podcast formats

There are so many things to learn when you dive into the world of podcasting. There’s learning how to record, edit, schedule, write enticing show notes, and market your amazing show to grow your listenership. It seems like the list goes on and on, and it can be a little overwhelming, to say the least. Trust us, we know! 

However, one of the most important things you need to learn is the most popular podcast formats. This is because, when you have been running your show for a while and you’re feeling short on inspiration or like you’re running out of steam, knowing the different podcast episode formats could be just what you need to get inspired again. On the flip side, you can add the different types to your show right off the bat and add variety and interest to your show. 

Podcast formats are a way to organize your content for your listeners so they have an idea of what to expect. It also makes planning out your episodes way easier.

Here are the top four podcast formats that you need to know:

Solo

This is likely what you think of when you think of starting a podcast—a full-length episode where you are the star. You’ll focus on your thoughts, insights, tips, and expertise for your listeners. This will likely be your most common format for podcasting because your listeners are tuning in to hear from you, after all! These episodes are simple to do because they don’t require any scheduling workarounds or additional coordinating with guests. All you do is record on your own time and edit as needed.

Co-hosted

This is exactly as it sounds: a show with two hosts, instead of just one. This is perfect if you’re looking for a partnership for your podcast. You both equally contribute to the show and host it. You can do this for the entire show, or if you already have a solo podcast, you could bring on a guest co-host for a set period of time and market it as a special series. This format can be beneficial because you end up splitting the responsibilities and doubling the marketing efforts.

Interview-style

These are also a very popular podcast episode format and for a good reason! People love guest episodes where they get to listen in on your interview with a guest expert. You sit down with a guest and ask them questions about their expertise (providing that it appeals to your audience, of course). These episodes are a great way to grow your show because your guests can promote the episode to their audience as well. Plus, you are providing additional value to your listeners, which could lead to higher listener retention.

Panel

Think of these episodes as a round table where each expert contributes their perspective and value to the conversation. Some podcasts are strictly panel podcasts, but you can also do this in a series or include panel episodes periodically. These are great for growing your show (you’ll reach everyone’s audience as long as they promote it), and it provides so much value to your audience. The pressure to create amazing content all by yourself is relieved, but keep in mind that they can be more difficult to coordinate since there are multiple people involved.

Feel like some of these formats aren’t for you? No problem! You don’t have to do them all. That’s the beauty of having your own show. You get to decide what works for you and your show. If that means all solo episodes with an occasional interview episode thrown in then so be it! As long as you and your listeners are happy, you’re on the right track.

Are you interested in learning more about how to enter the podcasting world? Read more of our favorite posts here:
The 8 Benefits of Starting a Podcast
9 Podcast Recording Tips Every Great Host Follows
Everything You Need to Know About the Technical Side of Podcasting