All artists face a mental block at one point or another. It is a problem that I want to help you solve, especially if it is your first time as a content creator and you are still learning how to record a podcast or what podcast software to use.
Today, you will learn what podcast formats are, how to boost your traffic, and, most importantly, how to choose the topics for your podcast content.
So, how do you even come up with podcast topics to discuss? Below are some of my tips so you have different processes for finding topics.
Are there things that you love? How about the things that you hate? Surely, there are things that stir emotions in you. And if they do, your audience is likely feeling the same way.
For example, if you have a podcast about MMA, and you hate how a fighter trash talks, then you can use this as a topic: Is Trash talking Necessary in Fighting?
On the other hand, if you love knockdowns, then maybe you can talk about the best knockouts in the history of the sport.
You must listen to other podcasters or watch YouTube channels related to your niche. I am not saying that you copy their content.
The thing is that a show can miss some important things. If you observe this miss from a podcaster, you should piggyback on that and talk about the same topic. You essentially want your episode to be better than what you heard.
You can also draw ideas from other shows. For example, if another podcaster said that Michael Jordan is the GOAT but did not explain why you already have your topic cut out for you. Then, you can make an episode called “Why MJ is the Basketball GOAT.”
Once you already have an audience, you can ask them what they want you to talk about next. It is why engaging with your audience is a must—getting them involved in the content creation process is always better.
You will observe this in other media all the time. For example, there are YouTube channels where they interview a mortician. The people love what they see, so they tell the channel to interview an undertaker next.
In your podcast, the same concept will work. For example, if you interviewed Michael Jordan today, don’t you think some people will be interested in an interview with Scottie Pippen?
In your podcast episode, it would make sense always to tell people to give you a chat or send you an email if they have a topic in mind at the end of your show. Encourage them to engage with you, and you will be surprised at the number of ideas you can get.
There are several types of podcast formats, so you should choose one for now. You can shift to other formats later or add one, but never attempt to be an all-in-one show. Below are some of the most common formats.
The interview podcast is a format where you invite a guest. This format requires a lot of planning and scheduling. First, you need to speak to the interviewee about the time and date of the recording.
In this format, you ask a question, and then the interviewee provides an answer. Usually, this podcast format is best for people whose interest is science-related—anything that requires an expert.
You can do the same with politics and even show business. In this format, people watch your show because of the guest, not you.
A monologue podcast is one where you talk alone. No one else is here with you, and it feels like a commentary.
Here are some examples:
- Political rants and opinions
- Movie, book, game, and music review
- Product review
- Expose show, like exposing scammers and why you think they are scammers
It is separate from an educational show, as a monologue is highly likely to revolve around your opinions. It is not your goal to teach academic stuff here.
A co-hosted podcast is a format where two or three of you are. It will not work without a partner. It is not the same as an interview, as you are not interviewing your partner.
In a co-hosted show, at least two of you are driving the discussion. It is a conversational podcast where you and your partner talk about things.
A co-hosted podcast can be blended with monologue and interview formats. You can still invite a guest, and then you and your partner can talk to the guest or ask a series of questions.
A storytelling podcast format is also a type of monologue, but this one focuses on telling a story. It works in both fiction and non-fiction.
Many people who do the storytelling format focus on non-fiction. One of the most popular niches is true crime. For example, your content for one episode is a summary of the life of El Chapo or the rise and fall of the Sinaloa Cartel.
Should you choose this, make sure that you state facts only. While you can add your opinions later, make sure that you do not mix your opinions with facts.
A panel podcast is also an interview podcast, but you involve more people. As such, you have several guests. This format is best for debates and arguments.
For example, you can invite a democrat, then a republican, or several of them, and then ask them for their stand on political or social issues.
To the audience, this podcast is like a conversation among people. Your job is to be the moderator. Because of this, you must learn how to douse the fire if the argument becomes heated.
The last type of podcast format I can share with you is the educational one. This podcast has the aim of making people learn something new.
For example, you can launch a podcast about depression. From here, you can have topics like what depression is, how to fight it, where to get help, etc.
An educational podcast only has one purpose: to teach. If you are an expert, you can do a monologue and do the knowledge transfer yourself. However, you can also invite professionals as your guest and interview them.
Below are my tips on how you can choose a topic for your podcast.
Identify your target audience to find out what things they are interested in. One mistake many podcasters make is selecting a niche and just start creating content, only to realize later that they are not serving a particular audience.
It would help if you created an avatar for your target audience. For example, let us say that your niche is comedy. If so, how old is your target audience? Do they get offended by misogynistic jokes or sexual innuendos? If you know the character of your target audience, you will be able to create content for them.
Your passion is the key to a successful topic selection. It would help if you chose a topic that you really care about. To begin with, why would you do a podcast about bonsai if you do not plant bonsai?
On the other hand, if you love WWE or wrestling or MMA, there is no way you will run out of topics to talk about because you watch the sport all the time.
Who are you? How will you set yourself apart from your competition? The only answer I have for you is to be yourself. But then, you must also learn the ropes about talking. For example, you may be an introvert, but you cannot speak blandly over the show, or people will get bored.
Your differentiating factor is who you are. Do not attempt to become someone else, or you will fail. Instead, be yourself, be original.
There are many ways to monetize a podcast, and the direct way is to sell the podcast itself. If your podcast has content people can listen to from other sources, then avoid that topic—but only if you sell the podcast itself. Any content will do if you earn via ads or other means.
Fresh podcast content does not mean evergreen. Evergreen means that the content will still be interesting even years from now.
Fresh means it is up-to-date. For example, it does not make sense to talk about Kim Kardashian’s divorce from Kanye West if the divorce happened two years ago. And you will talk about it now? It is not fresh.
To keep your podcast fresh, the only thing you need to do is to stay tuned to current events. Make sure you follow Twitter accounts and Facebook pages, and watch the news relevant or related to your niche.
If you can find what people are looking for on search engines, then surely, you can find the same thing for a podcast. Podcast distribution apps keep records of what people are searching for. The words that people type are called keywords.
There is no need to spend tons of money to find podcast keywords. Just use Google Trends, and you should be able to find keywords that people are looking for. In essence, any SEO tool that people use for their blogs can also be used for looking for podcast keywords.
1. Where can I find podcast topics?
You can find podcast topics from many sources—from your ideas, other podcasters, YouTube channels, etc. Remember that your podcast topics must be aligned with your niche and serve your target audience.
2. Which platforms are the best to host a podcast?
There is no single answer to this because you must get a platform that fits your needs and budget. To give you an idea, the best platforms for hosting a podcast are Spreaker, PodBean, and Captivate.
3. What are the most popular podcast topics?
The most popular podcast topics right now are comedy, news, true crime, sports, and health & fitness. However, I advise you not to limit your ideas on these topics.
Do not start a podcast just because you want to be popular. Start a podcast because you are passionate about the topic.
4. How long should podcasts be?
The ideal podcast length is between 15 to 20 minutes. Of course, this is just an average based on statistical data and how podcast channels perform. However, there are always outliers.
For example, the Joe Rogan Experience lasts three hours long, and still, he is a popular podcaster with so many subscribers
5. What should I talk about on my first podcast?
Start your podcast with a bang but try not to overdo your explanation of what your podcast is about. Just keep the introduction short and proceed with your subject matter. Provide value to your target audience. If you do, they will subscribe to your podcast.
Finding topics for your show is a tough thing to do. While podcast statistics can help you, I still always recommend that you stick to what you know and what you are passionate about.
Find a niche before you even learn how to start a podcast. Choose content that you already understand, especially if you are doing a monologue. If you will interview somebody, prepare your questions ahead and do your research. A podcast is a
Again, what is a podcast anyway? It is nothing more than an advanced medium for a radio show—keep your audience engaged, and you will do well.