How to Create a Wikipedia Page for a Person

Wikipedia wants to hold all human knowledge on its site and make it available around the world for free. It’s a lofty goal – one that is steamrolling ahead – and it needs the help of millions of Wikipedians (editors). It’s us, regular people, that can create, edit, and maintain Wikipedia pages. We can keep the encyclopedia up-to-date and accurate, filling in all the blanks.

Do you know of someone deserving of an entry in the online encyclopedia? Great! Here’s a step-by-step guide that will teach you how to make a Wikipedia page. 

Table of Contents

Step One: Check for an Existing Article

This might seem obvious, but sometimes people are surprised to find an article already exists. Search on Wikipedia and see what’s what. Try using the individual’s full name and nicknames. Check out any related articles (i.e. the individual’s organization, activities, historical events) and see if those articles have a subsection on the individual. 

Do you only have one or two more sentences to add to those subsections? If so, you can edit the article and call it a day. However, if you’ve got more, you can still draft a new article. When you do so, let other Wikipedians know what content already exists.

Step Two: Review Wikipedia’s “Do Nots”

Before getting started, you should check out the things Wikipedia wants you to avoid. The list includes things such as:

  • Not writing about yourself or your family
  • Not writing in a way that attacks, threatens, or defames an individual

Ready to write about a stranger in a way that is respectful and neutral? Perfect. Let’s move on.

Step Three: Understand Notability Guidelines and COI Guidelines

Next, you need to review Wikipedia’s notability and COI guidelines. 

The COI guidelines we touched upon in step two – no writing about yourself or your family. These guidelines are more extensive than that, though. You shouldn’t write about anyone you are friends with, or anyone you work with, even if you aren’t close with them. The fact that you both work for the same organization would raise eyebrows in Wikipedia-land, making people wonder if you are breaking the COI guideline. 

To avoid this, and the fact that it can make the draft approval process much more difficult, if the individual you want to write about falls under one of these categories, you should instead request that someone else write about them. 

Now, what about notability guidelines? Wikipedia says it wants to present all human knowledge to the world, but it has rules around what exactly that means. Namely, subjects must be notable as defined by Wikipedia:

“In short, the topic of an article must have already been the subject of publication in reliable, secondary, entirely independent sources that treat the topic in substantive detail. They might be books, newspapers, magazines, peer-reviewed scholarly journals, and similarly high-quality sources.”

If these sources don’t exist, the subject is not considered notable. This means he or she is not ready to be the subject of a Wikipedia article.

Step Four: Review Existing Articles

Once you know that your subject fits the bill, you get to do more research! (If you find this exhausting, Wikipedia likely isn’t for you. The need to research never stops. Maybe you can pass on what you’ve learned and what you’re hoping to achieve to someone else, who can finish this process for you.)

This time, we want you to research existing Wikipedia articles focused on individuals. At least some of these articles should be about individuals similar to your subject. If your subject started a business, look for other business founders. If they are big in the nonprofit sector, look there. Did they speak out about children’s rights? Serve in the military? Invent something?

Whatever they did or do, review existing articles for similar people. See how the pages are organized, how short they are, and what type of content is included. Also make note of any issue tags. These tell you if the page is well-written and well-constructed, or if it needs some help.

Learn by example. See both what your draft should do, and what it should avoid.

Step Five: Gather Reliable Sources

Nothing on Wikipedia happens without reliable sources. These sources serve two purposes:

  1. They prove that the subject is notable
  2. They ensure that all copy on Wikipedia is verifiable

Wikipedia is not an opinion platform. It is an encyclopedia. All information must be factual and verifiable: “Information on Wikipedia must be verifiable; if no reliable third-party sources can be found on a topic, then it should not have an article.”

What type of sources are allowed?

A few examples include:

  • Academic and peer-reviewed publications
  • University-level textbooks
  • Books published by respected publishing houses
  • Magazines
  • Journals
  • Mainstream newspapers
  • Almanacs
  • Encyclopedias (but not Wikipedia)

An important note: in order to prevent COI, you cannot use any publication that was written by the person you have chosen as your subject. You also cannot use:

  • Press releases
  • Sites with user-generated content
  • Call transcripts
  • Personal blogs
  • Social media

Check here for more on reliable Wikipedia sourcing.

Step Six: Make a Wikipedia Account

You don’t have to create an account to create a draft, but it does make things easier. Without an account, your IP address will be publicly visible when you edit the draft. With an account, your username will be visible, but not your IP address.

If you choose to create an account, it must be autoconfirmed before you can move forward with article creation. This will happen when your account is at least 4 days old and you have made at least 10 edits. Edits can be as simple as fixing punctuation on existing articles. To find pages that need edits, visit the Community Portal. Scroll down until you see the “Help out” section.

To make an account:

1. Go to

2. Select your language of choice. We chose English.

3. Select Create account.

Step Seven: Create Your Draft

There are a few different ways to get a draft started.

1. You can visit this page and enter your desired page name in the text box.

2. You can search for the subject and then click on the resulting red link that signifies there is no existing page.

3. You can click on create a draft and submit it for review on the search results page. If you do this, you will be taken to the Wikipedia Article Wizard.

Article Wizard

The Article Wizard will run some of Wikipedia’s guidelines by you. It will ask you to disclose any COI. If this does apply to you, follow the instructions.

If paid to edit, you will see:

If writing about yourself or a close person/subject, you will see:

If not connected, you will see:

The draft space looks like this:

Step Eight: Start Writing

You’ve made it to the meat of how to create a Wikipedia page for a person! Well done! Now you take everything you’ve learned and tie it all together.

As you write, remember:

  • Do NOT copy and paste text; articles violating copyright will be deleted
  • What you write should establish the notability of the individual, and must be unbiased
  • Keep it neutral and formal; this is an encyclopedia article
  • Avoid promotional language
  • Cite everything
  • Make it readable: use proper punctuation, grammar, spelling, and organize with appropriate headings, subheadings, and bullet points (if applicable)

Step Nine: Submit for Review

When you’ve finished creating your draft, it’s time to submit it for review. There should be a “Submit for review” button on the draft. If for some reason there isn’t, add this text to the top of your draft: {{subst:submit}} This will submit it for you. 

A reviewer will take a look. They might approve your draft and move it to the main article space, give you feedback on how to improve it, or recommend it for deletion. If the latter two, take in their comments. Ask any questions that you have. Be respectful. Your draft might be ready after some revisions; or you might need to wait for your subject to become more notable.

This review process can take a long time. At the time this blog post was published, there were 2,450 pending submissions awaiting review. To improve your odds of a speedy review, tag your draft with relevant WikiProject tags. These tags let reviewers know that a new draft has been submitted in their area(s) of interest.

Step Ten: Maintain the Page

Once your page is published, the work isn’t over. You could learn more about the individual in the future and want to update the page. You may grow as a stronger writer and decide to write a better introduction, or decide different formatting is needed on the page. You should also update the article with internal links, linking to and from other Wikipedia articles. This prevents the new page from being an orphan. Orphan articles get significantly fewer readers. You can also add the article to at least one category to improve its visibility.

Others may (and likely will) contribute to the page. This is how Wikipedia works. No article is privately owned. You may learn from these other editors. You may disagree with them. Take everything calmly, discuss differences of opinion respectfully, and watch your page grow.

Now You Know How to Create a Wikipedia Page

Ready to get started? The process is an interesting one for sure. If you’ve got more questions, drop us a line

Wikipedia is intimately connected to Google search results, generative AI tools, voice assistants, and more. Your work as a contributor could reach more people than you can imagine. Good luck!

The Mather Group LLC is a digital marketing agency. We specialize in enhancing online reputations through authentic content and expert digital brand management. Clients trust us with Wikipedia services, SEO, PPC, and ORM. Don’t like how you’re showing up online? Let’s talk.

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