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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26 Comments

  1. Gina
    March 31, 2019 / 12:39 am

    The was very helpful!! Thank you!

    • dailytravelpill
      Author
      April 18, 2019 / 9:23 am

      I am glad! Which one would you choose – blogging or instagram?

  2. Jason
    April 16, 2019 / 6:17 am

    Blogging is definitely better in the long run. This article was really insightful. I think I am going to start a blog soon! 🙂

    • dailytravelpill
      Author
      April 18, 2019 / 9:19 am

      Yes! Definitely go for blogging!

  3. May 14, 2019 / 1:51 pm

    Thanks so much for the detailed analysis. This article is exactly what I have been thinking about recently. Setting up a blog even on a supposedly simple web based tool is a big commitment. This led me to think in depth about my “why” and whether Instagram would do the trick. Your analysis has helped me see the up and down side of both options.

    • dailytravelpill
      Author
      May 15, 2019 / 4:36 am

      I am so glad I could help! 🙂

  4. June 10, 2019 / 4:10 pm

    I really appreciate this because I have been debating whether to create a blog for my Instagram for a while. Now that I am serious about developing a spicy food/travel blog, I have wondered whether it was worth combining with my instagram or not. What I think your post has made me realise is that I should spend more time doing my Instagram and creating more of a community with ways to develop my audience and know who I am trying to market.

    After I think I will work on my blog. I’m just wondering if having an all food instagram + spicy food/potiental travel blog will work to my favour?

    Thanks, I’ll be following you on instagram!

    • dailytravelpill
      Author
      June 12, 2019 / 1:08 am

      If you are serious about blogging, I would start with the blog. Converting people from Instagram to blog is quite hard but not impossible! I wish you good luck in your blogging journey!

  5. Rodders
    June 23, 2019 / 7:06 am

    Thank you, made my decision much easier, really appreciate the time you put into writing.
    I am setting up a media system for a friend of mine who wants to promote his property, which is really a wildlife sanctuary full of endangered and rare species in South Western Australia.
    I will probably change the website to a blog with connected Instagram (to attract traffic).
    cheers!

    • dailytravelpill
      Author
      June 27, 2019 / 11:38 am

      So glad I could help!

  6. Maria
    July 14, 2019 / 7:16 pm

    This is a very good article, I also wrote on my blog the advantages of owning a blog over social media and there are endless reasons.
    Social media is oversaturated especially Instagram with the same content from every user and lack of creativity.

    • dailytravelpill
      Author
      July 15, 2019 / 1:31 am

      Couldn’t agree more!

  7. Lori Valentin
    August 2, 2019 / 3:35 pm

    If you decide to blog,can it be about one subject??

    • dailytravelpill
      Author
      August 14, 2019 / 6:15 pm

      Hi, Lori. You can blog about absolutely anything. It can be travel, finance, tech, marketing, SEO or any other subject you are passionate about. Good luck in your blogging journey! 🙂

  8. August 10, 2019 / 11:05 am

    Hi, Thank you for nice article. I just started my own blog just few minutes ago 🙂 It is a great feeling but I really have to learn sooooo much.

    • dailytravelpill
      Author
      August 14, 2019 / 6:11 pm

      Building your blog is a continuous process of learning. Even after all these years, I still learn new things about the blogging world. This is what I love about this job! You never get bored! Good luck with your new blog! I am sure it will be an amazing journey!

  9. August 15, 2019 / 6:45 am

    I love this thanks, i made the right choice then

    • dailytravelpill
      Author
      August 22, 2019 / 11:42 am

      Happy to hear this! Good luck!

  10. William
    September 28, 2019 / 10:49 am

    I would like to add both are very competitive in terms of getting monetization. If a person sole purpose is about money for Blogging or Instagram in under 6 months, I would recommend keeping your day job.

    However not to deter anyone, blogging and instagram is great for people that have valuable and unique content to share. Both have great opportunities for people to live out a lifestyle many people only can dream about. As a social media agency owner and former headhunter, ask yourself what skills you have and the mental/work habits system you have in place, who’s your audience, create a content schedule and track progress.

    I’ve seen bloggers get consistent traffic, subscribers, and monetization while Instagram can turn random people into social media stars. Everyone good luck with their journey.

    • Shalisa
      October 16, 2019 / 6:46 pm

      This comment was just as insightful as the whole article! Love all this info 💜

  11. Laura
    October 2, 2019 / 6:22 pm

    Hi! It was very helpful, although I have a question about blogging in Instagram. I guess, instagram is more visual, and people often scroll without stopping to read the caption, so my doubt is if I want to post a text do you think people are going to read? How could I engage people to do so.
    Thank you very much!

    • dailytravelpill
      Author
      October 4, 2019 / 8:58 am

      The only thing you can do is post quality content and hope that people will read the caption. You can also try to share the post on your stories and convince your followers to go read the caption 🙂 Hope this helps.

  12. Linda
    October 6, 2019 / 1:42 pm

    This was so helpful. I have been doing lots of travel and decided I needed a fun and creative way to: keep my friends and famliy informed of my lication, keep a log of my travels and thoughts, and organize and share a few photos. Now I know I definitely want to do a blog.
    Next I just need to figure out where and how to start

    • dailytravelpill
      Author
      October 7, 2019 / 9:08 am

      I am so glad I could help! You took the best decision! Start registering on wordpress.com and then upload your first blog posts! It will all fall into place after that! Good luck on this blogging journey!

  13. Tatiana
    October 9, 2019 / 12:52 pm

    I have tried blogging professionally (fashion) about 7 years ago. It took up all my time, space, mind, mood, everything… It’s exhausting and frustrating… All the things you mention here as ads, affiliates etc – the income they bring isn’t worth it, not one second.
    Another thought against blogging – is your audience loyalty. Even after all the years of drama building your audience, it’s not guaranteed your very audience will click the ads you post, or convert into any customers. Affiliates worth the bother are all under .5% commission (of a thing worth 5 bucks!), and conversion rates are 1-2% from your audience at best. And even with all that in mind, not many people tend to stick around particular blogs and follow them religiously. People tend to use blogs whenever they need some particular information. No one needs daily information on running their blog, or travel, or whatever.
    My blog (even the domain is now removed) didn’t bring me one penny of income, and I’ve learned from that failure.

    Blogs are great for the early adopters, 10+ years ago, Instagram could be the way to go but we don’t know for sure as it’s out of control. But i’m sure the future of influencers is not blogging. Blogging to me is like that suitcase without a handle. You drag it because it’d be a pity to drop it, but truth is – you don’t really need it anymore.

    • dailytravelpill
      Author
      October 10, 2019 / 1:15 pm

      Hi, Tatiana. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and experience! I have started blogging one and a half years ago in a supper competitive niche – travel. It’s true, I am a full time blogger and this is my full time job and I can tell you that after one and a half years, I’m already making a full time income (I earn more than at my previous job in advertising). I’m not saying it’s easy. It’s hard, challenging, and you have to learn a lot of technical stuff. However, I think it’s worth it! I am location independent and I make enough money to live comfortably. Blogging is about patience and perseverance. I only started to see the results of my hard work after one year of working almost daily on the blog. And yes, my income is only from ads and affiliates. 🙂

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