– A Million Dollar Question that Begs an Answer
Are blog posts and articles one and the same? The borderline between a blog post and an article is rather hazy, so confusing, the two is quite common in the freelance writing field. Freelance writing is evolving rapidly and getting a better understanding between the two can help you earn better.
Conventional Blog Posts
- You are allowed to express your opinions
- Does not contain any research or any interviews
- The size of a post is comparatively smaller
- SEO keywords play an important role
- Grammar and spelling rules are relaxed
- Writing style is informal or casual
- There is no editor for the posts and it is self published
- Opinions are generally not expressed
- Research is done involving experts in the field and it contains interviews
- The posts are longer
- Keywords are not very important
- Grammar and spellings should be excellent
- The style of writing is more formal and sophisticated
- Editors edit the article and they are published by another person
However, in recent years, the lines have started blurring, with so many blogs on the Internet. Blog posts now contain interviews, present data based on research, the posts have become longer, and it offers added value.
SEO optimization is not a thumb rule any more, especially so with Google cracking down on content that was artificially stuffed with keywords. Instead of self writing, many blogs also started hiring professional writers to write content.
On the other hand, print magazines started posting online content. Since they also need more traffic, keywords became more important and opinions were introduced. The word count reduced and the style is breezier for articles as well.
How to Differentiate
With articles and blog posts merging to mean almost the same thing, writers get confused about what to deliver. When you are asked to write an article, find out whether interviews and research is involved and ascertain the length of the piece, the style whether formal or casual and so on.
Key Differences Between Blog Posts and Articles
Language or Keywords
When I write an article, I’m more focused on the language and its intricacies and play on words. Use of fine language is a hallmark of a good article.
As for a blog post, SEO makes it a must to pepper the post with important keywords; more to cater to search engine requirements and drive the traffic to your post.
Paragraphs or Sentences
If you were writing an article, you would probably spin the tale with several sentences and digressions rolled into one big witty paragraph. Article readers love to chew.
Now, if you want to become a blogger, you need to quit those long winding sentences and be brief and pithy. Short sentences and short paragraphs – that’s more like a blogger. Your audience has a very short attention span and long winding sentences and paragraphs are going to drive him/her away from the site. Blog readers like to surf and skim.
Footnotes or Links
An article in a magazine does not offer much scope for back-stories, supporting details and the like. So you might need to add footers, to include interesting facts.
Footers get the back door in blog posts. It’s time for hyperlinks. This is because they don’t take up much space and there is no mandate to read them. If you wish, you can click on the link or if not, just keep skimming.
Second/Third Person or First Person
A freelance writer usually opts for the second person or third person, making it more professional or formal.
Not so in blogging. While writing a blog post, the first person is the norm. This is rather because blogging is all about communication and relationship building. Writing in the first person tone makes it more personal, as though I’m talking straight to you, you know, like we are buddies or something.
Now, this is where the shoe really pinches in article writing. When you have a typo turn up on a printed magazine, there’s nothing left to do but kick yourself. You can fix the error in your next issue of course, but it’s still an embarrassment.
As for a blog post, it’s easy to fix a typo at once or whenever you notice it. None of your readers will be the wiser for it.
Selecting Blogs or Articles
So now that you know the difference between writing an article and writing a blog post, how do you select one or the other for a website?
You need to spend a lot of time and energy in creating a website, so it seems a good idea to have the concept clear right from the word go. It all depends on your objectives.
Opt for Articles
If your business depends on changes in latest data and requires a research-based content, Articles would be the way to go. In such websites, customers need the latest and updated information, so posting an article makes sense. Typically, websites related to insurance and law prefers articles. For instance, you can find related marketing articles in Insurance agency sites.
Opt for Blog Posts
If your objective is to improve visibility with Search Engines or if you want to build a strong relationship with customers, blogging is the way to go, as you can get more fans and followers for your posts. Readers and visitors to the blog can share content on Facebook or Twitter and subscribe as well as make comments.
Blurring the Two
Of course, you could always take the middle path and blur the two.
Your website could contain both articles and small blog posts, though as I mentioned above, the tone and style for the two will be different.
In short, the message remains the same but the execution differs.
So now you know the difference between a blogger and an article writer. They’re different but only by a hairline. It’s like Coke and Pepsi – almost the same, but you’ll know the difference if you try both.