If you’re running a website, you’ve heard the same advice over and over: content, content, and content. It’s not wrong. The internet is where people turn for all types of information today, and the demand for high-quality content is higher than ever.
The right content on your site will drive traffic, improve search engine optimization, and end up bringing you more revenue. How do you know what type of content you need, though?
As content creators, one of the most common mistakes we see is that businesses don’t know whether to ask for a blog or an article. Some people use those terms interchangeably, but you need to know the difference in order to get the content that will help you most.
Here’s what you need to know about the differences between writing an article and writing a blog.
Writing an Article vs. Writing a Blog: The Key Differences
Most of us have been disappointed in a purchase at one time or another because we asked for the wrong thing. To prevent that from happening with your web content, here are the differences between an article and a blog.
Point of View
You may remember the three points of view you learned in English class. First person point of view has a clear narrator, using words like “I” or “we.” Second person point of view has no narrator but it speaks to the reader, using “you.” Third person point of view has no narrator, nor does it acknowledge the reader, using only “it” and similar articles.
When a writer writes a blog, they use first person point of view. In a sense, it’s a one-person conversation with the reader.
An article, on the other hand, is always in third person point of view. It reads more like a textbook or a newspaper.
A blog and an article can both have the same subject matter but they approach it in different ways. Let’s use the topic of interior flooring trends as an example.
In a blog, the writer is a person sharing their own opinions and expertise. For instance, you might write a blog titled, “The Coolest Hardwood Flooring Trends from 2018.” You wouldn’t have to do much research if you do any at all because it focuses on your opinion.
An article, on the other hand, is a researched and methodical piece. An article writer bases their content on research and should not inject their own opinions into the article. In the example above, their article might have a title like, “The Top-Selling Hardwood Flooring Brands in 2018.” Their article should have plenty of sources and citations.
On top of the content and the point of view, the writing style is a key difference between blogs and articles.
A blog is casual and conversational. As a business, your blog is a great branding opportunity because it lets you show your personality. This is why it’s so important to hire a professional blog writing service: the writers have the skills to capture your voice.
An article, on the hand, has a far more formal and academic tone. The goal is to use a neutral voice so the reader forgets that the writer even exists.
From a search engine optimization standpoint, blogs and articles are huge differences.
For most businesses, SEO is the key reason they want a blog on their site. It can offer your SEO a huge advantage if you craft your posts right. For that reason, a blog writer usually has specific keywords they need to prioritize throughout the piece.
In articles, on the other hand, SEO isn’t usually a consideration. The writer doesn’t do keyword research, nor do they try to work certain keywords into their content.
Don’t interpret this to mean that blogs sound unnatural because the writers are trying to use certain keywords. A good writer is able to take almost any keyword and work it into the content in a way that looks seamless and professional.
If you aren’t sure whether a piece is a blog or an article, think about where the piece appears.
A blog usually appears on a company or individual’s website. Sometimes a blog is the entire focus of a website. They tend to strike a happy medium between entertainment and education.
An article, on the other hand, is entirely educational. Articles tend to appear on a more professional medium like an organization’s website or a news publication.
For instance, let’s take a look at the example we used above about hardwood floors. The blog about flooring trends might appear on a homemaker’s blog or an interior designer’s website. The article, on the other hand, would be more likely to appear on the website for an organization in the flooring or construction industries.
We’re including this note because it’s actually a misconception.
Many people think that the difference between blogs and articles is that blogs are shorter than articles. This is not a reliable or consistent difference.
There are plenty of blogs that are 2,000 words or more and plenty of articles that are under 500 words. The difference is in the content and other criteria above rather than the length.
It’s important to note that when you order content, you can often specify the length of the blog or article you want. Longer pieces will allow you to go into more detail and they’re often better for your SEO. If you try to stretch out a narrow topic into a long piece, though, you’ll lose your readers’ attention.
Ordering the Perfect Content for Your Site
Between writing an article and a blog, no one type of content is better than the other. They each have their pros and cons and are better suited for different purposes. The key is figuring out the one that will produce the results you need for your website.
If you’re ready to start building your website’s content today, order web content online from our skilled and experienced team.