A mute content writer is the worst combination of two things you could have. Yes, mute. But mute on paper.
It’s possible to be mute on paper. Words can be strung together but they don’t necessarily say something if you don’t make them do so.
You could go on writing mute forever.
And it’ll come back and ultimately strangle the life out of you…and by default your audience’s as well.
When you find your voice like a burning hot torch you can take and run with, that’s when the scenario changes. That’s when traction happens.
And finding your voice requires some writer self-awareness.
Self-awareness in writing is key for an effective writer because of the:
- Ability to Improve
- Intentional nuances
Being more aware of your writing helps you pick out the mistakes that don’t quite fit in your writing.
This leads to? Better, cleaner writing.
Which leads to the next point in terms of accuracy.
Being able to accurately convey your message is another benefit of practicing self-awareness.
And last, self-aware content writer has a better chance of showing their personality because the nuances that make them unique are intentionally added to their writing when needed.
Being a self-aware content writer simply makes for better content whether it’s to inform, entertain, or educate your audience.
To help navigate the waters of what content writer archetype best gives you a voice and help you become a more self-aware writer, here are a few to point you in a clearer direction:
You are all about the formula.
As this type of writer, you focus not necessarily on making readers feel great about themselves as you give them pep talks. Instead, you focus more on writing about systems and how-tos.
Educating people is your main goal and you tend to waste no time beating around the bush or inserting flowery language or illustrations.
You might not be the most occupied with finding the perfect words or the best metaphors. For you, content and valuable information is where it’s at.
‘The Scientists’ want to help their readers get results and show their findings.
Questions to ask yourself:
- Do I tend to like quantifiable data and step by step directions that you can measure?
- Do I like numbers and results driven information?
- Do I enjoy reading straight forward content?
An excellent example of this is Neil Patel. Neil’s blog QuickSprout has value-packed actionable, no bulls*** posts about how to get results and do it from a strategic systematic angle with plenty of examples.
He shares the latest scoops on SEO marketing, constructing effective headlines, perfecting your backlinks, and many other actionable topics. His quantifiable, scientific approach to content writing for his blog makes him a good example of ‘The Scientist.’
The Bubbly Rah-Rah
You are a complete cheerleader.
Not only do you want to shower your audience with valuable information but words of encouragement + affirmation as well.
You care about a more holistic approach to writing instead of a straightforward one.
You’re full of charisma and don’t mind sharing it with the world. You tend to believe in everyone’s purpose and like to encourage creative and meaningful thinking.
Inclusion is your thing when it comes to your writing. As The Cheerleader, you make sure your content is not only relatable but easy going and easy to understand.
Instead of approaching your writing with hard facts only, you like to sprinkle in words of encouragement and vivid language as well.
Questions to ask your writer self:
- Do I effortlessly tend to use words to nurture people, whether on paper or in conversation and make them feel better?
- Do I constantly tend to lean toward positive thinking?
- How important is it for others to feel that they are not only receiving value but encouragement and support as well?
Enter Marie Forleo. She is a great example of this writer archetype. Her blog writing and emails are always filled with vivid and encouraging words that make her audience feel special and inspired.
In every piece of her content, which include video and written pieces, words of encouragement and inspiration are present without fail.
Your mantra is ‘give me results.’
This content writer gives it to you but gives it to you hard. You don’t usually mind telling the bold truth minus the sugar coat. Your lack of preoccupation with being charismatic is compensated by the value your content brings.
You tend to be results-driven and don’t necessarily care what people think of your strongly held opinions. You believe the right followers will get your message.
Quality over quantity is a big one for you.
The Straightforward loves answering those mind-boggling questions that can sometimes be elusive or hard to answer.
You love introducing readers to new ways to go about business.
You enjoy writing about the components of a bigger system that will get you from point A to point Z.
Some questions to ask yourself for this archetype:
- Do I like direct conversation or do I enjoy indirect sayings and lots of description?
- Do I find myself constantly being direct in what I do and what I say without even thinking about it?
- When I write, do I use many words to state an idea or just a handful of words that get to the point?
An example of this is Pat Flynn. As a blogger he has become known for his income reports and likes to tell people that they can achieve the same results he has.
His case studies and detailed income reports focus on getting quality results with real proven ways to do online business and blogging.
You’re the newsie.
The content writer who likes to let their audience know about the latest craze or innovation. You like keeping people in the know and reporting info accurately.
You like focusing and reporting on the who, what, when, where, and how.
If there is anything new coming out, you make sure your readers find out about it first.
You focus isn’t necessarily on teaching a certain something or even exciting encouragement. Instead your focus is creating awareness of what is out there in a clear, concise, and digestible way.
- Am I constantly looking for ways to stay up to date on topics I feel matter?
- Do I converse a lot about current trends/events?
- What would happen if I didn’t stay up to date with the latest information? How detrimental would that be to my life?
You like to get people learning.
Conveying knowledge in a way that makes sense is your forte. You don’t mind teaching new skills or crafting how-to tutorials.
Your content tends to be broken down into steps and easy-to-understand chunks. Sometimes even accompanied by illustrations.
Your writing has the patience to explain and go through the tediousness of introducing and teaching something new. It is clear and easy even for beginners to understand, follow along, and apply on their own.
You have an engaging personality that helps your audience understand ideas with ease.
You have little to no trouble seeing things from your audience’s perspective and answering the questions you already know need to be answered.
Some Questions to consider in whether you fit this archetype:
- Do you love giving people ‘eureka’ moments?
- Does explaining hard ideas to others come easily to you?
- Do you find fulfillment and joy in passing down useful information?
A great example of this is Melyssa Griffin’s blog posts. Her ‘how to’ posts are easy going and easy to understand.
There are no loopholes to get around or hard concepts or wording to try and understand. You can tell in her writing on of her utmost goals is that her readers, any reader, whether new or old, gets it.
You are a big picture thinker.
Besides just seeing the surface, you tend to be mesmerized by the underlying systems and assumptions and question them.
You enjoy analyzing what the future will bring as well as criticizing common practices.
You enjoy making big statements that apply to many ideas/people because you focus on the fundamentals of how everyday systems function.
You don’t necessarily tinker with the nitty gritty small things that others preoccupy themselves with.
Instead, ‘bigger pictures’ appeal to you as they are the result of great ideas put into action worth analyzing.
You tend to have a visionary mindset with which you filter the content you write. Focusing on analyzing all the many implications from different angles and points of views is just one of your many strengths.
Questions to consider and ask yourself:
- Do you tend to visualize ideas in the form of systems and means to an end?
- Are you most often more concerned with the bigger parts that underlie a problem than the nitty-gritty components?
- Do you like ‘going over things with a wide brush?’
Seth Godin is an excellent example of this. His decades of experience and knowledge in writing and business have led to his successful blog and unique style of writing.
His blog posts are sometimes extremely short, as in a few short paragraphs. That is not to say there isn’t real substance and brilliant ideas in his content.
While really short blog posts are something most of us can’t get away with, Seth is still a great example of the big picture thinker because of what he chooses to focus on writing about.
This one is half joke and half encouragement for the new content writer whose yet to find their voice.
It’s completely ok to be at this stage. For some it takes longer than others to move on and figure out what their angle is but the important thing is that you’re constantly making progress.
As The Newbie you dabble with everything as you read content that influences you and pick and choose styles you’d like to incorporate in their content.
There will be days when you feel like The Analyst, and others when you feel like The Informant—there will be other days when you downright have no idea what your angle really is!
But that’s ok. Experimenting is something you have to do in order to fine tune your writing skills.
Everyone was in The Newbie stage at some point. It’s where you go from there that counts.
To help get past this stage you have to make sure to write as much as you can to get to the point where you feel comfortable with your writing style.
Writing a lot—but writing intentionally, not mindlessly while hoping great writing will magically appear out of thin air.
As they say, practice doesn’t always make perfect, but intentional practice can make all the difference in the progress you make.
So what gives?
There are many sub-categories that fall under each archetype. As with many things, you can go on forever about different descriptions and combinations.
The important point is that you get a better idea which category you generally fall under, analyze it, and ultimately embrace it.
At the end of the day, remember that a label is really only that— a label.
While finding an archetype that resonates with you can help you mind map and navigate your writer identity, you aren’t stuck to just one specific one—especially for beginner writers who are still getting used to the content writing waters.
Thinking of your archetype as a general guide to the direction you take your writing is a good way to think about it.
Remember that finding your archetype is a great way to avoid being a tone-deaf writer who fails to cater to any audience because they fail to:
- Find out what they’re good at
- Point out their writing tendencies and capitalize on them
Take your content writer archetype, modify it to your quirks and special little things that make you YOU, and run with it. Happy writing. 😊
P.S. Which archetype(s) do you identify with most often? Let everyone know! Links back to your own blog are welcome!