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Article vs Blog

Author: Carl Heaton
He is our senior instructor and originally from Manchester UK. Carl teaches our Web Design and Online Marketing Courses.
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Article vs Blog – What’s The Difference?

We read them every day, on various topics, but very few of us know the difference between a blog post and an article post. So what is the difference? You may have never considered this before, in this article we will attempt to provide some clarification on the matter. The following details are not only for the people that read them, but also for the people who write them, since there may be a few writers out there who are unsure which one they are posting.  So lets launch into the world of article vs blog posts and see what separates them.

Article vs Blog – Point-of-view

Articles tend to be more objective, so they are mainly written in the second or third person. They need to point out facts and pieces of information, third person being more appropriate for this purpose. On the other hand, a blog post will be written using the first person. Why? Well, it is simple. Because the owner of the blog will treat a matter from a more personal point of view, stating his vision and opinion. Of course, that doesn’t mean the facts presented in a blog post are not real or accurate. It means that the blogger filtered the information through his personality.

Article vs Blog – Which one allows you to subscribe and which doesn’t?

Blog posts allow readers to subscribe, usually via a RSS button that looks like the orange one on the right. article vs blog

The reason for subscribing is so that readers can get up-to-date posts directly in their email or by a RSS feed website such as Bloglines or Google Reader (without having to go to all the different sites of the blogs they follow) the reader can then read and comment on a blog quite soon after it’s been posted. An article is more static, not allowing subscriptions. Although, there are some websites that send newsletters through a form of subscription as well. But you do not have the option to leave comments, as in the case of blogs.

Article vs Blog – Different type of structure

An article will always have a more elaborate structure, but done in a way that the reader is able to digest the information easily. Which is essential, especially when it comes to larger articles or more complicated topics. A blog post, on the other hand, is made to be scanned more rapidly. The light structure will make the reader look over it rather quickly, and extract the needed information, even if the the entire content is not read.

Article vs Blog – Content differences

Since the article is the most elaborated one, as stated previously, it is evident that it will contain a higher degree of data, like statistics, reports, documentation, graphics and more. The blog post is more like a magazine, easy to read on the run. It has light information, that doesn’t need too much processing, plus a large number of images replace the sophisticated graphs.

Article vs Blog – The length is not the same

Usually, articles are around 1,500 words. But of course, this is just a general rule, and it depends on the topic and the purpose of the article. They can be larger than that, or smaller, but very rarely going under 1,000. Remember that they usually communicate a higher standard of information, so they do need to provide a lot of details, which explains the length. Now, a blog post, since it is often a lighter read, will not usually go beyond 1,000 words. Still, there are cases in which the bloggers do have a lot to say and they will need a higher number of words, but not usually exceeding the 1,500 words limit.  But ultimately these numbers are just guidelines.  

study done on the most optimal time spent on any post type (article or blog) was 7 minutes which equates to around 1600 words.

Perhaps the best point to make here is this, borrowed from the conclusion of that study by the content experts “Medium.com

“What it does mean is that it’s worth writing however much you really need. Don’t feel constrained by presumed short attention spans. If you put in the effort, so will your audience.”

Tone and approach mean something else

Articles are always written using a formal tone, even a scholarly one. They need to look professional in the eyes of the reader. It should be evident that the topic has been thoroughly researched and that the final information is reliable. Bloggers can be more casual when it comes to the tone for their blog posts. They usually use a friendly tone, even funny, and most often a very helpful tone, like when giving advice or having a chat with someone you know.

Article vs Blog – The main purpose

The article, due to its detailed structure, it is meant to educate and inform readers. After reading an article, a person will have learned something, due to the real facts presented in the content. So in case you wish to learn something new or get well informed about an aspect, do look for articles. The blog posts will offer personal experiences, opinions, or insights over a matter. Those facts happened to the author, but they might not be valid in your case.

What are they trying to achieve?

A blog post will usually give pieces of advice or tips. Just think about the how-to types of blog posts, which are offering step-by-step lessons on how to do something. So they usually aim to pass on practical information from experience.  Articles provide reports and valuable data and are ultimately very informative. They will demonstrate a hypothesis by offering valid arguments. Their purpose is usually to inform, persuade or prove something. Both blogs and articles will help with your SEO (search engine optimisation), the more frequent the posts, the better. Especially if you write that magic number of words that equates to 7 minutes! I must add that it’s been argued that blogs come out on top in the SEO category.

When to use an article and when to use a blog post?

Well, the answer to this question depends on what you want to achieve with your post, and who your audience is. It is very closely connected to your goals. Articles go very well in the case where you have a business where you want your clients to be well informed. When you need to pass on quality information and the purpose of your website is reliabilty for your customers and business partners, then an article won’t fail. The blog is excellent when you wish to develop a more personal relationship with your readers. They will also grant you better visibility on search engines, when your content is fresh and original. With a blog, it is easier to interact with people, and encourage them to get engaged and state their opinions. It is like creating a small community.

So hopefully, you now have a clearer picture of the differences between an article and a blog post. Thus, you will know what to choose to match your circumstances and goals when it comes to placing the best content on your website. And do remember that you cannot use both, as it will look rather awkward and unprofessional. So decide about the direction you wish to follow.

Editor Involvement

Here’s a quote from freelance journalist Alexandra Demetrianova “Article goes through editorial by another person or more, whereas blog is edited and finalized by author only. Also, article needs to carry certain journalist questions, answers, sources, citations, argumentation, and unless it’s a commentary or a travel…”

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