There are several different ways to format your podcast. You can choose one or find a way to mesh several together.
The interview format is one of the most popular styles for podcasts. This style features a host who interviews a new guest about their experience or expertise. The sequence of this particular format goes as follows: guest introduction, the host asks questions to guide the conversation around the topic of the episode to help tell their stories. One of the pros of this format is that your guests do more of the talking and you steer the conversation.
This is the most common podcast format. It is used by a host who has a specific niche that they want to share with their audience. All you need to do is talk into a microphone, which is one of the easiest setups. This is usually a choice for new podcasters because it’s so simple. One thing you have to remember is that you have to plan each episode to a tee so it doesn’t sound like you’re rambling. If you use this format you really should write a script so you can make sure you hit all of your key points. A pro to the monologue format is that you don’t have to rely on anyone’s help, it’s just you and your microphone. A con is that it’s a lot of talking and sometimes speaking solo for 30-45 minutes can be exhausting.
These are my favorite formats. It involves two or more people having a straightforward conversation who vibe well with one another. It’s not like the interview format because all parties involved are the host of the show who fulfills different roles that make the show cohesive. I love this format because it can go exactly as planned or completely off the rails. A pro is that you are only responsible for half of the conversation, you can split up the segments and all other tasks that come with the episode. A con is that you have to choose topics that everyone is familiar with, so planning and collaboration are essential.
The panel podcast format is similar to the interview format, but with more guests. Each episode has one host and a group of guests aka specialists. If done right it sounds like a real conversation between friends. The pros of this style are that each episode is full of interesting opinions and wisdom. The con is the task of bringing a panel together that can be cohesive for your episode.
This format is about real-life events. The true crime podcasts would fall into this format. You can tell a story per episode or span the story across an entire series. Or you can just report what’s happening in the news, for example, the COVID-19 virus and it’s impact globally The pro to this format is that if it’s done right it can be highly addictive for your audience. The con is that you have to know what you are talking about and get all the facts straight.
This is also known as the fictional storytelling podcast format. These are fictional stories told across multiple episodes. It’s kind of like what life before TV used to be like. It involves multiple voice actors, sound effects, and other elements. You can tell one story over multiple episodes or one story per episode. This is usually a great format for creative writers who like to create worlds and stories of their own. The pro to this format is that it is the least common podcast format so it’s little competition. The con is that it is a very specific niche and you have to work to build your audience.
You have to choose which format best suits your podcast and your content. The major thing you have to do is figure out what the tone of your show will be and then pick the format. Also, think about what your audience would like to hear. After you test out a different type of format poll your guest to see what they think. This can increase your engagement and show your audience you care about how they interact with your content.