it wise to trust the future of a website to an author who is not willing or able to demonstrate his or her abilities? While one-off clients may simply place an order in the hopes that it will be filled by a talented writer, regular customers will often peruse author profiles in order to find the correct match. Simply stated, it is always wise to choose the right tool for the task at hand. This is the fundamental role of an author profile and while websites such as Moz will often cite the SEO benefits of a public bio, we need to dig a bit deeper.
A Personal Touch Within the Digital Domain
It only makes sense to begin appreciating the importance of an author profile by stating what is already obvious. This section is intended to provide you with a more personal connection to your potential customer base. Before moving on to examine the individual sections, let’s quickly emphasise the importance of an image.
Many modern marketing experts will argue that images within a writer bio can impact whether or not a client wishes to work with the author in question. This is known as “signalling theory” within the digital advertising community. Simply stated, the inclusion of a personal picture is meant to convey your unique traits and to (unconsciously) hint at other qualities such as reliability, trustworthiness and transparency. However, we will not delve too far into such concepts; your profile image is only a single component of how you will be judged. It is nonetheless important to mention that you should always upload a photo. This will add a personal and visually memorable touch to your Textbroker presence.
An Informed Client is a Happy Client
Let’s slightly stray from the principles mentioned above and instead migrate to the world of online dating. Which profiles tend to receive the most interest, likes and engagement? The answer should already be obvious. Members who fill out their pages to the fullest are presenting themselves as an “open book”. This is important for two reasons:
- It tends to encourage active communication.
- Those who are interested are more likely to share the same beliefs, desires and perceptions.
These observations can be just as easily be translated into the Textbroker community. Serious clients will perform a fair amount of research when looking for an author. They will make it a point to examine writing samples, interests and abilities. This can help them to decide who is the most appropriate for a specific task; perhaps a project that will even lead to a full-time source of income. Those who wish to take their writing career seriously should therefore make it a point to present as much information as possible to a prospective customer.
The Power of Belief
Two candidates are applying for the same job and they are asked to convince an interviewer why they would represent the ideal candidate for a position. One stands up confidently and rattles off a host of accolades in a professional (and yet approachable) manner. The other remains seated, twiddles his thumbs and mutters a few incoherent sentences. Which one do you think will be awarded the position and which will instead be looking through the employment ads once again?
Confidence plays a pivotal role within the world of content creation. As you cannot provide hyperlinks to previously written articles, you have no other choice but to present your skills and expertise in the most amenable light through an author profile. As many experts have noted over the years, confidence is an extremely attractive writing quality. Let us look at this concept in a more tangible context.
Imagine that you have recently purchased a product from a new retail store. There are three possible signs which you might be presented with upon leaving:
- Thank you for your business.
- Please feel free to come again.
- See you tomorrow.
Which one would engender the most trust and confidence? The first two are commonplace and even slightly weak in terms of delivery. The third alludes to the notion that you might indeed choose to come again and the chances are high that you will. This is the very same type of assertiveness that a well-written and informative author bio will create. If you are proud of what you have accomplished, why be afraid to inform the average customer? After all, it only takes a single order to create a lucrative relationship that may last for years.
What Should be Included Within an Author Profile?
In a short answer, as much as possible. There is no such thing as an overload of information when referring to what you have to offer the end-user. Although we are not claiming that a customer will read through every page, the fact of the matter is that a thicker novel is always more appealing than a pamphlet. So, make it a point to fill out all the requested information.
This does not necessarily signify that you should spend ten hours at a single sitting in an attempt to hone your profile to razor-sharp digital perfection. On the contrary, there is nothing wrong with embedding more material during your downtime. Here is some of the most important information that should be included as soon as possible:
- A brief CV
- Your price per word
- Your realistic writing capacity
It can be argued that these are the most frequently examined metrics, so be sure that the associated information is absolutely clear. Aside from the basics, what other must-have details should be included?
A writing sample is equally important, as this serves as a passive digital “handshake” which introduces your style, flair and personality to the reader. In fact, you might be surprised to learn that some of the most prolific clients have based their decisions off of nothing more than a 150-word sample. Be sure to write about a familiar topic, as this will once again add a passive flavour of confidence.
In terms of abilities, include as many as possible (assuming that they are relevant). Abilities can be likened to a restaurant menu. Customers who are presented with a plethora of options will be more likely to remain for the full course. However, a word of caution needs to be mentioned here. Do not embellish your abilities. If you have no experience in the world of framing, claiming that you are an expert carpenter could spell disaster. Do not state that you have written business presentations in the past if your only experience is attributed to being an avid fan of the series Mad Men. Be honest and upfront. Always remember that your skill set will grow in accordance with your writing prowess.
When Should a Profile be Updated?
This is another interesting question that should be touched upon. It is a good idea to briefly peruse your author profile every few months, as the chances are high that you might be able to add another “string to the bow” in terms of what you have to offer. The same holds true for the writing sample. If the last topic addressed was the financial crisis of 2007, it is a good idea to present the reader with something more relevant and palatable. Use your own judgement.
What Should NOT Be Included?
Similar to creating a resume, some elements should be avoided in order to maintain a sense of professionalism. These include:
- Grammar and spelling mistakes (obviously).
- Any content that is not relevant.
- Details within the CV that have no bearing upon your current goals and expectations as a writer.
There may still be times when you are slightly confused as to whether a specific element should be updated. In this case, feel free to contact Textbroker directly. They will be more than happy to help.
Your Entrance Into the World of Direct and Team Orders
It is no secret that the most successful Textbroker authors primarily reside within the domain of Direct and Team Orders. In fact, some might not even access the Open Order category for months at a time. While this results from talent, perseverance and hard work, a stout and informative author profile will also lead to personalised requests. I can say for a fact that some of my largest and most dependable clients began the relationship with a phrase such as “I saw your author profile and you seem like the perfect candidate for an upcoming project”. To put it simply, never underestimate the power of what you have to offer.
Ironically, many writers will not give their profiles nearly as much attention as they deserve. They could very well be missing out on lucrative opportunities as a result; specifically Direct and Team Orders. Whether you have just registered with this site or you are a seasoned expert with years of experience, presenting yourself in the most amenable light is the best way to advertise what you have to offer.
Those who are able to illustrate confidence, knowledge, flexibility, and reliability will go far within the Textbroker community. If you have been struggling to attract clients or if your profile has been gathering a bit of digital dust, there is no better time than the present to enact a much-needed update.
About our authorRon first arrived in Barcelona, Spain in 2007. Although initially pursuing a career in wealth management and finance, he learned that the content writing community provided the highest level of personal satisfaction while still being able to personally help clients. He has been a full-time professional writer since 2011. Some of his other interests include martial arts and bodybuilding.