As you are thinking about having your own podcast it is very important to make sure that you spend time working out your podcast strategy. This is one post in a series I am writing to help you think about some important aspects of podcasting, and to establish your podcast strategy.
A very key decision is what type of podcast you are going to create. So here are 7 types of podcast you could create.
This is just you and your microphone. Talking about your subject, your opinions, your experiences. There are some very good solo podcasts although I think you have to be quite animated and have a varied vocal tone, else it will turn into a droning monologue that people tune into to help them fall asleep! Although there are podcasts specifically to help you fall asleep…
It really is a showcase for you and your topic, setting you up as a real thought leader and subject matter expert. It is you who is the ‘voice’ of the show. You are not being ‘diluted’ by less than stellar guests who know less than you. You don’t have to find & filter, schedule and organise guests, so logistically it’s less work, and you can do your podcast when you want.
However, the spotlight is on you to create interesting content for each episode, and present it in an interesting & captivating way. It will also take more time and effort to grow, and you are not expanding your personal reach via your podcast as you are not actively connecting with potential guests. But it can be a great format, and a short podcast ( less than 10 minutes) works great in this format.
Example: The Freelancer by Paul Jarvis
2. Duo – option one – you with a co-host
This is you and another person, but they are there to shine the spotlight on you. This works well when they ‘interview’ you – asking you questions and shaping the discussion where you are the main focal point sharing your information and expertise in a structured way. The involvement of a co-host adds an interesting dynamic to the podcast, but retains your status as the expert. It gets around the problem of being on your own, and importantly, avoids you being ‘brought down’ or overshadowed by an interview guest.
Example: Healthy Business Healthy Profit with Lisa Roberts & co-host Winnie Anderson
3. Duo – option two – you with a podcast partner
This is you and another person, but you both contribute equally to the show – more like a structured chat between friends. These types of podcasts are great, and are typically funny & engaging, whilst still sharing great information & advice & opinions. You get that great dynamic between 2 people, you both are the focal point of the show and it gets around having to have guests, with the additional issues their inclusion can cause. You are both involved in creating the episodes, creating content & marketing it. A nice way to share the work load of content creation.
Example: Own It! The Podcast with Judith Morgan & Nicola Cairncross
As above, where its either you and 2 partners, having a structured (or unstructured!) chat. Or you, and a co-host, with an invited guest, or you and 2 invited guests, or you and your partner and an invited guest… We are getting into combinations and permutations now but you get the idea I’m sure. This could be more tricky to make work well but again, it can be very lively and engaging, but maybe could be chaotic if not managed well. Another nice way of sharing the work load of content creation.
Example: Scummy Mummies Podcast – 2 podcast partners who bring on a guest as well.
5. Interview Based
Often seen as the ‘classic’ way of having a podcast, but remember that you can do what you want – so if you don’t want to have guests and interviews, and just want a solo podcast that’s absolutely fine – it’s your podcast!
If you don’t want to get involved with the work of finding & selecting guests, scheduling & organising them – but do want a podcast where you are not just the focal point, then outsource those guest related tasks. It is a service I can do for you – just sayin’. You have the type of podcast you want without the admin and potential hassle. Good idea, right?
Another bonus with an interview based podcast is that it is quicker to grow your reach – you have a steady stream of guests who will be keen to share their appearance on your podcast with their ‘tribe’. And someone else is helping you create content by being on your show and giving you a new person to interview for their perspectives and experience.
You can see why it is a popular podcast format.
Example: The Let’s Talk Tech Show with host Winnie Anderson + guests
Discover Your Talent With host Don Hutcheson + guests
Related: The Intimacy of a Podcast
6. Live phone in / Q&A / Hotseat sessions:
Most podcast episodes are recorded in advance and edited and distributed later. However, you may be in a niche or situation when a live episode is an exciting option. Maybe you could be at a sports event, interviewing fans and offering your views as the sport continues. Or love the excitement of people joining you unplanned and asking for advice with a Q&A format. Blab was very good at supporting this type of podcast where people could come along and ‘join’ you. Such a shame it closed down However I am sure other live streaming video platforms could be used to create a podcast ‘on the fly’ as it were.
Example: The Longest Podcast Ever which ran for 36 hours with a new guest each hour interviewed by the same insomniac host, Mike Russell, but with the audience joining in which was possible (and fun) because it was all done on Blab.
7. Combination / Hybrid
Mix things up a little and create a variety of episodes with a variety of formats. This really helps you to inject variety and surprise into your content, which may be attractive to your audience, or it may be just downright annoying for them. It depends upon your audience as to whether this approach would be a good, or very bad, idea. From your point of view, it enables you to still maintain yourself as the expert, to be the main ‘voice’ of the podcast but to also keep the format interesting over time.
What will be the pros & cons for you of each format?
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