I presume you have a normal 9–5 job.
I presume what you earn is sufficient to pay off your living expense. Maybe you can even save a few hundred dollars every month, which you can invest elsewhere.
But, you know you can’t get out of the rat race just by relying on your salary. Also, after what happened in 2020, you realize there is no such thing as job security.
So you want to find another income stream. You have done some research and found out there are many ways to make money online. For instance, you can go with Dropshipping, Offering service, or being an influencer by creating quality content.
After some investigation, you decided to go with writing blogs, because it’s virtually risk-free, and the effort is minimal. You just need a computer, and constantly writing high-quality articles.
You are so dedicated and done so for more than a year, but you are seeing crickets.
Why? You’ve done everything you can to attract traffic. You are paying attention to SEO, tried out Pinterest, writing guest posts at other blogs, or even repost your content on Medium.
So, what went wrong then?
If you ask me, I believe it’s a bad idea to start blogging to make money online. It’s too late.
Now, allow me to clarify a bit.
When I mean it’s too late to start a blog, I’m not saying blogging is dead because you can still make money from it.
What I mean is, the game has changed. Right now, there are other alternatives where you can earn more, have better odds to success, make bigger impacts and potentially more fun.
Blogging is just not a good use of your time, especially when you just started. It took me a year and a half to realize this cold hard fact and I don’t want you to make the same mistake as I did.
If you want to start building passive income in 2021, keep reading because it’ll be very relevant to you.
It’s a lot harder to generate traffic by blogging alone
Blogging 101: Traffic is the lifeblood of a blog. If you want to make money from blogging, you need to know how to capture traffic, and the first thing you should rely on, is SEO.
In case you don’t know what SEO is, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. If it’s done properly, then your post will show up in the search result more often, which will increase your site’s exposure.
Speaking from my experience, it’s extremely difficult to rank on SEO, especially for new blogs. Because most keywords are taken, even for long-tailed ones. Also not to mention your content has to be detailed and in high quality. It’ll be a pipe dream to rank on the first page if your blog post has fewer than 1000 words.
And even you managed to do so, the odds are not in your favour because other established sites will have better domain score than you.
You see, it’s a long shot just to get ranked for your blog.
But then you asked, what about Youtube video? Doesn’t that rely on SEO as well? Isn’t SEO extremely competitive on Youtube as well?
Before we begin, let’s look at the fun facts below.
As of 2020:
- There are more than 600 million blogs on the internet
- Only Around 37 million channels on YouTube
- 37% of all mobile internet traffic belongs to Youtube alone
If you crunch the numbers, you’ll see it’s much easier to rank your video on Youtube than ranking your blog post on Google, because of the higher traffic to player ratio.
On top of that, successful Youtube channels don’t entirely rely on SEO. To them, SEO is just the icing on the cake.
Their main focus is to make the Youtube algorithm happy. In a nutshell, if they create videos that have high engagement and high audio retention rate, Youtube will then more likely to recommend their video to others.
More on that later, what I’m saying here is, video content creators have more ways to generate traffic than bloggers. That’s why most blog owners also have a Youtube channel to redirects traffic to their page.
People prefer video over text
Whenever you need to learn something, say you want to learn how to cook a dish, or how to DIY decorate your home, do you usually search for a blog post or simply look it up on Youtube? Comment below, and be honest here.
For me, 90% of the time I’ll just learn from Youtube, because it’s more engaging and easier to follow.
Yes. I know there are exceptions, some say it’s faster to skim through the text, but I’m talking the mainstream. You can’t deny it, right?
There’s one famous saying: One minute of video is worth 1.8 million words. Maybe it’s a bit exaggerated, but you can’t deny the fact that video is far superior to articles.
I believe the game has changed. Nowadays if we need to get the attention of everyone, we should focus on making videos instead because it’s way more effective than blogging. Video for sure is harder to produce, but taking these into account, it’s well worth the effort.
People rarely interact with you at your blog
You might have noticed the Youtube community is very engaging, they leave all kinds of comments, good or bad, also they are a lot more likely to share video content than blog posts. Not sure why, probably because it’s easier to entice people to engage with you with video?
Last year, I wrote 30 blog posts, even I asked around and told people to leave comments, I only had one reply. One. The rest were spam messages. But for my Youtube video, even the view counts are not high(around 100 on average), I can expect at least four to five comments from the viewers. For other bigger channels, they can easily get hundreds or even thousands of comments per video. You don’t see that a lot for a blog post, even for the big players.
Back then when I was solely blogging, I felt like I was doing all of these for no one. I was so frustrated back then and I was so close to giving up.
But think on the bright side. Thanks to that I have a much higher tolerance to my content not blowing up on Youtube, because I’ve seen worst. When I see people complain about their video not getting comments, I always have the urge to tell them, try blogging.
Writing Article is nowhere near as profitable as making video
Now let’s take a few steps back.
Forget the fact that you can make money by putting in affiliate links or so in your content. Just for the sake of argument, I’m going to compare how much you can earn per view count of a video or an article.
In this case, I’ll have to mention Medium. Medium is probably the most established online publishing platform where you can write and get paid depending on the internal view count — kind of like Youtube’s ad revenue but not really because there are no ads on Medium. The money came from the view time of the paid members so the earning is very limited.
There are people earning 5-figures in Medium monthly but they are already the top earners, whereas on Youtube, even people complain the ad revenue is low, the top players can easily earn 6–7 figures just from the views alone.
And another fact here is, as of September 2020, there are only 6.4% of active writers who are earning over $100 in Medium.
Simply put, you can’t expect to earn a living with articles just from the view count alone but it’s quite doable for video.
So what’s good with Blogging
Don’t get me wrong, it’s still great to have your own site. The good thing about having your own blog is, it’s entirely under your control. Even I’m going all-in on Youtube, I’m aware that I’m only utilizing their platform.
There’s always a risk if you only make your online presence in only one platform, because Youtube can lose its market share or maybe shut down my channel, but as long as I still have my blog and have an email list, people are still able to find me and consume my content.
That being said, if you don’t have a tribe, what’s good with having a blog? As I have mentioned, writing articles is not efficient in building your personal brand, redirecting your traffic, and of course, the earning potential is so low compare to making videos.
It would be much better to focus on building your audience via video first. Then later on, you can consider setting a blog to archive your content.
You might have heard some success stories about blogging. Someone made 6-figures monthly consistently. Someone finally managed to quit the job they hate because their blog revenue surpassed what they’ve earned.
But if you look carefully, most of them started their blogging journey at least 5 to 6 years ago. Back then there weren’t as many competitors.
The game has changed and evolved.
I know many still insist money can still be made with blogging in 2021, blogging is not dead yet etc. But in my opinion, writing blog posts alone, no matter how good your article is, is not enough to capture the audience’s attention. It’s such a half-baked approach, and you need to go the extra mile.
For me, I’m going hard on video.
Of course, it’s not easy. It requires dedication because it’s a lot of work. It requires courage because you are showing your face as you speak. But making videos will give you the best odds of success, and if you are serious, you shouldn’t let those fear holding you back.
I do think it’s already too late to start a blog in 2021. Whether you agree or not, comment below because I would love to hear your thought.