Blog vs Journal: What Are the Main Differences?
If you want to start posting written content online, you’ll have two options. You could start an online journal, or you could get into blogging. Though they seem virtually identical at first glance, blogs and journals differ more than you may think.
Journals are often more akin to online diaries. You’d most commonly use them to document your daily life and important events. Blogs, on the other hand, are more similar to online magazines. You’d use them to share your thoughts, ideas, knowledge, and expertise.
Take a look below to learn more about blog vs journal and see which format suits your needs better.
Main differences at a glance
Despite their similarities, blogs and online journals have critical differences that set them apart. Here’s a brief overview of some of the greatest differences between them:
|Purpose||Sharing insights with the public||Personal space for self-reflection|
|Type of content||Dynamic content enriched with visuals||Static, text-only content|
|Application||Entertainment, education, updates||Log of important events/things to remember|
Journals are private, while blogs are public
Journals are almost exclusively private. You aren’t sharing your entries with your followers on social media – you’re documenting your daily life for yourself.
Occasionally, you may permit access to teachers, for instance, if you’re keeping a journal for your class assignment. Alternatively, you could share your fitness journal with your gym instructor.
How about blogs – what are they? In a nutshell, they started out as a version of online journals, initially used as personal diaries. Over the years, however, they’ve evolved to become public posts that anyone can enjoy.
You can still restrict access to them, though, sharing them only with your subscribers or setting up a paywall.
Type of content offered
When it comes to blogs versus journals, the biggest difference between the two is in the type of content offered.
- Journals most commonly have only static, textual content, like any traditional diary entry. You’ll create text-based posts, occasionally adding a hyperlink if you need it or an image to accompany it.
- Blogs are much more dynamic. Though still largely text-based, you’d enrich them with links and multimedia. You’d even use them to share interactive content such as quizzes, interactive maps, or games.
Blogs are online journals
If you’re thinking about starting a blog, you’ll probably see it defined as an online journal, as mentioned earlier – and in a sense, it is. After all, the word “blog” did come from “weblog”, a sort of online journal.
However, blogs are much more than simple journals today – they are now informational sites used to educate, entertain, and update others.
Again, if you’re starting a personal blog, instead of simply sharing your daily thoughts and reflections, you’ll share unique insights that provide value to the readers.
Blogs let you communicate with your audiences
When running an online journal, your goal is to write for yourself and to keep a log of your major events and activities. When running a blog, your goal is to communicate with your readers.
Every new blog post you create needs to be written with your unique audience in mind so that you provide valuable information to them.
Additionally, you must stay active in the comment section, replying to comments, furthering the discussion, and engaging with your readers.
Blogs are more versatile
For example, a travel journal, for instance, will keep track of your itinerary or allow you to take notes of exciting events. A travel blog, however, will allow you to delve much deeper into your experiences.
With a travel blog, you can do much more than share your top summer vacation destinations. You can offer advice on how to avoid frequent travel scams, share tips on traveling on a budget, review different travel agencies, etc.
Although they might appear similar initially, blogs and journals are quite different.
If you want to create personal posts and log your major life events, choose an online journal. If you want to connect with others, build a community, and enjoy more versatility, choose blogging. It’s more involved, but you’ll get a chance to share your unique insights with other like-minded individuals.