How to Come Up with Topic Ideas for Podcast Episodes – Smart Passive Income

person smiling and gesticulating while sitting at a desk next to a sunny window near a monitor and podcasting microphone

This can be a visitor put up by Alban Brooke, head of promoting at Buzzsprout, a implausible platform for launching and rising your podcast.

Creativity is tough work. Whether or not you launch a brand new podcast episode each week or as soon as a month, arising with constantly high-quality episode concepts can really feel like loads of strain. This demand for constant content material is likely one of the main gamers within the podfade phenomenon and a difficult facet of being an impartial podcaster. On this article, we’ll lay the inspiration for excellent content material, share sensible strategies for arising with new episode concepts, and description methods to domesticate creativity all through your podcasting journey.

Listed below are 4 methods to maintain the podcast episode concepts flowing!

#1. Lay the groundwork: Know your viewers 

In the end, your content material concepts will not get far with no strong understanding of your audience and what they wish to hear. And the way properly your concepts land when you select them is closely depending on getting this step proper.

So for those who aren’t already clear on the viewers you wish to attain, that is a necessary place to begin. 

Realizing your viewers does not solely assist you develop extra concepts for episodes but additionally retains you from experiencing inventive burnout. In case you’re attempting to create content material for an viewers whose wants you are not aware of, you may run dry fairly shortly. 

So for those who do not have already got learn in your viewers, begin by asking your self who you wish to attain together with your content material, being as particular as you possibly can. What’s your audience’s age and geographic location? What are their struggles, targets, and pursuits? 

Some podcasters discover it useful to create an avatar to visualise who you wish to attain.

A well-defined listener demographic narrows your focus, provides you invaluable perception, and goes a great distance towards connecting you with a wealth of podcast subject concepts. 

#2. Discover out what’s already been accomplished 

Earlier than you attempt to develop concepts for episodes, it is best to survey the land to see what’s already been accomplished together with your podcast subject. From there, you’ve gotten a powerful basis for arising with your individual distinctive angle on the difficulty.

In case you do not but have any concepts, researching the competitors may help get your gears turning. And you probably have a imprecise concept for a attainable episode, you should use this analysis to see what different creators have accomplished with the subject. Listed below are a few methods you can begin.

Analysis rivals & fill within the gaps 

Researching episodes in your podcast’s style is a strong device for seeing what floor is already lined and what gaps nonetheless exist. The one manner you possibly can fill in stated gaps is to constantly control different podcasters’ content material and do one thing completely different from the remaining.

Get hold of different exhibits and discover methods to reply questions higher than they have been earlier than. It’s also possible to spin a subject that is been accomplished a thousand instances earlier than with your individual distinctive take.

You may go to Apple Podcasts > Browse > Classes to search out your podcast’s style and search the highest exhibits inside its class, or simply search a subject within the search bar. Shopping different podcast episodes is an effective way to shortly survey your style and see what sort of content material is on the market.

It’s also possible to run extra particular searches utilizing instruments like Hear Notes for a deeper, extra superior search. This device allows you to tailor searches to shortly get an concept of the exhibits inside your podcast’s area of interest.

Search the subject on YouTube

Much like researching the competitors on Apple Podcasts (previously iTunes) or Spotify, YouTube is an effective way to see what individuals are already doing together with your subject so to veer from it with your individual tackle the topic.

This methodology works greatest as a strategy to see what’s already been accomplished together with your subject concept, vs. discovering new ones—though you would possibly find yourself discovering some alongside the best way.

When you get an concept of what content material exists round a subject, you may have a way of what you are able to do to face out. From right here, you may get extra inventive utilizing instruments to assist generate particular concepts.

Creativity is not nearly ready for inspiration to strike; there are lots of instruments and ways you possibly can make use of to assist get your gears turning. Listed below are ten strategies you should use whenever you want some help brainstorming episode concepts.

Reply the Public 

Reply the Public takes the information from over three billion day by day Google searches and places them into one large properly of knowledge—and it is a treasure trove of episode concepts for podcasters. 

The device works by taking knowledge from serps like Google and accumulating each phrase and query the general public asks about nearly any subject you possibly can think about. As an example you’ve gotten a podcast on entrepreneurship and are contemplating doing a podcast episode on getting began. Simply enter “entrepreneurship” within the search bar (it is normally greatest to maintain your search to 1 or two phrases vs. a phrase or query). 

The location breaks down your subject into questions associated to the subject, comparisons that will help you usher in different associated points, and even a listing of frequent searches for every letter of the alphabet (i.e., “entrepreneurship books,” “entrepreneurship programs,” and many others.).

“Google searches are crucial dataset ever collected on the human psyche.” — US knowledge scientist Seth Stephens-Davidowitz 

Reply the Public provides non-paying clients one free search per day, and the excellent news is that is greater than sufficient for podcasters. One search provides you lots of of concepts per subject the primary time round and sufficient to chew on for fairly some time.

If you need limitless searches and a deeper dive into different professional options, you possibly can improve to the Professional plan for $99/month (and cancel anytime). Once more, this is not crucial for the overwhelming majority of podcasters, and the free model ought to just do fantastic.

Google the alphabet 

In our opinion, Reply the Public is one of the best ways to get an alphabetized listing of searches in your subject. However what for those who do not just like the platform, really feel stifled by the once-a-day search restrict, or simply wish to do the analysis your self? You should utilize the “Google the alphabet” approach to entry a few of the similar data—with slightly extra footwork in your finish.

Right here’s how you can do it. Open Google and enter your podcast’s subject. For instance, you could possibly enter “entrepreneurship for” or just “entrepreneurship.”

Then, enter the primary letter of the alphabet after your search phrase to let Autocomplete work its magic. Different concepts mechanically generate whenever you kind in “a,” letting you see what folks seek for associated to your entry. 

Subsequent, enter “b” and proceed going by the alphabet till you get sufficient concepts jotted down. You may return and alter your phrase or query to get extra concepts or a barely completely different slant on the subject, and this will normally get you fairly far.

Once more, Reply the Public does this for you mechanically, however it may be useful to know how you can do it your self, too. 

Ask your social media followers 

Social media platforms like Instagram and Fb have made it easy to run polls, take Q&As, and keep linked together with your viewers’s struggles and questions. 

In case you aren’t already aware of this characteristic, simply take an image or video in your tales, choose the “ballot” icon and place it in your put up. You may ask questions like “What content material would you like extra of?” or “What’s one thing you surprise about however are afraid to ask?”

It’s also possible to flip the tables and run a Q&A to let your viewers ask you the questions. Operating social media Q&As is an effective way to get content material concepts with little effort. 

Ask your podcast viewers

If you do not have a giant social media presence but, you possibly can immediately ballot your podcast viewers as a substitute. 

Asking questions through the podcast is a wonderful strategy to attain your core viewers and most loyal listeners—the individuals who care most in regards to the content material you create. 

Some of the direct methods to get suggestions out of your viewers is by posting a survey in your present notes utilizing a device like Survey Monkey. You may announce the survey in your episode and even present an incentive for finishing it, like a free e-book, information, or cheat sheet.

Researching your subject is nice, however nothing beats getting suggestions immediately out of your viewers to make use of as inspiration for future content material.

Search Reddit & Quora

Reddit and Quora are community communities that includes boards based mostly round folks’s pursuits and exist for practically each subject possible. 

These platforms are a wonderful manner for podcasters to get contained in the heads of the general public to get you brainstorming and assist join you with particular, area of interest questions you would not discover elsewhere.

Persevering with with the entrepreneurship instance, you possibly can search these communities for associated subreddits and see what sorts of questions the general public has about it. 

Boards appeal to folks passionate in regards to the subject, making them nice assets for locating these nitty-gritty questions and untapped subjects.

As a bonus, you probably have an episode that solutions a query, you possibly can freely promote your individual podcast (within the type of a solution). So that you would possibly appeal to some new listeners within the course of!

Make a listing of all of your concepts (good and unhealthy)

A few of the greatest podcast concepts come from writing down all of your concepts—with out judgment or holding again. Simply listing out your ideas till you hit a delegated quantity, as an example 50. In case you write 50 concepts, you may not solely get your creativity flowing, however you may seemingly provide you with a number of distinctive concepts you would not have considered in any other case.

In case you favor, you possibly can put aside a delegated time, say 20 minutes, to put in writing as many concepts as you possibly can on a sheet of paper or in your Notes app. 

The primary takeaway right here is to not second guess your ideas, overthink, or hesitate to put in writing them down. And whenever you discover a good suggestion, you possibly can flesh it out utilizing the same approach known as freewriting. 

Take the concept you wish to discover, and write out your stream-of-consciousness ideas. Set a timer and write every little thing that pops in your head. You may shock your self with the concepts you possibly can generate whenever you chill out, decrease the stakes, and get your pondering mind out of the best way.

Superior searches on Google & Twitter 

Twitter will be a wonderful device for seeing what individuals are saying a couple of given subject, and a easy search in your material can yield loads of useful outcomes. For much more tailor-made outcomes, you should use the superior search filters to slender your search by date, hashtags, accounts, and mentions.

You should utilize Twitter’s search possibility as a time capsule to view previous conversations or keep present with what’s trending.

Google additionally has a complicated search device that allows you to tailor your search outcomes with extra actual parameters. Most individuals utilizing Google outcomes cease after the primary one or two pages, and in podcasting, utilizing the identical sources can result in loads of repeated content material.

Narrowing your focus utilizing superior search instruments is essential to discovering extremely related, comparatively untapped podcast concepts.

Be part of Fb teams

Like Quora and Reddit, Fb teams function a useful discussion board the place folks collect and talk about a given subject in additional depth.

You may be a part of a handful of Fb teams associated to your subject and sometimes browse the web page to see what individuals are saying. You may seemingly discover loads of questions, acknowledge some frequent themes, and get nice podcast concepts from threads.

Think about the alternative viewpoint 

Additionally known as asymmetrical pondering, learning the alternative viewpoint of a given subject is a mind-expanding follow that opens you as much as an even bigger image and may immediate extra concepts to your episodes.

It’s also possible to research other ways folks strategy the identical subject, query, or downside. Taking in conflicting or paradoxical concepts can make clear your individual ideas on the difficulty and maintain your content material well-rounded and dynamic.

#4. Domesticate the behavior of creativity

The concepts listed above work greatest as a part of a constant behavior versus a last-minute effort to develop podcast content material. Listed below are a few ideas that will help you domesticate the behavior of creativity and combine it into your workflow.

Schedule time to brainstorm

Developing with high quality content material concepts might be probably the most crucial facet of making a profitable podcast, so it is a good suggestion to schedule time particularly devoted to content material concept technology and brainstorming. 

Scheduling blocks of time, and even a whole day, solely for arising with content material helps you keep one step forward of the sport and will get you within the behavior of being inventive as a substitute of ready for inspiration to strike.

Bear in mind, as a podcast host, it is completely as much as you the way typically you publish new podcast episodes. You may construct in scheduled gaps between episodes for those who really feel overwhelmed on the concept of posting new content material each week.

Use a spreadsheet to remain organized 

When you begin arising with podcast subject concepts, you may want an organized strategy to maintain monitor of all of them. Utilizing a spreadsheet actually pays off right here, and slightly group can unencumber priceless psychological area you should use to focus in your content material. 

You should utilize this free Buzzsprout podcast concepts spreadsheet to function a content material calendar for months, or perhaps a 12 months, forward of time. (Simply go to File -> Make a replica.)

Hold the Podcast Episode Concepts Coming

To recap, arising with podcast episode concepts takes a four-pronged strategy:

  • Know your viewers
  • Survey the competitors
  • Use the fitting analysis instruments and strategies
  • Be persistent about cultivating the psychological behavior of creativity

Content material technology is a giant a part of podcasting, whether or not you produce content material about tech or the humanities, and it requires persistence and dedication. We hope the following pointers may help you combine the follow into your workflow in a manner that feels possible for the long run!

Have not nailed down your podcast’s general idea but? Try SPI Media’s full podcasting tutorial and our weblog put up on untapped podcast concepts for extra content material inspiration and podcasting ideas.

Alban Brooke is a former lawyer and the Head of Advertising and marketing at Buzzsprout, one of many largest podcast hosts on this planet. Since 2014, he has helped over 200,000 folks launch their very own podcasts by Buzzsprout. He co-hosts two podcasts, Tips on how to Begin a Podcast and Buzzcast. He lives in Jacksonville Seashore, Florida along with his spouse and daughter. You will discover him on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Fb.

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