It's a blog post

Why Calling It a ‘Blog’ Makes You Look Stupid

I’m sorry to anyone who doesn’t know about this. Please don’t take offence. But it has to be said…

And rather than get annoyed, I hope you feel a little gratitude for being told. Like when someone kindly steps over the social embarrassment threshold and tells you that you’ve got spinach in your teeth. And it’s been there all day.

Here it is.

If you are talking about a ‘blog post’ and instead you say a ‘blog’ then you sound rather silly (to put it nicely) to 30% or 40% of the people you’re talking to. It’s just a fact.

Allow me to explain.

A ‘blog’ is a ‘magazine’

A ‘blog post’ is an ‘article’ – a single page of content on a ‘blog’.

(You can also just call it a ‘post’)

When you ask someone to read or write a ‘blog’ it’s exactly the same as asking someone to read or write an entire ‘magazine’.

When I was a journalist my editor never turned to me and shouted, ‘Marek! Get me two magazines on that story, by Friday!’ If he did I would have dropped my coffee and fallen off my chair. Two entire magazines!? Articles, adverts, pictures, business plan, domain name, copyright and all?

No, he asked me for ‘two articles by Friday.’

When you use the word ‘blog’, you are asking for the entire website. Or the entire section of one’s website where multiple posts are kept.

Please see the Oxford dictionary definition of ‘blog’ to confirm this fact. And here is the definition of ‘post’ meaning a single piece of content (4th one down).

These two savvy bloggers also felt the need to vent their frustration with this all-too-common mistake:

This is a Blog Post. It is Not a Blog (Forest Wickman)
It’s a Blog Post, Not a Freakin’ Blog (Sabrina Dent)

I know, things are changing – but it’s still risky to call it a blog!

Now it’s true that more and more people are using the word ‘blog’ to mean ‘blog post’. It’s just one of those changing trends.

But here is why I think it’s dangerous for you to jump on that band wagon. At least for the next decade or so.

The fact is that the majority of people (especially the younger, more tech savvy generation) still know that a ‘blog’ is a ‘website’, a ‘magazine’ which contains many ‘posts’, which are ‘articles’ or ‘pages’ within that website.

Let’s say this proportion of people is 70% or 80%.

So every time you talk about a ‘blog’ you’ve read, or you want written, 20% or 30% of people think you are spot on. They don’t see anything wrong.

Then 70% or 80% of people have a moment of confusion. But then quickly realise what you mean. That you are talking about the word ‘post’ but you think it is called a ‘blog’.

Of those people, half won’t even think about it for a second. But the other half will smile, or shake their head, and think it’s silly.

They wonder if you’re completely new to content marketing, and if they should tell you or not. Frankly, you sound a little out of touch. Your otherwise perfect professional veneer has been slightly tarnished, for those people.

So, why risk it?

Is it so important to use the word ‘blog’ when you mean ‘blog post’? Why make yourself sound a bit silly to 30% of the people you interact with in business?

Why not call it a ‘post’ or a ‘blog post’ – and 100% of people will know exactly what you mean. No one will think anything less of you. No friction caused. No veneer scratched.

What’s the harm in that?

Do you disagree? Does hearing this common bit of semantic confusion irritate you? Or do you think I’m being a picky so-and-so?

Please, comment below!

Cheers,

Marek

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About the author

Marek Sanders
Word-slinging Cowboy at The Creative Copywriter

Honest, sharp, funny, results-driven. Ex-financial journalist who knows how to hook ’em and hold ’em with every word.

Comments

  1. Glenn Shepherd

    Hi Marek,

    Right on! I, too, find that it grates on me when people say “blog” when they mean “blog post”.

    I don’t care how picky people may think it is – right is right and wrong is wrong. Why insist upon being wrong? The thing is, if you use the correct term then the people who say “blog” aren’t going to think you sound silly for saying it correctly. But if you say “blog” when you’re actually referring to a post, then there is going to be an element who thinks you sound silly. So why would you choose to sound silly?

    Thank you for the great post and well done for highlighting this!

    »Glenn«

  2. Amy

    Hi

    I myself say blog posts but I have spoken to rather a lot of prospect clients that use the word ‘blog’ instead that may find this offensive. Just another angle to consider.

    1. Konrad Sanders

      Hi Amy – we definitely considered it! Hence the attempt to pacify those people at the start of the article, with the ‘please don’t take offence’ line. But we have been known to ruffle a few feathers with our blog posts. Hopefully people won’t be too offended though; only time will tell…

  3. Marek

    Hi Glenn, thanks for sharing!

    Hi Amy, thank you too! The title of the post is a bit cheeky, but it really is a message meant with love. I am sure most people who make this little mistake don’t realize that they’re making it, and that they sound rather unprofessional when they do, to many people. I hope it’s taken that way by all.

  4. Gail Kent

    I’m so glad that somebody saw fit to write about this. I thought I was the only person annoyed by it! It seems like such a trivial thing, but it really bugs me. I think the reason it has come into misuse is because “blog” can be used as a verb, as in “I need to blog today.” In that context, you mean, “I need to write a blog post today,” not “I need to set up a new blog and write a bunch of blog posts today.” However, when I hear someone say, “I wrote a blog today,” it tells me that they are newbies to the content marketing field. It’s important to learn the vernacular to be taken seriously.

  5. Sneha

    Heyya..I myself say blog posts but I have spoken to rather a lot of prospect clients that use the word ‘blog’ instead that may find this offensive.Thank you for the great post and well done for highlighting this!

  6. Randy Kershner

    3 cheers, Marek! These minor semantic irritations are valid and worth pointing out, especially to colleagues in the industry. Mistakes are understandable at first, as so many new terms and phrases are introduced with new practices and technologies advancing so quickly. But it’s our job to make sure we are accurate when using the terms, to advance the common dialect or jargon in the proper way, so we are collectively on the same page with shared understanding… and frankly, so we don’t look uninformed or remedial to our clients, competitors and colleagues.

  7. Rita Duponty

    So glad you brought this information out. I tend to use the term articles instead of posts since posts are really mini articles within the blog. Although, some posts can be very lengthy. Appreciate your clarifying for the public.

  8. sneha

    Hi

    I myself say blog posts but I have spoken to rather a lot of prospect clients that use the word ‘blog’ instead that may find this offensive. Just another angle to consider.

  9. Ryan Biddulph

    Hi Marek,

    Well said. Blogs are full bodies of work. Posts are mere articles. Fab point and good to know for folks who need to know.

    Ryan

  10. Lori

    Hi Marek,
    What made me select to read this article from the headline is that I thought you were going to say that there was a new term for “blog”. I was thinking well I want to be in the know let me see what everyone else is calling it now. Then when I saw that you were really talking about people calling blog posts a blog. My first thought was, “Well, that is stupid.” I honestly have never heard anyone refer to a blog post as a blog. Or maybe they did say it and I just knew what they were actually talking about it. Now, I know since I have read this I will definitely notice it now and it will probably annoy me. LOL

  11. Ben Jacobson

    This error totally gets under my skin too. And I always wrestle with whether or not to tell the perpetrators. Can you please publish some advice on how to correct people without offending them or coming off as a pedantic snob?

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