Content is King – this is a statement often heard amongst web developers, particulaly those obsessed with search engine optimization. When it comes to writing the content for websites, there are two ways of presenting it - blogs and articles. Before deciding whether it should be a blog or an article, one needs to understand the differences between the two forms of writing.
Writing blogs is relatively easy as it is informal in nature because the information provided is more in the nature of a conversation and gramatical orderliness is mostly absent. Once people read these informal personal blogs, they are terribly impressed because eveyone feels that this type of writing calls for no professionalism and anyone can write. Blog writing has now caught on like wildfire and it has today acquired an ubiquitous web presence.
This is not to say that all blogs are written unprofessionally. As a matter of fact, when you see some of the more professionally written blogs, you will readily agree that it is written in such a presentable manner that it could easily be accepted as an article and be part of an article-based website. The converse may also be true - there are websites that appear to be article- based, but almost appear in a blog format.
Blogs are great for meeting a person’s spontaneous urge to communicate and he or she need not be a qualified journalist. Blog readers generally expect a more relaxed expression, allowing writers to use a much more casual tone than they would when writing an article. Blog writers can discuss topics or ideas that are still evolving. This temporary nature of blogging makes it easier to write more superficially with a promise to give details later.
Blog writing has its share of disadvantages in that the readers tend to expect more frequent updates than article based audiences. For blogs to work properly, your content will have to be compelling and you will have to write at regular intervals.
But articles calls for greater research as it should contain verifiable facts and written in an immaculate language free from flaws. There is no denying that a good article can generate quite a few long-term links into one’s website, whereas a blog post is at best, good for a couple of days. But when it comes to articles, readers would rightfully expect a more learned writing style.
Articles are usually considered to be more informative and accurate where details are concerned. Assuming a person is reading both blog and article, he will generally expect the article to be of a much higher standard of writing but will be more forgiving with faulty presentation in blogs. Whereas blog audiences expect a new post every day or two, article audiences are very comfortable waiting for longer periods between the appearance of two articles.
From a search engine standpoint, both articles and blogs are a great source of information. Articles will generally receive greater exposure than blogs, unless blogs are highly ranked. From a business perspective, there is no denying that articles appear more impersonal and help highlight your products and services.
By writing an article instead of a blog, readers perceive that care has been taken in writing an article and therefore the information contained must be trustworthy. On the other hand, customers may suspect that a blog will have a personal spin to it and the writers are trying to promote something that they have vested interest in. If your aim is to market a product or service, then better use an article. If you have no marketing intention but merely want to get something off your chest, by all means create a blog.
Experts advise that to demonstrate strict professionalism, avoid hastily written, shallow blogs. Instead, invest your time and money in thorough, value-added content that attracts customers – as after all you are in the business of selling. Blogs are absolutely acceptable for websites that sell low-priced products. On these sites, visitors can often be easily converted as the main challenge is to create and spread awareness. It might take you only an hour to write a blog posting and a thousand others can do that as well. In contrast, in-depth content articles that take much longer to create is beyond the abilities of lesser writers.
As someone rightly said, Blogs are useful for immediate satisfying of an urge to communicate, whereas full articles on are better for the traffic that is more enduring.
So what will you prefer blog or article? The answer is simple. While both are thought of very well by the search engines, remember your ultimate goal is to convince the user into buying your products or services and not to confuse the search engines. Do a pre-study of your audience perceptions and make a choice that will work best for them.