Frequently asked questions about general writing topics.
What is the difference between a blog post and an article?
Here is a breakdown of the differences between a blog post and an article:
In recent years, the line between blog post and article has gotten a bit fuzzy. Some companies call a 1,000-word piece of content that involves extensive research and two interviews a "blog post," while others may call a 600-word piece of content with only high-level information an "article."
There are also occasions where a piece of blog content is more than a traditional 600-word blog post but not as in-depth as an article. I define this type of content as a "blog article." A blog article is 800-1000 words, SEO optimized, requires light-moderate research, and primarily delivers high-level information.
Why is an in-depth, long-form article often the best choice?
Millions of blog posts, articles, and other types of written content are published every day. In the past, short "fluff" pieces would suffice as good content and worked well for SEO. However, in recent years Google has set the bar much higher when it comes to content. Google expects website content to be useful and informative, credible, high-quality, engaging, and "more valuable and useful than other sites."
It isn't just Google that expects websites to provide high-quality content. Your target audiences expect to find engaging, high-quality information on your website and other marketing channels. Your target audiences also expect to find content that demonstrates thought leadership, and that your company is an industry authority.
Traditional short blog posts and longer length high-level blog articles work well for news, company announcements, and providing general information about a product or topic. However, an in-depth long-form article is often the best choice if your company wants to create content that demonstrates thought leadership, establishes industry authority, and attracts target audiences.
An in-depth long-form article can also be repurposed as a nicely designed e-book, series of blog posts, infographic, and other forms of content.
What is the difference between a case study and a white paper?
Here is a breakdown of the differences between a case study and a white paper:
Do we need a white paper or an in-depth article?
A traditional white paper is a complex piece of content that involves extensive research, includes an executive summary, often requires purchasing research reports, and is very time consuming to do. It's sometimes referred to as an analyst white paper.
While many enterprises still include traditional white papers as part of their content marketing strategy, most organizations are moving away from traditional white papers.
I'm often approached by companies interested in creating a white paper; however, nearly all of these companies were looking for an in-depth article that could be repurposed as a white paper.
Today the term white paper often means a repurposed in-depth article and not the old-school, traditional type of white paper used by many well-established enterprises.
What is your process for writing a traditional white paper?
A traditional white paper (sometimes referred to as an analyst white paper) is a massive undertaking that requires extensive research, company approvals, executive summary, etc. White papers are often rather complex and very time consuming to do.
A white paper plan must be completed before I'll provide a firm quote for a white paper. The plan serves as a guide for writing the white paper and includes information such as the goals for the white paper, the target audience(s), white paper type, an overview of the content, etc. There is a flat fee for developing the white paper plan.
A firm quote and an estimated schedule to complete the project are included in the white paper plan. Depending on the size, a white paper can take approximately 8-16 weeks to complete.
The company may need to purchase report(s) from research companies such as Gartner or Forrester for the white paper as well.
What is your general writing process?
For in-depth content such as articles and case studies, I'll provide a general outline for the client to review and provide comments. Blog posts and blog articles typically don't require any interviews or an outline.
I'll update the outline based on comments from the client. Once the client has approved the updated outline, I'll start writing the content of the article, case study, etc.
I'll submit a draft of the content for the client to review and provide comments. I'll then update the content based on comments from the client.
The outline and draft of the content are submitted via Google Docs unless otherwise specified by the client.
What is your writing style?
I'm capable of writing content for a wide range of audiences; however, I tend to write in an academic/scholarly style and formal tone. Much of my work targets post-graduate, tech-savvy, professional audiences. If you prefer content to be written in a casual business style and less formal tone, just let me know ahead of time.