There is a very thin line distinguishing between an article and a blog. About twenty years ago, the distinction between them was clear; so clear that you could list the differences and arrange them in a table.
Nowadays, there exists a very thin line between an article and a blog. Even freelance writers get confused as to which is which.
However, if you just go deeper into their own definition and qualities, you would be able to distinguish the two. More importantly, you’ll prefer to write articles than blogs.
When you hear the word “article”, the first thing that comes into your mind is the printed item in a newspaper or a magazine. It is usually non-fiction, factual, well-researched, straightforward, and non-opinionated. The writing style, spelling, and grammar are impeccable and we assume that an editor had cleaned it up before publishing. There is a journalistic feel to it.
For a freelance writer, articles pay from $0.10 to $1.00 per word or even much higher. Some clients pay $10.00 per 500 words, others pay $75.00 per piece or much higher depending on the complexity of the topic, the hours it will take to research and write, the target audience, the niche, etc.
The word “blog” came from “weblog”, a term that describes discussion or informational posts on websites. It first became an online diary, more personal, opinionated, and casual in character. There are no strict rules on spelling and grammar because it is personal; the writer publishes it on his/her own. If ever the writer would reference some facts or sources, a hyperlink is used.
For a freelance writer, blogging is something personal. But if you would write a blog, the pay would go from $5.00 to $20.00 a piece, or $15.00 per 250 words. Generally, blogging pays lesser than writing articles. That was until the Internet environment changed.
Habits like blogging often and regularly, writing down the way you think, being clear about what you think are effective tactics, ignoring the burbling crowd and not eating bacon. All of these are useful habits.– Seth Godin
The Line Started to Blur
For the past decades, the difference between an article and a blog started to disappear. There are several factors that contribute to this:
Many Websites Crowd the Internet
By the turn of the new millennium, there was a rise in the number of websites. Blogging started during the mid-’90s and by the year 2011, there were more than 156 million public blogs online and counting. These blogs allow readers to comment which made blogging engaging and social.
Newspapers and Magazines Went Online
Just like other businesses, major publications took advantage of Internet technology. They published a digital version of their publication for the tech-savvy crowd. Soon, news and features become readily available across the globe not only through their website but also through social media.
Competition for Web Traffic
With the popularity of search engines, getting on the first page of the search engine results page (SERP) had become the goal of every website. Thus, search engine optimization (SEO) had become a must in order to get ahead of the competition for web traffic.
But because of Google’s updates on SEO, rules on blogging have changed. Blogs became more informational, lengthy, well-researched, and authoritative just like an article.
Clients/Business Owners Don’t Know the Difference
Business owners appreciate the benefits of a blog. Almost all websites found online contain a blog. However, there are some clients of freelance writers who don’t know the difference between an article and a blog. Most of the time, they want the authoritative tone of an article but will pay for the price of a blog.
It’s the writer’s call
With that being said, you should be clear with the client as to what the writing task should be. Is it an article or is it a blog?
Readers prefer informational and authoritative pieces of writing whether from an article or a blog, no question about that. But as freelance writers, prefer writing articles for professional purposes. Not only will it provide writing samples into your portfolio, but also it pays more than blog posts (generally speaking). However, if the task is to write a blog, it would be better to bring the blog to a higher level — informational, lengthy, well-researched just like an article yet conversational like how the website owner speaks.
Do you agree with these reasons why there is a very thin line distinguishing between an article and a blog? If you do have other ideas, do share them with me by sending me feedback or an email. Also, I’m inviting you to subscribe and join the tribe.