by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
As a mentor of my writing peers, I am often asked to discern the difference between a blog post and an article. When submitting work to clients and content sites, how do you know if your writeup should have gone to your blog instead? Blogs can certainly be professional and articles can definitely be conversational. However, even though you can publish an article on your blog, it's not very wise to submit something that should have been a blog as an article. In some cases, it may even hurt your career. So what's the difference?
What is a blog post?
A blog post is written text on any subject or event and can be fact or fiction. Poetry can even be used as blog posts. There is generally no word count limit for a blog posts, unless specified by the blog owner. Some people use blogs to tell others about daily events in their own lives or in certain industries, sports, or causes. Others may use blogs as a form of self-expression. For instance, someone going through an illness may update the blog on their progress or their feelings throughout their journey. Another person might blog about their children or their favorite sports team. Personal blogs are often (but not always) based more on opinions then they are on facts. Business or professional blogs may read more like articles.
What is an article?
An article is a text writeup that is generally non-fiction. Although some styles can be fiction, such as a satire piece. Usually if an article is meant to be satire, it will be specified. People generally read articles as a trusted source of information. They also expect to find enough details to answer what the title implies. News stories are one form of article. How-to guides are another. In both cases, the information should be clear, to the point, and appropriately detailed. Articles are generally longer than blog posts, but not always. An article should be an appropriate length to get the point across without too much or too little information.
Can an article be a blog post and vice versa?
Some professional blogs read more like news articles. This is fine and even respected. However, blog posts should not be substituted for articles in most cases. For instance, your blog post about your terrible breakfast does not belong on an informational site. However, if you would like to give your blog a more professional feel, by all means, post articles instead of treating it like a personal journal.
What about personal experience articles?
Personal experience can bring a unique angle to an article - provided that's what the client wants. However, personal experience does not mean you have to dish on the latest family drama to get the point across. If you must do that, at least leave it to your blog. In an article, it's only necessary to share enough of the experience to get the point across. Share what adds to the informational aspect of the article. But don't share as much as you might tell your best friend.
Discerning whether to use your writeup as an article or blog post.
When making the decision whether to post your writing to your blog or to sell or publish it as an article, there are several things to consider. Does the article provide the reader with useful and unique information? Would you want to read it as a solution to an issue or a source of information? Is it factual without unnecessary rambling? While your blog readers may want to hear every minute detail, the average web reader would rather skip to the point. If people want a blog post, they visit a blog. But if they want facts, instructions, or info, they look for an article.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network.
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
In web writing, it’s best to keep your sentences simple. Even though you may be speaking to an adult audience, web readers like to skim and be done with it. Simple wording makes your work more attractive and easier to scan.
Shorten longer and run-on sentences.
On the web, statements should be less than ten words. The shorter, the better. In the following example, the sentence is too long: “Angela took a stroll down the winding pathway that was located in City Park in the city of Denver.” Instead, you could say: “Angela walked the curved path in Denver City Park.”
Avoid words that can be used more than one way.
According to the Yahoo Style Guide (pg 329), words like “once” and “before” can be confusing. They can be used in two or more ways. Instead of saying “Once you add the eggs to the recipe mixture, stir the ingredients slowly before moving on” you could say “Add the eggs to the mixture. Then, stir slowly for five minutes. Move on to the next step.”
Avoid long-winded words.
While the word “pathway” is a simple word, “path” is better for the web. People usually find things on the web via search. More people will search for a word like path versus pathway. Also, path is easiest to read of the two. Always choose the easiest word for what you need to say. That way, even people who have a harder time reading will be able to understand you more clearly.
Use simple words.
Try not to use long words or those that are harder to say (or read). Instead of using the word difficult, you can use hard. This may sound like you’re “dumbing down” your work. Really, you’re just making sure people see it and stick with it until the end. Web readers scan fast and they also leave fast. Your job is to make sure they find what you write and stay with it as long as they can.
Text and Photo by Lyn Lomasi; © 2014 All rights reserved
*I originally published this on another site (no longer published there).
Lyn Lomasi & Richard Rowell are life & business partners. Owners of Brand Shamans & the Write W.A.V.E. Media network, we are your brand healing, soul healing, & content superheroes to the rescue!
Running our network of websites, tackling deadlines single-handedly, and coaching fellow writers, brands, & entrepreneurs to be thought leaders is our top priority.
While rescuing civilians from boring content and brands, we conquer the world, living the RV life and managing our Intent-sive Nature with our awesomely crazy family while recounting The Nova Skye Story, along with Kymani’s Travels.
We also strive to one day cuddle with lions and giraffes. Until then, we’ll settle for furry rescue kitties and doggies.
We support many causes via our business ventures, such as homelessness, support for trans youth, equality, helping starving artists, and more! A portion of all proceeds from Intent-sive Nature goes toward helping homeless pets in local shelters.
Hire Lyn & Rich!
Stalk Us On Social Media!
Sign up for a free account to publish your free website using this special link and we both earn $10!
Peeps We Love
Write, Publish, Promote
SK Marketing Solutions
Working in Words
Accentuate Author Services
Ask Angela Advice
The Heart of Words
Living Life Abundantly