Blogging vs Writing


Is there a difference between blogging and writing? Yes, there is. More than one!

What is the main difference between a blogger and a writer then? Read on to find out about it!

Are You Just a Blogger or Already a Writer?

I’ve been blogging since 2003 and I’m increasingly aware of the difference between blogging and writing. Think about it:

What makes us read books by authors who have written them decades or even centuries ago?

Surely they’ve been writing not blogging when it comes to novels. Blogs did not even exist until the 21st century!

Fiction seems to be written for longevity. At least good, great or rather outstanding fiction.

Just think about some of the most famous American writers:

  • Thoreau
  • Hemingway
  • Bellow

Sure, they wrote actual books or novels but it’s not just the sheer size or type of the text. The difference is more intricate.

Yesterday’s News

The opposite of literary masterpieces are newspapers. Who cares for yesterday’s news? This is a common idiom that shows the main difference. Blogging tends to be like reporting.

In the worst case blog posts are only relevant at a certain point in time.

We also tend to read letters or diaries by famous dead people. Isn’t writing letters or diaries more like blogging?

Or do we read them just out of historical curiosity? The main difference is not simply timelessness or quality but something else then.

When we blog we describe. When we write we create.

When writing like acclaimed authors we try to be original. We want to say something unique.

We attempt to offer an insight that stems from our own point of view. We do not try to merely describe the world, we try to explain it.

Why does it matter? After all it’s a blog here not a novel. Why do we need to write like novelists do?

What is actual the difference between a blogger and a writer in one word? It’s about the longevity as mentioned above!

There is Nothing New to Say

In modern literature theory we have the idea of intertextuality. What does that mean? Internet text? Just kidding! No!

Intertextuality basically means that everything has been said or written before. Thus trying to be original is a hopeless endeavor.

Whether you agree that “there is nothing new to say” or not it’s certainly difficult like hell to write something original.

What you can do instead is to add your own unique take on things. You can recontextualize what has been written in the past. You can add your two cents. When you’re lucky it will be more than two.

Nonetheless literary writing strives for originality. One of the worst things to be accused of as a writer is plagiarism.

When blogging you know that you do not reinvent the wheel. You just cover recent events or developments. That’s perfectly fine.

Trends Fade

The SEO 2.0 blog has been online for years. Already after two or three years many articles were completely outdated. For example I have deleted many posts over the years about tools and services long gone.

Even postings about services that still exist tend be obsolete after a year or two. Why? Features change. Trends fade. At the same time some posts from 2007 are still valid or more apt than ever.

You have to ask yourself: Do you want to write for the quick buck?

Then mere blogging is OK. Do you want to be able to capitalize on your blog next year, five years or a decade from now? Then you have to start writing instead.

  • Don’t focus on services that come and go.
  • Don’t cover trends and hypes.
  • Write about universal values.

Write about your own take on things that don’t change. The websites might change but the underlying techniques won’t.

Evergreen Philosophy

I’m glad that most of the postings that deal with the philosophy of SEO 2.0 still ring true. The SEO 2.0 approach is still valid even long after the 2.0 hype subsided because it was my own take on things.

I explain my own interpretation of ancient wisdom of human relations.

SEO 2.0 was just a new context for what people have known for centuries. Cooperation is the key. Mutual aid benefits all parties involved. Give to receive. No person is an island.

Try to adapt old wisdom to current times instead of adapting to hypes and tools.

The tools are just the tools, whether you use a hammer or a robot, you are trying to build something that lasts. The tools may change but the goals are the same. Likewise blogging is just a new tool for writing.

Imagine Thoreau, Hemingway or Bellow blogging. Then write like them but not fiction.

Reality is often stranger than fiction and offers daily inspiration. Your original writing stems from the time you live in but your take on it makes it timeless or universal when you apply it to timeless values.

Are you still blogging or already writing? You can become a writer while being a blogger as well. It’s just a matter of how you write for a blog!

Just ask yourself: will it be still relevant 5, 10 or 100 years from now? The longer it will last the more of a writer you are.

* (CC BY-ND 2.0) Creative Commons image by faungg’s photos