What does it matter—blog article vs. blog post? Same difference, right?

Maybe you don't even know the difference. A blog's a blog's a blog, isn't it?

In today's complex world of personal blogs, travel blogs, business blogs, microblogs, mommy blogs, and many more—few are sure of what it actually means to blog. Is blogging a way of writing? Is it a genre? A style? Is it a kind of social media?

Full Disclaimer: You'll have to read the entire article to get to my point about "blog article vs. blog post," but let me assure you, the discussion on the way there will be well worth your time.

Nobody's Answering the Underlying Questions about Blogging

Today, many seasoned professionals continue to ask important questions about blogging, and they're not getting adequate answers. While the blog has become an incredibly important tactic for SEO, social media marketing, and earned media over the last fifteen years, the confusion on what it means to blog has only increased. Common questions include:

1. If blogging is a marketing tactic, then why do fashionistas blog without selling anything?

2. What's the purpose of blog communities like Blogger or Tumblr? Should my blog be on one of those platforms?

3. If I publish a blog, doesn't that put me in the same realm as the Drudge Report and Talking Points Memo? They aren't businesses; why would I do that?

4. Aren't blogs just a bunch of opinions published online? How does that create value for my company?

In marketing, insiders seem to hold a consensus that these questions were answered long ago and that today, "their blogging" means something different than other people who talk about "blogging" (journalists, mommies, travelers, etc.).

In reality, few people really understand the differences between different kinds of blogs. Marketers' distinctions are often elusive and unclear, and even descriptors like "business blogs," "marketing blogs," and "blogs meant for lead generation" seem inadequate, because...

1. Isn't Techcrunch a business blog?

2. What about the Wall Street Journal's MoneyBeat? If I build a business blog, will I be competing with that?

3. A blog meant for lead generation? What do you mean?
Let's Really Define Blogging

A few months ago I wrote this definition of a blog:

"A blog is a format for publishing content that lets non-technical people post a series of writing easily, quickly, and repeatable."
(For more on this definition, read my blog article explaining blogs as a format, not a genre.)

While it's still a pretty good definition, at a basic level, people have trouble distinguishing between formats and genres.

Consider the trouble you might have defined a "magazine." Generally, magazines are defined as a physical pamphlet with normal pagination, but not as thick as a book. You could also argue a magazine is a genre, characterized by feature-length articles that tend to be editorial in nature. One is a format; the other is a genre—but they are both legitimately definitions of a magazine.

Of course, if you look at specific magazines, like blogs, they come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Over time, writers and editors have stretched the definition and scope of what a magazine can mean, and thus, it's easy to get confused.

A similar process has happened with the blog, in its much shorter lifetime. While personal blogs were the first phenomenon to occur (in the early 2000s), now there are blogs for every topic, written by one writer or many, and published in a variety of styles and voices.

So, Why "Blog Articles" vs. "Blog Posts?"

Because blogs are still a very new genre/format, it's important for marketers to help audiences distinguish between different kinds of blogs. For example, the Huffington Post, one of the most successful blogs of all times, doesn't promote their articles as "blog articles," they're just "articles." Similarly, LifeHacker doesn't call of its helpful content "blog posts;" they're just "hacks."

In the B2B marketing world, calling your articles "blog posts," is diminutive and it generally makes content sound less informative, helpful, and thought-through.

Author's Bio: 

Professional Digital Marketer