Blog vs. Podcast: Which is Best for Business in 2023?
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The Ultimate Showdown: Blog or Podcast?
Writing blog posts and recording podcasts seem to be the go-to channels for brands, even today. In 2022, 33% of marketers incorporated blogs and 28% incorporatedg podcasts as part of their marketing efforts.
Creating blogs or podcasts can be time-consuming and require a good amount of resources before they generate a return. Plus, podcasts require technical knowledge, while blogs are fighting for a place in an already saturated content market.
As a content creator, I run my own blog that gets thousands of visitors a month. I’ve also helped businesses create blogs and podcasts from the ground up. In this article, I'll discuss the key differences between the two and the costs involved. We’ll look at how to map out which has the best ROI and make the most out of your blog or podcast.
Pros & cons of blogging
Blogging is relatively easy to get started with, requiring little technical know-how and can help direct traffic to your site. But, it can also take a lot of effort to compete in a saturated content market. Let’s look at the pros and cons of blogging.
Pro: Good for search engine optimization (SEO)
Blogs offer lots of opportunities to boost search engine visibility using SEO practices. From creating original content that aligns with Google's guidelines to adding keywords, external and internal links, and a meta description.
Pro: Easy to get started
Starting a blog is not technically difficult. Use existing website services and templates to get started. This makes it easy to start crafting your first blog article in a matter of hours, rather than weeks. Of course, to get the most out of your blog, it’s a good idea to create a content calendar, a writing style guide, and research keywords. Technically, however, all you need is an internet connection and a website to get started.
Pro: Flexibility with content formats
You can include multiple content formats such as images, infographics, tables, and videos. This is useful for explaining complex subjects, showing data, or how-to instructions. You can also craft listicles, opinion pieces, and showcase product features — all catering to your target audience.
Pro: Shows brand authority
Consistently creating valuable and relevant blog posts demonstrates your brand’s authority. It also helps to build your reputation as an expert in your industry — which could increase sales.
Gymshark, for example, has detailed blogs about nutrition and training. They come across as a trustworthy health and fitness resource, which will make gym customers — their target audience — more likely to use them.
Con: It’s time-consuming
From researching content ideas to planning, writing, editing, and marketing — well-crafted blogs require time and effort. Maintenance is another thing to think about. New research or insights could mean updating old blog content so it stays relevant.
Con: Oversaturation and fierce competition
There are approximately 600 million blogs available worldwide. This makes content and keyword competition fierce, which can make it difficult to get your content ranking well on search engines.
Podcast: Pros & cons
Podcasts have gained popularity over the past decade, with over 464 million podcast listeners in 2023. Let’s take a look at some of the advantages and drawbacks of podcasts to help you decide whether it’s right for you.
In today's multitasking society — where 50% of millennials have side hustles — podcasts are easy to consume. They can be downloaded at any time, making them convenient for busy people to listen to while commuting, exercising, or doing chores.
Pro: Monetization opportunities
Podcasts open up the world of monetization through sponsorships, advertisements, affiliate marketing, and paid-for premium content. This can impact your potential revenue growth opportunities.
Pro: Create personal connections
Customers are more likely to spend money with a brand they feel connected to. You can connect with your audience more personally if you directly address them through speaking.
Research shows that voice connects us with others. A study found that when people interacted over the phone rather than through text, they felt significantly more connected. Research also suggests we detect emotions better by listening to someone's voice than by seeing their face.
While a writer can use words to build a personal connection, it's easier to achieve this through speaking.
Con: Technical learning curve
From speaking clearly and confidently to understanding editing and sound engineering, podcasts require technical skills that content creators may need training in.
Con: Set up costs
Buying new equipment — from microphones to editing software — does make podcasting potentially expensive to start. The labor needed to write scripts, pay a host, and any fees associated with promoting your podcast add up to expensive set up costs.
Con: Searchability and SEO challenges
Podcasts are less searchable, so require more promotion to get the word out there. Blogs, on the other hand, can perform well with the inclusion of the right keywords and by following Google guidelines on experience, expertise, authority, and trust (E-E-A-T).
Does a blog or podcast have a better return on investment (ROI)?
Blogs and podcasts can both be done at the budget end or at a higher rate. Much depends on how much you decide to invest up front.
Average cost of a podcast
The cost of a podcast depends on the quality of your equipment. Microphones, for instance, range from $10-$1,000+ on Amazon.
Podcastle estimates a basic podcast set-up costs around $100-$350. But for businesses willing to invest in professional equipment, expenses could be between $500-$5,000. This includes editing software, a hosting platform, equipment such as headphones and a mic stand, as well as a laptop.
Some hosting platforms — such as Spotify — have the option to record and upload audio directly from your phone. However, this could result in poor sound quality. You can also join a hosting platform for free, but you may only be allowed to upload a select number of episodes.
Average cost of a blog
Prices equally vary for blogging. It's free to create a blog on platforms like WordPress or Wix, but customization is limited. With a free account, you can only choose from a small number of themes and fonts — which may not suit your branding.
A paid blog or website can cost anywhere from $50 to $150 to create and run annually. However, costs can increase and you may end up paying more each year if you go over your storage space or require faster processing to speed up your site. If you hire a blog developer to create your site from scratch, you could pay between $5,000 to $10,000.
Compare both options to decide the best ROI
Let's say you already have a decent laptop, a microphone, and headphones. You also have experience with sound editing, so all you need to create a podcast is a hosting platform and editing software. You could invest in a podcast, but if you don't have this software and platform already, blogging might still be cheaper.
Likewise, if you already have a website, you could integrate a blog into it rather than paying for hosting from scratch. But if you wanted to hire a web developer — which could cost thousands — podcasting may be more lucrative.
How to choose between starting a blog or podcast
To measure your investment and decide between blog vs. podcast, download this template and fill it out. Refer to the example below to get you started.
Here, you can see that while podcasting initially seemed more achievable for my aim, blogging makes more sense because I have the technical ability and ideal budget for it.
As well as completing the table to weigh the pros and cons, experiment with both options. Create a mock blog post and podcast episode — simply write in a document or record on your phone — to see which one feels more natural. You may decide that your message or goal doesn’t convert on both.
Get the most out of your blog or podcast
Check out these tips on how to get the most out of your blog or podcast.
- Brainstorm ideas: Use Wordtune's Create feature to get started with script or blog ideas. In the example below, I clicked Create in the Wordtune Editor and typed “Blog topic ideas for freelance writers.” This generated a list of ideas for me to get started with. Research these ideas further to see if you could improve upon the existing content.
- Social media engagement: Use tools such as Lately that can repurpose your podcast and blog articles into social media posts. You can also see which podcasts or articles receive the most engagement, helping you to make decisions and adapt your marketing strategy.
- Visual creation: Bloggers and podcasters can use tools like Canva to create visuals. This includes designing logos, podcast episode graphics for social media, and images to include in blog posts. For example, you may want to create a custom infographic to share data.
- Use tools to measure performance: Finding effective ways to monetize the blog or podcast and measuring your ROI can be difficult. Marketers need to strategize and implement revenue generation methods, such as ads, sponsorships, affiliate marketing, or product sales, while assessing the overall ROI.
While both blogs and podcasts offer many benefits, it’s important to consider your time and resources. Both can raise brand awareness and attract new customers. Blogs are great for SEO, while podcasts can be more personal. Use our table above to work out which is best for you.
Is it worth creating a podcast as well as a blog?
A blog and podcast take time to plan and create on a consistent basis. Unless you have the time and budget to invest, it’s best to focus on one first instead of juggling both. However, a blog and podcast together can optimize your marketing, as both offer different benefits.
How long should a blog and podcast be?
While there is no definitive answer, some experts suggest a blog should be between 1,500-2,500 words long. The average podcast is around 43 minutes long, but this depends on how much detail you want to provide about your topic.