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103: Choosing Your Podcasting Format

by Joshua Rivers | Podcasting for Authors

Welcome to the third episode of Podcasting for Authors. In the first episode, we covered a lot of the basics – and mostly mental exercises. We looked at the importance of knowing your audience, your why, your goal, and brainstorming for your topic. In the last episode, we talked about your podcast title, cover artwork, and media hosting options.

Today, we’ll be exploring different formats you can choose from for your podcast.

There are a couple basic options:

  1. Solo show
  2. Interview show
  3. Co-host show
  4. Round-table

Choose your approach

Before you actually choose a specific format, you’ll need decide how you want to approach your podcast. As an author, you are likely to want to showcase your own expertise. Many times, a solo show can be best for this; but there could be ways to utilize other methods to demonstrate your expertise with the other formats. The key is to consider this thought as you decide. I share some thoughts on ways to leverage each of these to showcase your expertise with interview formats.

Solo show

A solo show is generally a great option for people that want to showcase their own expertise, or at least share their own story or opinions.


  1. Scheduling ease
  2. Full control
  3. Display your expertise


  1. Limited support
  2. Awkward (talking to self)
  3. Limited promotion

Interview show

An interview show, generally, is where you interview someone that is an expert in some capacity in the topic or sub-topic of your show.


  1. More options for finding content via guests
  2. Bring different viewpoints on the same topic
  3. Additional opportunity for promotion


  1. Scheduling conflicts
  2. Harder to display your expertise
  3. Audio quality
    1. Guest recording environment/equipment
    2. Technology to connect and record

Co-hosted show

A co-hosted show is kind of a blend between a solo show and an interview-based show.


  1. Additional perspective
  2. Additional topic possibilities
  3. Multiple voice can break up possible monotany
  4. Additional opportunity for promotion
  5. Support and help


  1. Scheduling conflicts
  2. Audio quality
    1. Co-host recording environment/equipment
    2. Technology to connect and record


Round-table show

A round-table is a suped-up co-hosted show, where you have 3 or more people weighing in on the topic.


  1. Multiple perspectives
  2. Promotion advantages
  3. More content ideas
  4. Variety of voices


  1. Scheduling conflicts
  2. Possible confusion with multiple voices (who is who)
  3. Higher chance of talking over each other
  4. Audio quality
    1. Guests’ recording environment/equipment
    2. Technology to connect and record

How you can leverage interviews to showcase your expertise:

While solo shows are the best and easiest way to allow for showcasing your expertise, co-hosted and round-table can be fairly easy to do this as well. With interview-based shows, it is definitely more difficult, but definitely not impossible.

First of all, you want to make your guest the star during the interview. Don’t use the interview time to showcase your own expertise. Allow the guest to share their knowledge and perspective.

  • Have a segment after the interview where you can share your thoughts on the topic
    • Share a conflicting viewpoint
    • Share a recap or take-away points
    • Share additional pieces that weren’t covered by the guest
  • Have a recurring segment either before or after the interview
    • Have a series of tips you share
    • Have a series of resources
  • The guest can be a client or case study
    • No need for additional segments
    • Let’s the guest be the star while you can still display your expertise

You don’t have to have just one format

Now the best part of all of this is that you don’t have to have just one format. You also don’t have to stick with one format if you decide to change down the road.

For example, you can start with a solo show so you can establish your own expertise and credibility. You can later switch to an interview show to bring variety and additional expertise.

You can also establish a pattern where you mix the different formats. There are several shows that I know alternate between solo shows and interviews.

  • Bossed Up – interview on Tue, solo on Thur
  • Jordan Harbinger – interviews on Mon, Wed, co-host on Fri (mailbag)
  • Blogging with Leslie – alternates interview/solo each episode
  • Some just do something different and preface it “Normally we do___, but today we are going to ___.”

There is something to be said about consistency, but if you establish a pattern, you don’t have to limit yourself.