I’m super excited to announce a fun new way to highlight your skills and build trust with your readers: About the Author Biographies. Bios help you demonstrate your expertise on and/or passion for a particular subject while you have your reader’s attention— on the Hub itself. Many Hubbers have already been placing biographies in Text Capsules, but soon you’ll have the ability to put them in the author section on Hubs, just like this:
We know that many Hubbers have a variety of interests. That’s why bios can be customized for any subject area. Like Hub Groups, there are two places to manage bios: the HubTool (great for on-the-fly Hub editing) and My Account (ideal for managing all bios and assigning them to multiple Hubs.) A lengthier explanation of how the feature works will be available in the HubTool Learning Center entry soon!
There are two important technical limitations with respect to bios:
- Each account can have up to 25 bios stored at a time. You can delete unused bios and update existing ones whenever you like.
- Each bio must be a minimum of 80 characters long and a maximum of 140 characters long. This range exists to ensure that there is consistency in bio lengths across Hubs.
What Are The Rules?
We want bios to augment the credibility of Hubs and the site as a whole, not the other way around. That being said, we’re going to have a fairly permissive policy when the feature rolls out, but HubPages moderators will have the ability to turn bios off on an account-by-account basis. Bios will be turned off on accounts that:
- Attempt to spam, e.g., use the space to ask readers to click on their profile or try to insert links—both aren’t allowed and a single offense is enough to hide bios across all of their Hubs.
- Place unrelated bios across several Hubs (e.g., the Hub is about surgery, but the bio is about baking cookies).
- Place generic bios across several Hubs, where the bios are not useful to readers.
- Place bios with many grammatical and/or mechanical errors across several Hubs.
- Place nonsensical bios with the intent to troll across several Hubs.
Furthermore, it is important to use this tool responsibly and not mislead readers into thinking you are an expert on something you are not. As we all know, some topics are less serious (e.g., cats wearing hats) than others (e.g., brain surgery). For bios that don’t require a high level of specialization, feel free to write whatever you think demonstrates your credibility on or enthusiasm for the subject and use proper formatting.
- Bios should be specific but concise.
- Be honest about your qualifications and interests.
- Biographies should make sense in context. Reference the topic of the Hub when possible. For example, a bio on a Hub about student life at UC Davis should read more like this: “Sally graduated from UC Davis in 2009.” Rather than this: “Sally graduated in 2009.”
- Bios should be written in the third person, i.e., “Stacy graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1987,” not “I graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1987.” We recommend using your real name or a pen name rather than your username, as it is more professional.
- Complete sentences are strongly preferred. Also, don’t ask questions.
- A bio should match the topic of a Hub. Don’t say you’re a dog trainer on your chocolate chip cookie Hub. Don’t include information about yourself on topics unrelated to the topic of the Hub.
Examples of Good Bios
- On a Hub about the Skyrim video game “Allen has been playing Skyrim for three years. He completed the main quest three times on three different races: Altmer, Nord, and Khajiit.”
- On a Hub about stomach cancer treatment options: “Emily has been a practicing oncologist for 20 years. She graduated from the University of Virginia Medical School in 1995.”
- On a Hub reviewing the Apple Watch: “Ken has been an Apple fanboy for years. He loves to test Apple products and write reviews about them in his Hubs.”
- On a Hub about Korean Pop Music: “Christy is an avid lover of Korean popular music, also known as K-Pop. A fan since 2011, she follows several popular bands.”
- On a Hub about filing taxes: “Don has been a Certified Professional Accountant (CPA) for several years. He regularly meets with clients to help them manage their finances.”
Examples of Bad Bios
- On a Hub about anything: “Please visit website MyTravelSamsNStuff” — this bio is purely promotional and trying to skirt our rules against linking.
- On a Hub about Skyrim or other video game: “Allen has been playing this game for many years.” — this bio isn’t specific enough or make sense in context. What game has Allen been playing?
- On a Hub about anything: “Hi. Do you like my Hub? I like you. Please click on my profile above!” — this a troll bio that is also promotional.
- On a Hub about a complicated medical procedure: “I like keeping up with the latest medical devices.” — this bio does not demonstrate enough credibility for a topic that requires a high level of specialization.
- On a Hub about anything other than cats: “Hi, I’m Paul. I live in Berkeley and have two cats.” — this bio is too generic to be of use to readers. This type of information is better suited for a Profile bio rather than a Hub bio.
That’s it for now! Over the next few weeks, be on the lookout for About the Author!