How to Write a Blurb

Four Methods:Writing a Quick Blurb for a ForumWriting a Biographical BlurbWriting a Blurb to Promote Someone Else's WorkSample Blurb

Blurbs are used to quickly tell people what's worth knowing about yourself on a forum. You can also use them to describe your work or promote someone else's. You've got to use sharp, convincing writing to convey important information in very little space. Read on to learn how to write a blurb.

Method 1
Writing a Quick Blurb for a Forum

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    Keep it short. Your forum blurb is a quick way to introduce yourself to the group. Blurbs always have an air of mystery and intrigue, since they're just a few words long and leave a lot to the imagination. Make it no more than a sentence long, two at the most. Here are a few examples:
    • James Franco: Writer. Actor. Director.
    • I'm Crystal, maker of all things sparkly.
    • Hi! I'm Zombie666, and I'm ready to fight!
    • Oshamaru is here to stay . . . get used to it.
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    Say something true about yourself. You have just a few words in which to show off what makes you you. That means you only have room to share the most important things about yourself. Stick to the most interesting or relevant bit of information you can share.
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    Make it funny, weird or otherwise intriguing. The tone of your blurb, however short, is going to make people like you or think you're weird.
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    Consider revealing your dark side. You have control over this since you're on an anonymous forum and you get to write whatever you want. Use your anonymity to your advantage and be the person you always wanted to be in real life, but can't.
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    Check other people's blurbs. Get inspiration from others who participate in your forum to see what blurb style appeals to you.

Method 2
Writing a Biographical Blurb

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    Provide the most pertinent information. It might be hard to choose from among your most interesting qualities, but sticking to the most intriguing information is crucial when it comes to personal blurbs. You only have room to write a few lines that will grab people's attention and make them want to know more.
    • The information you provide should be relevant to the venue on which you're publishing the blurb. If you're using your blurb to promote yourself as an artist or sell a service you're providing, for example, you'll need to clearly state what it is you're offering. Introduce yourself as a journalist, guitarist, freelance writer, photographer, etc.
    • You could also go the route of offering information about you as a person that you want the world to know. If you're creating a blurb for a blog, for example, the point is to help people get to know you better. Talk about your most creative endeavors and fascinating hobbies.
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    Consider mentioning your experience, honors and awards. If you're using your blurb for professional purposes, like on your professional website or networking page, include a few details that will let people know you're someone with a lot to offer. Add a line about prestigious awards you've received, high level experience you have in the field, or other ways you've been honored. Just remember that mentioning honors and awards could be perceived as bragging if you're using the blurb in a more informal setting.[1]
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    Strike the right tone. Your blurb is meant to tell the world everything they should know about you in about ten seconds. That doesn't give you much time to reveal the depths of your personality, but you can still choose words that reveal a little about what kind of attitude you have. Again, the tone of your blurb should match the space where it's going to be published.
    • Use humor wherever possible. Funny blurbs are sure to capture people's attention; if you can find a way to entertain people, they'll want to know more, and that's the point!
    • Professional blurbs should be more reserved in tone, but you can still show some personality. Add a dry joke at the end or include one personal fact about a hobby or pastime that doesn't fall into the professional realm.
    • Tell people what they'll gain from getting to know you better. This is the object of any blurb; you've got to intrigue people so they have the desire to keep reading your posts, listening to your music, following your Twitter feed, and so on.
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    Decide to write it in first person or third. Personal blurbs can be written in first person, with "I" statements, to create an intimate feel. Alternatively, writing your blurb in the third person will make it seem more professional. Choose the approach that works best for you and the purpose of your blurb.
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    Keep it short and sweet. If your blurb is more than a few sentences long, people will get bored and start skimming. A blurb should be no longer than two short paragraphs, and even that can be a stretch. Limiting yourself to a few hundred words will help you make sure you're including only the most important and interesting facts.
    • Read over your blurb after you write it, and try to take an objective point of view. What information can you eliminate to make it punchier?
    • Ask a friend to take a look at your blurb, and have him or her give you honest feedback. Information that seemed crucial to you may read as bland to someone else.
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    Include a picture. If you have the option to include a picture next to your blurb, do it. Your blurb will resonate more with people if they can see a picture of the person who wrote it. Choose a picture that matches the mood of your blurb, whether it's quirky, wholesome, hilarious or polished.

Method 3
Writing a Blurb to Promote Someone Else's Work

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    Have a good understanding of the source material. Don't try to write a blurb promoting your friend's book or film without having read or watched it a couple of times first. Not only will your blurb sound off-base, it won't actually help your friend get more readers or viewers.
    • Pay close attention to what you experience. Make your mind engage with you're reading or seeing.
    • Write down you how you felt about the book or film. Simple words or descriptions are a fine start. Note how the piece made you feel, what its unique qualities are, and other details that made it stand out to you.
    • It's a good idea to get familiar with the person's past work as well. That way you'll be able to compare the most recent work to the person's other books or films.
    • Read reviews and blurbs of the author or filmmaker's past work as well, for research purposes.
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    Have an aura of expertise. You were probably asked to blurb a book or film because you have some standing in the field. Make good on your reputation by doing some selective background research into other work in the same genre as your friend's book or film. You should sound like you know what you're talking about.[2]
    • Look for trends in the author or filmmaker's work. Do they use the same actors? The same themes? Take note of patterns that you could mention in your blurb.
    • Consider whether you can make intelligent comparisons to other works in the genre.
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    Summarize the plot without giving it away. The blurb may briefly detail what the film or book is about, and be clear and subtle. Focus on the most entertaining or fascinating aspects of the work; remember, as the blurber, your job is to help sell it.
    • Consider mentioning the main characters. Don't get overly descriptive and include every characteristic and backstory, and likewise, don't write about every single character. Stick to the main ones that the action in the film or book is focused around.
    • Assume that the reader is ignorant about the facts. If the film or book involves a historical figure or a geographical location or another piece of art, include descriptor words to clarify. This will make your blurb seem more clear and informed.
    • Point out the themes. Use a sentence or two to address the ideas that the film or book presents, whether it's the power of friendship, the complications of family, or the damages of war.
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    Use bright, compelling language. Since the purpose of a blurb is to promote this particular film or book, write passionately about it. The question your reader will have is "Why should I see it or read it?" Give them a convincing reason to do so.
    • Don't be too wordy. Your reader is looking for a quick few sentences that stick to the point, so don't let your writing get bogged down by complicated plot twists or lengthy descriptions. Additionally, don't get carried away with adjectives; you don't want your blurb to sound flowery and overenthusiastic.
    • Stay away from cliches. Statements like "the greatest story ever told" or "the best movie you'll ever see" are too tired and overused to be effective. Write a thoughtful description of your own experience of the text without resorting to other people's wording.[3]
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    Always use third person, not first. Writing in the first person makes a blurb seem too informal. Writing in the third person maintains a professional, learned distance, which is what you want when you're writing a blurb for someone else's work.
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    Write for the correct audience. Recognize that writing a blurb about a children's picture book involves a different kind of communication than writing one about a steamy romance novel. Adjust your language accordingly.

Sample Blurb

Sample Book Blurb

Article Info

Categories: Works