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Blogging vs Vlogging vs Podcasting: How to Choose Your “Hero” Platform

So you know you need to be creating content in order to build your brand and business… but where are you supposed to share it?

I’m always getting asked about where the best place is to create and share content — especially between YouTube, blogs and podcasts. And the simple fact is this: the best place depends on both you and your audience.

So in this episode, I’m going to dig into each of your “hero” platform options (the places you can share your best high value, evergreen content), the pros and cons of each. Plus give you the questions you’ll need to ask yourself in order to determine which one is going to work best in your personal content strategy.

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Blogging vs Vlogging vs Podcasting: How to Choose Your "Hero" Platform

READ THE TRANSCRIPT

You’re listening to episode seven, blogging versus blogging versus podcasting, how to choose your hero platform. If you’ve been getting all up in your head about which is the right or the best platform to grow your personal brand, then you need to keep listening. Welcome to the personal branding project. I’m your host, Kat Elizabeth, an actor and personal branding coach who is obsessed with helping creative entrepreneurs like you, build personal brands that change your life for good, from attracting bigger opportunities, more joy and freedom in your life, and the ability to get paid to do the things that you love most. Each week. I’m bringing you inspiration, practical advice, and the occasional dose of tough love so you can stop dreaming and start doing what it takes to make those dreams a reality.

So I’m sure you are very aware that content creation is a huge part of building a personal brand because it gives us an opportunity to really show off our expertise and build that really important know, like, and trust factor with our audience. And I don’t know if you’ve ever heard that “any content is better than no content”, but unfortunately, that doesn’t really quite apply. There really are some bare minimums when it comes to content creation and I do think that some of them are that you do need to be on a platform that’s going to resonate really well with your audience. They have their kind of preferred platform of choice. You need to make sure that your style of communication actually suits that platform. No point in trying to fit a square peg into a round hole and really there should be some sort of focus on creating content that is searchable so that you actually grow your reach and you’re not just creating content for the existing audience that you already have.

It’s obviously it’s a mix of both. Our content has the potential to really strengthen the relationships and wow our existing audience, but it also has a big job to do or finding us some more followers because as much as it’s definitely not about having a millions of followers, we do need a certain number to, you know, have a large enough audience to know that, some of the people reading or watching or listening to our content are actually our ideal audience. So that’s why I really wanted to do this particular episode because I’ve been speaking to a lot of people lately who don’t necessarily have a specific platform that they’re committed to using. They might be dabbling a little bit between a few or they’re just kind of sticking to using Instagram or Facebook. And as much as I love so many different social media platforms, they are not the places to share that high value, evergreen content short.

You repurpose content there and you can share smaller excerpts of what you’re creating. But if you want to create content that really is an investment with an actual ROI, so that you create something and it’s still like paying off three months, six months, 12 months even, you know, few years later, then that is why we need to choose a hero platform. So today we’re going to dive into the three different options that you have for creating your content, some of the pros and cons and just things to think about with each and then I’m going to give you some just specific questions to kind of ask yourself so that you can make a really smart choice about which is the best platform for you moving forward. Okay, so we’re going to start old school and we’re going to talk about the good old fashioned blog now.

Yes, blogs do still exist and people are still blogging. And I think one of the best things about blogs is that they’re really easy to get up and running. And obviously if you’re a writer, then blogs are amazing because it’s just going to be a really natural way of expressing yourself. But beyond the fact that they, they are nice and you know, relatively easy to set up and there’s probably less of a mental block there because I think they’re generally a little bit less scary to share on then you know, a podcast or a vlog. The downfall here is that there is a load of competition out there these days. So there’s a thing called domain authority and it’s a term that we use to kind of determine the authority of a website according to Google basically. So we would say that a website, there’s been around for a really long time and that’s really, really popular and that Google kind of considers to be high value.

We would say that they have a high domain authority. So you know Google and Facebook alike, you know perfect scores when it comes to that. But when you launch a brand new blog, it’s going to have a very low domain authority. It’s probably going to start with the domain authority of 1 and any search terms that you are trying to rank for – so you know like keywords and you know the questions that are the titles of your blog posts – they are going to be competing against all of these other websites who are trying to rank for the same ones. And unfortunately while your domain has very low authority – and I should mention that authority doesn’t just come from a website being around for a long time, but also from it having lots of backlinks – so lots of other websites linking to it, having really high quality content, ou know there’s a whole bunch of different factors – well, you’re going to be up against other websites with a higher domain authority than you and it means it’s going to be really, really difficult for you to end up on the front page of Google.

Now that’s not to say it’s impossible to rank a new website for certain search terms. You’re going to have to do a little bit of work though. I personally did a course called The Recipe for SEO Success course, which is taught by Kate Toon, an incredible copywriter in Australia. And you know, if you really do want to know how to do this properly, you’re probably going to have to do some sort of training and you’re going to want to have some sort of strategy for building your backlinks and all of that. But without getting too technical, I just wanted to let you know that yes, a blog is a fantastic place to share content, but it’s probably going to be the most difficult to get in front of brand new eyes when you’re getting started.

Just because your website is at a little bit of a disadvantage being brand new. Something else to keep in mind is that because of our attention spans these days, I do think less and less people are reading blogs. We might go there for a quick answer, but we’re very much just skimming and looking for exactly what we need and what you’ll probably notice if you start looking up things and going to blogs for answers is that they probably have a video embedded in the blog that teaches the same thing because so many people want to learn by video these days. So that is just something to keep in mind. Not to turn you off having a blog, but just so that you have all of the facts. Next up, let’s talk about podcasting, which while it is still way less common for someone to have a podcast, then a YouTube channel, they are really increasing in popularity.

I think more and more people are listening to them, they’re becoming way more mainstream where whereas it used to be something very niche. And one of the big benefits of this is that you don’t have to be on camera. So it’s kind of like the happy medium between a blog and a vlog. So you will need some gear getting started. Although that said, plenty of people have podcasts without the fancy gear. (She said as she just tugged on the cord of her headphones and probably ruined the sound) But I think if you are going to go all in, if you are actually going to do this properly, I think it’s worth at least investing a little bit to get set up just to, you know, set the bar for the quality. Because keep in mind we are all going to be listening to more than one podcast and it can be a bit disconcerting to go from listening to a professional podcasts with really great quality quality audio and then switching to another one with terrible quality audio.

Like it’s just like, Oh, it’s a bit of a shock to the ears. That’s happened to me before. If the low quality ones, the only one you listen to, you get used to it, but then you know, you know you are always going to be probably listening to at least one other podcast and it’s going to kind of yet ruin the effect for you. So do keep in mind that you’ll need some gear, but you know these days it is, it’s so affordable thanks to things like Amazon, we can really get set up for the fraction of the price of what would have been years ago. So don’t let that put you off. Something else that’s great about podcasting is that it’s still really open to any format. People don’t have really specific ideas in the head of of what they want to hear from you. You know where I find that you have to follow quite a strict structure with YouTube videos to keep people’s attention.

Podcasting is a little bit different. You can be a little bit more relaxed in your approach. You know you could do one that’s a lot more creative and like storytelling, you could do one that’s very factual and just like teaching a structured lesson, you can do solo show, you can invite people on, like I just think there’s a lot of creative freedom there. So it’s a great place to express yourself and trial different kinds of content. A couple of potential downfalls or just things to be aware of is that the editing can be a little bit tedious and if you’re not someone who’s ever edited videos before editing, you know, a podcast episode could be a little bit technical. There’s definitely some great software out there that’s very easy to use, but it’s still going to be a learning curve. So some people might just want to outsource that to an editor, which you know is an easy solution, but obviously will cost some money.

And something else to keep in mind is that you know, you probably will find that it’s going to require a fair bit of promotion to get the ball rolling. Yes, you can definitely tune in and make sure you’re using the right keywords and that it’s very searchable. But I do think that when you first get started, you’re going to really want to have to just promote it a bit to your existing audience and get as many people subscribed as possible and get those reviews coming in just to try and get the word out. And then hopefully as it becomes more popular with your audience, then it’s going to get promoted more within the podcasting platforms. And you know, you’ll build your own sort of domain authority of sorts within the podcasting platform. Now I am by no means a podcasting expert considering this is my seventh episode and I haven’t done any training on this or anything.

So if podcasting is something you’re really interested in learning more about, then let me know and I’m really happy to bring on a guest expert, but also there are tons of resources out there for getting started. That’s how I was able to start mine without actually signing up for a course because the free information out there is incredible and I highly recommend following Pat Flynn who is just a podcasting God and is just an incredible person who shares so much value with his audience. I read his book Superfans recently and I’m about to re-read it because I just found it so valuable and I think you probably will too. So just check that out no matter what kind of platform you’re thinking of choosing because he’s just going to give you so many practical tips on really how to turn your audience into super fans.

So last but not least is one that’s very close to my heart and that is vlogging. And as you may or may not know, I launched my YouTube channel just over two, just under two years ago from the time of recording this. And look, it has been a slow and tedious journey. It’s not like I just like went on YouTube and my life turned around but I have learned a ton. It’s definitely led to growing my audience, growing my authority, helping me land clients like it has been powerful and as I am building momentum with my videos, getting seen by more and more people because I am ranking for a lot of keywords. I’m seeing the audience growth speed up and in turn because I’m using these videos to generate leads because I link to downloadables and things in my videos. I’m seeing it grow my email list as well.

So obviously it’s another fantastic lead generation tool, but things to keep in mind is that obviously you have to be on camera. Now look, there are definitely ways around it and not showing your face at all. But I’m going to tell you that if you decide that you want to create videos that don’t show your face, it’s probably going to be a slow burn and it’s less of a personal branding exercise. Like you’re not going to get all the benefits that you would if you let people actually see your face and connect with you personally because that is the power of video is that you really start to feel like you know someone even if you’ve never met them. Something else that you’ll need to do is actually make sure that you’ve got a decent enough setup. Now that doesn’t necessarily mean gear. You can start with almost nothing as I mentioned in my last two episodes ago.

But you are going to need a space where there is good lighting. You don’t have tons of background noise. You can have a nice looking background because there are just certain basics that we expect from videos. And the main kind of rule I have for myself is that nothing should be distracting. And so that applies to your backdrop. If it’s too busy, it can be distracting. If the lighting or the sound is particularly bad, that’s distracting. If your outfit moves around or it’s super busy, that’s distracting. So at a bare minimum, make sure that nothing draws the eye or pricks up the ear and then in time as you get more confident and you can see that you’re prepared to play the long game with this, then you might want to start upgrading your equipment as well. A huge benefit to YouTube as opposed to things like podcasts and blogs is that it’s completely free.

So where the other two you’ll probably need to pay website hosting fees, podcast hosting fees, all sorts of different random things. YouTube is completely free for you to host your videos, at least at the time of recording this. Let’s hope that never changes. I mean that’s why there are ads to help offset that cost. So if you are worried about budget and especially if you know you’re trying to build a side hustle or you’re really bootstrapping this whole thing, then YouTube is a very affordable way to get started and it makes it really easy for you to embed your videos in blog articles or anywhere else, even in LinkedIn articles and things like that so that you can repurpose them with ease. And as I mentioned with my videos, you’re going to find that if you do rank for a certain search term, often you will build momentum over time.

So that video will build authority. And if it ranks high enough, you will start generating a huge amount of traffic in time. For instance, I have a video that’s over 10,000 views, that’s getting close to two years old and it’s constantly bringing in new subscribers and downloads and all of those kinds of things. So the thing I love about video is it’s the gift that keeps on giving. And I think also in time a podcast can be the same thing. But I just found that YouTube, even though you’ve yes, you need to learn how to edit, um, which you know you can do very simply on your phone or on your computer. So there’s going to be some sort of learning curve. It was still actually really easy to get started. And again, the beauty of this day and age is that if you need information on how to do basically anything, I am telling you right now, it is available to you for free.

You do not have to pay for anything. Generally if you’re going to pay for something, what you’re paying for is convenience because it’s packaged up nicely. You get everything you need in one place. That’s exactly why I have online courses. Like I’ve got a makeup course which teaches everything. Technically everything I teach could probably be found on YouTube, but across how many videos and after how many days or weeks of searching? And so just keep that in mind that any time that you want to up-skill the answer is definitely available to you. So never let money be an excuse not to do something. But at the same time, if you want to get there as quickly as possible and make sure there are no gaps in your knowledge, that is where paid courses and programs and things like that come into play. So I just wanted to explain that for you.

And I’m someone who I feel like I’ve been 50/50 with what I’ve learned. And that is the beauty of these hero platforms – it’s that I have built relationships. It might be one way relationships, but by following certain podcasts and YouTube channels, I have learnt so much of what I know now about running a business, about mindset, about price – basically everything that you need to know. I’ve learned probably 50% of it from free content, the other 50% the stuff that I wanted to learn faster, I wanted to learn better has come from paid programs. And so what you need to keep in mind, and one of the biggest reasons to create content for free ,is that you are demonstrating your ability to solve problems without the commitment of them having to sign up for anything. So that when you offer something paid, they already know that you’re the teacher for them.

Or maybe you’re not and that’s totally fine. But again, if they’ve been learning for long enough from you on your free platform, then they’re not going to, you’re probably going to reduce the number of refunds because people sign up, see how you teach and then go, “Oh, I don’t like her teaching style”, or “I don’t like the way he’s put this together like this”. You’re kind of reducing some risks. So once again, I’m telling you right now that at some stage you are going to want to commit to some sort of hero platform and creating regular content. Whether that is every week, every two weeks, every month, every day. It’s completely up to you. But I don’t believe there is a quicker or more effective way to demonstrate authority and build trust with your audience, which is the ultimate key to eventually turning them into not just fans, but into actual paying clients or customers.

So before we wrap up, I want to give you those questions that you can ask yourself to try and really think about which platform is going to be the best for you. If you’re yet to decide. And the first question to ask is, where are your audience online? So demographic is going to have something to do with this. The fact is, there are some people who are probably more likely to read a blog than they are to watch a YouTube video or to listen to a podcast versus watch a video YouTube video. And some people go straight to YouTube. So do keep that in mind. And if you have even a small audience, ask them. It’s so important to do this. Actually just speak to them now. You could, you could do polls, you could send out an email or if you’ve got a small audience, just DM them like, just ask them personally, they’re not going to mind.

And you know, just explain that because you’re wanting to be able to share as much free, valuable content as you can and you want to make sure it’s shared in the right way. To give you an example, I was doing Facebook lives. I kicked back into them recently and then I asked my audience and found out that they’d all prefer me to be using IGTV, which blew my mind because I haven’t really been watching IGTV. But while I’ve been busy working on YouTube, people have been getting used to IGTV and they love it. So that was so valuable to me because I was like, okay, well first of all I can repurpose the stuff I put on Facebook. I can upload it to IGTV and then moving forward I’m actually going to create content that looks best on IGTV. I’ve just said IGTV like 15 times in the last minute…

Okay. Question number two is how do you communicate best? And look, I believe that we have a natural style of communication, but then we can also have a learned style of communication. So a lot of people will find that being on video is really uncomfortable or it can feel strange like talking to a microphone, but in time you can actually get better at it. So I don’t want you to just go, Oh my gosh, well I’m terrible at talking so therefore I should, you know, write a blog. But truly go, okay, how do I love expressing myself? Where do I get the most feedback in real life about how I communicate and let that be part of the decision making process. But if you feel, “Oh, I’m just inept at all of them. Like I’m terrible. I’m terrible at writing, I look terrible on camera and I hate my voice.”

…Well I’m sorry, but that is not the answer to this. You are going to be able to find a style that works for you. Sometimes it just takes a little bit of practice. So think more about long term, about what you think is going to be sustainable and enjoyable in time. And that is probably gonna help you make the right decision. And the third question really ties in with that. If just what you enjoy doing, you know, do you think it’s going to get just too tedious to get in front of the camera every day like does it or not every day that would be intense but you know, are you going to actually enjoy sitting down and making these videos or are you going to enjoy sitting down and writing a blog article? You do need it. It’s like obviously there’s always going to be some work involved and some elements of the process are often a little bit frustrating or tedious but hopefully at least one part of the process is enjoyable and just have a think about whether any of those three platforms jump out at you the most and get you the most excited about starting.

Like if you were told you could only ever use one for the rest of time, is there one that just kind of jumps up into your, into your brain and goes, “yes, this is the one!” But ultimately I want to remind you that there is no actual correct answer to this. There is no best platform because the real key here is about clarity of message. Making sure you communicate with your audience in a way that actually resonates with them and then showing up consistently, you know, week after week, delivering on that promise that you’ve made to help them in some way. That is the actual key to building your brand, building your authority, building that know, like, and trust. I can tell you right now that you know, you can definitely create a really fancy video or record an incredible podcast episode and they will have almost no effect on your business.

Whereas you can create 10 mediocre videos or 10 you know, mediocre blog articles. You know, and when I say mediocre, I don’t mean crappy. I just mean like they don’t have all the production quality that you may be a wishing that you had, but the quality of the content is there. And those 10 delivered every two weeks. So if you know weeks, they will move the needle for your brand and for your business. So whatever you’re going to do next, make sure that you’re ready to play the long game. And that you don’t expect any overnight results because they rarely come. This is a really slow burn that, trust me when I say it’s worth that in the end, so please do not give up.

I really hope you found this episode helpful. I would love it if you would share a screenshot and let me know your thoughts on choosing a hero platform. Do you have one already? Is this, you know, are you in the process of choosing one? Make sure you tag me if you share it on stories and Instagram at @iamkatelizabeth and so you don’t miss out on any future episodes. Be sure to subscribe and you know what? I would also love it if you would leave me a review as well. Thanks as always for listening and I look forward to chatting with you on the next

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