Your time is limited. Creating content is a freakin’ time suck. When it comes to choosing the most effective, most valuable content platform for your brand, you probably have a question: blogging or podcasting?
That question is usually followed up by: Are blogs or podcasts better for your brand content? Which should you use and when? What are the benefits of each? We are big fans of content in all forms, but we’ve got some opinions on which method (podcasts or blogs) is best for your brand.
What do you need to start a blog? Internet access, a blog platform, and some sort of skill for putting thought into words. No super fancy tech skills needed. That’s one advantage blogging has over podcasting: there’s a relatively low barrier to entry, and it’s pretty inexpensive. Heck, you can even get a free blog if you don’t mind having a web platform’s URL attached to your blog name (shout out to Latasha’s first blog: howtobeasupernanny.wordpress.com).
There’s another thing that stops people from blogging: fear of writing. You don’t have to be a professional writer off the bat. You’ll get better the more you do it. But it does take commitment and regular writing practice. You’ll also have to learn a new blogging platform or blogging tools, which can slow you down in the beginning.
Because a blog is text-based, it’s great for SEO. We love how Jayson DeMers described blogging as fishing: “The more hooks you have in the water, the more likely you are to catch a fish. In the same way, as you add more content to your site, more pages from your domain become indexed in search engines. This improves organic search visibility and increases website traffic.”
In other words, having a blog makes your brand easier to find. They drive traffic to your main site, and they build up your brand reputation.
Other advantages of blogging include:
- Less time commitment (you can whip up a quick blog and post it in a few minutes!)
- Less time for your audience to consume each blog post (we all scan nowadays)
- Great for sharing evergreen content
Jess here: sharing my personal opinion for a sec. As a voracious reader who is terrible at retaining aural information, I’m throwing my hat into the ring for Team Blog. I’ve tried listening to quite a few podcasts about true crime, books and mental health, and just could not get into it. Podcasts are an awesome platform — as we’ll discuss in a moment — but not my personal fave.
If you like to read and write, if you explain yourself best through the written word, and if you’re a stuffy old millennial like me (just kidding!), focus on your blog first and make it look good! If you eventually start a podcast and move over to the Dark Side, I won’t hold it against you.
There’s also an opportunity to turn past blog content into a podcast: Jocelyn K. Glei, host of Hurry Slowly, is a great example. She takes her blog about productivity and creativity and expands on what she has to say in her podcast episodes.
Let’s say you’re not the most confident writer. You find that your sense of humor and personality comes through best when you’re talking to people in person, on the phone, or through Zoom chats. You can express yourself clearly while speaking, and you have a knack for talking with or interviewing other people. Welp, podcasts may be the platform for you.
If your brand’s target audience is younger, think about starting with a podcast. About 70% of podcast listeners are 18 to 54 years old. Meet your audience where they’re hanging out online. Plus, podcasts are growing more popular every day. That same research study found that 18% of the United States population listened to podcasts in 2008. In 2018, that percentage grew to 44%. There are also 850,000 active podcasts and more than 30 million podcast episodes in 2020.
They are popular. If talking is your jam, this might be the medium for you. But there are some downsides to podcasting. You can start a podcast with a voice recording app on your phone, sure, but it’s not going to sound as good. To up the quality of your podcast, you’d eventually need to invest in some quality equipment. On top of that, a 30-minute podcast episode doesn’t take just 30 minutes to create. It takes about four minutes of work for every one minute of content, according to The Audacity to Podcast. However, it’s entirely possible to grow an audience, convert new customers, and share your expertise with a podcast. It’s just a bit more involved than a blog.
Let’s go back to the advantages of podcasts:
- More time to discuss your chosen topic
- Super engaged audiences
- Great for audiences who are working out, doing chores, chillin’ at home, or commuting
Latasha here: ragging on Jess’s dislike of podcasts. Honestly, I am the kind of person who can’t have a quiet moment. If I’m not writing for a client or for Uncanny Content, I am likely listening to a podcast or reading an audiobook while I flit about my house. I also carry a notebook and pen with me so I can jot notes down as I go. But there’s one catch to podcasting that I always tell my clients: you can’t just record a podcast without sharing a written transcript or show notes on your website. Otherwise, you’re not being respectful of accessibility challenges, nor are you getting maximum traffic from all your hard work.
Plot Twist: When You Podcast, You Blog.
Many times, our clients start a podcast thinking, “Sweet, I can just talk about my ideas and convert people.” And that’s true, if you get traction in the early days of your podcast launch. But the way podcasts are set up, they live on podcast sites and apps — you don’t “own” the traffic and audience you collect on those platforms.
If you want people to actually get to know your brand better, to learn more about what you offer, you have to push them to your website from your podcast. You have to provide show notes or opt-ins/freebies, expanded thoughts or resources, discounts or ideas, and tell them to find it on your website. And there’s another thing that a lot of people underestimate when it comes to podcasting: accessibility.
Accessibility is going to be a HUGE deal for brands in the coming years. We’re not just talking access to your content (gasp, not everyone has a smartphone to listen to podcasts on!). We’re talking about physical accessibility: Can deaf people listen to your podcast? No. Can people with certain learning challenges or disabilities listen and retain information aurally? In some cases, no. Do parents with a sleepless, screaming newborn have the ability to listen to your podcast at this point in their life? No.
Do you want to leave those people out? No way! Do you want to get your content to people, regardless of their situation? Of course you do. And that’s where podcasting becomes blogging. You have to create show notes or blogs or transcripts for your podcast episodes so that people can access that content in different mediums.
If you are thinking, “What in the world would this look like?” here are a few examples from our clients:
- Wealth by Design show notes, which read like a full-length blog
- Ginny Krauss creates a blog inspired by a recent podcast episode of her show, Brave New You
- The Planning for Profit podcast, where Kristin just shares short recaps on what was covered and includes links to resources mentioned
These are just 3 of the many different iterations you can include for your podcast, but we’re here to tell you: It’s non-negotiable.
Many of you reading this are thinking, “Yeah, yeah, but that’s too expensive and time-consuming.” Well. Tough shit. Accessibility is the future of the internet, and you’re going to be ahead of the curve. So yeah, record that podcast. Then write a blog or quick show notes covering the main points and sharing the important resources. Link to or embed the audio for those who are able to listen from their web browser.
And get excited, because having that content on your website means you’re more likely to be found. Remember: not all your clients or customers are going to find you from a podcast. They use Google, Instagram, and different platforms to find information. Like Jason DeMeyers said above, put more hooks in the water and you’ll catch more fish.
The Final Verdict
This all boils down to: If you’re in a position to blog and podcast, then go for it and do both. If you’re gravitating towards one platform first, start with that one and perfect it before you tackle the other. Of course, make show notes a regular part of your podcasting process — even if they don’t live on your website just yet. Eventually, though, we’d love to see you repurposing your podcast into a blog. Don’t just let your podcast episodes live on Apple or Libsyn or Anchor, or wherever it’s being hosted. Don’t let the platform hog all the traffic and SEO benefits, and don’t limit who can access your content.
And it goes both ways. Let’s say you’re kicking ass with your blog, and you start to realize that you have even more to say than what you can in a lengthy blog post. Why not turn your blog posts into podcast episodes? Double the SEO boost, double the fun! Plus, in terms of accessibility, recording audio might make it easier for people with vision impairments or sensory perception challenges to consume your content. It’s all about access, people.
The truth is: one is not “better” than the other. They can often go hand-in-hand (and in the case of podcasting, you should be doing both). The only difference is which one you feel most comfortable with, and using that comfort to propel you into creating great content that people love to consume.
Need help creating content? Wondering how to repurpose your podcast into a blog, or vice versa? We can help with our content planning and strategy services. Learn more here.