Structuring Your Podcasts

Structuring Your Podcasts

Structuring a Podcast
Free-form podcasting has its place. There is something cool about just sitting down with a mic, some facts and some tunes and broadcasting out to the world.

There is also the concept of segmented podcasts. This is similar to a radio clock. The concept is to split your cast up into themes digestible or palatable segments.

What is the advantage of segmented podcasting?

Segmented podcasting is helpful when it comes to marketing and syndication. It’s allows you to make future marketing decisions as well as broadening you potential syndication reach. Think of it as micro or segmented branding where each segment is branded as a show or shareable piece of media.

How about an example?

Ok. Below are two examples of podcasts and radio shows that we produce at archaic media.

Example #1: Radio Wasteland

Radio wasteland was our first foray into the talk radio format. It’s a somewhat free form interview format focusing on guests and discussing topics such as aliens and paranormal.

For starters, the show is initially recorded as a terrestrial radio program. The show is one hour long and forced into four segments due to commercials. There is a commercial break every fifteen minutes.

Most podcasts are not done in love radio and are not automatically segmented.

We have broken the show into the following Segments:

  • Introduction and banter
  • Commercial
  • Guest
  • Commercial
  • Guest
  • Commercial
  • Guest and exit giving the guest the opportunity to share contact information

Ok, so this seems pretty obvious. Which, it is. But, we can already see that we have two marketable pieces of media here. One is the entire show as a whole, the either is the the guest segments as one. That gives us good marketing material. The long free form of the show and it having guests limits us on attempting to syndicate segments separately.

But there are more opportunities to dissect our long form interview format podcast into marketing segments.

Each question can be its own segment

Pre-planning your questions and guiding the conversation can be very advantageous here… and as a good host you should probably be training yourself to do this anyway. It makes your show sound more professional and helps your guests stay on point, which in turn helps them to sound more professional.

Radio Wasteland deals with paranormal topics. If you want to know more about Radio Wasteland Click Here.

So let’s say I ask a question like “What do Most People Think Ghosts Are?”. This question and it’s answer can be turned into it’s own media item. Either an audio snippet to upload somewhere or converted to a video somewhere… or better yet, both.

Another greet opportunity for a segment to be shared is when we first have a guest on. Introduce them and make the first question about them. Something like the following:

“Welcome to our Guest, John Doe. John, can you tell us a little about how you got started in Ghost Hunting?”

The question and it’s answer can be broken into it’s own segment to be uploaded and shared. I also like to use segments such as this on the bio page for the guest on the website. This can greatly help with your time on site and other search engine optimization factors for your own website.

Examples

Example #2: Archaic Radio Community Radio

Archaic Radio Community Radio is a radio program on KKRN community radio (community radio has no commercials, just underwriters at the beginning of the show) that covers music.

This program’s format has some advantages and disadvantages and, as is usual in this world, the advantages and disadvantages can be the same thing. So below I’ll just explain my thought process.

  • The show has no commercials. This gives us the option of creating our own segments and sub-segments.
  • The show deals with music. This is a problem because, while the world of radio long ago figured out dealing with copyrighted material, the world of podcasting has not.
  • The copyrighted material makes it difficult, if not impossible, to legally share segments of the show online.
  • One advantages is that the music and nature of the show does make it a prime choice for syndication to other community radio stations.
  • The show is on community radio so it cannot be monetized through commercials.
  • There’s always more, but that’s enough to think about right there and you’ve got to start somewhere.
  • We do have a channel in of music that we have copyright permission, but not a whole shows worth.

From our list above I would say that the show needs to focus on syndication and not online media sharing… that’s not to say that it wouldn’t go on.

Here is what we decided for Archaic Radio Community Radio Segments

  • First off we decided to call it “Archaic Radio Community Radio”. This will set it apart from other Archaic Radio endeavors that may include some advertising.
  • We have decided to treat the recording of the show as though we are making four half hour shows. These will be our segments. There may be more but below are some examples of segments:
    • In the Beginning… : This segment covers the history of a band or genre’s influences.
    • New Music: This will be new and upcoming music from the underground.
    • The Sweat Lodge: This will be garage rock and roll.
    • Radio (Insert Genre Here): Examples would be like “Radio Ska” or “Radio Blues”.
    • Etc…
  • Community radio is always trying to fill small chunks of time, so the “New Music” segment can be broken into smaller sub segments to be made available. Examples may be “Featured Artists”, “New on Tour”, etc. These can be made 3 to 5 min long and provided to community radio to randomly grab to fill small holes in their programming.
  • Radio Genre: Can be used and expanded on by creating sharable playlists on platforms such as YouTube and Spotify.

Conclusion

In conclusion you can see that with a little bit of forethought you can create easy sharing opportunities and and multiply your options for syndication. The options are endless, so make a plan and stick with it for a while. But, always be ready to grow and change. The final bit of advice that I would give you is to alternate the “auto pilot” switch. If you are constantly changing you won’t ever be moving forward. Make a plan and stick to it for a few shows. If you have new ideas, keep them in a separate file and revisit the plan once a month or so. This will allow your brain to hunker down and get some serious work done in between. A plan is nothing more than a plan unless you are building a foundation along the way.

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