How to build a profitable podcast.
As a seasoned podcaster or a podcast newbie, it is often tricky and challenging to come up with podcast ideas. Before launching your show, you have to think about what it will be focused on. Several factors influence this, and you must get them right as they could determine how successful your show will be.
There are great podcast ideas, and there are less exciting ones. A key factor in settling for an idea is knowing your target audience and what will resonate with them.
During an analysis of podcast topic threads on Apple Podcasts last year, some topics and genres were more common than others. The most popular categories included investigative journalism, talk shows, and true crime. With this information, it would be easy to assume that all you have to do is produce content based around these topics and you will become an overnight success. However, that is not the best way to go about it.
Regardless of what topic you settle for, a good podcast should focus on grabbing the audience's attention. The key to having an excellent topic for your podcast is how well you can tell the story. Your listeners have to feel a connection to the topic as you progress.
When deciding on a topic, you should start by researching shows you like. Think about what made you like the show in the first place and pay attention to the host’s presenting style. Try to be aware of what you’re feeling when you listen to the podcast.
No matter the genre, what makes a topic great is how enthusiastic and passionate the host is about the subject matter.
When deciding on a specific podcast topic or genre, the process can be draining if you don't know the right questions to ask. At a time when dozens of genres already exist for you to choose from, you must know how to decide which one is right for you.
Here are some questions you need to answer comprehensively:
Podcasting is not about what you like but what your audience likes. The reason you want to start a podcast is to get people to listen to you, either by solving their problems, helping them overcome a challenge, appealing to one of their passions or improving their knowledge and skill base. Some listeners will become devoted fans, hanging on your every word whereas some will only want to be distracted from the serious issues of their lives. All they want is entertainment and an escape. You have to know your audience and their needs.
There are several ways to research your audience but, in most cases, there are statistical websites that help with this.
If you decide to produce content based around a niche topic, you should take a more direct approach in finding out what your audience's needs are. You can check social media to see what a popular podcaster in that field is producing and what they’re discussing with their audience.
However, the best way to get first hand information is by speaking with them. Visit the communities, either online or offline, where your potential listeners are. Ask questions and listen to what they have to say.
There are groups on different social media platforms created for various reasons. Find the one that is linked to your niche and join it. You will get information about the type of problems they have, their interests, and what they are passionate about. This will help you narrow your focus down to what works while ruling out what doesn’t.
An essential factor to consider is how much you care about your chosen topic. It has to be something that you find entertaining and exciting.
If you choose a topic you do not care about, you are likely to burn out and have nothing to talk about after a few episodes.
Many podcasters have full-time jobs or hold down multiple jobs, as a result of this they record their podcast during their free time. If you do not have a genuine interest, you might end up procrastinating instead of producing the show.
Your audience will pick up the energy you give off during your show. If the audience realizes that you do not have a genuine interest in what you’re talking about, they will also lose interest and stop listening.
Every top podcast is rated highly because of the uniqueness. The only way to get the undivided attention of the listener is to offer something that they cannot find somewhere else. Another reason they will listen to is your approach to a topic, if you provide a different perspective, or provide more interesting details then they will pay attention.
In most cases, being unique is achieved by breaking down a broad topic and focusing on one aspect. For example, if marketing is what you want to talk about, focusing on the 'art of creating engaging content' will help you cater to a specific need and craft a uniqueness in the marketing industry.
If soccer is what you love to talk about, tell behind the scene stories rather than the regular front-page stories. Stand out by offering what is not normal; this sparks excitement and will make you an authority in no time.
It will not only be fun listening to you, but the stories will also stick. Your listeners will always look forward to your episodes because how you approach your content is not typical. The exciting part is that your listeners are more likely to promote you to their friends if you’re unique.
If your show eventually does well, it makes sense to monetize it. Most podcasters do this at some point. It is important to consider how your idea/topic will bring in revenue down the line before you launch it.
If, for example, your podcast is about security you can talk about the different personal security tools that people can buy to protect themselves. If you monetize that idea in the future, you could:
When you are choosing a podcast topic, always think about at least one way to monetize your content. If you produce a clear strategy you will be focused and clear in your decision making when it is time to monetize your idea.
If you are having issues choosing a podcast topic, here is a list to help you.
1. Podcast for specific places or people
This could be a podcast show designed for specific places like the gym, the salon, or an eatery. You can also make a podcast for particular groups like parents or teachers to talk about their challenges.
2. Talk about books and movies as a critic
You can make a podcast about books or movies that you have seen and criticize them while rating them on a scale. You can add a twist by talking about movies and books before watching and reading them, talk about your expectations.
3. Talk about podcasting
This one is interesting; as a podcaster, you can talk about podcasting. How to start a podcast, how to get equipment, and other aspects of podcasting. With this, both seasoned podcasters and aspiring podcasters can get something from your show.
4. Time-specific podcasts
You can make a podcast for specific times like the night time. A sleep-aid podcast will help send people to sleep. You can also create an energetic podcast for the morning time. There is also scope to make podcasts for different seasons.
5. Board public buses and interview the drivers
This one should be interesting, as bus drivers have to interact with numerous commuters daily. Speak to them and interview them about their experiences and why they do the job.
6. Talk about a new skill or hobby that you are learning
You can talk about a new skill and take your listeners through your learning process. It could also be a new hobby you picked up.
7. A visual description of different locations
Start a podcast talking about the different places you visit. Describe the look for your listeners and talk about the landmarks. You could be in a pub or school, or the bank or park.
8. Tell different stories about your sponsors
If you do a show that has a sponsor, you can create a show based around your interactions with that company. Interview their staff or talk about their product..
9. Start a guessing show
You can start a guessing show, where you describe different things to your listeners and make them guess what they are. This will be an interactive show; therefore, it will be focused more on the audience. Listeners can call in or reach out via social media to take part.
10. Record your daily activities and the things you talk about
You can record your daily activities, giving people insight into what you do and the things you discuss daily. If you have an exciting life, people will look forward to listening to what you do daily.
11. A preparation podcast
A preparation podcast describing how you or people, in general, prepare for any type of event. It could be preparing for dinner, a big business meeting, an event, a birthday, or any of your daily activities.
12. A point of view podcast
As we know, there are different perspectives to every story. You can invite panelists on and have them debate a topic. You could do this as individual episodes or use one topic per season.
13. Comedy podcast
Start a podcast telling different funny stories and jokes. Offer humor from a different perspective.
14. Review newspaper stories
You can review newspaper stories. It could be funny headlines, stupid stories, or any type of news.
15. Events podcast
Discuss different events from festivals to sporting events and festivals. Discuss the events before they happen and after they are held.
16. Discuss specific groups
Meet with groups around your city or country. Go to their meetings and get an insider view.
17. A podcast about shops
Start a podcast about shops and interview shop owners. Talk about their challenges and interview CEOs. Discuss minimum wage with workers and other interesting topics.
18. Travel podcast
Start a podcast about travelling and travels. You can interview people that have visited a lot of countries and get their views and experience. You could make a travel podcast for migrants or ex-pats.
19. A football/soccer podcast
Soccer is a popular game with millions of fans. You can tap into this but find a way to stand out from the crowd.
20. The business side of the sport
Sport is a game of numbers, not just on the field but off it. Give an insight into how much money teams or individuals make and how it moves around.
21. Small town news
Report the news from your local town. Major news outlets tend to focus on big news items and ignore local stories. You can pick up the ones that never make it to the mainstream media.
Politics is intriguing, and there is always something to talk about. You can pick up any story you find interesting and analyze them from your perspective.
23. Law podcast
A lot of people do not know as much about the law as they probably should. You could start a podcast, informing people about laws, changes in their application and analyze what the implications are.
24. A narration podcast
Narrate things to people. It could be a song, a movie, or a famous story. You could also narrate a story based around your everyday life.
25. Celebrity news podcast
Celebrity news is everywhere. You can tap into this by reporting celebrity news and analyzing it on your show.
26. An uninformed perspective
An exciting podcast idea is getting people who know nothing about a topic and asking them their opinion on the subject.
27. Ultimate list podcast
Everyone loves a list and top ten lists exist for just about everything; from songs and movies to tech and cars. Make a list and rank the items based on your opinion or available facts. It could work as a guide to help people make decisions on different things they’re unsure about.
28. Connect people with things in common
Find people that have things in common. It could be the same name, the exact date of birth, or even distant relatives. Connect them via your show.
29. A generation perspective podcast
There are different views to a story, and this includes how each generation views the same story. Get parents to react to an account, then do the same with their children. It will be interesting hearing the reasoning behind their thought processes.
30. A podcast on recreational events in your area
There will always be a couple of recreational events in your area. You could talk about them on your podcast by promoting them and reporting on them after they take place.
31. A pet podcast
Pets are amazing, and many people love them but do not have enough information on how to take care of them. Start a podcast talking about caring for pets or your love of them.
32. An outdoors podcast
Some people rarely go outside. It could be due to their job, a disability, or a variety of circumstances that leave them unable to experience the outside world. You could make a podcast about everything happening outside and target these people as your audience.
33. Quick info podcast
Try producing a podcast that only lasts about 5 to 10 minutes but is packed with information. You could read short stories or read quick-fire facts.
34. A podcast analyzing other podcasts
This idea might make you an authority in the podcasting industry by analyzing podcast shows and episodes.
35. Travelling on a budget podcast
You could start a podcast on budget travelling where you provide tips on how to save money while travelling and seeing new places. It could be within your country or internationally.
36. A random interview podcast
You can start a podcast where you interview random strangers on different things. The beauty of this is the guests will be different every week.
37. Birthday matching podcast
A podcast solely for birthdays and helping people find their birthday partners. You can also assist people in organizing surprise birthday parties and narrating the experience on your podcast.
38. Interview Skilled Individuals?
A podcast talking to skilled people about how they acquired their knowledge and how it’s influenced their lives.
39. A podcast talking about your life
You could start a podcast talking about your life up to a certain point. Your experience could be interesting and resonate with a lot of people.
40. A podcast on household chores
A podcast where you talk about household chores and hacks.
41. A neighbor podcast
A podcast where you talk about your experiences with your neighbors. You could include events you’ve attended with them and how the neighborhood has changed in your time living there.
42. Answer questions from the audience
You could host a Reddit style AMA (Ask Me Anything) where people message you with specific questions. It could be a call-in podcast or one where they ask questions on social media .
43. Talk about guilty pleasure
Discuss your guilty pleasure and ask about other people's guilty pleasure.
44. A tech podcast
A podcast talking about tech: talk about new models or advancements in existing products and the future of various industries.
45. Go to live events
Go to live events and review them. Talk about them on your show.
46. Entrepreneurs and Founders Podcast
A podcast interviewing entrepreneurs and founders, asking how they started and achieved success in their business.
47. An objective podcast
A podcast viewing issues from an objective stance. It could be an issue relating to anything, and it could also be an issue from one industry.
48. An ASMR podcast
A podcast where you whisper to your listeners. Many people find this experience very soothing and some people use them as a sleep aid.
49. A favorite activity podcast
A podcast about what you love to do and the experiences you get from it.
50. Talk about trying new things
If you love to try new things, you can document what you try and the process you go through to experience them.
51. A truth podcast
A podcast trying to find the truth behind an issue. Audiences love investigative features.
52. A bad boss podcast
A lot of people have experienced working under bad bosses. You can interview these people and get their stories out.
53. What goes on behind the scene in celebrities lives
We only see things that happen in front of the camera with celebrities. You can bring a fresh perspective by going behind the scenes and telling the untold stories. .
54. A hypothetical podcast
A podcast talking about hypothetical situations and how you might react to these situations
55. TV Ads podcast
TV Ads are usually well produced, but some are really bad and sometimes even offensive. You can start a podcast analyzing TV Ads and rank them based on criteria you’ve chosen.
56. An advice podcast
Many people experience difficult issues in their lives. You can respond to these issues and give people advice.
57. A quote of the day podcast
You can talk about a quote of the day with your listeners. Share something inspirational and explain how it can impact their lives.
58. Past events podcast
A podcast talking about past events and how they have impacted current times.
59. A teaching podcast
A podcast where you teach people new things. It could be formal or informal.
60. Talk about blogs
A podcast where you analyze blogs and the type of content they put out.
61. A day trip podcast
A podcast where you talk about days out you’ve planned. They might be by yourself or with family and friends.
62. An industry podcast
A podcast discussing issues happening in a particular industry and the impact the issues have on it.
63. A road podcast
A podcast about your experiences while on the road either as a driver or someone who lives in a mobile home. As you move around, you can record your experience and describe it to your listeners.
64. A Devil’s Advocate podcast
A podcast looking at things from a different perspective than others. You can take up various issues and analyze them from a unique perspective.
65. A review podcast
A podcast reviewing different things. It could be places, restaurants, or books.
66. Major players podcast
Start a podcast about the significant players in an industry—a podcast profiling these major players and how they rose to the top.
67. A podcast about a day in the life of a person
Focus on one person and follow them for a day, looking into how their typical day looks.
68. A hiking/camping podcast
A podcast talking about hiking experiences and camping.
69. A sailing podcast
A podcast detailing experiences while sailing
70. A welding podcast
If you are an expert in this industry, you could share your experience through a podcast and become an authority.
71. Wild animals podcast
A podcast about wild animals and facts about them. How they survive in the wild and every other aspect of their existence.
72. DIY podcast
DIY is everywhere these days. You could talk about a multitude of topics on this subject as the list of Do It Yourself projects is endless.
73. Musical instrument podcast
You could start a podcast to share your knowledge and teach different techniques to beginners.
74. A weather podcast
A podcast talking about the weather. Forecasting and informing people on how to prepare in extreme weather cases.
75. An adventure podcast
A podcast about adventurous activities like rock climbing, skydiving, spelunking, etc.
76. A podcast about homes
A podcast discussing homes, their maintenance, and how to make the best choice when purchasing a new home.
77. A podcast about urban farming
If you have an interest in urban farming or you practice it you can discuss the experience on your podcast.
78. Book summary podcast
A podcast summarizing a book or series of books for listeners that do not have time to read the entire thing.
79. A smart people podcast
A podcast talking about intelligent people and how they achieved their goals.
80. A health podcast
A podcast about health and wellbeing. What to eat and what to avoid.
81. A podcast about weird events
Many crazy things happen in towns and cities across the world; you can document these moments or events for your podcast.
82. A religious perspective
If you are a religious person, you can talk about things happening around you and analyze them from a spiritual perspective.
83. A food podcast
A podcast discussing food from different places and different types of food. You could also discuss the steps for cooking these dishes.
84. A foreign dish podcast
A podcast about foods from around the world how to prepare them will always be interesting to adventurous amateur chefs.
85. A feminism podcast
Feminism is about equality and women fighting for their rights. You could invite feminist authors, activists and academics on to your show and interview them.
86. Human rights podcast
A podcast discussing your fundamental rights as a human and highlighting places in the world that are in danger of violating these rights.
87. An astrology podcast
If you are an astrologer, you can attract many listeners with an astrology podcast as lots of people love to hear about their star signs. You can give them deep insights into what each star means.
88. A wine podcast
A podcast discussing wine will always be popular among wine lovers. Taste wines and tell your listeners about them. You can also rank how each wine tastes.
89. A fitness podcast
A fitness podcast discussing how people can stay fit.
90. A family podcast
A podcast discussing family issues and what goes in a family, telling their stories about everyday activities.
91. A comedic sports podcast
A funny sports podcast would attract a lot of listeners as people love listening to sports stories that have funny twists.
92. A date night podcast
A podcast discussing date night and how to get a second date. You are giving single people advice on the do’s and don'ts when on a date. You could also invite guests on to discuss their date night experiences.
93. A fantasy podcast
A podcast telling fantasy stories.
94. A mind developing podcast
A podcast that helps to develop your mind and soul.
95. A couples podcast
A podcast discussing things that happen between couples.
96. A sex life podcast
A podcast discussing sex and how to improve your sex life
97. A retirement podcast
You can help people prepare for retirement by advising them on what to expect. You can also discuss life during retirement.
98. A HR podcast
A podcast about an HR Manager's life and what they go through, the different situations they handle, and how the world of HR is changing.
99. A sibling podcast
Document what happens between siblings and how siblings fight and make up.
100. A recruitment podcast
New graduates are entering the job market each year, and they need to know where the jobs are and how to navigate the recruitment process. Create content around this and provide job listings.
When you are about to settle on an idea for your podcast, you should never forget about your passion for a certain topic and the audience's interest. The best podcast shows know exactly what their audience wants, what the presenters’ strengths are and how to keep people’s attention.
These 100 podcast ideas can help you carve out the perfect podcast niche. Make sure you have chosen a topic that will work for you and your target audience.