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
Write, edit, write, edit, rinse and repeat. That's the norm for a writer. Even so, we can still make mistakes or use some constructive feedback. Whenever possible, it's always good to have a second pair of eyes - preferably a fellow writer. I like to call this person a writing buddy. By looking over each other's work, making suggestions, and correcting minor typos, you can help each other improve. Some clients do not edit your work. There are many clients who expect your work to be a finished product when it's delivered. The least amount of work they have to do before publication the better. Some clients will flat-out reject the work if they have to make corrections. Even if the company you are submitting to has an editor, that doesn't mean you should take advantage of that fact. Have your writing buddy double-check your work to be sure you didn't miss something vital.
A writer should always present clean, publish-ready content. If a client has to spend a great deal of time editing your work, they may as well write the copy themselves. They hired you so they wouldn't have to. Do your best to ensure their work is minimal. Most writing software has grammar and spell-check. But a human eye is still necessary to pick up errors the computer won't. Some typos can be actual words and the spell check is not going to pick up on that. A writing buddy can help make sure you catch all those tiny errors you and spell check might have passed over.
A writing buddy can offer fresh perspective. So you think you covered all the main points in a tightly focused manner? Maybe not. Your writing buddy can suggest extra points you may not have considered. There also may be ways to get your point across in fewer words. When a writer is passionate about a topic, it's easy to ramble without realizing it. A writing buddy can catch those sections and suggest where you should tighten it up.
It's easier to catch other's mistakes than your own. Because people are used to the way they write, frequent mistakes may be missed when proofreading your own work. For instance, if you frequently type 'had' instead of 'has' out of habit, you may not see it when checking for errors. But your writing buddy will likely have different typing habits and may notice it right away.
Learn from each other's styles. Each writer has their own way of getting across their message. They also each have their own preferred topics. Being writing buddies allows each person to learn new facts. By examining another person's writing, you can also learn new styles and techniques you may not have thought of. Ask each other questions and give each other advice often. It helps if you are close friends with your writing buddy because you'll be more likely to listen to each other. But then again, learning together can also bring you close. Who understands a writer better than another writer?
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
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.
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We also strive to one day cuddle with lions and giraffes. Until then, we’ll settle for furry rescue kitties and doggies.
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