Is blogging dead? In the era of video, video, video, does written content have a place? Should we be blogging or vlogging on YouTube and TikTok?
Ching Ya asks:
With social media “experts” advising people to create video content on various social media platforms, does blogging still have a place in the future?
I really hope the answer is “Yes” because I really love writing. However, I can’t help but feel the pressure of not seeing written content get any better traction compared to video content on social media these days, even on search engines.
I can definitely empathize with Ching Ya’s question here, and in fact, I have felt the tug to do more videos many times over the years, starting several YouTube channels despite my discomfort with the medium!
Is Blogging Dead?
Is blogging dead? No, blogging is not dead, it is thriving.
Do people always know they are reading a blog? Certainly not. Are the people writing the blog articles always aware that they are blogging? Perhaps no.
Writing and reading are not going away, no matter what you call it.
One of the things that were supposed to cause the death of blogging before was Twitter, and “Micro Blogging”.
You know what happened next … yep, Twitter expanded the allowed word count, experimented with long-form options,
and when that didn’t suffice, the mega threads trend was started.
The written word is not going away any time soon.
Blogging vs Vlogging
Vlogging, aka Video Blogging, was another medium that was meant to replace written blogs, aka Blogging. We are probably past peak “Vlog” at this point, but video as an art form and entertainment medium has never been stronger. What is the difference?
A vlog, which stands for Video Blog (or Video Log), is like a blog but in video form. Usually, they feature one person, directly delivering informal, conversational content, and almost always a personal story or experience. Think more “A Day in the Life”, though, rather than a TED talk.
You’ll often find these vlogs on YouTube, a platform that has really embraced this kind of content.
That being said, a vlog doesn’t have to be just a video. It could come with additional text, images, and other details that help convey the message. The video itself can be made in one go or divided into multiple parts for better storytelling.
The most famous vlogger I would say is this guy, Casey Neistat:
At the time of writing, he has 12.6M subscribers from 1.1K videos. I would call that hugely successful.
Why do I think we are past the vlogging peak?
The vlog is not going away but the stereotypical vlogging style certainly seems to be less in fashion, even though the style has influenced all videos across the major platforms and even certain types of reality or documentary TV production.
What used to be more autobiographical, about the influencer, has now become more about the topic and the show. For example, @MrBeast has 178M subscribers from 747 videos. Yes, he speaks to the viewer directly down the camera lens and will tell a story, but it is far removed from the “Here I am going about my day talking about what just happened” kind of shtick, if that makes sense?
So is vlogging dead?
No, I don’t think Vlogging is dead, I just don’t think the patience is there for regular folks to make a whole production out of their topics any longer. People want you to get directly to the point. I enjoyed creating that style of content but the number one piece of feedback I would get is “Skipped the boring parts“.
People much prefer you to get to the meat of the story, and your YouTube analytics shows where people skip or fall off to confirm that.
Now, of course, it could be just that I was bad at it. That likely plays a part but the popularity of short-form video implies to me impatience is a thing.
Blog vs. Video for SEO?
Which is better for ranking on Google, blogging or video?
That is an interesting question because as we quickly discover in our SEO research, YouTube is both the world’s second-biggest search engine and it gets a visibility boost from Google as a one-two-punch of influence.
What I find even more helpful to us who are primarily text-based bloggers is embedding videos can actually help you rank your written content!
This makes sense to me from the point of view of the Google search team’s stated mission of ranking the most helpful, in-depth, and well-crafted content. If a topic really needs a video to explain it fully and explain it well, then of course we will see a trend of embedded videos helping lift your rankings versus those articles that do not contain videos.
Does that mean you need to create videos? I did not say that, I said embed, not necessarily create …
Blogging vs YouTube: The Downsides to Video
So videos are popular, they even help you rank for difficult search keywords, so we should all become video content creators?
No, there are some good reasons you might not want to go into video, and I have struggled with video for years so I fully appreciate what the move from text to video content can be like.
Video Content Creation Negatives
- Good quality video takes time to plan, produce, and edit, even if you go fully unscripted.
- You need good-quality audio for your video to be successful. People will put up with a lot but bad audio quality is a deal breaker.
- Video editing and audio editing are skills you need to learn, and you need software that can do what you need, that you can afford, and that you can learn.
- Outsourcing video and audio editing can cost a lot of money if you want top-class editors.
- Presenting on video is a performance, with all the associated fears, imposter syndrome, and frustrations.
- Video platforms do not like you to send your viewers to links, so you do not have the ability to create super strong calls to action. Still, links in comments and descriptions do work ok when allowed.
- The comments can be an absolutely heckin’ toxic nightmare.
That last item is what keeps driving me away from YouTube, but I have some ideas for how to mitigate some of these so let’s take a look.
Vlogging Tips (AKA Making Producing Videos Less of a Nightmare)
- You do not need to spend a fortune to test out video creation, you can even start vlogging using your smartphone.
- Faceless videos are a thing, you can share slides or videos without your face even appearing.
- Davinci Resolve is free and industry strength, but does have a learning curve. You can do very well with easier and less capable video editing tools like Canva or whatever came with your operating system, though.
- Comments are optional – turn them off if people make your vlogging life a misery.
- Partner with someone more extroverted or with a lot of video skills.
Vlogging vs Blogging Conclusion: Video Did Not Kill the Blog
Should you blog or vlog? I would say both … but as with many things we discuss in this online space, “it depends”.
I am going to give video another go but in addition to written content – video just takes me too long to produce and I get good results from written content.
As always, I would love to hear your thoughts in the socials!