LIKE. SHARE. SUBSCRIBE. If I got a penny for every time I heard these words in vlogs, I’d be wasting them on arcade games. Okay, coming to the point – it’s an interesting time to be a content creator. A decade ago, we were scrolling through the Google Reader feed to see if our bloggers posted their scheduled Monday posts. These days there are limitless platforms and forms of content available for the audience to watch, listen, and read.
Over the past few years, vlogging has attained immense popularity, thanks to video platforms like YouTube, Vimeo, and lately, Twitch. Essentially, blogging and vlogging are both means of reaching and engaging an audience. The first uses the written word, while the other uses videos to deliver its content.
It is not that one is better than the other, as both channels require continuous effort – so the choice is totally up to your personal preference. If you feel that blogging is more relevant to you, use this guide on how to start a blog to get going. If you are still unsure, read on, as we explore each medium.
What is Blogging?
Blogging is a method of communicating through the written content. The purpose of blogging is to convey the blogger’s thoughts, ideology, suggestions, and solutions. Many businesses use blogging to create an online presence of their brand. It is one of the oldest and most efficient ways of marketing and remains extremely relevant to every industry.
Perquisites for Becoming a Successful Blogger
– Excellent Writing Skills
To write a great blog, you should be passionate about writing and sharing your ideas with the audience. Your content should be engaging and unique and cater to the needs of your target audience. That’s the only way to increase traffic to your blog and build a strong subscriber list.
So, before you create a blog, hone your writing skills. Research other blogs in your industry, go through the content and see what points are being covered by them and use tools like Hootsuite, HubSpot, and BuzzSumo to see what topics are current and trendy. These methods will give you valuable insights into what your audience is talking about and what topics interest them. Use this information to create a list of the topics you will cover in your blog.
Finally, it’s not always easy to string words together and get it grammatically correct. Use tools like the Hemmingway App, Grammarly, and Help Me Write that can help you edit your work and speed up the process of content creation. Remember that your writing style should be conversational and friendly. Thorough and long-form content with content with over 1,500 words tend to rank better on Google.
– Expertise in Subject Matter
Subject matter expertise is another major prerequisite of blogging. You should have the relevant knowledge and expertise on the topic, so you could provide valuable insights to your readers
– Focus on a Niche
Niche blogs allow content creators to cover a specialized topic in their industry and address more targeted audience needs that may be less talked about by the competitors. For instance, ‘baking’ is a broad topic while ‘gluten-free baking’ is a niche within it.
Niche blogging can create a strong brand positioning and set you apart from the competition. For instance, there may be hundreds of yoga and fitness bloggers in your city but if you choose a niche like ‘yoga for surfers’ or ‘yoga with pets’, you can target a very specific audience and grow a close following. If you have selected a niche to focus on, it’s critical to explore your target audience. Who are you planning to address? Does this group have any unaddressed needs that haven’t been addressed by the competition? The answers to these questions will help you get a rough idea of the type of content you need to create.
Benefits of Blogging
The benefits of blogging are numerous. It is a great outlet for people who are passionate about expressing their thoughts and sharing knowledge. It provides an opportunity to hone your writing skills and create a space for communities to form. Furthermore, blogging can help you develop your online authority and strengthen your professional network. Lastly, you have the choice of monetizing your blog and making profits through advertisements or brand collaborations.
You get all these benefits with very little at stake. Blogs can be set up easily with minimum technical knowledge, a laptop, and an internet connection. In fact, there are many free-of-cost platforms that offer complimentary blogging features, such as management of multiple contributors, categorizing options and integrated SEO tools, encouraging bloggers to set up their blog.
Downside of Blogging
Though blogging offers a world of benefits, building a strong blog is a time-consuming and long process. Persistence is key to building a successful blog. Create a content calendar, keep posting valuable and relevant content, and promote it through various social platforms. Use your SEO skill or free SEO tools to target important keywords and improve your ranking.
What is Vlogging?
Vlogging is video blogging that serves the same purpose as blogging, but in a video format that’s more popular, interactive, and engaging to the audience.
Perquisites for Becoming a Successful Vlogger
– Camera Confidence
Just like bloggers hone their writing skills, vloggers need to hone their speaking skills. In vlogging, confidence in front of the camera is of utmost importance. You need to rehearse the points you will cover, practice voice modulation, and infuse passion in your presentation.
When in doubt, stick to being relevant and sharing your personal experiences. Be natural and try to connect with the audience. This will not only help you deliver ace content but also build a strong relationship with your viewers.
– Vlogging Gear
YouTube is loaded with videos offering advice on the equipment vloggers should use. My advice – take them with a pinch of salt! Begin by investing in these basics.
- Camera – A good smartphone camera can help you create good content. However, you can also try an entry-level DSLR or mirrorless camera to bring an aura of professionalism to your video content and keep your viewers engaged.
- Tripod – This is a must-have as it helps you record without the need of a camera operator. Depending on your need, invest in a sturdy lightweight tabletop or travel tripod that’s easy to carry around.
- Microphone – A good-quality microphone will suppress background noise, making your voice as clean as possible. You can either use a USB microphone or an external recorder that offers great video quality.
Once your vlog grows in popularity and you need to contribute specialized content, you can expand your vlogging toolkit with a few other essentials like a soft-light kit, a shotgun microphone, and video-editing software.
– Story Telling
Every video content creator should have a solid story to tell. Vlogs that are void of a narrative do not appeal to the viewers, and won’t do much in convincing them to subscribe. Including personal stories in your videos can help create a closer relationship with your audience and build a community.
Benefits of Vlogging
Considering the popularity of videos, vlogging is an effective method to engage a wider audience, win their trust, and establish authority. Further, if you have a website, vlogging can help you drive organic traffic to it.
Similar to AdSense in blogs, YouTube helps video content creators monetize their videos by showing ads. The earning depends on the location of the audience watching your videos. Once you have a large set of followers, you can monetize your vlog and receive sponsorships from brands for affiliate marketing or promotional videos.
Downsides of Vlogging
Advanced vlogging needs a little more investment in comparison to blogging. Good-quality vlogging equipment and editing software can cost you a fortune. Also, unlike blogging, it’s not easy to make edits once the video content is uploaded. If you need to make changes, you will have to take the video down, edit it, and upload the new video again.
Blogging or Vlogging: The Choice Is Yours
Consider the pros and cons of each of these options before going ahead, and the choice is entirely yours. If you are comfortable speaking to the camera rather than writing, vlogging is the way to go. If you like the flexibility of multiple edits, perhaps blogging is a better option. You need to consider the pros and cons of each of these options before going ahead.
If you happen to find both formats equally appealing, you can run a blog and vlog simultaneously! Though managing both these channels can be a difficult task, it is the best way to reach a wider audience and boost your visibility and reputation.
Whatever your choice, remember to give it your best. Good luck!