Blogging vs Instagram – which one is better in the long run

Blogging vs Instagram – which one is better? Is there any difference between them?

If you’re looking for the answers to these questions, you are in the right place.  With the recent rise of social media and Instagram in particular, many people fail to see the difference between bloggers and Instagrammers. It’s not hard to understand why since many Instagrammers identify themselves as bloggers even though they don’t have a blog per say.

Writing long captions for your Instagram posts doesn’t make you a blogger. Also, taking good photos doesn’t automatically mean that you’re an Instagrammer.

Let’s start from the beginning and set things straight.

Blogging vs Instagram

1. The difference between bloggers and Instagrammers

Instagrammer definition

Any person who uses Instagram. It could be a person who has 5 followers or a person who has 100k followers. It doesn’t matter. As long as you are using Instagram, you are an Instagrammer.

Blogger definition

A person who owns a website where he/she writes blog posts about different subjects. It could be travel, fashion, food or anything else.

Influencer definition

Now here comes the tricky part. An influencer is a person who can influence the behavior and opinions of other people. Both bloggers and Instagrammers can be influencers as long as they have an audience who feels inspired by them.

An easier example to understand who influencers are, are the TV celebrities. Take your favorite singer. If he or she appears in a commercial about a perfume, chances are you will buy that perfume because you like that singer and you trust him/ her. That’s the power of influencers.

The terms Instagrammers/ bloggers and influencers are complementary, not opposite.

2. Why the confusion?

Before social media, blogger influencers were among the only ones who had the power to influence or change people’s buying behavior. This is why many brands invested in collaborations with bloggers to promote their products. A blogger’s job in a brand collaboration is to shoot photos of the product, write a detailed and honest review and share it with his audience.

Although this practice is not dead, with the social media rise, brands have also turned to Instagram influencers for help. The way this works is that brands pay Instagrammers with large audiences to post photos and write short captions about their products and endorse them.

The focus shifted so quickly from bloggers to Instagrammers that nobody even bothered to spot the difference between them.

3. Blogging vs Instagram – comparison

Blogging vs Instagram

Required time to build an audience

No matter what you choose to focus on, blog or Instagram, the first step you’ll have to take is to build an audience. You will need an audience who identifies with your photography or stories and who will engage with your content.

I’m not going too much into details about how to build an audience because there are already hundreds of useful blog posts on the internet about this subject. However, what I’m gonna talk about is how long does it actually take to build an engaging audience.

To read about how to build an audience for your blog, click here.

To read about how to build an audience for your Instagram, click here.

Blogging vs Instagram time

The truth is that for both platforms (blog and Instagram) it’s gonna take around 2-3 years to build a substantial audience. It takes a lot of perseverance to make your brand stand out from the crowd. However, there’s one little difference between blogs and Instagram when it comes to building an audience.

If you are willing to use black-hat techniques, you can grow extremely fast on Instagram. Even though it takes a lot of time to grow organically, you can trick the system and pay for giveaways or simply buy followers. These techniques will guarantee you lots of followers in a short period of time.

However, there’s a downside. These followers are not your real audience. They won’t engage with your posts because they are simply not interested in your content, they followed you for the giveaway. Using techniques like these will make it hard for you to prove your value to a potential brand collaboration. Since your audience is not interested in your content, how would it be interested in a product you’re trying to promote?

Blogging is a bit different. There is no way to trick the system and build your audience faster if your content is not good enough. Google has an algorithm which determines how good your articles are according to factors such as: content quality, SEO, links to your blog, etc. No one knows the exact formula of this algorithm so tricking it is impossible.

Bottom line, growing a blog or an Instagram page takes a lot of time if you’re doing it organically. However, you can accelerate your Instagram growth if you are willing to trick the system. Will it be beneficial in the long run? Most probably not.

Required effort

So, how much effort does it actually take to run a blog or an Instagram page?

Blogging vs Instagram effort

Running an Instagram page is pretty easy: you find a nice location to shoot your photo, you come up with a pose, take the shot, edit it (check out my presets here) and post it on your Instagram page. You’ll also have to engage with other people’s posts (like and comment them).

According to Instagram, the average user spends 32 minutes per day on Instagram. Add another half an hour to shoot the photo and we can assume that the you’ll spend around one hour per day on Instagram (if you post daily).

Now, let’s see how much time it takes to post a blog post. You’ll need to come up with an idea (what you’re going to write about), structure your thoughts, search for keywords, take photos, edit them, write the article (around 500-1000 words) and publish it. Moreover, you’ll also need to constantly improve your website layout and functionality which is gonna take about another half an hour daily.

Trust me, writing a blog post takes much more than an hour. After about one year of blogging, I need around 5-6 hours to finish a blog post and publish it. Of course, I don’t publish daily. My average is around 4 blog post per week but even so it’s still a lot more effort than running an Instagram page.

The conclusion? Running a blog is definitely more time-consuming.

Required tech skills

Posting on Instagram and managing an account is pretty straight forward. The interface is extremely user friendly and you don’t need any particular tech skills.

Blogging is a bit different. If you want to build a successful blog, SEO is not enough. You will need certain tech/ programming skills to make everything the way you want it to be.

Blogging vs Instagram tech skills

You can definitely build a blog if you are not a tech person but in this case you have 2 options: you compromise (the website won’t look exactly the way you want, your blog will have basic functionalities) or you can pay someone to take care of the tech stuff.

Even though building a blog doesn’t require you to be a programmer, a basic understanding of technical issues is necessary. Instagram on the other hand is much simpler to use.

Income streams

This is my favorite subject. Let’s face it: whether you choose to invest your time in building a blog or an Instagram account, you’re gonna want to make money out of it after some time.

Blogging vs Instagram income streams

Instagram has one income stream and that is: brand collaborations. Brands reach out to Instagram influencers. Influencers post photos and short captions about those products or services/ experiences and in exchange they get free stuff or money. It’s pretty easy.

When it comes to Instagram, passive income is out of discussion. For every paid gig, you will have to work and provide something in exchange.

Now let’s think about blogs. There are many multiple income streams that you can set up on your blog once you’ve built an audience. Take a few examples: ads, affiliates, sponsored posts, selling your own products (e-books, courses, presets). There are so many ways to make money out of your blog that all you really need is time to implement them.

The biggest advantage of blogs is that you can set up passive income systems. Once you implement ads or affiliates on your blog, the money will keep coming without any effort from your part. It’s that simple.

With the rise of social media, everybody seems to pay attention to Instagram and focus on it without realizing that blogging can bring more money in the long run.

Level of trust

Let’s face it, in today’s world where everybody is in a hurry, social media seems to be the answer since you can scroll through tens of photos in just one minute. However, the social media advertising industry is booming and out of 10 posts, more than half are sponsored.

People are starting to notice that Instagram is not about authenticity anymore but about making money. Instagram influencers accept paid gigs just to increase their income even though they don’t actually use or like the products they are endorsing. And it’s easy to do so since they only have to post a photo with a tag or a short one-phrase caption.

The market is already over-saturated and people are getting smarter about letting themselves ‘influenced’ on Instagram. Therefore, the level of trust on social media platforms is decreasing.

Blogging vs Instagram build an audience

Blogging, on the other side, is different. When a blogger reviews a product or an experience, he has to write many details about it. Writing a blog post that attracts readers should be detailed and useful for the reader. It is much harder to lie or overestimate the quality of a product when you have to write at least 1000 words about it.

Therefore, people tend to trust more the opinions of bloggers than the ones of Instagrammers.

Algorithm control

We are all frustrated a bit about the Instagram algorithm. After the elimination of the chronological feed, it all seems to break into pieces. The engagement is getting lower and lower, it’s harder to attract followers and every growth method I’ve read about on the internet doesn’t seem to work.

The truth is: on Instagram, we are all the algorithm’s slaves. We have no power to influence it and there is no way to change that.

Blogging vs Instagram

In an ideal world, most of your blog traffic will come from Google (other traffic streams are: social media, referrals, other search engines). Google also has an algorithm according to which it decides which article should appear higher in the search results but this algorithm is pretty easy to understand.

Google’s goal is to answer people’s questions. This means that if your article has good quality, it is written in depth and it has good SEO, chances are you’ll get that sweet Google traffic.

Google’s goal will never change. Google wants to remain the best search engine on the planet. Therefore, it will always show qualitative articles on the front page. Instagram, on the other hand, has shifted its focus from building a community to making money and this should speak for itself.

5. Conclusion

Choosing between blogging and Instagram is a hard decision. Each of them has its ups and downs but in the long run, I would definitely choose to invest my time into blogging. Yes, it takes more time, you need some tech skills but the rewards are higher. You can create multiple income streams, your work doesn’t depend on an algorithm and the level of trust when it comes to sponsored posts is much higher.

Choosing to focus on building a blog shouldn’t mean that you have give otoup on Instagram for good. You can still post on your Instagram and create good content while focusing on your blog.

I hope that this article has helped you decide whether it’s better to start a blog or an Instagram page. Now you know my opinion but the final decision is yours!

May the travel bug bite you!

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Blogging vs Instagram comparison


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