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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 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?”

iTunes Google Podcasts Stitcher Spotify

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

By ‘niche show’ I mean a show that focuses on a specific topic area rather than a radio-style podcast where all topics are on the table (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?

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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

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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.

Building a reputation in these groups takes time so have patience.

If you want to share details of your podcast there will often be ‘spruiking days’ where you can share what you’re up to.  This is your opportunity to put your ‘sales’ hat on and tell people to check out your podcast.  If you’ve been turning up, answering questions and building a presence in the community, people will usually be keen to check out what you do.

I look at these pages as a source of questions rather than somewhere to push my online course and podcast on people.  Finding podcast content can be such a big task so if you come across a page that helps you with this, that’s often way more useful than just having somewhere to share your spruik your wares.

How to choose a content niche for your blog or podcast

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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 almost impossible to navigate but I know it’s an awesome source of content if you can get your head around it.

It’s great mostly because users do the hard work for you and up-vote content they find most interesting.  This kind of insight into what people are clicking on can be really useful.

The steps to release a podcast episode

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Search your niche on Quora

Quora is a Q and 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 useful 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

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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 for your podcast.

Granted, some of them don’t make a lot of 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

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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.

You might get enough information from that or you might want to get your head around what other people are doing in your space and buy the books for research.

How to write great podcast descriptions

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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.

Having access to all the experience, questions and insights of your audience is invaluable because it’s like having another hundred heads working on the content of your show.

What are the different types of podcast?

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Podcast content ideas for “radio-style” shows…

This style of show is a lot broader than a niche show and usually, the focus is on the chemistry of the co-hosts rather than the content itself.  Obviously, you have to still have killer podcast content but the areas covered are often much broader and can cover news, pop culture or personal stories.

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 great stuff.

Here are some of the ones I use…

Fark.com

The Pool

The Cut

Psychology Today

Girl Boss

Refinery 29

Hello Giggles

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Look through regional newspapers

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

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

I highly recommend the NT News in Australia.  We dedicated an entire segment to that paper on my last radio show because it was so good (and by good I mean totally random).

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

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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.

Learn how to podcast in PodSchool

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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 they can 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.

How to get callers on your podcast

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Search social media

No one ever puts boring stuff up on their Facebook or Twitter pages so look through 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.

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GET MY FREE PODCAST GUIDE

WANT TO START A PODCAST BUT HAVE NO IDEA HOW? THIS GUIDE TAKES YOU THROUGH ALL THE TOOLS AND TECH YOU NEED TO GET GOING!

SEND IT TO ME!