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When you consider producing a podcast there are many considerations, but most podcasters don't consider that there are many different types or styles of podcasts they can choose from. This will become the format of your show.
I wanted to take a moment to examine the 3 types of podcasts you should consider producing.
The Interview Show
This is one of the most popular formats. Why? In some ways, this is the easiest type of show to do.
Yes, there is still a lot of work involved, but you are drawing on the content of another person each week, so you're opening your show up to a lot of different stories, expertise, advice, and input.
If you've ever struggled to come up with a show to produce, it can be quite appealing to simply line up guests and do interviews.
It may be the easiest style to do, but that doesn't make it easy. This style of
For your interview show to be a success, you will have to expend some time on research so you are prepared. You also need to have good interviewing skills, and that can take time to develop.
Advantages of an Interview Podcast
Open Up to a New Audience
When you invite any guest on your show, it is likely their fans will come and check out your podcast. This means new people will be listening to your show. It is a major benefit for you.
Be sure to consider the listeners of your guest when you book the show. Make sure that you create an amazing experience for them. People will share something if they had a great time listening to it. That's what you are striving for.
If you are short-sighted and look at them as a way to get more people to your podcast, people will smell that from a mile away. It is not a good smell to them either! Treat these new listeners with the respect they deserve.
Listeners also notice when you've done something special just for them. It makes them feel important when they realize you've made an effort to make them comfortable listening to your show. They are going to tell friends and family to listen in as well. They will rave about you and your show as a result of the attention you gave to making them comfortable.
Any guest you invite on your show is going to provide a new kind of expertise and experience. This means that if you bring on a new person every week, you get new expertise and experience each week.
This provides a variety for your audience. Even the biggest fan runs the risk of getting bored with the same old content and the same voice week after week. You avoid this with interview guests.
Interview Conducted From Home
There are many different ways to record an interview remotely. You can do this from the comfort of your own home and that's a huge advantage.
Each of them gives you the ability to record your audio on your own side of the call so that you avoid the internet sound glitches that often occur with software like Zoom or Skype. You get individual tracks for yourself and each guest, which makes post-production so much easier.
At Yogi's Podcast Network, we've tried all 3 services and continue to use SquadCast because it is so solid. The support is extremely responsive. They even monitor their Facebook group regularly and give updates on new developments.
You can also record remote interviews with Skype or Zoom. Both solutions work and many podcasters swear by them, but I've found too many small issues with both for me to trust them with something as important as an interview. I value my guest's time and don't want a technology glitch to make the interview unusable.
Doing interviews remotely means you can be more flexible with your recording times. This opens up your show to international guests.
Disadvantages of an Interview Podcast
Difficulty Booking Guests
When you first start your show, it can be hard to book guests when they've never heard of your show or you have no proven reputation. You ask and they agree to an interview, but they never seem to be able to select a date and time for that interview. It can be a very frustrating experience.
It appears to my experience that when you get your first guest, subsequent guests get easier and easier to land. I suggest booking guests far in advance. You will have enough lined up to keep the show going when you approach it this way.
Other People's Schedule
One of the most difficult things is finding a time that suits your guest, especially someone who is very busy. This is why you need to plan far in advance. You need the flexibility to work out their schedule and your own.
In most cases, you cannot simply ask someone to come on this coming Friday. They won't have that availability most of the time.
With Elite Podcast Academy, I always have 5 or 6 interviews lined up in advance. I have a lot of solo content prepared as well since the show is a hybrid of an interview show and a solo show.
When you are new to podcasting and you want people to come on your show for free, you have to work with their schedule. You have no other real choice.
This is another difficult time suck. When I think I might be interested in interviewing someone, I take time to research a bit about them right up front, even before I ask them for an interview. I don't do an entire deep dive, but I get to know them.
I find guests are more responsive and open when you come to them with some knowledge about who they are and what they do. This can take a lot of time.
Once the guest agrees to an interview, you need to spend more time digging into the details about them. This further research takes even more of your time.
Always set a time limit for your research so you don't find yourself going down a rabbit hole. Schedule a few hours and you are more likely to apply yourself and be productive, getting the job done.
Your Fate is in the Guest's Hands
While conducting an interview, you have control over just 50% of the time.
You need to be aware that sometimes you will get someone on a bad day or you will ask a question they don't like or it is even possible they just don't like you. These are things that are out of your control.
You combat this by being completely prepared, in control, and do your best to make the interview as enjoyable as possible.
Be to take the time to build a rapport before jumping into the questions. This is going to help you out a great deal. You get to gauge your guest's state of mind and go from there.
I always try to conduct a pre-interview session, but if that's not possible, be sure
Following this advice enables you to warm up your guest and it gives them the opportunity to see you're a nice person.
The Solo Podcast
This is a very common format and is often used by those who have an expertise they want to share with an audience.
When it comes to this format, it is just you, a microphone and your listening audience.
Advantages of a Solo Podcast
No Need to Worry About Anyone Else
When you do a solo show, you eliminate the issues we discussed with finding guests. The only schedule you have to accommodate is your own. You don't have to worry about your co-host losing interest at some point. This is all about you and you alone.
A solo show makes editing so much easier. You don't have to worry about things like cross talk which can be a pain to cut around. Editing just one voice is much easier.
Solo shows tend to stay more on target. They don't go off on tangents that then need to be cleaned up in the editing process. It can be an amazing time saver.
Building Your Personal Brand
Doing a solo show focuses the audience on you and your expertise in
As the host of a solo show, you are speaking to your audience directly. It should feel like it is just you and them. This builds a connection with the audience much faster than if they are listening to you chat with someone else.
When you present your show in this manner, you build a deep connection that helps your fans feel like they know you personally. If they know you and like you, they are more likely to also trust you. trust is the most important aspect if you want them to keep coming back and recommend your show to others.
Disadvantages of a Solo Podcast
Getting Your Energy Up is Difficult
I used to be a personal trainer. The single biggest reason people hired me is not what you'd think. The single biggest reason I was hired was to hold the client accountable for getting their workouts done.
With a solo podcast, you have nobody to bounce off and it can be very hard to harness the conversational energy that is going to keep an audience engaged.
If you are new to podcasting, take time to practice before you go live. You will be able to overcome nervousness by practicing. Be sure to listen back to your episodes to hear how you sound and give some consideration to how much energy you need to sound engaging by the time it gets to your listeners.
Keep practicing until you get the right amount of energy in your voice. Once you've overcome that issue you can start to record real shows and launch your podcast.
Always remember that you are in control of the process. You might take months of practice before you are ready to release an episode. As long as you are comfortable and confident in your delivery, everything will workout just fine!
Practice, practice, practice and you’ll get there.
This is the most common style of podcast. You have 2 or more people sitting around talking.
This is the format of The Nightly Rant and it is a great show because I do it with my wife and we have some amazing chemistry.
Over time, each person has a role within the show. Someone may mostly take the role of setting up topics and listing off calls to action. The other person might be responsible for bringing extra humor to the conversation. The key consideration is that everyone needs to bring something to the conversation.
Advantages of a Conversational Podcast
Fans Love Them
People love these types of shows. They feel like they are catching up with old friends. They enjoy the banter. My own feeling is they tend to identify with one or more of the hosts. Sometimes, with a solo show, people don't identify at all with the host. This is far less likely in this format.
Other People Provide Content
More people means more ideas. Your co-hosts can provide content ideas. This makes putting out a show so much easier. You likely won't struggle getting shows out in this format as there is always something to talk about.
Disadvantages of Conversational Podcasts
Everyone on the Same Page
The most common issue is a co-host who loses interest after some time. This can be a very difficult situation. You need to factor in different schedules and that can be tough.
A podcast partner is like being married. You have to choose the right person to get involved with.
Difficult to Edit
The more people joining you the harder your podcast will be to edit. You will be more prone to cross talk, tangents, fluff, etc. If you don't have time for a lot of post-production work, this is a serious consideration.
Consider recording less audio. Don't record 3 hours and try to edit it down to 30 minutes.
Pick Your Format
Take a moment to choose the format you plan to use for your podcast. Be aware that I did not mention non-fiction storytelling, fiction storytelling or hybrid shows, but those are acceptable formats as well.
You do not have to stick to just one format. Many of my shows are a hybrid of solo and interview. It just depends upon what I have going on for the episode.
Your format is going to dictate how easy or hard the show is to produce and that is why it deserves some attention in the planning process.