Choosing between the different types of podcasts can seem like a daunting task, but we are here to help!
First, we will go over the two different types of podcast families you can choose from.
Then we will go over the two different hosting formats that you can pick. We will also talk about if guests have a role to play on your podcast and how.
Finally, we will cover the exact method you want to use to get your subject across.
Ready… set… read! 🚀
Podcast Families 👨👩👧👦
There are two main podcast families that exist.
Replay podcasts and native podcasts. But what’s the difference?
Replay podcasts are reruns of shows that already exist.
This format is used a lot by radio stations, because it’s super convenient for them to rebroadcast their original shows, but in the style of a podcast. 📻
Native podcasts are podcasts that anyone creates from scratch. ✏️
This can be done regardless of your experience or budget. If there’s a will, there’s a way!
These shows aren’t meant to be broadcast on the radio, but rather on the listening platforms that most podcast audiences use today. 📱 For example: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Deezer, and Spotify.
So which should you choose? 🧐
Well, it may seem obvious but most new podcasters mostly opt for native podcasts.
This way they can use their fresh ideas to create original content for others to enjoy! 💡
BUT, if you already have a radio show of some kind, then obviously the replay podcast might be the better option for you!
Hosting Format 🏡
There are two different podcast hosting formats we are going to go over:
- Solo host podcast
- Co-host podcast
Solo-host podcast 👤
First things first, there’s the solo podcast.
This type of podcast has only one person as the host, and they develop the subject for their audience.
It may sound like the most simple option, but it’s not!
When you’re the only one hosting, you have to do extensive research on the subjects of your episodes. 🔍
Then you probably want to write a script on that subject to make sure that you don’t forget anything important. You might not want to read the script word for word, start to finish, but it will keep you on track and focused! If you want, you can use one of our free podcast script templates.📝
If you’re able to master the solo-host podcast, it is really impressive, because it can be scary and a major challenge to be able to captivate the audience when you’re alone behind the mic. 🎙️
There are benefits of being the only host though. Solo-hosting can be great for video podcasting. A simple recording setup of just you and the camera can easily look professional and spot-on. 🕴️
Also, humans are very used to listening to storytelling from just one person. Sometimes it coming from a single person makes it more intimate, if not more intense and captivating.
And remember, just because you are a solo host does not mean you have to always be alone. You can have a guest on every single episode if you want! You can have a whole panel of guests each episode if that is what you think is best. 👍
It can be in hard-hitting interview form or something more conversational.
We will get more into that in a later section, but for now just know that solo-hosting and doing an interview every episode is perfectly legit!
Co-host podcast 👥
Maybe you do not want to go it alone. That is completely understandable. You can get a co-host or even a panel of co-hosts.
The idea behind having a podcast with a few hosts is so that you can ensure the show is conversational and animated. 🥰
You know what they say, strength in numbers…
If you feel like trying to find a co-host for your podcast, make sure that you choose a person or people who share the same passion you do for the subject of your podcast. They do not have to be pros, but they do at least have to be interested.
Also you want who is someone that you can get along with for long periods of time. ⏳
If you do choose to have a co-host, you’ll have to plan times to record your shows together which can be hard if you both have busy schedules, so keep that in mind. 🗓️
You also need to have clear expectations of responsibilities from the start. Examples include: Who is buying the equipment, who is editing the episode, who is doing the marketing.
One of the cons of having multiple co-hosts is when it comes to making video podcast episodes. For example, if there two co-hosts do they look straight at the camera or each other? Do you use one camera or two?
It can get even trickier with three or most hosts. Plus, you also are going to need more equipment– enough microphones, headphones, etc. for everybody.🎙️
Remember, you can also have guests on episodes with multiple co-hosts. That is a lot of moving pieces, but it can be a lot of fun if you pull it off!
Do you want guests?
This is one of the foundational questions facing new podcasters. Here are some things to consider. ⬇️
If you feel like you can find guests that will bring value to your show, it can be super interactive for your audience to listen to!
Usually the guests that you invite have something to do with the subject or story of your podcast, which is great for conducting interviews and getting answers to interesting questions.
If you’re more of an introvert and don’t want to have to talk to others on your show… because after all, it is YOUR show… then that’s totally fine too! 🙌
You can keep your guests intrigued with what you have to say! 🗣️
On the other hand, if you enjoy talking with lots of different people, with different points to add to your show, you could try a round table format. This is a popular TV talk show style and it translates well into podcasting.
Also, one of the advantages of having guests on your podcast is that it ensures that no two episodes will be the same, and you can take advantage of the energy that your guests bring so that some of the pressure can be taken off of you.
Having guests also helps in terms of marketing. Your guests can share the episodes with their communities and so that you can gain visibility and grow your audience even more! 📈
How do you want to get your subject across?
Once you know what you want your podcast to be about, you want to think about how to get the subject across to your listeners. There are a few different ways that you can do this.
And choosing the right way to do it will help you achieve this more easily.
Informative podcast 🤓
First is the informative podcast.
Here, the objective is to transmit knowledge to your audience. This makes your podcast somewhat of a training guide for your listeners.
Today you can find informative podcasts on just about any subject. There’s even people making podcasts about making podcasts… seems like a rather niche topic! 😉
It is common for news stations to choose this format since it fits with their typical news broadcasts.
A lot of informative podcasters find success when they keep these kind of episodes brief. Think fifteen minutes max.
For this format, having a solo host and no guests works well. That way the focus is on the information, not a conversation.
This format is good for video episodes. 🎥
The nice thing about these episodes being short is that they are often short enough to post the whole thing easily directly on social media or even in an email. That makes it an attractive format for branded podcasts.
Plus you can batch record several of these short, simple episodes at one time. That way you only have to setup your recording one time. It can be a huge time saver and reduce stress. 💆
Also, several shorter episodes are great for search engine optimization because you get to use the podcast metadata of each episode.
If you want to see an example of this type of podcast, check Ausha’s own podcast, TIPS!
Investigative podcast 🧐
Next is the investigative podcast.
In this type of podcast, the listener follows the non-fiction investigative work of someone (usually a journalist) on a particular topic or event that’s happened.
The focus of this format is not just the information the podcaster wants to get across, but also the process in which the information is discovered.
Of course when we think of investigative podcasts, we think of true crime examples. 🕵
And that is not wrong. However, it really can apply to any area of interest.
For example, the podcast “Britney’s Gram” went from analyzing the cryptic meanings of Britney Spears’ Instagram post, to diving further into her legal case, to investigating the problematic system of conservatorship across America.
One of the biggest ‘cons’ of this format is that it takes a lot of time and research. There is also the risk that the people you are investigating will not like your podcast and will try to sue you. 🙀
But if you put the time in and do great fact-checking, it is an unbeatable format. One of the biggest “pros” of this type of podcast is that it can attract demographics that advertisers love. And listeners keep coming back, episode after episode, because the investigation is so intriguing.
Fiction narrative podcast 🗣️
The fiction narrative podcast is next.
These are super fun to listen to! It is like watching a movie, except it is catered to your ears. 😍
In these podcasts, the audience is invited into another universe where each sound effect is mastered and crafted so that the listeners are completely immersed into the story.
Everything is there to make you believe that you’ve been transformed into a new place. 🧞♀️🧚♀️🧜♀️
So many times people think of podcasts as being very serious. But fiction podcasts are fun!
In fact, being able to stand out as a fun and enjoyable podcast experience is a major one of the “pros” of doing this type of podcast.
As far as “cons,” this fiction format can be very difficult to make. Not only do you need well crafted storytelling, but you may need different character voices and multiple sound effects. After all you are creating a whole world to envelop your listeners in! 🧙
This type of podcast is the rarest podcasts right now, but they are becoming more and more popular.
Musical podcasts 🎶
In musical podcasts, musicians are highlighted and we have the opportunity to discover new artists who may not be popular yet.
These are great podcasts for artists and listeners alike, because it gives artists a chance to be discovered by more people and it gives listeners the chance to find new artists! 🤜🤛
One of the big “pros” of this type of podcast is that people are already used to listening to music. You do not have to convert them to the audio media.
There really are not many “cons” other there for this format. It just can take a lot of work to be constantly booking artists to come on your show. 🏋
To wrap it up
Think about the types of podcasts we have covered as ingredients. It is up to you to choose the recipe that you want to use when creating your podcast! 👩🍳
Sometimes there is a mix of formats within each episodes. For example, each episode may have the podcast structure where there is a solo-host monologue intro and then a guest interview section.
Other times there is a mix of formats across episodes. For example, most episodes will be fiction storytelling, but some episodes will be interviews with the people who make the fiction.
You can mix and match however you please. However, keep somethings in mind.
What to keep in mind
You need to choose the format you think goes best with your show’s content and vision. 👀
You also need to chose the type of podcast based on how much time and resources you have.
Think about how you will market it. Think about who your target audience is.
Do you want it to be video or just audio-only.
There are pros and cons to all the types of podcasts. You need to weigh them out, thinking specifically about your situation. ⚖️
It is always a good idea to listen to other podcasts to see how they are doing things. That can really help you understand what you like and what you do not like.
No matter what types of podcast you decide are best for you, do not forget your fundamentals and you will go far. 🍏
Pick a good podcast name.
Clearly structure your episodes: Podcast intro, sections of content, and podcast outro. Use great music (make sure you are allowed to use the music). Record on good equipment. Take the time to edit each episode as best as you can.
Podcasts do not exist in a vacuum. Podcasts are successful not just because they have the right format, but because they are marketed well. You need a good search engine optimization strategy and a great social media strategy. Utilize email marketing. Create solid website. 👷
Everything you do in podcasting, starting with picking the right format, is like putting together a puzzle. 🧩
Each piece is important. Each piece needs plug into a few other pieces.
Remember, you can always change the type of podcast
Last but not least: Remember, you can always change the type of podcast you use. 💁
Maybe when you started your podcast you wanted to do one new interview per episode. Now you are realizing that that might not be the right approach for you because it is taking you too much time to pitch and book guests. No problem! You can pivot to something else.
For example, maybe you can switch to having a couple of people co-host with you instead. That way you still get fresh, conversational content every episode, but you do not have to through the work of booking a new person every episode, making sure they are prepared, etc.
Just be transparent with your audience. Do not bore them with super long explanations, but just let them know why you are changing what you are changing. 🗣️
Chances are, they will appreciate it because it shows that you are working hard to keep improving your content and keep the show going!
You’ve got this! 💜Independentsprofessionals
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