Vlog vs Blog: July 2019 and What the Future Holds

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July was a fairly productive month for Writer Sanctuary in almost every regard. And although I am still in the process of making improvements to both the YouTube channel and blog, the numbers are a bit exciting to see.

Now, I just need to keep up the momentum and make sure they stay at these incredible levels of growth…or perhaps better.

July 2019 Vlog vs Blog Results

Both the YouTube channel and WriterSanctuary.com website had excellent jumps in certain areas in terms of improvements. While the numbers could still be better, I’m pleased the growth is in the positive.

Because even if you can increase your traffic by 5% per month, it’s still an improvement. It’s better than sitting back and watching your site fail in terms of getting visitor attention.

And this includes the YouTube channel.

July’s Visitor Traffic and Views

The month of July brought several leaps for content, especially for the blog. And although the YouTube channel could have done better in terms of views, it’s growth was spread across a few different elements.

YouTube Views

July YouTube Views

Although the YouTube channel received a 4% increase in terms of views, I feel I could have done better. Like last month, part of this small growth was due to the lack of producing content.

After all, I only uploaded 10 videos last month. And to put that into perspective, my record is 16 within 30 days.

Two major factors go into this: 1) I often didn’t have time to make the videos because of the work I’ve been doing with my clients, and 2) I didn’t want to upload sub-standard videos.

A lot of the time, I scrap a video if I don’t think it has anything to offer my audience. I’d rather push out quality than quantity.

Blog Visits

Visits to the blog, in contrast to the YouTube channel, grew astoundingly! As opposed to the small climbs the blog had in the past, this last month saw a 35.65% growth spike!

In fact, WriterSanctuary.com broke its own record for both organic visits and pageviews…by A LOT! It had nearly twice the visits and pageviews that the blog saw back in March.

A lot of this traffic came from the YouTube channel itself. Which is one of the reasons why I started making videos; to create a back-and-forth relationship between video and blog content.

I even saw four visits come in from BuyMeACoffee.com, the donation site I added to generate some kind of non-advertisement revenue stream.

Audience Retention Rate

So the audience retention rate is probably going to be a bit skewed when comparing vlog vs blog. This is because I’ve been putting in a bit of effort for live streaming.

This means the YouTube channel can rack up a ton of time from a handful of viewers.

YouTube Viewer Watch Time

The overall watch time of the YouTube channel grew by 38% thanks to the live stream. The day the live stream was published saw a total of 1,522 minutes overall.

To put this into perspective, the channel usually averages between 250 and 400 minutes of watch time per day.

In fact, July included two live streams. However, the first one was far less engaging and didn’t have nearly the same number of viewers.

Blog On-Page Reading

The average time on page for the blog sat around 4:02. This was a few seconds lower than what the site had back in June. However, it’s still within a decent time-frame. At least it’s a lot better than it was this time last year.

For the most part, it looks like the older articles are the ones bringing the on-page time down a bit. Which is to be expected thanks to Google’s algorithm changes.

Media Click-Through Rates

Both platforms in July saw an increase in click-through rates. This is comparing how often someone sees my content and clicks to either watch or read. However, the blog made a significant jump compared to the YouTube channel.

Based on average numbers from other channels and content in Google, both platforms are still doing exceptionally well.

YouTube Audience Acquisition

The YouTube videos saw a slight increase moving from 5.4% in June to 5.5% in July. I know, it’s not the most profound jump. However, it’s still an improvement.

Although I love the thumbnail layout for the videos, I’m wondering if I should try to mix it up this month. I’m just worried that if I change it too much, my current subscribers won’t know the videos are mine.

Worst case scenario, I can always change the format back if the new thumbnails don’t work.

Blog Search and Engagement

Blog Search Growth

Perhaps one of the most impressive things for July was the vast improvement of click-throughs for WriterSanctuary.com. Even though the number of impressions dropped by quite a bit, the number of clicks grew to 4.9%!

Now, a big part of this growth was thanks to my “300 Word Writing Sample” article I have on the blog. It’s a popular page that breaks down the best ways to create content for Textbroker.

Traffic to this page went up from 85 clicks in June to 252 in July.

But, I still need to work on improving impressions since the last Google algorithm change.

Top Performing Content

Both platforms have similar strengths to varying degrees. And although I am trying to incorporate more freelance writing and blogging content, it appears I am still an expert in YouTube and Google for Textbroker.

Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However, I would like to do more than just Textbroker content.

This month, I am going to look at the three best pieces of content for both platforms while using watch time and on-page time.

3 Prominent YouTube Videos

The YouTube channel, obviously, is going to have a distinct advantage over the blog. Like I said earlier, it’s the live streams that put it over the top. So, the three best videos in July were:

  • WordCamp Denver 2019, Coffee and Everything Else
    This was the live stream that has few impressions but a lot of time. In total for July, the video itself has received 1,665 minutes with an average duration of 38:43. This means it also has viewership as a saved video in the library.
  • How to Reach 4 Stars in Textbroker the Right Way
    In this video, I show people how to get to 4-stars in Textbroker without “buying” accounts from third-parties. It’s been one of the most popular videos since I published it a few months ago.
  • 8 Textbroker Writing Sample Tips to Help Land Clients
    Here, I show eight methods I use when creating writing samples for the Textbroker profile. It’s closely related to the other writing sample tips video I have out, but this one has a better watch time stat.

Nearly all of the top-performing videos on YouTube are related to Textbroker in one way or another. And although I am turning into the expert advice channel for Textbroker on YouTube, I would still like to branch out a bit.

3 Vital Blog Posts

Even though I have a lot of similar content on the blog when compared to the YouTube channel, it’s a different set of articles that are the top-performing.

However, all three are still related to Textbroker. These articles are:

  • 300 Word Writing Sample for Textbroker
    In this article, I demonstrate how to write a 300-word sample when first starting your account at Textbroker. It is far more popular than I would have thought.
  • 11 Textbroker Writing Sample Tips to Help You Succeed
    Like the video version, this one breaks down tips on what you can do to boost your writing sample when first starting an account. While this one is related to steps, the 300-word article shows more of how to structure the sample’s layout.
  • How Much Money Can You Make on Textbroker
    Although the visits to this piece have stagnated below 100 per month, it still has a fairly long on-page time. In fact, it’s higher than the monthly overall average. Coincidentally, this piece was written in 2014.

Next Month’s Improvements

Overall, it looks like the blog had a better month than the YouTube channel. And in reality, both didn’t get as much content as I would have liked.

Still, like I tell my kids, “any victory is still a victory.”

YouTube Growth

I’ve decided to do live streams twice per month with Writer Sanctuary’s YouTube channel. And not simply because it inflates my watch time numbers in the stats.

The last live stream was incredibly fun, and I loved how conversational the atmosphere was with my viewers.

Next, I want to produce more videos. I’ve got a lot of great ideas that will help my audience, so I hope they go over well. While I still have a Textbroker video planned, I am going to start moving into blogging and other freelance writing venues.

Lastly, I am going to start playing with using either my phone or the Canon camera to create higher quality videos. I’m not sure if there will be a significant difference, but maybe a crisp video will help improve overall watch time.

Blog Development

I created the same number of blog posts in July as I did in June…a total of five. However, the site did see a significant jump in visits and exploration.

According to my new schedule and planning, I should be able to do a few more than five this month. Even if I write just one more article, it’s still an improvement overall.

To help boost time-on-page within the blog, I want to try a new plugin for WordPress. It gives me the ability to embed the YouTube live stream into a post or page. This might help increase the time people spend visiting the site.

I do something similar with Twitch on Colorado Plays. In fact, nearly 70% of my views on Twitch come from the website. Hopefully, this will have a similar effect on WriterSanctuary.com.

I also need to spend a bit of time revamping older articles to bring them back up to par. Thanks to restructuring my time, I should be able to work on one article per week to see if I can improve its numbers.

Keeping the Momentum

When it comes to vlog versus blog, both are performing fairly well. It’s really hard to tell who the winner is this month simply because both had significant jumps in different areas.

I just need to maintain the momentum if I want both platforms to succeed. And the key to this is maintaining a good flow of work and staying focused on my schedule.

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Michael Brockbank

Michael has been a freelance writer since January of 2012. He has completed more than 6,000 jobs for a variety of clients ranging from animals to travel.

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