This particular question is one I get incredibly often. Which one should I do: blogging vs Youtube vs a podcast? I’ve got an in-depth guide to each one and why you should use one over the other to help you gain clarity about the best one for you!
Blogging vs YouTube vs Podcast – WHICH ONE?!
Want to listen to the podcast version of this post? I’ve got you covered!
Two exciting announcements before we get started…
One: I got a new podcast microphone (which if you want to know more about, definitely listen to the podcast version of this post)! It’s a brand new Shure mic. A lot of the top podcasters use a very expensive version of this mic. Shure just created a new model that has a lot of the same features for half the cost – and it plugs straight into the computer, which was a MUST for me. (Big fancy podcasters usually record using a mixer, but I didn’t want to purchase a mixer and an expensive mic). So, I went for it – and I loooove it.
Two: I JUST SIGNED A LEASE ON A STUDIO/OFFICE SPACE HERE!
If you follow me, you know that I had an office space locally a few years ago. But there were a lot of things wrong with that space. It was tiny-tiny, and it just didn’t have the feel I wanted from a studio space. Ever since I hired my first full-time employee, I’ve been looking for an office space. I care a lot about supporting the local economy, and one of the ways to do that is to pay rent. But also, working from home by yourself gets lonely. We’re doing a great job of it right now, but having an office space is really going to change the game.
BUT ALSO – I really want to up my production level on YouTube! I mentioned that to Jaclyn, my old podcast co-host from All Up In Your Lady Business, and she told me – “Jessica, your production is upped already!”
I won’t discount that my production value has come a long way in the past few years. But I really want to get even more creative with my space and make my YouTube a more pivotal part of my business.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: the end goal for me is to get my income from sponsorships on my content. I wouldn’t have to do big launches or sell anything else if I don’t want to. I really love to create free content for you guys. And honestly, if that’s the direction I want my business to go, I need a higher production level for my YouTube channel.
Anyway – I signed the lease! I’m very, very excited. Definitely follow me on Instagram so you can see my vision for it. I’m thinking a big, open, colorful studio space with tons of different filming angles and a podcast area and all the things.
One of the things I want to do in that office space when COVID allows us to do it safely is bring in local business owners and strategize with them on air (ideally on my podcast).
So stay tuned – because VERY EXCITING stuff is happening!
So – should I start a blog, a podcast, or a YouTube channel?
My answer is different for everyone – and we’ll get into why right now. This can be an especially difficult question when we start looking at what other people do to be successful and think we need to do the exact same thing. Let's talk about blogging vs YouTube vs a podcast and what it means for you.
Why should I do any of them?
There’s one main reason – SEO. Search engine optimization. I’ve done an entire podcast episode breaking down SEO in-depth, and you can check it out right here.
SEO is SUPER important. It’s the juice that allows people to find you via search, whether on Google, YouTube, Pinterest, etc. I mention those in that order for a reason: those are the top three search engines in the world, in that order. Google, then YouTube, then Pinterest. If you’re creating content, you want to be found on one or more than one of those platforms. And the only way that’s possible is to create the content that gets you found there.
You will not just magically be found on the Internet.
We can put our businesses out there all day long. You’ll start out making sales from local events, Etsy features, or something else. But that will only last for so long. The most solid, timeless, and free way to market your business is with content.
Yes, you can create content on social media. But those things are not SEO-friendly. Google is never going to show someone who searches “how to pickle peppers” your Instagram post about it, even if it’s fantastic. It will show them blog posts, YouTube videos, and Pinterest pins.
I love social media, but it can’t be your only content creation platform if you want your business to stand the test of time. So, you have to create some type of search-friendly content that can live forever. And right now, there are three ways to do that: blogging, podcasting, and YouTubeing.
I do all three of those things – you absolutely don’t have to do them all. I will say that if you are podcasting you also need to be blogging, but that’s the only absolute must to do two at once. Other than that, just pick one.
Why should I just pick one and not all of them?
The most obvious answer to why you should focus on one and not all is because it’s insane to try and start all three at once.
As I’m recording this, it’s my 10 year business anniversary, which is really exciting. But I have been creating content on the Internet consistently for a solid five years. Which means I have gotten really good at one thing and then hired someone to help me over and over again. I have a lot of help surrounding me and my content creation strategy, which is why I can manage all three.
But… which one is good for me?
Let’s go through a brief description of what each one is and why it might be a good choice for you.
Blogging is creating written articles that teach or help people with something that you put on a website.
This is a pretty easy medium to start and maintain. You don’t need a lot of extra equipment. If you’re going to blog, you definitely want to be on a website platform that is conducive to SEO. Self-hosted WordPress (wordpress.org, not .com) is always best for search engine optimization.
If you’re blogging and you want to take it seriously, then your blog needs to be hosted on WordPress if you can. I say “if you can” because self-hosted WordPress is more intricate and requires some setup work. If you don’t have the time or ability to hire someone to help you, then Squarespace would be my last option. I wouldn’t go to any other platform when you’re trying to blog for SEO.
WordPress will always beat Squarespace. If you and Sally both have blogs about pickled peppers, but you use Squarespace and Sally uses WordPress, hers will show up first in Google search. Google favors WordPress.
I will always say that WordPress is best, but I also acknowledge that it can be confusing and out-of-budget for many people. This is actually how my business started. I wanted to blog, but I didn’t know anything about blogging. Everyone had Blogger and Blogspot pages, but they were so ugly. So, I started Googling the best ways to do a blog, found WordPress, and taught myself how to do it. And voila – I started offering WordPress and blog design to other people!
Again – blogging is the simplest way to create content. It’s sitting down, writing, taking some photos, and putting it up on a blog.
This is the next step up in content creation. Running a podcast is more labor intensive when you’re doing it alone. Now that I have help, podcasting is the easiest thing in the world for me to do. I don’t do anything other than plan and record them. For people who are solopreneurs or just getting started in the content creation arena, it’s more time consuming and expensive than blogging.
To start a podcast, you’re going to have to buy a microphone, figure out how to edit, add intros and outros, and figure out how to put it on hosting platforms. It’s definitely more labor intensive, but it’s a great way to create content.
Podcasting is especially great because it utilizes your voice! The know, like, and trust factor is the most important basis of marketing that exists. People need to know, like, and trust you before they’ll ever purchase from you. There are various ways to make that happen, and the written word sits at the bottom of that. Hearing your voice, on the other hand, is a huge trust-builder.
Now, I’m going to throw a doozy at you – podcasts in general are NOT SEO-friendly. The backend of podcasting platforms is not robust enough to compete with things like YouTube and Pinterest. That’s not to say people never discover me through this podcast – they definitely do, but it’s rare.
There are some exceptions to that. If you have a podcast and you’re really good at being a guest on other podcasts, then that can help other people find you.
So podcasting: more labor intensive as a solopreneur and less SEO-friendly. This wouldn’t be the first content creation platform I would pick for anybody – unless you’re okay with also writing a blog post to accompany each podcast episode.
At Hey Jessica, there’s a blog post to go along with almost every single podcast I’ve done. Those blog posts are optimized for SEO and have a way higher chance of showing up in search than this podcast. It can be as simple as having someone transcribe your podcast episode and using that on your blog.
If you are using podcasting as your main content creation platform, you need to do one of two things. You need to have a blog post that feeds into your podcast in some way, OR you need to have an existing audience somewhere else to send to your podcast. Otherwise, you’ll be doing a lot of work for very few listeners.
Youtube is definitely the most labor-intensive content creation platform of these three. For me, YouTube is my preferred platform no matter how hard it is. I absolutely love creating videos. I think that I can teach, help, and cultivate my audience better on video. Does that mean every video is perfect or I think I look amazing? Absolutely not. But for me, with blogging vs YouTube vs a podcast, YouTube is my favorite.
So YouTube is the most labor-intensive platform. But besides meeting in person, it is also the QUICKEST way to get someone to know you, like you, and trust you. If it takes you years to get one person through that process, it feels totally daunting. Video communication speeds that up a TON.
Blogging will be the slowest way to get people to know, like, and trust you. Podcasting or any voice communication will be the second slowest way. Video is going to be the quickest way to earn that know, like, and trust factor! It doesn’t have to be YouTube – it could be Instagram stories or Facebook Lives. But YouTube has the added benefit of SEO, which makes it take the cake here.
If someone is going to watch your Instagram stories or your Facebook Live, they had to find you somewhere else first. On YouTube, someone can randomly search for “how to pickle peppers,” find your video on it, watch it, and decide they want to buy the guide on how to pickle peppers from you that you advertise at the end. ONE piece of content got them to know, like, and trust you – which is almost impossible anywhere else.
Video is king on the Internet. YouTube is ultra-king.
The only thing better to get that know, like, and trust factor is to meet someone in person. But with COVID, that doesn’t exist right now. Of the options we have, video is king.
What are the pros and cons of each one?
We all have different skill sets and preferences.The truth is, even if I tell you that video is king, it might not be the one you choose. Your personality can have influence here!
I’m a talker, if you can’t tell (haha). I’m an external processor. I would rather talk something out than write it out. Writing is enjoyable for me, but I am better at conveying an idea when I can talk it out. I personally think it’s so much easier to create a video and pull other content from that. On top of that, I am a technical person. Technical things don’t scare me – and cameras have been a love of mine since I was five.
My degree is in advertising, and I had to do broadcasting work so I was editing videos in college. I worked in a photo lab and explained the technical aspects of cameras to people there. The idea that I do YouTube so you should, too, is ridiculous.
For me, YouTube is the best platform. I know what I’m doing down to a science, and the technical and strategic parts of YouTube don’t scare me.
If you’re someone who doesn’t like the idea of doing YouTube or doesn’t want to show up on camera, then I have bad news: you have to show up on camera somewhere. But it doesn’t have to be on YouTube! You could do Instagram stories, Facebook stories, or lives. In my opinion, there’s not a way to run a successful business without being on video. Trust is built in that way.
But YouTube is SO. MUCH. WORK. You have to create, edit, and figure out content strategy. You have to use tags and titles that work with the algorithm. And you have to be so consistent, it’s annoying, to grow at all
YouTube is a beast, and I’ll never pretend that it’s not even though it works the best for me.
Let’s recap in order of ease of use:
Blogging definitely doesn’t take a lot of labor. You do have to plan, write, and add some photos, but it’s simple. You can do this as a one-woman show for sure. It is the slowest way to get people to know, like, and trust you, but it is very SEO-friendly.
Podcasting comes in at medium difficulty level. It requires some equipment up-front, like a microphone, and knowledge of editing software. But if you like to talk, this can be a great medium for you! Other than that, it’s not super crazy.
There’s so much more to YouTube than the other mediums here. You have to consider lighting, cameras, microphones, editing, and all the things. It is a beast – but it can pay off tremendously! This is the fastest way to get people to know, like, and trust you.
Remember, podcasting is not the way to get people to find you. If you have a podcast, you need to be blogging to boost your SEO.
I have friends who absolutely HATE to write, but talking is easy for them. At that point, maybe it’s okay to know that you’re going to grow slower by doing a podcast. You will need to do some extra work to make sure your episodes are showing up, but maybe that particular medium is the best for you. And that’s okay.
The same thing goes for blogging. Maybe eventually you want a podcast or YouTube, but for now you just need to be creating content consistently and want Google to find you. Then, blogging might be the right choice!
Blogging vs YouTube vs Podcast is a debate we all need to have when figuring out our content strategy. It’s a matter of deciding which one is best for you and your business. It depends on what you’re selling, where your audience hangs out, and all the things.
Your audience and their behavior is SO IMPORTANT when you're choosing blogging vs YouTube vs podcast.
If you want to be a fashion influencer and your audience is mostly on Instagram, it might be hard to get them to go to YouTube because that’s not their preferred platform. But again, remember that Instagram is NOT a content creation platform.
Instagram is micro-blogging. If Instagram is your platform, then you might find that a blog works best for you as a next step.
Maybe your audience is full of established business owners. Then, a podcast might be the way to go! People are always doing personal development in that arena and podcasts are their go-to medium.
Or, maybe your audience is full of visual learners who are beginners. They’re doing those Google searches to find the things. That’s where YouTube comes into play.
Let’s back up again and talk about local businesses. If you only sell in your local area, then YouTube is useless for you (unless you want to build a national audience). YouTube is not built for location-specific content. A blog, on the other hand, is a GREAT location-specific tool. Put a blog on your website and bam!
There are so many benefits and differences for each of these. I hope this was a really comprehensive look at whether blogging vs YouTube vs a podcast is right for you.
And I have to do a shameless plug here. I have a course entirely about this. It’s called Create, Convert, Grow and you can grab it right here. I literally teach you how to create content on whichever platform you’re using that gets the right people into your audience and helps you grow your business! It's one of my cheaper courses, and people have told me that they learned more in it than courses quadruple its price.