How to Create a Podcast Plan: A Step-by-Step Strategy Guide for 2024

Tara Parachuk | March 19, 2024

Woman sitting at desk, writing in a notebook to her right, computer in front of her, and a podcasting mic to her left. She is planning a podcast.

Are you looking to create a podcast that captivates and thrives? Planning a podcast is something that everybody seems to be doing nowadays, but that doesn’t mean that each new podcast you hear about just materializes out of thin air. Behind every good podcast is a whole lot of planning. Even the most popular and prolific podcasters in the world map out a strategic plan that outlines episode themes, topics to cover, guests to invite and so much more.

A sound podcast plan is your roadmap to success. Avoid the guesswork with our straightforward guide, which provides the 10 key steps to develop a strong foundation for your podcast, ensuring your voice is heard and valued by its audience.

In this article

  1. Creating a Podcast Plan in 10 Steps:
  2. Defining Your Podcast’s Purpose and Goals
  3. How to Write a Podcast Script
  4. What to Include in the Outline of a Podcast Script
  5. What Goes Into a Podcast Introduction Script?
  6. Creating Momentum With Your Podcast Script
  7. How to Structure (and Script) Your Podcast Segments
  8. Podcast Interview Formats
  9. Don’t Forget About Your Outro Script in Your Podcast Plan
  10. Where to Find More Podcast Script Examples
  11. Write Catchy Episode Titles
  12. Get Listener Feedback as Part of Your Podcast Plan
  13. Summary
  14. Frequently Asked Questions

Creating a Podcast Plan in 10 Steps:

1.Brainstorm Podcast Topics: Make a list of subjects you’re both passionate and knowledgeable about. Take a look at what’s already out there to help you determine how your podcast will function as an extension of your content strategy.
2.Decide on a Podcast Theme: Although your conversations will vary from episode to episode, this will be the overarching theme that your podcast is built around. If you’re stuck on choosing a theme, some resources can point you in the direction of future trends in podcasting.
3.Give Your Podcast a Name: The right podcast name will help your show stand out and attract the right listeners.
4.Write Your Podcast Intro Script: It’s important to capture your audience’s attention right away when starting a podcast episode, so having a well-thought-out podcast intro script can be very helpful.
5.Get the Right Equipment and Setup: For a professional-sounding podcast, you’ll need a good microphone, some voice recording software and a home studio setup.
6.Hire a Musician to Compose Your Podcast Theme Music: If you’re not a musician, you can always purchase stock music or hire a talented musician to write a musical theme for your show.
7.Design Your Podcast Cover Art: Good podcast cover art will perform the same function as a movie poster, enticing listeners to check out your show.
8.Invite Guests to Speak on Your Podcast: Featuring guests on your podcasts is a great way to add some variety to your episodes, consult subject matter experts to bring authority to the topics you cover, and even expand your listenership.

To streamline the process of inviting guests, consider making a one-pager that sells a potential guest on why they should consider coming on the show. One-pagers typically include your show’s listenership stats, your website’s performance stats, social followings, etc. Use it alongside personal messages to your prospects to pitch your podcast more efficiently and effectively.
9.Devise a Podcast Advertising Strategy: Podcasts often have devoted audiences who are more willing to act on an advertisement served to them via a podcast they enjoy compared to a TV commercial, online video ad or radio ad. 

Breaking into the podcast advertising space is a must if you want to generate revenue and collaborate with like-minded brands.
10.Generate an RSS Feed and Submit Your Show to All the Major Podcast Hosting Platforms: For your podcast to reach your target audience’s ears, you’ll have to generate an RSS feed and ensure your show is available on whichever podcast hosting platform where listeners find their podcasts.

Defining Your Podcast’s Purpose and Goals

Any successful podcast starts with a clear purpose and defined goals. After all, your podcast is more than just an audio file; it’s a way to connect with your audience authentically. When your personal beliefs and dreams become part of your podcast’s purpose, your content gains greater depth and meaning. This deeper connection with your target audience is a key factor in the organic growth of your listener base.

On the other hand, neglecting your podcast’s defined purpose can lead to disengagement and a lack of fulfillment. The question then becomes, how do you define your podcast’s purpose and set measurable goals?

Understand Your Motivation

Understanding your ‘why’ is the first step in defining your podcast’s purpose. Your ‘why’ is the driving force behind your podcast. It could be to share knowledge, build a community, or promote a business. Understanding this motivation is crucial for sustaining the production of your podcast and for preventing burnout. This is because the reasons people start podcasts vary.

Some do it to build a reputation, engage an audience or as part of their content marketing strategies. By determining your ‘why,’ you can guide the purpose and goals of your podcast in a direction that aligns with your motivations.

Set Measurable Goals

Once you’ve determined your ‘why,’ it’s time to set measurable goals. It’s not enough to simply say, “I want to start a podcast.” You need to define what success looks like for you. Is it having a certain number of listeners? Is it being ranked in the top charts on Apple Podcasts? Setting SMART goals — specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-based — ensures that you have clear objectives to aim for.

Establishing goals with a specific timeline can make your larger objectives more manageable and achievable.

How to Write a Podcast Script

Before getting granular with each word of your podcast script, try to look at your show from a bird’s-eye view. Which elements of your script will make the listening experience consistent for your listeners from episode to episode? Will your show be fully scripted, ad-libbed or somewhere in between?

Scripted Podcasts

A polished and professional-sounding podcast is similar to what you might hear in a newscast or documentary. The script is written out and rehearsed before recording. Generally, this podcast may have particular themes that are explored in sequential order, demanding more structure and precision. Each episode is typically edited by a podcast editor or audio editor.

If you’ve got writer’s block, get started with these free podcast script templates. There’s more below too.

You should also adopt a more conversational tone of voice — speak to your target audience and not at your audience. Our 2022 Annual Trends Report underscores how a conversational voice is much more appealing and effective in creating an emotional connection with your audience.

Ad lib Podcasts

Freestyle podcasts are most similar to live radio shows or television interviews. Freestyle is an ad-lib recording style that can become greatly successful with an engaging and charismatic voice.

This is most often where the host has a podcast plan that takes the form of a list of bullet points of topics to cover in the episode. These few bullet points are known as “talking points” and could be questions, issues to be debated or topics to explore and uncover a unique perspective. This approach is very common when the host invites a guest for a podcast interview.

Because it’s not fully scripted, the character and charm of the host or their guest can make for an enjoyable listening experience.

Hybrid Podcasts

Aside from the introduction and the final closing remarks, it’s rare that podcast episodes have a word-for-word script for the entire show.

When planning a podcast, yield the best results by combining these two methods and developing your unique podcasting style.

We have a podcast outline template that we’ve used at Voices for our podcasts, and we’ve shared it with hundreds of new podcasters. It’s easy to follow and fill in the blanks.

What to Include in the Outline of a Podcast Script

Podcast Script Template

1. Opening: A quick musical jingle or your brand’s sonic logo.

2. Introduction: A monologue-style intro outlining your guests and what you plan to talk about on your show.

3. Segue: This can be achieved using music or podcast sound effects, or a vocal segue.

4. Topic 1: Discuss the first topic for X number of minutes.

5. Vocal Segue: “We are going to move on and talk about…” or “In other news this week…”

6. Topic 2: Discuss the next topic for another X number of minutes.

7. Ad Insertion: This is the moment to insert a sponsored message or a podcast advertisement. It can be pre-recorded and inserted in post-production (think radio commercial break) or you can speak about the sponsor in a conversational style that doesn’t feel like a commercial break.

8. Segue #2

9. Topic 3: Discuss this for X number of minutes.

10. Closing remarks: Thank your listeners and your guests, then provide a sneak peek of what will be discussed on the next show.

11. Closing Musical Jingle

What Goes Into a Podcast Introduction Script?

We’ve covered the 10 tips for planning a podcast and show structure template, and now it’s onto scripting. Not everyone needs to be fully scripted to deliver a compelling podcast, but intros and outros are most often scripted. Because of that, we thought you’d find these tips helpful. 

What to Include in Your Intro

When writing the intro script for the podcast, you should consider that this intro format will bring each new podcast episode to your listeners. It’s best to keep it short, say 10 or 15 seconds maximum. That way, the podcast intro won’t get skipped over with the +30 skip setting on most podcast players.

So what do you write? After (or even before) introducing yourself and any co-hosts you have, think Hook, Line, and Sinker.

3 Tips on Things to Include in Your Podcast Intro:

  1. Give your listeners the #1 coolest thing happening in the show and the lesson or takeaway that comes from it as a result. (If you haven’t already introduced yourself, do it now. But skip the CV to keep it short)
  2. If you have an exciting and juicy tidbit to share in your final segment, make sure to reveal it right away to grab the attention of your target audience and keep them engaged until the end — or at least encourage them to fast forward to the part that intrigues them the most.
  3. Play your intro jingle at this point to signal that the show is getting started.

Sample Intro Podcast Script

Hook: She wore WHAT to the costume party?! Hi, my name is Lily Turner, and welcome to ‘Talks with Turner.’ Today on our show, I am joined by Pete Saver, my awesome co-host.

Line: We’re talking about our favorite movies, the best costume party ideas of the year, and later on we have a special guest.

Sinker: I don’t want to give it away, but she is a very famous model who is known for her costume parties, so stick around to hear her best — and worst — dressed stories and tips on throwing the best costume party around!

Creating Momentum With Your Podcast Script

Keep your audience engaged by maintaining a lively and varied flow of topics, whether in a lengthy discussion or a short program.

Try to use guests as a way to break up the conversation, pace, and tone of your shows.

You can use musical backgrounds (also known as jingles or music beds) or other non-music interludes (referred to as stagers, sweepers and IDs) to transition between topics. These breaks are commonly known as bumpers or sweepers, allowing your audience to digest the information you’ve just presented.

How to Structure (and Script) Your Podcast Segments

There is no “one size fits all” approach to a podcast as the very nature of podcasts is based on their broad variety and uniqueness from show to show.

It’s important to consider the structure and content of your segments during the planning phase to create a consistent show format that your audience will anticipate.

The First Podcast Segment

The first segment should be the most interesting to sustain listeners’ attention. This segment should appeal to the entire audience. Broad content is encouraged to serve the majority. For example, news and current events related to your podcast subject matter are often of interest to an entire audience. 

The Subsequent Podcast Segments

All subsequent segments can be more in-depth and focus on specific areas of interest. Depending on your comfort level, you can fully script these segments to make sure you’re speaking to them exactly as you want or you can make yourself a set of bullet points to speak to in a more conversational and free-flowing style. The latter option works best when you have guests on the show as scripting a full conversation with your guest tends to take some of the authenticity out of the podcast episode listening experience.

Podcast Interview Formats

If you’ve decided on an interview-based podcast format for your podcast, preparing and conducting interviews becomes a vital part of your podcasting process. You’ll need to research and invite guests, prepare questions and master interview techniques to ensure a successful and engaging conversation. This means that you’ll have additional considerations when crafting your podcast script.

Once you’ve invited your guests, the next step is to prepare your interview questions. These should tap into the guest’s expertise and career experiences, providing valuable insights to the audience. Use the 5 Ws (who, what, when, where, and why) to formulate questions that are relevant to the guest and the podcast theme, and prepare clarifying questions for a more in-depth discussion.

Being a good interviewer and having an interview style is an art form in itself (you can get tips on how to be an amazing host and interviewer here). Conducting a successful interview also requires mastering certain techniques like:

  • Building rapport and trust with the guest
  • Active listening
  • Asking open-ended questions
  • Utilizing follow-up questions
  • Asking for clarification

These techniques ensure that both the audience and the podcast host understand the guest’s talking points.

Tip: Many podcast guests appreciate receiving the questions ahead of time so they know what to expect and can have some answers top of mind, too.

In the podcast intro and outro script examples above, the host was chatting to a supermodel, famous for her costume parties.

Here’s an example of what that podcast interview sheet may look like:

Podcast Interview Sheet Example

Topic: Greta’s Experience and Advice on Hosting Costume Parties

Q1: Before you share your amazing tips, tell us how your love of costume parties came to exist.

Q2: So of all the parties you have thrown, which one has been your favorite?

Q3: If I want to make sure that my costume party is one to be rivaled, what do I need to know? How do I prepare?

Don’t Forget About Your Outro Script in Your Podcast Plan

In the podcast script’s outro, thank your guests for appearing on the show and recap the discussed topics.

Now is also the time to talk about any exciting future episodes that are coming up and include a call-to-action for the listener.

For example, you may want to promote a special event that is relevant to your podcast and/or brand or entice listeners to become loyal subscribers. You can also direct your listeners to your show notes for links to videos or articles mentioned during the show so they, too, can enjoy those pieces to the fullest and better understand where you were coming from when talking about them!

You will also want to play your outro jingle at this point.

Sample Outro Podcast Script

“Well, that’s all for today’s episode of ‘Talks with Turner.’ Thanks for listening, and thank you to Pete Saver for joining me today, along with Greta Greets for sharing her tips for throwing the best costume party this year. Join us again next week for the top songs of the year. Musician Teddy will be stopping by, and you’re not going to want to miss it. Make sure you subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts or Spotify. Plus, if you haven’t got your tickets to our live show in Georgia next month, check out this episode’s show notes for a link to”

Where to Find More Podcast Script Examples

The above examples are just an introduction to how to begin. You can find many sources online that can help spark your creativity when crafting the ideal podcast script or outline.

You can search for transcripts of your favorite podcasts on various sites such as Listen Notes, which has a ton of free transcripts available for some of the most popular podcasts.

Alternatively, you can simply listen to your favorite podcast and take notes on the different elements that comprise their podcast script and use some of those elements in your podcast script template.

To get the creative juices flowing, visit our podcast voice over page to hear voice actor demos of podcast intros, advertising segments, segues, and outros!

Write Catchy Episode Titles

Episode titles should:

  • Spark curiosity
  • Clearly communicate the topic
  • Avoid vague titles
  • Provide informative titles to prevent confusion and set expectations
  • Use news headline-style formats
  • Incorporate guest names at the end of the title for interview-based podcasts to catch interest and enhance credibility and appeal.

Get Listener Feedback as Part of Your Podcast Plan

Once you’ve created your podcast, it’s time to get the word out. Implementing a marketing and promotion strategy is crucial to attracting a larger audience and growing your podcast. Utilizing social media platforms and actively engaging with followers can enhance listener involvement and promote continued community growth.

Once you have a listening audience, encouraging listeners to leave reviews and ratings for your podcast is another effective strategy. Include clear calls to action in podcast episodes, websites, and social media.

Offering rewards for leaving reviews, such as shout-outs during episodes, can incentivize listeners to engage with the review process.

They may even introduce new ideas that will give you an edge over competitors and enhance the listening experience. These suggestions could include segment duration, topics covered, guests featured and more.


Creating a podcast entails a series of thoughtful, strategic steps. Define your podcast’s purpose and goals. Select an engaging topic. Develop a consistent podcast format and craft compelling content. Promote your podcast and conduct engaging interviews. Monitor and adjust your strategy based on analytics data. But remember, the most important thing is to create content that is authentic, valuable, and resonates with your audience. So, get out there, hit that record button, and start sharing your voice with the world!

Sign up for a Voices account to find the voice for your next podcast intro, podcast ads or segue music.

Happy podcasting in 2024!

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Frequently Asked Questions

How to structure a podcast?

Start each podcast episode with an engaging introduction, dive into the main content and end with a satisfying outro. This podcast episode structure can help keep your listeners engaged and provide a clear flow to your podcast.

How do I make a podcast schedule?

To create a podcast schedule, group recordings, segment tasks, plan for operational tasks, set release dates and use automation tools. Make sure to inform your audience about the schedule for increased engagement.

What are the key steps in creating a successful podcast in 2024?

To create a successful podcast, define your podcast’s purpose and select an engaging topic. Next, develop a consistent format and assemble essential equipment. Third, craft compelling intros and outros, conduct interviews, implement marketing strategies and have a clear call to action for listeners. These steps will help you in creating a podcast with impact.

How to select an engaging topic and niche for my podcast?

To find the ideal topic and niche for your podcast, start by exploring your market for content gaps. Then, choose a topic that aligns with your audience’s interests. Lastly, consider your background and experiences. This will help you select an engaging and relevant subject for your podcast.

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  • Avatar for Herbie
    March 4, 2019, 10:06 am

    Thank you for writing this article. I’m in the planning stages of my podcast, so this was perfect. Very thorough article!

    • Avatar for Tanya
      March 5, 2019, 8:25 am

      That’s wonderful! All the best in developing and launching your show!

  • Avatar for Arman
    September 14, 2019, 12:39 pm

    Thanks for writing this article! My friend and I are starting to record our episodes and we ran into some problems cause we felt we were all over the place and the episode wasn’t structured. So this definitely helps to organize it!

  • Avatar for George
    October 22, 2019, 2:11 pm

    This was great information. Thank you!

  • Avatar for Sambit Jena
    Sambit Jena
    May 11, 2020, 4:52 pm

    THANK YOU FOR THIS AMAZING ARTICLE. Now I could definitely go ahead with my clear mind for a podcast. It gave me a structure to me existing ideas to execute them. thanks a lot.


    • Avatar for oliver
      May 19, 2020, 4:48 pm

      Hi Sambit,

      I’m so happy to hear you found the article helpful! Best of luck with your podcast.


  • Avatar for Nita Vee
    Nita Vee
    August 30, 2020, 1:42 am

    Now this is what I needed. You are a godsend!!

  • Avatar for lol
    September 10, 2020, 12:11 am


  • Avatar for Eric de Fombelle
    Eric de Fombelle
    September 10, 2020, 12:15 am

    well done

  • Avatar for Lady Q
    Lady Q
    September 17, 2020, 6:26 am

    This step by step is awesome!

  • Avatar for Victoria Ghee-Fyfe
    Victoria Ghee-Fyfe
    September 26, 2020, 10:22 am

    I have already bought all the equipment to set up a studio.
    Your information on prod casting is extremely helpful. Am aiming to start the end of October doing video prod casting.
    Amy more support would be appreciated
    Thank You

  • Avatar for Isaiah
    October 6, 2020, 8:27 am

    this blog is fire ?. It has everything i could ever possibly wonder or want. The magic 8 ball of the internet

  • Avatar for Lord Walker
    Lord Walker
    February 22, 2021, 8:07 pm

    Excellent information and appreciate your post on 2021 podcast ventures. Do you offer more individualized consulting on developing podcast projects from concept to final?

  • Avatar for Bella
    January 19, 2022, 5:09 am

    Hey David,

    Awesome article and plan.

    Right now I am working on to create podcast about family and relatives.
    These tips are definitely going to help me a lot. And your article came just at the right time.

    But I’m stuck on creating a title – I read the article at the link, but I’m not good with ideas.

    Thanks a lot ????

    • Avatar for Niki Clark
      Niki Clark
      January 25, 2022, 9:09 am

      Hi Bella,

      Coming up with a good name is always tricky! I’m glad you had a chance to go through the steps in the article we link out to. I think beyond that, look at your subject matter. I’m just spit balling here, but if your podcast covers serious or heavier topics about different family structures in the social services system, maybe its entitled something like “Tangled Family Ties,” or if its a goofy podcast about funny family stories, it could be called something more lighthearted like, “The Fam-dam-ly Stories” or something. Come up with a few different ideas based on the subject matter and tone of the podcast theme and just go from there. And, always check to see if its been used before!

      Good luck, I hope that was helpful!


  • Avatar for Acosta Jenkins Jr
    Acosta Jenkins Jr
    March 4, 2022, 10:32 pm

    I Appreciate your the info you provide. It puts me at ease knowing I have reputable reference to always be able to look back to.

  • Avatar for Benjamin Aneke
    Benjamin Aneke
    January 30, 2023, 4:17 pm

    Very insightful masterpiece

  • Avatar for waatea news
    waatea news
    March 1, 2023, 11:58 pm

    This is an informative article that offers valuable tips for planning a podcast. As podcasting continues to grow in popularity, it’s essential to have a clear plan and strategy in place to stand out and reach your intended audience.

  • Avatar for TEDDY MUTONI
    May 9, 2024, 5:19 am

    This is so helpful
    Is it possible to share a downloadble version-booklet