Youtube vs Blogging (blog vs vlog): Which Should You Start and Make Money?
We talk a great deal about side hustles and how they play a role in helping you get to financial independence a lot quicker.
I am constantly asked the same question, which one would you go for?
Would you start a blog today if you had to start all over?
Or would you start a YouTube channel?
So for a bit of background, I run both a blog and a YouTube channel.
The blog we started about two and a half years ago and the YouTube channel a year ago, and I've got completely different views about both of them.
So I'll be sharing with you, the pro and cons of blogging vs the pros and cons of starting a YouTube channel.
I will also share with you a number of questions that I think that you should be asking yourself if you are considering starting either a blog or a YouTube channel as a side hustle.
So, the first thing to start off with saying is that if you are thinking about starting a blog or YouTube channel, I would say start either one.
You can't start both at the same time.
Because that's just not going to work. You've got to choose one to start with.
I'm going to share with you all the information I know about both of these side hustles.
And hopefully, you can take the information away and personalise it and turn it into something that will help you take action to get started today.
YouTube vs Blogging: Which Should You Start and Make Money?
Let's dive straight in now and talk about some of the positives.
Advantages of Blogging
We're going to focus on blogging first and talk about the positives and why I think you should go ahead and start a blog:
1. Creative Outlet
It's a great platform for you to set up as a creative outlet.
When I started out, I was never somebody who would ever stand in front of a camera, film or do anything like that.
So, for me, blogging was the low hanging fruit, something I could get started with.
It was cheap and affordable (~£2.35 p/m), I could get started and have something I could call my own.
So that would be the same thing for you, you could explore blogging as an affordable platform to get you started on something creative.
2. You Own Your Blog
The second important advantage and this is absolutely critical is that you actually own your blog.
If you've got a self hosted blog, one that's actually your own or you host it somewhere else.
The entire content on that blog is yours forever.
Whereas when we talk about YouTube later you'll hear me say that everything on your YouTube channel, itself is actually not yours.
Google can shut you down or YouTube can decide that they want to turn the lights out and shut down your YouTube channel.
That's one really critical distinction.
One that really gives the blog a bit of an advantage is that you have ownership.
And you can take that ownership and turn it into a bit of a business.
One day, you can actually go and sell that blog.
In fact, there is a market out there for buying and selling blogs, i.e. blog flipping.
If you've created a blog that has monthly recurring revenues.
3. Monetise Your Blog
The third positive for blogging is that you can monetise your blog.
This is one of the biggest reasons why most people started their blogs, it's because they want to make some extra money to help them pay their debt off or whatever they need.
So you can monetise your blog through many different ways.
Advertising through sponsorships, or through affiliate income, i.e. by selling products or services created by other people.
You can also sell your own products, which is what's really exciting about starting a blog and then you can do quite a lot to monetise it.
In our step by step tutorial, I show you how to create a money making blog.
I went into a ton of detail about how you can go about monetising your blog, specifically for people in the UK.
Although people outside of UK can use that information and create a money making blog themselves.
4. Great If You Love to Write
The next positive is that it's great if you love writing.
I was never good at writing anything. I got a C in my English GCSE.
But then I thought, you know what, I'm going to use this as a way to develop personally.
To write things that I'm interested in and kind of see if anybody likes it. As things would go, my blog took off.
And has done really well, in two and a half years been featured on many platforms.
It has appeared on many media sites like the BBC, Channel 5, lots of newspapers like The Sunday Times, Metro, and lots of platforms, which has been fantastic.
So it's had a lot of exposure. But that exposure has come from a lot of work.
But the key point I'm making here is that if you like writing, or you want to get better at writing, remember, you don't have to be good at it.
You might just want to be better at doing it, you might want to improve your communication, then blogging is something to start.
It's also a good way to understand human nature.
Understand how people think, because people tend to spend a lot of time writing responses and comments for you on the various blog posts create through your blog.
5. You Can Create a Brand
The final positive about blogging is that it can actually become a highly recognised brand.
Unlike a YouTube channel, where lots of channels become really well known.
A blog is essentially a website full of lots content, it can become really well known and referenced by many other websites.
The blog will then create a lot of future value because the more websites linking into your own blog, the more that blog will do well for Search Engine Optimisation on Google.
And the more likely it will be found when people search for certain keywords.
Disadvantages of Blogging
Ok, let's keep it really real!
Everything's not all good with blogging, there are things that you must do, which is such a pain.
1. You Have to Generate Traffic
All the work to generate all your traffic is yours to do. You will see, when I talk about YouTube, it's completely different.
With blogging, you've got to always self generate your entire traffic, whether it's coming from Google through search engine optimisation, or whether it's coming through social media, Pinterest and places like that.
A ton of work goes into creating content that will rank.
So you have to do lots of keyword research and lots of competitor research to find the right type of keywords to target.
When you create content around a particular set of keywords, they need rank well for Search Engine Optimisation.
So that will be the first negative because you're doing all the work, which leads me straight into negative number two.
There's no getting away from the time consumption that's required for you to create a really good blog post because there's so many elements to it.
I mean, think about it.
- When you start the blog, you've got to set the thing up, which is fine, because you're learning a really important skill set, you're learning digital skills.
- Then you got to spend some time to make it look pleasant to the eye.
- So you've got to spend some time to research and create content.
- Then, you have to spend some time to promote that content and further spend more time collaborating with other people.
But yeah, it works because I have done it. But the point still remains, it is time consuming.
3. Highly Competitive
The third negative is that blogging is highly competitive. There are millions and millions of blogs out there.
But what I found is that the more you niche down into a particular area, and your blog is fairly authentic and speaks with a particular voice, your blog can stand out and can become a success.
So I applied this when I started two and a half years ago.
And the blog is doing really well in our own assessment and assessment of other people.
I've created a free course for how to create an impactful blog if you want to check it out.
It's had really, really good ratings and people who said to me:
“wow, I never thought about blogging from this perspective of storytelling”
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5. Not Very Personal
The next negative is a really important one, which is blogs are not very personal.
You have to do a lot of work to make your blogs personal using images (see below), using colours, using so many things to make somebody know you, like you and trust you.
Lots of people will visit your blog, take your stuff and disappear.
They never stop to think – “Hang on, wait, somebody actually owns this blog”
It's like they're visiting my home, and they've knocked on a door and they've come inside.
But they don't stay to check you out.
That's the key thing about blogging – it's not always very personal.
There are some blogs that make the effort to become really, really personal.
You find that it's those blogs that are personal, they end up standing out from the crowd because people are interested in knowing who they are, what they're about and what their story is.
Blogging is about storytelling.
6. Ads Do Not Pay As Well
The final negative with blogging is that although you can make money from advertising on blogs, the advertisers don't pay as well as you might see on YouTube.
For example, advertisers pay you by CPM, Cost Per Mille or cost per thousand impressions.
These tend to be a lot lower on the blog compared to say on YouTube.
But again, this depends on what type of niche you're in, what type of content you're creating and also what time of year you are creating these bits of content.
Advantages of YouTube
Let's move on to YouTube now and look at the positives and negatives.
I am new and barely been doing this believe it or not, for the last 12 months.
Before that I was sitting back in my house thinking to myself, what if I get judged?
What if people comment and say really mean things?
Boy, I had to find out for myself, right?
So I started the YouTube channel with my wife, Mary.
So this has been going on now for about a year and it's been a ton of fun.
Do you know why?
Because you communicate very differently on video.
So on a blog post, I have to think about my grammar and think about emotion and think about layers.
But on YouTube, I'm just myself, right?
It's either you like it or you don't, which is fantastic.
1. YouTube is a Lot of Fun.
The first positive I'd say is that YouTube is a lot of fun.
You can just enjoy it and enjoy the process of learning about video, learning about cameras, learning about lights, stuff like that, which are skillsets I never had before.
And you also learn about the skillset of communication, which is hugely powerful for becoming a success pretty much in all aspects of life.
2. YouTube is a Marketing Machine
The second massive positive is YouTube is a massive search engine, essentially.
So the algorithm on YouTube does the job of promoting all our videos.
I don't spend any time promoting my videos at all. All I do is create the videos.
Then I say to my wife “Hi Babe, the video's are ready, can you please edit them?”
Mary edits them on Adobe Premiere Pro. Once they are edited, we go through a process of uploading them.
And then YouTube takes that content and goes completely nuts promoting it.
So you would never get this with a blog because the blog self hosted you've got to promote your content.
But on YouTube, you have a machine on your side working for you all the time.
3. Great For Audience Building
It's an amazing way to build an audience and to build that trust, like, know feeling towards you.
People get to know you because they can hear you speak.
They can see your quirkiness, they can judge your emotions, they know if you're just faking it or being real.
And that's why I love this platform, you can be yourself and people can see it.
I've had some weird things happen to me.
Like walking down the street and I hear some one calling my name out of a bus.
Just some really strange things… like walking down Oxford street, then a random guy who stops me and shakes my hand.
Another example of odd things happening, coming back from Cambridge, a guy at the WH Smiths shop inside Kings Cross train station suddenly comes up to me and says
“Ken, I've been watching all your videos, you're so inspiring.”
I'm like, “WOW!”
So you can basically have a huge impact… a HUGE IMPACT on people's lives because they can hear you, can feel you and they can gauge your authenticity.
And they can get to like you and trust you a lot quicker on YouTube, compared to if you're doing a blog.
But remember they both carry their strengths and their weaknesses. So this is definitely a positive for YouTube.
4. You Can Get Paid Well
The other positive is that you can get paid really well on YouTube.
So YouTube obviously pays through the adverts displayed on your videos.
And the ads on YouTube pay a lot higher compared to say, the adverts that you might generate by running a blog.
So that's the other difference. The CPM rates on YouTubes are higher.
Our YouTube channel, last time I checked was around £14, on average per thousand impressions.
Which was a lot higher than I might have generated, on my blog.
The CPM is actually usually stated in dollars, but on my phone it shows up in pounds.
So you can get paid a lot more in terms of adverts.
But the other positive, which I should talk about now is that you can also make money in different ways on YouTube beyond just advertising.
You can sell other people's products as an affiliate or you can sell your own digital products – whether it's an online course or whether it's an E-book.
Whether it's an event even, you can sell a lot and lots of things through YouTube because people know you, they like you and they trust you.
There are a lot more likely to buy from you because they've seen you on YouTube.
Disadvantages of YouTube
Alright, let's move on to the negatives of YouTube because there are many of them as well.
I mentioned to you that the process was, I would create a video and hand it over to my lovely wife and say, “Hi, babe, please edit the video?”
1. Editing is Time Consuming
And that's the really important bit, the editing takes a ton of time.
That mortgage video we did, which seems to have just gone… like nuts, our audience love that video about how we paid off our mortgage.
That video took, I reckon, probably took 12 to 24 hours of editing, because Mary was learning how to edit.
Even now where she's really good at editing, it still takes a lot of time.
So editing is an important part because when you are YouTubing
- You have to plan your idea
- Then you go and research the idea to figure out why you believe the video would do well.
- You've got to get data for why this idea would do well
- Then you create the content.
- Send the content onto someone to edit, it just happens to be my wife in this instance, she then edits
- You then do a bit of admin to upload the content onto YouTube
- Add tags and all kinds of other things.
So that all takes quite a while. But luckily, once it's done, YouTube then promotes content on your behalf.
2. You Don't Own Your Channel
The next negative is a major one.
And I mentioned this briefly before, you do not own your YouTube channel.
Yes, it's yours and your name is on it and you got your pretty pictures on it.
But it's ultimately not yours when you read the small print.
You own the content on it, i.e. your videos and things which you can download and take to another platform.
But YouTube or Google, they can stop your channel.
They can delete it if they wanted, so it's not like the blog which you actually own, and you're in complete control.
You own your blog, you control it, ownership and control are two massive pillars for generating wealth.
On a YouTube platform, you don't own it, but you do control it most of the time.
But that control you have could disappear because that ownership is not within your grip.
That's really important to understand.
3. YouTube Is Competitive
The final negative is YouTube is competitive, but not as competitive as blogging.
So I'd probably say that YouTube is about a 10th the level of competition that you might have for a blog.
So for example, I create videos in the personal finance (financial independence) niche in the UK, and there aren't that many people doing it.
But there are a ton of blogs, talking about money and personal finance in the UK.
Now, what's the difference?
Well the difference is that not many people are willing to take the leap, to stand in front of the camera, grow in their personal development and share their message.
I took the leap!
Yup! I challenged myself, put myself in front of the camera and faced the potential judgment of whoever comes across my content.
For taking that leap, we have been rewarded as YouTubers on this platform.
Although YouTube is competitive, you can do certain things to really stand out.
Instead of spending a lot of time as you might do on a blog, you spend all that time on the YouTube, focusing on quality, focusing on value, focusing on being authentic, focusing on being consistent.
All those four elements, together with the key elements of storytelling and creating interesting content means that you stand out from the crowd on YouTube.
People find your stuff, they love it, they trust you and they subscribe.
YouTube vs Blogging: Which Wins?
So if you have to make that decision today, should I start a blog or should I start a YouTube channel?
Here are the important questions that I think you should really be asking yourself in order to decide.
The very first question you should be asking yourself is,
- Which platform would you really enjoy?
- Which is fun for you to do?
I'd tell you right now, I really enjoy making YouTube videos.
Because, you know, it's just fun, I set my camera up and I talk about subjects in my own voice.
And I know based on people's comments that they really enjoy our content, they express their enjoyment, the feedback I get, gives me more motivation to create even more content.
So I'd say choose one based on which one you think you're going to enjoy doing.
First, choose that one.
Choose a Platform that Aligns with Your Goals
The next thing to consider is which one aligns with your goals that you're trying to achieve.
I'll give you an example.
When we started the blog, my goal was really was to create something that I owned, and something that was like my creative canvas and area where I just share information I wanted.
When we started a YouTube channel.
My goal was to challenge myself to come in front of the camera, I kind of feared, the whole idea of filming and being judged.
So for me, it was a personal development journey. But parallel to that, I also wanted to expose The Humble Penny blog to a whole new audience on YouTube.
So my question to you is:
What is your goal for wanting to start either a blog or YouTube channel?
Which of these two platforms better aligns with helping you achieve that goal a lot quicker?
If you can get the answer to that you will know which one to choose.
Speed of Audience Growth
The third question is how quickly do you want to grow an audience?
And this is really important.
If you want to grow an audience super quickly, then I'd say start a YouTube channel without a doubt.
Again, because of the know, like and trust factor. It helps you build an audience a lot quicker.
Then the final consideration is on how you might be using your time with blogging.
You will be spending a lot of your time initially understanding the technicalities of how to create your blog and how to start to write, that in itself has a lot of value.
How to create blog posts, how to use WordPress platforms, SquareSpace or whatever platform you're using.
Then how to then start to market your content.
I feel our growing success on YouTube has come about because we learnt certain skills on the blog first.
You have to think about your time allocation.
Do I want to spend more time doing tasks on the blog or focus my time on trying to create quality content that delivers value authentically and consistently?
So if you can decide on how you want to use your time, it's also another way for you to decide which of these two platforms you want to pursue.
If you choose to start a blog, it doesn't mean you can't start a YouTube channel later, and vice versa. Pick one and get started.
The real thing is being consistent because if you can build that muscle of consistency, you will succeed no matter what platform you're on.
And my ideal scenario is one where we are running a blog and running a YouTube channel. And both of them feed each other.
Because what you find is they tend to have different audiences across both platforms.
We'll end up using the skills that we've learnt from both platforms to create our own podcast.
Many people have been telling me – “Ken you must start a podcast” and I'm like, “Hmm, maybe I should start a podcast”.
So we will most likely start a podcast in the future.
Let me know in the comments, if you would love for us to start a podcast in the near future.
I'd also love to hear from you in the comments if you're someone who's been considering starting a blog or YouTube channel.
What To Read Next>>
- FREE Blogging Domain + Cheap Hosting
- TUTORIAL: How to Start a Blog (Step By Step)
- How To Choose and Thrive In Your Blog Niche
What To Watch Next>>
How to Start a Blog That Makes Money (step-by-step):
How to Start a YouTube Channel (step-by-step):
Have you started one? Which one did you choose? And why did you choose the blog or YouTube channel? Please comment below.
Do please share this post if you found it useful, and remember, in all things be thankful and Seek Joy.