Blog vs. Vlog: Which Should You Choose?
So, you want to promote your brand and share a message.
You have heard that some people achieve this by setting up a blog, but others swear that creating a vlog is the way to go. Who is right?
In some ways, both groups have a point. Blogs and vlogs both offer a range of potential benefits. The key is knowing which one is a better fit for your project and suits your skills.
In this post, we’re going to examine both the blog and the vlog in detail and put them head-to-head in the ultimate showdown!
What Is the Difference Between a Blog and a Vlog?
Blogs and vlogs are both online spaces where you can publish regular content. The main difference between them is the type of content you’re sharing.
What Is a Blog?
The blog format was originally designed as a kind of online journal; the name actually comes from the contraction of “web log.” It’s a section of a website where individual articles are displayed or listed in date order.
The term is also used when someone is referring to an individual entry, otherwise known as a blog post.
A blog is a type of website that publishes ‘blog posts’ or web articles regularly. These entries are usually presented in reverse chronological order.
Back in the day, bloggers made their name simply by sharing personal anecdotes on a daily basis, or providing unique insights within their industry.
But blogging has changed over time. While personal blogging is still alive and well, the format is now also used for digital marketing, and other purposes.
Brands today publish articles on topics that are likely to attract the attention of potential customers, and they optimize the content for search engines. It’s a strategy known as content marketing.
Why You Should Start a Blog
If you can follow this path successfully, a blog can draw new people to your website and keep them coming back.
As long as your content is targeted correctly, it can be a very powerful tool for generating leads, growing your audience, promoting your products, and proving your knowledge.
Some people also blog for profit. Once you have an audience, sponsorships and Google Adsense can both provide a decent stream of income.
Another form of blog monetization is affiliate marketing. This is where retailers offer you a small cut of any sale made when the customer comes from your site. For instance, you might run a blog about new technology and insert links to shopping pages for those items.
What Is a Vlog?
A vlog (“video log” or “video blog”) is an online video channel where you post frequent updates. It’s essentially the same idea as a blog; the key difference is that all the content is visual.
Committed vloggers tend to upload a video every day or multiple times a week. These updates are usually no more than 10 minutes long and mostly focus on recent events. For example, it could be a day in the life of the vlog owner, or a discussion around some newsworthy topic.
Why You Should Start a Vlog
As with blogging, it’s possible to use vlog content to promote your brand. Rather than discussing personal events or the latest celebrity gossip, you just create videos about topics your customers will likely find interesting.
Many different formats work well: tutorials, product reviews, comparison videos, and more.
Vlogging on a platform like YouTube gives you access to a ready-made audience. People who enjoy your videos can subscribe with a click, and you can insert links underneath your videos.
You can also monetize your video blogs through ads, sponsorship, and even subscriptions. Some full-time content creators have earned millions of dollars this way.
What Are the Potential Benefits of Blogging and Vlogging?
Whether you’re trying to promote a brand or sharing your personal story, both blogging and vlogging can provide some amazing benefits:
- Reach more people — Some readers have probably never heard of your brand, but having a blog or vlog allows you to extend your reach.
- Promote your cause — Growing a blog is an excellent way to promote a product, a service, or even a cause you care about.
- Generate more leads — Whether it’s through direct sales or adding people to your email list.
- Prove your expertise — If you provide useful information for your target customers, they will begin to associate your brand with solid industry expertise.
- Make money — It’s possible to generate significant income by creating highly targeted content, including affiliate links and ads.
Sounds pretty good, right? Well, just bear in mind that there are some challenges involved with building a successful blog or vlog:
- Competition is fierce — Everyone wants a slice of the pie, so you’ll need to do something special to stand out.
- It takes time (or money) — Writing articles or filming videos regularly is time-consuming.
- Publishing is just the start — Unless you get really lucky, the only way you’re going to build an audience is by promoting each post through various channels.
Blog or Vlog: Head-to-Head Comparison
On a basic level, blogs and vlogs have a lot in common. But you start to see the subtle differences the more you look.
The fastest way to set up a blog is with a third-party blogging platform like WordPress.com or Tumblr. With this method, you can be online within an hour.
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However, we generally recommend self-hosting your blog. This can take a little more time, but it provides several advantages:
- You maintain full ownership over your content.
- You can customize the design of your blog.
- You can add features like email signup forms.
- Your website receives the full SEO benefits of your blog.
Using our dedicated WordPress hosting, you can get set up pretty quickly. Just be prepared to invest time into optimizing your new blog.
Setting up a vlog is generally a quicker process. Because of the demands of hosting videos, most vlogs are published on specialized platforms, such as YouTube, Vimeo, and DailyMotion. Social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter can work as well.
These platforms allow you to create a channel in minutes, and they offer vast amounts of storage. Sometimes, you can tweak a few settings, but most of the optimization is handled by the hosting site.
If you prefer to keep control over your video content, it’s possible to go down the self-hosted route. However, this generally works best for well-established brands.
TL;DR: Setting up a vlog is a bit easier
When you first start out, the cost of setting up either a blog or a vlog is negligible.
Our web hosting packages start at $2.59 per month, and we recommend building your blog using WordPress, which is completely free. Even if you need to upgrade as your blog grows, the price remains affordable. It’s also worth investing in a unique domain name.
If you create a vlog on YouTube or a similar platform, uploading content is entirely free.
But here’s the catch: you will probably need to buy video editing software and some equipment (e.g. cameras, mics, lights) to produce high-quality video content. None of this stuff is cheap!
TL;DR: The cost of blogging is lower
Anyone can bash out some words or capture some footage. But to really capture the attention of new followers and potential customers, it’s worth putting some effort into your content.
With practice, it’s possible to write a good blog post in a couple of hours. If you’re aiming for high-end content, you should also budget for SEO research and graphic design.
With a basic “talking to camera” vlog, you can set up, record, and edit within the same kind of time frame. However, more ambitious video ideas, including screen records and interviews, can take much, much longer.
In terms of skill, blogging is probably a little easier for beginners. Creating a good vlog requires knowledge in several areas, whereas a good blog is largely based on writing ability.
TL;DR: Blogging is a little quicker and easier to learn
Successful blogs and vlogs are both based around great content. However, good work doesn’t always get the attention it deserves.
If you start a blog, expect to spend some time optimizing your site, and each individual post, for search engines. Over time, this will allow you to reach people through Google and Bing. Bloggers also use social media and newsletters to promote new posts.
Promoting a vlog can be slightly easier if you publish via a YouTube channel or some other video platform. These sites actively promote content to existing users, meaning you can attract new viewers without specifically reaching out.
That said, the algorithms used by platforms like YouTube only tend to work in your favor once you’re already off the ground.
TL;DR: Both require some effort
When you compare written content with video, one big area of difference is the type of people who are likely to engage with your posts.
The most recent research in this area found that 30% of all blog readers are aged 31–40 years old, and 37% fall into the 40–60 age group. In contrast, everyone aged 30 and younger accounts for only 27% of total blog views.
In contrast, video viewership is heavily skewed towards younger age groups. Whereas 63.8% of people aged 65 and above will regularly watch online videos, 97.8% of users aged 18–24 enjoy this form of content.
There are many other ways you can split these two audiences. The takeaway here is that your choice of format is important if you want to reach a specific group of people.
TL,DR: Think carefully about your target audience
You can make money with both a blog and a vlog.
Blogging used to be very lucrative. But in recent years, the diminishing value of display ads has made it more challenging to generate a significant amount of revenue.
Bloggers who manage to make a good living generally run several sites, and much of their revenue comes from merch, donations, and affiliate commissions.
If you run a highly successful vlog, it’s possible to make big money from every video. Platforms like YouTube run ads, and creators receive a cut. These same vloggers also tend to have sponsors, who will stump up a significant amount of cash in exchange for being promoted in videos.
The catch? Well, you need a pretty big following before you will see any major revenue.
TL;DR: Vlogging has a higher ceiling, but blogging with affiliate links is a proven model
Apart from personal blogs and vlogs, most content today is published for marketing purposes.
Sharing written content is a proven way to drum up interest in your brand or product. The return on investment is usually quite high, and you can easily repurpose your work for sharing directly on social media and in email marketing.
Video marketing is a great way to reach a lot of people. However, convincing those people to engage can be a difficult task — particularly with the type of short videos you see on Instagram and TikTok.
TL;DR: Use a blog for conversions, or a vlog for reach
Tips for Building a Great Blog
If you decide that written content is the way to go, you should definitely read our guide to setting up a blog. But while you’re here, we have a few tips to share.
Grab a Unique Domain Name
If you want your blog to be taken seriously, you really need to register your own domain name.
Try to pick something memorable and unique. A site like Namechk can help you with the search, and even show you whether your chosen brand name is available on social media platforms.
Choose a Niche
People tend to prefer reading the insights of a specialist, rather than a generalist. They will come to recognize you as an expert if you share information on specific subjects, rather than writing about various topics.
It’s also much easier to become well-known within a niche.
Improve Your Writing Skills
Crafting a good blog post is not easy. Here are some key tips that should elevate your writing:
- Write first, edit later — This is the best way to avoid getting stuck.
- Think about your audience — What answers are they looking for?
- Use the inverted pyramid — Deliver the most useful information first, then expand on the details later.
- Create a great resource — As a general rule, providing greater depth is better than being too shallow.
- Use images and bullets — See how this list broke up the wall of text? You can use images and GIFs in the same way, too.
- Read other blogs — Seeing what types of content are popular can help you decide what to write about.
Tips for Building a Successful Vlog
Blogging is not right for everyone. If you feel like the video format better suits your aims, these tips should help you to build the perfect vlog.
Choose Your Platform Carefully
If you’re only interested in reaching the biggest possible audience, hosting your vlog on YouTube is probably a smart choice.
However, Google’s video platform does come with a few issues:
- You have limited control over your content.
- YouTube videos are often interjected with ads.
- Google decides what you can post.
- You sometimes lose image quality in the upload process.
For this reason, it’s worth considering other platforms (e.g. Vimeo) and the option to self-host.
Invest in Content Quality
As a first-time vlogger, you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on equipment and software. But as your audience grows, it’s definitely worth upgrading your kit.
Your camera is actually the least important part of the content creation process. Any video professional will tell you to buy mics first, followed by lights.
You know how podcast hosts constantly show up on each other’s shows? It’s not some kind of weird cult. It’s a smart marketing strategy.
The host gets a guest who provides interesting content. Meanwhile, the guest has an opportunity to promote their show in front of a new audience.
The same idea works well in vlogging. If you can find someone who talks about related topics, suggest a collaboration — You’re both likely to benefit.
Get Started Today
However you choose to share your content, the most important thing is simply to get started.
The sooner you start publishing on your blog or vlog, the faster you will start picking up followers. You will also start learning what your audience enjoys, and gain experience that will help you create better content in less time.
As the experts often say, the best time to start is now!
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