How to Create a Podcast Outline in 4 Steps (w/ Examples)

Emily Kingland
February 2, 2024
How to Create a Podcast Outline in 4 Steps (w/ Examples)

Recording a podcast episode with no outline is like going zip-lining with no zipline.

It's not going to go well.

So, instead of falling to your inevitable death, make a podcast outline. I know -- you clicked on this link to answer one question...

How do I make a podcast outline? To make a useful podcast outline, follow these steps:

  1. Do keyword research to find topics.
  2. Do research on your guest.
  3. Schedule a pre-interview to determine the main talking points.
  4. Use the notes from the pre-interview to outline the Introduction, Transition, Interview, & Conclusion.

Otherwise, start here. 👇

1. Keyword Research for Business Podcasting

To create a valuable piece of content for your desired audience, keyword research needs to happen. This isn’t just for SEO purposes either. Keyword research helps you get into the minds of your ideal customers.

Without an understanding of what your audience is looking for, it’s much harder to create content they care about. Here are two ways we recommend doing your keyword research:

Google Alphabet Soup

Our team has found Google Alphabet Soup to be extremely useful. Here’s how it works:

 Let’s say the theme of your episode is content marketing. Open up Google and…

  1. Type in “content marketing a” to see what queries Google auto-suggests. Suggestions include content marketing awards, content marketing associate, and content marketing and SEO.
  2. Content marketing and SEO make sense to discuss. Note the search query in your list of topic ideas.
  3. Then search the query to see the questions under People also ask. One of the questions is: What's the difference between SEO and content marketing?
  4. This question makes for a great episode topic (and title). List it under content marketing and SEO.
  5. Once you note all of the relevant auto-suggestions for “content marketing a”, delete “a” and type in “b”. Repeat the same process.

It’s a simple but powerful process. Good luck running out of ideas now! 😉

[READ: Don't have a podcast marketing plan yet? Here's an easy-to-use template.]

Customer FAQs

Another effective way of creating relevant podcasts is to use common questions from your customers.

[READ: Wanna make a kick-ass solo episode? Here's how to do it.]

Say your company provides SEO services to small businesses. Your customers are always asking what the difference between SEO and content marketing is. So, you make a solo episode to discuss the difference.

Now, you have an asset that answers a question for your current customers and your potential customers. It's a win-win... win. ☺

2. Guest Research

It's always a good idea to do research on your guests before the pre-interview. Research ends up saving you and your guest a ton of time.

[READ: Not sure how to schedule guests for your show? This is how.]

Avoid Stupid Questions

Yes. There are such things.


When you're preparing to interview an industry influencer, take the initiative to listen to or read some of their previous interviews, LinkedIn posts or tweets,  and see if their name pops up in any recent news.

Doing this benefits you in three ways:

  1. You avoid asking unnecessary questions that take up valuable time (i.e., where'd you grow up?).
  2. You save your guest a lot of time when they don't have to explain everything.
  3. You find a unique & timely angle to the interview that no other interviewer has taken with that guest.

Want to conduct an outstanding interview with an industry thought leader? Do your research.

3 Types of Podcast Guests

To build out an effective podcast outline, determine the kind of guest you're interviewing. For a business podcast, there are three main types:

  1. External Guests: These guests are from outside of your organization. They likely match your ideal customer profile (ICP)-- which is why you've asked them to be on your show.
  2. Internal Team Members: These are the people you work with. They could be your CEO, CMO, Director of Sales, VP of Audience Growth... anybody within your organization. (These guests often have some of the best insights!)
  3. Current Customers: Another great source for podcast guests is your current customer base. While they can speak to your company and/or product, keep it on-topic -- no one wants to hear an infomercial.

Once you understand which category your guest falls into, you can create a more informed episode outline.

Pro Tip: Ask your guest how to pronounce their name before you hit Record. Write it down phonetically if you need to. Mispronouncing a guest's name is not the best way to kick off an interview, particularly if you want that person's business.

It's a quick, easy thing to do and can save some embarrassment.

For instance, if you're interviewing a team member, you might ask more questions revolving around your organization. When interviewing a current customer, maybe you ask questions surrounding their tech stack and if there are any solutions they wish they had.

3. The Pre-Interview

After you've done keyword research, booked the guest, and done your research on them, it's time for the pre-interview.

The purpose of the pre-interview is to...

  • Build rapport with the guest 
  • Determine the talking points and what the bulk of the interview is going to cover
  • Ask POV questions
  • Let the guest know what to expect on interview day

Check out Logan's advice on point-of-view (POV) questions and how to leverage the answers within the actual interview:

Remember: The goal of your interview is to generate the most helpful content on the internet for your targeted audience.

The best way to achieve this is to help your guest fully articulate their point of view. You can do this by guiding your guest to answer the What, Why, and How related to their unique POV. Here's what that looks like:

WHAT: Identifying and defining the POV.
WHY: Uncovering the theory, reason, and rationale behind the POV.
HOW: This is what listeners really want. It's the action, the strategy, and the potential pitfalls to avoid.

Prep the podcast questions necessary for unearthing the What, Why, and especially the How immediately after the pre-interview.

Now that the pre-interview is done, it's time to write the podcast outline so you do not forget about the points you want to cover.

4. Creating the Podcast Outline

Outlining for an Interview-Based Podcast Episode

When you build a podcast outline for an interview-based episode, view yourself as a journalist. Set up your questions with the goal of mining the unique perspective your guest has on the topic (it's there, I promise).

Part of the unique point-of-view should be uncovered in the pre-interview. But leave a chance to fully unearth it in the interview.

The Introduction

There are two main things that should be covered in the introduction:

  1. Introducing your guest (duh).
  2. Introducing the main topic.

Podcast Guest Introduction

The ideal guest introduction in an interview-based episode is done by the host and shouldn't last more than 30 seconds. Some background information is necessary, but listeners will lose interest if it goes on for too long.

The guest's credibility is important but it's much less important than the meat of the episode. 

If sharing the full version of their professional background is a must for your guests, try doing it at the end of the interview. This might seem backward, but your audience is more likely to want to learn about the guest's background after they've shared some value.

Topic Introduction

In the pre-interview, you should've established the main points you and your guest are going to discuss. For the listener's sake, mention those main points right away in the intro.

This way, someone can identify whether or not they want to hear about the topic or not. Simply giving the listener this courtesy is sometimes enough to keep them there, even if they don't think the topic is necessarily interesting.

The Transition

Moving from the introduction into the meat of the episode takes some finesse. You want it to sound natural, but depending on the guest, it can end up sounding choppy and forced.

Here are some ideas to naturally transition from the introduction into the interview:

Try asking...

  • About the book they just wrote on the main topic.
  • About how they generally define the main topic.
  • About what makes the main topic special for them.
  • About the current landscape of the main topic.
  • About their company's approach to the main topic.
  • About the article/LinkedIn status they just wrote on the main topic.
  • About the press release their company wrote concerning the main topic.

These questions help you guide the conversation into the meat of the episode. 

Understanding the basics about your guests is critical for asking relevant questions and mining really valuable information. So, do your research. 

The Interview

Interviewing someone can be anxiety-inducing, but this is actually the easiest part of the whole gig. You're just having a conversation!

Keep Follow-Up Questions On-Hand

In your outline you should have all of the questions you and the guest discussed beforehand. Additionally, keep some relevant follow-up questions nearby. It's nice to have some backup questions to help you out.

As Logan mentioned in his LinkedIn post, some follow-up questions work in almost any scenario:

  • What do you really mean by ______?
  • Why do you believe that?
  • Why do you think others disagree?
  • How could someone listening take action on this? What's step #1?
  • How could someone following your advice potentially get it wrong?

Bulk of the Content

The majority of the interview should be your guest sharing and elaborating on their POV. You're just there to keep the conversation on the track and dig deeper when necessary.

There are nine tips we suggest to keep top-of-mind for a smooth interview:

  1. Focus on what your guest is saying -- not what you're going to say next.
  2. Take short notes of things your guest says that you'd like to revisit.
  3. It's okay to interrupt if your guest is rambling.
  4. Your listeners don't want to hear a sales pitch
  5. It's fine to respectfully disagree with your guest.
  6. Focus on actions. 
  7. Don't drag out unnecessary stuff. 
  8. You represent the listener, so don't try to sound smarter than everybody

It's completely normal to be nervous.

Concluding the Interview

For a natural interview wrap-up, include in your outline how to conclude it.

The conclusion should consist of...

  • A summary of the main points
  • Where listeners can contact the guest
  • A thank-you to the guest

If you feel like the episode isn't going to be very actionable or valuable to people, ask one of these closing questions:

  • What's the main takeaway you want to leave listeners with?
  • What's a tangible next step that listeners can take back to their business?
  • Before we close out today's episode, is there anything else you'd like to add?

Boom. 💥 Interview over.

Example of an Interview-Based Episode Outline

Now that we know all of the ins and outs of a successful interview, here's an example of our knowledge applied:

B2B Growth, Ep. 3 Outline

Guest: James Carbary, CEO at Sweet Fish Media (full-service podcast production agency)

Main topic: How to use a podcast for your ABM campaign.


Hello and welcome back to B2B Growth! I'm your host Emily Kingland, lead content writer at Sweet Fish Media. Today I'm joined by the CEO of Sweet Fish Media, James Carbary (car/berry).

Our topic today focuses on why you should use a podcast to supercharge your ABM campaign, as well as steps for launching a business podcast.

Before we jump in, a little bit about James. Like I said, he's the CEO of Sweet Fish Media, a full-service podcast production agency that creates shows for B2B companies. James is also the author of Content-Based Networking: How to Instantly Connect w/ Anyone You Want to Know. He hails from the Orlando area but leads an entirely remote team with members around the world.

Quick Tip: Have your guest review the information you're using to introduce them so they can make any changes they deem necessary.

Thanks for joining us today, James!


Why don't you give us a quick run-down of what people can learn from your book, Content-Based Networking?


  • How do you define content-based networking?
  • Can you give me an example of content-based networking?
  • What does it look like to start a podcast to support your ABM campaign?
  • If I understand correctly, starting a podcast to support your ABM campaign is a type of content-based networking. Am I right in saying that?
  • Why hasn't everyone started a podcast to meet anybody they want?
  • What results have you seen from starting a business podcast?
  • Can listeners expect the same kinds of results?
  • What's the first step someone should take if they want to start a podcast for their ABM campaign? The second and third steps?
  • What are some pitfalls new podcasters should look out for?
  • If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice about business podcasting, what would it be?


In summary, listeners who want to launch a podcast to support their ABM campaign should...

  • Make a list of target accounts and ask them if they'd like to be on your show.
  • Use a pre-interview to build rapport with the ideal buyer and establish their unique POV.
  • Notify the guest when the episode goes live.
  • Use the main points from the interview to activate your relationship with the guest.
  • Keep track of the number of conversions your podcast drives.

That's some solid advice, James! Anything else you'd like to add?

James, if listeners want to get in touch with you or find your book, what are the easiest ways?

Thanks again for being on the show! Again, that was James Carbary, CEO of Sweet Fish Media and podcasting genius.

Thanks for listening to B2B Growth. Never miss an episode by subscribing to the show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Make sure to make quick notes on your outline during the interview. This will help you summarize the main points and get the most out of conversation.

Outlining for a Solo Podcast Episode

Creating a podcast outline for a solo episode is less involved than an interview-based episode.

[LISTEN: Why the heck would you do a solo episode? This is why (& how).]

The Introduction

Introduce yourself and the topic like you would in any other episode. Let the listeners know what they can expect to learn.

It helps to have your thoughts plotted out in a list. This makes it so a listener is more likely to retain the information. 

The Meat

Unlike an interview-based episode a transition isn't really needed here. It's good to get into the meat of the episode.

In the main part of the episode, you should share useful information that you can also give your unique POV on. 

To ensure your episode stands out, offer your personal take on the topic. Also, distribute it in a helpful way (lists are good).

Strive to be different -- not better.

The Conclusion

Tell 'em what you told 'em.

Summarize the main points. Offer other resources where listeners can learn more about the topic. Tell them where to connect with you.

Example of a Solo Episode Outline

Your solo episode outline doesn't have to be anywhere near perfect -- you're the only one looking at it. Just make sure it reminds you of all the points you want to hit on.

B2B Growth, Ep. 3 Outline (Solo)

Host: Emily Kingland

Topic: How to use a podcast for your ABM campaign


Hello and welcome back to B2B Growth! I'm your host Emily Kingland, lead content writer at Sweet Fish Media. Today, I'm going to go over five steps for using a podcast to supercharge your ABM campaign.

Those steps include...

  1. Make a list of target accounts.
  2. Establish their unique POV.
  3. Notify the guest when the episode goes live.
  4. Activate your relationship with the guest.
  5. Measure the effectiveness of your podcast.

Let's take a look at step #1.


  1. Make a list of target accounts and ask them if they'd like to be on your show.
  2. Use a pre-interview to build rapport with the ideal buyer and establish their unique POV.
  3. Notify the guest when the episode goes live.
  4. Use the main points from the interview to activate your relationship with the guest.
  5. Keep track of the number of conversions your podcast drives.

Quick Tip: If you're the expert on the topic, you shouldn't have to write down everything you want to say. Riffing off bullet points sounds more authentic, anyways.


To support your ABM campaign with a podcast, follow the steps we just covered.

  1. Make a list of target accounts.
  2. Hold a pre-interview w/ POV questions.
  3. Reach out when the episode goes live.
  4. Use talking points to activate the ideal customer.
  5. Measure the effectiveness.

If you want to learn more about ABM, check out Sangram Vajre's book, ABM is B2B on Amazon. Or, listen to episode 2 of B2B Growth.

To connect with me, find me on LinkedIn.

Thanks for listening to B2B Growth. Never miss an episode by subscribing to the show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Your Savory Takeaways

We talked a lot about beef and meat but I hope you also gathered some Grade-A tips on outlining a podcast episode. (Someone stop me. 🥩)

Let's refresh:

  • Do keyword research to discover topics your ideal customers care about.
  • Research your guest before you start asking dumb questions.
  • Schedule a pre-interview to uncover your guest's unique POV.
  • Use your notes from the pre-interview to create a well-informed episode outline.

Upgrade Your Podcast Outlines and Grow Your Show

If this whole “pre-production” and guest procurement process isn’t your thing, you should consider partnering with a podcasting agency that specializes in your B2B industry. At Sweet Fish Media, not only can you expect white-glove podcast services (outlines and guest bookings included, of course), we are committed to growing your audience and their love of your brand through strategic media development and distribution. Learn more about what a media brand is, why it’s the future of B2B content marketing, and how we can help you build your media brand

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