Blog vs YouTube: The Ultimate Guide for Creators (2024)


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Last Updated on 6th May 2024

Is it best to start a blog or a YouTube channel in 2024 if you want to earn some decent income online?

What about if you want to build a personal brand business? Would YouTube be better than blogging, or vice versa?

While each platform has its pros and cons (which I cover extensively in this article), it’s important to know that some niches are better suited for YouTube, while others will likely gain more traction via blogging.

That being said, blogging and YouTube are two of the most effective mediums you can use today to build a business. Both can be highly lucrative.

The conundrum between a blog vs YouTube is, if you start both at the same time then it’ll be twice as hard to get traction and as a result, neither may come off the ground. So, you really should choose one first to start with.

So, which one should you start first?

In this article I’m going to use my 10+ years of experience online, and personal experiences building both a blog and a YouTube channel to help you decide.

Blog vs YouTube: Which Should You Start? (Our Fast Answer)

Choosing whether to start a blog or a YouTube channel hinges on several things. But first and foremost, you should think about which method of content creation you would enjoy the most.

If you like being on camera and it doesn’t fase you to have your face on YouTube, then YouTube will probably be the best bet for you, in most cases.

With YouTube you can gain traction much more quickly than with a blog. You can also build the “know, like, and trust” factor much faster with your audience.

This is a huge advantage for YouTubers.

Once you’ve started to gather an audience and build a connection with them, you’re already more than half way to being able to successfully monetize your business.

On the flip side, however, YouTube requires learning a few more skills than a blogger would need. You’ll need to learn some basic camera and audio skills, as well as how to present yourself and your topics on camera. You’ll also need some basic skills of editing videos unless you have a budget to afford a video editor.

As a YouTuber, while you can get going quickly using just the camera in your iPhone, you’ll likely want to invest a little money into buying a decent camera and microphone too.

Blogs, on the other hand, are ideal if you’re camera-shy, or if you’re just more inclined towards writing.

As a blogger, you’ll need to develop a strong ability for writing. That being said, this is now far easier than ever with writing tools like ChatGPT and Frase.io.

Now, while content creation will be a lot quicker and easier for bloggers thanks to AI, blogging will take you a lot longer to gain traction and build an audience.

With blogging you’ll also need to learn a lot more technicalities when it comes to SEO (search engine optimization). So, if you like getting down with the techy stuff, then you will likely enjoy blogging. If not, then I’d recommend YouTube.

Both blogging and YouTube also offer a variety of effective monetization strategies, which I cover in more detail in this article. However, from personal experience, when it comes to selling products, I find that YouTube converts better than a blog.

But that’s just my experience. This might not be the case for other bloggers and YouTubers.

Now, let’s get into the nitty gritty of what you need to know when choosing to start a blog or a YouTube channel.


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Woman blogger

What Are The Main Differences Between a Blog and a YouTube Channel?

A blog and a YouTube channel both serve as platforms for content creation, but they differ in the medium and style of content they deliver. Because of this, you need to consider your audience first.

Does your audience mostly hang out on YouTube, or are they generally more inclined towards reading when it comes to consuming content online?

Blogs revolve around written content and are often accompanied by images or infographics. So, as a blogger, you’ll be mostly focusing on creating written content as well as images for your blog.

Since you can self-host your own blog, you own your website entirely. This gives you more scope when it comes to monetization.

So, you’ll be able to run Google AdSense which allows you to monetize through display ads, as well as monetizing through affiliate marketing, and sponsored content.

YouTube channels, on the other hand, are video-centric, so you’ll need good sound and video quality to capture and retain the interest of your audience.

Contrary to popular belief, it’s actually more important to have good quality audio rather than video on a platform like YouTube. This little gold nugget of information will help you decide whether to invest in your audio equipment before improving video quality.

When it comes to monetizing your YouTube channel, the YouTube Partner Program provides a way for creators to earn ad revenue. However, there are multiple ways for you to monetize on this platform, and you can earn money much more quickly on YouTube via affiliate marketing.

Blogs are ideal for in-depth written pieces, like how-to guides and guest posts, whereas YouTube is preferable for vlogging, tutorials, and face-to-face interaction.

A woman recording a YouTube podcast

Comparing Blogging and YouTube Channels

Now, with that said, let’s look at all the things you should consider for a blog and a YouTube channel, side by side. This will help you to see clearly the benefits and drawbacks of each of these content mediums.

You’ll want to consider each of the following areas before making your final decision.

Audience Engagement and Reach

Engagement on blogs often comes through comments and sharing of posts. However, from personal experience I can tell you that nowadays people don’t leave blog comments anywhere near as much as they did 5 years ago.

So, in my opinion, the engagement rate through blogging has declined considerably.

In order to build relationships with your audience through your blog content you’ll also need to build an email list (this is always recommended regardless of which platform you choose for your business) and also leverage a platform like Twitter where you can share your posts and interact with people.

On the flip side, YouTube, thrives on a different engagement model.

The platform’s built-in like, comment, and subscription features encourage immediate interaction. Again, from personal experience, I can tell you that people are much more engaged and ready to interact with you on YouTube via the YouTube comments section.

Reach on YouTube can be enhanced by leveraging video descriptions, tags, and a strategic approach to content that aligns with what’s trending.

YouTube’s algorithm also suggests videos to users based on their viewing habits. This helps to increase your reach potential on the platform.

Monetization Strategies

Monetizing a blog is all about attracting readers and keeping them hooked. This is not as easy as it sounds, and you’ll need to invest some time into learning this skill.

That being said, with a blog you can earn decent money through ads, affiliate marketing, selling products or services, and sponsored posts.

The key is to produce high-quality content that solves your readers’ problems or answers their pressing or tough questions.

This strategy (when done right) can build trust and a loyal audience who are more likely to engage your chosen monetization methods.

Ways To Monetize a Blog:

  • Display advertising (e.g., Google AdSense)
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Sponsored posts and content
  • Selling digital products (e.g., eBooks, courses)
  • Offering consulting or coaching services
  • Membership sites or exclusive content for subscribers
  • Selling physical products or merchandise
  • Hosting paid webinars or workshops

Monetizing a YouTube channel, on the other hand involves creating engaging videos that encourage viewers to subscribe and keep watching.

You can then monetize your YouTube channel through affiliate marketing by placing affiliate links in the description area of your video and encourage your viewers to click your links.

As your channel grows you can also join the YouTube Partner Program to earn ad revenue, and even attract sponsorship deals with companies in your niche.

Here is a money calculator to see how much your YouTube channel could potentially make when monetized via YouTube ads.

Ways To Monetize a YouTube Channel:

  • Ad revenue through the YouTube Partner Program
  • Channel memberships
  • Super chats and super stickers in live chats
  • Affiliate marketing in video descriptions
  • Selling merchandise through YouTube’s merch shelf
  • Sponsored videos and brand partnerships
  • Crowdfunding through profitable platforms like Patreon
  • Licensing your content to media outlets
A male blogger exploring blog monetization strategies

SEO and Visibility

As a blogger, you’ll have to rely immensely on SEO. In fact, you’ll need to make it a central part of your online business strategy to master SEO and keep up with the frequently changing landscape of how websites rank in search engines like Google.

it is now practically impossible for someone to figure out SEO without a lot of experience and a wealth of data to analyze. That’s why, as a full-time blogger, it’s necessary to be part of an SEO community of experts who constantly test the latest SEO techniques and then feed back the information to you.

This way, you can easily stay on top of SEO and keep your website healthy and ranking at the top of the search results.

One such community I am a member of (and highly recommend) is called The Affiliate Lab. It’s run by one of the world’s leading SEO specialists, Matt Diggity.

With an engineering background, Matt and his team are constantly testing the each time Google makes changes to their algorithm. Once they figure out the changes they share the latest strategies with the Affiliate Lab community.

Joining the Affiliate Lab is a one-time investment. You get all updates to the course, training, as well as access to their findings on Google’s algorithm changes. If you want to join the Affiliate Lab, then you can get $200 off here.

Now, when it comes to SEO for YouTube, it’s a much easier process. SEO on YouTube is important but no way near as much as it is for bloggers.

Basically, YouTube SEO includes optimizing video titles, using accurate tags, and writing keyword-rich descriptions. You have to echo what your video is about in your metadata to be discovered by viewers searching for that type of content.

While good SEO can help, YouTube’s algorithm also prioritizes watch time and viewer engagement for visibility. These are much more important metrics for YouTubers.

Ownership and Control

When you run a self-hosted blog, you have complete control over the content and layout.

This ownership allows you to personalize your site without restrictions and back up your content, meaning your work remains safe from third-party decisions.

On YouTube, creators must adhere to the platform’s guidelines and policies which can change over time. The risk of demonetization or channel closure hangs on compliance with these rules.

Although content ownership technically remains with the creator, the platform has final say over its distribution.

That being said, with a blog, you own your website and you can even sell it if you want to. However, with a YouTube channel, you don’t technically own it. YouTube remains the owner of your channel, so it’s very important to adhere to their guidelines.

Market Saturation and Competition

The blogosphere is crowded, with countless blogs spanning every imaginable niche.

The competition to stand out is fierce, but specializing in a unique niche can still gain traction and establish a loyal audience.

The trick is to provide high-quality content that readers can’t easily find elsewhere combined with cutting edge SEO strategies and techniques.

YouTube’s market is similarly saturated. New channels pop up daily, and the fight for viewers’ attention is challenging.

That being said, it’s considerably easier to gain traction on YouTube and stand out than it is with a blog.

Creating a unique brand on YouTube, coupled with consistent, engaging content is key to breaking through the noise. Some niches might have less competition, offering opportunities for new entrants.

YMYL Niches and Difficult Niches

If you choose blogging as your content medium, then you’ll need to know what a YMYL niche is.

YMYL stands for, ‘You Money, Your Life’. It refers to any niche that can affect a person’s wallet or their health.

Blogs that fall into this category would include health blogs, blogs offering medical advice and information, personal finance blogs, investing blogs, etc.

These niches are extremely difficult to gain traction in unless you have a ton of credibility and experience in the space. Even then, you will also likely need quite a hefty budget to invest into your content creation and link building in order to gain traction.

The reason for this is because Google are particularly choosey when it comes to deciding which websites they will show at the top of the search results for these kinds of topics. They want to make sure that only highly credible people show up for this kind of content.

My advice for 95% of people is to avoid YMYL niches completely if you want to start a blog.

That being said, it can often be possible for hobbyists to build a successful YouTube channel around one of these topics.

A female vlogger shooting a diet YouTube video

Longevity and Content Shelf Life

Blog content often enjoys a long shelf life, particularly with evergreen topics that remain relevant over time. Older posts can continue to attract readers for years, especially if they are updated to remain accurate and comprehensive.

YouTube videos may have a slightly shorter peak visibility period but can also retain value over time since YouTube is also a search engine. Viewers often frequently discover and watch older content on YouTube, so your piece of content should also continue to gain visibility for years.

How-to videos, tutorials, and vlogs on perennial topics tend to accumulate views steadily, enhancing their shelf life on the platform.

Integration and Synergy

Blogs can work in tandem with other types of content creation platforms. For instance, you might promote blog posts on social media or incorporate an affiliate link within a blog to a product review on a YouTube channel. Integration broadens reach and creates diverse traffic sources.

Synergy between YouTube and other tools can drive growth too. For example, video content might be supplemented with a blog for detailed insights, enhancing the authority and brand presence across mediums.

Combining resources creates a more cohesive and compelling online presence. That’s why overall, we recommend (in time) to build both a blog and a YouTube channel.

However, it is super-important to start with just one first, gain traction, and then begin building your second content medium once your first method it working for you.

Building a Personal Brand

Blogging is a platform that typically emphasizes written content over personality, although personal brand bloggers do exist.

This difference makes blogs particularly good for businesses or individuals who focus on written content to establish expertise or thought leadership in their niche.

YouTubers often build their brand around their personality and on-camera presence.

Successful YouTubers usually have a strong personal brand that their audience connects with, which can lead to more loyalty and higher engagement. This connection can be a powerful asset in influencing and community building.

In my personal opinion, a YouTube channel is a much better platform for building a personal brand and fostering a relationship with your audience.

Engaging With Your Community

Back in the day, blog commenting was very common. People would often comment on blog posts to interact with the author of the blog, ask questions and give feedback. However, this practice has been sharply declining over recent years.

Because of this, I no longer think blogging is a good way to interact with your audience. As a blogger you’ll also want to build an email list and leverage social media to interact with your audience.

YouTube, on the other hand, is a different story.

People often comment on YouTube videos to ask questions and interact with the YouTuber. Not only does this make it more fun for you as the YouTube channel owner, but it also helps you to build a loyal following of people who look forward to watching your content and engaging with you.

A video vlogger sitting in front of a camera

Blogging Pros and Cons

Here are the pros and cons of blogging that you should be aware of.

Blogging Pros:

  • Writing-focused platform allows for deep dives into topics.
  • Google AdSense provides a means to earn ad revenue from blog posts.
  • SEO strategy can lead to steady search engine traffic.
  • Opportunities to create passive income streams through affiliate marketing and digital products.
  • Guest posts and affiliate links can enhance content variety and monetization.
  • A self-hosted blog gives full control over content and monetization methods.
  • Blogs can help in building an email list, important for direct communication.

Blogging Cons:

  • Writing-intensive; may not suit those uncomfortable with consistent writing.
  • Typically slower to build an audience compared to visual platforms.
  • Monetization can take time; requires high-quality content and traffic.
  • Dependent on changes in search engine algorithms which can affect traffic.
  • Less dynamic than video content; might not engage all types of audiences.
  • Requires a good understanding of SEO to attract organic traffic.

YouTube Pros and Cons

Here are the pros and cons of a YouTube channel that you should be aware of.

YouTube Pros:

  • Video content can engage an audience more immediately than text.
  • The YouTube Partner Program opens up opportunities for ad revenue sharing.
  • Potential for high earnings from sponsorship deals and display ads.
  • A faceless channel option is there for those who prefer not to be on camera.
  • Vlogging allows for a personal connection with viewers.
  • Video descriptions provide an opportunity for affiliate marketing.
  • YouTube channels can push content through various social media platforms and search engines.

YouTube Cons:

  • Good sound quality is crucial, meaning investment in microphones and potentially other audio equipment.
  • Video editing can be time-consuming and might require expensive software.
  • Being on camera is necessary for most channels, which may not appeal to everyone.
  • Relying on revenues from advertising companies can be volatile due to changes in YouTube’s policies or algorithms.
  • Starting a branded channel involves a strategic approach and often more upfront investment.
  • Growth may be stymied without a clear target audience or niche.
A happy woman blogger optimizing her content for SEO

Blogging vs YouTube: Final Thoughts

Wrapping up our dive into the blog vs YouTube debate, it’s clear there’s no one-size-fits-all answer for content creators. It really boils down to where your strengths lie and how you prefer to connect with your larger audience.

If you’ve got a way with words, blogging could be your sweet spot. More into visuals and dynamic presentations? YouTube might just be your stage.

However, if your focus is to gain traction as quickly as possible, then from personal experience I recommend starting your YouTube channel first, then building your blog once you’re getting good traction on YouTube.

In the end, the choice between blog vs YouTube isn’t about picking a winner. It’s about finding the right platform that aligns with your style and where you can best share your stories and insights.

So, take a moment to consider your skills and passions. Then, choose your platform and start creating. The digital world is waiting to hear what you have to say.