Podcast vs Blog: Which One Should You Choose?
Jul 29, 2020
Podcast vs. blog is a common question that comes up in content creation, so let’s explore them both. In the mid-90s, the first “weblog” was created. Since then, millions of people around the world have started blogs on subjects like fishing, home decor, firearms, and electronics. Some bloggers have gone on to have lucrative writing careers like Mark Manson and James Clear. As of 2020, there are 600 million blogs with 31 million bloggers in America alone.
In 2004, podcasts started to get recognized as a medium to create audio content without a radio station, studio, or expensive equipment. Podcasts began slowly, with many detractors at first. Then it began to pick up steam. In the mid-2010s, podcasts like This American Life, Start Up, Serial, and Criminal caught fire. Interview style podcasts like The Joe Rogan Experience was also picking up steam.
Now podcasts are on a rapid rise. Companies like Spotify have taken note, signing multimillion-dollar deals with Rogan, Gimlet, and The Ringer. It’s not hard to see why. According to Oberlo, there are only 850,000 active podcasts with 30 million active podcast episodes. Remember, there are 31 million bloggers! So that means the market is nowhere near maturity and saturation like blogging.
Over the last ten years, businesses have leveraged blogs and podcasts to market to potential customers. Called Content Marketing, the goal is to build trust by creating free, value-driven content. That trust will eventually turn listeners into buyers. It’s a long-term play that has a fantastic ROI. Now businesses large corporations spend millions per year creating podcasts and blogs.
I’ve run both a blog and a podcast for a few years now. These are both reliable marketing channels for my courses, coaching, and digital marketing services. Running both takes effort, but I’ve also gained valuable experience in the process. If you’ve been struggling with the podcast vs. blog argument, here’s some critical information to help.
- Low saturation: I know what you’re thinking, not another podcast! All things considered, podcasting is still 16 years old, compared blogging, which is almost 30. Podcasts will soon reach a fever pitch. And your business and brand can benefit from starting now.
- A human touch: Empathy, compassion, listening, and engagement is underrated qualities. A podcast is a great way to leverage these while building trust and connection with your audience. This is what promotes social sharing and podcast growth.
- Saves time: Podcasts don’t require your full attention like a blog post. You can easily listen to a podcast while handling other tasks. That way, you can get maximum engagement when compared to a blog.
- Build lasting relationships with guests: Are you interviewing guests or profiling specific people? Podcasts are an excellent opportunity to connect with the best in your niche. You can build a robust network that can increase your reach, revenue, or influence.
- Requires some start-up equipment/cost: You can start a podcast with your iPhone and the mic on your headphones. But to start a great podcast, you’ll need some equipment like a mic, mixer, pop filter, and editing software. You’ll also need somewhere to host your content. If you need more help with equipment, here’s how to start one for less than $500.
- More time-consuming than blogs: Blogs can be written, edited, and published in a couple of hours. Podcasts can take a bit longer with formatting, editing, and transcribing, especially at the beginning stages.
- Difficult to benefit from SEO: Google started indexing podcasts in 2019, but they’re still behind in indexing all of them. Podcasts don’t benefit from Search Engine Optimization unless you start transcribing, which can be time-consuming and expensive.
- Trying to track performance: Besides listens and downloads, podcasts still lack the granular tracking of blogs. It’s difficult to tell what part of your episode resides with your listeners, for example. Expect podcast analytics to improve over time.
- SEO: Blogs show up on Google’s search results pages. Millions of people who are looking to solve a specific problem can find your content and purchase your solution. This is a significant advantage when compared to podcasting.
- Low barrier to entry: With just a domain name and a WordPress or Squarespace installation, you can start a blog. There are even platforms like Medium, Vocal, and Blogger, where you can set up a blog with a few clicks. Unlike podcasts, blogs can cost no money to start.
- Leverages your writing abilities: Writing long-form content is a powerful skill today. If you’re great at attracting attention with your words, you can build trust.
- Building Your Email List: Blogs allow you to set up email capture systems and Call To Actions within posts. Email is still one of the best marketing channels which can earn you continued revenue.
- You can easily repurpose content: It’s easy to take your content and republish it on social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Republishing exposes your blog to people you may not have access to.
In 2020, starting and growing a blog is one of the hardest endeavors in the Content Marketing space. For starters, there are probably thousands of blogs in your niche.
- Low engagement: Persons like to skim blog posts due to lower attention spans. That means you have a lower chance of attracting your ideal audience if your content is not stellar.
- Brain drain: You need a wide range of skills like Marketing, Design, SEO, Google analytics, and copywriting. If you don’t have help, you’ll find yourself juggling different roles.
- Difficult to earn revenue: According to a Pro Blogger survey, more than 50% of bloggers only make $100 a month. Pursuing a full-time career blogging takes a lot of persistence, discipline, and a little bit of luck.
So what’s the verdict?
Both forms of content have advantages and disadvantages. Gun to my head, if I had to choose, I would go with podcasts. Podcasting takes some up-front effort to set up, edit, and publish. However, the juice is definitely worth the squeeze. Podcasting can establish you as a trusted expert in your field. Sharing value while entertaining, can help you build a lucrative business. In my latest video, I cover how my podcast has generated over six figures by building trust and a robust network.
However, there’s no denying the SEO benefits of a blog. If you have in-depth SEO knowledge and can craft amazing written content, go for a blog. It will take some time (as well as promotion and backlinks), but you can build an audience and subscriber base that you can sell to again and again.
If you can, run both! Podcasts benefit from SEO with transcripts. Create your podcast then post the transcript as a blog to reach a wider audience. You may need to hire some help for tasks like transcription, SEO, or editing, but the long-term effects in terms of influence, revenue, and growth will be outstanding.
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