Please comment: Do you think blogging podcasters are more successful than just podcasters?


This question is of course a bit unfair, as most people reading this will be blogger or blog readers themselves. :))

But as I am finishing my article for the new printed podcast magazine called ID3mag (first edition to be launched in May), I would like to gather some of my dear readers comments on this question. I came about this topic when I talked to a what I call “just podcaster” about all those little things a blogger does automatically when they enter the podcasting space.

It is my take that even a basic blogger often knows more about how to market / present his blog in the Net to attract visitors far better than a ‘just podcasting’ podcaster. Later tends to care more about the audio than the surrounding ways and possibilities to enhance his visibility / findabilty.

Which is of course far better than a lousy blogger and podcaster, but in general the first will have more success through this. In the long run (or even the short) this will be a big problem for just podcasters, because when so many podcasts are available, listeners do what they are doing with websites and blogs now: Go to a search engine and type in some words they would like to see. Perhaps podcast + name of my hobby. Podcast directories, tags, and so on.

The blogging podcaster on the other side is somebody who sees podcasting as part of his personal publishing empire and likes to connect both ways, and perhaps even with other media as for example a picture stream, a frappr map etc. It is more natural for them to reach out for all those more text oriented possibilities and therefor they are – from my point of view – more successful with less effort.

Just some examples (and please remember that I am speaking in general):
Blogging podcasters are more sophisticated in the world of metadata: In blogging this is tags and categories, in podcasting this is proper ID3 tags. The search engines will soon start to pick up indexing and searching them and if you leave them out of the equation, you will have a disadvantage.

They are also more likely to write decent shownotes. Yes, they are a pain in the ass, but they know about the value of them for listeners, occasional listeners and especially search engines – the more audio driven just podcasters often don’t like to write. And if you link to other bloggers, they are very likely to follow the links back to you – marketing again.

Blogging podcasters are also most of the times trained in writing – they are bloggers after all. As it takes time to get into the blogging flow, a new, more audio driven podcaster might be overwhelmed by the audio / video already and does not see much sense in additional text.

The bloggers are also more trained in getting people to subscribe to their blog. Now that they want people to subscribe to their podcast they do have an headstart in this technology over newbies from the just podcasting arena.

If you read my examples you may get the feeling as if I would like to make a simple equation as in “blogging podcasters clever – just podcasters stupid” – which I am definitely not. Think of it more as that I think, that somebody drawn to both podcasting and blogging will have a much easier learning curve for the blogging part as somebody just interested into audio.

To bring this away from the most technical level: Somebody drawn to both sides of the publishing is also more likely to engage in comments on his / other peoples blog and tools like flickr, frappr and co. Engaging in conversations brings more active readers and listeners, which are then more likely to link to that person as well.

Networking and connecting through conversation are much more natural and help him and her get more successful in less time. Does this mean a just podcaster is lost and will have no success? Not at all. But it is more work for them and they have to bring themselves to doing all this stuff.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you have examples where it works as I describe it, or counter examples?

I would like to hear them and possible also integrate them into my article if they give me that time ;o)

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8 Responses to “Please comment: Do you think blogging podcasters are more successful than just podcasters?”

  1. Marc Orchant says:

    Nicole: The big win that comes from doing both is the simple fact that more people read blogs than listen to podcasts. In a parallel fashion, more people subscribe to blogs via RSS than subscribe to podcasts by way of a podcatcher of one sort or another (the giggle factor in that is iTunes of course). If you cross-promote your blog and podcast (that is, talk about your blog on your podcast and blog about your podcast), you have multi-media awareness of your work.

    As the blog space gets increasingly crowded, noisy, and fills with echoes, the nice thing about podcasts is that they are a place I find myself more likely to find original opinions and ideas instead of circular link-fests.

    I’m looking forward to your article.

  2. Dave says:

    To even attempt to answer this question, you need to first define what you are using as “success.” From the context of your post, it seems like you are using it to mean how satisfying you find the result. Is “success” listenership, quality of the result, income generated, happiness of the creator or what? If a podcast is associated with a product and listenership is low but sales of the product are up 80% this year, is the podcast a success? You need to tighten up the question before you can get good answers.

  3. Nicole says:

    Marc: Multimedia-awareness, what a nice buzzword! :)
    But the question is for me: does the blog space really have so many more users than the podcasting space, at least in the longer view? It is an interesting question to think about. Radio/TV versus books comes to my mind, at least today there are many more ‘users’ of TV / Radio than books, even though they started out bigger with books.

    Dave: That is a great question – and no, that is not me imitating the amercian way of sugar coating something! When I think about it, I would define success in metrics as of how much of an audience you have in comparison to the total amount of possible audience.

    If you just go for numbers, this could be 200 listeners – but if they make up 60% of the whole audience in this market, that is a big success.

    As for your example of the low listenership but sales are up by 80%: How about increasing your listenership and increase your sales even more? Perhaps someone only wants 80% up because they can’t handle more than that.

    I thought about if I meant subscriber numbers in your market / niche or ROI on it, but Marc’s remark about media awareness brings it pretty good: more successful in presenting your podcast to your audience so they can discover it better and are more compelled to subscribe. Loyal listeners even.

    But: success is defined by the way the creator sees it – and happiness can be decreased if you gain more audience as this brings more responsibilities and work.

    Thank you both very much!

  4. Podchef says:

    Podcasters who blog have additional reach to their show–especially if they blog on topics around the theme of their show, but also about their show. But blogging has a distinct advantage over podcasting in that you can trackback, cross-link, comment, add podcasts and photos. One of the first things I do when I find a new podcast I like it hunt down their blog. I want to read and know more, hit links, see photos. Unless a podcast is backed up by that material it can be rather thin. Blogging is a continuance of the conversation that begins with a podcast. It provides an immediate feedback loop.

    However, podcasts which are large and have a following might not need a blog presence. If there is momentum behind the podcast before it begins than static web pages might be all that’s needed. But I’m with blogging. I recently changed my company’s static site to a blog and have increase web-traffic to the same information ten-fold; so much so that I don’t even bother with SEO anymore. And the search hits are far more relevant than they ever were.

    I think time will tell. Once the initial rush of corporate, mainstream media podcasting is over and people begin to hunt down the original, small producer podcasts again and the audience expands it will be easier to see where people listen–blogger podcasts or not.

  5. Evo says:

    You know how I have a disdain for cut-and-dry answers. I’ve seen plenty of busy bloggers who haven’t a clue about what they are doing and just as many podcasters. Not that it’s a bad thing to just blog or ‘cast for the sake of either.

    Neither a podcast nor a blog is enough on it’s own to ensure “success”. Both are great arrows to have in your quiver, but you’ll need to to both and more. I’m not sure if I have a “blogger” mindset, though I’ve been blogging since 2000. Likewise, I don’t know that I have a “podcaster” mindset, even thought that’s been going on since Oct of 2004. I consider my self both… and yet neither at the same time.

    If anything, podcast-only thoughts might have the advantage, as many folks who skipped the blogging flood have tapped into podcasting as of late. Perhaps there is more energy and enthusiasme in the ‘cast world? Of course I’m horribly generalizing. But it is worth pondering…

  6. Shel Holtz says:

    This is an opportunity to give my favorite answer: “It depends.”
    If you look at music podcasters, for example, I don’t think it’s that important to be a blogger as well as a podcaster. While it couldn’t hurt, blogging wouldn’t necessarily make you a better podcaster. On the other hand, if your podcast — like the one I do with Neville Hobson — is mostly commentary, blogging can hone that skill and provide you with far more feedback to help you refine your thinking.

    That said, I would also suggest that ALL podcasts should use blogs as their homes as a means of encouraging feedback and the building of community. In that sense, most podcasters are bloggers anyway.

  7. Hi Nicole,
    I realise that my contribution here might be too late to be of any use for your article, but it’s helpful to think through in any case.

    In my fields – education and ICT – *everyone* thinks they have the right answer (as if one answer ever existed). While podcasting what I think – or others’ think – the blog gives a regular reality check. I know I’m right most of the time because people agree with me on certain topics. And when i get it wrong on my podcast people know me well enough from reading my blog to be constructive. Blogging is quicker than podcasting and so makes that relationship quicker to build. Podcasting is my voice, though, and brings people closer to me as a person, a human being with feelings, and not some policy-crunching animal!

    Make any sense?

  8. Nicole says:

    Thanks for all of your comments – and it is a perfect example showing the power of blogging.

    I have to admit, that by instict I understood Cluetrain from the moment I read it, but I would say that since some months I do have the feeling, I really can grasp what it is about.

    Which also shows the difference (again) to podcating, and I do feel that voice / writing is like heart and brain in many ways. :)