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Blogging vs. Instagram: Which should you choose?

blogging vs instagram and which to choose

Blogging has been around since the dawn of the internet while Instagram has been around since, well, the rise of the selfie culture. Today, both remain popular and promising marketing channels. 

But if you’re struggling to decide which one to focus on, then you’ve come to the right place. In this blog, we’ll break down the pros and cons of starting a blog versus marketing on social media via Instagram. Throughout you’ll hear from a couple of our experts at Wix to help you make the decision that’s best for you.

Blogging vs. Instagram: how to decide which one’s right for you 

Bear in mind that deciding the right channel to prioritize is not a question of which platform is intrinsically better. Rather, it’s about deciding what’s the best fit for you and your business. 

There are many different factors to weigh, including:

  • What do you (or your team) like doing? Do you find strength behind a keyboard or do you thrive in front of the camera? Similarly, do you identify as a wordsmith, a photographer, a graphic designer or something else? 

  • What do you want to achieve through your content? Are you looking to promote a business or are you trying to build up your personal brand? Moreover, are you looking at blogging or Instagram as a creative outlet—or as something to ultimately drive sales?

  • Which matches your brand? Whether you’re building up a personal or business brand, what medium(s) match your line of work and personality? 

  • Where does your audience hang out? What types of content does your target audience like to consume? How frequently?

  • What is the competition like? When you look at other people or brands that you aspire to be like, where are they most engaged? How do they spend their time and marketing dollars?

Blogging vs. Instagram: a detailed breakdown

Of course, it helps to understand how the platforms differ and what each will entail to get off the ground. Below, we’ll look at how blogging compares to Instagram from various important aspects from a marketing perspective.  

Audience: blogging  

When it comes to blogging, "your audience can run the full gamut,” says Allison Lee, editor-in-chief of the Wix Blog. “It’s similar to asking, ‘What’s the typical audience size or makeup for movies?’ It boils down to the topics you choose to cover and how you put yourself out there.”

“For example, on the SEO front, every search engine result page is different—for one keyword, you might only engage a couple hundred people with a very niche interest in something. Whereas for another keyword, you might be talking to a crowd of thousands spanning a variety of interests and backgrounds,” she adds.

It’s worth noting that the four highest-earning blog niches include food, personal finance, lifestyle and travel, according to a 2022 study by RankIQ. But both B2B and B2C marketers use content marketing strategies to reach potential customers (91% and 86% respectively, reports Demand Sage).  

Audience: Instagram

When it comes to Instagram, “there isn’t really a typical Instagram user,” says Amy Borenstein, Instagram manager at Wix. “What I will say though is that when people use Instagram, they’re looking for quick and digestible content. The attention span for Instagram users is very short (possibly shorter than most other social media platforms).”

“The audience on the platform has grown over the years to the point where almost everyone is on it—even my 87-year-old grandmother has an Instagram account.” - Amy Borenstein, Instagram manager at Wix

blogging vs instagram - audience

Quick comparison stats:

  • Estimated number of blog readers: Roughly 60% of all internet users read blogs (Master Blogging, 2024) 

  • Estimated number of Instagram users: 2 billion monthly active users (Statista, 2024)

  • The average age of blog readers: 30% are between the ages of 31 and 40, while 37%  are between 40 to 60 years old (Finances Online, 2021/2022)

  • The average age of Instagram users: 60% of Instagram users are between 18 to 34 years old (Statista, 2024) 

Content types: blogging

“There’s a unique type of freedom and flexibility that comes with blogging,” says Allison. “A blog lets you go as in-depth as you’d like on a topic and play around with how you tell your story.” 

“A blog is like a massive playground for your ideas. You’ve got your pick of equipment, whether you choose to illustrate your ideas through words or graphics that come together in one space.” - Allison Lee, editor-in-chief at Wix 

Blog length can range wildly, as can its presentation. Using a blogging platform like Wix’s blog maker, you can create a unique canvas for your blog and incorporate various types of multimedia throughout. Its length will usually depend on the topic or SERP. In other words, a how-to post that’s intended to guide readers through a series of detailed steps may veer on the long side—whereas a news-related piece might be much shorter. 

Generally speaking, blog posts tend to have a long lifespan. They encourage lengthier engagement, and those that are SEO-optimized or linked from other publications are particularly well-equipped to drive traffic to your site for months or years after publication. 

content types: blogging

Content types: Instagram

By contrast, Instagram posts tend to have a shorter shelf life and get buried under new content quickly. They tend to pack the greatest punch at the time of posting, though the conversations that stem from those posts can survive long after they’re created. 

The strongest posts are short, snappy and visually driven. Instagram captions are limited to 2,200 characters, while videos are capped at 60 minutes (except for Instagram Live videos, which can be as long as four hours; note also that Reels and Stories are capped much earlier). They invite real-time engagement and respect the fact that Instagram is a community-based, but hyper-personalized space.

instagram vs blogging types of content

Quick comparison stats:

  • Average length of a blog: 1,416 words (OptinMonster, 2023)

  • Average length of an Instagram post: 26-second-long videos (Adobe)

  • Popular types of blogs: How-to guide, listicle, interview, “what is” post, case study

  • Popular types of Instagram posts: Carousel, image, video (including Stories and Reels  

Content discovery and ranking algorithms: blogging

Success when blogging often depends on having a unique angle or niche and delivering consistent, high-quality content. Moreover, your SEO strategy will play a big role in driving visitors to your articles—with Google’s search engine being top of mind for most bloggers. 

The challenge is that Google observes hundreds, if not thousands, of signals to rank content.

As summarized by Google itself:

“To give you the most useful information, Search algorithms look at many factors and signals, including the words of your query, relevance and usability of pages, expertise of sources, and your location and settings. The weight applied to each factor varies depending on the nature of your query.”

SEO is a very nuanced, always-evolving sport. But the silver lining is that no two SERPs are the same; even as a newer blog, you have a chance at ranking for long-tail keywords, which aren’t as competitive as short-tail keywords but engage a very specific audience. You don’t have to go toe-to-toe with industry giants. Rather, your SEO competition may consist of blogs, news sites and other publications that aren’t competing for the same business as yours. 

Content discovery and ranking algorithms: Instagram

Similarly, on Instagram, "SEO is really important to implement in your strategy,” says Amy. 

“Instagram, at the end of the day, is also a search engine, so adding keywords in your alt text and caption helps people looking for specific things find your content.” - Amy Borenstein, Instagram manager at Wix

Of course, “SEO” on Instagram means something very different from SEO on Google. There are various avenues for a user to find your content on Instagram, and each avenue has its own ranking algorithm. 

For example, the Instagram Feed algorithm may predict a user’s interests by looking at past activity, followers and post details. Meanwhile, the Instagram Reels algorithm may prioritize factors like video completion rate, user engagement and originality. 

Each Instagram algorithm has matured over time. “Hashtags aren’t enough anymore to make sure your content is seen,” notes Amy. “Writing engaging captions that promote viewers to comment will help get the algorithm to push your content.”

Quick comparison stats:

  • Top discovery channels for blogs: Search queries, predominantly on Google

  • Top discovery channels for Instagram: Features like the Explore page, Stories and Reels

  • Top ranking factors for blogs (Google): Relevance, quality, backlinks, usability, on-page experience, technical SEO 

  • Top ranking factors for Instagram (Feed): Post engagement, poster details, interaction history, personal interests 

Monetization opportunities: blogging 

Blogging can open you up to a variety of opportunities to generate money, including via sponsored posts, affiliate marketing and sales of physical products through your article. Or, monetize your blog by offering exclusive content to paying subscribers. 

“If you use a platform like Wix,” Allison adds, “you can easily experiment with these things. You can launch a community, an online course, a subscription program and/or print-on-demand products—all from one space.” 

The beauty of a blog is that it’s a branded channel, where most readers expect to click around and discover other content (or products) that your brand has to offer. 

Learn more:

instagram vs blogging - blogging monetization

Monetization opportunities: Instagram 

Instagram, on the other hand, is less focused on your brand and more focused on the larger community. It has its fair share of monetization opportunities, too—but most will be oriented at keeping people on Instagram as opposed to driving them to your site. 

That said, “Instagram shopping is a great way to monetize your business on social media,” recommends Amy. “This allows customers to see details about your product like price and colorways directly on the Instagram app. However, it can also drive traffic to your website and make more sales.” 

Other opportunities include affiliate links, sponsored content, IGTV ads and Instagram Live Badges that followers can purchase to support your account. 

“But keep in mind, though, when maintaining a business Instagram account is that you shouldn’t look at Instagram as a free place to post ads,” warns Amy.  

“People nowadays are hyper-aware of when they are being advertised to and generally get turned off by the content when they know it’s an ad, so keep your business account centered around brand awareness and engaging potential customers.” - Amy Borenstein, Instagram manager at Wix

Quick comparison stats:

  • Top monetization opportunities on a blog: Sponsored posts, affiliate links, subscription-based content, selling digital or physical products 

  • Top monetization opportunities on Instagram: Sponsored posts, affiliate links, Instagram shopping, badges, IGTV ads

Benefits of starting a blog first 

So, is it best to start a blog or an Instagram account first? To reiterate, there’s no one universally correct answer, nor one easy answer. Both take grit. However, if your strength is in writing and you notice a need for more in-depth, educational content among your audience, then a blog may be a natural fit. 

Moreover, by starting a blog first, you can equip yourself with content that can later be repurposed for Instagram. (One blog could even inspire multiple Instagram posts.) 

blogging vs instagram - start a blog first

To summarize the benefits of focusing on a blog: 

  • You have full ownership. While on Instagram, you're at the mercy of the platform's rules and algorithm (which can change without notice), you fully own your blog content. You get to decide how it’s shown and what gets posted. You don’t have to worry about the plug getting pulled overnight.

  • You can gain an SEO advantage. Blogs allow you to delve into topics with the kind of detail that search engines love. By targeting specific keywords and providing thorough answers, you can improve your chances of ranking higher in search results, which is vital when you’re running or making a website.

  • You can focus on evergreen content. While Instagram rewards real-time engagement, a blog can continue bearing fruit months or years after you’ve published it. “It can drive lots of passive and free income, in addition to traffic, even if you need to take a bit of a breather from your blog,” says Allison.

Benefits of starting with Instagram 

If you’re less eager about long-form content and prefer expressing yourself through visual means, Instagram may be your top choice. Snapping a photo or filming a behind-the-scenes video may be much easier than sitting down to write a blog. 

Instagram additionally offers more immediate, two-way feedback so if your goal is to network and engage in conversations, Instagram may be more your speed.  

blogging vs instagram - benefits of instagram first

A word of encouragement from Amy:

“Many people believe that it’s too late to start an Instagram account, but it’s not true. While there are millions of users, there’s space for everyone. When you define your niche, talk passionately about your business and focus on growing a community, the people who care about what you have to offer will find you.”

To summarize the benefits of prioritizing an Instagram business account

  • You can focus on visual storytelling. Instagram is the perfect canvas to paint your brand's story. Through photos, videos and Reels, you can craft a visual narrative that speaks to your audience and showcases your brand’s personalities.

  • You can enjoy immediate feedback. Features like polls, questions and direct messages encourage interaction, making it easier to connect with followers on a personal level.

  • You can participate in influencer partnerships and brand collaborations. Needless to say, collaborating with Instagram influencers can amplify your reach and credibility. You can tap into active communities and gain trust through association with these partners.

Learn more: Blog vs vlog, and which to start

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