Two Types of Blogger: Which Are You?

by Craig McBreen · 25 comments · Branding

How-to-Be-Interesting-in-a-World-of-Niche-PlayersThe best bloggers have mastered the art of attracting eyeballs.

And of this elite group, I often see two completely different approaches to building audience and winning customers.

Two entirely different styles of blogging done right.

Either formula can lead to speaking gigs, loads of comments, or becoming internet famous, but what about bringing in amazing clients?

Today I would like to focus on these two camps, how they operate and why one might help you bust a move.

Let’s call group A the Utility Peeps.

They’re masters at teaching businesses how to leverage technology to attract, convert and maintain customers.

The topics? Online marketing, social media and best practices. They do this extremely well; In fact, many are in my eBook.

They are brainy, innovative and driven. And I love them because they deliver whopping dollops of content infused with value.

Group B?

The members of this camp realize that crafting compelling copy often means taking a scary concept and running with it.

Their writing stirs the soul and elicits emotion – bringing forth passion, excitement, drive, elation, inspiration, and even anger – and because of this, their tribe is impassioned and loyal.

The Utility Peeps?
Jay Baer, Joe Pulizzi and Brian Clark come to mind.

The group stuck on emotion?
Is quite a mix, with people like James Altucher, AJ Leon, and Marie Forleo.

Buttoned-up vs. free-flowing.

The stars in Camp Utility have learned how to become extremely useful to their target audience and deliver daily. They are also completely dialed into a scientific, metrics-driven online methodology … something they show you how to do every day.

Group B? The’ve mastered the art of crafting sticky content, because they realize vulnerability and honesty can be magnetic, if done right.

So … A and B …

Two completely different approaches that work, but today I want to focus on the B peeps.


I love the idea of taking a risky concept and running with it. And there’s a lot to be gained from studying the mindset of these folks.

So, what about you and your business?

If you’re bringing tons of value, but not bringing in clients, maybe it’s time to switch it up.

Trying to please the masses?

Worried you might offend?

Afraid to show a bit of yourself to the world?

If your cruising along quite successfully using camp A’s methodology that is great. I admire those people and value their advice, but this is not an approach that works for every business.

Could be that cranking up the volume (or just showing us a bit more) might be what you need.

Taking “scary” and running with it.

So how do you do this?

Take risks by …

1. Letting some emotion seep into your writing.
2. Not trying to please the masses.
3. Being honest.
4. Letting it fly every once in a while. (Profanity in small, effective doses sure works for some).

Today loyal tribes translate to successful businesses.

The magnet? Proudly displaying your unique combination of life experience, personality and know-how. Your essence there for all to see.

It might be all the medicine you need.

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Kaarina Dillabough March 13, 2014 at 5:51 am

Good medicine :) Cheers! Kaarina
Kaarina Dillabough recently posted..Have You Let What You Do Define You?My Profile


Craig McBreen March 13, 2014 at 7:58 am

I thought you would like it!


Ryan Hanley March 13, 2014 at 7:05 am


I love this. It’s funny, for my own presence I’ve found I’m a solid mix of the two… My personal brand online starting to get traction when I began mixing my opinion, emotion, beliefs and personality into the “How-to” type content that my audience loves.

We all have to find our own path…

Ryan Hanley recently posted..Google Plus: Where Content Marketing and SEO Collide | #68 Content Warfare TVMy Profile


Craig McBreen March 13, 2014 at 8:00 am

Hey Ryan,

Yes you are. And you Sir, have found your groove are truly busting a move :)


Philos March 13, 2014 at 7:27 am

And then there might be camp C – who are also doing amazing things – adding a little emotion here and the Utility peeps in them.


Craig McBreen March 13, 2014 at 8:01 am

Hi Philos,

So glad to see you here. Agreed and very similar to Mr. Hanley’s points above. But I do think some would benefit from an infusion of camp B’s style … done in their own way, of course.


Alan | Life's Too Good March 13, 2014 at 8:13 am

Great article Craig.

I think I’m in group C: make it up as I go along (probably not many stars in that group though).


but you’re absolutely right with these two types – basically if it isn’t useful, it better be entertaining!
Alan | Life’s Too Good recently posted..Why Google Got It WrongMy Profile


Craig McBreen March 13, 2014 at 8:18 am

Hi Alan,

Thank you!

Honestly, we all make it up as we go along. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying ;)

Also, the peeps in camp B have remarkable acumen when it comes to online business, but I do like that little something special they bring.


Susan Wright-Boucher March 13, 2014 at 8:30 am

Craig – this is great! I appreciate the distinction you made. I’m most definitely in the “A” camp but for some reason I take great pleasure in tossing in an emotional post every once in a while. While it’s satisfying for me, I wonder if that’s confusing to readers?
Susan Wright-Boucher recently posted..Business Lessons Learned From A Humiliating Day At The BeachMy Profile


Craig McBreen March 13, 2014 at 9:01 am

Hi Susan,


I think it depends on what type of business you run, but for solopreneurs or small companies trying to cut through the noise, taking just a bit from camp B might help.

I wrote this challenge in a previous post:
Quick, think of three bloggers you’re crazy about … If your list is like mine, you have three writers very adept at displaying their war wounds and past ugly business for the world to see.

Taking their mutilated, soul-crushing, broken past (life experience) and turning it into good (valuable, inspiring, actionable advice). Content that is thoroughly entertaining AND helpful.

I’m a big fan of the folks I mentioned in group A (heck, I ready whatever Brian Clark publishes) but think some in the online space need this injection. For many, like Mr. Hanley above it’s a mix.

Thanks :)


Philip Verghese Ariel March 13, 2014 at 9:16 am

Hi Craig,
I am here via Adrienne’s page.
I think there are so many other groups around you left out :-) LOL
Of course your brought out the main category, This is really an
informative subject, we need to segregate in which group you are in
I am really in a bit of confusion in which group I am in, anyways its
good to know little more about these groups, Hey, why don’t you give
the links of few people you mentioned in the post, so that we can have
a look at their page and check out the reality LOL
Thanks for sharing this informative piece
Keep informed
Philip Verghese Ariel recently posted..Father of WWW And Its 25 Years Story | The Indian ExpressMy Profile


Craig McBreen March 13, 2014 at 10:00 am

Hi Philip,

Adrienne has her own style and is as honest as can be. She also has great business acumen … so not sure exactly where I’d place her (maybe she’ll chime in ;))

And yes, I did leave a few out, but that would be an exhaustive post ;)

Group A (just a few): (aka, Brian Clark)

The list could be an exhaustive one, but these are the peeps mentioned. Love them all, by the way.

Group B (just a few):


This site is a mix, but I’m now working on a new site that is camp B all the way. Stay tuned. Thanks!


Stephen Lahey March 13, 2014 at 9:44 am

The “utility camp” folks build tribes that want to do new things, but need to learn how. The other camp is mainly for people who want an emotional ride – with a little education on the side.

I think you’re right that sharing more of who you are can be powerful, either way. Myself? I’ve always enjoyed sharing my sense of humor. It can be polarizing, but that’s kind of the point. Plus, now that I’m old and cranky I don’t care as much what people think of me. :)
Stephen Lahey recently posted..If Your Goal Is Growth, Marketing Is All That Matters: An Interview with Patrick McFaddenMy Profile


Craig McBreen March 13, 2014 at 10:03 am

Hi Stephen,

I agree, but think the emotional ride can become good business, if done right. I admire the utility folks, but personally have a hard time keeping that emotion at bay when writing. (we’ll see how well I do when the podcast comes out).

Old and cranky works for me ;) Plus the less you worry about what others think, the better off you are.

Thanks for the visit.


Marya | Writing Happiness March 13, 2014 at 7:06 pm

Craig, the universe keeps me one sign after another that I need to just get over my biggest fear (of rejection when it comes to a very specific issue) and get on with it.

Yours is THE post I need to read today. And this is the third one in a row. Speaking of signs ..

I have been wallowing in the first group far too long. I need to get me some of the goodness from group B.

Thanks so much! Loved it.
Marya | Writing Happiness recently posted..How Not to Write the Most Annoying Headline of the DayMy Profile


Craig McBreen March 14, 2014 at 9:24 am

Hi Marya,

Yep, Fear is a beast. Took me forever to get over my biggest fears … didn’t do this until I was over 40.

Just glad you got something out of this and it will be nice to see what the goodness does for you :)


Cait Lynch March 14, 2014 at 2:50 am

Succinct and truthful. Thanks for laying this out so simply, Craig.


Craig McBreen March 14, 2014 at 9:22 am

Hi Cait,

You are welcome! Thanks for stopping in.


Jeevan Jacob John March 16, 2014 at 10:33 am

I am not sure where I belong.

I think I need to step back a bit..and take a moment to reflect everything (right now, there are many things that work for my blog..and many that don’t. Take for instance: commenting and getting more comments is going really well…but, not general marketing).

I don’t really know what the problem is. Laziness? Perhaps…lack of motivation? Maybe.

Maybe a break is needed.

I think I want to be on Tribe B….emotion is something I want to experience (and control or use, however you want to see it).
Jeevan Jacob John recently posted..Want to be more Creative? Just be bored!My Profile


Craig McBreen March 17, 2014 at 8:01 pm

Hi Jeevan,

I certainly don’t think you suffer from a lack of motivation ;) (if you could only see the 20-year-old me).

But there’s never anything wrong with stepping back for a bit of reflection. I’m all for that, but it certainly seems to me that you have the drive do do some amazing things. I only wish I had started as early as you. It might sound counterintuitive, but sometimes stepping away from the blogosphere will give you the clarity you need. Sure helped me ;)


Adrienne March 16, 2014 at 7:06 pm

Hey Craig,

Yeah, I’ll chime in and not sure where I fit either. I don’t really think I fit in either of these categories but I’ve got some great qualities I believe. Like you mentioned to Phil that I’m very honest so I know people appreciate that but I really don’t write about controversial topics or ones I go out on a limb about. Not that I wouldn’t if the need arose but I just prefer to stick with what I feel will help other bloggers learn and grow and at times that’s just a really mild topic.

We’ll have to come up with another category! LOL!!!

Great share Craig and have an awesome week. I intend to as well and look forward to finally chatting with you. ;-)

Adrienne recently posted..Inside Scoop On A Really Cool New BlogMy Profile


Craig McBreen March 17, 2014 at 8:07 pm

Hey Adrienne,

Well many people say you should write like you speak, but they don’t follow their own advice ;) You certainly don’t have that problem.

I don’t think you have to be controversial to be in camp B … but writing from the heart, just being honest about topics, your lifestyle, etc. They all apply.

I honestly don’t like to categorize people, but thought this would be a fun caparison for a blog post.

Thanks, and hope you have a great weekend as well. Yes, looking forward to speaking with you!


Berni Xiong (shUNG) (@BerniXiong) March 19, 2014 at 2:11 pm

Oh my gosh your B peeps are my B peeps! That is why I get this post and I love your blog. New fan and friend. Yay us! :)


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