What’s the difference between a blog post and an article? I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently as I’ve been trying to kickstart a year of daily blogging.
When I write for places like MasterWP, I consider those to be articles. I take my time. I write a lot of drafts. I rewrite my drafts. I feel bad if I have grammatical errors (ok, not that bad). I want to link to all my sources and I want to have some idea of where I’m going. However, I still write to discover. I discover my real point about halfway through the writing process. But the final result feels more… substantive?
This is a blog post, not an article. What’s the difference? It could be the informality, the lack of a concrete thesis and structure. It could be your expectations of what you’ll get out of it. On the range of “book” to “feature” to “article” to “blog post” to “social media content”, it’s definitely meant to feel a little more throwaway than an article, but maybe more important than a tweet (even if they expand the character limit to 4000)?
One of my favorite writers in the tech space is Ben Thompson. He writes Articles. I think he has a paid tier with more informal daily blogs, but the public posts on Stratechery are most certainly “articles”. They have illustrations and footnotes, so they’re very, very important. When I read his articles, I feel smarter (sometimes- other times I feel like maybe I’m too dumb to be reading them).
One of my favorite bloggers recently is Chris Coyier (formerly CSS Tricks). I discovered he was one of my favorite bloggers when he sold CSS Tricks. I’d been reading it for a while and they’ve certainly published some great “articles”. But it was always Chris’s more informal posts that were my favorite. When he left and started posting more on his own blog, my attention mostly went with him. Don’t get me wrong, CSS Tricks is still great, but it’s the random blog posts from Chris (even the longer ones that lean towards being articles) that I resonate with, for whatever reason.
So maybe that’s what a blog post is. It resonates. It’s maybe not as informative as an article, but it’s not as throwaway as a tweet. It’s in this perfect middle space, akin to a diary entry. Here’s some thing I have some half-baked thoughts about. Here’s some links to what inspired these thoughts. Does anyone else have thoughts like these?
Is a blog post meant for the writer or the reader? I’m not entirely sure.