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 selling at Buzzsprout, a unbelievable 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, developing with persistently high-quality episode concepts can really feel like quite a lot of stress. This demand for constant content material is among the main gamers within the podfade phenomenon and a difficult side of being an unbiased podcaster. On this article, we’ll lay the inspiration for excellent content material, share sensible strategies for developing 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 stable understanding of your audience and what they wish to hear. And the way effectively your concepts land when you select them is closely depending on getting this step proper.

So should you aren’t already clear on the viewers you wish to attain, that is an important place to begin. 

Realizing your viewers would not solely enable you to develop extra concepts for episodes but additionally retains you from experiencing inventive burnout. When you’re attempting to create content material for an viewers whose wants you are not conversant in, you may run dry fairly rapidly. 

So should you do not have already got an excellent learn in your viewers, begin by asking your self who you wish to attain together with your content material, being as particular as you may. 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 performed 

Earlier than you attempt to develop concepts for episodes, it is best to survey the land to see what’s already been performed together with your podcast subject. From there, you might have a powerful basis for developing with your personal distinctive angle on the difficulty.

When you do not but have any concepts, researching the competitors might help get your gears turning. And you probably have a imprecise thought for a potential episode, you should use this analysis to see what different creators have performed 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 software for seeing what floor is already coated and what gaps nonetheless exist. The one means you may fill in stated gaps is to persistently keep watch over different podcasters’ content material and do one thing completely different from the remainder.

Get your hands on different exhibits and discover methods to reply questions higher than they have been earlier than. You may as well spin a subject that is been performed a thousand occasions earlier than with your personal distinctive take.

You possibly can go to Apple Podcasts > Browse > Classes to seek 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 rapidly survey your style and see what sort of content material is on the market.

You may as well run extra particular searches utilizing instruments like Hear Notes for a deeper, extra superior search. This software enables you to tailor searches to rapidly get an thought of the exhibits inside your podcast’s area of interest.

Search the subject on YouTube

Just 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 as to veer from it with your personal tackle the topic.

This methodology works greatest as a approach to see what’s already been performed together with your subject 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 may have a way of what you are able to do to face out. From right here, you will 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 techniques you may make use of to assist get your gears turning. Listed below are ten strategies you should use once you want some help brainstorming episode concepts.

Reply the Public 

Reply the Public takes the info from over three billion each day Google searches and places them into one massive effectively of knowledge—and it is a treasure trove of episode concepts for podcasters. 

The software works by taking knowledge from engines like google like Google and gathering each phrase and query the general public asks about nearly any subject you may think about. For example you might 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 greatest to maintain your search to 1 or two phrases vs. a phrase or query). 

The positioning breaks down your subject into questions associated to the subject, comparisons that will help you usher in different associated points, and even an inventory of widespread 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.

In order for you limitless searches and a deeper dive into different professional options, you may 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 do exactly advantageous.

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 should you 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 need to use the “Google the alphabet” approach to entry a number of the identical info—with somewhat extra footwork in your finish.

Right here’s methods to do it. Open Google and enter your podcast’s subject. For instance, you can 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 once you sort in “a,” letting you see what individuals seek for associated to your entry. 

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

Once more, Reply the Public does this for you robotically, however it may be useful to know methods 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. 

When you aren’t already conversant in this characteristic, simply take an image or video in your tales, choose the “ballot” icon and place it in your publish. You possibly can ask questions like “What content material would you like extra of?” or “What’s one thing you marvel about however are afraid to ask?”

You may as well flip the tables and run a Q&A to let your viewers ask you the questions. Working 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 an enormous social media presence but, you may immediately ballot your podcast viewers as a substitute. 

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

One of the crucial 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 possibly can announce the survey in your episode and even present an incentive for finishing it, like a free 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 primarily based round individuals’s pursuits and exist for practically each subject possible. 

These platforms are a wonderful means 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 may search these communities for associated subreddits and see what sorts of questions the general public has about it. 

Boards appeal to individuals passionate in regards to the subject, making them nice sources for locating these nitty-gritty questions and untapped matters.

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

Make an inventory of all of your concepts (good and dangerous)

Among 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, for example 50. When you write 50 concepts, you may not solely get your creativity flowing, however you may possible provide you with a number of distinctive concepts you would not have considered in any other case.

When you desire, you may put aside a delegated time, say 20 minutes, to jot down as many concepts as you may 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 once you discover a good suggestion, you may flesh it out utilizing an identical approach referred to as freewriting. 

Take the thought you wish to discover, and write out your stream-of-consciousness ideas. Set a timer and write all the pieces that pops in your head. You may shock your self with the concepts you may generate once you loosen up, decrease the stakes, and get your pondering mind out of the best way.

Superior searches on Google & Twitter 

Twitter will be a wonderful software for seeing what individuals are saying a couple of given subject, and a easy search in your material can yield quite a lot of useful outcomes. For much more tailor-made outcomes, you should use 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 sophisticated search software 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 quite a lot 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 individuals collect and talk about a given subject in additional depth.

You possibly can be 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 possible discover quite a lot 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 subject is a mind-expanding follow that opens you as much as a much bigger image and may immediate extra concepts in your episodes.

You may as well examine other ways individuals strategy the identical subject, query, or drawback. Taking in conflicting or paradoxical concepts can make clear your personal ideas on the difficulty and hold 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 essential side of making a profitable podcast, so it is a good suggestion to schedule time particularly devoted to content material thought technology and brainstorming. 

Scheduling blocks of time, and even a whole day, solely for developing 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.

Keep in mind, as a podcast host, it is fully as much as you the way usually you publish new podcast episodes. You possibly can construct in scheduled gaps between episodes should you really feel overwhelmed on the thought of posting new content material each week.

Use a spreadsheet to remain organized 

When you begin developing with podcast subject concepts, you may want an organized approach to hold monitor of all of them. Utilizing a spreadsheet actually pays off right here, and somewhat group can unlock helpful psychological area you should use 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.)

Hold the Podcast Episode Concepts Coming

To recap, developing 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 an enormous 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 might help you combine the follow into your workflow in a means that feels possible for the long run!

Have not nailed down your podcast’s general 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 individuals launch their very own podcasts via Buzzsprout. He co-hosts two podcasts, Find out how to Begin a Podcast and Buzzcast. He lives in Jacksonville Seaside, Florida along with his spouse and daughter. You will discover him on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Fb.

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