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Resource Box Rehab: Making Your Author Bio Short And Sweet
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Alright, so you know that with your resource box you need to tell the reader the following things:

1) Who you are (giving your name and a little bio info)

2) Give them an idea why you're a trustworthy authority on this topic you're writing about

3) Give them a reason to click through to your website

4) And also give them a link to your website

Whew–that's a lot of information, and did I mention that you need to do all of this in no more than 450 characters (including spaces)?

(Oh, and when I say "characters" I mean letters and spaces)

So, it's a bit of a magic trick really to be able to cram so much super important information into such tiny space…but it can be done!

From our recent Resource Box Rehab Lab, the "War & Peace" style resource box  :-) was something that I noticed quite a bit.

I know how that is–you have such a short space, and it's sometimes hard to do the streamlining necessary.

But remember, in addition to the technical space requirements that most article directories have for a resource box, you want to make your resource box as concise as possible to better draw the reader's attention to the bits of information that are the most important.

What do you cut out? What should you put in? 

Let's take a look at some examples from our Resource Box Rehab Lab participants, and we'll see what info makes the cut from these resource boxes that are a bit too long.

First we have Jesse Niesen's resource box:

 Jesse's Before

Hi! I’m Jesse Niesen of DebtGOTOGuy.com. I guess the name says it all, but seriously, I get people out of debt and solve financial problems to improve your wealth, health, relationships and FUN!! Choosing your best debt relief options like debt settlement, credit counseling or bankruptcy can be confusing, and you must beware of all the scams and bad info out here, but I’ve made it easy for you to make your best choice…

Get a Free Debt Analysis, Budgeting Guide & Educational Audio “How To Get Out of Debt” instantly online, right now at DebtGOTOGuy.com

That's actually a great start to a really strong resource box–I like that he's told us his name, told us what he does, and what he has to offer. He's also provided a great reason to click through–Free Debt Analysis, Budgeting Guide & Educational Audio

So, what's the problem?

It's longer than it needs to be.

This resource box is 557 characters long, which is about 107 characters longer than what most publishers will accept. Even if some publishers do accept this length of resource box, it could be more targeted in getting a reader to do what Jesse wants if it was more streamlined.

Here's a suggestion:

Jesse's After

Hi! I’m Jesse Niesen of DebtGOTOGuy.com. I get people out of debt to improve your wealth, health, relationships and FUN! Choosing the best debt relief options like debt settlement, credit counseling or bankruptcy can be confusing. You must beware of all the scams out there, but I’ve made it easy for you! Claim your Free Debt Analysis, Budgeting Guide and educational audio “How To Get Out of Debt” instantly online at => http://www.DebtGOTOGuy.com/

This is a text resource box, and I know Jesse likes to do HTML resource boxes, but I couldn't tell what were the phrases he wanted to hyperlink, so I went with the text :-)

What else did I do differently? 

  • I trimmed the resource box to 440 characters, which is a length that most publishers will accept.
  • I streamlined the information he provided, taking out any bits that could be eliminated while still conveying the basic information.
  • I know I could have taken out the "Hi" part, but I kind of like that :-) He sounds very friendly and like he wants to help.
  • Usually you will not be able to do multiple paragraphs in a resource box, so just keep that in mind

And that's basically it–This was a pretty good resource box to start with, but it just needed a tiny bit of trimming.

Let's take another–this next one is from Aaron Marcus:

Aaron's Before

Aaron Marcus has been making his living as an actor and commercial model since 1986. So far he has been cast 1,118 times. You have seen him on Law & Order: CI, West Wing, The Wire and in hundreds of other acting and modeling projects.

He is also the author of How to Become a Successful Commercial Model, which is now in its 5th edition. Aaron Marcus travels the globe offering his The Best Way to Get Work as an Actor and Commercial Model boot camp. You can get free acting and modeling information from Aaron’s site, read 2 chapters free and order his book at http://www.howtomodel.com

 
Again, this is a really good author resource box, with everything that a reader is looking for, but it could be stronger if it was more concise and was more targeted in the information it presented.
 
This resource box is 588 characaters with spaces, so to make it attractive to a wider spectrum of publishers and also draw a reader in to doing what Aaron wants the reader to do (click through to his website), we just need to trim it a bit. 
Aaron's After
 
Aaron Marcus has been making his living as an actor and commercial model since 1986. You have seen him on Law & Order: CI, West Wing, The Wire and in hundreds of other acting and modeling projects. He is also the author of "How to Become a Successful Commercial Model", which is now in its 5th edition. You can get free acting and modeling information from Aaron’s site, read 2 chapters free and order his book at http://www.howtomodel.com
This new resource box is 439 characters long.
 
Aaron's original resource box was chocked full of interesting information that told the reader about who he was, why he was an authority, and where they could get more info on his topic. There didn't seem to be a whole bunch of extraneous stuff to cut out, but when trying to get the resource box down to "resource box size", you need to trim strategically. 
 
If you have a resource box that is on the long side, you really have to decide what action you want the reader to take and the reason why a reader would take that action.

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You would then spend your effort directing the reader into doing what you want them to do (click through to your website) using a specific reason as your lure.
 
In Aaron's resource box he had two separate ideas/actions that he was presenting to the reader.
 
Notice I trimmed out this sentence "Aaron Marcus travels the globe offering his The Best Way to Get Work as an Actor and Commercial Model boot camp."
 
That talks about the bootcamp Aaron offers, which is interesting, but he also talks about his book.
 
Since in the last sentence of the resource box he was luring them to his website with the 2 free chapters of his book and mentioned ordering his book, I thought that going to the website for the book was the main action he wanted his readers to take.
 
Let's brainstorm–
 
Can you think of any other possibilities for a resource box for Jesse or Aaron? 
 
Also, from reading the tips in this post, could you make any changes to your own resource box to make it better?
 
If so, please enter your made-over resource box in the comments below so we can see another example of these tips in action!
 
 

NOTE: Please be aware this content may now be outdated. For the latest quality content on how to build massive publicity for your website, please go to The vWriter Blog - Helping Businesses Grow Traffic, Build Engagement, and "Be Everywhere"


2 Responses to “Resource Box Rehab: Making Your Author Bio Short And Sweet”

  1. Alvador says:

    Every time i come here I am not dissapointed, nice post

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