In recent years, podcasting has exploded in popularity, with millions of listeners tuning in to hear stories, news, and commentary on a wide range of topics. One type of podcast that has particularly caught the attention of audiences is the narrative podcast, which tells a story over the course of several episodes.
I have worked on two narrative podcasts so far as of early 2023: Bringing Up The Lights, which gives an inside look at theater production, and Miles For Change, which profiles charities that fundraise through running the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.
If you’re considering creating a narrative podcast, here are some things to keep in mind to ensure that it is engaging and effective:
- Choose a compelling story: The most important element of a good narrative podcast is the story itself. Choose a story that is interesting, unique, and has a clear arc with a beginning, middle, and end. Your story should capture the listener’s attention from the very beginning and keep them engaged throughout the entire series.
- Use immersive sound design: One of the benefits of podcasting is the ability to use sound to create a rich, immersive experience for the listener. Use sound effects, music, and ambient noise to enhance the storytelling and bring the listener into the world of the story. Make sure the sound design is of high quality, and that it adds to the story rather than distracting from it.
- Develop strong characters: Characters are the heart of any good story, and this is especially true in a narrative podcast. Develop your characters carefully, giving them depth, complexity, and relatability. Ensure that your audience cares about your characters and is invested in their journey.
- Plan your episodes carefully: A good narrative podcast should be carefully structured to build suspense and keep the listener engaged. Plan each episode carefully, ending on a cliffhanger or a compelling moment that makes the listener eager to hear what happens next.
- Be consistent with your release schedule: Consistency is key in podcasting. Choose a release schedule that you can stick to, whether it’s once a week or once a month, and stick to it. This will help build an audience that looks forward to new episodes and can help keep them engaged with the story.
- Pay attention to pacing: Pacing is crucial in a narrative podcast. Make sure that the story moves forward at a good pace, with enough twists and turns to keep the listener interested, but without feeling rushed. Don’t be afraid to take your time with important moments, but also be mindful of keeping the listener engaged.
- Promote your podcast effectively: Finally, a good narrative podcast is only effective if people are listening to it. Make sure to promote your podcast effectively, using social media, email newsletters, and other channels to build an audience. Engage with your listeners, and listen to their feedback to improve the podcast over time.
A good narrative podcast requires careful planning, attention to detail, and a focus on engaging storytelling. By following these tips, you can create a podcast that captures the attention of listeners and keeps them coming back for more
If you have an idea for a podcast, I can help you turn it into a reality.
If you already have a podcast… Every day I send out stories and ideas to various radio hosts and podcasters that I work with. Some of them get used, some of them don’t. But I figured why not let you have a few of them? Sign up for my email newsletter The News Sidequest