While some people feel as if podcasts have been around forever, others are still struggling to wrap their minds around this audio programming that you can download and listen to at your convenience. Podcasts have their origins in audio blogs that date all the way back to the mid 1980’s. Then, in 2004, as the internet broadband access increased along with portable devices such as the iPod, podcasting as we know it officially took off. Today, research shows that 90 million Americans listen to podcasts every month.
A podcast episode can be any length, about any topic and released at any frequency—anywhere from daily to monthly—providing educational or entertaining content that is relevant and engaging. One of the key factors to successful podcasting is the personality of the host or hosts. Therefore, it’s important to choose a podcast style that allows your personality to shine through.
There’s no right or wrong way to structure your podcast and there are many different styles to follow. We’re going to discuss the three main podcast styles here.
Conversational or Interview Podcast
A conversational-style podcast is exactly like it sounds, a conversation between host and their special guests, usually recorded as an interview. A podcast interview can feel more formal, with carefully crafted questions and well-thought-out answers, providing listeners with high quality information from leaders in specific industries or areas of expertise. Other podcast hosts seek to engage with their listeners through humor and candor, leaning towards casual, off-the-cuff conversations. If you enjoy asking questions and are good at keeping the conversation flowing, a conversational or interview-style podcast might be right for you!
Scripted Fiction or Non-Fiction Podcast
Narrative-style podcasts are story-driven shows as opposed to interviews, talking heads, or game-show-like recordings. Whether you tell your own personal story or have written one to share, there is a lot more flexibility for structuring the storytelling within this model. The strength of a scripted podcast truly lies in the host’s ability to connect deeply with the listener. Typically, the story of a scripted-style podcast will span the length of an entire season, captivating listeners and quickly growing a loyal following.
The hybrid-style podcast is a little bit of everything. Perfect for when your niche topic doesn’t quite fit into the traditional podcast style or when you want more freedom and creativity on your show. A hybrid podcast tends to be one that has a set host, but regularly includes other guest hosts or speakers who contribute to the show as well.
Discovering your podcast style is an important part of preparing to record your first episode and whether your goal is to generate more leads for your business or share an important message with your listeners. And don’t forget… it’s important to just jump in and have fun!