Blog Posts vs Articles

I've long struggled with what content I should write for this blog. I enjoy writing about technology and programming, but I also enjoy writing about my personal life and other interests of mine. I've long known that there are two key parts to writing a successful blog: publish content consistently, and publish consistent content. That being that you focus your writing on a consistent topic, so when readers come to the site they know what to expect and can become hooked.

Yet that's not what I want. I want to have my cake and eat it too. I want to write about things that aren't tech and I want to write about tech. By virtue of this conflict I've pretty much resigned myself to a limited audience. I won't write about the same thing all the time, and because I won't write about the same thing I tend to not write on a consistent schedule.

My schedule right now is about one post per month. That's mostly for my own feelings of self-worth. If I were to have longer gaps between my posts I fear I would just stop writing altogether. After 5 years of consistent updates I don't want that to happen, but I also don't enjoy the quasi state that my blog is in.

I was checking out Wait But Why's website today, in particular their wait but who and FAQ sections. Two things really jumped out at me.

From their Wait But Who:

Referring to Wait But Why as “a content website,” not a blog

And from their FAQ:

Is Wait But Why a blog or a real website?

We want you to think it’s a real website and when you forward the link to someone we don’t want you to say, “Check out this guy’s blog” cause then it seems like it’s just this guy writing and it’s just a blog. We want you to say, “Check out this site” cause then we seem like a bigger deal and it seems like a legit thing. Okay?

I've always disliked calling this blog a blog, because some of the content that I publish is pretty valuable. Not only is it valuable but it's not transient - it has some semi-permanence as a resource and not just as a blog post. Whenever I would spend 12+ hours working on a post to then just publish and say 'hey guys, check out my blog post' felt completely demeaning to the content.

For a prime example my Essential Atom Packages post is a great resource, one that I would like to continuously update and keep current. However due to it being a 'blog post' I feel like it would be somehow wrong to keep updating the post. Instead the 'proper' thing would be to publish a new blog post with the updates. That seems wrong to me too, and so nothing gets updated.

Yet what those guys at Wait But Why are doing is writing full fledged articles. They're producing content and calling it content. They do it in a stream like - or blog - format, where they continuously post new content, yet they don't degrade its value by calling it a blog post. It's an article with an evergreen lifespan, one that should be allowed to hold its own, not lost in a sea of other articles.

So this got me thinking, what if I were to do the same? Move my longer form content into their own article pages and having them become evergreen content. That would free me to then use my blog as an actual blog, posting irreverent things that don't have a long shelf-life, but are things that I enjoy writing as well.

So the Atom Packages post would become a real article and I could then blog some book I read and my thoughts on it.

Stay tuned, I'm really digging this idea. Having my cake and eating it too sounds like a great idea to me.