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There are over 800,000 active podcasts out there with over 50 million episodes between them.
There can’t possibly be any new topics to talk about, right?
Because podcasts are so unique to the individual podcaster, your take on a niche topic is likely to be just as fresh and new as anyone else’s. The key with podcasting is to make sure that there’s enough of an audience out there, but not so large an audience that the market is already saturated.
If all else fails, remember that if you have competitors, you’re on the right track!
Keep reading to learn everything that you need to know about how to start a podcast and the specifics of podcast topics.
Choosing your podcast topic is a very personal decision and the choice should be made with great consideration. If your podcast is the massive hit you know it will be, you’ll have to talk about this topic for years to come, so it needs to be something you’ll love!
Keep reading to learn how to choose a podcast topic and set yourself up for podcast success.
Finding a unique podcast topic is about as easy as finding a needle in a haystack!
The podcast market is nothing if not filled with an incredibly wide range of topics. A quick look on Apple Podcasts and Spotify will reveal an endless number of food, true crime, feminist, business, mythbusting, sports, general knowledge, news, audio dramas, and more.
And although there are an endless number of topics to explore, it doesn’t matter what gets the most listens and subscribers. When thinking of a podcast topic idea, you need to think what you could spend the next few years (or more if you want this to be a full time business) talking about, who in that niche would you like to interview, and what you’re passionate about!
Even if business podcasts are the top grossing, if you don’t know anything about business, the time that you’re going to need to spend becoming an expert worthy of being listened to is simply not worth it.
So what are some good podcast topics?
The most popular podcast topics vary by country, culture, age, gender, and other demographics.
Because there are so many podcast options to choose from, the top charts offer a very wide range of podcast types. In the United States, the top 100 podcast list includes everything from Joe Rogan and Ben Shapiro to daily news and true crime reenactments. However in South Korea, for example, the most successful podcasts are a general range of news and interviews with professionals.
So when it comes to the most popular podcast topics, there’s really no clear winner but in the United States listeners seem to enjoy comedy, true crime, or news.
You already know that there are no shortages of podcasts online, so when it comes to creating a podcast topic idea, don’t try and reinvent the wheel. It’s unlikely that you’re going to come up with a completely new topic.
For example, let’s say that you love true crime and want to make your own podcast. The internet has already seen so many variations of this, from dramatized tales to psychological assessments. There have also been more niche specific takes on this, from kidnappings gone wrong to serial killers.
The podcasts that already exist in these realms are backed by some of the biggest networks out there. So instead of trying to beat these podcasts, try and find a niche that you know about best. Maybe there’s an unsolved mystery in your small town. You could go to the local library and look at old newspapers that aren’t available online to come up with your own conclusions. It’s not the first time someone has done this, but it’s unique to your area and people do love a drawn out mystery.
The key when creating a podcast topic is to find something niche that you can speak on for an endless number of episodes and something that’s unique enough that you have a chance of dominating it. If someone else is doing something similar, that’s a good sign! It means that there’s a market waiting to see who dominates.
Choosing a niche-relevant podcast topic is one of the best things that you can do for your career!
The first step is to pick something that you have authority in. If you have a degree in literature and know nothing about business, that may not be the best fit. However, if you have a degree in literature and a passion for true crime, you could make the two fit together for quite a unique look at how true crime is portrayed through literature around the world.
Above all, whatever niche you choose, you should be passionate about it! You’re going to be spending all of your free time learning and researching, so if it’s something you wouldn’t want to do in your spare time, try a new topic.
Another way to choose niche-relevant podcast topics is to think about guests that you would like to interview. Ask yourself who you admire and who you would like to interview? Who would your listeners and people in your niche of choice want to hear from? If a lot of top chefs are coming to mind, this could be a good indication that a cooking podcast could be the way to go.
Finally, when choosing a niche-relevant podcast, make sure that there is actually a niche for it. It’s easy to want to be the only one making a podcast about the topic, but you need to do your market research and figure out if there’s actually a market out there.
Learn more about this in the next section!
When you start to think about your podcast ideas, you need to make sure that there are actually people interested in your topic. It’s easy to get too specific, but keep in mind that if you get too niche, you’ll eventually run out of content.
For example, maybe you want to do a podcast about chefs, but if you only do interviews with top ranking chefs who never went to culinary school, you’re probably going to run out of content fairly quickly. It’s always better to be a little bit more broad in your topic when you start, and see which content people respond better to. If your episodes with chefs who were on cooking shows always outperform your other episodes, you could delve into that niche.
Another way to figure out which podcast topic ideas can help you get more listeners is to ask your friends and family what types of podcasts they like and what they would listen to. Keep in mind that as much as your friends and family love you, they aren’t necessarily your target audience because they don’t necessarily have the same niche interest as you.
To really see if there’s a market, turn to the internet. Websites like Reddit are a great place to start. If you want to create a podcast show about chefs, head to Reddit and see what threads exist. As you click through you’ll find more and more niche communities. Aim to find topics that aren’t oversaturated, but still have a couple thousand or more people following and replying. This is also a great place to get recommendations for people to interview or topics to discuss and to advertise your podcast later on.
Facebook groups are also another great resource. Find a few Facebook groups that are related to your podcation podcast topic idea and see what questions people are asking in these groups. Each of these questions can be turned into an episode and once you’ve completed the episode, the Facebook group will be a great place to advertise that. Facebook groups also act as a perfect place to conduct polls. Create a few options for podcast topics or ideas and see what people would be most interested in. Keep in mind that Facebook serves a slightly more mature demographic. Under 20s have moved away from Facebook and are now on platforms like TikTok and Instagram, which aren’t as geared towards discussion due to their visual nature.
How often should you do a podcast?
One of the world’s leading podcasters, John Lee Dumas, actually releases an episode every day! All of his podcasts are interviews, so he conducts multiple interviews per day in order to schedule these releases.
Now, if you’ve read anything about podcasting you’ll know that this is an absolutely massive undertaking! From finding a topic, writing a script or scheduling an interview, recording, editing, publishing, and advertising, creating a single 30 minute podcast can take days, especially for beginners trying to learn how to do everything themselves.
That being said, releasing a daily podcast is the best way to learn how to do it and you’ll be generating content quickly so people are more likely to visit your channel and scroll through your episodes.
However, if you’re working a nine to five and trying to build a podcast on top of that, you don’t want to overwhelm yourself and experience burnout. Instead, try starting out with one podcast a week. Plan these in advance and don’t expect to do everything in one day or even a few days before the actual podcast release date. Give yourself at least a month to learn what materials you need, how to write the script, how to record, how to edit, and how to release and advertise your podcast.
What you talk about on your first podcast will completely depend on what the subject is. If you’re doing a dramatic podcast about serial killers, you want to hook the reader in and leave them on a cliffhanger so that they tune in for the next episode.
However, if your podcast is more personalized to you and to your experiences, whatever that may be (business mogul, traveler, book reviewer, etc.) you’ll benefit greatly from establishing a connection with your listener. By the end of your podcast your reader should know who you are, why you’re an authority on your subject, and what value you will provide to the reader. After all, if your podcast is just you talking about your life, no one will listen. Your listeners need to get something out of it.
The more free value that you provide at the beginning, the more people are going to want to follow you and continue listening. Then, if you eventually decide that you want to sell a physical product, eBook, or online course, listeners and potentially high paying customers will already have a sense of the amazing value that you can provide to them.
Remember that entertainment is valuable too! Just because you’re not giving business advice doesn’t mean that your podcast doesn’t provide value. If you’re creating a comedy podcast, tell your listeners that they should get ready to laugh their socks off at the beginning, If it’s a serial killer podcast, prepare your listeners for unimaginable horror. Everyone’s taste in entertainment is a little bit different, so tailor the value to match the audience.
You already know that it can be helpful to think of guests that you would like to interview before starting your podcast but once you have your topic solidified, how often should you have guests on?
The answer, of course, depends on the topic of your show but guests are a great way to bring legitimacy to your podcasts. Guests usually offer specialized knowledge and insights into whatever the topic of your podcast is. They can provide new insights that you might not have considered, and they can bring a lot of value to your listeners. If you can find a new (and quality) guest for every podcast episode that can bring new insights into your podcast topic, it’s worth having them on!
One of the leaders in the podcast industry, John Lee Dumas releases his podcast episodes daily with new guests for every episode. This is a massive undertaking because of not only finding the guests and creating the podcast itself, but because his guests are from all over the world and are busy entrepreneurs, finding times to talk can be quite difficult. That being said, this kind of dedication and the bringing of free value to his listeners has made JLD into the international success that he is today.
Generally, if you’re making a podcast the goal is to make your podcast idea a massive success. You want to be able to quit your day job and interview your heroes all day long. To do this, you need to be considering your monetization strategy from the start so that when an opportunity does come your way, you’re prepared.
The first step is getting your podcast out there by using social media. Whatever the name of your podcast is, it’s helpful to create social media accounts under that same name so that people can easily find you. Once you create these channels, ask people to follow you at the end of the podcast. Although this isn’t direct podcast monetization, you can begin to start monetizing your socials if they’re finding more success than your podcast.
You should also begin to think about selling advertising space on your podcast. For new podcasters, it can be tempting to sell to the first person who comes along, but know that the longer you hold out, the more that your listeners will appreciate the value that you provide them.
When selling ad space you should also consider what your listeners will think of the ad. Does it make sense for them? If your podcast is about baking and you’re selling space to a pharmacy delivery program, it won’t make much sense for your readers and the advertiser will be unhappy with the lack of success that they’re having. Generally, this sort of research is done on the side of the advertiser but you need to be an advocate for your listeners.
Podcast monetization might not be right around the corner, but it’s a goal worth working towards!
Ready to start your own top ranking, money making podcast? Give yourself freedom from the nine to five by learning the ins and outs of podcast entrepreneurship. It is a business after all!
John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneurs on Fire, is one of the world’s leading podcasters. Let him teach you proven ways how to launch your podcast and how to maintain it. Start your podcast today!