Choosing a podcast format
If you are planning to start your own podcast before thinking about the name, or even the topic, you have to decide the on your format.
There are several popular podcast formats that you may have heard of and learning about these different options can help you decide the best one to choose for your show.
Why should you choose a podcast format?
If you have listened to a podcast, you will notice that the successful shows have consistency in their frequency of publication, topics, and format.
This is because remaining consistent with your content is crucial to growing an audience for your listener’s experience.
They have to know what to expect from your show. Knowing when your podcast is published, the genre of the show and how you are providing them the experience is important.
Another bonus for consistency and choosing a format is the ease of how they can describe your show to other potential listeners. They’ll know the who, what and when which will help get the word out faster!
To help you select the right format for your show, we’ve listed a few types below.
- The best podcast equipment to use for newbies and pros.
- Find out how to choose the right podcast topic.
An interview-based podcast is a common format that many podcasts use because of ease. It is pretty straight forward, it involves an interviewer ( which is the host) and the interviewee.
Depending on your topic, you can choose anyone that you want who will be able to give you the right information for your chosen genre.
Your interview questions can be pre-formatted and you can ask similar questions for each guest, or you can do more research and ask questions that specifically pertain to each interviewee.
An interview-based format is relatively simple when it comes to editing, compared to group and multi-host shows where you have to deal with different people talking all at once.
Your equipment can also be basic, two different sets of microphones if you are doing a live interview. However, if you decide to do an interview online, make sure that you have the right recorder on your end and to ask your interviewees to have their own set of headphones or mics to make the audio quality good.
Out of all the formats, I would say that the solo format is the easiest. It can be a great format to start with if you have not done a podcast because of simplicity and ease. You can use it as practice to be more comfortable speaking to a mic however, It can be a challenge to keep the flow of conversation going when you are on your own.
If you decide to do a solo podcast format, you do not have to look for guests but you do have to make sure you are providing entertaining topics for each episode that will interest your listeners. This is the format where you may need to do more research.
Another podcast format is the multi-host or panel discussions. It will involve multi speakers and you talk about a particular topic conversationally or in a group discussion.
This format will involve a lot of guidance. An issue that you may encounter is when you have too many speakers and it becomes a jargon of noise.
You have to remember that your medium is in audio, so your listener’s experience has to be clear and entertaining. The worst thing you can do is to have a bunch of people talking at once and your audience not being able to understand your show.
Because there are multi-speakers it can become time-consuming to edit the show and you will most likely need a podcast mixer as well as extra mics for your guests.
Once you have organized the speakers well, it can be a fun format that will be entertaining to your listeners.
There has been a lot of excitement with podcasts that tell a story. This format is unique since the podcasters are given the opportunity to not only write a story but are also given the chance to act out the scenes. It becomes an audio theater that can be really enjoyable for your listeners.
Alternatively, you can also choose to do a series on a particular book or a show you can discuss and do your own personal take on the story.
You may need a lot of sound effects, music and of course dramatics to create a scene for your audience. Doing a great storytelling podcast will require the use of good recorders and editing software.
This is a great format to choose since there are not a lot of storytelling podcasts yet and can become addicting to audiences.
However, it is time-consuming and not a common genre that listeners will go to.
Which format should you choose?
Unfortunately and fortunately you are the only one who can decide that. Listen to a few podcasts that have different formats and see what you gravitate to, then ask yourself: Which one is realistic for my schedule and genre? Which one would be the most fun and entertaining to create?
You can experiment and try several formats to see what is most interesting for you. You should not only create a podcast for an audience but also for your self. Always remember, have fun while you are creating!
Still confused with choosing your podcast topic? Sign up for my Podcast Mentorship Program and I will guide you step by step to create your show!
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