It’s easy to think that an article and a blog post are almost identical.
If you have a blog, you are constantly adding content to it, which you might logically call blog posts.
However, if you are writing and publishing on external sites, you probably believe you are publishing articles.
But the difference is not about where you publish your content. It’s how you write it.
Are you publishing blog posts or articles?
It’s not always an easy question to answer.
Let’s say you write a new 1,000-word text.
It could be to promote your new book, share your thoughts on why you started writing, or explain a complex grammar point.
If you publish it on your blog, does that mean it’s a blog post?
On the other hand, if you publish it on another site, does that make it an article?
The answer is not necessarily in both cases.
Let’s take the example of a text about why you started writing.
It’s personal, so it’s a blog post, even if it’s published on another site as a guest article.
But a detailed text about a point of grammar with examples and references to help readers is an article, no matter where you publish it.
To help you decide, let’s look a ten key differences between an article and a blog post.
1. Point of view
Without a doubt, choosing your point of view (POV) makes a big difference to a text.
When writing blog posts, you can be personal and express your feelings about a topic.
In this case, you often use the first-person POV.
However, if you choose to write in the second-person, you are including your readers.
There is also the option of the third-person POV, but it can read a little cold and impersonal.
Here are three examples to show you the difference.
First-person: I always proofread a new text three times.
Second person: You should proofread a new text three times.
Third-person: It is a proven fact that proofreading a new text three times is necessary.
On this point, using the first-person is almost always for a blog post.
The second person is suitable for blog posts and articles.
But the third-person is more appropriate for articles, particularly for news or magazine publishing.
Sometimes you might use two, but it’s rare and not easy to control.
Your selection of POV should always be the first decision you make before writing a new text.
2. Word count or content length
You could classify a short 300-word text as a blog post, and you would probably be correct.
Articles are almost always at least 800-1,000 words or even much longer in many cases.
You often read SEO articles about this subject, with many saying that long-form articles tend to rank better on search engines.
But it’s not always true.
Many very short articles (or posts) can rank well for such points as word definitions or a quick grammar reference.
3. SEO optimization
If you have a blog, you want more traffic.
So you are more than likely optimizing every post your write for SEO.
Keywords, anchor texts, and internal links all count towards helping your site rank.
But SEO is not a consideration if you write a technical, academic, or medical article.
You are counting on your facts, research, and references to be enough to attract readers.
4. Personal opinions
This is another one of the classic differences between an article and a blog post.
In an article, you provide facts and figures to support or argue your topic.
In a blog post, you can freely express your feelings or opinions on a subject without substantiating your position.
5. Copied content
A lot of blogs reblog partial or full content from around the Internet. It’s a very common practice on personal blogs.
But there are also many bloggers who take the lazy way to increase the number of posts on their sites.
Copying or scraping web content is easy but has little value other than increasing the number of posts on a site.
I know from experience that within 24-48 hours of publishing this post, a bunch of sites will use an RSS feed to copy and republish this content in full.
In this case, it’s just a blog post, even if they copy and publish a lengthy article.
And one that will have little or no SEO value.
Here’s a staggering fact about copying articles. According to Google, 60 percent of all content on the Internet is duplicate.
6. Evergreen articles
If a post can stand the test of time and not need updating, it’s probably an article.
A site that publishes articles will usually assign them to different categories.
But blog posts, on the other hand, often contain information, dates, or news that requires updating to keep it relevant.
They are also posted and listed in chronological order.
7. Research and facts
Most articles require a lot of research, analysis, or interviews to establish and support facts.
Whereas a blog post is often based on personal opinions, assumptions, or feelings that require no research.
8. Statistical data
Articles often contain graphs and tables or supporting images to present facts and statistics.
It is rare to find these types of detailed statistical representations in blog posts.
9. Level of formality
Generally, an article uses a more formal register and an expository or technical writing style.
However, for presenting facts, the neutral register is often a better choice.
Blog posts are typically relaxed, using more informal structures.
10. Editorial review
Undoubtedly, most bloggers carefully edit and proofread their posts before publishing.
But for news or article submissions, an external editor may review a text.
It’s relatively easy to categorize an article in a newspaper as an article.
On the other end of the scale, a piece about a recent holiday experience posted on a personal blog is definitely a blog post.
But between these is a gray area where applying a strict definition becomes a little more challenging.
Many major newspaper sites also have thematic blogs, while a lot of popular blogs publish in-depth articles.
Does the label of a blog post or article make any difference?
Probably not. But understanding the differences can help you improve your writing and structure.
The ten points of difference I have outlined may hopefully give you a better guide when you tackle your next article or post.
But if you are wondering how I would categorize this text, I would have to say it’s a blog post.
I could even stretch it slightly to say it’s a blog post article.
But it’s definitely not an article.
Related reading: How To Write An Advice Article