Is Guest Podcasting the New Guest Blogging?


Andy Cabasso

April 22nd

Why and How to Be A Podcast Guest

This post is all about landing guest spots on podcasts, and how “guest podcasting” may or may not be the new “guest blogging.”

I was inspired to write this article because of Corey Haines, who recently Tweeted:

Over the past year, I have been doing a lot of guest podcast appearances to promote my business.

Dozens of ‘em, most likely.

I tried my best to keep a record of all of them early on, but I eventually lost count.

Mixergy with Andy Cabasso
Andy Cabasso on LMScast talking about building a virtual summit
andy cabasso content champion podcast
startups for the rest of us logo
digital agency growth podcast with andy cabasso talking about building an agency
Andy Cabasso on Agency Ahead podcast
andy cabasso on marketing stack podcast
andy cabasso on a podcast talking about scalable link generation - agency highway
andy cabasso parakeeto podcast talking about agency growth
Marketing Profs podcast

 

Since I built a tool that helps with doing podcast guest outreach to find and pitch podcasters, it’s been important to me to ensure that the software works well and can land people guest spots.

podcast guest outreach

I like being a podcast guest for a few reasons. But mainly:

Being a podcast guest is an easy way to build links to my website, and also get in front of a new audience of potential customers.

But, I wouldn’t say that guest podcasting can easily replace guest blogging.

There are some pros and cons of being a podcast guest vs. guest blogging, and I want to break them down.

Benefits of Guest Podcasting Vs. Guest Blogging

The biggest wins for me about guest podcasting are that, for about an hour of my time spent recording the podcast episode, I get:

  • A backlink to my website from the podcast’s website
  • A warm introduction to an audience of people interested in what I have to say
  • Social proof
  • Quality content asset you can use

I want to talk about each of these, but also some other benefits of being a podcast guest compared to guest blogging.

1. Backlinks. Backlinks. Backlinks.

First – the backlink.

Nearly every time you appear as a guest on a podcast, they will link to your website in the show notes.

backlink from a podcast guest appearance

That’s a free backlink.

And quality backlinks from relevant websites can help your website rank better in search results.

While you will get backlinks from guest blog posts, guest podcasting can be less time-intensive to obtain. Like I mentioned before, for one hour of my time in appearing on the podcast, I get a backlink.

2. Warm Introduction to a Captive Audience of Potential Customers

With a podcast, you have a very captive audience listening to and interested in what you are saying.

With a guest blog post, you might have no idea if anyone’s actually reading what you are writing.

But with a guest spot on a podcast, that podcaster’s regular listeners tend to pay attention.

Also, the podcaster will often share your podcast episode on their email newsletter to their subscribers, and share with their social followers.

Usually, right after a podcast episode comes out that I have guested on, I soon after see a bump in visitors to my website and follows / connection requests on social media.

On many occasions, I have had conversations or demos with customers who said they first heard about me from a particular podcast episode.

3. Two Forms of Social Proof

Appearing as a podcast guest comes with some built-in social proof. 

There is, I feel, an increase in trust that this audience implicitly has for you, just for being a guest.

I see it this way:

If I am a regular listener of a particular podcast, chances are, I trust the host’s guest selection. 

I am going to trust what the guest has to say, with a little less skepticism than I normally would if I was hearing or reading something the guest wrote elsewhere.

Besides the social proof for the audience of you being a guest, there’s another aspect of social proof worth mentioning…

You can use podcast guest spots as social proof on your own website.

If you have a brag bar / “As Featured On” section on your website, you can throw that podcast’s logo onto your site to show off how important you are.

Sure, you could also do this with guest blog posts as well. That’s not just exclusive to guest posting.

4. Quality Content Asset You Can Use

When you appear on a podcast, at the end, you will have audio (and sometimes video) that you can repurpose.

LinkedIn podcast clip with Andy Cabasso on It's Simply Digital podcast episode

Podcasters spend a lot of time putting their episodes together – researching their guests, hosting the episode, editing and doing post-production, and then publishing the content – and the final output is awesome.

It’s also content you might be able to use to promote your brand or business in the future.

Podcasters also often share episode clips on social media, that you can continually share and reshare.

5. Being a Podcast Guest is Usually Free

I have pitched a lot of podcast guest spots and guest blog posts.

Many of the guest blog pitches get a response of “We’d love to have your guest post. That will be $X.”

It’s not every website necessarily. But it’s a lot of them.

Lots of people writing guest posts are doing so just to get a backlink to their website from an authoritative website.

And blog publishers know this.

So, if they’re going to share their sweet sweet link juice with your website, they’re going to make some money off of it (or at least cover their costs).

But, from all the guest podcast pitches I have done, I think only a handful have suggested that I could be a guest if I paid them a “sponsorship fee”.

6. Less Competition to Get Featured

Let’s mark the day, in case in the future things end up changing.

I am writing this article on April 21, 2021.

As of today, it seems like there are not as many guest podcasters competing for podcast episode guest spots as there are guest bloggers competing for guest blog spots.

(When I start hearing from podcasters that they are getting as many podcast guest pitches as they are guest blog pitches, I will retract this statement.)

I can’t confirm this, but it’s a hunch I have.

I think this is for a few reasons, but mainly the barriers to entry compared to guest blogging. 

For another thing, guest podcasting is newer. Though podcasts have been around for a long time, guest podcasting has not been around as long or as popular as guest blogging. So, it has yet to become oversaturated.

7. Not a Lot of Effort Required

While doing outreach to different podcasts to pitch yourself as a guest can take some time, the podcast recording itself does not require a lot of work of you as a guest.

I’m not saying that it’s just like – Show Up. Hit record. Talk for an hour. Done.

But, I don’t think it requires the same amount of effort as writing a 2000 word blog post.

Ideally, on the podcast you are going to be talking about some topic within your area of expertise – something you could talk extemporaneously about for hours if need be.

When you are a guest on a podcast, you should only be talking about the kind of stuff you can passionately speak to. You know, the kind of material that might bore your friends and family.

(Even so, one tip that just came to mind – if you are on a podcast talking about a particular topic for the first time – I might recommend having a bulleted outline of the talking points you want to cover, so you can stay focused on the subject matter.)

8. Builds Your Network

Podcasters interview a lot of people from different backgrounds and companies.

In my experience, I will often find that podcasters are eager to introduce me to other people they think I might be able to work with.

This has lead to a lot of great partnership opportunities for my business, that might not have otherwise happened.

It’s also helped me get in touch with business owners that I had previously reached out to but hadn’t heard back from. That warm introduction from the podcast host has gone a long way.

Speaking of…

9. Guest Appearances Can Easily Snowball

I know a lot of podcasters who appear on other people’s podcasts to promote their own podcasts.

After one of my earliest podcast apperances (shout-out to Marcel from Parakeeto and the Agency Profit Podcast), the host was so incredibly courteous and offered to introduce me to some other podcasts they thought I might be a good guest on.

So, that one apperance got me two to three more guest spots.

And from that experience, I started making it a habit to say to the hosts after we finish recording, “I am looking to build my brand by being a guest on podcasts. Is there anyone you might know whose podcast you think I would be a good fit for?”

So, after doing a few podcast interviews, I have been able to easily land more podcast guest spots.

Drawbacks of guest podcasting over guest blogging

Though that all sounds great, there are some big drawbacks to guest podcasting compared to guest blogging.

1. You Can’t Outsource It, and it’s Not Scalable

The biggest challenge of guest podcasting is that it’s not something you can completely outsource.

With guest blogging, you could assemble a team of writers churning out fresh content for guest blogs to help you build links.

And, you could scale that up easily.

With the right processes in place, you could add more team members writing more guest articles, and doing outreach to get new guest posting opportunities.

You could have a process that has you removed from it entirely.

You could go on vacation while your team publishes articles and earns your website more backlinks.

But, you can’t exactly do that with guest podcasting.

With guest podcasting, you are the bottleneck.

For guest podcasting pitches, podcasters are going to want to interview the business owner, founder, or some other high-level team member.

The pitches are geared towards having you or another specific team member be the podcast guest.

You can only do some many guest podcast appearances as your schedule allows for.

You can only record a podcast when you, the speaker, are available. And you can’t clone yourself. (At least… I don’t think you can clone yourself. I don’t know who you are reading this. Maybe you can clone yourself. If you can clone yourself, please let me know. I have questions.).

Aside from being a podcast guest, you are probably busy running a business.

Time is money.

So, you end up having to be more selective about which interviews you do.

2. Guest Podcasting Is Not For Everyone

Like mentioned above – you can outsource guest blogging, but you can’t outsource guest podcasting.

And, being on a podcast may not be your idea of a good time.

Podcasts episodes require guests to be able to speak eloquently to an audience on a particular topic. 

That’s not something everyone can do, or even want to do.

I know because, at first, I was terrified of guest podcasting.

I was afraid I would say something stupid on the podcast and it would be on the Internet forever.

Years ago, I turned down several podcast appearances because for me, the fear outweighed any benefit I thought I would get from the exposure.

So, I completely understand that you might just not be excited about going on podcasts.

3. Podcast Guesting Requires Some Investment

To be a good podcast guest, you will need some basic equipment like a decent microphone (usually $50-$150), reliable, fast internet connection, quiet space to record, and (often) a decent visual backdrop.

How to Become A Podcast Guest

So, if guest podcasting sounds like something you want to do, the question you might have is, “How can I become a podcast guest?”

I have another in-depth article on how to become a podcast guest here.

Here are the basic steps though:

  1. Find relevant podcasts to your area of expertise
  2. Find contact info for the podcast host / producer
  3. Create a personalized pitch for the podcaster
  4. Send the pitch, and follow-up!

How to Find Relevant Podcasts to Be a Guest On

There are a bunch of different tools out there that can help you find relevant podcasts.

The first one though, is Google.

Google search results for marketing podcasts, displaying different podcasts related to the keyword marketing, as part of guest pitching outreach for podcasts

You can search for podcasts in your target industry and make a list of the ones you want to connect with.

Besides Google, there some other good tools for finding podcasts.

Listen Notes is a search engine specifically for finding podcasts.

Listen Notes podcast search engine for finding podcasts to be a guest on

PodSearch is another podcast search engine.

PodSearch is a podcast search engine platform, good for finding relevant podcasts to pitch to be a guest

Another tool, SparkToro, is a business intelligence tool that also helps find relevant podcasts in a particular industry.

SparkToro podcast search feature to find podcasts related to a particular search term, useful for people who want to do guest podcasting and be podcast guests

Lastly, one tool for research as well as finding contacts and sending outreach emails, is Postaga.

podcast searching in Postaga

After you know the podcasts you want to be a guest on, next up, you need to find their email addresses.

How to Find Podcasters’ Email Addresses

There are a few ways to get in touch with podcasters. Email tends to be the easiest, and finding their email addresses is generally not that hard provided you have the right tools at your disposal.

Aside from all-in-one outreach tools like Postaga, there are many standalone tools that specifically help you to get contacts’ email addresses.These include:

  • Hunter.io
  • AeroLeads
  • Apollo.io
  • Snov.io
  • VoilaNorbert

And these tools all work similarly. You enter a domain (or list of domains), and they spit out email addresses.

you can find peoples' contact information, name, and email addresses using a tool like Hunter.io

One thing to note though:

Some of these email-finding tools will not automatically verify the email addresses with 100% confidence.

So, you might want to use a third-party tool to verify the email address.

What’s the difference between email finding and email verifying?

Though an app might give you an email address, there is no guarantee that that email address still works and will reach a recipient.

If you send too many emails that bounce or get rejected because there is no one at that email address – that can drop your overall deliverability and make it more likely your emails end up in your recipients’ spam folders.

So, there are verification tools like:

  • ZeroBounce
  • Mailfloss
  • EmailListVerify
  • NeverBounce
  • MailerCheck
  • ClearOut

Once you have your list of contacts’ email addresses, you can enter them into one of these apps, which will help you clean up your contact lists to only have verified addresses.

What Should You Say in a Podcast Guest Pitch

I have sent a lot of podcast pitches, refined them, and have a pretty good formula now.

I am going to break every aspect of my pitch email down. So, here it goes…

First, here is a pitch I have used with a lot of success. Then, I am going to break down why it works:

Subject: Podcast Guest?

Hey James,

Your podcast was recommended to me so I have a few episodes of Awesome Marketing Podcast queued up – I’m excited!

Are you open to a guest slot / interview on your podcast in the next month or so?

If so, I’d love to come on and do an episode. I have a few ideas for topics relevant to your audience, including:

  • Getting #1 on Product Hunt to launch your SaaS
  • Building and launching a bootstrapped startup
  • Building a business you can sell
  • Customer service that “wows” – how exceptional service can help your business stand out in a crowded space

Here’s a real quick overview of why it’d be a great fit for your audience / podcast:

  • I launched my bootstrapped SaaS on Product Hunt, and took #1 for the day and #2 for the week, which got us thousands of visitors and hundreds of users in a week
  • Prior to my current startup, I started, scaled, and then sold a digital agency in 3 years
  • Having amazing customer service has helped our SaaS business stand out amongst our competitors (and it’s not that hard to execute on)

Let me know what you think.

Happy to answer any questions you may have and look forward to meeting you!

Here to help,

Andy

Here’s why it works:

  • Subject Line: “Podcast Guest?”

This subject line is pretty straightforward, but it also creates some curiosity, and gets a solid open rate.

  • Greeting: “Hey {insert first name},”

Personalize your pitch as much as you can. An introduction like, “Hey there” shows that you have no idea who you are reaching out to, and are most likely mass emailing a lot of people. Spending the time to know the contact’s name, as well as their podcast name, will make it much more likely you get a reply.

  • First sentence: “Your podcast was recommended to me so I have a few episodes of [insert podcast name] queued up – I’m excited!”

I want to suggest that I know what this podcast is all about, so mentioning it by name is important. Also, I feel like I need to come up with a reason that I am reaching out, so saying that the podcast was recommended to me sounds better than “I did research and found your podcast” – because that just sounds kinda generic.

  • “Are you open to a guest slot / interview on your podcast in the next month or so?

    If so, I’d love to come on and do an episode. I have a few ideas for topics relevant to your audience, including:”

This section has a straightforward ask – are you looking for guests? If so, great, I have some ideas.

  • “[Insert list of relevant podcast topics]”

When I am pitching podcasters, I want to pitch them topics relevant to their audience. This is super-important. Don’t pitch the same list of topics you might be qualified to speak on to every single podcast.

By me giving them episode ideas, I’m putting the work in. All they have to do is say “Yes, that sounds great. Let’s book something!”

  • “Here’s a real quick overview of why it’d be a great fit for your audience / podcast: [insert reasons]”

Next up, I want to explain why I am qualified to speak about these topics.

Anyone can pitch a podcast with topic ideas. But, showing off your expertise in the subject matter, that you know what you are talking about, better ensures your pitch gets accepted.

Now… we’re not done yet.

You will need follow-up emails.

Podcasters get lots of emails. Following up increases the likelihood you get your pitch accepted.

I like to keep it relatively simple for the follow-ups, since I already have a previous email that has my main pitch.

Here are two follow-up samples:

Subject: Re: Podcast Guest?

Hey James,

Just wanted to follow up and see if you are looking for new podcast guests.

If you would be able to feature me as a guest, I would be happy to promote your podcast to my audience as well!

Thanks,

Andy

Subject: Re: Podcast Guest?

Hello James,

I hadn’t heard back from you after my last email and wanted to see what your thoughts are.

Let me know what you think!

Thanks,

As you can see, pretty simple stuff.

My follow-up emails replying to my first message will show up with the original email nested below, so if the contact wants a refresher on why I was reaching out, they can see the email thread.

Sending Your Pitch and Following Up

You can do all of this outreach manually. And, it will take some time.

Sending personalized, individual outreach emails via your Gmail or Outlook can take a lot of time.

Software tools can be your friend here and streamline or automate some of the time-consuming aspects (e.g. researching, finding and validating emails, and building and sending email sequences to many contacts).

We covered some of the tools, including research, email finding, etc.

There are also dedicated email sending tools. Tools like:

  • Reply.io
  • Yesware
  • GMass
  • Mailshake

And, of course, there are all-in-one tools (like Postaga) that help with all aspects of doing podcast outreach.

No matter what though – if you are looking to be a guest on podcasts – using tools for research, email-finding/validating, and sending will save you a ton of hours compared to doing it manually. The software quickly pays for itself.

Conclusion

So, what’s the answer when it comes to guest podcasting vs. guest blogging?

I would recommend making guest podcasting a part of your marketing strategy if you can.

It can get you some quality backlinks, help you get in front of potential users or customers, and it can help you really build your business.

But, since it’s not super-scalable, I would not make it my sole link building strategy if I was doing guest podcasting to build links

It can work nicely in tandem with guest blogging.

And, some of the tactics you might use for doing outreach to find new guest blogging opportunities are going to be similar to the ones you are doing for guest podcasting.

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