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Podcasts vs Audiobooks – Stop Listening to Podcasts

Today’s post will be a short one while I share some thoughts on the difference between listening to Audiobooks or Podcasts and which one is best for me. Plus I share my plans moving forward on why I will be listening to fewer podcasts and upgrading my account at Audible (links to Audible are affiliate links).


But first a quick car story…

I unfortunately recently had to buy a new vehicle after my “EntrepreneurMobile” as Ian from the TropicalMBA likes to call them (fully depreciated vehicles people choose to drive to allow them to reinvest more money into their business).


2005 Ford Taurus with 250k on it (no AC , rusted wheel well and dented door)


How does this relate to this post?…

When I was shopping for a new vehicle(spending as little time as possible doing so) the massive number of features for audio systems was crazy… (CD, Satellite, Radio, Sync, USB, DVD and the different types of speakers) for me all I need in my car is the ability to listen to whatever podcast or audiobook is on my phone.


AudioBooks vs Podcasts

The combination of having to get a new vehicle and also Spencer Haws posts about the downside to publishing podcasts (here and here) had me thinking about my own listening habits.

Thinking about this question I started asking myself with the hundreds (maybe thousands = 10 per week for 3 years = 1560 podcasts) how many podcasts really improved my business?

Little “real” Impact of Podcasts on my Business:

  • When was the last time a podcast changed the direction of my business for the better? I can only think of a couple that really impacted the direction of my business 2/1560!
  • When did I learn something in a podcast that helped my business?  Lots of times great information is shared but unless I am in a position to put it into practise right away I won’t retain the knowledge.

The “soft” Benefit of Podcasts:

  • Mind Set – Listening to people talking business via podcasts has been a great way for me to continue to hear people talk with an entrepreneurial mindset vs my “real world” environment with limited entrepreneurial talk. This was huge at the start but now that I participate in a MasterMind and other Skype discussions it is not as important.
  • Motivation – Many times listening to people having success building their online business gives me a motivational kick.

Podscasts can’t compete to AudioBooks I have listened to where I have made substantial directional changes in my business based on something I learned. Podcasts just don’t measure up in terms of hrs spent listening and improvements in my business.

For any geeks out there…

($$ associated with business improvements due to podcasts)/(hrs of listening to podcasts) < ($$ associated with business improvements due to audiobooks)/(hrs of listening to audiobooks)

I can credit several audiobooks with significant mind shifts (another post on this later) that definitely significantly improved my business.

Based on this little evaluation my listening plan going forward is to…

  • Increase my Audible subscription (currently one free audiobook)
  • Cut down the number of podcasts I listen to (limit to 3/week)
  • Only listen to them for their best purpose (motivational kick & mindset)
  • Listen to more audiobooks (business, biographies and history) (2+/month)



What about you…do you listen to too many podcasts? 

About the Author Jon

I am a 33 year old husband, father of 3, engineer and a huge fan of developing systems to build useful and profitable websites. The reason I build online businesses is to provide financial independence for my family and yours AND so I can spend time outside skiing and biking with my family.
Jon Gillham, Online Entrepreneur

Leave a Comment:

Tao says May 20, 2014

Umm – yes 🙂
I do listen to way too many Podcasts and you are probably right that the mindset and motivation I get from listening to them is more beneficial than any steps or action points I might take away.

To be honest, I am not a great action-taker, but “being involved” with the whole IM scene is very interesting, even if I don’t ever increase my output myself.

I do have an Audible account already, so I will look for some books there to listen to. The length always puts me off though 🙂

Alistair Cochrane says May 20, 2014

Hey Jon

I’ve got to agree. I can chart the big changes in my entrepreneur journey over the last 8 years by looking at my Audible history. It can be hit and miss too though. Not every business book is going to help your business and if you are not careful some could hinder it.

There are great nuggets to be found in podcasts too and you can get content very specific to what what you’re working on whereas Audible books tend to be broader topics.

I don’t know why audioblogs are not more popular. Everyone seems to want to creat long shows where just an audio form of a blog could help people consume it on the go.

When I get round to finally working on my own blog I think I’ll go the short form audioblog route. Right now I just need to build up my niche portfolio because I don’t want to teach until I’ve mastered everything myself 🙂

Last thing though… the most important life lessons are found in the fiction books. And they can help your business too 🙂

    Jon says May 25, 2014

    Hi Alistair

    Thank you for your post.

    I would agree that audiobooks is a good idea, it will allow people to take information in a different forms. We know that everyone doesn’t learn the same way and reading might not be the best way. Audio books gives that option and if you can apply diversity in the mean communicating informations, then your one step ahead of others.



Oscar says May 20, 2014

Hi Jon

I agree with…. ” unless I am in a position to put it into practise right away I won’t retain the knowledge”

Maybe the trick would be to develop some way to send the show notes (when available) as a reminder when the podcast is of value to your business.

Cool blog you have!

    Jon says May 25, 2014

    Hi Oscar

    I like the idea, I will have to run with it someday. Thanks for the post.



Josh Escusa says May 20, 2014

Thanks for the book recommendation. I’m very tempted to scrap my plans for the day and give it a listen, haha 🙂 I’ll save it for tonight.
I think podcast can come at different stages for marketers like us. When someone is just starting out and they want something to get their mind moving, podcasts are a great way to go.
When it’s time to get to work and get stuff done, podcast can actually serve as the opposite. They can make a person question their direction and they can cause enough confusion to keep them from taking action, which is really not good.

    Jon says May 25, 2014

    Hi Josh

    It’s defiantly variety that helps the brain stay sharp. Thanks for the post.



scott masse says May 20, 2014

I only like podcasts or videos when I need to figure out how to do complex things. For motivation and ideas, I prefer to read the posts of guys like you and a few other IM guys I trust.

For me, after all the charlatans and bogus promoters, I limit my reading to just a handful of sources and try to focus on ideas that I know have worked for the people I follow.

Just in the last few months I have gotten my core niche site focus from:

Spencer/Perrin—Niche site development
You-PBN Building & Outsourcing
Doug Cunnington- Blog Commenting & Web 2.0’s

If I go much outside the circle, my head starts spinning and I don’t take action.

Now I am 100% focused on kicking ass on my first legit Niche Site—–BTW when can I get my PBN built?

Help a brother out, John!!!!

    Jon says May 25, 2014

    Hi Scott

    Thanks for all the information. I’m glad things are working for you.



Jeremy says May 20, 2014


Alan Reeves says May 20, 2014

I agree about the difference a good audiobook can make in your life. I’ve been through hundreds. The problem is all that great information can be lost. I’ve been listening while I traveled for years. Topics from language learning to history, business, motivation, etc. Great information, if you can remember it all.

But, if you are listening while you are doing much of anything else (like driving…), making notes is difficult if not impossible. The main ideas get remembered but unless you write down your thoughts, the information from most of the finer points get forgotten. Most times, those finer points are the ones that stand out in my mind looking back at my notes.

I enjoy the overall theme of audiobooks as opposed to podcasts. An audiobook can last for hours and hours, all around the same theme. During that same time, you could jump all over the place with podcasts.

    Jon says May 25, 2014

    Hi Alan

    Thanks for the post and I absolutely agree. It will defiantly take maybe a couple more time so that all the information is processed.



Tim M. says May 27, 2014

This is interesting to consider. I enjoy audiobooks too and they generally have a lot more usable advice than any podcast I’ve listened to. However, rather than jumping into yet another monthly expense, I’d recommend checking out your local library. My library back home has a surprisingly deep collection. This can save you money and put your tax dollars to good use.

    Jon says May 27, 2014

    Hi Tim

    Thanks for the pointer. I will keep that in mind.



Joe says May 31, 2014

Sow which 3 podcasts do you listen to?

Alan says June 1, 2014

I like the shorter length podcasts because they are perfect for listening to during my daily commute. My commute is approximately 45 minutes, so listening to an interesting podcast in which I am learning something about internet marketing makes the bumper-to-bumper traffic easier to tolerate and the commute goes by so much faster.

    Jon says June 4, 2014

    They’re are all about convenience.

    Learning during other activities is convenient for our busy lives.

    All the best with the Podcasts

Martin says June 14, 2014

Generally speaking (though there are many exceptions), audiobooks are of better substance and quality. They’re often the culmination of years of work of study/research by the author. Many audiobooks have literally changed my life. But, like anything, there are many duds and I’ve had to request refunds on some from Audible for some really poor work. Overall, though, I fall on the side of Audiobooks.

    Jon says June 15, 2014

    They’re definitely useful if you have the time for them. It comes down to the time management and the way you take in information. everybody is different

Martin says June 19, 2014

Jon…dumb question here: How do I get my picture to show up next tp my name when I make a comment on your blog?

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