There are a ton of questions you’re probably asking yourself as a new podcaster. If you haven’t found this out already, creating and launching a podcast is no walk in the park.
But one of the most common podcasting questions we hear that I want to take some time to break down and answer here is: “What format should my podcast be?”
Your podcast format
One of the many amazing things about starting your own podcast is that it is yours.
That means you get to call the shots!
So when it comes to deciding on your podcast format – whether it should be a topic-based solo show, an audio blog, an interview podcast, a Q&A podcast… – it’s something you get to choose, test, improve, and change as you wish.
But there are a few questions you can ask yourself when it comes to choosing your podcast format that will help you decide.
So let’s take a look at those questions!
Question 1: What would your listener want?
Much like your decision around how long your podcast episodes should be, when choosing your podcast format, your listener is someone you should have top of mind.
Put yourself in your listener’s shoes. Are they excited to hear you talk to other experts or leaders in your industry? Do they find your banter or your interview style engaging, exciting, and valuable?
Or maybe they just want to hear YOU.
It could even be a combination of several different types: interviews on Monday’s, solo shows on Wednesday’s, and Q&A on Friday’s.
There are several different podcast formats, and you might not know right at the start exactly what your listener wants. This is why engagement, requesting feedback, and continuous improvement is critical on your podcasting journey.
Question 2: What type of podcast do YOU want to create?
You should enjoy the process of creating your podcast – otherwise, what’s the point?
If you strongly dislike interviewing people, then you should not create an interview podcast. Or if you really don’t like writing, then an audio blog is not for you.
So take some time to really think about the type of podcast YOU want to create.
Question 3: Is this going to be valuable?
Once you have a good feel for what your listener wants – in addition to what type of podcast YOU want to create – it’s time to put it to the final test: is this going to be valuable?
It’s okay if you’re not a professional interviewer, the best writer in the world, or you don’t have an existing audience to collect questions from for Q&A episodes.
As long as you can create valuable content for your listeners – regardless of the format – you’re going to win.
And remember, you can always change it! If you start with an interview podcast and then decide to switch to solo episodes due to audience feedback, that’s great!
Or maybe you start with a solo podcast, and then decide you want to add a little more variety, so you add in a Q&A episode once per week.
This is your podcast.
Making decisions about your podcast
Creating and launching your podcast isn’t easy, but it does have the potential to pay off when it comes to being able to share your message with the world and make a significant impact.
If sharing your message with the world and making a significant impact are important to you, then remember, it’s also important to consider your ideal listener when you’re making decisions about your podcast.
Make a decision about how you’ll move forward, and remember, you can always change it!
Engage with your listeners after you launch and ask for feedback: what do they think about your podcast format?
Just be sure you’re communicating openly with your listeners about the changes you’re making so they know what to expect. This could be a quick update at the beginning of an episode, or an entire episode that focuses on the changes you’re making and why.
Constant improvement and iteration is a good thing! You’ve got this.