“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
Welcome to Episode 26: Podcast vs. Blog: How Do You Choose?
Choosing to become a podcaster or a blogger boils down to how much TIME you have to create your digital goodies, what kinds of stories or information you want to share, and what kind of IMPACT you want to have in the world. So, to keep things short n’ sweet …
Here's what we will be untangling in this episode ...
Are you ready?
Pop in your awesome earbuds and let's dive in!
Last year, we here at Virtually Untangled, celebrated our 300th blog post! And as that time grew closer, we decided that what a better way to celebrate – and take a creative writing pause -- than to switch gears into a new digital avenue. And thus, this digital glue podcast adventure began …
Now, before I dive into today’s topic of HOW to choose between building a blog or starting a podcast, let me share with you WHY VU started its resource-filled blog in the first place. Here’s our story …
I started creative writing as a personal tool -- to help me become more mindful of the changes that were going on in my life. This all started at an incredibly young age, in my diary which grew into my young adult years as journaling and right on through (still in my "younger years", ha-ha!) as part of my business. However, somewhere along the line, it became less about me writing stories of my life and more about the story of changing (and challenging) the way people see business ...
So, let me start by saying this … Technology sometimes has a bad reputation. However, one of the greatest gifts it ever gave society was the ability to gain access to any and every resource imaginable. Which is the main reason I started VU’s blog. I wanted to put myself into that virtual container of the internet by sharing insightful and resourceful content through the art of the written word in a fun, yet informational kind of way. I wanted to share with the world, things that helped my business grow and flourish into what it is today … in hopes that it would do the same for others. Using my entrepreneurial growth (and those of my clients) to help along with the growth of others. You know, provide them with information they may not know about, may not realize they need or want, or perhaps (at the very least) some topics in a bit more in-depth.
I also wanted a way to showcase the growth stories of other entrepreneurs I have met along the way. So, after starting my first interview series back in 2017, I realized there was a strong need for more storytelling. I was left with a feeling of pure gratitude and inspiration so continued to figure out new ways to show support to all the hardworking entrepreneurs, just like you, hustling out there, building their empires, and not letting a single thing stomp on their dreams. And from there, two more “success series” were born, alongside our NEW annual “Share The Love” Free Time campaign.
I wanted to #PayItForward by digging deep into all possible levels of business.
To me, at that time … Storytelling felt like the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today. Those of our own, and those of others, right around the globe.
Sharing those stories has not only opened my eyes to the incredible talents and strengths of other amazing humans all around the globe but has helped others along the way … whether in a struggle of how to leave their dead-end 9 to 5 or looking for growth but feeling stuck. I wanted other entrepreneurs to feel as empowered as I did when I interviewed these individuals. And I wanted to help make their special business’ shine – even more than they already do!
In short, I wanted my blog to be informative and resourceful all around. Through the art of storytelling as well as through a passionately creative outlet on my end that I could entirely control.
So, now that you know my WHY, what better way to roll into the benefits of blogging AND podcasting than with a quote by none other than Eleanor Roosevelt herself,
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
Alright, I’m not sure if you know, but most of the main “guts” to starting a blog or a podcast are the same, and I felt it was a would-be helpful time-saver to bundle the beginning stages into like-minded sections, so let’s dive on in …
Becoming a successful blogger OR podcaster requires a large time commitment and a great deal of sweat equity. And either digital space doesn't just stop after you write the post or record the episode.
So, as you glean from that statement, being a blogger or podcaster encompasses more than writing and publishing or recording then releasing LIVE. In fact, if you let it, these digitally creative spaces can consume all available hours in your day. What do I mean by "available"?
Oh, if you have to ask … you are in danger of being consumed by #AllThings creativity!
For starters, if you cannot commit to a consistent number of working hours following the publication of each post or episode, I would suggest not taking the “art” up at all. Or at least do not let your income depend on it.
To thrive as a successful entrepreneur on either of these paths -- you must find that sweet spot between spending too much time -- or not enough.
Part of the HUGE commitment in the land of #AllThings digital is coming up with fresh topics to write or talk about every week.
For example, here are some ways to choose topics:
Okay, so now that you know what you want to share with the world, it’s time to … Schedule time for follow-up.
This category falls into a few main sections
Some creators refer to their follow-up activities as the well-known land of "marketing."
When I first started VU’s blog, I used it as a way to not only “share the love” as I mentioned earlier, but to market my business. But I do not want to get tangled up in "marketing the marketing." So now I like to use the term "follow-up activities" to describe what I do after I write a blog post or publish a new podcast episode. It feels friendlier and less like “work” that way.
Now, the purpose of these activities is to increase reader or listener-ship and develop your own community and following -- ultimately to grow your business and increase engagement around your brand. And for us here at VU, an added bonus of the kindred souls we meet, the connections we grow, and the friendships we build along the way!
Alright, with that being said, let’s dive into …
#1. IMMEDIATE REQUIRED ACTIONS.
After you’ve created your special piece – whether blog or podcast – doesn’t matter as the rules apply to both … it’s time to create a series of posts to share your new digital greatness in the land of social.
In our case, this includes Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Bloglovin'. And of course, our website, too! You want to share your creation in several places as your audience is more than likely not the same in each space. But you also need to ensure your “shareables” are not identical, so you don’t look like a rinse n’ repeat robot.
For example, if you use the headline for one post, you might use a quote from that same creation for another post on a different channel. Or, if you podcast, you may want to get the best bang for your buck on the content and turn the transcription into a LinkedIn article to replicate the content but for a different type of audience – the readers.
You could also get “fancy” and use a few of the quotes mentioned (if you’re doing that) or create some pull quotes and use them to create some stand-alone graphics as additional marketing of said creation but in a different way.
Whatever you choose to do to market your creative creation, just ensure it’s appealing to all types of audiences. Some like to look at graphically pleasing images then read the post with the call-to-action, some like to only read the copy, some like to listen … We’re all uniquely human (just like our digital piece) so as the creator, you need to take those unique actions into account as well.
Okay, so now that you’ve created #AllTheThings, it’s schedule time!
This is where you CREATE A PLAN for releasing your creatively genius content. Many creators and entrepreneurs of all business shapes and sizes like to use time-saving software tools created for this very purpose. I didn’t at first as didn’t see the need to hash out the extra bucks when I could pre-schedule these things on a daily or weekly basis. But I learned that lesson quite quickly … Saving time was more important in the long run than saving a few bucks.
Using a tool for scheduling social posts makes the virtual workload less, more fun and you can pre-plan more than just the release of this content all at once and see ahead of time what it will look like when released side-by-side with other content. Especially if you’re planning your Instagram viewables. It’s super important that everything there looks amazing side-by-side.
Just try not to overthink or overcomplicate things!
Now that you have your content rolling out like wildfire, it’s time to interlink some of your amazing creative assets!
And what I mean by this is … it’s time to go back into your older, relatable content (blog entries especially but also relevant to repurposed podcast episodes) and incorporate a link to your newest release. This tactic, called interlinking, is most fruitful if you are aware of which of your previous entries or episodes were viewed the most times -- and are related to the topic of your newest creation.
Interlinking can also help drive more search engine traffic to your newest creation – which is what you want anyways – MORE ENGAGEMENT!
Legitimate interlinking is a way to help your reader (or listener) by referring them directly to related content within your blog or podcast. When you published the new content, you may have included links to a few of your older, related content creations in the new one. And what I mean by this in podcast-land is within your transcription – if you have one – or if you repurposed your transcription as an article somewhere, like on LinkedIn.
Next up is an easy rinse n’ repeat to your closer circle …
Include the link to your newest creation in your next email newsletter. If you don't regularly publish an email newsletter, then send a brief email, including a link to your creation, to your email list. This kind of email is just a teaser, but a common mechanism to reach out to people who already follow you and provide them with a link to something they’re going to want to have before everyone else. Or what we like to do is something called a “monthly roundup” of all our greatest and most recent creations from the month prior. Just in case anyone missed a post or an episode.
In these emails you also want to encourage your close-knit audience to share the love by sharing the links with others, so ultimately you will reach new people who are not currently on your email list.
Now onto something mostly forgotten but exceptionally important …
Keeping tabs on your analytics.
Like the analytics that come with your social media pages, Google Analytics has the glorious ability to tell you how people are getting to your digital avenue. And by this, we mean on the back end of your website. And with this information, you can easily learn where to find more humans that need what you have to offer as well as where to concentrate your follow-up efforts.
A good rule of thumb is to wait about a week or two after the content's LIVE release then go in and study the analytics. But most importantly … don’t be refreshing your analytics screen every 5 seconds waiting to see how many new readers or subscribers you have. It’s not a good use of your time and is just going to upset you if the numbers don’t roll in as quickly as you hope they will. Growing takes time!
Okay, so that’s the nitty-gritty on the immediate action steps, or as we like to call them, the “follow-up” actions. Now let’s dive into that second, yet equally important topic …
#2. ONGOING MAINTENANCE TASKS.
I’m not going to dive as deeply into this list as it’s quite explanatory. But if after listening to today’s episode you want further clarification on a few, feel free to hop onto any of our blog-related posts as they will clarify, and the information is roughly the same for podcast-land as well. Or drop us an email and we’d be happy to chat more about what you’re looking to know!
Okay, now the maintenance list …. It’s short n’ sweet, so don’t worry!
To summarize today’s topic of whether to start a PODCAST or a BLOG it revolves around a couple of things …
No matter which digital adventure you decide to go on, creators must make tough choices about how much time they can devote to the creation portion itself as well as the follow-up activities for each entry or episode they create.
For example, if I work 30 hours a week, and devote one-quarter of that to creating my blog or podcast, that means I need to plan to spend about 7 hours per week creating my digital goodies. Those hours must be parceled out across research, writing (if blog) or editing (if podcast), and all the follow-up tasks that follow suit.
So, take blogging for instance as there’s a bit less work involved on the creation end of things … If you want to publish 2 blog entries per week, you must allocate 2 hours to write each post (depending on how good of a thinker and writer you are) which brings you to 4 hours, leaving you with 3 hours to cover all the follow-up tasks for each blog post.
And for podcasting, depending on your skillset if going solo, or the skill set of your team or the business you hire to help you … This could mean more or less.
So, whatever your initial motivation may be for starting a blog or a podcast -- or both! -- you will most certainly find yourself reaping the benefits, beyond just making connections with “the right” people and perhaps even bringing in some extra clients or funds. There are many compelling reasons to start a creative adventure down either digital avenue. It all boils down to you figuring out which one is the right fit for you -- and your business!
Many of today's entrepreneurs started on one of those digital creation paths as either a way of reaching potential customers and staying in front of existing customers or just an additional creative outlet from the day-to-day.
So, after listening to today’s one versus the other episode, and you’re still not sure which virtual path you want to head out onto, here is a mini list of just some of the ways we here at Virtually Untangled have benefited from being on BOTH digital paths …
Becoming a blogger AND now a podcaster, has …
But most importantly, being both a blogger and a podcaster -- and through also helping some of our “tangled” clients through these adventures as well -- has brightened up our virtual lives and kept creativity front and center on a daily basis ... Thus, bringing us more joy and happiness than we ever could have hoped for. Which to us matters just as much as the “untangling” part of the business because WE WANT TO BE HAPPY doing what we do best.
So, choose to become a blogger.
Or choose to become a podcaster.
Whatever you choose, make sure it brings you joy!