Blogs, Posts and Articles – What Are the Differences?
For those unaccustomed to social media, it can be hard to understand the differences between blogs, posts and articles. Let’s explain the differences and look at how they should be treated differently.
Do You Mean Blog or Blog Post?
An abbreviation of ‘weblog’, a blog is not a single piece of writing but a collection of short commentaries or ‘posts’, a bit like an anthology of poetry or stories. Published online rather than in a printed, bound volume, a blog allows the writer to make their work quickly available to a far wider audience.
Why Would You Have A Blog?
Blog content is largely based on the writer’s personal perspective, experience and opinions. A blog can be used in various ways:
- As a publicly shared personal diary, often following the writer through a specific project or experience
- As a means of imparting practical knowledge and skills, sharing recipes and ideas, etc.
- To express social or political commentary, promote campaigns and raise awareness.
Where a blog uses video rather than written content, it is known as a ‘vlog’ (video log). This is more common among private vloggers, using social media platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo.
Blogs and Businesses
Blogs are also used by companies, although for different reasons including:
- increasing the number of visits to the company website (web traffic)
- promoting a company or product brand, a new product or service
- connecting and networking with potential business contacts.
Corporate bloggers are more likely to be seen on social media channels such as Facebook and LinkedIn, but most companies also have a separate blog page on their website:
Click here to see The Write Company’s blog page.
How Do Blogs Increase Web Traffic?
Search engines such as Google, Yahoo! and Bing all use complex algorithms that determine whether the content is relevant to an internet search, and the most relevant results will appear on the first page of the search results.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is used to create written content that will improve a post’s search engine ranking position (SERP) and therefore increase the probability that it will attract interest in the post and thus more traffic to the website.
How Are Articles Different from Blog Posts?
Length and Detail
Compared with blogs (which are typically 250-500 words long), articles explore a subject in far greater detail and are therefore considerably longer.
A blog post may, however, be used as a short introduction to an article and contain links that take interested readers to the article
Opinion and Objectivity
Whereas a blog post frequently voices a personal opinion on a subject, an article will generally be written more objectively. It is more likely to contain external references from credible sources that confirm the authenticity of the information they contain.
Tone of Voice
A blog post will generally be written in a more informal, conversational tone, but an article may adopt a more formal, scholarly approach. This is often seen in the use of the passive voice in articles (“It has been noticed…”) and the active voice (“I’ve noticed…”) in blog posts.
Calls to Action (CTA)
A blog post will frequently include a call to action. Examples of this include:
- encouraging comments or debates
- an invitation to subscribe to regular blog posts or a mailing list
- free, downloadable eBooks, whitepapers, guides, etc.
- links to submit an enquiry or even make an impulse purchase
An article is less likely to include direct calls to action, as its purpose is more focussed on establishing the writer or organisation as a voice of authority in its chosen field.
Need Help Writing Blog Posts or Articles?
Many of us have known for a long time that we need to engage in regular blogging and writing authoritative articles, but these tasks are often the easiest to defer because:
- other duties seem more urgent, more important, or give greater satisfaction through instant results
- we need to block time for the task but keep getting interrupted, or
- we simply don’t have the creativity needed.
If this sounds familiar, you might be better off outsourcing to a professional writing service such as The Write Company, who will be able to help you develop a content marketing plan. This will ensure regular publication of relevant material without demanding your constant attention.
You can be as involved or as hands-off as you want. You can give us topics to research, or draft copy to develop. You can ask us to work from a blank sheet or give us your previously published content to refresh. You can give us examples of content to follow that reflect your brand voice or leave us to create one for you.
If you would like to discuss our Blog and Article Writing Service, please give us your contact details below, and we’ll be in touch.