Choosing a Topic for Your Podcast
Podcast Your Passion
What do you want to podcast about? Actually, let me ask you this first: what are you interested in? Even more, what are you passionate about?
SIDENOTE: If you're interested in creating a podcast to promote your business or to make money, there are some special considerations for choosing your topic. I will also talk about this below.
I’ll be honest. Creating a podcast takes some time. But podcasting is a lot of fun and very rewarding. You will have the most fun if you're podcasting about something you love. You could become a celebrity on the internet or a recognized expert on your chosen topic. Here are some questions to help you choose a topic:
• What hobbies do you have?
• What do you love to talk about?
• What things would you do whether or not you got paid?
• What are your areas of expertise?
• What do people ask you for help with on a regular basis?
How to Choose a Topic That will Be the Most Enjoyable
for You and Boost the Quality &
Popularity of Your Podcast
Do you love to water ski? Are you good at woodworking? Do you love riding horses? Any of those pastimes I just mentioned would make a great podcast.
Whatever your passion is, there are others out there with similar interests. There will be people who want to hear and learn about what you do because they love to do it, too. If you share your experiences, your knowledge and your passion, people will listen.
If you have special expertise or knowledge, there will be be people who want to learn what you know. They'll come to recognize you as a source of the information they need through your podcast.
You could also talk about the town you live in. You could review local businesses or provide tourism information. The list goes on. The important thing is that it's something you love. The reason I emphasize passion is because it will make your podcasting experience easier and more enjoyable.
If you want to enjoy making your podcast in the long term, then choose a topic that you love. Again, the possibilities are endless. You can do comedy. You can do music. You can do politics. Make a choice and run with it.
Podcasting about Nothing in Particular at All or
"The Show About Nothing"
Have you ever seen that episode of Seinfeld where Jerry and George decide to write a sitcom about nothing? While this was a clever idea for their show and made for a funny story in Seinfeld, I wouldn't suggest it for your podcast.
There are podcasts where the hosts just sit and talk about nothing in particular. There's usually some comedic quality to the show. One of the most popular podcasts, the Dawn & Drew Show (caution, this is not a work/child-safe podcast) uses this format.
If you choose to go this route, just be aware that it has already been done and it will be harder to stand out. You need to have just the right flare.
Podcasting to a Niche
Podcasting is powerful because it can do what can't be done with broadcasting. Podcasting is great for reaching small, focused and underserved topics of interest (niches).
By choosing a specific area of interest to focus on, your podcast can become a powerful source of information and enjoyment for others who share your interest.
You'll find it easier to market your podcast, maintain listeners and even make money with a podcast that focuses on a niche topic.
If you try to be all things to all people, you will lose in the end. You'll spread yourself too thin and your podcast will be weak and harder to maintain.
How Your Podcasting Goals Affect Your Choice of Topic
The reason I bring up your goals right now is that they should affect what subject you choose for your podcast. Here is why. If have business aspirations for your podcast or want to gain a large audience, then you need to think about the potential size of your audience.
If your podcast is going to be about caring for Vietnamese Potbelly Pigs (yes this is a real kind of pig), then you shouldn’t expect as big an audience as if your subject was NASCAR.
How large is the market for your topic? Is there a demand for it? If you want to make money with your podcast, promote your business, or gain a large audience, then you need to make sure there is a demand for your topic.
If you want to eventually make money with your podcast, then be sure your topic is profitable. Will people spend money on your topic? Is it important enough for them to pull their wallets out and give up their cash?
Also, how much competition is there? The good news is that podcasting is new enough that many niches are wide open. There is a good chance you can create one of the first podcasts on your topic (maybe even the very first one).
I don’t want you to get 3 months down the road and find you're not reaching your goals because you didn’t take some time to plan your topic. It's worth giving it a little thought and doing a little research right now.
If you need some ideas, take a look around at one of the podcast directories to see what others are doing. Something may spark your imagination. Here are some example shows and topics that are already being podcast:
GothamCast: This is one of my podcasts. It is a guide to New York City as well as a vicarious NYC experience. It's sort of an audio blog of my discovery of the city as a transplant from the west. The podcast combines my passion for music, photography, culture and history all wrapped in the incomparable vibe of The Big Apple.
Coverville: This is a music-based podcast that plays nothing but cover songs (a new rendition of songs written by someone else). Brain Ibbot chooses a selection of cover songs by a variety of bands and puts themtogether into a casual 35-minute show with information about the songs and artists in between the music.
This Week in Tech: This is a very popular podcast with a panel of hosts discussing the latest in technology. It's news mixed with a lot of interesting and informed opinion.
Media Artist Secrets: This is a business-minded podcast for the creative artist. It teaches media artists how to market their talents. It offers inspiration and ideas for growing their business and developing their talents.
Catholic Insider: A podcast by Father Roderick Vonhögen, catholic priest of the Archdiocese of Utrecht, The Netherlands. This podcast contains news, interviews, music, reviews, audio-documentaries and other information about the Catholic faith and lifestyle.
The list of topics goes on from comedy to food to education to movies and more. Pick your niche in the podcasting world. You could become a recognized expert in your field. You're only limited by your imagination.
The first step in planning your podcast is to choose a topic. When you choose a topic for your podcast:
- Choose something that excites you. This will make creating your podcast fun now and in the long run.
- Make sure there is enough demand for your topic, especially if you want to make money, promote a business or gain a large audience.
Once you have a topic for your podcast you need to choose a format. Format is important for keeping your listener’s interest. If you don’t carefully consider your format, not only could you could lose your subscribers, but you can also run into problems with your hosting and drive yourself crazy because your podcast takes too much of your time to create.