Sunday, March 13, 2016

Blogs vs Vlogs -- Which works best for you?

BlogVsVlog

Fun fact: Unlike most bloggers here on the interwebs, I started off as a YouTuber first. That's right. You caught me.

Today, I'll be covering a pros and cons list for both YouTube and Blogs. BUT FIRST...some back story...


My first published YouTube video went up in January 2010. It was a slow and steady progression trying to figure out what I was doing there. In fact, it took until fairly recently for me to gain 1,000 subs. However, for a long time, I didn't upload thinking I could actually build an audience. I did it mostly for my friends and my soul. It was my favorite hobby.

It wasn't until 2013 that I created my first serious blog. Like...a blog meant for others to read, not just an online diary a la Xanga days. For a while, I was actually pretty good at it! Then, I fell off the face of the Earth. Now I'm back, trying to tackle optimizing both my YouTube and my blog. So, what better way to start than weighing the pros and cons of both?

YOUTUBE VS BLOGGING PROS AND CONS LIST


Why I love YouTube:

IT'S EASIER FOR PEOPLE TO FIND YOUR CONTENT ON "ACCIDENT"
People tend to use YouTube as a search engine. It's also a damn good search engine. If you're someone looking to put out helpful and useful (quality) content, it will be seen. The more views and likes (and comments) a vide of yours has, the more likely it is to pop up in someone's suggested box on YouTube.

On blogs you don't get "suggested posts" on someone else's blog post and unless you're a superstar at SEO and get great stats already, you won't pop up very high on Google when you're first starting out. YouTube does a great job and suggested someone's videos based on how similar it is to the content you've been watching.

Unfortunately, there's no way to really do that for blogs other than figuring out what bloggers you read like to read.


IT'S EASIER TO KEEP TRACK OF STATISTICS
YouTube has built in analytics that are easy to consume and readily available for you right in your dashboard. It tells you straight up how many subscribers you have, how many views a video has, how many minutes of said video users watch on average before clicking away, which video gets you the most revenue, which video gets the most views, comments, etc etc. The list goes on.

It's incredibly helpful. Blogs tend to have statistics built in as well, but it tends not to be as in depth or as accurate as Google Analytics. Which is a separate account from whatever host you use for your blog. On top of that, in order to track subscribers for your blog, you must ask readers to subscribe via an RSS feed or Bloglovin' or something similar. It's just less convenient.


THE AUDIENCE IS MORE DIVERSE + LIKELY TO STICK
By this I mean that you are more likely to get regular, actively engaged viewers who are not content creators in the YouTube world than you are in the blogging world. While a lot of the users on YouTube who actively engage with a video via likes, comments etc are themselves YouTubers, there are also lot of non-YouTubers who engage with content on YouTube.

In the blogging world, this is less likely to happen. Unless you're a large-scale, wildly popular blogger, chances are majority of your active followers and commenters are other bloggers as well. It seems like most non-blogger blog readers tend to be ghost-readers, meaning they don't actually interact with the content.

However, on YouTube, I notice that I do get quite a few commenters who, upon clicking their username, do not upload content.


Why I love blogging:

YOU CAN DO IT ANYWHERE, ANYTIME
Say inspiration strikes when you're on an airplane without Wi-Fi and everyone else is sleeping in the dark. No problem. You can still open up your laptop and write up an entire post draft from scratch. In fact, you don't even need a laptop to write up a draft post. Just something to write with and something to write on. Or a phone! You don't even need your computer to do it. You can borrow a friend's computer, or use a public computer.

With YouTube it's a little more difficult. You definitely can't edit from anyone's computer, and you definitely can't always film the type of content you want at any given moment.


THE TURN-AROUND TIME IS FASTER
It can sometimes take me less than an hour to whip up a blog post. Write, edit, add a photo, publish, done. With YouTube it takes a lot longer than that. It's more like film, import, edit, export, upload, add a thumbnail, done. Blogging means a few less things on the list and a lot less time needed for each of those things.


THERE IS MORE HELP FOR BLOGGERS
If you're looking to optimize your blog and need help, there are tons of courses, books, blog posts, e-series...the list goes on. You can even hire a blog consultant or a blog coach. People have made businesses based around helping other bloggers grow their own blog. Aside from the boot camp and content that YouTube puts out to help creators, there isn't much else out there in terms of helping YouTubers optimize their channel.


I, of course, am partial to YouTube being that I started out there. Overall, I like it better than blogging, however there are definitely some aspects of blogs I like more.


Do you do both blogging and vlogging? Which do you prefer better?


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