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The Best Show Format For Your Podcast

December 28, 2020

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In podcasting, you have all the freedom in the world to do whatever you like. It’s your show and you are in charge. You can be as creative as you want to be, but that can also lead to feelings of overwhelm given all the choices and decisions you have to make.

Today I want to discuss the different types of show formats that you can use. I’ll lay out the pros and cons for each one so you can decide which is going to work best for both you and your show. Let’s dive in!

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Picking a show format

When starting a podcast, one of the many decisions you need to make is deciding the best format for your show. You can have solo episodes, interview episodes, or a combination of both. The format that works best for your show will depend heavily on the goal of your podcast (if you need help establishing your goal or don’t know why your podcast needs a goal, check out Podcast Strategy 101). 

For example, if your goal is to get more clients for your coaching business, you probably want to show your expertise in your field in order to build trust with your listeners. In this case, solo episodes are a good idea. However, if your goal is to increase your reach or to inspire your listeners to do something like start a new business, then having compelling guests on your show is probably better.

For my podcast, I like to share my knowledge with podcasters and give useful tips they can immediately implement in their own show. It’s important for me to position myself as an expert in the field and that is why I mainly have solo episodes. However, I also want to inspire podcasters and push them to stick with it when the going gets tough (and it will at some point!). For this reason, I also had a couple of interviews with inspiring podcasters in my first season so they can share their experience and the lessons they have learned. 

The benefits of having seasons

Working in seasons gives you a lot of freedom to adjust the course of your podcast. Since you are in charge, you can reformat your show with each season. You can have a new theme, change the length of your episode, have more interview episodes, etc.    

Another benefit of using seasons is you are working in a limited timeframe. There is a start and end date, followed by a break. Breaks are important for your creativity and energy. I also use seasons for this reason. I know my episodes will play through the end of the year and then I get a break until mid-to-late January.

This gives me the exact timeframe when I need to create new episodes and when I need to focus my energy on this project. My podcast has to be a priority but it also has to be attainable. 

As always, be consistent

Consistency is really important in podcasting, regardless of what show format you decide is best for your show. I made an entire episode talking about the importance of consistency because it is crucial to the long-term success of your show (if you haven’t already, check out ‘Is Consistency The Key To A Successful Podcast?”). 

Consistency doesn’t have to mean that you have a new episode every week. You can work in seasons and still be consistent as long as you are communicating to your  listeners when the season will start and when it will end. If you take a break, make sure that you tell your audience when they can expect the next episode and make sure you are back on that date. 

While seasons are what is best for my show, it isn’t what’s best for every show. Some podcasts really thrive having a new episode published every week. There’s no right or wrong answer here, but if you feel a little bit overwhelmed about the podcast journey and starting a podcast, working in seasons is a way to break it up into manageable pieces. 

Get a FREE strategy call with me!

Are you struggling to decide what is the best show format for your podcast? Would you like some help determining what is going to work best for you and your show? I’m offering FREE 15 minute strategy calls to help you with all your burning podcast questions. I open only a few spots every month, book your spot now. Can’t wait to chat!

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