Someone else had written an article about writing articles vs. blogging, and I had left a comment. No I want to expound on that comment.
After two years of struggling with article marketing, if I knew then what I know now, I probably would have done things a little bit differently.
So which is better? Writing articles or blogging?
I'll have to give you the classic answer. It depends. It depend on what you want to do with your blog or your articles. I imagine in both cases you'd like to make money. However, freelance content writers and internet marketers may look at blogging and article writing in different ways.
Internet Marketers Think of Blogging Like This
To an internet marketer, your blog is your business. You don't go for the free blog; you register a top-level domain name. You pay for a web host server. You use Wordpress. You better sound and look like a real online business or blog, or no one is really going to take you that seriously. This in not 100% true, but it is mostly the case.
A marketer's goal with a blog is to build his brand and to become an authority in his niche with that particular blog. He's targeted his audience. He's focused what he's going to talk about. He attracts like-minded people.
His goal is to make money. You may find a free ebook, a subscription to his blog, opt-in forms, affiliate products, his own product -- whatever! Every space of that blog is designed for bringing in readership and making money. The content must be great, but it's not the final goal.
Article Writers Think of Blogging Like This
Article writers may look at blogging as another means of gaining traffic and backlinks to their articles. Since most online content writers earn money from a residual income with write-for-pay sites, the goal is to draw traffic to the articles in order to increase revenue.
You won't find too many internet marketers on write-for-pay sites as the reward is considered too low for the amount of work you put in. Most internet marketers are willing to spend money on software and tools that will help them get ahead. If it has the potential to bring big bucks, it's worth the investment.
Now, this doesn't meant that article writers don't have an entrepreneurial bone in their body. Many of them do, but they realize there is still quite a bit of value earning guaranteed residual income from write-for-pay sites whereas internet marketing programs can be costly and the results hit-and-miss.
How Internet Marketers View Article Writing
Most internet marketers view article writing as "content". It it the stuff that Google reads, categorizes and ranks in order to pull a certain type of audience to a website by use of keywords and links. In fact, your audience isn't even an audience. It's traffic.
Sometimes internet marketers have to be reminded that their audience is actually a real person. There is a tendency to get wrapped around the mechanics of bringing traffic to your website.
Some marketers are so busy, they don't have time to deal with writing. They'd rather hire writers to product content for them, provided it's optimized traffic. Go into the marketing forums, and you'll see this first hand. Some of the top advice to is to outsource your content.
Article Writing For Writers
Since writing is the main mode of income for many online content writers, creating good articles becomes important. Writers need to attract traffic more than internet marketers to make a decent amount of money to live on. The better your content, the more your fellow writers will want to be your friend. The more friends you make, the more readers read your articles.
The article writing community has a great social connection to one another, and because they trust each other's writing, they very easily will read other content their friends might have written, even in their own blogs.
Which One Are you?
Are you a writer, or are you a marketer? Maybe you're both. Do you tend to lean to one more than another?
I think there is a bit of both in most people, but they may tend to lean to one side more than the other based on what appeals to them the most. It depends on how you view making money online. Are you willing to take it slow and steady, or are you willing to work smarter and not harder.
There really is no right or wrong answer. It's which appeals best to your sensibilities.
Which One Am I?
Me? Well, I'd say I'm almost dead center. While I've spent the last two years really getting into the internet marketing side, I think my natural tendencies linger towards the writing end. The advantage is that I can see both ends of the spectrum from a marketing standpoint as well as a writer.
If I were to do this make money online thing all over again, I would...
Honestly, as a writer, I would have and should have started with content writing for write-for-pay sites. It has a tendency to keep you grounded. Knowing now what I knew then, I would have learned to write good content first. Content is really king at the end of the day, no matter which way you spin it.
Even Matt Cutts, the head of Web Spam at Google, tells you to make good content first. SEO will take care of itself.
When you write good content in write-for-pay sites you're going to draw in readership naturally from the people within that writing site. Your articles can gain acceptance on the search engines because its on a site that already has backlinks.
Once you gain some readership who love your work, you can always lead them to a blog. If you started a blog fresh, you would have to go through all the work of optimizing, gaining backlinks, getting keywords, advertising, etc. on and on and on.
Plus, you get used to writing for a responsive audience.
All in all, it really depends on how you view making money online. Do you want to make a little extra money or a lot of extra money? Your decision will determine the route you take.