Tips for Podcast Topic Generation
The number of podcast listeners has steadily increased over the last several years.
In 2022, 62% of consumers report listening to podcasts.
Because of the large audiences they reach, podcasts can be a valuable resource for content creators, small businesses, educators, and more.
When listening to a podcast, you may have thought something like “I’d like to start a podcast myself. It can’t be that hard”.
For someone who is unfamiliar with the intricacies of creating and maintaining a podcast, it can seem simple enough, especially if you create content on other mediums. However, building a podcast from scratch requires diligent planning and thought.
We are going to discuss some of the best tips for choosing a good podcast topic.
Define Your Audience
Before you start brainstorming topics, sit down and create a content marketing strategy for your podcast. Your audience is the lifeblood of your work, and without them, you would just be talking to a metaphorical wall.
Each podcast has a different audience it wants to hit. Some are focused on true crime, or eager sports fans while others are geared toward people wanting to improve their quality of life. Defining your audience in detail is vital for being a good podcast host. You need to understand your target audience's point of view to pick the most relevant podcast topic ideas later on.
An easy way to do this is to follow this formula for creating a marketing strategy:
- Set a goal
- This should be something specific and attainable that you can invest in and actively work towards. Set a timeline for achieving that goal and analyze your progress regularly.
- Define Your “Persona”
- A “listener persona” is based on the term “buyer persona” and focuses on the idea of who your ideal customer (or in this case, listener) will be.
- Think of your target audience. What are the demographics you look to hit? Are you thinking of a particular age range? Gender? Race? Or are you wanting to attract folks based on the topic itself?
- These questions are broad but will help you focus on your ideal audience.
- A good way to think about it is to envision one specific person as your ideal listener, not a broad group of people.
- Think about more than demographics. Who is your target audience? What motivates them? What challenges do they face? How can you help?
- Other things to consider could be their financial situation, other interests and hobbies, and how they would be listening to your podcast (on the drive to work, sitting in the bathtub, on consistent plane trips).
- Brainstorm Ideas
- Solidify your concept. You may have a topic in mind after listing out ideas, but think about how you are going to hone in on that concept. We’ll dive more into this in the following sections.
- Create Your Content
- Simple enough, record your episodes, edit them, and publish them for the world to consume!
- Manage Your Content
- Analyze the data you have collected from people listening to your podcast to see if you are moving forward with your goals. If you aren’t, you may need to reanalyze some aspects of your topic.
Once you’ve nailed down your target audience, it’ll be much easier to choose a topic and craft content that resonates with them.
The important thing to remember from this is that if you remain consistent with your idea, then your audience will follow. If you experiment with a bunch of different ideas all at the same time, it will cause confusion for both you and your audience and will make the disinterested in listening further.
Establishing a Format
Once you have your concept, it’s time to create a show! Formatting your podcast is another key component of creating a podcast that will be successful. The format must be consistent and easy to follow for potential listeners to understand what is going on.
Some important questions to consider when thinking about podcast format are:
- Who is going to host the podcast?
- How many people will appear on each podcast episode?
- Will you interview people?
- Will it be a rotating cast or open to guests?
- Will you be focusing on telling short stories or discussing particular topics each episode?
- Will your podcast be fully audio, or have additional video recordings?
- How regularly are you going to record episodes? What about posting episodes?
Laying out your general format will streamline topic planning. If you know you plan to have a certain number of guest episodes, then you can brainstorm guests and relevant topics based on the guests.
Additionally, establishing a consistent format will engage your listeners in a way that is reliable and efficient for you. It will save you time and effort each time you record an episode so that you can focus more on the actual topic you want to focus on and prepare other episode ideas.
Finding the Perfect Podcast Genre
The most important step that you must take in order to create a podcast is to choose a theme or genre. A good podcast is not too broad, nor is it too centered on one particular idea.
A topic needs to provide wiggle room to grow and expand from, while also allowing you to have a centered focus for your audience to understand and gravitate towards.
One example is the podcast “Dark History” which focuses on the darker sides of history that folks never spoke about and discusses the dark and gritty details. “Dark History” is a popular podcast due to several factors, but one of the main reasons for its popularity is its central theme that people love.
Bailey’s topics for both her YouTube series and her podcast series allows her to expand on specific topics while also allowing for flexibility within those topics. This is the key to creating a good podcast genre.
Tips for Generating Podcast Topics
Now that you have a general theme for your podcast, it’s time to hone in on a specific concept that you can consistently work off of for your podcast episodes. If you find yourself stuck on finding a specific topic within your podcast theme, consider some of these tips:
Research Existing Podcasts
Search platforms that host podcasts and look specifically into podcasts that have the same or similar themes to you. Notice trends in podcasts of that genre and try to establish your idea from there. Try not to fall in love with topics others have already used because you want your podcast to have its own identity and be uniquely yours. Allow this research to inspire you, don’t just copy someone else’s ideas.
Create a Guest List
When you are preparing your podcast topic, you may come to the realization that you are not exactly an expert on that topic. That is completely ok! Some topics may call for an occasional need for outside voices to come to the mic and provide much-needed information.
Create a guest list of potential guest speakers that you could potentially reach out to. Oftentimes, folks are willing to share their knowledge on the mic so that people can listen to their wisdom. With technology being as advanced as it is now, it is also easy to hold podcast interviews over video hosting platforms such as Zoom or even do them over the phone.
Use a Topic Generator Tool
There are a couple of tools online you can use to help narrow down your focus so you can pick the perfect topic.
One is the Nichesss Podcast Topic Generator. You can type in a broad summary of your podcast theme, and then the site will generate topics based on your theme.
Another tool, Capitalize My Title, does a similar thing, however you can choose a demographic to key into (such as anyone, businesses, couples, etc.).
These generators are great tools whether you are just starting out or have a creative block and cannot think of your next episode idea.
Convert Your Other Content
If you have a blog or another established form of content, you can transition that content over to a podcast. Use your existing content as a jumping-off point. After you write a blog post, you can easily convert it into a script and then a podcast. But even short social media posts can serve as a starting point that you can expand into a full podcast topic.
Ask Your Audience
If you already have an audience, they can be a valuable resource for you. You can use your social media platforms to reach out to your audience and ask them what they would be most interested in listening to.
Since your audience is the one that will be tuning in for each episode it is important to cater to them and their wants as well.
Look Back at Your Catalog
Maybe there was an episode that was really successful that you want to touch back on. Or perhaps there have been new developments around that topic that you can highlight and bring more attention to.
While you should not solely rely on your previous work to sponsor new ideas, it can be beneficial when you are looking to capture your audience’s attention. Why? Because they are already aware of your catalog, and if they listened to the first part, they will be more inclined to hear more about the topic.
After the Recording…
After you hit the “stop” button on the recording, there is still work to be done. In order for your audience to listen to your episode, you need to do additional work behind the scenes to make it perfect for your listeners.
Editing may not seem important for podcasts, however it is actually a very important part of the process. It also allows you to fix impurities or imperfections that you noticed either while recording or listening back before publishing the episode.
You may also want to create a transcript of your audio so that your audience can also view the show notes if they are unable to sit down and listen through a full episode. Maestra is able to take your audio files and convert them into a transcript that is accurate.
This is a perfect tool if you are thinking of posting your episodes as audio or video files through a medium such as a blog post. You can upload the transcript that Maestra has created as part of the blog post directly beneath the podcast episode so it is easily accessible and readable.
If you are considering having a video format for your podcast (whether solely or in addition to an audio-only format), you may want to consider adding subtitles to your video.
Maestra’s audio-to-text converter tool can assist you in that goal by analyzing your audio files and creating a text script that details every word. Overall it’s accurate, efficient, and easy to use so that you don’t feel like it is additional work to implement this kind of strategy for your podcast editing.
Spread the Word!
Once you feel your episode is ready to publish, the next step is to spread the word and garner an audience to listen to your podcast. If you do not already have an established audience, then your main focus should be actually getting an audience of consistent listeners.
A good strategy for social media posting regarding platforms is to take a small clip of your episode (either audio or video) and post it as a small preview for your audience to view as a sneak peek of the upcoming or current episode. If you are doing video recordings, use video clips so that your audience has a visual aid to assist in their understanding of the clip.
Use each social media platform's individual creator tools to make each post special, and not just a carbon copy spread out over all your social channels. Leverage hashtags that will help boost your post in specific areas for folks that are looking for specific types of content.
Maestra has several tools that can assist you in building an amazing podcast that can reach your target audience, including a podcast transcript generator, mp3 to text converter, an audio-to-text converter, and more. Try our software tool out for 15 minutes free or get started with your free demo!