Do you ever think about what people say about you when you’re not around?
If you were to use just one word to define it, what word would you use?
If it’s “good,” maybe you’re an Innocent. If it’s “awesome,” maybe you’re a Hero. If you know that people will say good and bad things about you, then you are probably a Sage.
But what if I were to ask you to define how you want people to feel when around you?
Entertained? Cared for? Safe?
Personality archetypes have been around for a quite some time. Psychologist Carl Jung believed human beings to have a universal character (archetype) within them, and that each of the twelve primary types has its unique set of values, traits, motivations, and flaws.
When it comes to blogging, you can use these archetypes to figure out your blog’s primary motivation, while gaining crucial insights into what story you’re telling about your blog.
Why Does it Matter?
The archetype you most identify with influences everything:
- The audience you’re most likely to connect and engage with
- Your writing style
- Your blog’s branding (logo, tagline, even the fonts you use.)
As a matter of fact, we can consider this archetype as the foundation upon which you build your blog’s identity, as it influences all other branding decisions, from the overall design of your blog to your blog’s mission.
If you are not sure about an archetype, or if you take bits and pieces of traits from a number of archetypes and try to stitch them together, you will come off as inconsistent, which will confuse readers and even make them unsubscribe.
For instance, if your blog’s identity is that of a Caregiver, and your primary motivation is to help others, but your writing style resembles that of an Entertainer, then you are going to alienate a lot of potential readers.
Then again, we’re talking about your blog’s personality, not the archetype you identify with as a person, and you can decide on a different archetype than the one you identify with as a person.
Most bloggers never go through this step or don’t think it matters, or they mistakenly believe that archetypes are for big brands and companies only, and thus most blogs are either a confusing combination of archetypes or the Everyman archetype, which is the default setting for most blogs out there, mostly because of the advice that gets shared around when it comes to writing voice and style (“write what you know” and “write in a conversational style”).
Some might genuinely identify with the advice to “add value to readers” and take on the role of the Caregiver, but that’s quite rare.
Don’t let such an important decision to chance.
Being intentional when it comes to our blog’s personality will help us a lot along the way, especially when it comes to figuring out our ideal reader, growing an audience, and being consistent in terms of the content we share on our blog.
The 12 Archetypes
Now, let’s talk about each individual archetype.
1. The Innocent
Child-like in nature, the Innocent is the most optimistic of all archetypes. He’s honest and humble, and second in empathy to the Caregiver.
They see the world as a good place, and while their primary motivation is safety, they also have a strong desire for others to be happy.
The innocent blogger has a writing style that’s optimistic and vulnerable, making them the perfect fit to write personal essays that inspire and motivate.
They want to offer simple and actionable solutions to concrete problems. They are idealists, dreaming of a perfect world, and if there’s someone who can persevere until they find the silver lining, it’s them.
2. The Sage
The sage is a mentor, carefully sharing the wisdom everyone needs.
They are strong believers in the truth, and that’s what drives them to share their experience or the result of deep thinking/research with the world.
Think Yoda from Star Wars or Gandalf from Lord of the Rings.
Their writing style is authoritative, a bit harsh at times, but always honest. They write in a formal manner, believing that embellishments take away from the power of the truth.
There are no shades of grey here, only black and white, and they are strong believers that the truth always sets you free, even though at first it might first piss you off.
The sage is also more than willing to encourage others to think, to grow their minds, or to develop new skills. All their articles are supported by research-based facts, and though they have the first-hand experience, they rarely write from first-hand experience alone.
At the same time, the sage is quite motivated to stand out from the crowd by only publishing high-quality content.
3. The Pioneer
If there’s one thing the pioneer can’t do is sit still. He’s the explorer, the travel blogger, the digital nomad.
The Indiana Jones of Blogging, the Pioneer is set on reaching freedom through innovation.
His writing style is refreshingly bold, and he’s nonchalant in a manner that makes it seem like he just effortlessly strolls his fingers against the keyboard while planning his next adventure.
A non-conformist by nature, the Pioneer often encourages readers to express their own individuality, and they are often scornful of the conformists.
The Pioneer is all about excitement, on providing readers with a feeling of new, rather than sharing well-researched or data-backed articles. The Pioneer craves freedom, and this is one of the main themes in his articles, regardless of his niche.
4. The Outlaw
Ah, the gunslinger.
He’s the rebel, the one who breaks the status quo by offering an alternative.
He’s all about an alternative. A radically different way of thinking about things, and sometimes a total disregard for the rules.
After all, his motto is, “rules are made to be broken.”
He likes that.
The gunslinger writes in a combative manner, not being afraid to write the truth, no matter what. Even if everyone else disagrees with him.
The Han Solo of the blogging world, the Outlaw is the perfect fit for a blogger who likes to think outside the box because, let’s face it, boxes are kind of boring. And it’s always dark inside.
5. The Magician
The Magician is the Great Gatsby of the world of blogging. The product of a dream that has to come to live, the Magician believes in inspiring people to make their dreams come true, no matter what.
Yes, he can come off as manipulative at times, but he can also make you feel like you are invincible.
Part of his charm is due to his charisma and his unshakable belief in the power of dreams. A true magician of blogging, this archetype is all about charming his readers through a plethora of stories that may or may not be true.
6. The Hero
Yes, he’s superman.
The Hero is here to save the day, change the world, and has the kind of ambition that few others have. They consistently produce quality content, and they always write with the kind of passion that makes it clear they give 100% each and every single day.
The Hero writes without fear, without embellishments, and tries to motivate their audience.
A natural-born winner, The Hero wants to have an impact on their niche, aiming to both have the authority and the respect of those within the community.
Most often, they are fighting a crusade against a major social issue or a little known aspect that could potentially change people’s lives forever.
Yes, the Hero doesn’t play small, and always plays to win big time.
7. The Seducer
The Seducer is all about evoking emotion and creating relationships. They write in a passionate, yet overconfident manner. Their goal might be to build partnerships, but they also want to do so while having a good time.
The Seducer promises a world of enchanting perfection to anyone who dares venture into their own little online worlds. Their blog feels like a party you wouldn’t want to miss for anything else in the world, a party where anything is possible, and anything could happen.
8. The Entertainer
Often the life of the party, the Entertainer is all about… well… entertaining people. They are not about sharing insights or giving actionable tips. They add value by entertaining people, either through personal essays and stories that are self-loathing in ways others would feel uncomfortable to share or through a writing style that’s refreshingly easy on the eyes.
Also known as the jester, the Entertainer is the very definition of thinking outside the box; and even though innovation is not their main goal, they always seem to come up with clever ways of entertaining people. Their writing style is anything but boring.
In the same category as the Seducer, their blog feels like a neverending party, and it is this that gives people as sense of belonging.
The comments sections are filled with witty-remarks and genius comebacks, and they have the sort of community that often make aspiring bloggers fall in love with the idea of growing an audience.
Yes, it’s often difficult to even figure out the niche they belong to, and there’s little to no actual value in the content they share, but their content is often addictive, just because it’s some of the best entertainment you can find on the web.
9. The Everyman
He’s the next-door neighbor that makes you feel you can always call upon them, no matter what. The Everyman is down to earth, sharing actionable tips in an empathetic and friendly way.
They are not humble, but not arrogant either. The perfect mix. And this is reflected in their choice of niche: there’s no reason to try to change the world, it’s enough to change that little bit around us.
Their primary motivation is to build a community, and this is the sense you get from going through their blog. As opposed to other personalities that want to build a community, however, the Everyman doesn’t want perfection: everyone is welcome to the party.
Think of his community as a relaxing Sunday barbeque in the backyard. There are no false pretenses, no ambitions to change the world.
The Everyman is conversationalist by nature, writing in a way that makes you feel they are talking to you, only you. The least ambitious of the bunch, they are often the micro-niche bloggers who take great pride in the fact that they are able to build a tribe of loyal readers around their content.
10. The Caregiver
The Caregiver is all about nurturing others. Advocates by nature, they support a number of causes, while doing their best to help others.
Their tone is warm and empathetic, and without trying too hard, they come off as highly competent. The advice they share is easy to follow, and there’s no room for doubt that adding value to others is what they do best.
11. The Ruler
The Ruler is a natural-born leader. They are figures of authority, writing articles that have an impact on others in the most meticulous of ways.
They are powerful, charismatic, and will make use of all the creative tools that are at their disposal to persuade people that their way is the best way.
Most often, the Ruler can bit a bit arrogant in tone, not towards their own readers, but towards those who he identifies as “not part of my target audience,” and will make it known.
12. The Creator
The Creator is all about innovation, all about turning even the wildest dreams into reality. Visionary by nature, they are driven and creative, which gives them the advantage when it comes to standing out from the crowd.
Think Steve Jobs.
They like to make people think, but that’s not their primary goal. They inspire people almost by accident, as their most remarkable insights are the by-product of their desire to innovate.
Again, think Steve Jobs and his often outstanding advice in the realm of personal development, which was not his area of expertise at all.
The Creator might come off as a bit of a perfectionist, and they might fail to deliver consistently, but they will often share some of the best articles on the web.
How to Figure Out the Perfect Archetype
Now, let’s talk about figuring out your blog’s archetype, so we can properly develop a personality, a mission, and a vision for our blog.
a. The first step in figuring out your blog’s archetype is to answer the three W’s of blog personality:
1. Who do you write for?
Who do you write for?
Who do you resonate with the most?
What is an area of expertise where you can add value to a large number of people?
Write down 3 main traits of the communities, organizations, and tribes your content could serve.
2. What do you write?
What do you do to help those in your target audience?
What type of content you do share?
What is your level of commitment towards adding value?
Write down at least three different topics you plan on writing about that add value to your target audience, as identified previously.
3. Why do you write?
Why do you write about those topics? Think in terms of selfless reasons.
What most inspires and attracts you to the topics you write about in such a way as to add value to others?
Describe the emotional and/or financial benefits you create for others.
b. The next step is going through the list of archetypes in order to see if we can identify with one of the archetypes in question.
c. If not, we can gain more clarity by going over a set of additional questions:
- What do you love and why?
- What do you dislike / hate and why?
- Where do you bring the most value to your audience?
- What is the one thing you would change about your niche above all else and why?
- Why is your blog’s primary niche a great space to be in?
- What is important to you in the way you share your content?
- How do you think your audience defines “real value?” What are their goals, desires, fears, and objections?
- How would you define your blog in 100 words or less in a way that would attract your target audience?
d. Return to the list of archetypes and see if you are clear on which one would best serve your interests within your blog’s niche.
e. If still not clear, play the imitation game.
What is one blog you are absolutely in love with, either within your niche or not? What archetype do they represent? Can you emulate it? Is it feasible, viable, and desirable to emulate their archetype, given your choice of niche and your primary motivation (why you write)?
Alternatively, you can use the following strategy to figure out your blog’s personality archetype:
Notice certain characteristics from your writing style, pick one trait and amplify it.
Ultimately, when it comes to figuring out your blog’s personality archetype, it’s best to keep these two words in mind: intentional and directional.
You need clarity of purpose and a sense of direction.
What is your blog trying to accomplish? Why?
Who do you want to help? How? Why?
What is going to happen after you’ve helped them?
Answering these questions as honestly as you can will help you figure out the perfect archetype that will allow you to add value to your readers.
Plot twist: This article is compiled from a couple of lessons from our flagship course on building an audience, From 0 to 5,000 Readers in 6 Months.