When Your Vlog Should Become a Blog
YouTube has forever changed the way that most people consume media and interact with the Internet. People would rather watch an engaging video instead of reading the post. If you have a vlog on YouTube or through your website, it might seem counter-intuitive to worry about written blog content. After all, many experts advise the switch to video content, not away from it.
Despite this, there are times when it is worth creating a blog in addition to or instead of video content. Depending on your goals and comfort in front of the camera, you might be interested to see what the transition from vlogger to blogger means for your own processes. Here we outline some of the reasons why it makes sense to create a blog instead of a vlog.
Compared to vlogs, it is much easier to monetize a blog post. With a video, you’ll need ad revenue from YouTube ads, sponsored videos, or product placements to receive any compensation. Even if you are able to receive compensation for clicks on ads you display for your videos, the amount of money you earn is likely to be very dismal. Research shows that 96.5% of YouTuber creators don’t make enough money from ads to live above the poverty line. Even most of the people in the top 3% struggle to make ends meet. It’s always possible that your vlog channel could be different, but it isn’t very probable.
In addition, there are many stipulations when it comes to monetizing YouTube videos. To be eligible to monetize your YouTube channel in the first place, there are many YouTube monetization requirements that you must meet. This includes creating appropriate content and having a set number of subscribers. For instance, in order to earn money from channel memberships, you need more than 30,000 subscribers.
In 2018, YouTube changed its rules for monetized channels and now requires channels to have 4,000 hours of annual viewing and more than 1,000 subscribers to apply for inclusion in its monetization program. In 2019, many YouTubers discovered that their comments had been turned off for their videos or that their channels had been demonetized due to YouTube’s new policies. This heavily impacted channels that featured children in videos.
If the content creators had developed the vlogs as blog content, they wouldn’t have lost the ability to monetize so much of their existing content and would have been better able to monetize their content by their own terms on their own site.
Generally, blog content is much easier to monetize than vlogs. You can simply insert affiliate links from the Amazon Associates program or other affiliate offers as a hyperlink. Plus, you can create space on the site for sponsored posts and use Google AdSense to add banner and sidebar PPC advertisements. Therefore, existing vloggers can develop a website for a blog and create additional revenue streams.
There are some strategies that you can use to make your videos more search engine friendly. This includes choosing the best titles, descriptions, categories, and hashtags possible. However, there are some SEO best practices that you simply can’t use in a video.
With blogs, you have many opportunities to optimize the SEO on your website. Whether you want to add alt-tags to your images or use free WordPress SEO tools such as Yoast to give your blog posts the best chance of finding traffic through search engines, text-based posts are among the easiest to improve SEO on. If you plan on continuing to vlog, a well-optimized blog can help to drive traffic to your videos.
Change in Appearance
In TV shows, the full bellies of pregnant actresses are strategically hidden when their characters aren’t pregnant. While no one is saying that you should hide a pregnancy from your followers if you don’t want to, there are genuine reasons why you wouldn’t want to share a change in appearance with your fans. If your appearance has changed, it’s possible that moving to a blog over a vlog is the best way to save your brand or platform.
For instance, if you created a vlog in the health and fitness space, gaining a large amount of weight would discredit your advice. Even if a new medication is the cause of your weight gain, a new viewer might skip a new video on weight loss tips due to initial impressions. Creating a blog post could be an effective alternative to a video where you’ll need to present the information.
Another example of when you may not want to reveal your appearance is if the property doesn’t align with how you look. Maybe you create content for a brand called ‘Afternoon Baking With Grandma,’ but you’re not a grandmother. In fact, you’re actually a young man who uses the website as a way to monetize recipes and product reviews, so your appearance wouldn’t line up with the brand you’re trying to cultivate. Opting for a blog post would keep the focus on the brand.
Time to Sell Assets
All businesses, projects, and channels need an end game. When you’re done, do you sell the brand? Do you simply close it? Many website owners and vloggers would love the opportunity to sell their existing content at a profit to an individual or a company that can take it over.
If you’re the face of your asset through vlogs, it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to transition your assets to someone else. How would they create videos without you as a brand representative? If you also had a blog, this is an asset that you can sell to someone else to continue the project. Flippa and Empire Flippers are websites that can help sell these types of assets to someone else.
It is important to understand your content goals when it comes to developing video and written content. If you maintain a personal vlog and simply want a way to keep a record of your daily life, it might not be reasonable to invest the time and the money into creating a blog. A vlog might meet your needs.
However, if you want to develop a brand, monetize your efforts, or have the ability to sell your content as an asset in the future, it’s worth creating a website with a blog. This choice depends on what your goals are, and it’s also possible that your goals will change over time, which means you may need to reassess your plans for a blog.
Be Realistic About Past Successes
Nostalgia makes it too easy to keep doing what we’ve always done. If you’ve spent years trying to make money from your vlog but haven’t had any real earnings, it might be time to try another strategy, such as blogging. By being realistic and objective about past successes and failures, you can determine a strategy worth pursuing.
Long posts can be difficult to follow, which is why blog content over vlog content is a better idea. Written content is easier for viewers to start and stop, making it more likely they’ll finish reading it. Video content can be difficult to pick up in the middle, and many people would rather not put in the effort if they have to recap or start over on a long video.
Long written posts are also easier to structure, and written content is often meticulously edited for conciseness and brevity. If you routinely make long posts, then you should consider switching to a written format.
No Filming Equipment
The only thing that you need to publish a blog post is an Internet connection. You don’t even really need word processing software, such as Microsoft Word, as you can write directly in Google Docs or in WordPress. This isn’t the case with filming a vlog.
While you can create a video from your smartphone, most professional YouTube videos are created using specialized equipment, such as lighting, higher resolution cameras, tripods, and backdrops. If you don’t have the equipment or it breaks, creating a blog post can be a good alternative.
Singular Brand Voice
While video content can be an effective way of expanding your brand, you run the risk of giving your brand multiple voices. It is difficult for multiple people to express a brand in the same way. Just by having multiple people appear in different videos, your brand’s voice can become fractured as people do not know who to relate to. Written content solves this problem.
Written content is often interpreted in a personal way by the reader. Just think of the voice in your head reading a piece and know that it won’t be the same for other people who read the same piece. You can use this to your advantage as everything read by the same person takes on that personal style, regardless of who wrote it. That means that you could have multiple people writing for your company’s blog, and your readers will always interpret them as one person giving your brand a singular voice.
Vlogs and blogs can be effective and important tools to grow a brand or a business. When used together, you can experience the benefits of both mediums. However, there are still some occasions when it is advantageous to use one form over another.
Melanie G. is a freelance writer and editor living in Tampa, Florida. She’s freelanced full-time since she left her writing job at Nielsen in 2012.