You once referred to an article as a blog and vice versa because you didn’t know the difference between article and blog writing.
Surprisingly, I had the same challenge.
Back then, when I started my freelance writing journey, it was quite hard to differentiate between an article and a blog.
I knew they were pretty much the same thing, so I ended up using the two phrases interchangeably.
So today, I decided to clear the air and point out a few elements to help writers to understand the difference between the two and command better freelance writing rates.
Let’s dive in.
Difference Between Articles and Blogs
What is an article used for?
The primary purpose of an article is to inform by giving in-depth guidance or insight on a specific topic. An article is written in a scholarly, educational, and journalistic tone and in the second or third person. Furthermore, articles are most common in medical journals, online archives, and databases.
What is a blog used for?
The primary purpose of a blog post is to give valuable and actionable information in a much-simplified version. Blog posts are conversational and are written in the first person, though it shouldn’t surprise you if you spot a blog written in either second or third person. Unlike articles, blogs don’t take the educational tone. Instead, blogs have a casual tone and should be intriguing.
2. Inclusion of SEO Keywords
Online marketing has become more intense over the years, and savvy content marketers now see the need to practice Search Engine Optimization. There’s more to SEO, but for now, know that SEO facilitates the reach of content to a broader audience. That said, blogs are created around specific and relevant terms called keywords. These keywords help Google and other search engines understand your content better and rank it appropriately.
Articles don’t need the inclusion of keywords. Back then, articles were meant to provide in-depth knowledge about a specific topic. Before an article was written and published, the topic had to be thoroughly researched, and lots of statistics included to help readers better understand the topic. Additionally, unlike blogs where users may search for a term and scan to determine if they meet their needs, articles are primarily meant to give information to a specific audience.
3. Length and Style
One of the key differences between article and blog writing is the length. Blogs can range between 500 words to 1,000 words, depending on your clients’ needs. However, articles tend to be longer – from 1,000 words to 5000 words.
Blogs are opinionated – that is, they are written from a writer’s perspective, from experience and so on. For example, I may decide to write a blog about how to become a writer from my experience as a freelance writer.
On the other hand, articles are more scholarly and take a journalistic tone. They should be professional and formal. Unlike blogs, articles are not opinionated and should be backed by concrete statistics and expert advice in the industry.
Reputable publications majorly publish articles, and these pieces usually go through a chain of editors to catch any grammar errors, and spelling mistakes.
On the other hand, blogs are run by individuals and may not go through thorough editing as compared to articles. In most cases, you will find one person owning a blog and may not have the capital or time to edit the work thoroughly.
However, things have changed, and editing has become a crucial step in the writing process. Nobody ever wants to read a piece full of grammar and typo errors. So even sole-proprietor bloggers would go an extra mile to hire editors to help them polish the content.
5. The Medium
This is another quite challenging aspect of the difference between article and blog writing. But think of it along this line – where does an article or blog appear? On a company website or an individual website?
A blog, will in most cases, appear on an individual’s or company’s website. In some cases, you will find out that blogging is the main focus of the website. For example, Your Passion Matters is a blog, and it primarily focused on blogging about making money from home topics.
On the contrary, an article is purely educational and should provide in-depth information about a specific topic. You will often find articles on large organization’s websites or news websites, such as usnews.com, healthline.com, etc.
Are Articles and Blogs Still Different in 2020?
We are in a competitive world and it’s a no brainer that we have to change how we do things if competition gets stiffer. This is what has happened over the years, and today, articles and blogs are pretty much the same.
The above comparison I made is what articles and blogs used to be, but as more and more websites started crowding the internet, there was a shift in purpose and intent. Like articles, blogs began to include interviews, statistics and many more features.
Additionally, blog posts became longer – so instead of just churning out a 500-word blog post, bloggers began writing more in-depth pieces (from 1,000 words to 5000+ words.) Blogs got more professional and started to add case studies and statistics to make the information more credible.
On the other hand, articles began to include SEO keywords to reach a wider audience. Instead of articles getting longer, they became shorter, especially for the print media because advertising went online, thanks to the advancement of the internet.
Additionally, the way article headlines changed to match blog posts so that they could also get targeted traffic (the same thing bloggers were doing initially). This brought about the complete change of how people thought about articles and blogs.
Writing an Article vs Blog Confusion
Today, there’s much confusion about article and blog writing format. Sadly even freelance writing clients don’t seem to know where the clear distinction is. And while it is true that the format of a blog is most similar to that of an article, there are still some differences that can help freelance writers command better or higher pay. We will discuss this in the next section.
Blog vs Article – What Writers Should Charge
If you land blog post writing gigs, it’s best if not to go below $100, and this depends on your location. For an American citizen, this may be peanuts, but in my country, this is better pay. However, article writing jobs will pay better – between $200 to $500 (sometimes up to $1,000, depending on the topic.)
Some publications may offer below the stated rates above, but they will help you build your portfolio as a freelance writer. As I said, article writing rates may also differ depending on your country, experience and technicality or complexity of the topic you are going to write.
To take advantage of an article vs blog writing confusion, there are a few tactics you can use to command better rates as an article writer.
First, make sure that your client clearly defines what they mean, especially when they say that they need articles. This is because, in most cases, they need blog posts.
A blog post, as we said earlier, doesn’t involve a lot such as interviews, but has to convey the information in a casual tone with no grammar mistakes.
If the client needs you to go in-depth, include stats and interviews, then know that he or she is referring to an article and you should, therefore, charge more.
Another way to take advantage of the article vs blog confusion is to explain to your clients that what they need is an article and not a blog post. You should charge articles higher as compared to blog posts. So do your shit and charge what is worth your time.
Finally, educate your clients on how Google’s algorithm has changed and why it’s essential to focus on writing articles rather than blog posts. For example, inform them about the critical updates Google made, such as the Google Panda Update and the Google Hummingbird Update.
Difference Between Blog and Article – The Bottom Line
How writers create articles and blog posts have changed. So instead of having two different types of writing, we have article-style blog posts. These tend to go more in-depth, including interviews, case studies, statistics, and industry-related trending news.
It is, therefore, essential to focus on writing article-style blog posts and command even better rates as a freelance writer. Hope that helped clear the confusion that now exists between articles and blogs.
Now, it’s your turn.
Let me know if you had the same confusion and how this piece will change how you work with clients in the freelancing space.