If you’re a tad confused about what the real difference is between a blog and an article then rest assured, you’re not alone! It’s a fairly common question that I am asked by clients and stems from a fairly common misconception.
This isn’t only confusing to those new to business and content but having gone through a large amount of posts on this matter, even writers themselves are left confused as the line between the two has been blurred over many years. However, reading through these posts has led me to not only a succinct answer but a revelation of my own on this topic (and it’s a good one!).
Before we get to that, let’s start by clarifying that:
1. Blogs and articles do have different characteristics.
2. They are written in different tones to serve mostly varying (but sometimes similar) purposes.
3. They both require awesome content.
The above may be fairly obvious, but before we get to the good stuff, lets sum up some main differences which there is largely an agreement on:
Blogs typically have a lower word count (less than 500 words)
They are more conversational than formal
Blogs express the mind and view of the writer that readers can relate to and form a connection with
Blogs are posted on a more regular basis
This post is indeed a blog
This is an example of a blog
Articles are typically longer (500 - 2000 words)
They serve to inform the reader using facts and evidence
They’re articulated and well crafted (which makes them more time consuming!)
They reserve any personal opinion and let you make your mind up after being informed on the topic at hand
This post is not an article
This is an example of an article
Exploring this topic, I found that there is a fair amount of information focused on answering the question of the difference between a blog and an article but they miss a crucial point:
They both must have great, effective content. Seriously.
You can’t just write a quick blog post from your own opinion with no substance and expect it to add value to your business. You also can’t shove a bunch of facts together with references, add fluff to amp up the word count and call it an article. That will definitely not add value to your business and may instead reduce your credibility.
Don’t focus on the above characteristics and differences so much that it compromises the quality of your writing and content. Articles can also be short! If you have a great, informative piece of writing that addresses your topic and audience perfectly in fewer words, why fluff it up for the sake of a word count? Blogs can and do often display facts and figures too! While I may not cram blogs with A Grade references from medical journals, I certainly do extensive research for everything I write, big and small, to ensure the content is of quality and adds value for my client. It’s better to have no post than to have one that lacks credibility alongside appropriate and timely information.
Don’t lose sight of the main point and purpose of the content, whether it be a blog or article. Both can be and are very valuable.
In the delicious words of the Arnott’s biscuit brand: There is no substitute for quality.
Happy writing team!