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Everyone is saying it…create more content! Unfortunately, it isn’t always as easy as just creating a blog or pushing the record button on a camera. There’s a little bit of strategy that needs to go in behind your content and also skill to produce the content so that it does what you want it to do…raise awareness for you and your business. So the question is should your blog or vlog?

Before we start, let’s get on the same page and be clear on what a vlog and blog are so we can properly assess if blog or vlog would be the right option for you.

What is a blog?

blog or vlog

Blogging appeared in the early 2000s as hosting and internet access became affordable for everyone. It started with political blogs and how-to manuals but blogging quickly became about personal topics and opinions. In 2020 the number of bloggers in the US is set to reach 31.7 million users – WOW that is a load of content!

The definition of a blog

blog (a truncation of “weblog“) is a discussion or informational website published on the World Wide Webconsisting of discrete, often informal diary-style text entries (posts).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blog

The purpose of a blog

Initially blogging was a personal activity used to express ideas and share knowledge. However, once the business world learned of the benefits of blogging for raising authority and increasing the traffic flow to a monetized website – blogging became a powerful sales tool!

Arguably, the main purpose of a blog is to connect you to an audience that you want to sell things to – either ideas or products and services. There’s no point having a website that doesn’t get any traffic – is there?

The more blogs you have on your website the better! They should be long-form (over 1500 words) and be highly relevant for your target audience. This is done by performing keyword analysis and writing content that answers a search query that a large number of your audience is searching for.

At the moment, I believe there’s no benefit to producing content “regularly” – unless you love the writing process. My current model of blogging is to create a load of content – like 30 articles – as fast as I can and then wait three months or more to add to it.

Great blogging makes you and your business look credible and knowledgeable. When your business is particularly young or not well-known blogging is a really effective method of growing credibility and gets more eyes on you and your business for the right reasons.

Once you have a well thought out and substantial blog it is something that can keep on rewarding you years after you have written the article. The average article on the top spot of google has been online for about three years! So a whole three years after you have written the article it’ll still be working for you after three years! It is all about planting seeds!

The benefits of blogging

There are many ways that blogging can help you reach your personal or business goals. Here are my top 10 favorite reasons you should start a blog:

  1. It boosts search engine optimization – probably the main reason that I use blogging. I do extensive keyword research before writing a blog. It includes using answerthepublic.com, getting search volumes from google keywords and then raking them using the keyword using the Keyword Golden Ratio. This helps me decide what to write about.
  2. Develop relationships with a potential and existing customers – It helps establish me as a leader by putting me at the end of questions that my customers are searching for.
  3. Establish your business as an industry leader – I love that I can share my knowledge and have the answers for people’s questions that position me as an expert in my field.
  4. Provide value for your reader – by providing value to your reader you are quite literally giving them something for free. That helps deepen the relationship between you and the reader or potential customer.
  5. Grow your personal brand – Whether you are looking for a new job or just trying to create awareness of what you do. Blogging is a great way to share your expertise so that you can build your personal brand!
  6. Start a New Business – blogging is an excellent way to catalyze your business and get more eyes on your product or service.
  7. Become a Better Writer – nothing makes you a better writer quicker than just writing a lot of content! In just over 6 months, I wrote over 60 articles at a minimum of 1500 words. That is over 90,000 words – the length of a novel.
  8. Build a Network – by creating a blog you will have the opportunity to build a network of likeminded individuals and customers that you could leverage at anytime.
  9. Learn In-Demand Skills – setting up a blog is more than pounding away at the keyboard. It is about leaning the technical aspects of setting up a website too! You have to learn about hosting, setting up a domain name and connecting email and other services. These skills are very valuable and can help in many jobs or careers.
  10. Stay Knowledgeable in Your Field – By continuously writing content you are forced to stay on top of the latest trends and find out answers to the questions that are being asked in your field!

The downsides of blogging

Clearly, there are going to be some downsides to creating a blog. Overall, for me, I think that the benefits far outweigh the negative aspects of content creation. Here are a few reasons that you may not want to start a blog.

  1. You won’t see the SEO benefits for one year – seeing the results of your blogging endeavors will take a while! You can achieve some short term success and traffic by posting to a social media channel with a fair number of followers. But the SEO component will take at least eight months until you start to see the traffic results from it. If your blog is under one year old – it’ll take a little bit longer. It is all about patience!
  2. It takes a fair bit of effort to do keyword research – when you are writing a blog it can be tempting to try and get right into it and start pumping out content. But don’t rush. Learn how to find topics and then prioritize them. Only then will you be able to start writing content – confident that your efforts won’t go to waste. The good news is that all of the software tools you need are free to use!
  3. You will have to do a lot of formatting – one thing about blog writing is that when it comes to placing it on your blog there is a lot of formatting involved. Most content management systems now have pretty easy to use editors but you still need to take the time to format the content. Search engines love media-rich content – so groups, quotes, videos and pictures all add to the value of your content!
  4. It can be hard to know where to start – If someone would have told me that I was going to create 60 long-form articles in four to five months I would have never got started. However, focussing on one article at a time and writing between 500 and 1000 words a day quickly adds up!
  5. Writer’s block – the last thing that can make blog writing tough is writer’s block. Writer’s block is easy to overcome if you take very small steps. I first write down the headers to structure the content. I then fill in the headings with content. That seems to be enough to help me overcome writer’s block. You may have other ways to overcome it!

Blogging is challenging and very time consuming if you allow it to be. By approaching it with the right strategy and the right systems in place to make sure none of your efforts go to waste.

Now let’s take a look at a vlog and what it is!

What is a vlog?

Blog or vlog? - Vlogging

A vlog, or video blog, is a short video that typically has someone talking to the camera and talking about a topic that they are an authority on or to document their life in some way. Vlogging became popular on Youtube and since then has spilled across to other platforms too. For professionals, Linkedin has become a popular place to post short vlog style videos.

The definition of a vlog

A video blog or video log, usually shortened to vlog, is a form of blog for which the medium is video, and is a form of web television. Vlog entries often combine embedded video (or a video link) with supporting text, images, and other metadata. Entries can be recorded in one take or cut into multiple parts.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vlog

The purpose of a vlog

The purpose of a vlog depends on the goals of the person that’s creating the vlog. Before you start a vlog you need to answer the question of “what do you want your vlog to achieve?”.

Do you want to grow awareness of you and your products and services? Do you want to become an influencer? Are you doing it for SEO purposes for your website? Are you wanting to grow your personal brand?

All of these reasons for vlogging are completely valid and your vlogging strategy will be guided by the answer to this question.

The great thing about vlogging is that it is a very intimate way of presenting content. Your audience gets to know you! Your audience will hopefully like you. And then, your audience will look to you for solutions and information in your area of expertise.

Do not, however, be fooled into thinking that this is an easy way to get your message out into the world. It takes a combination of bravery, persistence and technical skill to create a vlog. If you miss out on one of these factors you may not see the results you are hoping for.

Keeping your Purpose at the front of mind while creating content is a really important part of vlogging. It’ll keep you motivated and moving towards your goal!

The benefits of vlogging

If you need extra motivation here are the best reasons to start vlogging!

  1. Easy” To Do – I’m referring here to the act of pushing record and then talking to a camera. In theory, this is very easy to do. Even your smartphone has a camera. However, to get to this stage many people need to overcome anxiety, imposter syndrome and a lack of confidence.
  2. Adds a personal touch – there is no doubt in my mind that vlogging is one of the intimate ways to create content. It is all about getting your face in front of as many people as possible! You are on display!
  3. Show off your expertise – this is an important part of vlogging. Everyone can TELL you what they do. But not everyone SHOWS off what they can do. It is the act os showing your value that makes this a really valuable medium.
  4. Reach a wider targeted audience – my being clear on your audience and then sharing with them how to solve their biggest issues you can reach a bigger audience with those issues – i.e your target audience! It’s a nice way to create a natural filter for your potential clients or customers.
  5. Exceptional Boost To Search Engine Optimisation – vlogging really is a fantastic way to boot SEO rankings. I often embed my vlogs on my page so that people can see me talking about a topic I have written about. It also improves time on page for your analytics too!
  6. Establish Your Business As An Industry Leader – by dedicating a load of resources to creating content and becoming the go-to place for industry-specific knowledge you can easily become a leader.
  7. Create Opportunities For Sharing – I always include a call to action at the end of my videos! This gives me the opportunity to hear what other people think and also for them to share with me their knowledge. Quite often I will simply ask my audience what they do with a particular problem. It creates a lovely community feeling where I get to be on the receiving end of some value too!
  8. Budget-Friendly Content Marketing – you could, in theory, get started right now! Go on push record on your phone and upload it for the world to see. It will cost you zero dollars. With a simple vlogging camera, you could improve the quality of many videos! It is a really excellent way to create content on the cheap!
  9. It is more engaging than text – I doubt I would have seen the success of my social media profile if it had been solely text-based. There is no doubt in my mind that video content with a human face in it is more engaging than text. People love stories and you are giving them a front-row seat to yours!

The downsides of vlogging

A number of the blogging downsides, above, ring true for vlogging too! However here are the ones that I think are unique to vlogging:

  1. It is intimidating at first – It feels really weird to create content by talking to a camera. It took me about three weeks to really understand how to do it without feeling weird. I do a lot of recording in public and that never really feels natural. With a little bit of practice and bravery you can do it too!
  2. Don’t expect quick results – If someone appears in your life would you trust them immediately. The answer for most people is NO! The same goes for vlogging. It takes time to nurture a relationship – even if it is on the internet. The results are quicker than SEO but I see too many people give up before they see the results of their effort and claim that it is not working!
  3. Persistence pays off – see above! I cannot tell you how many times in my 250 video journey that I have wanted to give up! Each time I do that I remember my purpose and it can spur me back into action!
  4. You’ll have to learn to edit (even if you use an app) – Learning some basic editing techniques and rules (like cutting to the action) will improve your vlogs. It is just something that you can learn on Youtube and pick up along the way.
  5. You will become the vlogging guy or gal! I started vlogging to raise my profile but also as a way to promote my science communication business – verbalize.science. My personal brand very quickly overtook the verbalize.science business and now I have the brand of the guy who does a load of vlogs on LinkedIn – this isn’t bad for me – but it could be for you!

Now that you know the ups and downs of each type of content we need to talk about why you’d choose to do one or the other!

Things to take into consideration when deciding to blog or vlog

So if you should blog or vlog comes down to these factors…

Your strengths

I am a firm believer in playing to your strengths and knowing what they are can help you decide on whether you should blog or vlog.

Are you good at writing? Are you insanely extroverted? Are you a secret actor and want to talk to a camera? Or do you consider yourself a bit of a wordsmith?

Knowing what you are good at can inform your choice. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What am I good at?
  • What do I do for fun?
  • What do people approach me for?
  • What has someone else said I am good at?

If you still are not sure you can do a SWAT analysis to help you identify them!

Resources

What resources do you have at your disposal to blog or vlog? I mean this in terms of both time, money and equipment!

Take a moment to look at your capacity to commit to a blog or vlog in terms of content creation time.

Your goals

The most important thing to do is look to see if either will allow you to reach your goals. It is quite the time commitment to do either – so take a moment to think about what success looks like and then how content creation can help you get there!

For example, if growing your personal brand it important you’d be silly to not prioritise vlogging as it gives a much better sense of who you are!

Why not do both?

So should you blog or vlog? Well, there is no reason that you can’t do both! I use both to ensure that both my longterm and short term content goals are met.

Check out more information in a details blog of the different types of marketing strategies! Click here!