When you’re trying to stay relevant online, it’s not just about the type of information you put out there – it is how you convey that information. Online communication comes in many forms, from short blurbs on social media to in-depth research studies that are backed by science. It is important to understand the difference between blogging and content writing based on what your overall goal is.
3 Major Differences: Purpose, Appearance, and Frequency
Content writing is meant to be factual and informational. As the author, you shouldn’t be making speculations or putting forth information that can’t be verified through outside sources. Since the overarching theme of content writing is formal, the reader does not want to digest what can be thought of as “partial truth.”
Some examples of content writing are:
- Online, fact-based news articles
- Research papers
- Website pages
Blogs are informal and are actually designed for healthy discourse. Blogs serve as a place for the online community to share their personal opinions and real-world experiences. It is also a place for writers to express their honest feedback or keep their audience up-to-date on what’s happening in their world.
Content writing has a range of uses, so its output won’t always look the same. Daily news articles won’t mimic the appearance of a book, which is equipped with a table of contents and references. Blogs remain fairly consistent, though the topics will vary. As a general rule of thumb, blogs should be kept between 500 and 1,000 words to keep the reader from getting bored or sidetracked.
Blogging is creative, whereas content writing is mostly technical. It does not have to be structured, and it allows the author to introduce the elements of humor and personalization. This is an advantage over content writing because it allows for a personal connection to be established. The author can relate to his or her audience based on similar likes, dislikes, and professional opinions. There are no right and wrong answers in this arena – all of the writing is subjective.
Blogging requires less work in the short-term because immediate output is generally smaller, but more work in the long-term. Blogs need to be updated frequently if an author wants to keep their audience engaged. It might only take an hour to write a 500-word blog post, but the blogger should have a long-term commitment to do this at least once a week.
Blog writers also need to be responsive, whereas content writers have minimal interaction with their audience. Since blogging is built around interactive communication, the author can’t neglect the comments or feedback they receive. Readers want to believe there is a real person on the other side, not a corporation that is pumping out information (even if it’s useful). The plus side: active followers and readers will often make recommendations on what a blog should cover. If you’re ever having writer's block, your audience can often serve as the starting point.
As a general rule of thumb, content writing is more professional and blogging is more social. That is not to say that businesses don’t use blogs because they certainly do. Companies use blogs to share professional insight and connect with the people on an individual level.
Which is better?
The answer to this question is very subjective – just like blogging. At the end of the day, it comes down to what information you are trying to share and who your audience is.
At the individual level, you should commit to a writing style that is aligned with your strengths. If your background is more technical, you might find it hard to write short, casual pieces about informal topics that have little structure. If creativity is your greatest asset, blogging would be more suitable because it leaves room for expression.
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