This is certainly a subject that needs to be broached in these times because as the internet has grown and society has changed over the last few years. Lines have begun to become blurred between the actual definitions of the article and the blog. Only experienced blog writers and article writers can define the difference actually.
Freelance writers used to be able to clearly see and know the distinction between blog posts and articles but that distinction has changed in recent years. This article is designed to clear up some of that confusion and should hopefully be a help to freelance writers everywhere.
There is often confusion about what each type of writing job should pay. We will briefly talk about some of the differences below:
1) Opinion vs Fact
The blog post is normally more lighthearted and sometimes it is decidedly much more upbeat in its tone. It is not necessary a report of factual information about some person, place, or thing but is largely the opinion of the writer. It is normally written in a more casual interpersonal manner and will most often seek to convey the personality of the writer to his or her listeners. The blog writer will normally strive to insure that the readers know that the posts are little more than personal opinion. The ideally written blog post should share the passion that the writer has for the subject with its readers.
The well written article on the other hand does not have room for personal opinion because the reader is reading it to learn facts rather than to be entertained. I have noticed that recently this line is becoming more and more blurred as it seems that press writers seem to want to increasingly slant their information to force the reader into accepting their opinion. It seems to me that many of their articles are often designed to force the reader to come to a predetermined conclusion.
The ideally written article is totally objective and does not attempt to make an assessment of the person, product, or situation. The writer is simply presenting information so that the reader will be able to know the truth, or to have enough facts on hand to make an actual decision.
2) The use of actual interviews and research
Sometimes the blog writer will base the blog post on factual information but generally speaking it is more of a personal belief than anything else. The primary goal traditionally is to entertain the reader and get him or her to have an actual personal reaction to the passion of the post. A good blog post will seek to find something inside the customer and stir it up to arouse passion either for or against the subject. It is something that designed to stimulate speculation and makes no actual claims to factual authority.
The research done for a blog post is generally shallow and will not attempt to actually give the reader an in depth education on the topic about which it is written.
A good article will contain facts from where the sources are quoted and also the results of personal interviews done by the writer. It will also contain quotations from the experts who are involved in the specific situation that it is about. A good article should be an authoritative piece that the reader can count on as being correct and factual. The writer’s individual personality is not important at all except in the sense that he or she will be able to write a compelling piece which will keep the reader interested and involved until the end.
3) Short vs Long
A blog is generally shorter than 300 words in length. Remembering that it is not actually designed to present facts about a person, place, or thing more than to just be an enjoyable read. The blog and the article both must capture the attention of the reader and hold it for its duration. The blog writer has an advantage here over the article writer in the sense of being able to insert his or her own personality into the work.
The article should ideally be 500 words or more mainly because it needs to present relevant facts in its body. Longer articles can be better if the writer is skilled enough to make it interesting and to hold the readers interest all of the way through. Modern day readers are less likely to want to become intimate with a longer piece because we live in a world where time is of the essence. So now the article writer then has to learn how to keep the reader turned on throughout the article.
4) The use of SEO
The blog post generally has a motive behind it which is to attract the attention of readers and channel it to another site. This is not always true but because of the importance of the blog post in generating leads or a following it needs to be easily accessible. One way to do this is to make sure that it appears in a prominent place on the search engines.
The blog is generally written around keywords which increase its relevance in the search engines and brings it closer to the top of their prospective rankings.
In order to insure this the writer must insure that the structure of the blog is built around its keywords to help it rank higher. This can be a tedious practice in the writer has to have considerable knowledge of how the major search engines rank their sites in order to be successful.
The article writer on the other hand is usually presenting facts for a specific audience that will be interested in the contents of the article itself so search engine optimization is not as big an issue. The person who is desiring to learn about a particular person, place, or thing will make a search on the internet for it. A customer wanting to purchase a new automobile for example, will simply type in the keywords that will lead him to articles about new automobiles on the internet. The title of the article must be relevant to its content so it will take the prospective reader to the right article but after that facts take over in importance rather than the placement of keywords.
It is also much more difficult for the article writer to optimize the article even if he or she wanted to do so because the writer has less leeway as to the content that the article will contain.
5) Spelling and Grammar
Sometimes blog posts are better when they contain misspellings, or mispronunciations because the actual post should be a reflection of the character of the writer. The typical blog writer wants to present himself as a regular human being and speaking the way that he or she actually speak in real life serves to display that character. The reader may be entertained by misspellings in the body of the blog and the incorrect use of grammar.
The writer is not attempting to produce something that is professional sounding but something that is personally appealing.
The character of the well written article should be strictly professional. Misspellings and incorrect grammar have no place in the body of the article because they detract from the credibility of the writer. Remember the purpose of the article is to present factual information. The reader of the article is not there for entertainment but to learn something specific about the person, place, or thing that the article is written about. The reader has to have confidence in the content of the article because he or she needs to believe that the contents of the article are impeccable.
6) Writing Style
The blog writer is writing to a specific niche of persons so the writing style of the blog needs to be in the language that the target audience relates to. A blog written for inner city teenagers would certainly not appeal to one written for a bridge club.
If I am an inner city kid the writing style would have to match my vocabulary in order for me to become interested and involved in its contents. This would be a situation where you would expect to see grammar that is technically incorrect because of the preponderance of slang that permeates the vocabulary of the inner cities.
The article writer has to write in a professional style because that is exactly what the reader expects. It also adds veracity to the content of the article.
7) Editing and Publishing
The blog writer can create and publish content in a very short time. Since grammar and spelling are less important to the reader a mistake here and there doesn’t matter much. Once the writer is satisfied that he has gotten his thought across sufficiently to the readers he can just publish the blog to the internet. Outside help in editing the content of the blog is not necessarily required.
The content of the article is critical so in most cases it needs to be edited by another person before it can be published. The editor needs to be an expert on grammar and spelling to insure that the content is correct.
Articles are usually published by highly authoritative sites so they must be cleaned up before being published. The reputation of the company that it is written for is at stake so they have the responsibility of insuring that the article is impeccable in its content and quality because their customers are counting on them being right.
8) Pay Rates of Blog Writes
There is also a difference in the pay that a freelance writer can expect to receive depending on whether he writes an article or a blog. Of course you will not get the same amount of money for the blog that you should expect to receive from the article.
A blog writer can reasonably expect to receive from five to twenty dollars per piece. The price is negotiated and will vary according to the circumstances of the specific job.
The nature of the work and research required to write an article demand a higher pay scale. The range for writing an article can vary from .10c to $1.00 per word depending again on the requirements of the writing job.
Keep in mind that these differences are not absolutes. There may be many situations where one or more characteristics may vary. The lines have become increasingly blurred in recent times because of many different factors. Many new people are utilizing the internet for business and other purposes so blog content has skyrocketed.
Blog writers also had to become more competitive in their business because many of them use the internet as a marketing place for their businesses. In this case the blog becomes increasingly important and has changed over time in order to maintain do so. They have generally become longer over the years as writers seek to increase their relevance.
Many of the major search engines have also changed the way that they look at optimization over the years so that the content of published articles and blogs would be more relevant to its readers. This has resulted in the optimization of the past becoming decreasingly important while continuity of thought and relevance have become more important. This has also caused blog writers to become more content oriented so that many of them now seek to write more professional blog posts.
Staying Abreast with Clients
You as a writer need to be able to understand the needs of your potential client and translate them so that they will understand the difference between what they think that they want and what they are actually asking for. You may have to clarify the differences to you client because most of them will probably want to pay you for articles at blog prices. The client needs to visualize you as the expert and have confidence in what you tell them.
You also need to keep up with changes in SEO so that you can use your knowledge to give the client a quality product based on his or her needs.