There is often some confusion when trying to understand the difference between a blog and an article. Yes, they are types of long-formatted texts, and yes many who create them typically write both, however, they are certainly not the same!
Before we explain the clear differences between both, keep this in mind… In today’s world, many professionals aren’t always aware that blogs and articles are separate things. And let’s be honest, they may not have the time or energy to actually care.
However, this isn’t a luxury writers can have, especially freelance ones. Without understanding exactly what clients want, problems are likely to occur along the way. Therefore, it’s a must to know what type of text they need, even if they’re referring to it the wrong way.
The Basics to Knowing the Difference Between a Blog and an Article
The easiest way to tell between an article and a blog is where they’re posted. Blogs are for blogging websites or websites that also have a blog. An article is published elsewhere such as in newspapers, and magazines (on the internet or off of it).
Blog posts are actually a new style of writing in comparison to articles. Since the explosion of the world wide web, the demand for a new style of text was needed.
The word count between the two types is also a great way to identify the contrast. A blog is on average a lot smaller than an article. There is a little wiggle-room here, but generally, a blog will be from 300 words to 5,000. On the other hand, an article’s word length starts around 2,500 words and can even get to 10,000 words or more.
Another key indication is the way both are posted. Blogs can be accessed by readers in reverse chronological order, which basically means the newest one will be at the top. This doesn’t apply to articles, they are almost always time-stamped and appear at random.
Understanding Their Purpose
Each of the two types is produced for very different reasons. Firstly, let’s look at what a blog tries to achieve:
- Lead Generation
- Enhance SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
- Influence individuals purchasing of goods or services
An article’s primary objective is to inform the reader by deep-diving into a subject and providing easy-to-digest information that can be referred to when needed.
Tone of Voice
The tone of voice plays a big part when determining the difference between a blog and an article. Blog posts tend to have a lot more flexibility when written, most of the time they aim to relate to the target reader by using informal language.
Articles use formal language. Typically, they include facts, information, or news that’s presented in an unbiased way. Therefore, because of the nature of the topics being discussed, they must be presented clearly and concisely so that they can be understood by all.
How They Are Structured
Similar to the tone of voice, the structure of a blog can be modified in many different ways to connect with the audience. However, usually, they will include an introduction, main body, and a conclusion.
Introduction – A couple of paragraphs introducing the topic being discussed and what the blog will cover.
Main body – Small paragraphs covering the subjects that help achieve the blog’s aim.
Conclusion – A short summary of what was being talked about which sometimes can include a CTA (call to action).
An article’s format can differ. The structure will mainly depend on the purpose. For example, news articles sometimes won’t include an introduction or conclusion and will instead start informing the reader on the important facts first. However, articles that focus on educating readers on particular subjects tend to follow the standard blog format.
To Wrap Things Up
If you’re a writer in charge of creating content for a business or agency, then you’ll most likely be creating blog posts. Don’t be fooled if what you’re working on is being referred to as the wrong type. At the end of the day, following the brief provided should point you in the right direction as to whether you should be writing a blog or article.