8 Blogger Archetypes: What Kind of Blogger Are You?

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CC: Images by levork.

There are 8 blogger archetypes.

  1. activist
  2. connector
  3. collector
  4. fighter
  5. newshound
  6. teacher
  7. writer
  8. inventor

Let me explain.

When I started blogging back in 2003 I wanted to be an activist. An activist is someone who is actively pursuing a goal of the common good. Most green bloggers are activists. They want to actively change the world. The really do and they write about it. Some of them don’t do and only write about it but the best green bloggers are actually activists. Two of the world’s most popular blog, Huffington Post and Boing Boing are to a significant extent activist blogs. HP due to its progressive political agenda, BB because of its founders leading role in the creative commons movement as well as overall cybercultural influence.

After a while I realized though that my lofty goal of being an activist blogger was too much for me. I was an armchair activist at most. I only wrote about activists when I wrote at all. Mostly I linked to other activists always delegating the real work of activism to others. By linking them I was a connector at first, then later a collector as I always connected several similar types of activists in a post. Still I felt bad about it. I didn’t value the role of connector collector then. Activists? Wow! Me? Boo.

So I felt bad about only writing about other people’s activism. Nonetheless my urge to blog didn’t go away. I liked writing but I loved blogging. The moment of inspiration and the instant gratification of a published post, then the direct feedback. I got addicted to blogging.

While just connecting (what else is a link if not a connection?) and collecting I often got angry about not being an activist. So I started to write more alarming and aggressive posts to vent this anger. I attacked the passive public and blogosphere due to feeling passive myself, still having the activist blogger as my role model. I was a fighter more often by then. Anger and fighting cost very much energy. You can’t keep it up all the time, especially as the backlash is always around the corner. You have to face firm opposition from others who don’t share your opinions.

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Soon I felt the need of proving that I’m right be becoming more of an expert in the topics I covered. I became a newshound. I was always on the look out for the latest, newest, best. After a while I reached a point where I knew more about my subjects than most other people, even bloggers. Still it didn’t help to feel more “right”.

My impression was that it’s not my fault. The readers are not ready yet. So I became a teacher. I tried to teach people how to do this, how to understand that. I still do it today. I changed my mind though: It’s neither my fault nor the readers’. It’s just the natural cycle of things: You learn things, get older and better. People who haven’t yet need you to show them. It’s feels great to be able to teach other people things you already know. Be it blogging, SEO or whatever.

Shortly after I started SEO 2.0 I was able to sell a blog to a SEO client of mine. This blog worked out quite well. It had nothing to do with teaching. It was more a step back for me to the newshound phase. I worked out without much of an effort though. I was able to use all my blogging skills I taught myself before: Those of the connector, collector, fighter and newshound.

I noticed that no matter the topic, I loved blogging for the sake of it. I realized that I’m simply a writer. A writer just writes and s/he’s happy. A writer does not think hard about what to write, a writer always has something to write about. A writer can write about anything and everything.

So I’m still no activist. A few months ago I applied to several green blogs like Treehugger, Ecogeek, Environmental Graffiti. I wanted to be a guest writer and they were looking for some. None of them even replied, probably due to the fact that I admitted being an “SEO” (SEO = evil for most people) and my English not being perfect. Also I’m still no inventor. An inventor blogger doesn’t have to invent things. In blogging the inventor archetype is someone who doesn’t write about external issues but who takes inspiration from the inside. An inventor can be a spiritual person, a poet, an artist, a programmer anybody who creates “content” out of sheer creativity.

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Out of these 8 archetypes I’m currently: 30% collector, 10% fighter, 30% teacher and 30% just writer. What kind of blogger are you?

1. activist, green, progressive bloggers for example (Huffington Post)
2. connector, bloggers linking out to outside resources (most “regular” blogs)
3. collector, list bloggers collecting resources, mostly from the outside (Smashing Magazine)
4. fighter, disagreeing with the main stream, very opinionated (Inquisitr)
5. newshound, always the first to know and report something (TechCrunch)
6. teacher, helps others to learn something, offers advice (Seth’s Blog)
7. writer, can write about everything (kottke.org)
8. inventor, creates a niche for himself, without the need of outside sources (Zen Habits)

It’s no shame to be a connector blogger. You got to embrace it and then become really good at it. For instance in SEO the guys over at Raven have created a really valuable “mostly linking out to others” blog.