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Why choosing a podcast niche helps you grow your audience

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You can’t be everything to everyone

When you’re starting a podcast it’s easy to think broader is better because you want your show to appeal to everyone.  But when you don’t have an existing audience you need to narrow your focus and choose a content niche you can own.

Why?  Because if you don’t, it’ll be very hard to stand out.

Choosing a podcast niche helps you more easily define the concept of your show and the easier it is to define the more likely you’ll be able to separate your show from other podcasts already out there.

How to come up with a great podcast idea

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The exception to the rule

When you’ve got a profile already and people are searching for you and your specific content you can be more general because YOU are the niche.

Someone like Ricky Gervais can attract an immediate audience of millions just by saying “I’m going to release a podcast about stuff that interests me” because he’s already put the work in to cultivate a following.

That means he can talk about whatever he wants because his point of view is the niche people are interested in rather than the topics he’s focusing on.

Unfortunately, it takes a bit of time to build up a profile like Mr Gervais, so if you want to stand out you’re better off being a big fish in a smaller pond.  And that means picking a content niche with less competition.

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How specific does your podcast niche need to be?

Niching down doesn’t mean you can only talk about one thing for the rest of your life, it means finding a filter for your content.

If you’re interested in starting a podcast in the fitness category it’ll be much harder to stand out if your show covers fitness generally than if you find a niche within that topic area.

For example, if you used to be lazy but found a way to make exercise more appealing than the couch that’s a niche people are going to be looking for content in.

If you started a podcast called ‘Fitness For Lazy People’ it wouldn’t matter if you didn’t have a profile because the content is specific enough to appeal to people searching in that niche and that can be enough to make someone listen.

A title like that also gives your show a bit of personality and says to people who are having difficulty getting motivated “this is for you!”

And that’s what you need if you want people to press play without knowing anything about you.

How to come up with a great podcast name

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But what if you want to talk about everything?

Being interested in a million different topics is fine but you need to find a “lens” to deliver your content through.  Or, understand it’s ok to create multiple projects if you can’t find a coherent way to fit everything under the one umbrella.

In this instance, your content niche becomes the common thread that binds all your topics of interest together so it makes sense to an audience.

If you’re talking about wildly different things every week and people don’t know who you are it’s hard for them to work out why they should listen.  But if you create a lens through which all your content is filtered, you can start to build a concept that makes sense and is appealing to potential listeners.

For example, if you’re a psychologist and you want to talk about everything from the Kardashians to world politics you could do it by explaining the psychology behind the behaviours you’re exploring.  That way you can talk about reality TV, climate change, social protests, the way someone cut you off in traffic…anything! This is because the lens you’re covering each topic through has a common thread that links your episodes together.

You’re still discussing wildly different topics but in a way that makes sense and gives people a reason to listen.

And that’s the essence of finding your content niche.

If you’re struggling to come up with one just think about what sets you apart or what personal experience or perspective you can offer that no one else can.

You don’t have to stop having multiple interests you just need to find an angle and give people a reason to care.

Got a burning podcasting question you’d like answered? Send me an email.

Want to start your own podcast but need a little help?  Download my “How To Start A Podcast” guide or sign up for my online podcasting course, PodSchool.

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Discover all the tools and tech you need to get your podcast started. Plus get access to my weekly podcasting tips delivered straight to your inbox!

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