Podcasting has taken the world by storm, with new shows popping up every day. And the rise of podcasting has led to an increase in the number of creators and producers trying to break into the industry.
But, with so many podcasts out there, it can be challenging to come up with unique ideas that will stand out from the crowd and leave you with the question: ‘What should I podcast about?’
And this is where brainstorming comes in. In this article, we’ll explore some tips and tricks for generating fresh and exciting ideas for your podcast. Whether you’re a veteran podcaster looking to revamp your show or a newcomer to the game, we’ve got you covered.
So let’s dive in and discover how you can brainstorm unique podcast ideas that will capture your audience’s attention and keep them coming back for more!
Choosing podcast ideas that you’re passionate about
The biggest thing that I would encourage you to do is really question what is it that you are passionate about.
Because it’s so important that your podcast reflects a topic that you’re interested in.
What is it that really lights you up and that you could just talk about for hours and hours and hours? And I say hours and hours and hours because regardless of how long your episodes are going to be, for a successful podcast you need to have the momentum.
You need to have content to be putting out there every week or every two weeks, every series – or however else your release schedule looks.
But, regardless of your episode release schedule, you’ve got to be choosing something that you are so passionate about.
Why? Because it’s so obvious when you listen to a podcast and the host just is not interested in what they’re talking about. In fact, it’s a turnoff when you can tell that a podcaster is podcasting for the sake of it or to follow a trend.
No one wants to listen to that.
So first of all, before going any further, consider: what are you passionate about and can talk about episode after episode?
Identifying your target audience
Before you start brainstorming podcast ideas, it’s critical that you identify your target audience. Knowing who you’re creating content for will help you tailor your ideas to their interests and needs. Consider demographics such as age, gender, location, and interests.
It’s also essential to understand your audience’s pain points and what they are looking for in a podcast.
What are their challenges, and how can your podcast help solve them?
Understanding your audience’s wants and needs will help you create content that resonates with them and keeps them coming back for more.
Researching your competition
To create a unique podcast idea, it’s essential to research your competition.
By analysing what other podcasters are doing, you can identify gaps in their content and find a unique angle for your own podcast.
Start by listening to podcasts in your niche and analysing their content, format, and style. Look for areas that are not being covered and find a way to fill that gap.
Consider the tone, format, and length of their episodes, as well as the topics they cover.
Researching your competition will also help you understand what works and what doesn’t work in your niche. This knowledge will help you avoid common mistakes and create content that resonates with your audience.
Brainstorming techniques for podcast ideas
Brainstorming is a crucial part of the creative process.
Here are some tips that you can use to generate unique podcast ideas:
20 ideas list
Once you have decided what the topic is of your podcast, draft out the first 20 ideas for episodes that come to your head. Try not to overthink your list at this stage, just write down whatever comes to mind.
It’s not to say that you are necessarily going to record every single one of these 20-episode ideas. It might be that none of them come to fruition, or that only half of them get used.
However, if you cannot list out at least 20 ideas for episodes for your podcast, you do not have a podcast.
Why? Because you do not have enough content that you can be talking about to fill up episodes for your podcast.
So if you can’t write 20 episode ideas in 10-20 minutes, then you might want to rethink your podcast topic.
I’m not saying completely abandon it, especially if you’ve got your heart set on the topic idea. But, I would rethink the concept of the podcast that you are planning on running because you need to make sure you have got enough content.
Avoid podfade from the get-go
Statistically, the vast majority of podcasts will go into what’s called podfade after the first eight episodes, and one of the main reasons for that is that podcasters run out of content ideas. And another benefit of listing at least 20 episodes? Well, if you are doing podcast episodes every single week, that’s already nearly half a year covered. If you are doing biweekly episodes, that’s pretty much a year covered.
Mind mapping your podcast ideas
Mind mapping is a visual brainstorming technique that involves creating a diagram of your ideas.
Start with your core idea in the centre and branch out to related topics.
Use colours, images, and keywords to help you visualise your ideas.
For example, if I were making a mind map for The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Podcasting, I would start out with the core idea of ‘starting a podcast’ in the centre of my sheet.
From there, I would have topics branching out. These topics could include, tech, software reviews, interview techniques, and podcasting basics.
From each of these topics, I would then write around each topic title different episode ideas that relate to these topics.
Mind maps can be done with pen and paper (and I LOVE getting creative with Sharpies at this stage!), or you can check out the new mind map feature on Canva where there are 980+ templates to choose from.
Using word association can be a fun way of brainstorming podcast ideas using related words and phrases.
Start off with a single word that relates to your podcast and then use a thesaurus to find synonyms and related words.
This technique is excellent for generating ideas quickly and can lead to unexpected connections.
You could also use a random word generator to find unexpected words that could give you more inspiration for your podcast ideas.
You’ll soon have a long list of topic ideas related to your podcast idea.
Reverse brainstorming your podcast ideas
Reverse brainstorming involves flipping a problem on its head and brainstorming solutions to the opposite problem.
For example, if your podcast is about healthy eating, brainstorm unhealthy eating habits and how to avoid them.
Utilising current events and trends
Current events and trends can provide excellent inspiration for podcast ideas.
Look for stories or topics in the news that relates to your niche and find a unique angle to cover them.
For example, if your podcast is about personal finance, you could cover the impact of the pandemic on people’s finances. You could also cover trends in investing or changes in tax laws.
By covering current events and trends, you can create content that is timely, relevant, and engaging.
Incorporating storytelling into your podcast
Storytelling is a powerful tool for creating engaging content.
By incorporating storytelling into your podcast, you can create a connection with your audience and keep them coming back for more.
Start by identifying stories related to your podcast’s topic and find a unique angle to tell them. Use descriptive language and vivid details to bring your stories to life. Incorporate personal anecdotes or interviews with experts to add depth and authenticity to your stories.
By incorporating storytelling into your podcast, you can create content that is memorable, emotional, and impactful.
But when incorporating stories, you only need to tell the stories that you want to. If you’re not comfortable talking about a certain area of your life, that’s absolutely fine and you owe nobody an explanation as to why certain topics of your personal life are out of bounds.
As an example, I’m a mother of two daughters. My audience knows this because I mention ‘the girls’ on my podcast and on my social media from time to time.
However, I never share their name, images, or anything about their personal lives. This is a personal decision that my husband and I have made and although not everyone might agree (and that’s fine – we all parent differently and no one parents perfectly at the end of the day; we’re all just doing our best, right?), I’m very firm that I don’t share anything personal about my daughters online.
So apply this to your own storytelling. Just because someone else is storytelling an aspect of their life, you don’t have to do the same if you aren’t comfortable with that.
Collaborating with guests or other podcasters
Collaborating with guests or other podcasters can provide excellent inspiration for podcast ideas.
By bringing in outside perspectives, you can create content that is diverse, engaging, and informative.
Start by identifying experts or influencers in your niche and reach out to them for an interview. You can also collaborate with other podcasters to create cross-promotional content or joint episodes.
By collaborating with guests or other podcasters, you can bring fresh perspectives and ideas to your podcast and expand your audience.
Testing and refining your podcast ideas
Once you have generated some podcast ideas, it’s a good idea to test them out. You could start by creating a pilot episode or a small series of episodes to gauge your audience’s response.
Creating and releasing a trailer is another great way to get your audience interested in your new podcast and build momentum.
If you want to change your format or try out a new set of ideas, ask your audience for feedback to see what they think of your episodes/format.
Pay attention to feedback and analytics to identify areas for improvement. Use this feedback to refine your content and format and create content that resonates with your audience.
Generating unique podcast ideas can be challenging, but it’s not impossible to come up with show ideas that are unique and stand out from the crowd.
Remember to identify your target audience, research your competition, and utilise current events and trends to inspire your ideas.
Incorporate storytelling, collaborate with guests or other podcasters, and test and refine your ideas to create content that resonates with your audience. With these tools and resources, you’ll be well on your way to brainstorming unique podcast ideas that capture your audience’s attention and keep them coming back for more.