How Do I Choose My Podcast Show Format?

Hi! I’m Lij Shaw from PodcastProfessors.com. Welcome to our free series, where we answer the most frequently asked questions about podcasting. People often ask,

“What sort of format should I use to create the show? Should I do all the talking? Should I do an interview show? How long should my show be?”

Did you know that the most successful shows have formats that are all over the map?

  • There are podcasts with short format, like “Ask Pat”, where the audience sends in questions that Pat Flynn answers in ten to fifteen minutes.
  • There are podcasts like “Entrepreneur on Fire” delivering a consistent half-hour show daily, to match the average commuter drive time in America.
  • And there are long-form shows like “The Solopreneur Hour” or “The Joe Rogan Experience”, which can last up to three hours each show. It’s like Lord of the Rings for podcasting, so make sure you bring your popcorn.

If your ideal listener wants your expert advice in small, easy-to-digest bites, then you probably won’t want to create an epic journey for each show that you create. You might be better of creating a daily, short Q&A style show.

However, if your listener is driving cross-country, or likes to have your podcast on like a conversation all day long, then they might get frustrated if your show keeps starting over every fives minutes or so, so you should pick a longer format that keeps them engaged and listening during their drive time.

The best podcast you can create is one that you are passionate about and excited about working on every day.

Lij Shaw
Poscast Professor

And, of course, there are benefits and drawbacks to each of the different formats.

If you choose a solo show, then you will have to be the one doing all the talking and keeping your listeners engaged while you talk about the topic. You will have to demonstrate expertise in the topic. Since you will be the sole speaker on the show, you have to be the expert. However, one benefit of a solo show format is that you won’t have to rely on the schedules of guests to create your show. You can create your show when, where, and how you want.

If you decide to use an interview format for your podcast, you will have to find guests. You will also have to provide incentive to guests by demonstrating how an appearance on your show will be valuable to them. In addition, you will have to schedule times for interviews, and you will be at the mercy of your guests’ availability. However, on the positive side, you can rely on your guests to create some of the content for the show. You will only have to provide great questions, and then allow your guests to demonstrate their expertise in the topic.

The good news is that the choice of format for your show is completely yours. And you can create a production schedule that works well for you. Either way, choose a format that gets you excited about creating your podcast. 

We dive into this and much more in our podcast professors "Podcast PHD (Podcast Home Degree)" online course. We look forward to meeting you soon. You can click on the link below to learn more about the wonderful world of podcasting!

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