Most revenue sharing websites allow writers to post a profile somewhere on the site. Articles are generally linked to that profile page and it is usually a place where readers can see a clickable list of all the articles that you have published.
But what should go on that profile page and what is considered an effective profile page?
Effective Profile Pages Components
A short description of yourself and your interests is appropriate. Give just enough personal detail to humanize you and help readers and other writers connect with you as a person. There is no need for a full biography and tons of personal information that will annoy the reader or make you look like a dork. Don't compromise your safety or expose unpleasant details about yourself.
Here is a good (completely fictional) description: Ima Writer lives with her husband and 4 kids in Western Canada. She enjoys sharing her knowledge of frugal living and home schooling. She hopes you find answers to your questions and enjoys reader feedback in the comments.
A profile is a good place to highlight resources you use. This could include paid resources accessed via an affiliate link. It could include referral links to a helpful site. Be sure to stay within the TOS of the hosting site though.
If you have a general interest blog or niche site(s) your profile is a good place to mention and link to your other online writing. Since your profile page is about you, it is a reasonable spot from which to drive some traffic to your blog and benefit from the good backlink. Explain the benefits to the reader of checking out your blog. For example:
JadeDragon blogs at Innovative Passive Income on the topics of building a passive (recurring or residual) income online. His blog offers lots of tips and tricks for the online writer and web marketer. No scams, no hard sell, just innovative ideas and solid information to make money on the internet. For a quick start check out JadeDragon's extensive Resource Page for making money on line.
Use an attractive eye-catching photo. In my opinion there are too many dogs and cats writing articles (no offense to anyone's prize pet). A decent photo of yourself is appropriate. Or use another eye-catching photo. My online identity is tied to a cute photo of my girl in pop out pink.
Use a memorable and easy to spell username if you plan to be active in forums and the writing community or want to build a brand around yourself. When I started online I wanted some anonymity, but a memorable user name. JadeDragon combines two dictionary words, is an unusual lucky object, and both words are full of multiple levels of meaning. A good name is important, or just use your actual name.
Tip: On Infobarrel you can change your user name under My Account-Personal Information.
Links to your favorite articles are a good idea. Don't go crazy with links, but a simple "Here are some of my favorite articles to check out" is a nice touch. Be sure to make them anchored links, not raw URLs, because you want a nice attractive profile page.
Good formating and use of headers, bolding, italics etc improves your image, just like you should be doing in your articles.
What to Avoid in a Profile
Do not violate Adsense TOS. No calls to click ads and don't make claims you are giving part of your earnings to charity. If you want to support charity, fantastic, but do your giving quietly.
Spell and grammar check your profile page. Nothing screams "I'm not a good writer" like an error filled profile.
Don't come across as a complete idiot, even if you are an idiot. Save this behavior for your friends off-line where they can get a more complete picture. We don't really know you online and no one is interested in reading about your problems. Here is an excerpt from a real life inappropriate profile I spotted recently - lots of things here to avoid:
I personally feel that I'm a very bad person. Sarcasm has always been in my blood. So, better leave me alone. Despite of these if you want to know a little about me, read some of my articles below without clicking any of the ads ;) or you may follow me on Twitter.
~~name removed (bipolar cold blooded mammal)
Don't use a username that can be easily misinterpreted in a negative way. Nothing violent or with sexual connotations or otherwise inappropriate.
Effective Signature Blocks
A signature block is effectively a mini-profile page. Many of the same concepts to use on a profile page apply to signature blocks, but on a smaller scale.
If the site allows it (Infobarrel does) create signature blocks that are appropriate to the articles. I created a sig for all my coin and metal articles that has an affiliate link to a friend's coin and metal site. All my "how to make money online" articles have sigs that point to my passive income blog. In some cases you may want to use the sig to link to an Amazon product.
If there is nothing to link out to, apply a standard signature that benefits you in some way or just has a couple lines about you as a writer and a link to your profile page that says something like "read more of JadeDragon's articles"
Avoid obnoxious fonts and all caps. Keep it classy. A little color and bold or italics can be eye catching though, so consider some color or font treatment.
Whatever you do, check out the Terms of Service of the site you are working on before pushing the envelope on signatures or profiles. You don't want to lose the opportunity to work with a site by breaking the rules.
I would love feedback from other writers in the comments. Have you tried other things in your profile and signatures? Seen any great ideas? Disagree with my take on the subject of an effective profile? Let's turn the comments into a helpful resource.
Thanks to Infobarrel writer egdcltd for the idea for this article. Everything this writer could find was advice on dating profiles, not writing site profiles.