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Article vs. Blog: 7 Key Differences You Should Know

Sumit is an experienced content marketer and editor with hands-on expertise in writing articles, blogs, and social media posts.

Articles vs. Blogs

Articles vs. Blogs

One of the most common questions that content writers ask is, “What is the difference between an article and a blog?”

Well, you may have already read several write-ups on this topic, and you are still unclear about the differences, then read on.

In this article, I share seven major differences between an article and a blog that I have learned through hands-on experience.

1. Formal vs. Casual

This is the first major difference. An article focuses and revolves around the subject through facts and analysis.

The overall approach is formal, however, not necessarily mundane.

The objective of an article is to provide concrete information to readers that they are seeking.

Usually, articles are written for clients, and they carry a formal, fact-based narrative, conveying more authority. Especially, writing articles for Business-to-Business (B2B) clients, a formal tone, authority, and reliable facts are essential.

Clients that look for such content will likely hire you even in the future if your articles meet their expectations.

Formal Tone of an Article

Formal Tone of an Article

Writing a blog, on the contrary, does not have such rules. You can write blogs in different creative ways to increase their effectiveness.

Usually, the tone of blogs is mostly relaxed and casual—more like having a conversation with the audience.

Casual Tone of a Blog

Casual Tone of a Blog

2. Reasonable Length vs. Any Length

I hardly remember seeing a 300-word article. However, plenty of blogs are scattered around the Internet that are hardly even 200 words long.

The length correlates to usefulness, and it is tough to illustrate a topic in a 300-word article.

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A "reasonable" length for an article can be anywhere between 500 and 1,500 words. It can be longer, depending on the subject.

A blog can be of any length. However, unless it is about personal views, subject-oriented blogs are often much longer (up to 3,000 words), with easy-to-read, scannable content.

3. Detailed vs. Bird’s Eye View

The purpose of an article is to delve deeper into a subject through several focus areas, facts, and statistics.

Detailed Nature of an Article

Detailed Nature of an Article

A blog usually provides high-level information on a topic without having to go into details.

A Blog Gives a Bird's Eye View of a Topic

A Blog Gives a Bird's Eye View of a Topic

Moreover, a blog can revolve around the specific aspect of a bigger subject.

4. Third Person vs. First/Second Person

This is another key differentiator. The ideal way of writing an article is in the third person, such as “It,” “Its,” He, “His,” “She,” “Her,” “They,” and “Them.”

Articles are Mostly Written in Third Person

Articles are Mostly Written in Third Person

Writing in the third person is due to the formal nature (see No. 1 above) of the content. However, writing in the second person is possible, particularly common in technical or instructional articles.

You can easily write a blog in the first or second person, such as “I,” “Me,” “You,” or “We.” In fact, it is a preferred way of writing a blog for talking to the readers.

In this article, for example, I am writing in the first and second person when talking about my personal experience and addressing you. It would sound weird if I wrote this piece in the third person.

Here is another example:

article-vs-blog-7-key-differences-you-should-know

5. Periodical vs. Discretionary Schedule

Articles usually are published following a calendar. Marketing agencies/companies create a monthly content calendar and then break it down according to weekly content requirements.

A Content Calendar in Excel

A Content Calendar in Excel

Remember that the content requirement of a marketing agency and a company is different.

An agency usually works with several clients, and it needs to deliver content based on the service level agreement (SLA).

If the SLA, for example, is 40 content pieces per month, an agency has to deliver them to get paid.

On the other hand, a company may have its own products or services that it needs to market through in-depth content. It may choose to publish one article every 2–3 days or once a week based on its schedule.

There can also be a calendar for blogs if you work for an agency. However, there is no fixed calendar for self-promoting companies and personal blogs, and it is rather discretionary.

The frequency of publishing blogs is relatively higher. Many bloggers prefer to post every day, whereas some others prefer posting once a week.

6. Articles Are not Self-Opinionated vs. Blogs can Be

Personal opinions and perspectives hardly have any place in articles. Again, an article presents a subject with supporting facts in an unbiased way.

Particularly, if you write for an agency, your articles will be on specific products or services, and you need to put together a piece to educate the target audience. Therefore, practically there is no room for self-opinions.

article-vs-blog-7-key-differences-you-should-know
An article does not have a self-opinion

An article does not have a self-opinion

Blogs, specifically self-published ones, contain personal opinions or perspectives.

There can be self-opinion in a blog

There can be self-opinion in a blog

You can share your experience or opinions in your blogs, and many readers may like it. It means you are not restricted by any SLA and subsequent deliverables.

7. Pro Editing vs. Self-Editing (Self-Published)

The editing of both an article and a blog depends on whether they are self-published or written on behalf of an agency.

If you publish an article or blog for your website, you can do the editing yourself. If you publish them on behalf of a marketing agency or directly for a client, they may get it edited by a pro editor or a quality analyst (QA). In some cases, an editor may suggest some rework.

If you want to edit the piece yourself, you can take the help of Grammarly or the Hemingway app. Also, perform a thorough final review to avoid grammatical and typographical errors.

Closing Words

When writing an article, remember to add all the crucial information that readers will find useful.

The same goes for blogs. Despite having a casual tone, especially in the self-published ones, these days, long-form blogs written for clients contain interesting data, images, and infographics.

It means other than the approach, the line between articles and blogs has become blurry.

Also, no matter whether you write an article or blog, avoid dragging them to make longer by adding fluff or insignificant information/repeated sentences.

Readers easily recognize fluff articles, and they will lose interest if they don’t get any useful information.

That’s all from my side. If you find this post even a tiny bit helpful, please give your feedback in the comment section below. I will be glad if you do. Mahalo!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Sumit Chakrabarti

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