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How to Harness Your Personality and Become a Better Blogger

Posted By Ellen Jackson 1st of September 2017 Mindset + Motivation 0 Comments

Understand your personality to blog better

This post comes to us courtesy of ProBlogger psychology expert Ellen Jackson

Are you a scheduler? Or do you publish as you write?

Do you delegate? Or is your need for the nitty-gritty too great?

I’d love to be the writer with the annual content calendar, or the leader who entrusts my big ideas to others. I’ve filled a thousand spreadsheets with good intentions, only to find them languishing and incomplete months later. I’ve dabbled with VAs, and had my control freak tendencies laid bare.

It took a while, but I’ve learned that I’m wired to work the way I work best. Other people’s systems and successes may seem appealing, but unless they fit in with my modus operandi I’m trying to fit square pegs in round holes.

Personality is what makes you, you.

In psychology, your personality is defined as ‘the combination of characteristics or qualities that form an individual’s distinctive character’. It describes who you are, and what makes you, you.

It also shapes the way you work.

Think of your personality as your unique operating system. It’s the software that manages your thoughts and behaviour. It directs your energy and attention, and defines which systems, processes, people and environments are most compatible with you.

When your operating system fits your work and work environment, tasks are seamless. Sit me in a café with a notebook and pen and ask me to generate fifty ideas, and I’m a machine. Sit me at a desk with a spreadsheet and ask me to fill in the boxes and you’ll be tearing your hair out at my slowness and ineptitude.

How well your personality matches your tasks, team and goals is often the missing link between overwhelming frustration and intense productivity. When we have insight into our unique operating system, we can create the interface we need with our world to make work easy and fun instead of being filled with stress, bugs and crashes.

Understanding your personality

While there are many ways to describe personality, today’s experts believe there are five broad, basic dimensions known as the ‘Big 5’ personality traits. Unlike models such as Myers-Briggs or DISC that assign people to ‘types’, the Big 5 depicts personality as five spectra:

  1. Openness to experience
  2. Conscientiousness
  3. Extraversion
  4. Agreeableness
  5. Neuroticism

We all exist as a dot somewhere between the two extremes of each dimension. And those billions of dots represent billions of wonderfully unique, complex people.

You can get an insight into your personality through online questionnaires such as the Truity Big Five personality assessment. They’re quick, reliable, and give you a detailed report that includes your score and description for each dimension.

You can also uncover your personality type with a little introspection and a guide like the one I’ll share with you now.

Which of the following best describe you?

Openness to experience

High: People at the ‘high’ end of openness like venturing outside their comfort zone. If this is you then you love novel experiences, variety, and coming up with new ideas. You might be described by others as imaginative, insightful, curious, creative, or even intellectual.

You love the creative side of blogging and business, but the routine and repetition of everyday tasks bores you to tears. Scheduling is tedious, and you don’t have the patience for spreadsheets. You are an ideas person who struggles with following through.

Low: If you’re at the ‘Low’ end of the openness dimension you enjoy routine. You stick to what you know, and you do it well. You’re practical, down to earth, and happy doing the same task time and time again. That’s how you get so good at it.

Conscientiousness

High: Highly conscientious people are persistent, self-disciplined, reliable and persevering.

If this is you then you’re organised, you work within the rules, and you excel at delaying gratification.

Getting the job done is never a problem for you, but you may turn yourself inside out getting it done. (Stress head alert!)

Low: Are you a major procrastinator? A little bit flighty? Impetuous and impulsive? If you are, then you may be sitting at the other end of the conscientiousness scale. You’re fun and spontaneous, but find it hard to actually get the job done. (That whooshing sound was probably another deadline flying by.)

Extraversion

Chances are you’ll recognise this spectrum – extroversion at one end, introversion at the other.

High: If you’re high on extroversion you’re sociable, assertive, outgoing, talkative and socially confident. You’re the team player who wants to collaborate with everyone. You love your colleagues to bits, but you will never be left alone.

Low: At the low end of the extroversion scale you’ll find the introverts, although most of us sit somewhere in between. True introverts are quiet, introspective, reserved and thoughtful. They are people of few words but many thoughts. They’re writers, not networkers, and group work sends shivers down their spine.

Agreeableness

How are your people skills?

High: People high in agreeableness are trusting, patient, tactful, kind and considerate. If this is you then you’re well-liked, respected, and sensitive to other people’s needs.

You might blog to help and spread happiness. No cynics or ranters here.

Low: Not everyone likes to be liked. If you’re low on the agreeableness scale you’re happy on the edge of social acceptance. You can be rude, antagonistic, and maybe sarcastic. You’ll make enemies as well as friends, but you won’t care. You’re much better at saying “No” than your highly agreeable mates, and no-one will ever take advantage of you.

Neuroticism

If you Google it, you’ll see it defined as ‘mentally maladjusted’ – pretty harsh.

High: Those high on the neuroticism scale tend to be over-sensitive, nervous, anxious, self-critical and insecure. They’re also easily angered and temperamental. If this is you, then you might find yourself embroiled in regular battles – online and offline.

But there’s an interesting twist. Parts of your personality can interact with varying results. And if you’re high on neuroticism and conscientiousness, you may end up channeling your anxious energy for good. Healthy neurotics take action to address their worries rather that ponder and plot. If this is you, then you may actually have better health habits and greater motivation to succeed in all areas of life than your less conscientious counterparts.

Low: Finally we have our emotionally-stable peeps. They’re adventurous and unflappable. Unencumbered by worry or self-doubt, it’s hard to rattle them. They’ll try anything once, and no problem is too big. If this is you, then you’re optimistic, self-confident, reliably even-tempered, and will cope with any crisis that’s thrown.

3 Tips on Using Your Personality to Blog Better

Do you know where you sit on each of the Big Five dimensions? If you do, try these tips to work and blog better.

  1. Take note of the characteristics that make you great at what you do. These are your strengths, and you should use them as often as you can.
  2. Make a note of the characteristics making work difficult right now. Are you a creative type struggling to narrow yourself into a niche? Or perhaps you’re an extrovert weary from working alone. What can you change about the way you work to find a better match between who you are and how you work?
  3. Stop fighting your operating system. You work the way you work because that’s the way you’re wired. It’s who you are. Fighting your natural preferences is energy-sapping, and robs the world of your unique and fascinating contribution. Don’t let that happen. Go forth and be the crazy, exceptional individual you are. It will make your work (and your life) a lot easier.

Are you in tune with your personality? Have you figured out how you work best?

Photo credit:
Pablo Varela

About Ellen Jackson
Ellen Jackson from Potential Psychology is a psychologist who does things differently. She writes about people and why we do what we do. She coaches, she teaches and she helps workplaces to do the people part better.
  • PBJ

    I think I’m neurotic :( and not the good kind either.

    • There’s no good or bad in personality but awareness is the first step to change ;-)

      • PBJ

        I’m working on it (aren’t we all).

  • Man…I learned so much about myself reading this post. I am scored as high in personality on everything. Wow

  • GST Courses Delhi

    Very informative, keep posting such good articles, it really helps to know about things.

  • Lucas Smith

    I have to admit, these are all new for me. I guess I’m on the low side of Neuroticism. Whenever I think of doing something fun, I’ll just, go ahead!
    This article is great, how come I never thought of channeling this personality into blog writing?
    Thanks for sharing, cheers!

    • This model of personality is widely used but not widely known outside of psychology Lucas. I hope this article has been helpful.

      • Lucas Smith

        It is helpful Ellen, thanks for sharing!

  • I can fake a mild degree of extroversion–push myself, push everyone else, give snappy answers to common questions–but don’t enjoy it. I’m a total introvert at heart.

    On the other Myers-Briggs “personality measures” I fit precisely in the middle.

    “Agreeableness” is not a fixed trait for me–it’s a reaction. The more agreeableness others show to me, the more I feel toward them. There used to be a T-shirt I used to like: “Don’t bug me, I bite.”

    • We can all behave in ways that are contrary to our natural tendencies Priscilla but it’s generally tiring after a while. I like your take on Agreeableness!

  • I love this Ellen!

    My intent is to allow my personality to BLEED through my Blogging From Paradise brand. I do not fight my type. I let go, and let fly and do not give into my ego whining as I did, many moons ago in a blogging galaxy far far away. I just have fun, and blog with the intent to spread love, to help folks and to keep letting me be the voice of my brand. The true me. The funny me. The weird me. The rule breaking me.

    I really don’t fit into any 1 category. Tough to put me in a box. Like it is tough to put anybody in a box, when they are just being themselves.

    All the tension arises when we obsess a bit much on labels over the infinite beings we really are. But when we do feel human and fallible, identifying a personality type gives you clarity and a sense of order as you proceed and work your personality into your brand.

    Ryan

  • Sampat Kumar

    Very Nice

  • What I am is What my Article!

    Your personality decides your Blog – True!

  • It is very informative post, and here are no words to describe how much i am inspired:)

  • Very informative and inspirational post

  • Super tips. Integrity is everything. Be yourself online and know that your unique voice is your USP.

    • Perfect way of putting it! Integrity IS everything.

      • Eijaz

        What if someone find himself/herself in both high and low category?

        • Hi Eijaz. You can’t get a result at both the high and low ends of these spectrums. You can certainly be in the middle though.

          • Eijaz

            Yes I think I am in the middle. Sorry my mistake

  • To be a good blogger you need to follow the trends and passion. First you need to know what your reader wants to know or wants to read. A positive personality would definitely help you to become a great blogger.

    • Vivek guru

      I am a new blogger started just blogging and want to be a better blogging carrier

  • Insiders are in the reader, and engaging readers, wish you success