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How to find content for your podcast

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The podcast content beast is hungry

Coming up with content for your podcast can be one of the more challenging and time-consuming parts of the podcasting process, especially if you’re releasing a weekly show.

So how do you find enough ideas to make sure you’re not lying awake on the eve of an episode going live thinking “What am I going to talk about?”

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How to come up with podcast content for a ‘niche show’

While all podcasts need to find their niche by ‘niche show’ I mean a show that focuses on a really specific topic rather than a podcast based on topical content (I’ve got tips for finding content for those shows further down).

Google what your competitors are doing

A quick Google search in your topic area will turn up articles and podcasts that have already been published or released.

A word of warning: your goal with this type of research is NOT to copy your competitors.

It’s to see what their content is missing and fill that gap or use it to inspire ideas of your own.

If you copy other shows and you’re in a small niche (or even if you’re not) it won’t take long to get a reputation as the person who rips off other people’s work.

So always look at this kind of research as an opportunity for inspiration, not plagiarism.

Does your podcast have to be niche?

Read

Use Twitter Advanced Search

This tool lets you search topics, hashtags and even tweet locations.

It’s a great way to find content other people are sharing (for inspiration) or see what questions people are asking in your niche.

Twitter is somewhere people celebrate their wins, vent their frustrations and ask their community for help so it can be a great source of podcast content if you’re trying to solve problems.

Make sure, if you’re inspired by a tweet, you loop in the person who wrote it when your episode goes live.

It’s a nice way to add a personal touch to your podcast and give back to someone who inspired your show.

How to promote your podcast before it’s live

Read

Search Facebook Groups and Pages

These can be a great source of podcast content and a great place to build a network…if you do it right.

These groups and pages often have strict rules about spruiking yourself.

So don’t be the person who pops in and starts shouting “Check out my podcast!!!” from the minute you arrive.  Because building a reputation in these groups takes time.

If you want to share details of your podcast there are often ‘spruiking days’ where members are permitted to share what they’re up to. And if you’ve been turning up, answering questions and building a presence in the community, people will be keen to check out what you do.

But the impact of sharing your show in groups like this isn’t always significant.

If you want to grow your audience you have to share your show multiple times in multiple places over a long period of time.  So sharing in groups needs to be part of a wider strategy rather than an attempt to find a silver bullet (there are none of those in podcasting I’m afraid).

Where I find these pages helpful is as somewhere to look for content ideas.

Finding content for your show is such a huge task that if you come across a page that helps it’s often way more valuable than providing a place to share your show

Do you need social media accounts for your podcast?

Read

Reddit

Aptly named ‘the front page of the internet’ you can find just about anything on this site.

If you’ve got a niche there might be a subreddit that covers it, you’ll just need to do some poking around.

In the interests of full disclosure, I find this site a little frustrating to navigate but it’s an awesome source of content if you can get your head around it.

It’s great mostly because passionate users do the hard work for you and up-vote content they find interesting.

This kind of insight can be helpful when you’re looking for content in your niche that you know people are interested in.

The steps to release a podcast episode

Read

Search your niche on Quora

Quora is a Q&A website where people ask about EVERYTHING.

Beware, you can lose half your life in this site if you’re not careful but you can also set up alerts and search questions that are being asked in your niche.

This can be really helpful when you’re coming up with podcast content because you don’t need to wonder “what do people want to know?”

You can see it right in front of you.

How to come up with a great podcast idea

Read

Enter your keyword into Answer The Public

Answer The Public is a site that combines your keyword with a bunch of popular search terms and spews out a mountain of potential topics.

Granted, some of them don’t make much sense but for the most part, it can be a great way to get your brain thinking about topic ideas you might not have come up with yourself.

As an example of the randomness, I typed “podcast” into the search bar.

Some great suggestions like “podcast equipment” came up but so did “podcast near-death experience.”

Arguably less helpful.

Despite those anomalies, for the most part, you can find some great thought starters.

How to make sure you’ve got more ideas than you need

Read

Look for books in your niche on Amazon

Amazon is a useful search engine for a lot of niches.  And when you find a book that interests you, you can often check the table of contents to see what it’s about if you don’t want to read the whole thing.

You can also see what other books people purchased which can turn up additional titles in your niche and help surface authors you might not have known about.

It’s a good idea to know what content people are consuming so reading these books for research can help spark ideas for your own content.

How to write great podcast descriptions

Read

Ask your audience

This is only really possible if you have one and even when you do it’s no guarantee they’ll answer. But it’s a good habit to get into on your show.

If your audience knows you’re open to hearing from them they’ll be more likely to get in touch.

And having access to the experience, questions and insights of other people is invaluable because it’s like having another hundred heads working on content for your show.

What are the different types of podcast?

Read

Podcast content ideas for topical shows…

This style of show is a lot broader than a niche show and usually, people tune in for the chemistry and perspectives of the co-hosts rather than the content itself.

Obviously, you still have to have interesting things to talk about but the areas covered often involve news, pop culture and the personal lives of the hosts.

Search outside the main news sites

Almost everyone will be getting content for these types of shows from the big publishers in their area so look for ones that aren’t as well-known but are still churning out interesting stuff.

Here are some of the ones I’ve used over the years…

Fark.com

The Pool

The Cut

Psychology Today

Girl Boss

Refinery 29

Hello Giggles

How to make sure your podcast survives

Read

Look through regional newspapers

Regional newspapers are one of my favourite places to look for topical content because they’re often where stories that eventually make it to the capital cities are first reported.

Don’t just search for papers in your part of the world either, look for regional papers all over the globe.

When I was hosting my last radio show we dedicated an entire segment every week to stories from the NT News because they were so good (and by good I mean totally random).

How long does it take to put together a podcast episode?

Read

Check special interest magazines

You would be amazed at the number of niches that have their own magazines.

Again, in my old radio show, I based an entire segment on Simply Crochet Magazine.

You just never know what you’re going to find but it might spark an idea for a fun/ridiculous segment that’s based on a topic you know absolutely nothing about.

Learn how to start your own podcast

Read

Ask your audience

Encourage them to send in questions, comments or to ask for your advice.

This can yield some of the best content on your show so make sure your audience knows how to contact you.

You can make it easier by having a dedicated show email address or if you want to use the voices of your listeners there are a number of ways to do that, including using Speakpipe or asking them to email in voice memos.

How to get callers on your podcast

Read

Search social media

No one ever puts boring stuff up on their Facebook or Twitter pages so look through the content your friends and family are posting and see if there’s something there that sparks an idea.

This way you’re tapping into the lives of many different people rather than just your own and this can be really helpful when you’re looking for podcast content.

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.

2 Comments
  1. damien says:

    This article was super helpful and amazingly encouraging!
    Thank you

  2. Prabhanjan Borkar says:

    Hi there! I really loved the blog. Also, there were a lot of resources provided in the content that proved a big help for me. I am going to start my podcast soon. Thank you so much for the useful content.

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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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