Articles and blog posts – you’ll see the terms used interchangeably, and many people find this confusing. Are they the same thing? Some would argue that they are, while others contend that they have clear and separate definitions. And many even argue that a blog post is a type of article. Who’s right? Unfortunately, they all are! Different websites use different terms and criteria to differentiate between the two – if they do at all. That being said, for those that do draw a line between them, here are some basic “qualifications.”
A Blog Post
For a piece of writing to be considered a blog post, the most important thing is that it is housed on a blog, which simply means a website or section of a website where updates are posted regularly in reverse chronological order (the most recent post appearing first).
Originally, blogs were personal in nature. Although that’s certainly not the case today, blog posts still tend to be more conversational, casual, and involve more opinion than most articles. They may directly address the reader as “you” and invite the participation of the audience, usually through comments. Blog posts also tend to be shorter than articles, usually no longer than a page and sometimes even just a single paragraph.
Articles are more likely to be fact-based – a simple reporting of the news. (Most items posted on news sites are considered articles, although some have blogs as well.) They are most often formal, structured with a clear introduction, middle, and conclusion, written in the third person, and objective in nature. However, some articles are written with the goal to change the opinion of the reader or move them to action.
Articles are more likely to include detailed research, quote authorities, and source information, and they are less likely to promote conversation or offer the ability to comment. And articles are often several pages long, though they don’t need to be.
In the end, it depends on the definition of the person using the terms. Though potentially confusing, some websites find it valuable to use the terms to differentiate the types of content they offer on their site, whether just for internal purposes or to share with their audience. If you are hiring a writer to create blog posts or articles for your site, share your definition for the term to ensure that you’re both on the same page.