You sit down to record your podcast content, but what are you supposed to include? Today’s episode is all about the structural components that make up a podcast episode and the different ways you can arrange them! Listen in as I describe some of the most popular elements and structures that I see with my podcast clients, and the podcasts I personally listen to!
Clocking In with Haylee Gaffin is produced and brought to you by Gaffin Creative, a podcast production company for creative entrepreneurs. Learn more about our services at Gaffincreative.com, plus you’ll also find resources, show notes, and more for the Clocking In Podcast.
Why Structuring your Podcast is Important (1:40)
Elements of a Podcast Episode (1:52)
- Podcast Intro (2:05)
- Episode Intro (2:27)
- Advertisements (3:14)
- Example of Advertisement (3:51)
- Content (4:34)
- Episode Outro (5:18)
- Podcast Outro (5:35)
- Bonus/Next Episode Teaser (6:10)
How to Use The Elements to Structure Your Episode (7:00)
Different Ways You Can Style Your Episodes (7:33)
- Standard Structure (7:45)
- Clocking In Structure (8:13)
- Starting With Music (8:44)
- Starting With Ad (9:40)
Experiment with Styles (10:42)
Review the Transcript:
What do I include in my podcast? This is probably the number one question I get from my brand new podcast clients.
It’s an important question to ask, because you need to know what all you need to record, but you also need to know what your options are so you can plan ahead! Today we’re breaking down the different structural components to a podcast, and highlighting how and why you should use each. Spoiler alert though — I actually don’t think there is an absolute right way to structure your podcast and I encourage all of my clients to take these components and build it however they prefer.
Welcome back to the final episode in our podcasting series. Next week we’ll be wrapping it up with a little intro to managing time to help you start a podcast by setting boundaries, but this week, we’re getting a little technical in today’s episode, but it has nothing to do with tech of a podcast. We’re discussing structure and the components that build up your podcast episode.
The elements of a podcast and the structure you set them in can help guide your listener to take the action you want them to take. You can simplify it or make it strategic as much as you want.
Let’s first go over the different elements, but keep in mind, you may not use every single one of these in your podcast episode AND you may play around with it based on the episode type:
This intro is a consistent intro for every episode—you’ll introduce yourself and your show to the listener, or you can instead simply use music to intro your podcast.
Now some podcasts, like mine, will also use an episode intro. This is where youstart the episode with it’s own intro before the consistent podcast intro. The reason many podcasts will use this is to hook the guest into listening to the full episode byl introducing the topic of conversation for the episode.
If you’re planning to use advertisements in your show, you’ll want to decide on how to place them. A common way is to insert them after the intro or in the middle of your show. If you’re using a podcast advertisement across multiple shows and it’s not organic (meaning you can’t work it into the content of the show, I encourage you to consider using music and keeping it under 45 seconds. You could gain sponsorships from outside brands or use a new product, course, or service of your own to add to your show, for example, here’s the type of advertisement I would create for my own show to promote my own products:
Hey friends, I really hope you’re enjoying today’s episode! It’s brought to you by my podcast resources shop at gaffincreative.com/shop. If you’re ready to take your idea and build out a full plan for your podcast, my podcast planning workbook is for you! Check it and my other podcast resource products at gaffincreative.com/shop. Now let’s get back to the show.
That’s just one way you can run an ad, but you can also work them into your content, like I normally do for my episodes.
Another component to podcast episodes is the actual episode content itself. This can be scripted or improvised, but we recommend at least an outline of your desired topic, especially if you’re hosting an interview so you can ensure there isn’t a lag in conversation. How you deliver your content can vary based upon the topic, sometimes you’ll even want to do a series or multi-part episode if you’re focused on limiting your episode length.
Similar to the intro, the outro is consistent across each episode. You can either run with music only or have a scripted outro that Thanks your audience for listening, call them to action, and say goodbye.
Bonus or Next Episode Teaser
This component is a great way to keep your audience engaged and listening over time. I personally try to include a section at the end of my episodes where I’m cheering for a new person each week. This is just a little bonus I like to throw in if there are big things happening with the people in my life. Make sure you stick around for today’s, as one of new friends and clients launched a podcast today!
Now, the bonus could even be a teaser for the next episode,especially if you’re planning ahead and can coordinate it! Tease them with a promise of what’s to come.
Now those are some of the most common components of a podcast episode. You can customize these and play around with them any way you want.
Now, let’s talk about how you can use these elements to structure your podcast.
My own podcast structure includes an episode intro to hook the audience, my podcast intro to explain who I am and what the podcast is about for new listeners, the actual episode content, a podcast outro, then sometimes I include bonus content at the end for cheering on others.
With so many options, let’s talk about some different ways you could style your episodes. These ways can help guide the listener to do want you want them to do, because you’re constantly repeating what you want them to do.
[podcast intro] [content] [optional ad] [content] [outro]
This style is probably the most common you’ll hear.
[episode intro] [podcast intro] [content] [optional ad] [content] [outro]
I like to see these personally now that I’ve spent more time with podcasting because it allows for variety when people start your episodes and encourages them to listen.
[music] [content] [optional ad] [content] [outro]
This is a really simple way to keep the attention of your audience, but I would encourage you to find a way to work i simple “thanks for listening to podcast name, blah blah…” so that you’re keeping your name top of mind for listeners.
[episode intro] [ad] [content] [content] [outro]
This way you’re getting the ad out to your audience, but they’re listening to it like it’s the intro.
I like to see this done when a podcast host is running ads for their own products on the show.
There are so many combinations to doing this, so I’d encourage you as a new podcaster or existing to play around with it. Start with one style, and switch it up after a month. You can your audience which they prefer, but I think it all comes down to your strategy and the goals of your podcast.
If you’re ready to start a podcast and want guidance, I’m here to help! I offer podcast coaching calls and launch services to help you start and produce your podcast! We’ll talk about your podcast goals and what structure would work best for you!
Head over to gaffincreative.com to get more information!
As a podcast listener, I would love to know which podcast structure you enjoy—or had you ever thought about how a podcast is structured to guide you to a specific CTA?
This week, I’m cheering for my sweet friend Alexa Hallberg on the launch of her new podcast, The Alexa Hallberg Show.
I met Alexa while on a work trip to Maryland to prep for the launch of Natalie Franke’s book. We got to chat all about work, what she does, and her story and I was just blown away by the multi talented entrepreneur, beautiful momma, and strong, fierce woman.
Join me in congratulating and celebrating Alexa on her new podcast and check it out on your favorite podcast player!