Blog vs Knowledge Base: How Do They Differ?
Blogs and knowledge bases both have their merits. Both are widely seen and used across the internet, but they’re not the same: from the content layout to the design of the page and the URL structure, blogs and knowledge bases may often seek to achieve the same end result, but they work very differently and have different core purposes.
To help you determine which format suits your site and its users best, we’re going to examine the key differences between each format. But first, let’s look at the similarities they share.
Both knowledge base and blog articles are often created with the same goal in mind: to answer users’ questions or offer advice. Either option can do this effectively, provided the content itself is good, although knowledge bases are often better suited to this (for reasons we’ll explore later).
The tone of voice used across knowledge base and blog articles can align too – there’s no need to alter your writing style to suit one format over the other. The priority should instead be on making sure that all of the content on your site is consistent in style and tone, no matter which page it’s on.
This is pretty much where the similarities end though. Now let’s examine what sets them apart from each other.
Here’s a summary of the defining features of knowledge bases and blogs.
- Opinions: A blog is the perfect place to showcase your viewpoint on a particular subject. Want to talk about industry-related news and give your take on how things are unfolding? A blog is the place to do it. Meanwhile, knowledge base articles should always be factual and to the point – they exist simply to answer users’ questions.
- Call to Actions: Blogs are a great way of promoting your business, which is why many decide to incorporate call to actions (CTAs) to generate conversions directly from an article. Knowledge bases typically omit CTAs, as their purpose is to give users confidence in your brand and clear up any doubts they may have about choosing your company. A knowledge base is the place to demonstrate your expertise – not your sales prowess.
- Structure: Blogs usually have a more meandering, loosely-structured layout. They’re often longer reads designed to be enjoyed from start to finish. Knowledge bases should be clearly set out, with unambiguous subheadings and bullet points – just like the article you’re reading right now!
- Page Design & Format: Knowledge base articles are created as new pages, and typically organised into clearly-marked sections so that users can easily find the query they’re looking to get answered. By contrast, blogs are usually arranged in date order and are formatted as posts instead of new pages. This means you can expect to see the date the blog was published, when it was last updated, and potentially the ability to leave a comment beneath it.
- Titles & Subject Matter: Blogs often discuss current, newsworthy topics and may have a shorter shelf life than knowledge base articles as a result. Their titles differ from those of knowledge base articles too, which are typically more straightforward and concise. Knowledge base articles should be as ‘evergreen’ as possible, and updated periodically to ensure they remain relevant and accurate.
Which Should You Choose?
In an ideal world, your website should have both. As you can hopefully tell from the bullet points above, knowledge base and blog articles have different uses and benefits – all of which can help your site generate more leads and conversions.
In terms of which to prioritise, if you’re overwhelmed with questions (especially the same few over and over again), a knowledge base should be your first port of call. And if you’re looking to demonstrate your industry knowledge and expertise (and help drive up sales or conversions), go for a blog.