A bio is an important part of any press kit or website. Having a great bio provides a compelling introduction that encourages journalists and visitors to your website to actually listen to your music. While artists would like to believe the music speaks for itself, a strong bio is an important part of promoting your music.
Here are some pointers to help you write the best artist bio possible.
Format it properly
While you should write your bio for both journalists and fans, journalists like to see your bio flow in a particular way. Your bio should be formatted in a way that it can also work as a press release – it should be updated based on your recent history and upcoming events.
As far as length goes, your bio should be kept under one page. Start with recent or upcoming events, then go into your history – a brief story about the formation of the band, awards you’ve won, the success of past releases, etc.
Create a story
When writing your bio, it’s important that every line convinces people to read the next. Maintain a compelling structure and get people really excited about your music and you as an individual. Find ways to make your upcoming release into a story that flows into a future transaction.
Using quotes from yourself, a blog that reviewed your album, or any other press outlet can give a bio life and give you credibility as a musician. Third person quotes from you as a musician can give perspective, and get people excited about the topic at hand.
Specifics keep your readers and journalists excited. Simply stating “X is releasing an upcoming album that combines multiple genres to create a unique sound” isn’t as compelling as something like “X’s upcoming release features the heavy sound of metal with the energetic influences of punk rock to create a brand new sound that has rocked Jacksonville, Florida.”
Things to avoid
Readers are increasingly turned off by buzzwords, especially if they’re self serving. Get to the point and avoid opinionated phrases that the reader may not agree with, such as saying your album is the “best yet.” Leave this up to the listener or reviewer to decide.
Additionally, avoid any cliché’s. It’s easy to miss these, but it can really turn your readers away. Remember, every line needs to convince them to keep reading to the next.
Edit, edit, and edit again.
Don’t write the bio once and think it’s ready to go. Make sure you read over and edit it multiple times, and get feedback from friends and family – ask them to read it until they’re bored with it, and look for every possible way you can improve it to keep people reading until the end.
If writing bios that appeal to journalists isn’t your strong suite, outsourcing your bio may be your best bet.
Before you go looking for a freelancer, read over the bios of established artists in your niche to see what works and what doesn’t.
In your search for a bio writer, make sure you check out their previous work before you commit to anything. Try contacting some of the artists whose bio’s you’ve read and see who wrote theirs. You can also contact local journalists or professors at local colleges for recommendations, or find freelance writers who can help you with this on sites like freelancer.
Whatever option you decide on, make sure you make it clear to the author that you own the copyright to your bio so you can use it however you want.
Once you find someone to write your bio for you, expect to spend anywhere from $150-$400 for quality work.