Photo by Harry Cunningham on Unsplash
To Blog or to Vlog
4 min read
Over the past few months, I've written several blog posts talking about my experiences with web dev, freelancing, and the overall creative process. Meanwhile I've made some videos, some of which feature coding, while others discuss freelancing and the overall creative process.
So why are some blogs not vlogs?
More often than not, I write opinion pieces about tech and creativity. I've posted articles about my views on Frameworks, why I build in public, etc., and as they are opinion pieces, to me, it makes more sense to write these down as blog articles, rather than shoot a video for them.
I have spoken on YouTube about freelancing and burnout, and while it can be argued that they are opinion pieces, I feel they are more important than my usual opinion pieces, as it's solid advice from my own experiences about getting into Freelancing.
Regarding the burnout video, as it's a deeply personal recollection of what lead to burnout and how I dealt with it, I believe it's more honest and genuine if I'm sat in front of a camera and telling you about it, and would be less impactful if it's a written article.
Besides, Coding Challenges don't seem to hit the mark as a written article.
So what about my tutorials? Surely I could just write a blog article about building loading screens and single page web apps. They may even be easier for people to follow along. Well the reason for making these as videos is more of a selfish one - it's more fun for me.
I recently published 2 blog articles back to back, describing the advantages and disadvantages of building in public. Around the same time, I published 2 videos on YouTube talking about getting started in Freelancing, and building a Personal Brand.
In my opinion, these two themes compliment each other - they're very similar in that building in public helps build your brand, and as a freelancer, you need to be able to overcome the fear of building in public, as it's kinda what you would be doing anyway.
So why not make all 4 as blogs or vlogs? Why mix and match?
It's all about getting as much information across in as quick a time as my schedule and workload will allow. As my goal is to produce 1 blog and 1 vlog each week, it would have taken a month to get all this information across, rather than just 2 weeks. It's easier on the audience if they only need to remember 5 minutes from a week ago, rather than 15 minutes across 3 weeks.
Are blogs better?
It depends on who you ask. Some people prefer videos to reading. Some prefer to read, or even use audio books. Text to speech is also used to help people with reading or visual difficulties to consume written content.
One of the benefits of writing blogs is that it's much easier than making a video. For instance, I can add to an article while I'm waiting for my kids to come out of school, while I'm cooking, or just being idle for a moment, whereas it's more difficult to work on a video in those situations.
For me, the biggest challenge with making videos is about confidence. It's hard enough writing blog articles that are coherent, interesting, relevant, and well-written enough that people come back next week for the next article. It's even more difficult putting yourself in front of a camera, and talking directly to your audience.
Like all media, it's subjective. Not everyone likes to read, and not everyone likes to hear me natter on for 5-10 minutes. So by creating content for different mediums, I can attract a wider audience, which not only raises my online presence, but can potentially open the door to new opportunities. There is no downside to it.
So why write a blog about it?
As a developer, content creator, and writer, I feel it's important to practice these skills on a daily basis. It's why I write code poems every day. By writing blogs, I get to practice writing and explaining things in a way that people can understand, rather than the spaghetti thoughts in my head. This will not only improve the quality of my writing for my blog, but also the scripts for my YouTube videos, and the copy for my website and SaaS products.
So why am I writing this as a blog?
Simply because I've been asked a few times why I write blogs AND make videos, where I could just do one or the other. This blog is just a long-winded explanation as to why I blog and vlog, which I hope will help others choose whether to write blogs, make videos, or do both.
Ultimately, it's just something I enjoy doing. I don't NEED to write a weekly blog or release a weekly YouTube video, but it is something I choose to do. It's a hobby. It's a passion. It's part of my brand. It's part of my career. But most importantly, it's just a lot of fun!