Do you know how to avoid a stale bio?

Not smothering your screen with Febreze, nope that’s not going to help at all.

I’ve been doing some housekeeping on my website lately and realized my bio needed a bit of updating too. So I wondered if maybe I might not be alone.

Do you need to update yours?

Like most things about writing, a bio needs editing and tweaking to keep it fresh. If you’re like me you spent hours writing a good description, posted and then forgot about it.

I mean writing about myself in the third person was embarrassing enough the first time much less revisiting it again and again.

However, as a writer, we are always evolving and changing and our bio should say that to a degree. And you need to have more than one bio.

Why? Because what works for your website may be too long for a contest but may not be long enough for an in-depth interview. And won’t work at all for a byline.

So what to do?

Write several now.

That way when the time comes you aren’t struggling to write one that meets the requirements of the publisher. You will only need to tweak it a bit.

Most ask for a third person bio, however on occasion, a first person is requested. As with all publishers, the rules are important. Read them carefully.

The things that should be included in a bio are pretty basic. Name, rank, etc.

However, don’t include:

  • I’ve been writing only 6 months and look how great I am. It’s taken 5 years to write this amazing novel. (really?)
  • I love writing! I love writing more than ice cream. (if you didn’t love to write you wouldn’t write.)
  • My husband thinks this will be a best selling novel! All of my friends love my book. (they don’t care.)
  • Copyrighted with the US Copyright Office, so don’t try and steal my story. (Geez.)
  • I have 5 kids, 3 cats and love to knit. (not important unless the book is a how to knit matching sweaters for kids and cats.)

So what type of bios do you need?

  • A short one sentence byline that can be tagged before an article:

Jean M. Cogdell, Author and blogger currently living in Texas.

  • A short paragraph bio, (usually 50 words or less) for contests and magazines.

Jean M. Cogdell, grew up in a small SC town, but now lives in Texas. Her first book, Tryout’s for Ben, available at Published stories and essays in magazines, anthologies, and journals, online and at Read about her writing and life on her website, at Jean’s Writing.

  • A longer paragraph for where requested.

Jean M. Cogdell, Author and founder of Jean’s Writing a blog dedicated to learning and sharing more about the art of writing. Her first book, Tryouts for Ben received a Five Star Review from Reader’s Favorite. The book is available at She has published short stories and essays in various anthologies and journals, for more information, visit her website. Ms. Cogdell grew up in a small SC town near the Great Smoky Mountains but now resides in North Texas with her husband where she is currently working on a new book due out this Spring.

A website bio – Go crazy – Go wild – this is your page to shine!

Personal info about yourself, your blog, family and interests. This is where you can share whatever you think inquiring minds might want to read.

Tell me, when was the last time you updated your bio?

Do you have any special tips or tricks for a good bio?

Do share in the comments and reach out on Twitter @jeancogdell, Facebook at jean.cogdell and, stop by and say hey! Please remember to click and share this post with your Twitter peeps and Facebook fans.


To read more tips on writing a good bio click below:

5 Tips for Your Bio by 

How to Write Your Bio for a Byline or Query by 



14 thoughts on “Do you know how to avoid a stale bio?

    1. No, I don’t think so, not unless you are using it for a publication in that genre. Most places your bio is used is for GP. But I guess it’s up to the individual. The writer would need to be careful not to get pigeonholed.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    Jean Cogdell with some rejuvenation advice for your bio.. I know mine needs some work again and with an upcoming house and country move that should provide a great opportunity. I will have to find some new photos and views as well as a fresh new bio photo.. I am sure that Jean would love to hear some of your thoughts on the subject.

    Liked by 1 person

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