How to Turn Your Blog Into a Podcast
If you have a successful blog already, you might consider turning it into a podcast, or extending it with a podcast. Starting a podcast independently can provide you with a strong content base, and continuing your blog will naturally be beneficial; doing both will yield even more impressive benefits.
However, the podcast world is rife with competition, and if you want to be successful, you’ll need to have a solid game plan in place.
If you already have a semi-successful blog, you might be wondering why adding podcasts would be a good idea.
- Growing popularity. First, podcasts are growing in popularity. There are currently more than 88 million podcast listeners in the United States, and that number is expected to grow around 20 million each year, topping out with 160 million listeners by 2023. More than half of Americans have listened to a podcast in the past year, and 75 percent of Americans are aware of podcasts. This is a growing format, and now is the perfect time to take advantage of it.
- Audio formatting. The audio formatting of podcasting is starkly different than the written form of your blog. Accordingly, you’ll have the chance to appeal to an entirely different audience segment. You can also provide a fundamentally new experience to your readers, who may be hungry for something different.
- Mixed media. Podcasting and blog writing don’t have to be totally separate. In fact, you can develop even more compelling content by utilizing the best aspects of both; for example, you can write about a topic in great detail, then discuss it more casually in an interview.
- Inexpensiveness. It’s also worth pointing out that podcasting is incredibly inexpensive. You don’t need much fancy equipment, and you can learn the basics of recording and production in a weekend. You can also syndicate your podcast for free, so there are few downsides.
Factors for Success
What does it take to be successful?
- Podcast analytics. You’ll need some kind of podcast analytics platform if you want to confirm that your strategy is working—and find new ways to improve. With podcast analytics, you’ll be able to see who’s listening, who’s subscribing, and how people are engaging with your platform. It’s the only way to measure the effectiveness of your tactics, and reliably direct your strategy to be better in the future.
- Audience targeting. The best podcasts aren’t made to appeal to a wide, generic audience; they’re fine-tuned to appeal to very specific demographics. If you want to be successful, you need to have a target audience in mind and create content for them.
- Complementary development. Blogs and podcasts each have strengths and weaknesses, so try to play to the strengths of each. Podcasts tend to be more casual, digestible, and entertaining, while blogs tend to be more detailed and informative.
- Uniqueness. There are about 1.5 million podcasts, featuring more than 34 million episodes, as of October 2020. That’s a lot of competition. If you want any hope of success, you’ll need to find something distinctive to offer people—something that no one else is doing.
- Production quality. People won’t listen to your podcast if it sounds like it was recorded in 1910. Invest in a good microphone, a good recording environment, and good editing software to improve your production quality.
- Consistency. You’ll get more listeners if you create new episodes regularly, preferably every week. The more consistent you are, the more loyalty you’ll attract.
- Marketing and awareness. Even if your podcast is amazing, people won’t find it unassisted. Invest some time and money into marketing and advertising to attract your initial audience.
Choosing a Podcast Format
All that’s left is to decide what type of podcast you want to offer.
Here are some of the best options:
- Digests and summaries. Recap your best posts, or provide a digestible summary of posts from the past.
- Discussion and analysis. Dive deeper into a topic with a lengthy discussion designed to complement a blog you’ve already written.
- Interviews. Talk to other experts about their opinions on this topic, or learn more about this field alongside your audience.
- Supplementary content. Use your podcast to enhance your work in some novel way; for example, you could stage a radio drama that embodies some of the creative writing advice you detail in your main blog.
Starting a podcast isn’t the right move for every blogger, and it’s certainly no guarantee of success. However, it can be the gateway to an entirely new audience segment, and better engagement with your current readers. If you’re willing to invest the time, money, and effort to make your podcast and blog work together, you can see amazing results.