How are you going to define an article or a blog without differentiating the two? A few years ago, the distinction between them were clear. It was so clear back then that we could list the differences down and arrange them in a table.
Nowadays, there exist a very thin line between an article and a blog. Even freelance writers are getting confused as to which is which.
However, if we just go deeper into their own definition and qualities, we would be able to distinguish the two. More importantly, prefer to write articles than blogs.
When we hear the word “article”, the first thing that comes into our mind is the printed item on 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 which 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 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, etc.
The word “blog” came from “web log”, 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 he/she would write a blog, the pay would go from $5.00 to $20.00 a piece, or $5.00 per 250 words. Generally, blogging pays lesser than writing articles. That was until the Internet environment have 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 few years, 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 millenium, 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 the 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 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 business owners who become clients of freelance writers, 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
At this point, the writer 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 into a higher level — informational, lengthy, well-researched just like an article yet conversational like how the website owner speaks.
If you have any comments about this blog, let me know.