Whether you want to market a business, share your knowledge and opinions with an online community, or interview interesting people in your field, there’s an important decision you need to make before sharing your content online, and it’s between blog vs podcast.
📚 In this guide, we’ll help you decide between these two popular platforms, explaining:
By the time you’re finished reading, you should understand where you stand on the debate of blog vs podcast.
What is a blog?
A blog is a frequently updated web page used to share personal reflections, educational content, or business content. Blogs are also typically written in an informal or conversational style. Although this might not always be the case in some niches such as law or programming.
Many popular websites, like TechCrunch, are built entirely around a blog. In other instances, a blog is only one part of a broader website that’s used to sell products or services, such as the WooCommerce blog.
In order to start a legitimate blog you’ll need website hosting with a Content Management System (CMS) and a domain name. There are free blogging platforms (e.g., Medium, Blogger) available, but these come with strict limitations. Therefore, we recommend paying for your hosting and domain. You can find many affordable hosting plans (with a domain bundled into the cost) from companies like Bluehost. Depending on the plan you choose, it can cost you less than $50 for the first year.
Once you’ve started a blog you can monetize it in a variety of ways including affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, ebooks based on your blog content, paid subscriptions/memberships, and merchandise.
What is a podcast?
A podcast is digital-only, audio-first content that can be downloaded directly to a listener’s device. Podcasts use subscription technology to ensure that new episodes are automatically downloaded on subscribers’ devices. Most podcasts can also be streamed through programs like Spotify and Apple Podcasts.
Some podcasts also have a video component and are published on sites like YouTube, but this isn’t essential. Many thriving podcasts only exist in audio.
In order to start a podcast, you’ll need a microphone and podcast hosting. You can get free podcast hosting, including tools for recording and editing podcast files, from the Spotify for Podcasters program (formerly Anchor). You can also get a webcam for recording video versions of your episodes or separate audio recording/editing software if you don’t like the Spotify creator tools, but these aren’t essential.
Once you’ve launched your podcast, the main way to make money is through sponsorships. This is where companies pay you to read ads and/or give personal recommendations for products and services. You can also sell merch or launch a Patreon with perks like bonus episodes, but these will require setting up additional platforms (a web store or a Patreon page).
Blog vs podcast: similarities and differences
Now that you understand the basics of each medium, let’s dive into an in-depth comparison of blogs vs podcasts!
- Both mediums can be used for a variety of content types, including tutorials, reviews, and interviews.
- Both blogs and podcasts are typically used for informal/conversational communication.
- A regular posting schedule is essential for building an audience with either a blog or a podcast.
- Podcasts and blogs can both serve as either the basis for a business or a way to market an existing business.
- Blogs are text-first with some use of visual elements, like tables and images; podcasts are audio-first and often have no text elements other than the episode title and description.
- Podcasts are meant to be downloaded and are distributed through specialized networks like Spotify; blog content stays on your website and reaches people through SEO and social media marketing efforts.
- Blogs rely on writing and text editing skills, whereas podcasts rely on conversational and public speaking skills, and audio editing skills.
- You need to pay for web hosting to run a professional blog; podcasts can be hosted on one of several free podcast hosting platforms.
- Podcasts put your voice (and image if you’re running a video podcast) directly into your audience’s space to create a sense of closeness, whereas the text-based nature of blogs automatically creates more distance between you and your audience.
- Blogs are better for SEO; podcasts are hard for Google to understand.
- Podcasts are more popular with younger audiences, with two-thirds of people aged 18-29 listening to podcasts . Meanwhile, the average blog reader is 40-60 years old .
Blog vs podcast: how to choose the right option for you and your business
So, what’s the winning medium in the debate of podcast vs blog? 🤔
The truth is that there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this debate. What works best for you will depend on your goals, your audience, and your own personal preferences.
To help you make the right decision, I’ll explore the reasons to start a blog, followed by reasons to start a podcast.
Why you should start a blog 🎬
1. You want to boost the SEO of your website or online business
Google’s bots have a much easier time processing blogs than podcasts. This makes blogs more likely to show up on the first page of search results. Most blogging tools like WordPress and Ghost also have built-in SEO tools that guide you through the process of optimizing your content.
2. You want to earn affiliate income
Many affiliate programs use complicated links that are difficult or impossible to read out loud on a podcast, but these links are easy to include in a blog post. Moreover, when you post a link in a blog post, you know readers will encounter it because it’s part of the content they’re already reading. If you put a link in a podcast episode description, on the other hand, people have to actively seek it out – and many people simply won’t bother.
3. You want to reach an older audience
One of the key differences between blogs and podcasts is that blog audiences are typically older. This makes blogs the more effective choice if you want to reach people who are over 40. So, before you make a decision in the blog vs podcast debate, it’s important to understand who your target audience is.
4. You prefer writing to speaking
Successful content marketing, whether it be blogging or podcasting, requires consistent output over a long period. This makes it essential to enjoy what you’re doing. So, if you prefer writing over speaking, blogging is a natural choice.
5. You want to become a professional writer and/or appear in major publications
A blog is a great way to showcase your writing skills and build a portfolio before you land your first freelance writing client. Once you’ve got some high-quality articles in place, you’ll be able to use these to find writing jobs and pitch yourself to publications as an expert in your niche.
6. You want to build your reputation as a professional
A typical blog is more casual than an academic publication, yes, but it’s also more formal than most podcasts. This allows you to build a stronger professional reputation around a blog than what you can build around a podcast.
7. You want to feature a variety of writers
You can easily have a roster of bloggers who write posts for your blog on different days of the week, plus guest posters who submit the occasional article. This is very different from podcasts, where having more than a couple of hosts makes the space feel crowded. Changing the host for each episode of a podcast also undercuts the listener’s ability to connect with the podcast creators.
Why you should start a podcast 🎙️
1. You want to build personal connections with others in your industry
Interview podcasts are a great way to build your professional network and deepen connections with people you already know. You can run interviews on a blog, too, but the immediacy of the audio format allows you to build closer connections. Plus you can also ask questions you think of on the fly. This spontaneity can potentially increase the depth of information your interviews are able to cover.
2. You want to build a more personal connection with your audience
Hearing a familiar voice can reduce our cortisol levels and release oxytocin, a chemical associated with positive bonding experiences . This means that, over time, listeners build an emotional relationship with you that makes you a comforting fixture in their lives.
A blog reader might enjoy your writing style and come to trust your knowledge, but our brains don’t release the same chemicals when we read text. This means that readers don’t develop the same kind of relationship with you that listeners do.
3. You want to reach a younger audience
If you’re looking to connect with users under 40, and especially if you want to connect with users in the 18-29 age range, a podcast is going to be more effective than a blog. If you don’t know who your target audience is yet, build a customer profile before making a decision about the podcast vs blog debate.
4. You prefer speaking to writing
If you’re not a big fan of writing but you can talk for hours, then your choice between blog vs podcast is self-evident. It’ll be easier for you to maintain a podcast over a longer period, building your audience and reputation in the process.
5. You want to develop your speaking skills or land gigs as a public speaker
Want to become more confident in your speaking skills? Maybe even become a professional public speaker? A podcast is a great way to build the necessary skills and showcase them to people who might want to hire you. Once your podcast gains momentum, you might even find that listeners are coming to you with work rather than you having to seek it out.
6. You want to work directly with advertisers
This one doesn’t really apply when you’re first starting out, but an established podcast can attract high-profile sponsorships. When you get a sponsorship, you read what is essentially a radio ad during your podcast. Companies give you unique links that are easier to read than web affiliate links so you can track your success.
Once you get those ad partnerships, they’re highly effective: 65% of people pay attention to podcast ads, whereas TV ads only command attention from 39% of viewers . Radio ads are also less effective, attracting attention from just 38% of listeners.
7. You’re interested in audio production
You can always hire someone to edit your audio, but if you’re interested in learning audio editing yourself, podcasting is a great way to do it.
Blog vs podcast: final thoughts 🏁
By now, you should have some idea of what medium best fits your unique needs. If you’re still struggling, though, here’s a quick summary of how to choose:
- Choose a blog if you want to spend your time writing and improving SEO for your website or company. 📄
- Choose a podcast if you enjoy (or want to learn) public speaking, and connecting with both other professionals and potential customers. 🎧
If you’re torn, know that you can run both a blog and a podcast for your business. In the beginning, however, it’s best to start with one medium and get the hang of it before you start working on something else. I personally recommend you start with blogging. The setup is easy, and the SEO is great for an online business. But, if podcasting appeals to you more, go ahead and start there.
Do you land on the blogging side of the blog vs podcast debate? Check out our blog launch checklist for tips on how to get started! Also take a look at our best podcasts for bloggers roundup for a bit of inspiration from the podcast side of things.