Writing vs. Blogging: Is There a Difference?

A lot of bloggers are proud of the fact that with blogs, they are finding a medium for sharing content with the rest of the world. They have become writers. Similarly, a lot of writers have found a new medium to publish their works. They have become bloggers. You often see published and famous authors starting blogs, and sometimes discussing the differences in publishing a blog post and the process of publishing a book.

Bloggers are, by definition, writers. Yes, you can even pardon the fact that a lot of bloggers write as if they need lessons in grammar, spelling and sentence construction. But are writers automatically bloggers? Well, the moment someone hits the publish button on his first ever blog post, then that person can technically be considered a blogger. But even if you’re a topnotch writer with dozens of books published, or if you have a regular newspaper column, or if you’re a literary genius, you don’t automatically become a good blogger, in the fullest sense of it.

Blogging involves more than writing. Blogging involves interaction, being part of the community, and having your blog serve as your online identity and persona. When you blog, you don’t just write a 500-word essay and publish it on a static page. You open up that essay to the world for critique right there and then. You let people talk back to you on your comment threads and on other blogs. You respond, and you talk back.

When you blog, you don’t just publish a column on a newspaper page. You join in on the conversation. You can react to other blog posts of interest. You link, you get linked to, and you link back. You create a big web of conversations and intelligible discussions.

Whe you blog, you don’t rest on your laurels the minute you publish that scathing commentary. You brace yourself for an onslaught of responses, positive and negative, and you prepare to defend your position.

When you blog, you don’t hide your face behind the written word. Rather, your written word is your face in the online world–your identity to your readers.

Simply put, blogging is not solely about writing. It’s about learning how to interact, how to establish a presence, how to make recommendations, how to be reactive and proactive. If you consider yourself a writer, then well and good. But if you want to be a good blogger, ask yourself these. How far have you gone in terms of being interactive? Have you helped a friend online? Have you added value to the ocean of commentaries out there? Are you just another nameless, faceless entity churning out words, or are you being someone–someone who matters?

Blogging is a social medium, after all. And as such, blogging goes far beyond writing.

15 thoughts on “Writing vs. Blogging: Is There a Difference?

  1. To me a writer can become a good blogger not otherwise. Blogging is a hobby. A cherished goal of a blogger is he loves blogging or he wants to promote himself on internet. A writer on the other hand is passionate and loves to write. The common factor in both blogger and writer is both produce content useful to the reader. The objectives and motivations are different between a blogger and writer.

  2. Thank you for this post. I’ve been struggling with the writer vs. blogger conundrum for a while – as in, is blogging considered real writing? Mentally, I say that it definitively is, but emotionally I’m not always so sure, probably because blogs got a bad rap at the beginning for being online journals and were summarily dismissed by other writers. Your post reminds me of the more complicated, interactive nature of blogging. You don’t truly understand blogging until you’ve had to manage a troll.

  3. Unfortunately, even though blogging may involve more, the word currently has negative connotations. At the moment people think of bloggers as amateur writers, to be a ‘proper writer’ you have to be paid. Interesting article and I look forward to seeing how it all plays out.

  4. Dunno. I used to think Writing was the domain of professionals and Blogging was for the rest of us. Now I realize writing is writing and a blog is a publishing medium. We write differently for Twitter (a micro-blogging platform), email, a blog, a speech, a magazine article and the script for a PowerPoint. In each case, we’re still Writing.

  5. I recently published a book that was in all honesty a compilation of a little over one year’s worth of blog posts. The actual writing for the book was less than 25 pages. The rest of it was taken from blog posts that were already neatly categorized into chapters by the category links. So, are blogging and publishing different? Yes they are! The content can be identical,or nearly identical as in the example I just gave, however; The great difference is the intended duration of the work as part of the literary community. For some reason, people still read “Great Expectations”, but the chances of someone going back and reading even a six month old blog post are quite slim. Blogging, while writing, would be comparable to writing a newspaper column. Many people may read it on one day, but then it is unlikely to continue to be read in the future. I think that is the major difference between blogging and traditional publishing.

  6. When I write my blog, I feel like I’m conversation…and maybe sometimes to just myself. People don’t leave comments, but when I was in NY last week..speaking there, several people told me they read it all the time.

    It is funny that they read it and don’t add their two cents to the conversation.

    I know though, when I read someone’s blog whether I’d like them if we met in person, and maybe that’s what it’s for…getting to know you. Do you have the same values I do? Do you have something to offer me?
    Well, then maybe I’ll give you a ring, and we can talk about it.

    Some people are using their blogs like a diary. Who knows how all this social media will shake out in years to come. Right now, I’m loving it, because I’m generally someone who likes to build relationships in all these places!

  7. Very good definition of both.

    I also have seen former writers who were banned from printing an investigative story publish it on their own blog because they took a buy out at there former employer.

    So you can publish content which sometimes is banned for political reasons. I still think you need to be responsible but interactive is the best way.

  8. For me blogging is more easier, save time and energy, more open, can interact with reader and more fun than writing.

  9. I think the blogging is the more advanced version of writing, because writing just express the views of writer but blogging allows to read as well as express the views of reader over the article which brings a new conversation over the topic.

  10. In my opinion, the fact that blogs are somewhat public in nature allows the interaction within it to be viewed instantaneously, like watching a live TV broadcast. Those who engage in it, may it be a full-pledged blogger or a published writer, don’t need to draw lines in the sand in order to differentiate themselves from one another. Being in one camp doesn’t make distinct qualities come out. Honestly, why spark a differentiation war by highlighting differences? The fact that both writers and bloggers constantly craft and wield words puts them in the same side of the struggle: let our knowledge flow.

  11. i’ve always thought it was the same thing with the exception of the medium in which it’s delivered…as usual with web 2.0, the interaction with the blogger and reader exists which makes it more like a two-way conversation…

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