Imagine you’ve found the perfect business idea. You go to launch, but you don’t get any clients or sales. So you decide to compare a blog vs. Instagram to help market this thing.
Blogs and Instagram accounts are both useful but for different things. Read on to learn the pros and cons of the platforms to decide which is right for you.
But first, this post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy to learn more.
Pros of Starting a Blog
As a freelance blogger, I have to start with the benefits of starting your own blog. I’ve enjoyed many benefits over the years, and I want you to enjoy the same advantages.
You Own It
One of the biggest risks of relying solely on social media is that it can be taken from you in an instant. Instagram could decide to shut down, and you’d lose your entire following.
But that’s not the case with a blog, which is often hosted on your website. I use and love SiteGround as a host so that I can use WordPress. Of course, they could shut down as well.
However, I regularly back up my various blogs. So if something happens and I can’t use SiteGround anymore, I can export all of my content to a zip file. Then, I can find a new host and import the backup so that my site is all ready to go.
I don’t have to worry about losing all of my blog content. Plus, I can use my website to help grow my email list and find clients.
Link to Your Business
Another great thing about starting a blog is that it can be on the very website you use to market your business. That makes it super easy to promote your services or products within your blog posts.
Someone can click on an article about a topic that interests them. Then, they may click on a link you include to your services.
But they may also browse the site in general. Visitors can check out your main menu to see what you have to offer. This can be a great way to get new clients or students.
Sure, you can link to your website on Instagram. But the platform doesn’t want its users to leave, so it can be a lot harder to get website clicks.
Monetize Your Content
Blogs offer so many different monetization options. Like on Instagram, you can promote your services or link to products you sell. But your blog can help you make money in other ways.
For example, I use display ads. If someone clicks on an ad, I make a few cents. Now it’s nothing to write home about, but it all adds up. As your blog grows, you can make even more money, and ads are entirely passive.
I also use affiliate marketing. That link to SiteGround? That’s an affiliate link, so if you click on it and sign up for hosting, I’ll get a commission for the sale.
Those are just a couple of the extra ways you can monetize your content. And since the blog is on your website, you aren’t restricted regarding where you can place links to things.
I’ve written blog posts for clients that were 5,000+ words long. You can’t do that on Instagram due to the character count limit on captions. And sure, you can film videos, but the recent shift to Reels has brought with it a shift to short-form content.
Plus, Instagram users want to scroll. I know that I don’t want to spend multiple minutes reading some in-depth post on the app. But when I go to someone’s blog, I’m expecting longer-form content.
You can use a blog post to cover a topic super well. That can then help you convince visitors that you’re an expert in your niche. So they may be more willing to hire you or buy from you.
Written Content Is Expected
I’m a blogger and freelance writer, so obviously, I enjoy creating written content for the web. That’s one of my favorite things about starting and running a blog.
No one’s surprised to see articles on a blog. In fact, it’s expected to have some written stuff, even on a more visual blog, like a fashion blog.
Compare that to Instagram, which is no more visual. And it’s even starting to become a bit more video-focused.
Video content is important. But it can be nice to sit down and read a blog post or article, especially if I’m out in public and don’t have headphones.
Cons of Starting a Blog
While I love blogging, I’m also the first to admit that it’s not perfect. Before you start a blog, consider some of the potential downsides.
It Takes Time to Grow
Blogging is often a long game. You probably won’t see much success from your blog within the first few months or even a year. At least, not without spending just as much time promoting your blog as writing for it.
The Instagram algorithm can help you get views on your first post on a new account. So you could start to get followers and build an audience right off the bat.
But if you’re relying on a blog with SEO, you need to be patient. It’s well worth the patience, but it can still be annoying. We all want that instant gratification, and blogging isn’t the way to get it, at least not when it comes to digital marketing.
Writing a Blog Post Is a Lot of Work
Over the years, I’ve gotten pretty quick at writing blog posts. But I remember it used to take me a lot longer to do so. For one, a blog post has more content than an Instagram post.
Also, writing a blog post requires a specific type of writing. It’s very different from the academic style we all learned in college. So if you’re new to the style, it may take you hours to write a good post.
Assuming you want to use SEO, you have even more steps. Before you sit down to write the post, you need to do some keyword research.
That’s why I started writing blogs for other music business owners. I know you have a lot on your plate, so hand off the content creation to an expert.
Hosting Costs Money
If you don’t yet have a website, starting a blog can get expensive. Sure, you can start on a free platform, such as Blogger or Medium. And you can always move your posts to a website, but that takes a lot of work.
Also, if you’re blogging to grow a business, it’s worth investing a bit of money. Using a free blog can make you look unprofessional. So even if you do manage to get views, you may lose out on sales.
Luckily, most website platforms allow you to add a blog, usually for free. If you already have a website for your business, adding the blog page shouldn’t cost you anything extra.
Pros of Starting an Instagram
Now, it’s time to compare a blog vs. Instagram account. Like blogs, IG accounts do come with some benefits.
Free to Start
Instagram is free for you to use as an individual, creator, or business. I love how you can create a new account and publish your first post within minutes. Plus, you can use the equipment you already have to take photos and videos.
Sure, you can invest in paid tools, such as Later, to grow. And you can run Instagram ads to expand your reach. But you don’t have to.
I’ve managed to grow my account to over 2,000 followers for free. Granted, it’s taken me years. But it’s possible to see growth, especially if you’re willing to use a strategy to reach your goals.
Relatively Easy to Grow
I’m not going to say that growing on Instagram is easy. However, compared to a blog, it’s definitely easier. The built-in audience and algorithm can help you reach people who don’t follow you.
You also don’t have to worry about promoting your IG posts on external platforms to get traffic. If you start a blog, you will have to promote it externally, at least at first.
Using hashtags and Instagram SEO can help you grow from the start of your account. Instagram also favors accounts that use all of its features, so posting photos, carousels, and Reels can help too.
The Social Community
Instagram is a social network, so it’s a great place to be social. You can engage with your peers as well as your ideal clients or students/parents.
I’ve met tons of people through Instagram, many of whom I met later in person at a music event. So if you’re looking to build your network with other musicians, Instagram is great.
You can comment on people’s posts and send DMs. Over time, you may find that sales or clients come to you.
Multiple Content Formats
While I love writing, I also think it’s fun to experiment with different types of content. You may find the most success from posting photos or graphics that are related to the topic of the post.
Or maybe your Reels do the best. Whatever it is, you can test different things to see what gets you the results you’re looking for.
You don’t have to stick to just photos or just videos. Plus, you can adapt your overall strategy as your business grows and changes.
More Casual Feel
A few years ago, Instagram was this place where you had to post perfect images and have a gorgeous, curated feed. Now, that’s not so much the case, so it’s a great platform to be yourself.
I could post a fresh-faced selfie to my Instagram Stories, for example. And the shift toward Reels also means videos can be less perfect and polished.
Of course, you’ll still want to be professional. You are representing your business, after all. But you have a bit more leeway to post whatever and give people a look into your life that blogs are no longer the place for.
Cons of Starting an Instagram
Unfortunately, Instagram isn’t the be-all, end-all platform for marketing your business online. There are a few problems that you may run into, especially if you don’t also have a blog.
No Platform Ownership
You don’t own your Instagram account. If anything, Meta (Instagram’s parent company) does. So Meta could choose to shut down the platform, and you’d lose all of your content and followers.
Or Meta could determine that your account violates their guidelines. Your account could then get shut down, even if Instagram itself still operates.
I don’t know about you, but that’s pretty scary. And I wouldn’t recommend placing your marketing strategy in the hands of another company. So while Instagram is great, it should only be part of your marketing.
Hard to Get Website Clicks
While Instagram is great for building awareness of your brand, it’s horrible when it comes to driving sales and website clicks. You can only include a clickable link in your bio, stories, and DMs.
That means that people have to click through those extra steps to even find a link to your website. In January 2023, this very website got 83.7 times as many clicks from search engines as from Instagram.
So if you’re looking to get clients, newsletter subscribers, or something else that has to do with your website, don’t rely on Instagram alone. It can get you some traffic, but it probably won’t get a lot.
A Lot of Competition
Another problem with Instagram is that it’s full of competition. When people scroll their feeds, they may see your posts. But they may also see posts from people or businesses that do very similar things to you.
On your blog, you or your business is the only creator. All of the content is leading to your services or products. That can make it much easier to turn a visitor into a customer.
Sure, you have to compete for the top search results. But once you get that first click, the visitor will land on your site. A place where you’ll have zero competition.
Starting a Blog vs. Instagram
As you can probably tell, it’s easier and faster to start an Instagram. You may even get a few followers and views within your first day.
However, a blog is a better long-term strategy. I have hundreds of posts on this blog, and they all work together to provide the majority of my traffic.
Why Start a Blog and Instagram
You don’t have to choose between a blog or Instagram. If anything, I think you should start both.
Then, you can use the two platforms in tandem to help grow your business.
Repurpose Your Content
One of my favorite ways to use my blog and Instagram is for content repurposing. I’ll first write a blog post for the week. Then, I can take that blog post and break it up into multiple Instagram posts.
For example, I may post on Instagram the pros and cons of starting a blog. The next day, I could share the pros and cons of starting an Instagram. There’s two posts right there, but I could go further and cover each subheading individually.
If you struggle to come up with social media posts, your blog is a great place to look for ideas. The content is already there. So all you need to do is adapt it to the new format.
Expand Your Reach
Whether you repurpose content or share unique stuff, using both a blog and an Instagram can help you reach more people. For example, not everyone who’s interested in music lessons is on Instagram.
But they may be on Google searching for answers to their questions. You might have a blog post on how to practice double tonguing. The visitor could search for that and find your article, and they may book a trial lesson.
Similarly, people may scroll through Instagram for inspiration. A person may not be on Google. So if you only use a blog, you could also miss out on the chance to book a new student or client.
Experiment With Different Strategies
Another great reason to start a blog and Instagram is that you can test both platforms. After a few months, review your strategies for both to see what’s getting you the results you want.
Then, you could devote more time to the platform that’s working better. You can still maintain the other one but cut back on it.
Will You Start a Blog or Instagram?
If you’re looking to grow your business online, you may want to compare a blog vs. Instagram account. Both can be useful tools, but they each have pros and cons to consider.
That’s why I’d combine a blog and an Instagram profile. You can reach more people and ensure your business won’t fail with one algorithm update.
Are you looking for help with your blog or Instagram? Learn more about my content creation services!