A Personality Test: Can It Define Blog Brand, Niche & Writing Content?

Posted at 02:30am on 14th May 2010

Does it ever occur to you that who you are might define not only your blog brand and niche, but also the content and style of your writing? One of my readers wrote to me recently and, as part of her e-mail, made the following statements:

  • Just did the personality test on your website - I'm ESFJ - which was a bit of fun, but distracted me longer than I'd hoped!
  • I far prefer having people dictate what I write than have to come up with something myself!

PERSONALITY TEST

Before we look at them point by point, I’d like to give you some general background information. The personality test to which Lucy was referring is freely available to any of my readers. When I attended a seminar many years ago, I found that taking a similar test had a profound influence on my life.

  • It affirmed what I already guessed about myself
  • It explained why I thought and behaved in certain ways
  • It gave me the confidence to be myself
  • It acted as a counter against self-doubt and low self-esteem

Since then, I have studied, and taken a great interest in all aspects of personality profiling.

ESFJ PERSONALITY PROFILE

The letters ESFJ tell us something about Lucy, from which we may make assumptions about the way in which she tackles each writing project. See if you recognise yourself in her ESFJ personality profile.

The first letter tells you where you find yourself energised, in other words, what stimulates you; the second is about your perceptions – the way in which you receive information; the third is about your judgement – the way in which you reach conclusions and decisions; the fourth is about the way in which you choose to interact with the world.

Thus Lucy, who is a Freelance digital proofreader, copy-editor and writer, is:

  • E = Extrovert – she finds the outside world invigorating and probably finds too much time spent alone is quite draining.
  • S = Senser – (NB this is not a misspelling) she perceives the world and people around her through her senses, and probably likes facts and figures rather than imagination, reality rather than fantasy, the present rather than the future.
  • F = Feeling – she reaches conclusions and forms judgements based on the effect that they will have on herself and others rather than in an analytical way that disregards any emotional response.
  • J = Judging – Lucy probably prefers structure and deadlines in her life rather than open-endedness.

WHAT TO WRITE ABOUT? SEE THE EFFECT OF PERSONALITY

What may we conclude from this? Although I am happy to count Lucy an online friend, I don’t know her in any real sense at all. However, she’s been kind enough to give me permission to conduct an analysis of her e-mail.

  • Her Extrovert nature is evident in all the social networking she does – keeping in touch with people in a lively, outgoing manner.
  • Judging by what I know of her work, I can see that as a Senser, she is very adept at dealing with the factual side of writing: grammar, punctuation, editing, copywriting – all of which she does, professionally, for her clients.
  • It’s perfectly obvious, from other communications between us, that she is very concerned to please her clients – that’s the F in her.
  • And the fact that she prefers to be told what to write rather than having to come up with something herself is explained by her J - because she likes a structured way of life.

Extrovert: In conclusion, I would say that because Lucy might find the solitary life of an author too draining on her energy, she is probably better suited to short writing projects rather than trying to tackle a book.

Sensing: Because she likes dealing with facts and reality, my guess is that she feels more comfortable writing non-fiction than fiction; article writing rather than short stories. She would be good at this, picking up on detail that might be missed by others. However, in certain aspects of writing, she might need to be careful not to bombard her readers with too much detail.

Feeling: Lucy’s concern about how decisions might affect herself and others will probably influence the way in which she presents her facts and figures. I know, from the guest blog she wrote for me on Teen Drug Abuse, that her observations are not purely analytical, i.e.: these are the facts - do they work or not? On the contrary, she presented the detail of her article with great enthusiasm, using a combination of Show and Tell method of writing.

Judging: Because Lucy likes structure in her life, if she were to write a book she might do so in short bursts, seeing each chapter as a project in itself. She’d be good at planning – and sticking to – a regime. She might, for instance, choose only to write every other morning, or to complete a chapter a month. In which case, she would have to call on her alter ego to be the ‘person’ who ‘dictates’ what she is to write. Planning and lists would play an important part in her writing life.

RESOURCES TO INFORM, INSPIRE, ENCOURAGE

Finally, because Lucy’s preferred way of living is through her Judging faculty, her driving force will be Feeling. This is the only feature that Lucy and I share, and I know, only too well, how very easy it is to allow yourself to dwell on what effect your actions might have on others, and thus become either full of self-doubt, or sacrificing your own needs to those of others.

Understanding why this is happening, and where those negative feelings are coming from, can act as a deterrent. If Feeling is your dominant factor, you need to develop your least preferred method of reaching conclusions: Thinking.

That means looking at the evidence, rather than the emotions. Stack up all your achievements and successes. Write them down. Whenever self-doubt creeps in, call on that tiny, under-developed, analytical Thinking corner of your mind, and remind yourself who you are. What you have done. Believe in yourself! And believe me, your writing-life will benefit.

I’m sure Lucy, who is a professional, already knows this. But if you have a query about how a personality test might define your blog brand, niche or writing content, do drop me a line. I'd love to help.

Author of a number of books, one a Sunday Times No 4 Bestseller, Mel Menzies is also an experienced Speaker at live events, as well as on Radio and TV. Book her here for your event.

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