PodSchool Podcast | Does your podcast have to be niche?


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Why you need a niche for your podcast

Specific is better than general if you want people to listen

Deciding on a niche for your podcast is important when you’re starting out because it can help people find your show.

If you don’t have an existing profile, potential listeners aren’t going to be searching for you, so you need to come up with other ways for people to find your content.

Finding a niche isn’t about being so specific you shut people out or limiting yourself so you’re only talking about one thing for the rest of your life.

It’s about making sure your concept is clear so potential listeners ‘get it’ immediately and have a reason to listen.

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Deciding on a niche for your podcast is important because…

It will help people find your show via search

In the early days, you’ll be relying on every avenue possible to get new ears on your podcast. Social media, friends and family and of course, the go-to for everyone’s investigative needs … search engines.

If you think about it, the chances of someone Googling “a podcast about everything” is pretty slim.

So, you want your show to be specific and defined enough so it fits into a content niche people are already searching for.

This is especially important since Google surfaces playable podcast episodes as search results, which means people can play your podcast episode right there without needing to know what a podcast is or how to find one.

Why choosing a podcast niche helps you grow your audience


It will encourage people to give your show a try

If people understand your concept immediately, they’ll be more likely to press play, so you want your show to be as defined as possible.

“The Rachel Corbett Show” doesn’t mean much if you’ve got no idea who I am.

Even if you do know who I am it’s not very compelling because it doesn’t give you any idea of what the content will be.

With so much choice out there, you don’t want to give people a reason to turn away.  And if it feels like hard work to decipher what your show is about that can be enough to make someone move on.

How to promote your podcast


It helps your show stand out from the crowd

This is particularly important if you’re creating a show in a category that’s overcrowded.

If you don’t have an existing profile and you’re trying to create, for example, a fitness podcast, it’ll be very difficult to compete with established shows if you can’t explain why you’re different.

This is where you need to think about what you bring to the table that’s unique.

Were you someone who was naturally lazy and hated exercise but found a way to love it?  There are plenty of people out there like that, who don’t resonate with traditional fitness content so that might be a great way to set yourself apart.

It may feel like appealing to a smaller number of people is limiting but it’s actually the best way to build an audience when you’re starting from scratch.

How to come up with a great podcast idea


What if you like heaps of different things?

If you’re a multi-passionate person and you’ve got a lot of really compelling but competing interests there’s no reason you can’t create a show for every one of your passions.

Even if you don’t have time to juggle more than one podcast, each show doesn’t have to go on forever so you might decide to release your show in seasons and oscillate between them.  Alternatively, you might decide that an idea works best as a single season with a finite number of episodes.

If this is the case just make sure you keep your audience up to speed so they don’t feel blindsided when the show stops.

And if your show is full of evergreen content (content that doesn’t date) there’s no reason you can’t keep promoting it long after you’ve stopped releasing episodes.

On the other hand, if your interests are diverse but your content isn’t competing or contradictory you can make a show that touches on everything as long as it feels like it all fits under your umbrella concept.

This takes some creative thinking but if you mix things up in a way that makes sense to your show, it’s a great way to keep things interesting for your audience and for you.

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.

Got some time on your hands? Read the full episode transcript

Hello and welcome to the show. It's lovely to be back in your ears! It has been a few weeks I hope you've been working diligently on your podcast or maybe you've kicked it off, you've got 30 million downloads and you don't even need me anymore. Geez I hope that's the case. That'd be magic. A lot can change in three weeks, you just never know. Today I'm going to be talking about the concept of niching the idea of your show. I've had quite a few emails over the break and you can always head to PodSchoolPodcast.com and hit the contact page there to hit me up if you have a question.

I wanted to explain why it is important to niche down your show if you are starting from scratch. The time you don't need to niche that much is if you have an existing profile already and that applies to both individuals and organizations. If you are Ricky Gervais then you can create the Ricky Gervais Show and within that show talk about just about whatever the hell you want because you already have an existing fan base or a back catalogue of work that has proved the fact that you are a funny person with a really interesting take and spin on things and so would be worth listening to.

That's why celebrities starting up podcasts can immediately get an audience because people are immediately interested in whatever they have to say. Tom Cruise could do the Tom Cruise show and talk about fitness or talk about books or talk about turtles. It wouldn't really matter because people would just want to turn up so he becomes the niche. If you are just little old you with no podcasting experience and no profile to speak of and you want to build something from zero, the only way to get people in the door is for the idea to be niche enough so when they come across it in their search they think "Great! I wanna listen to that!" If your hook is "I'm interesting and my take on things is really interesting," if I don't know you from Adam I'm really not going to take the time to look into that show because it's your profile that would get me across the line.

However if I don't know you but you have a really interesting and niche idea then I am much more likely to give it a try. The other reason people niche is because search is one of the ways that your show is going to be found. If you are brand new and if you are a general show about stuff and things, there aren't many people looking up "general show about stuff and things." They're much more likely to search within their niche interests. So for example with my show people are going to find it if they're searching for podcasting tips or how to start their own podcast. If you have a niche area of expertise or you have some kind of area that you want to focus on then you want the people who are searching in that area to find you and the way to do that is to be a more niche offering. The other reason that you want to niche down your concept is if people are coming across you outside of search - perhaps you've been featured in the New and Noteworthy section on iTunes or someone's seen a tweet you've sent out about your show. The more easy to explain your concept is the more likely you will get people on board. You need a one line sell that will get people over the line and make them interested. Again, a show about "stuff" is not going to get me interested but an interview series with cult leaders? Hello! I'm on board.

So you need to have it as easily definable as possible so that if I'm wandering through the wilderness of the podcast store and just thinking "Gee I wonder what I should listen to next?" And I can get immediately from your show description or go show title what idea is about I'm much more likely to give it a try.

Being general if you are a multi passionate person can be something you want to do because you want to do all of the things and talk about all of the stuff all of the time and you don't want to limit yourself. But if you try to be everything to everyone you'll end up being nothing to nobody. Niching is a really a smart strategy to get more listeners not a strategy that cuts people out or limits you. That's the way to get found and grow. You have to differentiate yourself because it's quite the crowded marketplace out there on the old podcast world and it's important that you can stick out. The only way to do that is to make your ideas sing and that means you have to pick a specific topic area.

If you are multi passionate there is no reason that you cannot create a show for everyone of your passions.

Remember that shows do not need to exist in perpetuity week in week out for the rest of your life until you are crawling to the grave thinking to yourself "I never want to do another podcast episode again!" You can do your show in seasons, you can wrap them up in six episodes if that's all the content you have and then go on to a new idea. Don't feel that if you're really passionate about health and fitness and you want to do a show about that, that you couldn't one day do a show about something else. It is much better to do those individual ideas as individual shows than it is to try and moosh something together unless you already have a significant brand that's going to mean that people are just interested in what you have to say anyway. I hope that's helped you work out why it's important to niche your content down and that it won't shut listeners out of your show but it will help you build an audience. If you've got a question please head to PodSchoolPodcast.com and if you're finding these tips useful then it would be lovely if you left the little review wherever you listen to the show. It's lovely to be back in your ears and I will see you next week. Until then, happy podcasting.

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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!