Is That a Blog Post? Or an Article?

In spite of my ownership of the term “professional blogger,” I find that I need to call my writing something other than a blog post.

I’ve just released a book in which I own the term “professional blogger.” However, I find that it’s not really working out all that well for me. Not that I mind telling people that I’m a professional blogger.

The real issue is that blogging still isn’t seen as a totally legit job. In fact, I’ve found I have more luck presenting myself as an expert if I position myself as a financial journalist or a freelance journalist. I still add that I’m a professional blogger, but I put the “journalist” title ahead of the blogger title. I’ve been getting better responses — and I’m able to command higher rates.

Blog post

This recent effort to position myself as an expert has also led me to reconsider what I call my work. Is it a blog post? Or an article? Lately, I’m starting to refer to my work as “articles,” rather than posts.

Blog Post vs. Article

I’ve noticed that, even as the newspaper industry dies a slow, cruel death, emphasis is placed on the trappings of “real” journalism. So I’ve started referring to my work as writing articles, rather than writing blog posts.

I’ve discovered that if I quote my fee on a per “article” basis, I’m far more likely to be accepted at a higher rate thank if I quote on a “blog post.” They amount to basically the same thing, but if I refer to myself as a “journalist” and quote my fee for an “article” I can command rates of three or four times what is viewed as acceptable for a “blog post” from a “professional blogger.”

It’s a little disconcerting for me, since I’ve spent a lot of time building my brand as a professional blogger, but there it is. I guess as soon as you publish something about how you’re a professional blogger, and proud of it, you should beware: You might end up re-branding yourself as something different (facepalm).

If You Can’t Beat Them, Join Them

There are days when I sit here and think that I should keep fighting the good fight. Make professional blogging a respected profession, dammit. There are plenty of bloggers out there who are great writers, who do a good job, and who research their posts. Many of them are even better writers than I am, for all my journalism degree.

But I also want to be able to earn more per post. It’s that whole work less, but earn more thing. And, while a good professional blogger can command a good per-post rate for his or her writing, and while it’s possible to make a good living as a professional blogger, the reality is that you can make an even better living if you take the time to position yourself in terms that scream “I am an expert!” at your potential clients.

What do you think? Blog post or article? Have you had experience earning more just by changing the way you describe what you do?

0 thoughts on “Is That a Blog Post? Or an Article?”

  1. Coming from a journo’s perspective, an ‘article’ IM should contain original work (ie interviewing or some other sort of research). That said, ‘article’ is such a non-journalistic term – I am not sure about the US but we call ’em ‘stories’.

    1. I kind of feel the same way. As if to really make it legit you should have done some sort of original reporting, like digging into a report or interviewing something. Here, article and story are used interchangeably. I’ve been trading on my journalism background a lot more lately, even when I don’t do so much research, though. I seem to be able to command higher rates when I emphasize it.

  2. I think writer + article gets way more respect than blogger + blog post. ultimately the same thing, but the wording changes the perception.

    1. You’re right, and the reality is that perception can make a big difference when it comes compensation — no matter what field you’re in.

  3. To me, “article” is any piece of non-fiction writing that is part of a larger publication. I just checked and WordNet backs me up on this. An op-ed piece is an “article” even if it doesn’t contain any investigative journalism or primary research.

    I stopped using “blog post” and “post” to refer to articles (ahem) on Consumerism Commentary a long time ago for the most part. But when I’m talking to bloggers, especially informally, I’m a little less strict with the terminology.

    1. Thanks for checking it out! I like that definition, and it certainly makes sense for blogs (online publications?). I also think you make a good point about using terms based on your audience.

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