We all have our designer, developer and client hats on as we surf blogs such as this one, but many of us are also bloggers. Anyone can be a blogger, but not every blogger improves the quality of content on the Internet.
A successful blog is the result of a lot of hard work by the blogger(s) who run it. The extent of its success depends on the blog's style, its content, its focus on its core subject matter, as well as its marketing and publicity.
It is time to look at the 7 different types of bloggers who contribute to the quality of the web in the hope of creating an engaging and entertaining playground for all.
1. The Controversial Opportunist
The latest news and hottest topics are the controversial opportunist's thing.
A talented researcher, he stays on top of the competition by knowing what everyone else is blogging about and by keeping a close eye on the latest news and gossip.
The moment a piece of information hits the general public, he quickly produces similar content to ride on the wave of popularity, or he tries to be contentious and stand out from the crowd by challenging it.
The controversial opportunist cleverly plays on the popularity of information by adding just the right amount of spin, but without getting into trouble for it. He dabbles in risky business but likes to tango with the dark side in order to be provocative.
Although he is accused of not having a mind of his own, one has to give him credit for being able to swoop in quickly and find an interesting way to stimulate thought and controversy.
"Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises."
2. The Self-Indulger
Placing little importance on public opinion, the self-indulger plays God on his blog.
He carefully filters what he shares with the public. His blog is merely for self-entertainment, an avenue to share his thoughts and opinions without the pressure of deadlines; a personal diary of sorts.
Fame is inconsequential to him, and revenue is a non-issue. For the self-indulger, if you don't like what you see, so be it. Blogging is a personal exercise, and he has the right to freedom of speech, so "please keep your comments to yourself, thank you very much."
And yet, the self-indulger often attracts attention, even though he has a blog that no one really follows or learns from. He is instantly recognizable at conferences and meet-ups, and yet no one knows exactly what they like about him. He's famous merely for being famous.
3. The Deceitful Bandit
Repackaging is the deceitful bandit's forte. He is cunning and manipulative. Able to cleverly rephrase and restructure words slightly differently to pass off as his own work, he does not give credit to the original source, unless he gets caught red-handed.
His brazen freeloading does not stop with text; he even pulls images from other websites. Despite this, he does not shy away from public visibility, and he is unabashed in promoting his blog and creating link-bait and spam ambushes.
The deceitful bandit may come across as credible, but he is a wolf in sheep's clothing. He hides his motives well until he is ready to steal from his unsuspecting victims.
In order to maximize his catch, he casts a wide net over many blogs to reel in good content. Fast and lethal, he is like a hungry cheetah in the wild. Once he's got his eye on the prize, the prey is not likely to escape unscathed.
"The winner is the chef who takes the same ingredients as everyone else and produces the best results." - Edward de Bono
4. The Leeching Mercenary
Taking a page out of Jerry Maguire's book, "Show me the money!" is probably the leeching mercenary's favorite line. He goes where the money is.
The name suits him because he leeches off of the fame and success of prominent blogs by guest writing on them more regularly than on his own. His puts his blog in the back seat in order to help other blogs grow.
In fact, guest blogging could become his primary occupation, perhaps becoming a full-time profession. Despite the fact that he contributes to the community, though, no one likes a leech.
That isn't to say that the leeching mercenary's work is not up to standard or good enough to earn a decent living. However, he has chosen to take short cuts in the hope of gaining instant fame and success. Before you can conquer others, you must first conquer yourself; after all, you are your greatest enemy and ally.
One cannot leech off others forever; and without a well-maintained blog of his own, the leeching mercenary will not be able to survive long in this way.
"I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it."
5. The Zealous Evangelist
Passionate and overenthusiastic, the zealous evangelist goes on and on about topics that he vehemently believes in. However, blind faith doesn't always serve him well.
The content may be beautifully written and rich, but the logic and substance may be lacking. He skims the tip of the iceberg but doesn't care to explore its depths. He avoids any perspective that challenges his ideas or content.
He is hardworking and determined, constantly promoting his content, hoping to convince others of his ways and gain more followers. But the zealous evangelist can come across as pushy and irrationally stubborn because he is so set in his beliefs. He does not consider other people's ideas if they challenge his. His passion might even hinder his ability to think logically and could cause friction with others.
The spirit is willing, but the flesh weak. He believes he can help or teach others, but he might not actually have the ability to do so well. His content, though serious and with merit, can come across as biased and can thus impede discussion, becoming boring and stale.
"Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful."
- Albert Schweitzer
6. The Influential Wordsmith
Respected and influential, his content is highly regarded, without necessarily being fanciful or well designed. The influential wordsmith is able to captivate his audience and initiate thoughtful discourse. Everyone wants a piece of him. He is invited to every conference, and everyone wants to guest blog for him.
This respect is well deserved. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you; he treats the community like family, freely offers help and shares his philosophy openly. His love and respect for the community is the reason why he is loved and respected in return.
He is wise and humble. He captivates his audience when he speaks. But he is not without flaws. Occasionally, even the influential wordsmith will take a wrong turn. But he does not shrink from responsibility, and he will graciously and sincerely admit to his mistakes. In turn, people forgive and forget. His honesty and righteousness are the reason why everyone trusts him; he proves time and again that he is without a hidden agenda.
"Seek to understand then to be understood."
- Stephen Covey
7. The Quality Supplier
A quick thinker, the quality supplier is astute and capable of understanding what the reader needs and wants most.
Forward-thinking, he is able to race ahead of the controversial opportunist and provide rich and resourceful material to his audience. Rather than force others to accept his ideas, he presents his material in an unbiased way and helps the community to make informed choices by allowing them to look objectively at both sides of the coin. His deferential manner allows readers to think for themselves and to make decisions based on their own preferences.
With a wealth of knowledge, the quality supplier generously provides readers with information and is patient with their concerns and questions. One could say he is a guru in his niche market.
Without complaining, he works tirelessly to improve his blog, to the point of obsession. He aims to offer tips 24/7 for the benefit of readers. Their enjoyment is his payment for all the hard work he puts into his blog; the rest is inconsequential.
"Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration."
- Thomas Edison
Many variables contribute to the kinds of bloggers we become. Age, personal circumstances and even our main job all affect the way we think and write.