You'll often hear the words 'blog' and 'article' used interchangeably, but are they really the same thing? To make things even more confusing, 'blog posts' can also often be called 'blog articles.'
Though the line between these two words has increasingly blurred, there are important distinctions to be made between them. Understanding the difference between blogs and articles is important for writers, marketers, and business owners.
These are only a few of the differences when comparing blogs vs. articles. Let's take a deep dive into the distinctions between them and why it matters.
The word 'blog' first originated in May of 1999, when Peter Merholz broke the word 'weblog' down into the phrase 'we blog' as a joke. Understanding the etymology of this word can be a useful way to remember the difference between a blog and an article-- blogs are more like a log or a journal or a log on a site.
A blog is typically an informal text entry on a website, written more like a diary than an academic or trade article.
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An article is a piece of writing that is more formal than a blog. Rather than the point of an article being to connect with the reader-- as is one of the primary goals of a blog-- an article intends primarily to be informational.
Essentially, articles make a claim and provide evidence to back up that claim. This means that articles follow a logical structure rather than a diary-like narrative structure.
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Now that we've looked at the basic definitions of each of these types of writing, let's take a closer look at the key differences between them.
One of the most notable differences between blogs and articles is the intended purpose.
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Since blog posts are usually written using a narrative structure, they are typically written in the first person. This means that the pronouns "I" and "we" are used rather than maintaining a third-person perspective.
That being said, articles in scientific journals might use the word "we" if relevant to the topic.
The difference between the point of view in blogs and articles is:
Blog posts tend to be shorter than articles. That being said, there's a lot of debate in the SEO world about the ideal length for blogs from the standpoint of ranking highly on search engine results pages.
In some cases, they can be even longer than 2000 words. This is particularly true as the online space has become more competitive, and sites are trying to distinguish themselves from others in their niche.
An article is typically much longer than a blog post, though there is a lot of variation in terms of how long an article can be. The length of the article will be directly related to how many words it requires to make an argument in a rational and reasoned manner. In some cases, articles might be longer than 5000 words, but they also could be as short as a few hundred words.
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Blog posts usually require less research, as they are more narrative and written from a first-person perspective. Well-written articles will need much more research to back up the claim that is being made. Beyond that, articles might contain interviews with experts to further provide evidence for the thesis.
When blogs first became a part of internet culture, they usually appeared on blogging platforms like:
These days, though, plenty of companies and organizations have blogs on their websites.
Articles can appear in a number of places, both online and in print-- they can be found in newspapers, periodicals, magazines, and countless online platforms. Companies might also publish articles, but they tend to scatter them throughout their site rather than posting them all in a single feed, like blog posts.
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As mentioned earlier, blogs usually use the first-person point of view. Beyond that, though, the tone is usually much more conversational. Articles will normally be much more formal in their tone, in addition to being written in the third person.
Blog articles are more likely to be built around SEO keywords in order to boost organic traffic, while keywords aren't nearly as important for articles. This is because one of the primary intents of blogs is to increase engagement and readership, and keyword selection can help drive more traffic to the site. Articles, on the other hand, typically prioritize delivering factual information in a way that doesn't put as much emphasis on keywords.
Freelance writers usually won't make as much per word for true blog posts-- many of them only offer between $5 and $20 per piece. For articles, the pay range spans from $0.10 to $1.00 per word and more.
Additionally, articles will normally have a much more rigorous editing process than a blog, which reads a lot more like a diary and likely isn't scrutinized nearly as much before being published.
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Because blogs tend to be short, personal, and express subjective opinions, the process of publishing from start to finish can be much shorter. This means that blogs can be posted on a weekly or even daily basis, which can be a great way to help ensure that your readership is always able to find something new to read when they show up on your site.
Articles tend to be published less frequently than blogs because they take more research and time to write, edit, and publish. Beyond that, articles that appear in a print or online periodical might be published based on a specific publishing schedule.
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Writers can benefit from a deeper understanding of the difference between blogs and articles because it will better serve the needs of their clients. Blogs and articles are written with different intents, for different audiences, and with different tones, and writers will want to tailor the way they craft their pieces based on these and other considerations.
Blogs can be over-emphasized in marketing strategies because they tend to be cheaper to produce as they are less time-consuming to produce. However, business and site owners can often benefit from a tactic that incorporates both blogs and articles-- some pieces that are written more narratively for increased engagement, with some others that are factually based to increase authority and deliver important information about products and services.
Whether you focus more on writing blogs or articles, there are plenty of opportunities to make money as a freelance writer.
About the Author!
I started out as a freelance writer years ago before beginning my own sites and moving on to managing other writers. Though the earliest days of my career were spent writing for a content mill, I was able to move on to a higher-paying niche through jobs I found on a platform like the Freelance Writing Jobs board.
I'm in a unique position to understand the needs of both writers and site owners looking for writers, as I've been on both sides of the fence. That's why I felt compelled to start this job board, where writers and clients can connect.
If you're ready to start earning good money as a writer, make sure you head over to our jobs board!