So You Started a Podcast, How Do You Choose What to Talk About?
Starting a podcast goes beyond getting the right podcasting equipment, having high audio quality, and creating your show’s social media accounts. Now it’s time to decide: what are you going to talk about once you hit the record button? When it comes to podcasts, it’s all about the content! Each podcast episode needs to be unique and offer great value to the listeners. But how do you choose what to talk about on your show? Picking the perfect topic for each podcast episode is key if you want to create a show that’s on track to become one of the most popular podcasts within your chosen niche.
The good news is that you don’t have to put too much pressure on yourself. Once you launch your podcast, it might take some time to get in the flow of things, but you’ll improve over time. Knowing what to talk about, what your audience is interested in, and feeling confident about it takes practice. You’re also in luck, because there are tons of things you can do to aid your journey in knowing what to talk about during any given episode. Both globally in coming up with individual episodes, and what kinds of questions and content to discuss within each episode.
How Do You Choose What to Talk About On Your Podcast?
So how do you choose what to talk about on your podcast? An effective topic is one that catches the audience’s attention from the get-go and urges them to listen to your show. It’s best to talk about subjects that the listeners can easily connect with and feel invested in the story you – or a guest – are telling. We know it can be challenging to come up with topics like these when you’re feeling uninspired or creatively drained. So today’s post is here to help you through it! We are sharing a step-by-step guide with the best tips and tricks to help you choose what to talk about on your show. Find them below!
Start A Podcast In A Niche You’re Passionate About:
First things first, and let’s hope this one is pretty obvious. If you start a podcast, your show should be about something you have some passion for. People can feel the fire in your voice. If you feel uninspired, so will your audience. Plus, when you love what you’re discussing, it’s easier to come up with new topics and give your 100% on every episode. So be careful when picking your podcast niche. It should be a topic that lights you up, something you actually enjoy learning and talking about, and something you won’t get tired of. Your podcast niche and the subjects of each episode should spark that creative fire and push your towards reaching your full potential as a creator. More on unlocking your potential and peak creativity HERE. This will make the content brainstorming process a lot more enjoyable and help you avoid creative burnout!
Don’t Over Think It:
One of the best things about podcasts is their natural flow. Listening to a conversation evolve naturally is one of the reasons people love podcasts. So go with the flow, let the conversation take on a life of its own. In order to have the confidence to be natural, make sure you keep any negative feelings at bay. If you need to loosen up before, have a drink. That’s totally fine! Some of the best conversations take place over a cocktail. If you struggle with imposter syndrome, listen to this episode to learn tips for overcoming it. Get comfortable being vulnerable and authentic. Keeping it real will get you farther than you think! More on vulnerability HERE.
Create Some General Guidelines:
In order to decide what you do and don’t want to talk about, you have to have some sort of framework for your topic choices and style. Is your podcast going for the “nothing is off limits” vibe? Or are you targeting a more tame demographic, for example mother’s listening with their kids? Are you willing to get political? Do you want to discuss drama? Or are you only willing to be positive? If you have an idea of what is off limits and acceptable, it will make choosing what to talk about on your show a lot easier. From there you can make a list of what is a YES or NO for your show.
Listen To Podcasts Within Your Niche:
This tip is practical but comes with a warning. Gaining inspiration from others and staying on trend is great. However comparing yourself or copying is never ideal. You never want to copy or get too into what others are doing. But being involved in your niche in general is a great way to gain inspiration for your own content. Research the topics other podcasts in your niche are talking about, analyze which content creates more engagement with the audience, and think about how you can take those talking points and give them your unique twist. Check the show notes for sources and any additional details that can help your research. Once you’ve gained a sense of the type of content that thrives within your niche, you can start planning your own!
Talk About The Things You’re Knowledgeable In:
This is a bit of a no-brainer but you should always take advantage of the subjects you know a lot about! You’ll come across as an expert in the field and prove to listeners your show is a reliable source of valuable information. So make a list of the topics you have the most experience in – start with subjects you feel most confident in. Then check to see if those subjects could be expanded into different talking points, each for an episode. Sooner or later you have a whole season mapped out!
Research What Topics Your Audience Is Listening To:
Your target audience will influence the way you plan, record, and edit your podcast. Creating a model persona to represent your ideal listener can help you identify the topics you should focus on and how you can improve their day-to-day life with your show. Analyze their potential routines and what hobbies they might have. Is your ideal listener into beauty? Does she follow other beauty influencers? Maybe that means she’s also interested in building a career in the beauty industry or developing a beauty product. You can imagine your ideal listener and build topics around what that ideal person might be into. Even if it seems tedious, it’ll come in handy when you’re lost on the next episode’s talking point!
Ask Yourself What The Goal Of Your Show Is:
This is just as important as knowing your niche and target audience! Your show exists for a reason and it should provide a specific value to the listeners. Do you want to inform your audience on a certain topic? Perhaps entertain them or give them a confidence boost? Or maybe your show is meant to inspire future activists. The objective of your podcast will determine your episode format as well as the topics you talk about.
See If There’s A Content Gap You Could Maximize:
If you listen to podcasts within your niche and research the topics your audience wants to hear about, then you should have a clear idea of what subjects are still unexplored. Granted, almost everything has been put out on the internet for potential listeners to discover. But remember you can always put a spin on any topic! If it’s something you’re interested in and can’t find the content out there from other creators in your niche, consider creating it yourself! If there’s a content gap in your niche that you can fill, it should 100% be the talking point for a future episode. Talking about lesser-mentioned things will make your show stand out from the crowd and gain traction quicker. It’s all about offering something unique and original to the listeners!
Book Great Guests That Drive Interesting Conversations:
Sometimes simply inviting a guest you’re interested in is all you need as far as figuring out what to talk about. A natural conversation can really drive things. Plus, a great topic tells a story, connects with the audience, and makes them emotionally invested. So what’s better than the experiences of a guest that’s relevant and of interest to your listeners? If you need help deciding what to talk to your guest about, make sure you’ve done your homework on their background, businesses, life story, etc. You can also ask them any personal questions if it feels natural. And don’t worry if you’re lost when it comes to booking guests for your show. Read this article for the best strategies to get guests on your podcast!
What Problems Are You Solving:
As we mentioned before, all of your show’s content should offer great value to the listeners. So a clever way to come up with talking points is to answer the following question: What is my audiences’ problem and how am I solving it in this episode? Once you identify those two details, the topic of each podcast episode should be easier to point out.
Include Your Hobbies If They Are Relevant:
It’s always great to talk about the things you are the most passionate about! So if your hobbies feel relevant, your listeners will most likely be interested in them as well. Simply make a list of all the things you’re into, and figure out how to turn that into a topic of conversation or an actual podcast episode. Love to work out and your show is about business? That’s totally fine! Maybe an episode topic is all about how fitness helps support business owners in their careers. Or how endorphins created through physical activity improves brain function? There are so many ways to tie your hobbies into your show.
Consider Doing A Personal Update:
Once you have an established audience, your listeners will want to know what their podcast host is up to behind the scenes. Especially if it is related to the usual content of your show! If it’s been a while since you’ve gotten more personal or you have some special news to share, it might be the perfect moment to do an update episode. This type of content doesn’t fit with every show’s format but it’s still good to consider it! Sometimes your audience will even enjoy a look back at your own journey as a creator and business professional. For example, this episode of the Papaya Podcast where they reflect on one year of episodes. Not every episode has to be about “something” outside of your own journey. Including your audience in your experience and your story can go a long way as well.
Stay Alert & Up To Date On Trending News:
Staying up-to-date is a must in the podcasting industry. Listeners love to engage with podcasts that always give them the TEA within a niche! Whether that is dedicating an episode to the upcoming fashion trends or discussing the most recent celebrity drama, a good podcast host never fails to keep an eye out for the hottest topics. So read the news in your niche and get updates on what’s happening. This way your audience knows feels like they’re getting the freshest takes on all the happenings.
Ask Your Readers:
If you’re feeling completely uninspired and not sure what to talk about, this tip is GOLDEN. The great thing about creating an audience is you have your very own focus group at your fingertips. So ask your community. If you have a guest coming on, drop a question box on your Instagram. Ask your community to submit questions. Then make a list and refer to those questions in your show. Not sure what to talk about in an upcoming solo episode? Ask your listener what they want to hear next. Stumped on which guests to book? Your listeners can submit their dream guests for you show. Getting direct feedback from the people in your tribe is truly one of the best ways to get straight to the heart of the types of content in desire.
What are the topics you like to discuss in your podcast episodes?
That’s all for our favorite strategies to choose what to talk about on your show! Once you start a podcast, you’ll get the gist of it and it’ll be easier to brainstorm content for every episode. For now, stick to our guide and always check if the topics are relevant for your target audience! Have you recently started a podcast? Or are you a seasoned host? How do you pick the topics for each episode? Let us know all about it in the comments below!
For more podcasting resources, here are our favorite podcast tips for beginners and a list of everything you need to launch your podcast! Whether you’re a podcasting newbie or you just need a little help improving your show, these article will give you the essential strategies to achieve success.