What Is the Difference Between a Blog Post and an Article

by Mercy Mmbone / 14 comments

What Is the Difference Between a Blog Post and an Article

 

Trust me; I have come across the question about blog posts vs. articles a dozen times.

For a beginning writer, it can be difficult to wrap your head around all the jargon concerning freelance writing. One thing that confuses and frustrates new writers is the difference between a blog post and an article.

On the surface, it may seem that this confusion is baseless. After all, blog posts are articles and articles are blog posts, right?

You are in for a surprise.

You’ll be pardoned for assuming that a blog post and an article is the same thing. It may seem so, but the truth is, they are not. Confusing, isn’t it?

I was equally confused when I started out as a writer, but after doing some digging here and there, I found out that blog posts and articles are pretty different.

 

What makes a blog vs article different? Here are the major differences between blog posts vs articles

  Blog posts  Articles
To rank higher in search engines, blog posts capitalize on SEOWith articles, SEO is quite insignificant, especially if they are not online based
Most are laden with personal opinionsArticles despise personal opinions
Can be edited and updated as much as you wantIn case of errors, a follow-up article is written to provide clarification
Most written haphazardly without including factual informationFlourish on sound research
Usually generate more productive user engagement and social sharesOffer dismal user engagement
Blog posts may not fetch much regarding incomeYou’re likely to make more money writing articles
Enjoy the freedom of having as many photos as it is necessaryArticles prefer graphs, charts, and other pertinent visual representations instead of random images
Simple and easy to understandArticle have complicated sentence structures
Self-published and don’t usually go through an intense editing processArticles employ a more professional and intense editing process
Published on a blogRarely found on blogs
Often short and preciseArticles can be very long and detailed

 

To help you comprehensively discern the difference between a blog post and an article, I have outlined the 11 major factors that palpably bring out these differences.

 

1. Medium of publication

We all know that blog posts are published on a blog. What you’re currently reading is a blog post.

As an internet user, I believe that you’ve read a lot of content to help you learn new tricks and become better at what you do. If that is the case, you have probably been to a dozen blogs and have come across countless blog posts. Generally, all blog posts are online-based.

Articles, on the other hand, are hard to find on a blog. They can be online-based or not. For example, they can be published in print media such as journals, magazines, and newspapers. Alternatively, they can be posted online BUT on a professional website as opposed to a casual blog.

 

2. The length or word count

Blog posts are often short and precise. There are heated debates all over the internet concerning the ideal length of a blog post, but that is a highly subjective matter.

Ideally, a blog post is short. You can have anywhere from 300 or more depending on your preference.

For a review or tutorial post, the word count will be much more than a simple personal journal.

Articles can be very long and detailed. An ideal piece that is highly research-based can have 5000 words or more. Quite scary for the lazy reader, ah?

Articles involve a lot of research and are meant to provide factual information. Freelance article writers may be given a certain number of words for a particular article. In this case, the writer will limit the amount of information they provide so as not to exceed the required word count by a large margin.

 

3. Blog posts vs articles writing style

Bloggers focus on creating personal relationships with their readers. To achieve this, they use informal and friendly tone in their writing.

Blog posts are simple and easy to understand. They do not care about impeccable sentence structures and zero grammatical mistakes. The focus is to make the posts reader-friendly and relay the message in a basic language that caters to the needs of a variety of readers.

Articles, on the other hand, do very little to try and impress the reader.

In fact, it is like article writers never have readers in mind when they write. They derive their glory in bombarding the article with humongous vocabularies and complicated sentence structures.

The point is to include the facts and information from their research as exhaustively as possible.

Unlike blog posts, articles employ utter professionalism in their writing. They prefer formal and business language rather than the casual and informal used on blog posts.

 

4. Editing

Blog posts are self-published and don’t usually go through an intense editing process. Some blog posts are even never edited. That’s why it’s uncommon to come across horribly written posts in alarming numbers.

Bloggers write, edit and publish their own work without requiring the services of a professional editor. As a blogger, you probably operate on a budget and may not be earning anything from your posts. Professional editing is, therefore, out of the question.

Articles employ a more professional and intense editing process. Usually, writers have to submit their work to a team of editors who scrap out every grain of fluff before publishing.

Unlike blogging where the same person that writes also edits and publishes the post, article writing requires a different set of editors and publishers. The writer’s work is simply to craft and submit the article for scrutiny and publication.

 

5. Personal Opinions

Most blogs are owned by individuals and are usually laden with personal opinions, some of which are pretty horrendous. It is your blog after all.

You are free to say what you deem fit. You won’t have a bunch of critics on your neck for being biased. There may be a few differing comments, but that is all there is to it.

Articles despise personal opinions. Come to think of it; it is hard to speak your mind and remain professional or relevant.

Chances are, you do not own the publication that publishes your articles. You, therefore, do not have any authority to tell readers what you think.

Instead of personal opinions and unfounded propaganda, articles thrive on researched, tried and tested facts, data, and information. You write about what has been proven to be real rather than what you think or believe.

 

6. SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

The internet is a crowded place with tons of information fighting for the reader’s attention.

To give the user only the best content, search engines utilize a set of algorithms that select the best blog posts and articles from a sea of content.

To rank higher in search engines, blog owners have to capitalize on SEO. They have to use the right keywords in different parts of their blog posts.

They have to intensify on internal link building and linking out to credible sources. Even more frustrating, they have to convince other established bloggers to link back to them and increase their SEO juices.

With articles, SEO is quite insignificant, especially if they are not online based. Even with those that are published online, more attention is put on getting the facts right other than trying to pamper search engines into ranking the articles better.

The thing is, article publishers probably have an established reader base and subscribers and do not have to fight for more.

Additionally, because they are credible sources of factual information, many websites and blogs link back to online article platforms. This way, their SEO game is already on point without even trying.

 

7. Research

Many blog posts are written haphazardly without including factual information and analytics. Opinion-based blog posts, in particular, are starved of researched information and are instead filled with groundless analogies.

Blog owners do not owe it to anyone to be truthful or professional.

Some blog posts may have elements of research, but they are very few. The rest either post outright lies or plagiarized work.

Because a blog post can be as short as you wish, you would have no use for an exhausting research escapade. If for instance, you run a blog inspired by your daily lifestyle or that of others, you do not need any research.

Articles flourish on sound research. It is not something you start writing this hour and be done the next. It takes time. You have to do exhaustive research, experiments, and tests to generate facts, data, and information that your article will build upon.

You have to review the innumerable literature to prove that what you are writing is not gotten from thin air but rather based on information that other renowned researchers have already found.

 

8. Updating Information on blog posts and articles

Blogging gives you greater freedom to edit and update blog posts as much as you want.

When you get new information that you think is relevant, you can easily add it to your post and inform your readers of this new addition. You can also remove bits of information that are no longer relevant or have stopped being true.

For articles, even those that are online based, getting it right the first time is of paramount importance. If new information comes up after the article has been published, an entirely new piece may be written instead of updating an already existing one.

This is particularly impossible for offline based publications. In case of errors, a follow-up article is written to provide clarification instead of rewriting and updating the old one.

 

9. Reader engagement between blog posts and articles

Blog posts usually generate more productive user engagement and social shares as compared to articles.

At the end of a blog post, the blogger will usually call upon the readers to take a particular action or leave comments. Blog owners love it when their blog posts generate comments because it means they are interesting and thought-provoking.

Even anonymous readers are at will to share and comment on a blog post. Most are free and do not need any costly subscription fee to access.

Articles offer dismal user engagement.

For those that can only be found on print media, readers are rarely motivated to leave feedback, and social sharing is impossible.

Many professional articles and research work are restricted to only premium members. Not everyone can access the information as often as they need. For print media, you would need to buy a copy to read the article.

 

10. Use of images and videos

Blog posts enjoy the freedom of having as many photos as it is necessary. Bloggers do not usually go to the extent of crediting or seeking permission to use an image or video. Many of the photographs found online are not copyrighted, and bloggers can use them freely.

It is also possible and easy to incorporate a few videos in a blog post to verbally emphasize a given point or topic. Most blogging platforms allow bloggers to upload and include videos in their content easily.

Images may be used sparingly in articles. This can only happen when it is utterly necessary.

Article writers prefer graphs, charts, and other pertinent visual representations instead of random images. In case an image is used, due credit is given to the owners, and sometimes they may even be bought. Videos are inexistent on articles meant for the print media.

 

11. Writer Earnings

Considering the amount of work involved, you’re likely to make more money writing articles than blog posts.

Blog posts can be fun and easy to write, but may not fetch much regarding income. However, if you are a newbie writer, it is better to start with the easier option. Go for clients who want simple blog posts written for them.

After honing your skills and learning as much as you can about writing, you can then venture into article writing.

Do not be lured by the money into going straight for article writing without first building a firm foundation. Most of your articles might end up getting rejected, you will lose clients, and at the end, all you will be left with is regret and frustration.

 

Conclusion

Recent developments have made it quite challenging to differentiate between a blog post and an article.

This is because blog owners are gradually tailoring their content to follow the article format. Bloggers are now doing more research and writing longer blog posts.

However, the difference between blog posts and articles is still conspicuous and withstanding.

If you’re a freelance writer, it’s important that you let your client succinctly state whether they want an article or a blog post. If you wrote an article when all they wanted was a simple blog post and vice versa, your content might be rejected.

 

Do you have more differences between a blog post and an article? Any questions, ideas or suggestions? I would love to hear from you in the comments section below.
What's the difference between a blog post and an article?  After all, blog posts are articles and articles are blog posts, right?... You are in for a surprise... Find out in this post what makes them different.
#blogpostvs.article
#differencebetweenablogpostandanarticle
Mercy Mmbone

Hi, I’m Mercy Mmbone. My mission is to help beginner freelance writers find success online. Even if you don’t have a degree, becoming a successful freelance writer is not as difficult as you’d think. The most important thing you’ll need to get started is self-motivation.

I’m honored to have worked with many popular companies including Ring Central and Freelancer FAQs.

  1. Reply

    I loved the way you differentiated blog posts vs. articles. If someone had asked me about this topic on the spot, I would probably say that they are different, but just barely).

    You are totally right about articles taking a much more academic and intense approach in terms of the research and editing processes.

    Thank you for sharing your expertise!

    • Reply

      Hey Mia,

      Nice to see you here! Yes, with blog posts you can write whatever you think, but with articles, you just have to do the research. Everything you put down needs to be well-researched and accurate. I’m glad you enjoyed reading it.

    • Mercy MmboneMaheGoat Mahegoat
    • May 18, 2018
    Reply

    I am astounded.

    I have been writing “articles” and “blog posts” for more than five years and I have never encountered anyone who has differentiated the two this clearly.

    Well done Mercy. This is an extremely important and informative piece of work.

    • Reply

      Hey Mahegoat,

      I think most newbies don’t know that blog posts and articles are different. I just thought I should put this together to show their differences.

      Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Reply

    Great post. I have always called them one and the same. Thank you! You should take a look at your sharing bar. It covers your menu at the top unless you are near the bottom of the page where there is another sharing bar.

    • Reply

      Hey Chuck, they are not the same. I also didn’t know the difference when I started writing back in late 2012. But now I know so much about writing and that’s why I thought I should help beginners differentiate a blog post and an article.

      Looking into the sharing bar issue.

      Thanks for letting me know.

  3. Reply

    Hi Mercy,

    Love the way you broke this down. Definitely makes it clear! I find it difficult to find other blogs to link to and vice versa. Any suggestions?
    Keep up the great work!

    • Reply

      Hey Stephanie,

      Thanks for the comment. I’m glad you liked the post. I’m not sure I got your last point. Are talking about link building?

      Thanks.

  4. Reply

    Love how detailed this is! I’d never seen the difference laid out so specifically.

    • Reply

      I know, right?

      I don’t want to be that blogger who just writes for the sake of writing. I know how important explaining a topic as detailed as possible is, to most beginners.

      Thanks for reading this, Natalie!

    • Mercy MmboneRue
    • May 19, 2018
    Reply

    This is a great article with really helpful info! Thanks for sharing!

    • Mercy MmboneJoseph muthua
    • May 22, 2018
    Reply

    This has been bothering me for quite some time. It’s now clear. Thank you for the insight Mercy.

    • Reply

      Wow! I’m glad you finally found the answers, Joseph.

      I’m happy to see you here.

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share
Pin
Tweet
Share
WhatsApp