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

It is a visitor publish 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 lots of stress. This demand for constant content material is among the main gamers within the podfade phenomenon and a difficult side of being an impartial podcaster. On this article, we’ll lay the inspiration for nice 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 the 4 methods to maintain the podcast episode concepts flowing!

#1. Lay the groundwork: Know your viewers 

Finally, your content material concepts will not get far and not using a strong understanding of your audience and what they need to hear. And the way nicely your concepts land when you select them is closely depending on getting this step proper.

So when you aren’t already clear on the viewers you need to attain, that is a vital place to start out. 

Realizing your viewers does not solely assist you to develop extra concepts for episodes but additionally retains you from experiencing artistic burnout. If you happen to’re attempting to create content material for an viewers whose wants you are not aware of, you will run dry fairly rapidly. 

So when you do not have already got a very good learn in your viewers, begin by asking your self who you need 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 need 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 matter 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 matter. From there, you could have a powerful basis for arising with your individual distinctive angle on the problem.

If you happen to do not but have any concepts, researching the competitors may also help get your gears turning. And when you’ve got a obscure thought for a doable episode, you should utilize 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 robust software for seeing what floor is already coated 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 remainder.

Get hold of different reveals and discover methods to reply questions higher than they have been earlier than. You can even spin a subject that is been accomplished a thousand instances earlier than with your individual distinctive take.

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

You can even run extra particular searches utilizing instruments like Hear Notes for a deeper, extra superior search. This software allows you to tailor searches to rapidly get an thought of the reveals 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 matter with the intention to veer from it with your individual tackle the topic.

This technique works finest as a solution to see what’s already been accomplished together with your matter thought, vs. discovering new ones—though you may find yourself discovering some alongside the best way.

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

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

Reply the Public 

Reply the Public takes the info from over three billion every day Google searches and places them into one huge nicely of information—and it is a treasure trove of episode concepts for podcasters. 

The software works by taking knowledge from search engines like google like Google and accumulating each phrase and query the general public asks about nearly any matter you possibly can think about. For instance you could have a podcast on entrepreneurship and are contemplating doing a podcast episode on getting began. Simply enter “entrepreneurship” within the search bar (it is often finest to maintain your search to at least one or two phrases vs. a phrase or query). 

The location breaks down your matter into questions associated to the subject, comparisons that will help you herald different associated points, and even a listing of widespread searches for every letter of the alphabet (i.e., “entrepreneurship books,” “entrepreneurship programs,” and so on.).

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

Reply the Public provides non-paying prospects one free search per day, and the excellent news is that is greater than sufficient for podcasters. One search provides you a whole lot of concepts per matter 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 essential for the overwhelming majority of podcasters, and the free model ought to just do high quality.

Google the alphabet 

In our opinion, Reply the Public is one of the simplest ways to get an alphabetized checklist of searches in your matter. However what when you do not just like the platform, really feel stifled by the once-a-day search restrict, or simply need to do the analysis your self? You need to use the “Google the alphabet” method to entry a number of the similar info—with slightly extra footwork in your finish.

Right here’s the best way to do it. Open Google and enter your podcast’s matter. 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 robotically generate whenever you kind in “a,” letting you see what folks seek for associated to your entry. 

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

Once more, Reply the Public does this for you robotically, however it may be useful to know the best way to 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 related together with your viewers’s struggles and questions. 

If you happen to aren’t already aware of this function, simply take an image or video in your tales, choose the “ballot” icon and place it in your publish. You’ll be able to ask questions like “What content material would you like extra of?” or “What’s one thing you surprise about however are afraid to ask?”

You can even 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 superb solution 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 software like Survey Monkey. You’ll be able to 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 matter 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 primarily based round folks’s pursuits and exist for almost each matter 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 entice folks passionate in regards to the matter, making them nice assets for locating these nitty-gritty questions and untapped subjects.

As a bonus, when you’ve got an episode that solutions a query, you possibly can freely promote your individual podcast (within the type of a solution). So that you may entice some new listeners within the course of!

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

Among the finest podcast concepts come from writing down all of your concepts—with out judgment or holding again. Simply checklist out your ideas till you hit a delegated quantity, as an instance 50. If you happen to write 50 concepts, you will not solely get your creativity flowing, however you will probably provide you with a number of distinctive concepts you would not have considered in any other case.

If you happen to want, you possibly can put aside a delegated time, say 20 minutes, to jot down as many concepts as you possibly can on a sheet of paper or in your Notes app. 

The principle takeaway right here is to not second guess your ideas, overthink, or hesitate to jot down them down. And whenever you discover a good suggestion, you possibly can flesh it out utilizing the same method referred to as freewriting. 

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

Superior searches on Google & Twitter 

Twitter may be a wonderful software for seeing what individuals are saying a couple of given matter, and a easy search in your subject material can yield lots of useful outcomes. For much more tailor-made outcomes, you should utilize the superior search filters to slim your search by date, hashtags, accounts, and mentions.

You need to use Twitter’s search choice as a time capsule to view previous conversations or keep present with what’s trending.

Google additionally has a complicated search software that permits you to tailor your search outcomes with extra precise parameters. Most individuals utilizing Google outcomes cease after the primary one or two pages, and in podcasting, utilizing the identical sources can result in lots 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 matter in additional depth.

You’ll be able to be part of a handful of Fb teams associated to your matter and sometimes browse the web page to see what individuals are saying. You may probably discover lots of questions, acknowledge some widespread themes, and get nice podcast concepts from threads.

Contemplate the other viewpoint 

Additionally referred to as asymmetrical pondering, finding out the other viewpoint of a given matter is a mind-expanding observe that opens you as much as an even bigger image and might immediate extra concepts on your episodes.

You can even examine alternative ways folks method the identical matter, query, or downside. Taking in conflicting or paradoxical concepts can make clear your individual ideas on the problem and preserve your content material well-rounded and dynamic.

#4. Domesticate the behavior of creativity

The concepts listed above work finest 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

Arising with high quality content material concepts might be probably the most crucial side of making a profitable podcast, so it is a good suggestion to schedule time particularly devoted to content material thought era and brainstorming. 

Scheduling blocks of time, and even a complete 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 artistic as a substitute of ready for inspiration to strike.

Bear in mind, as a podcast host, it is solely as much as you the way usually you publish new podcast episodes. You’ll be able to construct in scheduled gaps between episodes when you really feel overwhelmed on the thought of posting new content material each week.

Use a spreadsheet to remain organized 

When you begin arising with podcast matter concepts, you will want an organized solution to preserve observe of all of them. Utilizing a spreadsheet actually pays off right here, and slightly group can release priceless psychological house you should utilize to focus in your content material. 

You need to use this free Buzzsprout podcast concepts spreadsheet to function a content material calendar for months, or perhaps a yr, forward of time. (Simply go to File -> Make a duplicate.)

Maintain the Podcast Episode Concepts Coming

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

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

Content material era 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 tips may also help you combine the observe into your workflow in a manner that feels possible for the long run!

Have not nailed down your podcast’s total idea but? Take a look at SPI Media’s full podcasting tutorial and our weblog publish on untapped podcast concepts for extra content material inspiration and podcasting ideas.

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

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