How To Structure Your Podcast: 4 Essential Elements

How to...

STRUCTURE A PODCAST

Okay so you’ve come up with a unique podcast name and figured out what topic(s) you’re going to be discussing: it’s time to think about how the episodes will be structured.

We’re going to break down each component on how to structure your podcast: the 4 essential elements of a podcast episode.

1. Episode Length · 2. Intro · 3. Body 4. Outro.

Step 2: Why Structure your podcast?

What does the Eiffel Tower, Egyptian Pyramids, Big Ben and podcasts all have in common? Structure. Like anything else in life, podcast structure is integral to the listener’s experience and this determines how many listeners will return or press that follow/subscribe/feedback button. 

Before you start structuring your podcast, you need to think about how long you want the episodes to be.

Podcast Length

There’s no set rule for how long a podcast should be and the length depends on your preference, genre and how much time you have to commit to your show. But remember that setting a time limit for your show gives you a basic foundation to work with, so you can add segments and structure around it. It also comes very handy when it’s time to edit the podcast.

Episodes released weekly are usually anywhere between 30minutes – 60 minutes long. Some popular podcasters like The Joe Budden podcast, 3 shots of Tequila release 2hour+ episodes.

In general, it’s better to start with shorter episodes and increase the duration of your show as you build trust with your audience. Once listeners know you have valuable content, they’ll be willing to listen to longer episodes.

No matter how often you release episodes, we suggest keeping your episode length to no longer than is necessary to get your message across. You don’t want to bore your listeners with unnecessary waffle.

Intro – Structure your podcast for success

Ever watched a Warner Bros movie and found yourself weirdly reciting that theme song later on in the day? Well, that’s the same effect you want to have on your listeners once they’ve tuned into your podcast. Your intro has to be captivating or atleast, memorable for your listeners.

Podcast structure refers to the framework of your show, the flow of its segments, and how you arrange each element (or segment) to fit together-so how do you do this?

Your episodes don’t have to follow a strict outline, but a little order and predictability tends to get listeners hooked on your content more quickly, and keeps them engaged for longer. Take rom-com movies for instance: the classic plot is usually boy meets girl, girl doesn’t give boy attention, boy saves girl, girl falls for boy, they kiss and live ‘happily’ ever after.

If you want to keep your listeners coming for more, you have to have a structure to keep them hooked. Structuring your episodes will allow you to have a clear plan and goal for your episodes saving you recording and editing time.

The goal for your intro is to establish a setting, introduce the characters and their relationships, and build the world they live in. Make them think, “Okay, I need to hear the rest of this.”

2:1 – you should consider that this intro will introduce each episode of your podcast. In other words, your listeners will hear it a lot, so it’s likely best to keep it short, say 10 or 15 seconds.

Podcast Script 

Don’t let the word script scare you: it doesn’t mean you have to read off a sheet of paper or have a formal, stilted show.

A podcast script can be anything from a list of bullet-points that help you to have a consistent guide for your podcast.

A script or guide can also help you decide how to break up your segments, how long to spend on each one, and where to include segways and sponsor ads. Scripts also allows for a smoother editing process.

It’s up to you how detailed to make your script/outline; the important thing is to have a rough idea of the flow of your show before you press record or interview your guest.

Body

An important part of the second body is authenticity. This is where you get into the juicy part of what the episode is all about.

Remember to write down a list of the questions/things you want to cover for each episode. Most importantly, you need to ask yourself, what will people gain from listening to this episode?

Outro

The final minute or two (or whatever you deem is best) of your episode goes towards creating a lasting impression of the podcast in the mind of your listener. Just like the intro, there are no “rules”.

You might have done a great job with the podcast intro and the main body, but if the show ends poorly that could end up being the difference between a new listener hitting the subscribe button or not.

If the listener has made it to the final minute of your podcast, the goal is to make that person tune in when your next episode is live.

The outro is essential to summarise what was discussed, thank the listeners for listening, and to point them in the direction of any vital details that emerged during the episode. It’s also the part where you can ask for something in return.

For example, you may want to promote a special event that is relevant to your podcast and/or brand or entice listeners to become loyal subscribers.

You will also want to play your outro jingle at this point (if you have one that is!).

Now it’s time to edit your podcast. Scroll down and let’s get right to it!

NExt

HOW TO EDIT YOUR PODCAST

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