Should You Start a Blog or YouTube Channel?

should I start a blog or a YouTube channel?

Both blogging and vlogging (video blogging) can be a ton of fun.

They can help you generate a side source of income or become an influencer in your field.

Not only that, they can help raise brand awareness and spread the word about a business.

But which one is better?

Is blogging already dead?

Do people still really read blogs?

Is YouTube too crowded, filled with other people’s videos, so that it’s almost impossible for a new person or brand to break in?

If you’re considering starting either a YouTube channel or a blog, there’s good news:

It’s not too late, and both content formats are a useful, viable way to attract potential clients, share information, or have a little fun.

I’ve done both of them for a while now, so I can tell you exactly the pros and cons of each one.

Just know this: both methods are still alive today and you can build a great business with either of them.

Start a Blog or a YouTube Channel: 8 Things to Consider

Factor #1: What Do YOU Want?

When deciding whether to start a blog or a vlog, there’s one thing you should consider first: what do you think you’d enjoy the most?

Some people are incredibly comfortable in front of a camera, eager to share their knowledge.

They have engaging personalities that show up in person and when they have the ability to talk to their audience, and they enjoy watching recordings of themselves after the fact.

Others, on the other hand, are very uncomfortable on camera (like me).

The idea of filming themselves fills them with dread, and having their video content aired across the internet, for others to judge, makes them squirm. 

And that’s normal, nobody likes reading comments like this one:

mean youtube comment

On the flip side, those same individuals who are very uncomfortable in front of a camera may greatly prefer the anonymity of a screen.

They write amazing content, have great grammar, and can quickly spot their own errors, which makes them great bloggers.

More importantly, they have an incredible “voice” when they write: an engaging style and the ability to share concepts in a way that simply makes sense to other people.

Which one are you?

And even if you’re shy or self-conscious about what others may say about you on YouTube, you may still really want to do it.

If that’s the case, just listen to this video and then just start!

I understand where you’re coming from since I was like this.

I feel more comfortable behind a screen… but I also LOVE recording videos.

Seeing yourself in a video is more thrilling and less boring than reading your blog post, so I don’t regret it.

But it IS less comfortable.

Chances are, you already have a good idea of what you’re best at--and that’s the best starting place for deciding what type of content you want to create and share. 

In the end, you’ll only stick to it if you like what you’re doing and are comfortable.

Factor #2: What Type of Information are You Sharing?

Some types of content are simply more suited to either vlogging or blogging than others.

For example, if you’re sharing a behind-the-scenes peek at your business with your customers, they might respond much better to a literal look at your business.

Like this video where an esports team CEO turned his office into a playground:

screenshot of a youtube video with offices in the background

On the other hand, if you’re putting together a detailed FAQ about your chosen industry or specialty, you may find that your fans benefit much more from a blog that they can easily skim.

Like for example, our massive Q&A questions list:

list of q&A questions

In order to decide whether vlogging or blogging is the right medium for you, carefully consider the type of content you want to create and share.

Some types of content naturally lend themselves to one or the other: highly visual content to vlogging, and highly descriptive or detailed content, often, to blogging.

When you know what type of content you want to generate, you’ll often find it easier to break the two down.

Factor #3: Do You Have Content Ideas Likely to Go Viral?

Video content gets consumed and shared considerably more often than static blog content.

If you need to spread the word about your business or raise awareness for your personal brand quickly, a viral video is a great way to do it.

Videos, in general, are more likely to viral than blogs--and more likely, even if they don’t go viral, to be shared with other people.

See, when you start a blog, it will almost surely take at least 6 months to start receiving any visits.

However, YouTube channels can go insanely viral with your first video:

new youtube channel that went viral

(warning: it probably won’t happen to you, but it is true that it’s more probable to grow a YouTube channel fast than a blog).

This is just because both search engines (Google and YouTube) work completely differently.

Video is more viral because it’s easier for people to consume, and it’s also more effective when it comes to connecting with people.

Factor #4: What Do You Need to Get Started?

Neither vlogging nor blogging requires you to have much of a budget to get started.

Chances are, you already have what you need: an internet connection, a device that can record you (like your phone), and the creative energy you need to propel yourself to get things done. 

equipment for vlogging

That doesn’t mean, however, that either vlogging or blogging is free.

When you start a vlog, you’ll find that equipment makes up a large portion of your expenses.

While you can make do with your phone, tablet, or laptop camera and some basic free editing equipment, making a financial investment in your vlog might make a difference in your ultimate success.

You may want:

From all of the above, the only thing that will be mandatory is a tripod (you can get one for around $20).

You can (and should) start recording videos with your smartphone instead of investing a lot of money when you’re just starting.

The rest of the things are just a bonus that may help you.

But if your content sucks, then not even the best camera in the world will save you.

A blog, on the other hand, requires you to pay for a monthly host.

It’s still a very low cost though: you can start a website with around $3.5 per month with a host like Bluehost:

entry website host price

Factor #5: How Much Time Do You Have to Get Started?

Carefully consider how much time you have to create your new vlog or blog--and how much time it will take you to create the necessary content.

In some cases, your skills may determine which one you can create the most quickly.

If you write quickly, you may be able to put together several blogs within a relatively short period of time, getting your blog up and running.

If it takes you hours to write a short blog post, you might need longer to put together those pieces--and, therefore, to launch your blog.

On the other hand, putting together a detailed vlog, complete with edits and effects, may take several hours of work, while putting together a quick, live vlog with little to no editing can take less time.

How much time do your videos take to make will depend a lot on the type of videos you’re making and how long they are:

average youtube video length by category 2018

If you’re comfortable in front of the camera and tend to be able to get through your content without stuttering or going back to re-record it, you may find that it takes less time and effort. 

In my case, I can write really fast.

2000 words drafts may take me around 2 hours to write.

That’s faster than the average:

How long it takes to write a 500 word blog post

On the other hand, videos are harder for me as I tend to be a perfectionist about what I say.

On the other hand, I’m really fast at editing videos — maybe it’s because of my years of playing tons of strategy PC games.

So if you really don’t have a lot of time, you might want to start with what you can do faster and more comfortably.

Factor #6: Where Can Your Audience Be Found?

In order to determine whether a vlog or a blog is more effective for you, carefully consider where you can find your audience (and what type of content that audience is looking for).

Younger viewers--especially those in Gen Z--are spending more time than ever on YouTube, with around 85% admitting that they use YouTube.

85% of teens use youtube

On the other hand, millennials can still be found more often on Facebook.

Finally, older generations also like to spend their time on YouTube.

Every generation likes to spend their time on YouTube, but they spend it differently:

Gen z prefers humor on YouTube

Both formats are still popular with every generation.

But if you know what particular audience you want to reach, you’ll decide better what kind of content to make.

Factor #7: Do You Prefer Passive Income or Being Active?

This may come as a surprise for you, but a blog is ultimately a lot more passive than a YouTube channel.

Why?

Even though it takes longer to grow, a blog post will keep attracting people for years after publishing.

On the other hand, a YouTube channel will attract a lot of viewers in the beginning, but your videos will start to die slowly and newer videos are given priority.

Just take a look at your YouTube home page.

You’ll see that most of the recommended videos are less than a week old:

youtube home page showing mostly new videos
Red squares represent videos that are < a week old

YouTube loves new content and will always give it a priority if it’s better than the older one.

On the other hand, blogs are like wine: they get better with time:

Each blog post you create will have more rankings as time passes by just because your site is older.

This is because your posts will get more backlinks (one of the strongest ranking factors) as time passes by.

And Google will simply trust more an older website than a newer one because they’ve built a reputation.

YouTube is all about trends and virality.

You’ll need to keep pumping out content constantly.

That is why you must LOVE making videos if you want to start a YouTube channel.

Or else, you’ll just burnout.

Factor #8: How Can You Combine the Two?

When it comes to blogging versus YouTube, there’s no reason you can’t have both!

In fact, combining video content and written content can, in many cases, give you the best of both worlds.

Think about it:

Video content is more likely to engage your viewers and more likely to get the viral shares that will help take your content--and your brand--to the next level.

Blogging, on the other hand, can help you deliver longer-form content and deeper information

This is especially good for highly specialized information that might be harder for your audience to absorb if you’re only putting together videos.

Blogs are also great for putting together printable information or instructions that your readers want to come back for later.

So why not combine the two?

Yes, yes, I know one reason:

TIME!

But even if you don’t have it for both of them at this moment, consider it for a later stage in your life or business.

Posting videos on your blog can help expand your audience and raise awareness about your brand.

Video content gets more shares, which means it can help spread the word about your website and your brand.

If you prefer the idea of vlogging, on the other hand, consider how adding the occasional blog can help add value to your viewers.

As you develop your new website, consider developing both a blogging schedule and a vlogging schedule.

Carefully consider the type of content you want to put together, including the types of topics you want to cover, then put together a schedule that covers both.

Deciding whether to start a blog or a vlog is a critical decision--as is deciding what type of content you want to continue producing over time.

Fortunately, you don’t have to settle on one alone. 

Is a YouTube channel or a blog better? Which one is truly better is up to you.

Which one is it for you? 

Will A.

Will is the founder of VloggerPro. He's a YouTube Certified partner and has been reviewing equipment and teaching others how to grow and generate real income on YouTube for the last 5 years.

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