With podcasts on the rise of popular media entertainment, maybe now is the time to brainstorm for podcast ideas and get your own podcast going. Make it meaningful, relevant, and interesting, and you may see your own podcast on the rise with all the others.
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This post has been updated in October 2021.
The Popularity of Podcasts
Who doesn’t love a podcast? They are versatile, informative, convenient, usually free…and there is something for everyone to listen to. So many genres and formats exist that no matter your age, political leaning, interests, relationship preference and status, cultural background, there’s something for you. All you need is a device and you’re all set. Just download your favorite podcasts and you’re ready to listen no matter what you’re doing.
But you probably know all of this, right? You may be so familiar with podcasts that you are actually ready to produce your own. And that’s a fabulous idea. Speaking of ideas…what will your podcast be about? Coming up with the best podcast ideas may be one of the biggest challenges when it comes to creating a podcast. Not only does your idea have to be current and relevant, but it has to be original and interesting. However, it doesn’t hurt to look at some of the most popular podcasts to get some ideas brainstorming.
Coming Up With Podcast Ideas
Don’t you love it when a lightbulb goes off in your head? That moment when you know what you want and you know you will see it through. You have had the first podcast light bulb go off and you know you want to pursue this and create a great podcast. Awesome! Now it’s time to come up with a few podcast ideas to get just the right one to work.
This article shares a bit of great insight and perspective when it comes to brainstorming podcast ideas. Think about the goals you want to achieve. According to this article, two of them should be:
- Passing on a specific message
- Creating a regular audience
Think about it, regardless of what a podcast is about, it should pass on a message to a regular audience. The good ones achieve this. So think about what ideas will help you reach this goal. Maybe you know a lot about baking. That’s your message you can pass on. And if your podcast is good enough, it, in turn, will create a regular audience.
Think about this, the number of podcasts on Apple Podcasts is over 800,000 active podcasts according to designyourthinking.com. That’s not to say that you can’t add to that and that your podcast won’t be original and relevant. This article also shares just that, a key to finding your podcast idea is looking within your own self. The author recommends thinking about what you are passionate about. Where does your voice take you with this? Sure there are a lot of food podcasts out there. But maybe you have a skill of cooking with cereal. That’s a specific message, and these days, that is relevant enough to create a regular audience.
It’s not only important to come up with a podcast genre, but then go further and deeper to come up with your own original take on it. And don’t worry if there are other podcasts on cooking with cereal. With your own voice and creative methods, your podcast idea will have a unique spin. Think of all the astrology or relationship podcasts out there. Many are successful because they have a unique voice to grab a specific part of the audience.
This brings us to podcast ideas to appeal to a specific audience. You can’t have a successful podcast without an audience, so when you’re thinking of ideas, think of something that will be appealing and garner a good audience.
The same article on designyourthinking.com shares some great tips on brainstorming podcast ideas with an audience in mind. For instance, think about your ideal listener. Who is this person? What do they like, what they do? What is their day like? Let’s go back to our cereal show. Who is going to listen to this? First of all your listener probably loves cereal. Brainstorm what other characteristics this ideal person has:
- Has a fun side
- Into trendy cooking
- Enjoys cooking using out of the ordinary ingredients
- May or may not have a family to cook for
- Enjoys using ingredients in multiple ways
- Likes DIY
- Both healthy whole grain eaters and fun, colorful childhood cereal home chefs
- Enjoys cooking both sweet and savory
Ask some questions like this, too, to get to know your ideal audience:
- Do they work full time
- When will they listen to your podcast
- What are their other hobbies and interests
- Where do they live
- Who will they talk about your podcast with
Maybe from this list, you could narrow down your topic to narrow down your audience. You may want to focus on sweet treats from cereal or feature the old sweet sugary favorites like Fruit Loops and Cap’n Crunch.
The key is coming up with podcast ideas that are narrow enough to bring in specific listeners but broad enough to not exclude anyway. The idea should be focused yet expansive to stay informative without being repetitive. You’ll want your audience to be excited enough about your podcast to share it with others.
Now you’ve started to narrow down your podcast ideas. You’ve got that great idea about cooking with cereal, or whatever your idea may be. You can envision your audience and the success of our podcast. Are you ready to record?
No, not quite yet. Another thing to think about along with ideas is what the format of your podcast will be. Just as podcasts cover so many genres and topics, they also come in all sorts of formats.
Here are just a few examples:
- One on one interview – This is a pretty common and easy to manage podcast format. Almost any topic can be put into the interview format, from business to paranormal to cooking with cereal. You can interview authors, experts, and even other podcasters in your genre. You’ll always have a new take on your topic because you’ll continually be bringing in new perspectives. And your guest will do much of the talking, you just have to come up with questions and have a conversation.
- Solo commentary – This type of podcast suits the great storytellers. If you can talk for hours about a topic you love, this may be for you. Keep in mind, though, you’ll have to keep thinking of different takes on your topic. But you can do it – as for breakfast cereals, think about specific foods, like casseroles or cakes to do a show on. Another show could feature a specific cereal. Then you could even touch on seasons or holidays. Do you see where this is going…you can do this with any topic, right?
- Panel – This is where you’ll have more than one guest sharing their experience and perspective. Though it’s a little more difficult to pull off, it’s effective when it works for your podcast ideas.
- Storytelling – In this format, you can tell stories related to your topic, either in nonfiction or fictionalized accounts. Again, if you love to talk, have a great voice and are skilled at the art of telling a story, this may be for you and your podcast.
Not only are these formats effective, but you can also weave in other techniques for your segments. This is where you may have a fact of the day, a fun list, something to share from your social media or fan base. If you can do the same segment on each show, you’ll have consistency and variety at the same time. You can use this constant application to open or close your show, or even to break up the show in the middle. It’s an effective way to add a fun vibe to your show, too.
More Ways to Brainstorm Podcast Ideas
You may want to take a look at some of the most popular podcast categories when you are deciding what to podcast about. This may tip off a great idea that relates to something you see but is a new take on it.
Rachel Corbett also shares some great techniques for brainstorming podcast ideas. It’s helpful to not only think about what you and your audience may be interested in, but come up with some of your own skills. What are you good at? Are you good at interviewing people or asking just the right questions? Do you love to talk or teach or instruct people?
Once you have a topic and format, come up with more than one idea, Corbett suggests three. Then come up with content for each. For example, with our cereal cooking idea we may come up with:
- Baking cookie bars with cereal
- Cereal treats with more than just rice cereal
- Jazzing up your chicken dishes with cereal
The more you can come up with, you’ll know you have plenty of content for your podcast. If this is a struggle, maybe it’s not the best idea. If you have a few great podcast ideas, make a pros and cons list. This will help you see all the advantages and disadvantages. Include topics, audience, ease of production, content. Then think about it. See if over the next few days and weeks you keep thinking about your podcast idea. Does it seem exciting to you or are you getting bored? If you’re bored already, think about your listeners. If you can’t wait to get started and keep thinking up more fabulous ideas for episode content, then maybe you’ve done it.
You’ve come up with your podcast idea.
The Big Takeaway of Podcast Ideas
Podcasting could be a great, fun side hustle for you. Or maybe you’ll turn it into a full-time gig. The bottom line is that you have to not only have the skills to be a great podcast host, but you need that great idea. What do you love and what’s relevant these days? Think about your passions and interests, as well as your skills. Then consider your audience and what they’ll like. Combine it all, and the next thing you know, you may have a great podcast on the way.
Start your own podcast today with Bunny Studio!