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    Which Type of Online Writer Are You?

    There are 7 different types of online writers. Which type of online writer are you?

    I started dabbling in online writing over a decade ago, and I’ve experimented with many different blogging styles and objectives during that time.

    As I see it, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, there are seven different types or personas that bloggers tend to fit into, each with its distinct characteristics and advantages.

    Which Type of Blogger Are You?

    #1: The Niche Expert

    These bloggers create niche sites on anything that might have a good prospect of making money – something to do with gadgets or celebrities or credit cards, for instance. They run lots of ads, or put in plenty of affiliate links, or both. These bloggers may well have The 4-Hour Workweek on their shelves.

    Often, these bloggers are highly motivated and driven. Their content is sometimes of variable quality, but the best niche experts provide real value for readers.

    Example:

    In a two-step process, CreditCards.com has a blog, Taking Charge, which links frequently to the CreditCards.com main site, which uses affiliate links to make money.

    #2: The Business Owner

    This blogger is part of a fast-growing movement. She produces high-quality content to support her business (which could be anything from running a country pub to an SEO agency). Her posts may cover a range of topics, but all will relate to her business.

    These bloggers often provide some of the best content on the web. They’ve got a reputation to maintain, and they set themselves high standards. Unlike the niche expert (#1) and the blog-to-business writer (#3), they see their blog not as their business but as a marketing tool for their business.

    Example:

    SEOptimise runs a blog about SEO, and offers client services. Their blog showcases their expertise and their up-to-date knowledge.

    #3: The Professional Blogger

    The Professional Blogger is at a cross between #1 and #2. They see their blogs as integral to their business. They’re proud of what they’ve built, and they write about a topic they love. Unlike the Niche Expert, they’re unlikely to have multiple blogs.

    They use their blogs to make money through a variety of means: membership sites, consulting, ebooks, e-courses, and / or other digital products. They don’t tend to have an offline presence (like a store or office) that you can visit, unlike the Business Owner. Their content is excellent – it has to be, as it’s the cornerstone of their business.

    Example:

    ProductiveFlourishing offers digital products, and services such as consulting. Charlie and team publish regular, thoughtful posts about leading a fulfilled life.

    #4: The Journal Writer

    These bloggers have an ‘old-school’ blog – one that’s similar to a personal journal, often covering a wide range of topics, often in a narrative format.

    They probably participate in memes, and may have a small or large readership. Some blog irregularly, sometimes posting daily, while at other times not having any fresh posts for months; others stick to a regular schedule.

    They’re usually not concerned about ‘monetization’ or ‘SEO’. They might run a few ads or pop in some affiliate links to help pay their hosting costs – but their blog is primarily a hobby and a place to have fun. They see readers as potential new friends, not potential customers.

    Example:

    IronicMom – who now has a book out, on the strength of her humorous take on family life. Her posts cover a wide range of topics, though, including one of my recent favorites: 5 Job Titles You Can Fake Your Way Through At Parties.

    #5: The Platform-Builder

    These bloggers are looking to make a name for themselves, with money a more distant objective. They might be authors current or prospective) building a readership for their books, or individuals working in new media who want to impress employers.

    Platform-builders, like business owners, have a strong incentive to produce great content. They will usually stick fairly closely to one topic. You won’t generally find ads on their blog, and some will avoid affiliate links.

    Example:

    George RR Martin’s blog is all about letting his readers get closer to the author, whether by knowing his book signing schedule, or what he’s thinking, doing, reading, watching etc. 

    #6: The Product Promoter

    These bloggers have something to sell: often a book. You’ll often find them anywhere but their own blog – and some won’t have an online home base at all. Instead, they’re on a blog tour around the web, with guest posts and interviews on different sites.

    Product promoters may not see themselves as bloggers at all, especially if they don’t have their own blog. They’ll often have great insights to share, though some may be unfamiliar with how best to write for the web – host blogs can often help by doing a bit of extra formatting on their guest posts.

    Example:

    Early Jackson, guest blogging here on Dumb Little Man, is promoting his books through his bio (as well as his speaking and teaching).

    #7: The Freelancer

    These bloggers get paid to write posts for major sites. They may specialize in a particular topic (gardening, healthy eating, personal development) or they may take whatever comes along! Most will write regularly for the same site, often on a weekly or monthly basis.

    Their content is usually top-notch – after all, they’re being paid for it! Their employer will often do some editing to ensure a polished final piece. These bloggers may or may not have their own blog; if they do, you will generally find a “hire me” or “services” page there.

    Example:

    Grymm & Epic’s Steff Green offers blogging services (plus email marketing and illustration) for clients, through a “Hire Steff” page.

    None of these personas is the “right” one … bloggers come in all shapes and sizes, and all of these seven types can produce great content.

    Of course, many bloggers will fit into more than one of these categories: if you take a look at some of the examples above, you may well find ways they overlap with or take on aspects of different personas.

    Today, I’m primarily a Professional Blogger – with my own ebooks and membership site. I’ve got a fair dash of platform-builder and product promoter thrown in. I also do some freelancing, though not quite so much as I did in the past. (Though I started out as a journal-writer and even tried being a niche expert.)

    Which one of the 7 types of online writer are you?

    About the author

      Ali Luke

      Ali Luke’s free mini-ebooks Time to Write and The Two-Year Novel are for any writer who wants to fit in some extra writing (and enjoy it more)! You can download them here when you sign up to her weekly email newsletter – which includes writing tips, discounts, and more.

    • olabisi Usidame says:

      Fantastic and enlightening.

    • I am Freelancer and Ghost Writer too. I really love my job and I am making my clients happy by writing awesome articles 😀 Thanks for the supercilious article 😀

    • NOAEfame says:

      This will make any blogger think. Based on your description, I will fall into #5 but the difference is that I am not writing to impress anyone. Secondly I will like to make a little money to publish my book and to keep my blog running to a standard. Overall I think even the most established bloggers out there can still benefit from this. Wonderful article. thank you so much. It has made me to think about other options now.

    • I’m a #4 and #7. There may be a bit of “Platform building” in my blog too, as my readers know that I am working on a book while trying to make money with freelance writing.
      Susie

      • Ali Luke says:

        Good luck with the book, Susie! I think a lot of bloggers have a least a dash of platform builder going on. 🙂

    • Vic says:

      Honestly speaking I don’t know where i fit or where am I categorized. Maybe I am part of the 8th type ” I dont know what I’m doing” blogger.

      • Ali Luke says:

        Perhaps I should’ve included a category for bloggers who are experimenting! One of the lovely things about blogging is that it allows for a lot of flexibility — and you can always unpublish posts if you later change your mind about the direction you’re going in.

    • Hello Mary, I must confess to you that you are doing a very good job with your blog. I’ve learnt a lot from it. God bless and enrich your work. I’ve subscribed to your book: The Nearly Ultimate Guide to Better Writing but I’ve not been able to download it. Each time I try it, it does not open. Please, what do I do? Many thanks.

      Victor Anya

      • Vinita Zutshi says:

        Victor, I’m sending you a copy of the book by email.

        Vinita Zutshi,
        Guest Post Editor, Write to Done

    • A great outline of all the different types of bloggers and styles there are out there, I was interested to find I seemed to fit into a couple- the Professional Blogger and the Platform Builder definitely seem to be what I’m aspiring to. You’re so right though, there’s no “one jacket” to fit the vast, unique range of creatives out there! Nonetheless it was nice to see what I am developing into in the form of this refreshing summary 🙂

      • Ali Luke says:

        Thanks — glad you enjoyed it.. 🙂 It was only after writing it that I realised how many blogging hats I’d worn in my time … of course there’s no one “right” way to blog, but it can be helpful to think about where we are and where we’re going next. All best wishes for your blogging!

    • Charles says:

      An interesting article there by Luke. He just pinned me down as a Business owner blogger when I was thinking I’m a Niche Blogger .

      • Ali Luke says:

        Glad you liked it, Charles. Psst… Luke’s my surname (blame my husband!) — I’m Ali and I’m actually female. 🙂 (It confuses a lot of people!)

    • Adam Smith says:

      I am between 1 and 5 if that is possible. Thanks for this great post, Ali.

    • Liz says:

      Hi Ali,

      I’d say I’m probably 1,2,and 3 with a little bit of 6 sprinkled in 😉

      Liz

    • Megan M. says:

      Thank you for summing that up for me 🙂
      “Freelance” (#7) writer, I’m a combination of 2, 3 & 5

    • aamir says:

      I am a professional blogger 🙂

    • Hi Ali – you misunderstand my comment. Ths is a great topic. A great discussion. Lots of people are being helped. Lots of readers will benefit. Lots of writers will have more fun.

      • Ali Luke says:

        Thanks, Peter, and sorry to have misunderstood you! Perhaps like many writers, I’m quicker to see criticism than praise… 🙂 It’s been great to see lots of people joining in the discussion.

    • Reading this made me ponder on which category I fall on. I’m a mix of #4, #6 and #7 since I write for different sites but I do want to aim higher in one particular category. It’s also refreshing to read about a blogger classification without any negatives on it. I’ve been seeing those too much nowadays.

      • Ali Luke says:

        Cher, I’m so glad you liked the positive take. I really wanted to show that all these types of blogger can write great posts and they can all get a lot from their blogging, whether it’s a hobby or a business activity. Best of luck with all your blogging!

    • Think I am a cross between #4-#5 I write from the heart without ads or compensation, but would like to work towards income. Interesting read!

      • Ali Luke says:

        Christa, I think many bloggers and writers do it primarily because they love it — but it’s always nice to be rewarded for our efforts too. Good luck working toward making an income from your blogging. 🙂

    • Here we are…blogging by numbers. Please paint outside the line on occasion.

      • Ali Luke says:

        Sorry to disappoint, Peter! Do feel free to share your ideas and thoughts about different types of blogging here in the comments.

    • Tracy says:

      Hi fascinating I am a number 4 I would like to have more followers.i always do alphavet thursday and daturdsy centus. I woukd lobeva blog to do everyday .wish me luck

      • Ali Luke says:

        Good luck, Tracy! I think theming different days of the week is a great idea. 🙂

    • My wife likes the inimate “What happened to me today.” Or “. . . Sometimes I hate my husband because . . . ” I won’t waste my time with that kind of trivia!

      • Ali Luke says:

        I think the range of blogs out there just show what a wide range of different things people find interesting! What sort of blogs do you read, Evert?

    • My likes the inimate “What happened to me today.” Or “. . . Sometimes I hate my husband because . . . ” I won’t waste my time with that kind of trivia!

    • Way juicy content, Ali. And Raya nailed it. Here’s material for several new blog posts. I’m guilty of all 7 types, depending on my mood, the weather and what’s blooming in my garden.

      May I have a category for humanist leftist sermon rants ripe with disjoint giggles? You make me more clear on what I am not. I think? I prefer to focus on writing crime thrillers — wine, cheese & murder — YUM.
      My blogs are me outside the cookie shop offering a free taste. So I experiment with oddness and re-ordering 26 letters to leave a dent.

      What I know is the more you write, the sharper your quill and the longer your lead. In Twain’s time, a long lead kept you from scratching your bottom. That said, On’Ya authors all. Please jump in, both feet, and stay drunk on the river of words.

      • Ali Luke says:

        Peter, of course you can create your own category. 🙂 Perhaps I should have made one for “ideas bloggers”. One of the lovely things about blogging is that you can experiment as much as you like!

    • raya says:

      hi! sorry to be a bit of a party pooper but I really don`t think this list covers or does justice to the field. not everything in life or in blogging is “about the money” (in your list even the diary-like blog is about self promotion). For example, the most interesting blogs are about opinions, feelings and thoughts about matters of the hour or the mind of the writer, about inspiration, about life style, politics, justice and what-not, actually. But I guess 7 is a good number, .

      • Ali Luke says:

        For me, Raya, these would just about fit under the journal-writer (sorry if I implied that one was about self-promotion — it’s more about writing about something that interests you and making a connection with others).

        Of course there are LOADS of bloggers who aren’t interested in making money, and you’re absolutely right that there are lots of excellent blogs out there which are motivated by other purposes.

        But do feel free to suggest a new category name! I’m sure there are way more than seven. 🙂

    • Nate says:

      I’ve got #1, #2, and # 5 going on.

    • Jevon says:

      I am definitely a platform builder, using my blog to get readers to know about my upcoming book.

      But instead of posting about what I’m doing or thinking, I post about what I’ve learned from my writing and other writing tips I’ve read, hoping to share my experience with anyone who wants to get published.

      • Ali Luke says:

        Great stuff, Jevon. I think posting about your writing and writing tips is much more likely to attract a good audience than writing about day to day life, so it sounds you’ve absolutely got the right approach. 🙂

    • I like this list! I fit into 3, 5 and 7.

      • Ali Luke says:

        Thanks Renia! That’s a great mix of types there. 🙂

    • Marcie says:

      Ali, this is a great summary of the different types of bloggers. I just started thinking about the categories of my blogs, but not really the category of blogger I am. However, based on your descriptions I fit into categories 1, 2, 3 and 5.

      • Ali Luke says:

        Glad you liked it, Marcy — and that sounds like a fantastic blend of categories. Keep up the blogging! 🙂


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