Your 2021 Ultimate Guide to Podcast Formatting: Eight Most Powerful Formats

Once you’re making your mind to start podcasting, you need to pick a show format before creating your cover art, or choosing your show’s name, and definitely before recording your episodes. Here we’re going through everything you need to know about what’s the format? Its types? How to decide which one to follow?

What’s A Format?

Podcast Formats are the method you use to organize and deliver your content. They are the structure you follow to keep your content accessible otherwise, it will look chaotic. So strong format should be coherent in sequence & connected. Structuring your content will you give a whole lot of credit to give your message plainly.

It just gives you the consistency to capture your audience’s attention. You need to get your listeners used to your way so they will be already knowing what is coming, once they click. The right format offers you this feature to not confuse your audience if you’re playing a different format every week. 

Here we’re not demurring against showing some diversity & variety in your method but sticking to a format helps you build familiarity with your audience & put yourself on the top of their daily routines. 

The one-format-show rocks when it comes to marketing & promoting your show by your audience themselves through making it easy for them to describe what content & in which context you deliver it. Like, “It’s a podcast about a guy reviewing movies, or they’re two guys discussing latest trends in tech.”

To cut it short, it’s really helpful to know the structure of your show so it’ll save your life when you prepare content when you know the shape you mold your material in. For example, if it’s an interview or conversation style, you’ll have time planning whether scheduling your guests or creating engaging content with your co-host. 

Most Powerful Podcast Formats 

As a newcomer who looks for the right format, it’s a good idea to look at the industry to see what the locals follow not to just imitate but to help yourself pick the right shape. You’re just looking for what can fit the content you’re planning. 

The Interview Format

The Interview format style show features a host or more who interview a new guest every episode. The host(s) should be taking over the whole interview by introducing the guest at first, then leading the conversation by asking questions that pour into one theme/ topic to get the audience confused. 

This format offers a lot of perks like you will be just guiding the conversation, your audience will have access to diversity in perspectives, & your guests will do the work for promoting your show by bringing in their audience. 

It’s a bit challenging that interviewing requires some talent & much practice to handle it. You need a lot of work & research to pick your next guest. If you’re doing it online, you need a strong internet connection or it will be hard to get material for your episode. Your guests should lead the entertaining part which may not work well though.

The Solo/ Monologue Format

The Solo podcast format is commonly used in the podcast industry since most podcasters just start with this format for it being simple & not requiring a fancy setup. It’s just your modest microphone & a free editing tool to start. 

It depends much on the podcaster’s personality. If it’s just easy-peasy for you to record yourself for quite a lot of time, so it’s all right to do it. Some need scripted material, others prefer improvising. Sticky notes help and good reading, on what you’ll talk about, do you a big favor. 

The Co-Hosted Format

The Co-hosted podcast format features two people play the host together & lead the conversation along with the episode. This format requires such big chemistry & harmony to link you with your co-host because everything can be felt through the metal microphone. 

The two hosts can break down the roles; one can play the pensive thoughtful partner & the other can make jokes and tell stories to amuse the audience. It also depends on the character of each one. 

This format shows a natural conversation & people like listening to gossiping-like talks. Some scripting might help but you never know where the conversation will take you both. The two hosts should have a friendship-like relationship to engage the audience. 

The Panel Format

The Panel Podcast format can be taken as an Interview format but it requires a group of guests with a single host. It works well & sounds much fun for the listeners who love natural & innate conversations. It’s fun but it has a lot of work to get it though. You should know when to cut your guests off & where the talk goes to keep it engaging. 

Picking the guests is challenging too. How to keep the episode smoothly flowing among a bunch of people of different backgrounds holding copious points of view. 

The Non-fictional Storytelling Format

The Non-fictional Storytelling Format features real-life events. It can be done by simply reporting the news. This format is addictive & informative for people who love this genre of realistic storytelling. It has historical chronicles & local/ international accidents & events. 

It’s engaging & educating at the same time. You can pick whatever interesting story to tell. You need a lot of research about the story because you’re targeting aficionados who never forgive mistakes in such stories. 

The Fictional Storytelling Format

The Fictional Storytelling Podcast Format features fictional stories being told along with several episodes like tv drama. It can be recorded by a single voice or multiple voice actors. This format is the right one for people who like creativity & want to build fictional worlds. In this case, it needs a lot of effort & a team to handle the whole work. 

Some fiction writers use this format like recording a regular audiobook with their voices only adding some drama. This format takes real-time to attract not the audience but real fans. 

The Documentary  Format

The Documentary podcast format features narrative content but using the documentary style. It requires heavy production to produce interesting & genuine content that will have the ability to engage a base audience & keep them coming back for more. 

The You Format

After getting to know the most powerful formats flying all over the industry, your time has come which style to follow & shape the context you feel free within. Please inspire with us a unique format you have come through or you’ve already created.

This post was authored by our wonderful interns who joined us on November 1, 2020 to learn from and help Podcast Inc grow. The author of this article is Gihad Ahmed from Egypt.