There’s a lot of talk about how vlogging is the asteroid that’ll make blogging as dead as dinosaurs. And there are killer statistics to back it up.
Youtuber and vlogger Pewdiepie is earning an average of $1,823,600 monthly and others are well on their way to earning the same income. The number of Youtube channels earning six figures or more spikes by 40% year on year!
But don’t be fooled by numbers. Things are never black and white— this isn’t fucking Piano Tiles. That’s why I think this blog title is fixated on a stupid question. I’m writing this because as it turns out, a lot of people look this up in Google. I’m going to make it a point to prove my claim: blogging and vlogging are equally lucrative if you know how to play by the rules of their game.
The reality is there’s a truckload of variables that affect the flow of cash in blogging vs vlogging.
The highest paid Youtuber in 2020 was Ryan Kaji, earning $29.5 million in that year alone. One of the top paid bloggers in the same year was Perez Hilton with an income of $41.3 million annually. These guys are the best of the best, but take note there are also people who don’t earn from vlogging or blogging at all.
In this blog let’s jump into this inglorious debate. I’ll be pitting blogging vs vlogging against each other in terms of:
- Income Potential
- Revenue Streams
- Resources Needed
- Other Variables
By the end of this blog, I’m also going to suggest a better line of questioning—stuff that you should be asking instead. Be sure to stick around so you can make a decision that not only brings in wads of cash at the best way possible, but also makes you not dread the day-to-day grind that is part of the bargain.
In terms of income potential, blogging is a pretty good bet.
77% of netizens read blogs. A blog also boosts website traffic to percentages as high as 434%. The more traffic, the more money rolls in. Why do you think I’m in this business in the first place? It pays.
The downside to this huge income potential is, of course, the competition. Around 5.8 million blog posts are published daily and there are over 28 million bloggers in the US alone. Imagine the sheer volume of content. It’s fucking nuts.
Because of this, almost 70% of 350 bloggers never got money from blogging in 2018. 22.6% earned less than $10,000 annually and only the elite 2.5% earned beyond that.
Meanwhile, vlogging is exploding like crazy. This is obviously, because people are suckers for visual content.
A 2018 survey from HubSpot even showed that 54% of people want to see more videos from brands. Only 18% wanted to see blog posts.
People spend 100 minutes daily just falling down the rabbit hole of online videos. 87% of marketers also claim that video boosted their website traffic.
So what’s the catch? In Youtube alone, there are over 37 million channels and 720,000 hours of video are uploaded daily. Same as with blogging, there is a need to stick out like a sore thumb to get noticed.
So who wins this round?
Both blogging and vlogging are viable sources of income. Both also have dense competition. But vlogging is the trend these days, so I’d say vlogging is a slightly better bet.
Blogging and vlogging have a shitload of revenue streams and monetization schemes. I’ll discuss three here: advertisements, affiliate marketing, and sponsorships.
When ads in a blog or vlog are viewed or clicked, revenue comes rolling in.
These ads can be in the form of text, image, video, widget, whatever, doesn’t matter. What matters is they all pay. How much? Well, it depends.
Let’s consult numbers. 1000 page views means there’s probably an average of 5 ad clicks every day. This equals to 150 clicks monthly. Say each click pays $0.20, then that’s $30 in a month for blogging… assuming blog readers don’t have ad blockers installed.
In Youtube, the average pay rate is $0.01-$0.03 for an ad view (different from an ad click). Vloggers based in Youtube can earn $18 for every 1000 ad views. But the thing is people are almost allergic to ads. The ‘skip ads’ button is a favorite feature, so this may come out at just $3-5 for every 1000 video views.
These payment schemes are not absolute and vary per program. It’s also different from cost-per-view and cost-per-sale. And click through rates also depend on how engaged and trusting the audience is of you.
Another revenue stream is affiliate marketing. It sounds like business mumbo jumbo, huh? But in simple terms, affiliate marketing is a commission. I get a portion of any sale I contribute to.
Here’s a real-life example.
KWFinder is an awesome keyword tool that helped me come up with the topic for this blog. Without KWFinder, this wouldn’t have existed. I wouldn’t have known that people in the Internet were asking such a stupid question and I wouldn’t have thought of even answering it.
Thanks to KWFinder, I know what keywords to target to rank high in SERPs and I know what people want to see. I highly recommend the tool if you’re serious about leveraging your blogging.
If it wasn’t obvious yet, I’m an affiliate for KWFinder. This means if you click through their website or buy their product after reading this, I’m getting wads of cash. Even in my sleep.
Affiliate links can generate as much as $5,000+ monthly for bloggers. It works similarly for vloggers who put the links in description boxes and captions. Same with advertisements, how much money is actually earned depends on a shit ton of things.
Lastly, we’ve got sponsored content as a source of income. Making a blog or vlog that explicitly promotes a product, service, or business reels in money.
“This video is sponsored by blah blah” is the usual indicator that a vlogger is profiting off their video. Blogs with sponsorships explicitly say it through a label or a statement.
Sponsorships are different from affiliate marketing because it’s not commission-based. It’s the clout that pays. As with the other income streams, how much you earn also depends on your brand and audience.
Both blogging and vlogging can also earn big bucks from other income streams like email marketing, brand merchandise, and e-books and courses.
So what’s the verdict here? I’d say it’s a tie when it comes to revenue streams. There’s plenty of room to play around in. If one avenue doesn’t work for you or it’s not quite up your ballpark, try another. If you want to earn more, consider using more income streams. Sky’s the limit.
Remember how I said both blogging and vlogging got dense competition? Well, it’s possible to cut through the crowd and earn big. But that’s only if the needed resources are in your arsenal. When I say ‘resources’ I mean shit like these:
- the necessary skillset and attitude
- the right equipment and/or software
- the industry knowledge
- the money needed
I’ll humor our stupid question of the day and say okay! Maybe one does pay higher than the other. But what if I need to spend a whopping amount of cash before I can very slowly start earning my money back? Is there a hidden cost to blogging vs vlogging? What if it’s a lot harder than it seems?
Good questions. Blogging or vlogging isn’t 100% free. And it’s definitely a lot harder than it seems.
To blog, one needs a website, domain name, content management system, and all that jazz that you may have to pay for. To vlog, one needs a camera (or just a mobile phone for starters), a microphone, and editing software. Investing time in learning about the industry helps with making the best, bang-for-the-buck decision.
Equipment, knowledge, and money aside, there’s the skillset too.
Bold of people to assume blogging is as easy as 1, 2, 3 and A, B, C. Blogging needs stuff like content strategy, link-building, deep research, strategic layout & structure, language mastery, SEO, and of course— writing that doesn’t bore readers to death.
If you don’t have these skills, sucks for you. It’s going to be hard to attract an audience if your content is subpar and you lack industry knowledge. Sure, you can outsource freelancers to write for you, but you still need to edit and assess the quality of their output. And outsourcing is added cost, btw.
Same with blogging, vlogging is not for everyone.
If you’re camera shy and it shows, then even if you vlog, you won’t get much money— unless the Internet makes a meme out of you and you skyrocket to fame for one hot minute before fading into the background again. Unless you work your ass off, invest in public speaking classes and coaching to get you camera-ready.
Like with blogging, outsourcing freelancers is a good way of getting the nitty gritty stuff out of your hair – scriptwriting, video editing, audio editing, the likes. But again, this’ll cost.
See how similar the two are to each other? I’d say it’s another tie for this round.
I already discussed a lot of variables but there’s more I’d like to touch on. That’s niche and audience.
Research shows that it’s usually the young ones, people aged 16 to 24, who love watching vlogs. In fact, more than 50% of viewers fall under that age range.
This explains why Ryan Kaji, an eight-year-old kid, topped the Youtube earning charts last year.
Blogging is a way different case. Pingdom found that the average age of blog readers is actually 41 years old with a median age of 38.
Since I’m niching down on online entrepreneurship, then that basically means I chose right by going for blogging. Not only does it cater to a slightly older audience, I also have the needed skillset and industry knowledge from working in SEO agencies.
But if I were to niche down on entertainment for example, then vlogging would be the better choice.
Market research is key.
Blogging vs vlogging: who wins?
Quick recap! We ran through the income potential, revenue streams, resources needed, and other variables for blogging vs vlogging.
|Income Potential||Is a viable source of income; has dense competition; has social proof of driving traffic||Is a viable source of income; has dense competition; has social proof of driving traffic; is the consumer trend and preference|
|Revenue Streams||Has multiple revenue streams like advertisements, affiliate marketing, sponsored content, email marketing, brand merchandise, and e-books and courses||Has multiple revenue streams like advertisements, affiliate marketing, sponsored content, email marketing, brand merchandise, and e-books and courses|
|Resources Needed||Writing and research skills, industry knowledge, SEO, content strategy, link-building, strategic layout & structure, language mastery; website, domain name, content management system, etc.||Public speaking skills, industry knowledge, scriptwriting, video editing, audio editing; camera or shooting equipment, microphone, audio and video editing software, etc.|
|Other Variables||Attracts an older audience; good for niches like online entrepreneurship, for example||Attracts a younger audience; good for niches in entertainment, for example|
The bottom line is this: in this blogging vs vlogging faceoff, what earns the most is very context-dependent.
How much blogging or vlogging pays varies depending on revenue streams, skillset, audience, niche, popularity, etc. How much you earn also banks a lot on what you’re good at and what you enjoy doing— little stuff like this will show in the content.
Instead of asking what earns the most, it’s better to ask these questions instead:
- Is my skillset better suited for blogging or vlogging?
- Among the two options, what am I willing to learn about and do every single day? What would I enjoy the most?
- What would my target audience prefer – blogging or vlogging?
The answer to these questions better determine whether blogging or vlogging would pay more for you.
Hustle onwards and good luck!