So, you want to promote your online business and are wondering if you should start a blog or a YouTube channel. Let’s talk about the pros and cons of each so you can decide what is your best avenue.
My Personal Experience
Before I get into the pros and cons of starting a blog or a YouTube channel, let me tell you a bit about my experience, so you understand where I am coming from. I am a health and wellness blogger/YouTuber. Definitely a writer at heart more than a video person. I got into YouTube when I heard about its benefits but making videos was very challenging for me at first. My channel is still small (not quite 2,000 subscribers), but so is my blog (around 25K page views a month). I haven’t been tracking where most of my sales come from, but I know my first sales came from YouTube (even though I had less than 1,000 subscribers back then).
Should I Start a Blog or YouTube Channel: Pros and Cons
Ok, so I mentioned I started taking my YouTube channel seriously after I heard about the benefits of having a YouTube channel for your online business. I had started my blog about 8 months ago and I had a YouTube channel, but I was only uploading videos sporadically. I wanted more exposure and I was always one to look for the new shiny object. When I heard an online marketer talk about the benefits she was receiving from YouTube, I decided to give it a try and commit myself to my channel.
Pros and Cons of aYouTube Channel
As we compare the pros and cons of having a blog or YouTube channel, some of it is going to boil down to personal preferences. Are you better at writing or are you better on camera? Everything else being equal, that should be a huge deciding factor! However, there are some pros and cons that may tip the balance one way or the other for you.
Pros of Having a YouTube Channel
Here are the pros of having a YouTube channel:
- Less competition: The blogging world is very competitive. So is YouTube but most people will pick starting a blog over starting a YouTube channel.
- Quicker connection with your audience: There is something about showing your face. When people see you and hear you on camera, they tend to trust you faster.
- Increases your self-confidence: Most people will find it easier to hide behind a blog post than show their faces on camera. Starting a YouTube channel is an excelent way to grow as an entrepreneur and gain self-confidence as you push your limits.
- Your content will grow your audience for years to come: Once a video starts getting views, it will bring you more views and more subscribers for years to come. YouTube is NOT like social media. The content you create is there to stay. You will even often find that your videos don’t get very many views at first but take off later.
- YouTube is a search engine: Some videos go viral overnight because YouTube decides to show them. However, most of your videos will get views because people are searching for specific keywords on YouTube and find you as a result. They are actively looking for the information you provide!
- Your content creation doesn’t need to be as strategic as with a blog: Maybe because it’s because the competition isn’t as stiff? If you write a blog post about what you eat in a day, it will not get any traffic. However, on YouTube, you can often create the content you want just for fun and still get tons of views. That being said, I do recommend you so do some clever keyword research.
Cons of Starting a YouTube Channel
These are the cons I see with my YouTube channel:
- More trolls in your life: Trolls are more active on YouTube. Your blog will receive very few comments compared to a YouTube channel.
- Your content on YouTube doesn’t truly belong to you: YouTube could decide to do as they please with your channel. Your Blog/website is yours.
- Viewer is more likely to move on after watching your videos: On your Website, you have many opportunities to show more of your own content with links to other related articles. On YouTube, your viewer is very likely to move on, forget about you, and watch videos from other YouTubers.
You probably noticed that my pros and cons of starting a YouTube channel don’t allude to the technical aspect. That’s because you will have to learn some technical skills whether you are starting a blog or a YouTube channel. They can both be challenging and frustrating at times, but you can overcome them either way. I don’t think one is easier than the other.
Pros and Cons of a Blog
Now, let’s talk about the pros and cons of starting a blog. If you are wondering Should I start a blog or YouTube channel, you need to consider the advantages and disadvantages of both options, right?
Pros of Starting a Blog
Here’s what I love about having a blog:
- Express yourself with ease: For most people, writing will come more naturally than talking on camera. You can rewrite your sentences, use Grammarly, and avoid fumbling for your words as much.
- Your blog belongs to you: One of the number ones benefits of starting a blog, in my opinion. Your website is your website. You have full control over it. YouTube can take down your channel or demonetize it if they don’t like your content.
- Choose to add videos whenever you want: If you start a blog, it doesn’t mean you can’t make videos to gain some of the benefits from a YouTube channel. You can embed your videos on your site and improve your Google rankings.
- Grow your mailing list: Growing your mailing list is an important element of your online business. On a blog post, you can have multiple call-to-actions to display your lead magnet that will get your readers on your mailing list. In your videos, you can promote your lead magnet and ask your viewers to click on the link in the description, but it will take longer to grow your mailing list than on a website.
Cons of Starting a Blog
I love starting new blogs! It was hard for me to think of the cons! I was able to come with only one:
- Upfront investment: Starting a blog will require you to pay for hosting and a theme. Starting a YouTube channel doesn’t cost anything. However, there are some free blogging platforms. Read Blogging for Beginners: How to Start Your Blog in 5 Days to consider if they are a good choice for you.
The initial investment is the only con because if I were to pick starting a YouTube channel over a blog, I would still want to start a website to host my videos.
Should I Start a Blog or YouTube Channel: What About Your Niche?
As you consider whether you should start a blog or a YouTube channel, check out what others in your niche are doing. Some niches are very well suited for YouTube, some, not so much.
Best YouTube Niches
If you want to create content in the following niches, YouTube would be an excellent source of traffic:
- Fitness: Workout videos are big on YouTube
- Food and recipes: I never quite understand why people like watching rather than reading recipes, but they do! Food prep and shopping tips are also perfect for YouTube.
- Tutorials: If you niche is beauty or crafting, making tutorials on YouTube would be a great option.
- Weight loss and healthy living: As a health and wellness blogger myself, I find YouTube invaluable. The competition in the health and wellness niche is high. Having a YouTube channel gives you an edge and increases your Google rankings.
- Fashion: Fashion tips and outfit ideas are popular on YouTube.
- Travel: An image is worth a thousand words and if you are traveling, showcasing your adventures on YouTube is sure to get you views.
- Gaming: I don’t get watching people play video games on YouTube, but here we go.
- Humor: Do you have a great sense of humor? Make funny videos and upload them on YouTube.
Niche Specific Keyword Research on YouTube
I talk about keyword research to grow your traffic to your website all the time! For example, read How to Drive Traffic to Your Blog in 3 Simple Steps. However, did you know you can research keywords on YouTube too? As I mentioned, YouTube is also a search engine. Keyword research matters.
How to Reserch Keywords on YouTube
I often simply use the same keywords for my YouTube videos that I used for my blog post. However, if you don’t have a blog, there is a keyword research tool you can use specifically for YouTube, It’s called TubeBuddy.
Lastly, I recommend you always google your keywords for your YouTube videos. If some YouTube videos pop up in the Google search results, you know you have found a good keyword idea. Getting your videos found on Google greatly increases your exposure.
In summary, I would recommend you set up a website even if you don’t want to blog. Yes, one of the cons of setting up a website is the initial expense, but having your own platform is priceless!