5 Medium Bios That Are Permanently Stuck in My Head
When we talk about how to market ourselves as writers, we rarely discuss this short piece of text that displays next to each of our articles.
The online space that’s so uniquely yours.
The best opportunity to remind your readers who you are… and then, do it again. And again.
I’m talking about your writer’s bio on Medium.
The bio isn’t an easy thing to master. There’s quite a lot of pressure attached to it. How do you make the best possible use of such a limited number of characters? The smaller the volume of the text, the harder it is to get it right.
But such an extremely short form of writing also means that you have a real chance to get into your readers’ heads. No one will remember your article by heart. But your bio? There’s a much better chance.
Below, I’m listing five Medium writers’ bios that got stuck in my head for good. From some of these writers, I haven't read more than a single article. Even so, their bio sometimes creeps into my mind out of nowhere, the same way an old advertising jingle does.
I sometimes think of these writers just before falling asleep — all because of their catchy bio.
Abraham Hispraise: typing…
Chances are, you've never heard of Abraham. The moment I’m writing this, he has 120 followers and doesn’t seem to post on Medium very often. When he does, however, it’s quality writing that people engage with.
But that may not even be the most important part. The way he got into my head was with his bio. It’s just one word, but for those of us who use online messengers such as WhatsApp (which is, I guess, a lot of us) that word brings up a lot of feelings.
“Typing” with the three dots at the end suggests that as we speak, Abraham is at work, well, typing. It almost creates that sense of anticipation that he’s writing to you — now.
As a reader, that’s a powerful experience to have with a writer you might have never interacted with.
Jessica Wildfire: Unfluencer.
Jessica Wildfire is one of the most-read writers on Medium. I see her as a pro when it comes to succinctly conveying powerful messages — and that includes her bio.
Jessica changes her bio fairly often. I don’t know if she’d agree, but I get the impression that, at any point, her bio reflects the angle or topic she’s currently exploring in her writing.
At this point, her bio — like Abraham’s — also consists of just one word (followed by her email address):
And when I look at what she’s been focusing on recently in her work on Medium, I see quite a bunch of critique posts related to the world of influencers and super-wealthy folks “going bunkers” as they prepare for the approaching apocalypse.
Jessica’s bio isn’t memorable just because it’s so short. It’s also witty and captures her sense of humor. And so did her previous bios which, interestingly, I have memorized without ever making a conscious effort!
She’s the funny one.
Life is an amazing journey to nowhere.
If Wednesday Adams wrote self-help.
All of these were so aligned with her writing style and personality that they gradually became engraved in my brain, without my permission.
David Alexander: “Am I cute? No. But do I have a nice personality? Also no.”
From time to time, I notice David clapped on one of my posts or commented on someone else’s. Then, my eyes jump right to his bio — and I can’t help but smile to myself.
I even told about his bio to a bunch of friends in real life who have nothing to do with Medium. That’s how hilarious I find it!
“Am I cute? No. But do I have a nice personality? Also no.”
This is actually just the first part of David’s bio. But when I see it, I don't even care about what comes next. To me, that one line says so much about him that I don’t feel like I need to know more.
We’ve never spoken, but I already like this guy so much. He can make fun of himself. He must have some healthy distance to life. And, he knows how to make a joke — what’s there not to love?
Shannon Ashley: Single mama, full-time writer, ex-vangelical. It’s not about being flawless, it’s about being honest. Top writer.
To me, Shannon’s bio is simply iconic.
I’ve been following her journey on Medium for 2+ years and admiring not just her writing, but also the way she handles trolls, criticism, and other obstacles. There was a point in 2019 when I binged on her articles. And even though I don’t read quite as much of her work these days, I’m confident I could recite her Medium bio in the middle of the night.
Single mama, full-time writer, ex-vangelical. It’s not about being flawless, it’s about being honest. Top writer.
Especially the tagline, “It’s not about being flawless, it’s about being honest” — that’s pretty much Shannon’s signature. I can’t remember it ever not being in her bio.
And you know what makes it even more memorable? The fact that it’s a 100% accurate description of how she shows up in her writing.
Zander Nethercutt: mistaking correlation for causation since ‘94
Finally, Zander Nethercutt — the person whose name I would probably misspell, but whose bio has a solid place in my mind.
mistaking correlation for causation since ‘94
That’s just the first part of his bio and it instantly makes me think: This person is smart. He can recognize his own bias and call it out in a funny way. Moreover, what he’s calling out — mistaking correlation for causation — is something we’re all guilty of at least some of the time.
Zander’s bio brings the reader’s attention to something they might have overlooked in themselves — i.e. it raises their self-awareness. And, it does so very discretely and funnily. In other words, his bio provides reader value even before you read any of his pieces.
Also, it lets us know about his age in a not-so-obvious way. Although, is ’94 really the year Zander was born? I pondered that question more than once — and that can already tell you something about how much his bio has me hooked.
What’s the Common Denominator of the Best Medium Bios?
The best writers’ bios aren’t literal descriptions of their work. Rather than being purely informative, they trigger a deep sense of familiarity, something the reader can relate to.
When I think about these bios (and the people behind them), I notice a deep feeling inside which is very hard to define. It’s like an intimate sense of satisfaction from resonating with another human so deeply.
These writers almost magically captured a part of their readers’ personalities. It’s something you weren’t even aware existed within you. They positioned it as a description of themselves — yet, you can’t help but feel like they’re talking about you.
This is why I think those bios above stuck with me so hard and for so long. That’s what great marketing — and especially, personal branding — is about:
Creating a sense of relatability, fun, and curiosity without trying too hard. And even better — doing it in under 15 words.