Are blogs primary sources? (Don’t be fooled!)

Roaming the internet for more than two decades, researched, and written hundreds of health articles.

I came across many types of blogs or websites that may raise an eyebrow or two.

Which led me to ask: are blogs primary sources?

To find out whether blogs are primary sources, let’s learn the definition of primary sources and a blog.

What is a blog?

A blog is much like this website. For example, consists of many web pages or blog posts about the topic, “blog.” This blog is maintained and authored by me and others.

Or, if you want a credible source or one that has more authority in the matter, check out Oxford Dictionary’s definition:

a website where a person, or people representing an organization, write regularly about recent events or topics that interest them, usually with photos and links to other websites that they find interesting

[source: Blog]

What is a primary source?

Primary sources are the raw materials of historical research – they are the documents or artifacts closest to the topic of investigation. Often they are created during the time period which is being studied (correspondence, diaries, newspapers, government documents, art) but they can also be produced later by eyewitnesses or participants (memoirs, oral histories). You may find primary sources in their original format (usually in an archive) or reproduced in a variety of ways: books, microfilm, digital, etc.

In contrast…

Secondary sources are interpretations of events written after an examination of primary sources and usually other secondary sources, such as books and journal articles.

[source: Primary history Georgia State University]

Are blogs primary sources then?

Blogs can be the first source of information. 

I often blog about my health journey. For example, in my blog, I write about my day, what I ate, and exercises to help me shed some pounds. 

Also, I buy products and review them. These types of blogs are primary sources. 

Secondary blogs?

A blog can be secondary when referring to research, other reviews, and others’ blogs. 

You may have read many blogs on the internet regurgitating each others’ content. How do you know which is the primary source when all blogs are saying the same?

For example, many health and fitness blogs on the internet have no idea about health and fitness.

It’s tough to tell which blog is credible or authoritative on the topic. Doing your due diligence by researching the source is how you can tell a blog is trustworthy.


Man thinks, "are blogs primary sources?"
Are blogs primary sources?

The most basic way to explain the difference between primary and secondary sources are the following:

A blogger’s diary is an excellent example of a primary source, while a blog about a blogger’s diary is a secondary source.

So, are blogs primary sources?

Blogs are either a primary source or a secondary source of information.

Are secondary blogs less dependable?

Doing your due diligence to examine sources, is how you can avoid bad or even harmful information.

Say, you want to know about blogging and SEO. Do you listen to the ones on the first page of Google? Or the others on the second page?

Are you wanting to build a credible blog and be the go-to primary source? 

Here’s a free step-by-step guide to starting your blog and the best tools to build a blogging business.

SEO Geek, Copy Nerd, Cheesecake monster.

As a dedicated SEO professional, I help businesses improve their online visibility and attract more customers through search engine optimization. Whether you’re a small local business or a large corporation, I can help improve your search rankings, drive more traffic to your website, and ultimately grow your business.

Christian Tanobey

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