Blog

The “Grocery List” Method To Writing Your Bio. (So Easy. For Real.)

Are you struggling to craft the perfect bio/ABOUT page for your website?

Do you find yourself hovering over every line, paralyzed with uncertainty about whether what you’ve written is “good enough” or “persuasive enough”?

Are you wracked with conflicting feelings about what kind of bio/ABOUT page is going to lead to the most clicks, sign ups, or sales for your business?

If so, I gently encourage you to… chill out.

This waffling and fretting is getting you nowhere. It’s a waste of your precious time and energy, and it’s becoming a big distraction… pulling you away from other business priorities that are way, way more important… and you know it.

Let’s get this thing DONE already.

Here’s my recommendation:

When clients come to me, feeling weepy and petrified by the prospect of writing their website bio, I always encourage them to put away their scribbled, sloppy drafts and start fresh. New sheet of paper or document. But this time?

JUST MAKE A LIST.

No long paragraphs. No epic narrative. No need to create a compelling beginning-middle-end structure like you’re writing a novel.

Just. Make. A. List.

If you can write a grocery list, a to-do list, a wish list, or any other kind of numbered or bullet point list, then you can write this kind of ABOUT page or bio, too!

I call this: The “Grocery List” Method

The grocery list method for writing your "bio". (So easy!)

Your list could include a few of…

– Your interesting and impressive details about your life and career.

– Your obsessions and guilty pleasures.

– Things your friends and clients love about you, or have said about you.

– A few details about how you fell into your current line of work.

– Your biggest wins. Or mistakes.

– Fav books, movies, TV shows, chocolate bars… you get the idea.

Keep it un-complicated… but put your own spin on it!

For example:

– If you are a personal development expert who tries to inspire people to tackle brave, uncomfortable goals, your ABOUT page could be a list of the top 5 most terrifying but amazing risks you ever decided to take, and what you learned from each one.

– If you are a musician and writing isn’t really your thing, your ABOUT page could be a playlist of 20 songs that changed your life, with a sentence or two about what each song means to you… followed by a couple of sentences about your current musical projects and where people can see you play live, buy your albums, or learn more about how to hire you for a customized song commission.

– If you are a motivational speaker, your ABOUT page could be a list of the top 7 most incredible places that you’ve ever been invited to speak onstage, and one thing you remember vividly from each experience. (Including, maybe, a few major not-doing-that-again mistakes!).

In summary:

LISTS RULE FOREVER.

Lists are easy to you to write.

Lists are easy for readers to skim.

Lists provide lots of opportunities to weave in “Ooh, I am so accomplished and impressive!” details as well as quirky “Things I am obsessed with” details, for that fabulous blend of professionalism and personality that your customers crave.

A few great examples of LIST-style ABOUT pages:

Ban.do – only my favorite shop in existence. Their ABOUT page features a cool list proving why they’re totally serious about fun.

Studio DIY – obsessed with Kelly’s “list” approach combing experience with things she loves. Gives you sense of her personality and what it’s like to work with her, amiright?

Three last things to remember:

1. You do NOT need to tell your entire life story in one bio.

Release the self-imposed pressure to do so.

Your goal, in writing an ABOUT page/bio of any kind (list-y or otherwise) is to express yourself in a natural, conversational way… to tell a few choice pieces of your story… and to pique your reader’s interest so that (hopefully) he or she chooses to explore more of your work… and perhaps, someday soon-ish, buy something. Your ABOUT page is simply the first “moment” of a new relationship with your reader, not your “one and only shot” to talk to them and win their trust and purchases. Reeelax.

2. You can change / update your page whenever you want.

I have written and re-written my page dozens of times over the years. Evolution is great!

3. As the very smart blogger and copywriter Sarah Von Bargen often says, “Everyone and everything is interesting.” That includes you.

You might think that your life is “boring” or that your list is “blah” or that your ABOUT page is about as “interesting” as a box of bricks. But you are probably wrong about that.

To someone? You are fascinating. Really, when anyone shares anything real, honest, and true, it is automatically fascinating, whether that person is a bus driver or a college professor or a stay at home dad or YOU.

Realness is magnetic and it will always draw the right clients, customers and fans back for more.

See? No sweat. Making a list is fun and easy… and if you try this approach, I can almost-totally-promise you, you will have a blast writing your ABOUT page/bio instead of feeling like… THIS.

List time. GO!

xo.
Melissa