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104: Planning Your First Podcast Episode

by Joshua Rivers | Podcasting for Authors

Today, we’ll finally jumping into actually prepping for your first podcast episode.

Also, preparing for a podcast episode is probably similar to work that you do as an author, so you should be able to translate your current skills easily.

Of course, the things we cover today will also help you as you prepare all your future episodes.

Your first episode

For the first episode, many times people will create an episode that talks about you as the host as well as what the podcast is about. Many even make this an episode 0. I’ve done this several times myself.

Another way to approach the first episode is to lead with value. In other words, just jump into the first, most important topic that your audience needs. You can include a little bit about yourself and the purpose of the podcast, but this method minimize that.

Either way you choose to go, you still want to make sure that the content is valuable to your audience.

Choose the topic

This can be one of the easiest parts about planning and preparing your podcast episode. But then again, it could be a difficult one – depending on the work you put in earlier. If you put together a good list of possible topics, this part is much easier.

There are three main ways you can decide on what topic to cover next.

  1. The logic next step
  2. Feedback from your audience
  3. Current events

Choose main points

After you have the main topic for the episode, you’ll need to choose the main points that will support that topic. Maybe it’s 2-3 points, maybe it’s 10 points. However many there are, get them listed out and organize them into a logical order.

This is likely similar to how you approach a writing task.

  • Start by going for quantity
  • Then start narrowing the list down for quality and importance (sculpting example)
  • When you’ve narrowed it down, organize the list into whatever order is most logical for the topic.

Fill in necessary details

When your outline is done, then you can start filling in the details as you see fit. This is where things may differ from a writing project.

  • If you are scripting, then you’ll need to write like you talk.
  • If you are not going to write a script, bullet points may be enough.
  • There is also some middle ground between having a script and not having a script. You may need to write out your thoughts more fully first, and then pare back to bullet points.

Find resources and links

Finding resources may or may not be necessary depending on what you’re covering or how you’re covering it. I’m mentioning it here at the end, but it may be something that you do earlier as you are either creating the outline or filling in the details.

The key thing is that you should have the resources and links ready before your record the episode so that the recording process can be as smooth as possible.



I hope this episode helps you to better plan and prepare for your first podcast episode.

In the next episode, we’ll cover some of the equipment and technology for podcasting and some of my personal recommendations both for getting started and future-proofing yourself.