Should I start a blog or a YouTube channel? ( Pros & Cons )

A lot of people tend to stick with either blogging or with a youtube channel however both can be extremely profitable if done correctly. Blogs have been around for a very long time, and the rise of YouTube has made a lot of blogs simply irrelevant. There is some content which is a lot better in video format than in simple text, although the text format is still extremely powerful, and no matter what some people might say, blogging is here to stay.

Ideally, you should start a blog and a YouTube channel at the same time, it takes a long time until your blog ranks, and during that time you can drive a lot of traffic to your site with YouTube videos. In addition to this, you can monetize both your blog and your YouTube videos, so if you manage to do them both you will basically double your revenue from different revenue streams.

The biggest difference between a blog and a YouTube channel is how they get traffic, blogs tend to get the majority of their traffic from Google, while YouTube videos can get traffic from YouTube and from Google as well. YouTube videos are often popping up in the SERPS and in recent years, Google has been ranking YouTube videos for a lot of search terms.  A lot of niches are dominated by YouTube videos and outranking them with a blog is extremely difficult.

YouTube is owned by Google and we should all expect to see more and more YouTube videos in the search results. The way Google and YouTube are making money is by keeping people on their platform, the more they use their platform the more ad revenue they will make. In the internet marketing world, everybody is saying that you need to have high-quality content, which is true but in some niches if you do not make a YouTube video than your blog post might never outrank the top-ranking YouTube video.

During the past couple of updated google has become extremely aggressive by pushing its own platforms, you will often see top-ranking YouTube video, followed by people also ask, video carousel, some more or less relevant blog posts, Pinterest, Quora and at the end google books. There is even a meme going around in the SEO community that the organic results are on the second page, and for some niches this is true. If you are new to blogging and you want to know how much would it cost you to set up a simple blog then check out my recent article How much does it cost to build a website? ( Cheaper than you Thought ).

Blogging vs Vlogging

Getting traffic

Blogs usually tend to get most of their traffic from google or from social media, although social media platforms are sending less and less traffic to other websites. The more time a user spends on a social media platform the more money the social media platform will make, and you have probably noticed a trend already. Blogs tend to need a fairly long time until they rank, as most blog posts will be placed in the sandbox for around 8 months, and they will only start ranking after that.

With YouTube, on the other hand, you can get traffic almost instantly, especially if you have some subscribers. Most people who land on your YouTube videos will not come from YouTube search but from suggested videos, which makes things a lot easier. The best part about YouTube videos is that they do not have a sandbox period, if the user engagement for the video is good then there are high chances of the video ranking both on google and on YouTube as well. Sharing your content is a good way to get some traffic, although sharing it with your friends and family isn’t the best idea for more information check out my recent article Should you share your website with your friends? ( Top 6 Reasons ).

Age of the content

The age of the content is actually a ranking factor, Google tends to favor older blog posts instead of fresh content, on the other hand, YouTube tends to favor new content. The main reason why google favors aged content is that it is a lot more difficult to rank this way, not everybody has time to wait for 8 or more months to see any traffic to their blog. If it would favor new content than the SERP results would change literally every second, and instead of high-quality websites, the search results would be filled with low quality “fresh” content.

Basically, if the main ranking factor for google would be how new the content is then every blogger who is targeting a specific keyword would simply publish the same content every day, and that is a slippery slope. On the other hand, YouTube does favor new content, and it is extremely hard to abuse due to the several systems which YouTube uses to identify a video as being unique.

Content treadmill

As blogs tend to take a fairly long time to rank, there is not a lot of reason to constantly publish articles, although bigger sites tend to perform better than smaller ones. Once your blog is starting to rank it will get traffic for a long time, although this also depends on the niche which you are targeting. If you are targeting evergreen niches than you will get traffic for a long time once you have ranked, on the other hand, if you make a tech website and if your pots rank in 12 months than the odds are that the post is no longer relevant or some new tech has popped up, so you will be constantly trying to catch up.

Generally speaking, once you write around 100 articles on your blog you should be fine, sooner or later it will rank and you will start making a passive income for years to come. With youtube this is not the case, once you stop publishing videos your reach will go down and your videos will not be recommended anymore. Basically, you will be on a constant content treadmill with youtube and even small breaks can mess up your traffic and reach.

Algorithm updates

If you are a blogger then you are already rolling your eyes once you find out that there is yet another google core update. No matter if you are doing black hat SEO, white hat SEO, or no SEO at all you can still be slapped around with these updates. Basically, it is a rollercoaster ride if you rely only on Google to get traffic, and it seems that these algo changes are becoming more and more drastic and frequent, which means more spam in the search results and a lot slower time to rank on google.

YouTube, on the other hand, doesn’t have constant algorithm changes, but it has other rules which might make your YouTube channel invalid for monetization. YouTube is a minefield, you have to be very careful what you say, what you show, and what kind of music you use. YouTube has a 3 strikes system, which means every time you get a strike your getting closer to having your account terminated.

The worst part about this is that you are the one who has to prove you didn’t do anything wrong and ultimately the person who submitted the strike will have the final decision, so either way you are in a bad position. The terms of service for YouTube are extremely vague, and YouTube is basically a publisher, although they will deny this as they can’t hide behind some laws if they would acknowledge it but the truth is that they promote what they like and they censor what they do not like.

Competition

Generally speaking, YouTube is less competitive than Google is, there are only 10 positions on the first page of google and everybody is competing for the first 3 positions as these positions drive the most traffic. Although if you are ranking for your main keywords you will most likely rank for secondary keywords as well but these tend to have a lot less traffic. On the other hand the competition on YouTube is almost zero in certain niches.

YouTube’s algorithm works a lot differently than google’s algorithm does, and if you have high-quality videos than odds are that it will get recommended to users. Google doesn’t have this recommended feature and if it will make some kind of similar feature it will probably just recommend its other platforms, you know just like how it is doing it now.

Different monetization methods

Blogs and YouTube videos have different monetization methods although both can use Adsense for ads. Generally speaking, you can monetize almost the same way a blog as you would a YouTube video, you can add affiliate links to your blog and affiliate links in the video description. The revenue per 1000 visitors is different for YouTube and blogs, generally speaking, video ads do perform better but you can use Ezoic or other ad partners to increase the revenue of your blog as well.

You can also do sponsored content on both platforms so you have plenty of monetization methods for both of them. If you want to promote affiliate products then you have to know how to choose a good affiliate program for more information check out my recent article How to pick a good affiliate program? ( In 14 Steps ).

Outsourcing

You can outsource the content of an entire blog for fairly cheap, although you can do this with YouTube videos as well but it will cost you a lot more money. Even if you outsource the video editing part you will pay around $50, and for that kind of money, you can outsource several articles. In the end, it is up to you if you want to outsource the content or not, generally speaking, most bloggers tend to outsource a lot of the content and they usually do the YouTube part themselves.

Passive income potential

Both blogs and youtube videos have the potential to generate passive income, although blogs are a lot better at generating a passive income than YouTube videos mostly due to how differently both platforms send traffic. Although this also depends on the niche, and this is why I always recommend everybody to build blogs or YouTube channels around evergreen content. Depending on the niche you can make your YouTube channel fairly passive, although if you are in a competitive niche then you probably will not get a lot of traffic after you have stopped publishing new videos.

Financial investment

Both blogs and YouTube channels need some financial investments, generally speaking, blogs tend to need a lower financial investment as videos do. Generally speaking with YouTube videos you will have to invest some money into editing software, and recording devices, both audio and video devices, which are not cheap. On the other hand, YouTube videos don’t need recurring payments like blogs do, as with blogs you will have to pay for hosting every month and for the domain name every year, although these costs tend to be negligible once you start making some money.

Time investment

Some people are better at making YouTube videos while others are batter at writing content for their blogs. If you are a complete beginner then you should try both of them out, odds are you will struggle in the first couple of months but once you have a routine, things will get a lot easier. Some videos do not need a lot of time to make, while others can take months to make, and there is no guarantee that you will make any profit from them.

On the other hand, blogs tend to need a longer time investment, you can simply not write 10 articles and hope for the best, but you could do that with 10 videos, and see if it is worth doing the videos, writing the content, or even both.

Personality

In the end, it depends mostly on your personality, some people are comfortable with recording themselves, while others find it easier to simply write content. If you are not sure which one is better for you than you should probably try both of them out, ideally you should do both of them if you have the time for them. If you are short on time then you should stick with the platform which performs the best for you.

In conclusion

As you can see both platforms do have their pros and cons, ultimately it is up to you which one you use. If you have never made a blog or a YouTube video than you should probably try both of them out and see what works for you.

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