Popular Podcast Formats and How to Choose

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Given that, for some time, podcasts have been a major media division listened to by millions, it is no surprise that they can be almost limitlessly diverse. There are things to be done in all cases, but the niche you settle on can be anything at all.

However, settling on a niche is not easy. For one thing, a balance needs to be struck when deciding how specific your niche is to be. If it is too niche, then you simply won’t find enough listeners. If it is too general then it’s unlikely that the podcast will be able to stand out, which is already hard enough at the start.

The latter problem is much more common, and there is a very good reason for this. It’s difficult not to be general at the outsetbecause you still don’t know exactly who your listeners are or how the podcast will pan out once you’re actually recording episodes. Accordingly, far too many podcasts start out with an overly general theme or a vague idea of topics and guests.Such podcasts are destined to fail.

Narrow Things Down

Considering precisely who your listeners are going to be is an essential first step to creating a podcast.To avoid being too general though, you need to narrow that down to something more specific (but not too specific). And sometimes it is wise to let other factors do that for you.

To see what we mean, consider Plurawl, a company producing a motivational podcast aimed at the Latino community. The reason it is aimed at the Latino community is that the podcast appears on their ecommerce site, which sells Hispanic-themed prints and clothing. In this case, the podcast nichehas been determined by the company starting the podcast. This is one way of narrowing things down.

Another good piece of advice is to count out all the themes and topics that you are not at all knowledgeable about.After all,podcastlisteners want to hear a presenter who both knows what they’re talking about and cares about it. Another thing you can do is choose the right podcast format.

Certain formats are suitable for certain types of podcasts, and so doing this early on is a great way to guide you towards a more specific hypothetical listener base. After that has been done you can let otherfactors narrow things down for you – and you can see how the podcast fares over its first few episodes.

Different Podcast Formats

So, what arethese podcast formats and what are they suitable for. Here follows a brief list:

Interview Podcast

For this one, you need tomake sure that you can attract enough guests – to appear in every episode – and to be able to interview them effectively. You might have noticed other podcastsfollowing the same topic as you – but do they interview guests about it?

Conversational

Normally involving co-hosts, this format offers you the most flexibility in topic choice (such podcasts usually cover diverse topics) and listeners typically tune in for the presenters, their chemistry, and their presenting abilities. That’s what you’re selling.

Educational

If you happen to know a lot about the topic you have in mind for your podcast, the educational format is the right choice. Typically, it will be limited to your expertise (which could help you decide topics) but it’s also wise to invite other experts on as guests in time.

Picking a niche is not the easiest thing in the world but picking a podcast format first is sure to help you along the way.

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