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If you’re wanting to start a business and grab your portion of online real estate, but aren’t sure which to do between blogging vs vlogging, then this post is for you! I’ll explain what blogs and vlogs are, what platforms are available to you, and what you’ll need to get started!
What is a blog?
A blog is a type of website that is made up of posts each dedicated to a specific topic. Blogs can be of a personal nature where family members use the blog to update family and friends with their daily life. Some people blog to express themselves creatively, some blog to make a living online, and others run a business blog to attract more customers.
Before the term blog was recognized as a word by Merriam-Webster in 2004, it was called either a weblog or a web log. It was often a journal that displayed information in a backwards chronological order.
The first blog was created in 1994 by a college student in Pennsylvania. Fast forward to today and there are 600 million blogs!
Since then, blogging has gotten a whole lot better. Knowing how to code is becoming less and less of the thing. Blog platforms exist and display information in a much more organized way. Visual quality and user experience have dramatically improved as well.
There are blogs on every topic imaginable. Some are very niched where only 1 topic is discussed, and others are considered lifestyle blogs where many topics are discussed. The world really is your oyster when it comes to blogging. If you decide to start blogging, make sure you blog about something you’re really interested in!
If you’re ready to start a blog, click here to get started!
Nowadays there are so many platforms to choose from. In my opinion, the top 5 blogging platforms are WordPress.org, Blogger, Wix, Medium, and Squarespace. In the near future, I’ll be publishing a massive post about all of the available platforms out there. Be on the lookout for it.
Blog platforms are divided into two types – free and self-hosted. How do you decide which type to use?
I believe self hosted WordPress blogs are the best, but I understand that everyone is at a different phase in life financially. If you don’t have a lot of money to invest, just want to have a creative outlet, and aren’t looking to earn money with your blog, then I recommend blogging on a free platform.
Once your blog starts making money online and you want to turn your blog into a real business that replaces your 9 to 5 job, move your blog to WordPress.org. It’s the gold standard and it will ultimately give you 100% control of the functionality and look and feel of your site.
Related Content: Top 20 Best Blogging Platforms of 2021
What do you need in order to start blogging?
If you want to turn your blog into a business, you’ll need a lot more stuff. These things include:
- A domain name and blog hosting – There are lots of hosting companies out there, but the best beginner hosting is Bluehost. When you purchase a hosting plan through Bluehost, they’ll give you a free domain name.
- A theme – There are both free and premium themes. I’ve used free themes and usually always end up upgrading to a premium theme to access additional features. See this list of themes that I put together here.
- Plugins – Plugins add functionality to your site. Some are free and some are premium. I have a mix of both.
- Email marketing – Building an email list is of upmost importance in digital marketing. Every blogger must do it and I recommend starting from the very beginning! This is done to encourage people to come back to your site, make money through affiliate marketing, and to sell digital products.
Related Content: How Do Fashion Bloggers Make Money?
What is a vlog?
A vlog is a video blog. Rather than using written content, a vlogger creates video content by recording him or herself speaking and puts those videos on platforms that allow video. Make sure to keep reading because I cover these platforms below.
According to Wikipedia on the history of vlogging, “Vlogging saw a strong increase in popularity beginning in 2005.” This is due largely because YouTube was founded that same year.
If you decide to vlog, then you’ve got lots of options available to you. You can vlog on YouTube, Vimeo, Rumble, DailyMotion, Facebook, or IGTV. If you’re just starting out, I think it’s fine to upload your videos to any of those platforms.
Since none of us own those platforms, it would be wise to also own a self-hosted website and post your videos there. I recommend that because you don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket and then lose it all. I would only recommend this to someone that is making money with their vlog and is taking it seriously.
What equipment do you need to start vlogging?
Have you heard of the term bootstrapping before? It’s something I’ve kept in mind while building my businesses. It means to “get (oneself or something) into or out of a situation using existing resources.” Bootstrap your vlogging business by keeping your expenses to a minimum.
Having said that, you’ll need some equipment. Here’s a list of what you’ll need:
- Something to shoot video with – This can be a webcam, a smartphone, or DSLR camera.
- A microphone – This one isn’t incredibly necessary, but if you notice your sound quality isn’t amazing, consider purchasing one.
- A tripod – I use a tripod that my iPhone fits into. I use this whenever I film a talking head video on Liz’s motherhood channel.
- Canva – If you’re starting a YouTube channel, then you’ll need to upload a thumbnail with every video. I use Canva Pro to make my thumbnails. Canva Pro comes with a bit more features than the free version, but that will work just as well.
- Lighting kit – Lighting can make or break the quality of your videos. If you’re lucky and have a well-lit place, this won’t be necessary. My place is rather dark so this was an absolute must!
- Video editing software – It’s rare to shoot a video from beginning to end without some mistakes. This is where video editing software comes in. With this you’ll be able to edit your videos, add images, video, sound, and more. Camtasia is what I love and use!
Should You Do Blogging Vs Vlogging?
It’s up to you. You can’t go wrong with either. I do both because I want to have multiple streams of income. I don’t mind being in front of a camera and I like to write.
People love watching videos and they also love reading blogs. According to Mediakix, “In 2016, there were an estimated 700 million worldwide digital video viewers, now that number has grown to 2.6 billion in 2019. The United States alone is forecasted to have 248 million digital video viewers by 2022.”
Another way to answer this question comes down to whether you’re comfortable in front of a camera or you like to write! Even if you don’t think you’re good at either, I want you to know that with practice and time, you can improve.
If you want to do both, then you don’t have to decide between blogging vs vlogging. You can do both! Though I recommend choosing one to start first, get that one making some money, then start the other one.
Can you make money with blogs and vlogs?
Yes, you can make money vlogging and make money blogging! The most common ways people make money are through ads, affiliate links, selling merchandise, and sponsored content. All of this can be done with both blogs and vlogs, so it’s not huge factor when deciding if you want to do blogging vs vlogging.
To be successful with either, you’ll need to develop a marketing strategy and learn both social media marketing and search engine optimization. This is what’s going to help get your content in front of the most about of people!
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