If you want everyone to know you’re a newbie blogger—or you don’t get out much—call a blog post a “blog.”
I’m writing a blog today.
I get paid to write blogs.
How long should a blog be?
I started seeing “blog” used like this 7-8 years ago, but it’s much more widespread now. It’s typically someone I’m not familiar with on social media, but I’ve also seen it in blog posts. The term isn’t used by well-established bloggers, though, or by most web-based businesses.
Occasionally a potential editing client contacts me with a request like “Can you edit my blog?”
For me, editing a blog means transforming fifty or a hundred or more poorly written articles into professional-level pieces that improve a business’s SEO (search engine optimization) and earnings. It’s a lot of work, but it’s also a big chunk of change for me. But sometimes a request to “edit a blog” means improving one short article with pay so low it’s not worth the time spent discussing it.
Since I caught on to the fast-spreading misuse, I’ve learned to clarify the intended meaning in any situation right away. But I grimace every time I see “blog” used to mean “blog post” or “article.” It’s confusing!
Annoying though it may sometimes be, I’m a reasonable person (or so I like to think), so I’ve thought Oh, well. Language evolves. And I’ve tried to be open-minded and figure it’s just a normal case of terminology changing—even though in this case it makes no sense in the context of blogging in general.
What is a blog?
“Blog” is short for “website log” or “web log.”
You could say that most blogs are part of a website, but not all websites have blogs (the section of the website where blog posts are published). There are plenty of stand-alone blog platforms, though, such as Blogger. I’ve had one for years but never did anything with it.
But generally speaking, if you own a website and want to keep a log of events (like an online journal), post your latest news or opinions, or publish information-based articles (like this one), you install a blog (or request it from your website design team). This is also called your “content” whether you publish articles, videos, podcasts, or anything else.
A blog is separate from other elements of a website such as About, Services, Books, Contact, and so on. These are usually called “pages.”
When you set up a WordPress website like Simple Writing, you choose whether to have a blog or not. With a few clicks, I can add a blog or, since I already have one here, I could delete it, hide it, or make it private and accessible only with a password. And if I delete it, POOF. The blog—and all blog posts—vanishes.
What is a blog post?
A blog post is an individual entry on a blog—text, photos, video, audio, links, and so on— which is published as one unit and arranged chronologically relative to other blog posts.
“Blog post” can be used interchangeably with “article.” For most blog-savvy people, however, a blog post is typically short and offers limited information. It might be an opinion, a rant, a short update on a book or business, a personal event, or information about a change on the site.
An article published on a blog, on the other hand, is typically more substantial. It’s longer, well-researched, informative, and appeals to almost any reader interested in the subject matter. In addition, the author is usually an expert or authority in the industry he or she writes about.
If it’s written on a blog, an article can be called a blog post. A blog post, on the other hand, isn’t usually called an article. Where the line is drawn is a bit fuzzy, but as long as you don’t call either one a “blog,” you’re in good shape.
For more blogging terminology, check out this useful article: Parts Of A Website: A Cheat Sheet For Non-Techies
Some well-known authors maintain blogs on their websites; others don’t
Look up your favorite authors. Do their websites have blogs? No blogs? If a blog exists, that’s where the author publishes blog posts or articles.
Blog vs. Blog Post?
We don’t write a “blog.” We don’t post a “blog.” It’s not possible because the term is already taken, and it means a collection of blog posts or articles.
Do you have a blog? If you use “blog” to refer to a blog post or article, then what do you call the section of your website or the platform where people read your “blogs?”
Think about it.
Fortunately, the term “blog” to mean “blog post” or article hasn’t taken hold completely. No professional, experienced blogger or businessperson with a website and a blog calls their articles “blogs.”
As long as the space on a website where blog posts are found is called a blog, we won’t be posting blogs on our blogs.
Comments are always welcome!