Is Podcasting the New Blog?

Podcasting obviously isn’t a good fit for everyone, but writing, branding, and life are not One-Size-Fits-All. I’ve made it my personal mission to not only help writers hone their craft (great books sell better than rambling crappy books), but also to demystify branding.

I GET that most writers are also working a full-time job and already struggling with the whole ‘adulting’ thing. It’s why I hope to give y’all ways to work smarter not harder.

I’ve fallen in love with blogging. It’s been an incredibly good investment of time. It’s taught me to write leaner, meaner, faster and cleaner, and it’s also a form of ‘social media’ that gives back a lot of love. Seriously, two weeks ago I got a 500-word comment off a post I published in 2011! A post with 306 comments and climbing.

If that isn’t bang for the buck (time)? I don’t know what is.

This said, nothing great happens in the comfort zone. There was a good reason ViacomCBS sold off the former publishing GIANT Simon & Schuster to invest in streaming content instead.

Follow the audience and you’ll find the money.

Nothing against writing books. Hey, I’m still writing. Books still sell. We, as authors, simply have to be creative when it comes to cultivating a fanbase willing to part with time and money for our books. To do this, we are wise adjust to audience preferences.

There is an old saying in sales, “Fish where the fish are.” And 21st century fish are schooling on Audible and podcasting apps.

So, as promised, today I present USA Today Best-Selling Author and podcaster extraordinaire, Cait Reynolds, who is here to talk y’all off the ledge demystify the podcast.

Take it away, Cait!

*eyes Kristen warily*

*tugs on handcuffs*

Meet podcasting. It’s kind of like a blog and a vlog had a one-night stand and actually fell in love. There’s a podcast for everything and for everybody—audiences and creators alike.

Sometimes it seems like everyone and their brother is starting one. But, seems like everyone and their brother is writing a novel and that hasn’t deterred us from being authors. Podcasting is no different. Those who take time to learn how to create riveting content, and who commit to excellence over the long-haul, eventually will break away from the pack of poorly-written and/or abandoned podcasts.

But we’ll get to that in a bit.

First, you might be wondering, “What’s the appeal?” Why should you at least consider podcasting over (or in addition to) blogging? How is podcasting a good fit for a novelist?

It all goes back to hooking the audience long enough to convert them into fans.

Podcasts are appealing namely because audiences can listen to a podcast while driving, cooking, chasing after three dogs—one of whom has my shoe in his mouth as I try writing this and…well, you get the picture.

Kristen mentioned podcasting as a new creative outlet for writers in her last post, “Brave New Writing.” I am here to tell you that, while not every writer is a podcaster, the best podcasters are very often writers.

Like blogs, podcasts are content-hungry creatures. Also, like blogs, podcasts require more time and effort than quick-hit social media like Twitter and Instagram posts. At the same time, they offer a powerful return on investment, unlike the ‘easier’ forms of social media.

Like blogs, podcasts have the potential to have a broader, deeper, and longer lasting impact on a writer’s brand. Unlike the familiar written-essay format of a blog, however, a podcast has technical and performative aspects that can seem intimidating at first. But don’t worry, that’s why I’m here.

*side eye at Kristen*



First of all, back away from the ledge. Podcasting is just a small furry relative of the blog. It can’t smell fear and won’t bite. And, as Kristen points out about blogs, podcasts are attention-whores. The more you love them, the more they will love you back.

Just like books and blogs, podcasts come in an endless variety of lengths and topics. There are five-minute podcasts that serve up daily horoscopes or fitness tips or financial advice…and there are three-hour podcasts that cover the history of the Roman empire. From parenting to politics, comedy to crime, there is a podcast for everyone.

Podcasts are free and easily accessible, ergo the appeal. Audiences can listen on their phones, laptops, or even refrigerators if said appliance has a smart panel with apps. All anyone needs to enjoy a podcast is an app like Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, Audible, etc.


People listen to podcasts while commuting, cleaning, and cooking. Personally, I rely on true crime podcasts to get me through home renovation projects. The Wine and Crime gals got me through packing up our condo and moving cross-country in 2019. During 2020, I binged Ash and Alaina from Morbid because, what is better than Boston gals who talk murder?

The answer is nothing is better.

When we got our puppies, Meadow and Bandit, the only way they would get back to sleep after their 5:00 a.m. potty break was with a podcast episode of “Dateline.”

It seemed like a good idea at the time. I was really, really sleep-deprived, okay? Now, I’m pretty sure the pups are plotting how to kill me in a way that gets me my very own episode.

Why Podcasting?

One of the most fundamental of Lamb’s Laws for Branding is: OWN YOUR CONTENT.

That is the whole point of having a website and blog. It’s content that endures and keeps working long after that TwitFaceGram+ post has been buried in the Mariana Trench of bots and dance videos. While quick hit content like social media posts do serve an important purpose, the cumulative effect—over time—of content we own is far greater.

We might get a comment on a blog post that was written two years ago because Google popped it into someone’s search results. But when was the last time someone replied to a two-year-old tweet? When was the last time we could find a two-year-old tweet?

Blogging is a natural fit for writers since sitting at a keyboard staring in despair at a blank screen for hours at a time is what we do. However, creating content you own doesn’t mean it has to be a blog.

*ducks flying projectiles from Texas*

If It Goes, It Flows

Hear me out. Writers create CONTENT, but the medium for DELIVERING that content doesn’t specifically have to be a blog post.

Fun fact: one of the early ‘try-on’ terms for podcasting was AUDIOBLOGGING.

*cue Kristen over in a corner grinding teeth*

For example, I personally struggle with blogging. My anxiety shoots through the roof when I try to pick a topic, and my inner picky b*tch frets over the perfection of everything from phrasing to tags. As a result, I blog about as often as I go to the dentist (every six months).

However, after starting my podcast “Drunk Mythology Gals” back in mid-January, I find myself breezing through two thousand words per episode. I actually can’t keep up with all the ideas I have for topics. We just released episode 37 and have only missed one week since we started, but I was in the hospital that week, so we get a pass.

Drunk Mythology Gals
Drunk Mythology Gals
A ‘divinely’ funny podcast.

The point is that I found what clicked for me in terms of being able to leverage my skills as a writer to develop my brand and market my books. I can use each episode release to interact with fans and friends on social media, and our website is easy to update and maintain. And, all the episodes of our show are forever available until we decide otherwise.

While Kristen does flog the blog as the prime example of how writers can build their brand, her point is that creating content we are passionate about (yes, this includes interpretive dance) is the best way to connect with our audience and build a lasting brand.

But, but, but…

Ah, yes, like a chorus of anguished echos from the mountain’s misty side, I can hear the objections now:

  • I don’t have time!
  • I don’t have money!
  • Audio stuff = rocket science!
  • I don’t know what to do a podcast about!
Memebase - excuses - All Your Memes In Our Base - Funny Memes - Cheezburger


Time is relative (thanks, Einstein). We have time for what we want to do, and never enough time for the things we struggle with.

So far, this blog post has taken me about four agonizing hours just to get to this point. I get better at writing blogs the more I do them, but I don’t seem to get any faster. However, I can whip up a script for an episode in an hour-and-a-half. It just comes more naturally for me. It flows. Recording, distribution set-up, and promotion take about two hours.

From draft to social media promo, a podcast episode takes me about four hours, start-to-finish (and I am only getting faster as my skills and the tech improves). Compare that to writing a blog post that will probably end up needing six hours of intense suffering?

It’s clear where my time is better spent, for me at least.


It is absolutely possible to start podcasting without spending a single cent. Yes, really and truly FREE (I go into all that in my classes—LISTED BELOW).

This means that it’s okay to try podcasting. Give it a whirl. Give it seven whirls. Once things ‘click,’ then it’s time to look at investing in the doo-dahs that will take the show to the next level.

Furthermore, it is even slightly easier to make money from podcasting than from publishing. Unlike the giant ball of wibbly wobbly that is the Amazon KDP global fund payout rate, podcasting is similar to radio advertising in terms of how ad rates are calculated.

Today, according to Intelligence Insider, almost 118 million people listen to podcasts monthly. That number is projected to grow to 144 million listeners by 2025.

Podcast advertising spending almost DOUBLED from $701 million in 2019 to $1.33 BILLION in 2021. Money follows the audience, and audiences are multi-tasking to unheard-of levels these days. What is perfect for keeping company during multi-tasking? Audio content in all its forms.

Meme Creator - Funny Hey! You got any more Of them podcasts. Meme Generator  at!

I’m not even including merchandise, subscription memberships, live tours, online shows, Patreon, and all the other ways podcasts make money these days.

This doesn’t mean every podcaster is going to be a millionaire. I said it’s slightly easier to be successful, and just like publishing, quality and persistence are key to success.

Audio stuff = rocket science

Yes…and no.

When I started looking into how to start a podcast back in 2017, I knew less than nothing about audio stuff. Yes, I will always refer to it as audio ‘stuff’ because audio engineering is a whole big thing…and life is short. All the YouTube videos, blog posts, and even podcasts about starting podcasts were way too technical for me.

True story: I mentioned podcasting to Kristen back then, and she threw holy water at me and ran screaming. Then two days later, she was back with three podcasts I JUST HAD to listen to, wanting to know when were we going to start ours?

Today, however, if you can talk on your smart phone, you can record a podcast.

With built-in post-production, drag and drop editing, and free sounds and music, ‘producing’ a podcast episode is honestly super simple. Setting up distribution for an episode is way easier and far less nerve-wracking than setting up a book for publication.

Worse comes to worst, there are freelancers that will tweak your audio for as little as $5.

Honestly, quality content is THE most important aspect of a podcast. I go back to the first episodes of my favorite podcasts, and woof! The sound was really bad. REALLY BAD. But the content was so riveting or hilarious that I had to keep listening and I didn’t care.

Content is king…and queen…and pretty much the whole royal family.

Even with “Drunk Mythology Gals,” our first eleven episodes were an exercise in how long listeners could handle hearing chalkboard nails while underwater. Once Gen and I decided we were going to stick with it, we paid a freelance audio guy $20 to sit online with us for an hour and walk us through some basics of how to improve our audio.

Now, we have Kim who handles all our production (and uses sound effects to troll us because she can). Also, like a lot of other podcasts, we are re-recording the early episodes one by one to bring the sound up to speed (and so our other co-host Jenn can put in her two cents).

I mean, who doesn’t love an industry that is like, “Yeah, mulligans are totally cool.”

I don’t know what to podcast about!

The most important thing about picking a podcast topic is that we have to love it. Really, really, truly love it. That is the secret to choosing a podcasting subject.

Do you write historical fiction? Science fiction? Police/detective stories? Is there a topic you find yourself consistently researching across stories (e.g. forensic psychology, cooking or forensic cooking)? If you can answer a resounding YES to any of these questions, then you have something to podcast about.

I am an absolute history nerd, especially ancient history. Over the course of writing Downcast, I amassed a ton of research in addition to my already pretty-extensive non-fiction library. With all of this material in my brain and at my fingertips, I have enough topics for YEARS of podcast episodes.

Is mythology the most popular genre in podcasting? Obviously not. But are there enough people who enjoy mythology to make up a decent sized audience? Sure. Are there enough who might then also be interested in my book? Absolutely!

A podcast doesn’t necessarily have to draw a direct line to our writing. Remember, Kristen doesn’t say every writer has to blog about writing. She says blog about what you love…and she is passionate about writing, so this is what she LOVES to talk about.

Another way to figure out a podcast topic is to remember that time we were at a party, talking to some people we had just met…and then they mentioned X, and we were like, “OMG, I know all about that! Let me tell you and did you know and this little known fact and hey where are you going it’s-only-duct-tape-and-handcuffs?”

What doesn’t work for kidnapping…er…small talk at a party will probably make for a good podcast that people will listen to…as they chew through the ropes.

Pod People

I’m baaaack! Thank you Cait for being here! *tosses her key to handcuffs*

For the record, I never ask anyone try or do anything I’ve not tested myself. When Cait first mentioned podcasting, I very literally had a fit. Not my most shining moment. In my defense, this happened during that period of time I really was willing to die on ‘The Hill of Fighting Against Writers Paid in EXPOSURE DOLLARS.’

Once I calmed down, mopped up the holy water and swept away the salt circle, I was at least willing to entertain Cait’s suggestion….and have been down the rabbit hole since. For the record, I was the one who introduced Cait to Wine and Crime and Morbid, as well as the fabulous True Crime Obsessed.

TCO’s Patrick Hinds and Gililan Pensavalle helped me endure TWO ROUNDS of six straight hours of dental work (12 HOURS)….without having a nervous breakdown. I could listen to them and block out the dentist replacing half my teeth (yes, I am a grinder who cannot keep up with a mouth guard so stop judging me).

Like all content I love, I am positively evangelical, and have converted family and friends to TCO fans and Patreon supporters.

Cait and I have even recorded two seasons of our own comedy podcast BFFs: Bad Friends Forever, which we’ll be releasing once I’m comfortable we have a solid base number of episodes. So there’s that ‘won’t make y’all try anything I haven’t’ thing.

It is part of the reason I asked Cait to come teach podcasting. If she can convert someone like me who didn’t need ONE MORE FRIGGIN’ THING TO DO and who isn’t tech savvy enough to organize e-maii?

Trust me, she’s got you.

Thank You For Being HERE!

I know I promised last time to work on posting shorter blogs. But I DID add the caveat, “when I can.” I hope y’all enjoyed this article. Cait put a ton of work into condensing a monster amount of information into a singular post… that’s also fun to read.

What are your thoughts? Questions? Comments? Do you listen to podcasts? Which ones are your favorites and why? Have we helped those who are terrified at least consider that podcasting might not melt the flesh off your bones?

If you scroll down, Cait is offering three classes on podcasting. There are discounts for early registration as well as a podcasting bundle that will save you WAY more than all the discounts combined.

I LOVE hearing from you!

Comments for guests get EXTRA CREDIT. To prove it and show my love, for the month of OCTOBER, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly. I will pick a winner once a month and it will be a critique of the first 20 pages of your novel, or your query letter, or your synopsis (5 pages or less).

AND REMEMBER to treat yourself to a class! I don’t reveal all my best intel on my blogs.


Introduction to Podcasting 10/15/21

Register HERE and use New20 for $20 off before October 5th

Writing for Podcasting 10/22/21

Register HERE and use New20 for $20 off before October 15th

How to Make MONEY & The Business of Podcasting 10/26/12

Register HERE and use New20 for $20 off before October 15th

The Pod People Podcasting Bundle: ALL THREE Classes ONE Low Price

Register HERE to get all three classes and save BIG!

Practice Your Pitch: Master the Log-Line 10/14/21

Register HERE and use Pitch10 for $10 off if register by 10/1/21

The Edge: How to Write Mystery, Suspense & Thriller 10/21/21

Register HERE and use Thrill10 for $10 off if you register by 10/14/21


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  1. Thanks, very helpful. But how do I find out whether my reader demographic — baby boomer women — is into podcasts?

    1. Actually you would be shocked. And who better to lead the way? You LITERALLY have the largest demographic out there and they’ve already conquered Facebook and claimed it as their own. My mom is a Boomer and she is on her cell phone more than I am. We pick on her and call her ‘Tiffany’ and tell her to get off her cell, LOL.

    2. Hi Barbara! As Kristen said, baby boomer women is a HUGE demographic of podcast listeners. Also, there are industry statistics that break down demographics (in a far more granular and satisfying manner than we as authors can get from Amazon LOL). This is all part of things I go over in my classes 🙂

    • Christine E Robinson on September 30, 2021 at 1:14 pm
    • Reply

    I don’t think historical fiction fits podcasting, even though the secondary story is romance. That’s what I write. I can see mystery, crime, paranormal, sci-fi and fantasy as the front runners. Those are action-packed, imaginative stories. Historical fiction has historical facts that are most often skimmed over. Talking about it in a podcast? No way. Well, maybe.if it can be personalized by the writer. Sounds as if you and Kristen have made podcasting fun. You both know how to include humor giving us serious information in your posts. That’s an art. ?? Christine

    1. Hi Christine,
      It’s less about translating historical fiction into a podcast and more about sharing those delicious tidbits we stumble across in our research that don’t quite make it into the story, or perhaps have a fascinating history themselves that is too long to include. For example, you could create a 6 episode podcast on romance, courting, and marriage in Edwardian England. I would absolutely listen to something like that! Or you could do “The Lady’s Dressing Room,” and talk about the trials and tribulations of historical beauty regimens. I personally find it’s a good outlet for my itch to tell people too much about all the cool things I find when I’m researching, LOL!

    2. Oh you’d be shocked. Nerds are nerds. I inhale history in all its forms. If it isn’t your beer, then there is no problem with that. All I do is challenge people to give things a try. And if there are enough people who love history to devote entire channels. networks and YouTube channels to it, it is on podcasting as well. It is a matter of what era you are covering and the story/spin you give it.

      For instance, a friend of mine writes a series set in the 19th century with a female sleuth. I also read a series of books covering the women (yes WOMEN) the Pinkerton Detective Agency used back in the Old West and beyond. ‘Lady Sleuths in History’? I’d listen to that. And remember Cait is covering fictional podcasts (like old radio shows) as well as non-fiction. Limited series, etc.

      I have seen many authors putting out shorts or chapters to attract interest in their books. Like the old (or current days) where we give free samples, only they don’t have to find time to sit and READ, they can simply listen.

  2. Hey, Kristen & Cait. Love the post. I hopped into podcasting when WordPress said, Here, we will read your blog or you can read your blog post.” I read out loud well, and like to do it. So I tried it. Was pretty simple. I love blogging because I love the interactoin and yes, sometimes that hppens sometime after the post. I don’t see how we get that with a podcast. And, Kristen, I learned from you how important pics are on our blogs, so how do those translate for a podcast? How frequent should they be? I blog 3 times a month and send out my Newsletter on the other week. Look forward to hearing back. Personally, I don’t listen to many podcasts unless we’re traveling on a long trip. Also glad to hear Baby Boomers are podcasters. My readers are older for my second chance romantic suspense books with H & H in their 40s and 50s. 🙂

    1. Hi Marsha! Glad you enjoyed the blog 🙂 Let me see if I can answer some of your questions.

      Frequency: the vast majority of podcasts release episodes either every other week or every week, unless they are a ‘limited series’ with only 5 episodes or 10 episodes. In that case, they sometimes release all episodes at once so people can binge, or they stick with once a week distribution.

      Translating pics into pods: Depending on whether the image is funny or evocative, you can work a reference to the idea behind it into the script. Think of when you tried to describe a funny meme to a friend. It works best when you take the concept and translate it into a spoken joke. Also, images are important when people are reading because it helps break the monotonous flow of text. That’s not quite as necessary when listening because we are usually visually focused on something else. In Drunk Mythology Gals, I do reference images and maps occasionally (and get trolled by my Gals for it), and then we post them on our social media so listeners can reference back to them when they listen.

      Interaction: We actually get a lot of interaction with our fans on social media (which is a great example of how good content can drive building relationships on social media, etc. etc.) We do shout-outs to our new Patreon subscribers, giving them official ‘pantheon’ names, or we will reference something they mentioned on Facebook or Instagram. Over time, we have developed inside jokes that regular listeners instantly get – but that don’t necessarily leave newbies behind. I actually find the interaction much more hopping with the podcast than my blog — but that is probably because I enjoy podcasting more than blogging, LOL!

  3. I’ve just this month started experimenting with audio and video. I’ve got myself convinced that I’m going to record my own audiobooks thanks to a course, so I’ve got the mic, the software, the recording area and so forth. I’ve recorded a couple of different things on the blog, but haven’t yet promoted them other than my normal channels (Twitter/FB).

    As I get further into my new series and start some research into the 75 dozen cop shops in Oklahoma, I’m planning on doing posts (are they really episodes?) on some of that research.

    My only thing right now is figuring out where to host the files. I’ve got to do this on the cheap. SoundCloud has pretty low limits on on their free plan; with just two episodes up, I’m already at 7% of my free storage. My host supposedly offers unlimited storage. YT is an option if I do video.

    BTW, I’m going to make my pitch for transcripts. I’m hard of hearing, and one of the main reasons I /don’t/ listen to podcasts is because of my diffculty processing the spoken stuff, especially with multiple speakers. /Please/ look into producing a transcript for your podcasts. Don’t exclude a significant number of people from your audience.

    1. Hi Bob! There are several options for you out there besides SoundCloud if you are looking for free hosting, at least to get started. They all have some pros/cons, depending on what you want your podcast to accomplish. I definitely will cover that in the business class. Also, as someone who is hearing impaired myself, I definitely agree about transcripts. A number of the major podcast distribution platforms are offering transcription for episodes – unfortunately, at a pretty steep premium for those just starting out. This would actually be a good topic to discuss/make suggestions about TO the podcast distribution platforms about accessibility, and balancing that with a reasonable paid service. Cheers!

  4. My trouble – and this is probably as much a blog problem as a podcast problem – is that I don’t have a niche. I write about what I find interesting, combined with what I can make amusing, which has recently included chickens, socks, Jael, dry mustard, ironing boards, obsolete colour names, detective spinsters, and a Black Death-related Beauty & the Beast conspiracy theory.

    1. Hi Deborah!

      Um, I would totally listen the heck out of a podcast that meandered over those topics! LOL. The trick is to find the umbrella theme/gimmick, for example: “Literally, What in the World” with Deborah Makarios. Just like with defining the key elements of an author brand, we do the same thing with creating a podcast.

      For example, Drunk Mythology Gals is a ‘divinely funny podcast.’ Our other tagline is, ‘Gods behaving badly. Mortals behaving badly. Everybody behaving badly.’ But we have covered everything from the ties between mythology and the science of near-death-experiences, to actual readings of myths from the Eddas, to a countdown of the top ten ancient Greek aphrodisiac foods. And in our Patreon, we did an episode about Jungian psychology because we referenced it in talking about trickster tropes in mythology.

      I’m just saying don’t write off the possibility just because there’s not a ‘single thread’ topic to focus on. 🙂

  5. Thanks, Cait. I’ve printed out your reply and Kristin’s to ponder your thoughts about topics. I could personalize the story theme, maybe. It’s my story in the third person limited. A lot of imagination went into the actual history. There’s also a alternate romantic life created, not the one I lived. A little fantasy on that one. We’ll see if something comes out of the pondering. ? Christine

  6. Kristin, thanks for your reply. Life for a young woman in the 1950s might be a great story/spin. A lot different than today. Shorts and specific scenes might be the way to go. The main character is me, and I lived through that era. Became a Registered Nurse and made up a different life with a doctor. That seems to draw interest when I talk about the story. That and my famous musician grandfather came from Germany with his golden trumpet and secrets. I’ll think about what you wrote. Broaden my marketing strategy. ? Christine

  7. Good morning, ladies! I just wanted to say great post! I’ve toyed with a podcast for the last year after I realized that YouTube was just so not me, and I *think* I have a subject, or several that I can talk about, and use it as an extension of my blog. I’ve sat on the fence about this but after reading this post, I’m excited about doing it. Plus, it’ll give me a chance to use that expensive mic I bought for my YouTube videos.

  8. Very detailed and informative. Might pick up my podcast where I left off. Thank you!

  9. This was great and written in a very talky voice, ironically. I do think though, that it might have been a six part series… I think blog posts are getting shorter and shorter. At least mine are.

    1. I prefer less email. After cleaning 4500 emails out of my InBox, people who’d message me 6 times for what they could put in one only add to the problem. Either they’d drag out the information over weeks instead of a day, or I’d get shotgunned with posts. Those accounted for most of the 4500 emails.

      I do try to keep posts shorter for the general stuff. Blogs have always been as long as people are willing to read, I suppose. I have run into 500 word blogs that made my eyes bleed and didn’t keep my attention and long posts that I am happy to leave open in a browser and read through on breaks.

      To each their own, and thank you so much for the comment.

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