Struggling to decide between starting a blog or Instagram account? You’re not alone. With so many platforms out there, online business owners want to diversify their marketing but only have so much time and resources.
So, given your unique circumstances and capacity, how do you decide which one will be the better investment?
While growing an audience on Instagram can lead to a great short-term return on investment (ROI), blogging can lead to a massive long-term ROI. As you can already see, going through the different nuances will help you decide what’s best for your unique situation and business.
Instagram is now the second-most downloaded app in the world, with 1.22 billion people using the platform each month. That’s about 25% of the world’s population!
Because of the platform’s heavy emphasis on photo and video content, it might seem like a tough platform for brands that lack any kind of visual product to stand out.
But even business-to-business (B2B), brand-based businesses, SaaS founders, and location-based businesses are able to benefit from Instagram. Even though it’s not as powerful as it once was, the platform still gives good content the ability to reach a lot of people. You’re just going to need to be smart with your strategy.
Using Instagram for business can be a good way to find clients and customers if they’re already spending their time there. After Facebook, Instagram is the second highest-rated social media platform for seeing a good ROI. It helps to drive awareness, nurture potential clients and customers, increase sales, and keep an open line of communication between your business and potential clients and customers.
With effective marketing strategies like collaborations, influencer shoutouts, affiliate promotions, contests/giveaways, and branded hashtags, you can expand your network rapidly.
Here’s what you’ll need to start and grow an Instagram account:
You don’t want to be throwing spaghetti at the wall, so whichever marketing channel you choose will need to have its own strategy.
Since Instagram is such a visual platform, your content will need to be visually appealing, unique, and engaging for your target audience.
This means you need to have access to a quality camera (your phone works!), the skills necessary to create and edit graphics and videos, and the ability to write captions.
If you lack the skills and/or time, like many business owners juggling a bunch of things, outsourcing your content creation, caption writing, and posting could be a viable option.
However, it all depends on your budget and how much control you’re willing to give away!
Once you’ve got your quality content sorted, you’re going to need to post regularly either in the moment or by scheduling posts in advance.
And you’re in luck! Instagram has introduced scheduling posts from within the app itself!
You can post and schedule different types of content (reels, feed posts, lives, and stories) which all have different purposes and get different engagement rates.
Planning and scheduling your content ahead of time will free up your time later to reply to comments and DMs and dedicate more energy to meaningful engagement.
But it’s easier said than done! One method that many 6-figure and up entrepreneurs swear by is batching. That just means doing a month’s worth of caption writing in one go, all graphic creation in one go, etc.
As a business owner wearing all the hats (including marketing) looking to boost clicks, you’re going to need to put in the time to engage with your audience. You have to be social on social media!
Daily engagement is key to building your brand’s success on Instagram, but it’ll require your ongoing commitment in order to build and maintain.
If you’re savvy with creating quality visual content and writing captions, and have the passion to engage daily with your audience (or outsource the above), then Instagram might just make the most sense for you.
Instagram can also be a good option for small or new businesses who have the time to dedicate it, or those with a strong visual product who are just starting to increase awareness and trying to grow their brand as fast as possible.
Even big established businesses can see massive results from reaching a wider audience through social media.
In today’s social media-saturated world, blogging might seem old-school.
But just because it’s been around a while doesn’t mean it’s not still effective. The latest 2022 statistics show that 77% of internet users read blogs. That’s 409 million users, viewing more than 20 billion pages every month!
Blogging attracts free organic traffic – people who are looking for specific answers, products, or information, and who are willing to sit and read an article.
While it might be getting harder to rank articles on Google because of increasing competition, there’s no doubt that marketing on search engines can be highly profitable.
Businesses that blog experience twice as much email traffic as businesses that don’t and they get a whopping 97% more links to their website.
Blogs can also be extremely lucrative in the long-term, particularly if you create the backend mechanisms to generate passive income over time.
Here’s what you’ll need to start and grow a blog:
To build a successful blog for your business, you’re going to need a solid business foundation to inform your SEO strategy.
If you’re at square one, your business foundation includes defining your target market, deciding on what to sell/create/offer, knowing why your target market would want to buy, figuring out your messaging and positioning, and setting your prices to be fair and profitable.
Without knowing what you want to offer your target market, it’s kind of pointless to invest in blogging because you might end up publishing 10 awesome blog posts, pivoting your business, and then having to reshape those posts to fit your new foundations (if they can even be reshaped in the first place).
If you don’t already have a website, you’ll need to spend a bit of money and have basic tech skills to get it up and running.
There are lots of tutorials on YouTube to help you get started, but you’ll need to buy a domain (~$10 for a year) and sign up to a website building platform like WordPress, Squarespace, Showit, Webflow, WIX, etc.
Aside from WordPress, the main platforms tend to automatically come with web hosting, security and privacy features, and branded email. Getting started, you don’t need more than that!
If you already have a website, then all you need to get started blogging is creating a blog homepage (that typically lives at yourdomain.com/blog) and creating a templated single blog post design.
Pro Tip: Don’t create your blog on a subdomain like blog.yourdomain.com! It should be yourdomain.com/blog. That’s because Google treats subdomains as a completely different website than your main one so it’d be like starting a website from scratch.
A vital benefit of blogging on your own website is you own your content, control it, and get all of the benefits of it. On Instagram, algorithms change all the time, feature changes force you to adapt, accounts get randomly shut down – it’s a mess!
As blogging is a form of written media, you’re going to need to have the skills to write helpful, high-quality content. Or you’ll need to outsource blog management.
As a business, you’ll want your blog posts to help guide readers towards solving their problems through what you sell. You need to know your subject area in-depth to build trust and know what you’re writing about.
Blogging regularly (I recommend once a week for solopreneurs) is the best way to show Google you mean business. Google absolutely loves fresh content! Publishing 5 blog posts and then taking a year off isn’t exactly the best strategy. Like Instagram, it requires dedication to see results.
If you’re planning to outsource blog writing, findings from Marketing Insider Group show that publishing 2 to 4 blog posts per week brought in the best traffic and conversion results.
Outsourcing high-quality blog post creation isn’t cheap but it might be worth it in the long-term if you have the funds and don’t have the time or capacity to write yourself!
If people are searching for what you offer on Google and you’re an established business or brand looking to scale, adding a blog to your marketing strategy would be the right choice for you. New businesses or start-ups also see positive results in the long-term, but if funds are tight I don’t recommend putting all of your marketing eggs into one basket at the beginning.
(If you think starting a blog might be the best option for you, grab my free SEO guide for beginners. It’ll walk you through 5 steps you’ll need to lock-in before you start!)
Blogging might be for you if you want to have complete freedom and control over your content, your business foundation is solid, and you have the technical know-how required to set up and run a website.
If you’re an established business owner looking to set up mechanisms that’ll bring in organic traffic for years to come, blogging is the way to go.
Instagram might be better for you if you’re an outgoing, visual person who loves sharing their thoughts and building relationships.
It might also be for you if you’re looking to get your name out there quickly and start building public momentum.
Whatever your business goals, a strong online presence in today’s world is vital.
A blog can be a bit tech tricky and definitely requires maintenance.
But you have more control over the content and, with the right marketing strategy, your growing audience will likely be more authentic. As a result, you’ll see a higher ROI in the long term.
Instagram has a much shorter feedback loop, but requires daily engagement with your followers.
You’ll have a lot less control over the content you post, but the platform is free and easier to use with the potential to reach a lot of people fast.
Whichever platform you go for – Instagram, or a blog – it’s going to be an extremely individual choice. What it will all come down to is your own skills, resources, and capacity, as well as your long and short-term goals and needs!
Nov 13, 2022
Start your SEO journey on strong footing.
Benefit from the free Salt Your SEO guide, weekly newsletters with actionable tips, and some promotions you might not want to miss.
I'm not a jerk! Your email will never be spammed, shared, or otherwise treated poorly.
on instagram? let's be friends!