How to Write a Biography in 8 Effective Steps (Tips & Examples)

how to write a biography

Do you want to learn how to write a Biography? or do you want to learn how to make an excellent Biography? You will learn that here now.

Writing a biography that isn’t too bland and sparks your readers’ interest can be a little bit difficult. And trying to optimize it for greater visibility online can make it even harder.

In most cases, a person’s biography writing does define the first impression online when such a person is searched by the following;

  1. Someone who is at a networking event wishes to learn more about you.
  2. Old school friends who wish to know how far you’ve gone and your accomplishments.
  3. A prospective customer is looking forward to knowing more about you before doing any business with you.
  4. A prospective client before a given interview.

And when they do find anything that defines you online, like your personal website, company page, media profiles, etc., then your bio will surely be there to greet them. This kind of stuff enliven or mar any incoming relationship, so it’s pretty important to impress them.

What is a Biography?

how to write a biography

A biography is simply defined as a detailed third-person write-up of another person’s life story—especially the person you know pretty well or are more inclined to the subject matter. It’s known to contain basic information about the subject’s life, like, interests, place of birth, and education.

A biography also chronicles relationships with the subject’s family members and significant events in their childhood and how that influenced them in degrees.

Also, read How to Write an Autobiography in 8 Amazing Steps

It gives details on the actual person’s numerous accomplishments and life events when it comes to biography. You have to know it’s way more than figures or facts—it’s known to enliven with great stories of struggles and accomplishments from start to finish.

Reasons why you need a Biography

  1. A biography is known to provide some inspiration.
  2. A biography is known to teach life lessons.
  3. A biography is known to integrate curriculum and technology.
  4. Sending out a resume only isn’t always suitable.
  5. You’re able to communicate your unique style.
  6. It’s known as the ideal icebreaker; this is to say, if you’re a reserved person and find it hard to get your point across, then a biography would help you do that.
  7. A biography provides some room for creativity and flexibility. All unrelated experiences or insignificant education can be removed.

Six things to include in a Biography

You need to know this because there are situations in life where you’ll be asked to write about people, either about yourself or someone else, and just knowing the correct information to include is all that’s necessary for writing a biography.

Here are some guidelines to follow which will help you in all of the details to include when writing your Biography.

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Key elements that should be included;

  • Begin with the person’s information; this determines the length of the Biography and how in-depth the knowledge would be.

For a paragraph, do include these general but basic facts;

  • The date and place of birth (and death if it’s to be applied)
  • Current location of residence
  • The educational background
  • Profession or area of expertise
  • All major accomplishments.
  • You can expand and include in-depth information. In simple terms, the more words you use, the more facts you can have. And a biography that has many pages will surely go into more detail on the person’s history. At the same time, a book will further discuss what events throughout life made them who they are today and the major strike that made them see the world differently.

Some of the few key components to include when it comes to a more extended biography are;

  1. The birth and childhood of the subject
  2. Adulthood
  3. Death
  4. Do share exciting stories about the person’s life story, and select things that are engaging to the readers or particularly relevant to the goal for which the Biography is written.
  5. Photography of the person is necessary.
  6. Any given quote from the person, and that’s if the person has been the subject of articles, stories in the news, and the likes, you’ll have to consider placing in a few quotes that illustrate what others have said about the person.
  7. Do consider your readers, and choose facts that are indeed relevant and interesting to your audience. To do this, you should think about why the Biography is needed in the first place and who will be reading it, then do make sure to keep your focus on those specific areas of the individual’s life, which the audience will likely want to understand. Here are some of the biography examples that come to mind;

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Biography example for an unknown audience– this is when you have no idea who your target audience is. When it comes to this, you need to focus on the following;

  • Give a good approach that focuses on what makes this person a unique being, and make sure to target your research accordingly.
  • Suppose you’re hinging on the Biography of a person in terms of their scientific discovery. In that case, you may need to focus on the person’s education and all types of early experiments (in short detail) that led to the discovery.
  • It may also include how the given discovery influenced the person’s life, the person’s profession, and the lives of others.

Biography example to introduce a new Employee– In this case, you want to introduce a new employee through the company-wide email. Do keep in mind the occasion and the audience.

  • Focus on the person’s work history and experience, with perhaps a few personal facts that help co-workers know the new team member.
  • This kind of bio shouldn’t contain any detail about the person’s parents or anything that seems too personal in any way. Such information if included isn’t suitable for the situation or the people reading it in the company.
  • But such information can be pretty handy if you’re writing a biography that will be used in a psychological class or study.
  • Then for this part, you need to know how you’d divide the story and points that will be discussed, which will help you determine what type of information that’s significant. For example, if the Biography focuses on the subject’s influence in a crucial election, you wouldn’t need to spend so much time talking about their early career as a waiter, only if that had some impact on their actions during the election period.

Here are some of my biography examples with various focuses;

A short professional and personal Biography– These professional biographies intended to be published online should be precise, sharp, engaging, and focus on business.

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This biography example is used to introduce someone who is said to deliver a presentation in a meeting or public speaking occasion. And it must be written in a third-person POV.

A sample essay Biography for a famous person-When applying this biography example, it is beneficial to use a biographical sketch.

Personal Biography Essay– This biography example often includes a more extended personal biography in essay format. In such situations, make sure to expand the things you’ll have in a brief bio and the likes.

A sample Biography for a student– This student bio should include current information and future goals if necessary. Make sure to use a third-person POV (point of view) for this kind of bio.

  • Just fill in the details when it comes to this. Biography writing does include everything and anything about a person, that is to say, their entire life or a critical event. The information you put here makes how to write a biography pretty perfect.

And most biography writing, regardless of the given length and target audience, does provide specific information or facts like the place and time in which the person resided.

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But all other more details will indeed depend on the situation and the writer.

  • So whether the Biography you tend to write is about another person or yourself, the key is to tell the true story of the person in the most precise and engaging way possible. Provide all the necessary information, but please do so in a vivid way; this shows your expertise in writing a biography, and who knows, earn you more significant contracts in the future.

Step by step process of how to write a biography

When writing a story about someone’s life, you need to know more than just the information. For a good biography, it’s known to write sincerely on what’s attractive about someone, for example, the moments of adversity, major turning points, etc.

The best Biography is known to include a person’s entire life more engagingly. It offers enough personal detail, which gives the reader an intimate look at the character. So, if you’re interested in writing a biography, then do follow these steps to gain the success you need.

1. You need to have permission

Once the Biography subject has been chosen, it’s high time you seek permission to write about the person’s life.

It may not be necessary to seek permission in some cases, especially if the person is deceased. However, when you gain approval, that makes the research portion of your writing process much swifter.

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On the other hand, if the subject is willing to make you write their Biography, they may provide necessary details to you about their story before you even begin writing; this will help make your writing more compelling.

2. Find Basic Facts

Now, suppose the person you seem to be writing to is famous. In that case, you’ll find some details online, such as family background, basic information, birthday, etc. you can also use this even if the person isn’t famous. Still, you know the person personally in some way.

Using this, you can apply new articles or similar sources which help you decide which part of their life interests catches you the most.

3. Make adequate research

So regardless of how much you know the subject, you need to make extensive research. A vast amount of research is necessary to have a thorough picture of the person you’re writing on.

Suppose, by chance; they are a historical figure. In that case, you need to include information on the period they’d lived and how circumstances surrounding them affected their ideologies to life.

When it comes to this, it is necessary to have primary sources. Yes, that’s because primary sources are the sole experiences of your subject’s life, which is a reliable source. These include interviews, emails, memoirs, journal entries, social media handles, personal websites, and the likes.

The secondary sources include documentaries, magazines, which are also used only if the information is precise.

4. Write in the Third Person

From a Search Engine Optimization viewpoint, when you write a Biography in the third person POV, it does help you include your full name throughout the bio. This lets most search engines find you quickly, and they know in that instant that this extended essay is written all about you.

It would help if you made it clear that this work is all about you. This is important for SEO, so don’t let speaking in the third person become too much exciting stuff.

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One thing is for sure; never overuse your name when you’re writing your Biography or include it in a way that seems forced. Instead, make it flow naturally. SEOs are pretty sensitive tools, and by making your name too forced or frequent, they might find it suspicious or consider it spam.

5. Your Thesis

When it comes to your first paragraph or chapter, that should inform the reader what they’ll have learned about this person from this Biography. A thesis is simply some declaration about the Biography. The rest of the biography writing will offer all relevant information as an added support.

6. Timeline is necessary

If you wish to learn how to write a biography, you’ll need a structured timeline. Most biography examples do have structured main points of the said person’s chronological order.

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So, knowing the order of events in a person’s life before you begin writing is all that’s necessary, and that can save you from all the troubles in reorganizing your story later on.

7. Don’t forget flashbacks

Flashbacks are necessary as they add spice to the biography writing. In this case, you may want to input an experience from your subject’s adult life and one from their high school days.

Why do we use flashbacks? This helps the Author introduce important past information to the reader without bogging them down with so much information.

8. Edit

A well-written, lengthy, and regularly improved piece of content is a search engine treasure when it comes to biography. So, when you complete your first version of the more extended personal bio, which you’ll perhaps use on your website, you need to know that you’re not finished.

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IN ESSENCE, as you tend to be more skilled in this, or perhaps in some way shift your professional focus, do include these changes in your bios. And keep asking your close or personal networks, especially the ones you trust to take a close look at your bios and tell you what they think of it.

So, when it comes to biography writing, this is an ongoing process that never has a break, or in simple terms, you shouldn’t ignore too long.

Where to Find Biography Writers

You can find suitable writers on freelance sites like Upwork, Craiglist, Contently, Textbroker, Problogger, and the likes.

And if you’re choosing yours offline, any reputable ghostwriter or writing firm will have a standard contract that lays out the expectations and goals of each party to one another.

When hiring your biography writers from these Freelance sites or in a company, make sure you read and understand the contract and that you’re comfortable with all the things stated.

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This will be a serious investment in money, effort, and time, so you need to make the best use of it. And it wouldn’t hurt if you bring in a lawyer to look over any document filled with terminologies. In essence, if anything stated to you makes you uncomfortable, then do please ask for clarification.

Where to Publish your Biography?

Please note that some of these publishers are known to accept unsolicited manuscripts from those without agents? In contrast, others do accept submissions from literary agents. Here are places to submit your Biography;

  1. Click if you’re interested in City Lights Books and their submission guidelines.
  2. Click if you’re interested in Chicago review Press and their submission guidelines.
  3. Click if you’re interested in WiDo publishing and their submission guidelines.
  4. Click if you’re interested in Turtle Light Press and their submission guidelines.
  5. Click if you’re interested in Parousia Magazine and its submission guidelines.
  6. Click if you’re interested in Open Books Press and their submission guidelines.
  7. Click if you’re interested in Black and White Publishing and their submission guidelines.
  8. Click if you’re interested in Riverdale Avenue and their submission guidelines.
  9. Click if you’re interested in Polis Books and their submission guidelines.
  10. Click if you’re interested in BLF Press and their submission guidelines.

Biography versus Autobiography

Biography

Autobiography

An account of a person’s life This is an account of someone’s life
Biographies are written to inform and complete a given context. This is written to inform and explain the motivation and thoughts behind specific actions.
Can be written at anytime Written later in life
Written in the third person. Written in the first person

 

Biography versus Memoir

Biography

Memoir

Presents information collected from the subject, their acquaintances, or from all other sources. A memoir is known to focus on the part of the Author’s life.
Objective. Subjective.
An account of a person’s life. A personal account of a specific experience or time.
Written in the third person. Written in the first person.

 

Conclusion

For a final say, when it comes to how to write a biography, you need to have an added skill in taking down points with a bit of accuracy and making out ways to let those points flow in smoothly.

And whether the biography writing is about yourself or another individual, the essential element is to tell the true story of the person you’re writing on most vividly and engagingly. Make sure to provide factual information, but also do so in the most straightforward way. Then proofread and find more bio-writing inspirations online to boost your confidence in writing; it does help!

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About the Author: BENEDICT

Hi, I'm Benedict. The founder of Bennyselfpublishing Academy. A platform designed to teach people how to write and publish their books online and offline from the comfort of their homes. When I am not writing, I am outside playing football or watching my favorite team Chelsea play.

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