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An Expert Guide to Plan Your Podcast Episodes Like Pros!

What could be worse than creating a podcast episode with your whole heart, but when listened to, it sounds like random rambling? This is a rookie mistake and is often committed by beginner podcasters. Despite how good the content, the background music, and the equipment are, a completely unstructured podcast will not entice your audience to continue listening to your episode for over five minutes.

But, how to achieve a well-structured podcast episode? Well, the answer is simple, planning. This article is for you if you want to hook your audience from the start, through the middle section, until the outro and CTA.

Why Plan Your Podcast?

Though every podcast episode is unique, there are some tailored approaches when it comes to planning an episode. Scheduling some times to structure your podcast episodes will result in:

  • Episode Consistency
  • Editing Efficiency
  • Hiked Listner’s Engagement

So, here are a few podcast episode planning tips that will save you a lot of time in the future and, most importantly, help you connect and grow your audience.

Planning Your Podcast Episode

Following are the three crucial elements that you, as a podcaster, should always focus on while planning your podcast episodes:

Episode Format

In podcasting, there are primarily two categories of episode format, namely episodic and serialized.

Episodic podcasts have stand-alone episodes. Thus, the audience can choose to listen to any episode without worrying about the sequence, for example, SayWHA Radio.

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On the other hand, serialized episodes are chronologically organized. Their content is usually a story or narrative-based published in a sequence. An excellent example of such a podcast is The Holistic Life.

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So, before even starting planning your podcast, you should decide what kind of content your episodes will contain. Will you be narrating a story or stand-alone publishing episodes?

Are Your Episodes Scripted or Unscripted?

Researching, interviewing, and writing episode scripts are the most extensive part of the episode planning process because this is where your episodes start to shape.

The need for scripting depends upon the type of your podcast. For example, if interviews are an integral part of your episode, then going over a solid script throughout the interview can bore your audience because it will lack the most essential element, a free-flowing conversation.

For example, having a script in the episode of SayWHA Radio will eat up all the fun of the episode, because the podcast is all about a group of life-long friends having a witty conversation over the hottest topics and life events.

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On the contrary, if you are dictating a story or narrative to your audience without a script, chances are you will need a thorough script for the episode. Take, for once, The FIT Life podcast in which Justice, the host, talks all about adopting a healthier lifestyle while trying to build an empire, date, have a social life, a wonderful mom, great daughter. A completely unscripted episode in this podcast could confuse the audience.

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Though the script is not an essential part of every podcast, you should always note down the key points you plan to talk about in the interview or the episode.

Some of the key elements to include in your script can be:

  • A catchy introduction
  • A brief summary of the episode
  • An awesome guest introduction (for interview episodes)
  • Segues
  • The primary content of the episode (if not the entire script, at least note down the important points in segments)
  • Ads or sponsorships
  • A captivating conclusion (you may also give a hint of the next episode to your listeners here)

Frequency

Will you be publishing new episodes every week, or twice a week, or thrice?

A stable frequency of the episodes will give your audience a time frame to wait for the next episode. Therefore, it is crucial to be clear about the frequency of your episodes before even publishing your first episode.

How lengthy are your episodes going to be?

You want to keep the length of each podcast episode the same. For example, if your episodes are 30-minute long, then try to keep all the other episodes of approximately the same length. Don’t keep fluctuating the length of your episodes from 20-minutes to an-hour lengthy episodes.

If some of your episodes are getting too lengthy, try cutting them into half and publishing them as parts one and two. Just bear in mind, the more stable the length of all your podcast episodes, the better.

Structuring Your Podcast Episode

Every podcast episode is structured into three major segments:

  • Intro: The intro is where you tell new listeners who you are and what your podcast is about. Your podcast introduction script should always make it clear to your listeners that your podcast is targeted at them.
  • Main Content: The main content of your episode could be an interview with a guest, a monologue, or even an audio drama. This portion usually takes up the majority of the episode. The main content is why the listeners tune in for the podcast. Therefore, it must be the value-adding content and answer all the questions raised by the host in the intro.
  • Outro: The podcast outro is very important, so make sure not to skip it! This is the segment where you can direct listeners to a call to action, such as “rate, review, and subscribe” or “follow me on Facebook.” This segment will help you expand your audience beyond your podcast.

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Another segment you might want to include would be a plug or promo area. Besides the content of the episode, what do you offer your audience right now? How will your guests be able to provide their products to your listeners? Plugs & promos are usually kept to the end of an episode so listeners can finish listening, then check out the offers we’re mentioning.

A special segment such as rapid-fire questions or fun games you play with your guests could also be included! There might even be room for a rant corner on your podcast!

Execution

At this stage, you will be equipped with all the pre-requisite to creating an amazing podcast episode, now is the time to add you’re lovely voice to the tape. At this point, you would have to get comfortable with the microphone and other recording and editing tools and techniques.

This is where you have to find your podcast persona, test driving your equipment and software, and record and edit your very first podcast episode. In addition, you will most probably like to record a trailer and promotion tapes in the execution stage for promoting and marketing your episode online.

Execution is a vast topic and will need a blog post of its own. We will be covering that soon!

Recap

Plan your podcast by keeping these things in mind:

  • What interests your target audience?
  • How can you provide the greatest value within your allocated time frame?
  • How can you keep the pace of your show engaging by adding new elements at the right time?
  • Do you have a logical conclusion, and does your story satisfy the listener?

As you plan a new episode or a show, instead of thinking about “how to produce a podcast,” consider “what my audience actually wants to hear, and how to deliver it most effectively.”

Your Secret Pathway To Succesful Podcast!!

Now, with all that begin said, as a podcasting network with over a decade in the business, we know planning out the perfect podcast episode is not everyone’s cup of tea.

That’s why we are here for you!

Over the years, we have helped plan out some of the most downloaded podcasts. So, if you are looking for some extra pair of hands and the most creative minds to help you plan and structure your podcast episodes like a pro, SayWHA Radio is your one-stop solution.

When you choose to work with us, our hand-picked team of dedicated podcast planning, structuring, editing, and publishing professionals will expertly guide you in posting the best podcast episodes.

Are you ready to create something amazing cause we have already fastened our seat belts for your accelerated journey to the top? Then, contact us, and together, let’s create something less ordinary!

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