In the fourth episode of our new Podcraft season, we talk formats and approaches. You’ll need to consider which kind of format you’d like your podcast to be when beginning to plan out your podcast. And you’ll need to work out the approach you’re going to take to get you there.

Let’s run through the different kinds of formats commonly used in the wonderful world of podcasting.

Formats And Approaches

  • Solo

    • The benefit of running a podcast solo is that the logistics are simple. You’re the full owner and you’re not left relying on other people to record or publish your work.
    • The challenge of running a podcast solo is that it can be intimidating recording a podcast on your own. You might feel like you will run out of things to say or sound boring. Preparation and planning fixes this and will mean you can always keep yourself right with what you’d like to cover on a show.
    • We can help with this in our guide to building great podcasting shownotes.
  • Co-Host

    • The benefit of having a co-host on your show is that its much easier to feel like you can fill a podcast. Two voices and set of opinions make it a chat. And chatting comes naturally!
    • The challenge here is that you make the logistics a bit less straight forward. You now have ownership between you and your co-host to think about. And also what sorts of schedule will work between you.
    • You may also worry about recording between yourself and a co-host but there’s plenty of great equipment and methods out there. You can read our guide as we run through the best tools for recording a podcast online with a co-host.
  • Roundtable

    • A roundtable discussion is when you as a host invite in a number of guests to talk about a number of topics.
    • The benefits of hosting one of these is that you get a good selection of different voices and opinions on your show. This means you’re more likely to have views that relates to all of your audience.
    • The obvious challenge here is scheduling. Its tough to get lots of different guests into the one place at the one time.
    • It can also be tricky to manage the discussion, as you have a number of people trying to get their opinions in at one time. It’s an interesting challenge but one that Pilar Orti covered for us in her guide to running a roundtable discussion.
  • Interview

    • The benefit of doing an interview podcast is that you don’t need to be the expert.
    • You can also interviews to booster the audience of your podcast.
    • The downside to doing this is that you risk you never becoming the thought leader in your field, as its your guests who are doing all of the input and knowledge.
    • It can also be tricky to schedule your interviews. However we love using the Book Like A Boss app to help us with this.
  • Magazine

    • These are shows which cover various content across the one show. They might cover a few different niches on the one show, and cover different niches every week.
    • Although more like a radio format, Magazine podcasts can make your show really stand out from the usual formats. Adopting radio ideas and theories can be really useful. And we wrote about some radio to podcasting ideas like networking and syndication to help you think about those.
    • This can backfire however. If audiences are after niche content, they might not stay around for the other things you cover.
    • They also take a lot of time to put together as you may have guests or planning behind several issues on the one show.
  • Fiction

    • There’s a huge demand out there for works of fiction in podcast form. People love stories!
    • If you need any inspiration why not check out our Top 10 Fiction Podcasts.
    • You do need to spend a lot of time making these. Sound is key and you need to mix noise into your stories that you are creating.

Formats

  • Length
    • You will need to think about how long your podcast should be. This may vary on the kind of podcast you want to make but we have made a guide on how long a podcast episode should be that you can use for general information.
  • Frequency
    • You should think about how often you want to put your podcast out. If its a podcast which takes less time to put together then it may be easier to do it weekly. If its a complex fiction podcast, it’ll be less easier!
    • Have a think about how much time you think it will take to put your show together, our guide should help you with what you’ll need to consider.
  • Online v In-Person
    • How will you use your guests on your show. It does sound more natural if you have your guests with you in person. However that’s now always doable. Working out how to book guests can be tricky but if you read our guide you should get some ideas on what’ll work best for you.

There are plenty of formats and approaches out there, and perhaps you may come up with a completely new one! There’s no one right way to do podcasting.
If you’re still stuck on which format is best for your idea, you can get tailored advice from us in our Academy.

If you’re thinking of creating a complex podcast but aren’t sure about the editing involved, we can also help you to produce your podcast to a high quality.