Solo Content vs. Guest Content: Which Approach Is Better?

Table of Contents

Does Solo Podcast Content Trump Guest-Driven Content?
Pros & Cons of Featuring Guests On Your Podcast
Why Solo Podcast Content Will Accelerate Your Brand Growth

In Episode 002 of Solo Podcasting Simplified, I’m breaking down some of the advantages AND disadvantages of featuring guests on your podcast and provide further insight on the benefits of solo podcasting.

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Does Solo Podcast Content Trump Guest-Driven Content?

It’s the great debate. 

Which form of content creation is better: solo-based content that keeps the spotlight firmly secured on you and your expertise or guest-driven content where impactful conversations captivate listeners?

Saying one is BETTER than the other without context is pretty difficult because each approach serves a purpose.

For example, if you’re brand new to your industry/space/niche and want to boost your notoriety, collaborating with like-minded thought leaders in your arena will help you do so at a faster pace.

You also get access to that thought leader’s audience and, hopefully, that additional exposure will put a few more eyes and ears on your initiatives going forward.

On the flip side, if you want to firmly position yourself as a thought leader that people seeking insight on your area of expertise can turn to, keeping the focus solely on yourself with solo podcast content may be the better way to go.

Your podcast may not feature a back-and-forth on a particular subject due to the lack of guests. But you can make up for that by confidently delivering an impactful message for your audience to learn from.

This, in turn, helps you establish a stronger level of trust and connection with every listener that presses the play button.

In Episode 002 of Solo Podcasting Simplified, I’m taking a look at both sides of the equation – what are some of the advantages and disadvantages of solo podcast content, as well as guest-driven content…and when does it make sense to lean into one or the other?

When making the decision to feature guest-driven content versus solo podcast content, it all comes down to how you want to position yourself in your niche.

Pros & Cons of Featuring a Guest On Your Podcast

The decision to welcome guests on to your podcast is all about positioning.

Do you want to position yourself as a great conversationalist who gets a thought leadership “rub” by extracting riveting stories and participating in engaging dialogue with like-minded thought leaders?

Or do you want to create a platform that positions you (and you alone) as the thought leader on a specific subject while, at the same time, strengthening your connection with audience members? 

In an effort to bring clarity to your decision on which content to emphasize, let’s look at some of the pros & cons of featuring guests on your podcast:


✅If you choose the right guest, an impactful conversation can bring credibility to you and your efforts
✅Guests provide an interactive element that takes pressure off you to carry the conversation fully
✅You get access to the guest’s audience when they share your episode with their tribe
✅Guests give you an opportunity to network and create new opportunities when you maximize the experience
✅Your guest may have a podcast of their own and invite you to be a guest
✅They may offer you an opportunity to become an affiliate for their offer, thus helping you monetize your show

Those are some of the positives, but it’s important to look at both sides of the coin. Each of those positives can easily be flipped over:

😳If you choose the wrong guest, a bad conversation can damage your credibility OR lead to content you don’t want to publish
😳If you and your guest don’t “click,” the conversation may fall flat and require you to salvage it
😳The guest may go radio silent and never share their episode with their audience
😳Guest bails as soon as the interview ends and you never speak to them again
😳They have a podcast but they DON’T invite you to join
😳They don’t invite you to be an affiliate or their affiliate does not align with your podcast’s subject matter

None of this is said to be cruel. This is just the reality of the situation. 

In my podcasting tenure, I’ve experienced every point I listed above. In many cases, I took ownership and found ways I could’ve done better to build a stronger relationship.

But in some cases, I could tell the guest had no other intention than to inflate the number of guest appearances they made. They had no ambition to enhance their network or forge a relationship that could lead to new opportunities.

That will happen. And there’s no way to know it’ll happen unless you get an inside tip from a fellow podcaster or you simply proceed and do your best to extract the most value from each opportunity you get.

The only way to guarantee this never happens? Podcast solo 🙂

And now, a quick look at the cons (in addition to the ones I listed a moment ago)…


⛔️Finding the right guest can be time-consuming
⛔️Preparing to conduct an engaging interview can also be time-consuming
⛔️Scheduling may lead to guest appearances getting booked months out due to packed schedules
⛔️Your guest may dominate the conversation and give you little to no chance to interject your insight
⛔️Calls To Action will pull attention from you and point people towards your guest

When you share the stage with a guest, you have to be comfortable with them being the featured thought leader. You brought them on the show because they have knowledge that will impact the audience. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be there.

In my opinion, featuring thought leaders from time to time is a good thing if their message brings value to your listeners.

Featuring a guest just for the sake of featuring them or because some podcast “guru” said you need to does more harm than good and costs you a significant amount of time in your creation and production process.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: The Undeniable Benefits of Solo Podcasting

Why Solo Podcast Content Will Accelerate Your Brand Growth

Solo podcast content gives you flexibility in your creation strategies and allows you to position yourself as a stand-out thought leader in your niche.A podcast built solely on solo content guarantees you won’t lose time looking for the right guest, having lackluster experiences, or having a guest ghost you after their appearance concludes.

Even if you build a podcast built primarily around the host-guest dynamic, interjecting solo content will add new layers of thought leadership and connection to your production that can’t be gained when listeners consume guest-driven content.

To illustrate how solo podcast content will accelerate your brand growth, let’s look at some of the pros of leveraging this approach in your podcast creation strategy:


✳️You’re the lone voice in the room, meaning it’s your insight and wisdom alone that’s impacting your listener
✳️The more consumers listen, the stronger your bond becomes AND the more trust they build in you
✳️All Calls To Action keep listeners inside your ecosystem
✳️Content creation itself is more flexible due to you being the chief thought leader on each episode
✳️You can record solo podcast content on your schedule, not someone else’s
✳️Solo content instantly gives you material to use for social media, websites, blogs, etc.

And I’m not going to hold anything back here. Solo podcasting does have a few disadvantages.


🔴It’s only you on the mic, meaning it’s up to you to keep energy levels high so listeners stay engaged
🔴You need to know your subject matter thoroughly so you can deliver your message with confidence
🔴You can’t read a script or else you’ll sound unnatural and, well, scripted
🔴You lose the chance to tap into a guest’s audience or network with other like-minded professionals

But you can easily flip each of these cons on their head as well. Like so:

🔵The more you record solo, the more confidence you gain in your skills, thus leading to more energy in your delivery
🔵If you’re starting a podcast or creating content of any kind, you’d better know your shit
🔵If you know your shit, you don’t need a script. Bullet points will suffice. Just let the good ideas flow
🔵You can supplement what you’d lose featuring guests on your show by making guest appearances on podcasts related to yours

To conclude, both approaches to creating podcast content serve a purpose.

So before you do anything else, determine what your purpose is. 

Then, decide which form of content best serves your objectives.

If it’s guest-driven, so be it. But don’t disqualify solo podcast content from your efforts altogether.

Even if you use this approach less frequently than featuring guests, the value these episodes will add to your thought leadership are impossible to ignore.

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