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!