So, you want to start a podcast.
Way to go!
Podcasting is taking the world by storm.
It combines the immediacy of blogging with the convenience of audio portability. But a podcast is only as good as its content. And that content is only as good as its subject.
In this article, we present you with 10 hot ideas to get your creative juices flowing. Well provide examples of each and we’ll provide an invaluable podcasting ideas FAQ.
So, let’s get those ideas flowing.
If you’d like to see a graphical breakdown of podcast streaming ideas, we got you covered:
Surveying the Landscape
Before we get to the ideas, let’s take a look at what’s ready out there.
Here is list of the most common categories of podcast out there right now:
- General 7,982
- Music 6,891
- Technology 3,854
- Comedy 2,807
- Religion & Spirituality 2,421
- Business 1,816
- Society & Culture 1,744
- Education 1,558
- Sports & Recreation 1,266
- Video Podcasts 1,148
- TV & Film 998
- News & Politics 991
- Health 977
- Arts 952
- Travel 514
- Food & Drink 264
- Environment 163
There are about 50 new podcasts springing up every day. When it comes to podcasting, you don’t have to be number one in your category. Rather, think about what will make your podcast unique.
You should begin by subscribing to a number of different podcasts to find out what makes them work. Note the things that you like and don’t like about them.
Be sure, though, that you do not steal content from another podcast. And when your podcast is live, avoid criticizing other podcasts.
Once you have decided on your general category (let’s say music), then you need to find a unique angle to bring to the landscape.
For instance, you could focus on the ‘Stories Behind the Songs’ and focus each episode on the backstory behind a popular song, such as ‘I Don’t Like Mondays’ by the Boomtown Rats.
Idea #1: Why . . . . Is a Classic?
There are millions and millions of book lovers out there.
But many of them have never read the great classics of previous centuries. Isn’t it about time, they were introduced to these classic pieces of literature?
Why not be the one to bring them up to speed?
Help people to fall in love with Wuthering Heights, The Man the Iron Mask and To Kill a Mockingbird and you’ll be doing a great service to society (kind of).
Idea #2: The Hinges of Battle
History is hot nowadays. And the history of warfare is hotter than ever.
How about a podcast that uncovers the hinges of battle – those quirky whims of fate that decided the outcome of conflict – and the future of nations.
There’s plenty of fascinating real history to investigate – and lots of scopes to present it in a fascinating, edge of your seat delivery style!
Idea #3: I Wonder Why
When we grow up, we tend to lose that childlike quality of questioning everything.
But, deep inside, we are all still that inquisitive child. So, feed the need by providing authoritative answers to the questions that are hanging out there –
Why does hair go grey when we age? How are ants able to lift 500 times their body weight? What exactly causes a rainbow? Inquiring minds wanna’ know!
Idea #4: The Christian Movie Critic
There are plenty of movie reviewers out there.
But there are not very many people who provide movie reviews from a Christian point of view.
There are millions of people out there who want to know if a movie contains profane language, sexual immorality or extreme violence.
These folks will be prepared to walk out of a theater in order to maintain their Bible trained conscience but would prefer not to have to.
You could be the one to provide them with the foreknowledge they need in order to avoid movies that are not appropriate for them.
Idea #5: True Crime Retrospective
People are fascinated by true crime.
They seem to be especially intrigued by discovering just how the authorities went about solving the case.
Still many of today’s generation is unfamiliar with the big crimes and criminals of decades past.
TV shows like Mindhunter and Movies such as Once Upon Time in Hollywood have brought renewed interest in these subjects.
There’s a built-in audience for you to fill by providing a retrospective podcast history of the serial killers featured on Mind Hunter – someone’s gonna’ do it – why not you?
Idea #6: Unsolved Cases
A sub-genre of the True Crime niche is Unsolved Crime.
People cannot get enough of true crime cases.
That is why they are so popular on Netflix. Why not start up a podcast where you present either a new case every week or, if the case is meaty enough, go in-depth on just one case?
Who knows, you’re investigation might just provide the breakthrough that busts the case wide open. You won’t be the first podcaster to do just that!
Idea #7: Great Sporting Injustices
There have been a lot of sporting injustices throughout history. And people are still very passionate about many of them.
Most of today’s generation have never heard about such sporting scandals as Diego Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’ goal at the 1986 World Cup.
So, why not a podcast episode about it. There are enough sporting scandals out there to keep you going for years.
Idea #8: 1960’s TV
A lot of people long for the good old days of television – and it’s not just the older generation.
Those great 60’s shows like Gilligan’s Island, Bonanza and Daniel Boone deserve to be brought to the internet generation.
Most of these shows have books that give insights into the production and behind the scenes details of what it was like to be there.
You’ll soon have enough material for years worth of podcast episodes.
Idea #9: Muscle Building for Over 50’s
There are plenty of muscle-building YouTube channels and Podcasts focused on building muscle in your 20’s and 30’s.
But there are very few who cater exclusively to people over the age of 50. Yet there are a whole lot of guys in that age range who are working their butts off to pack on some size.
Why not provide a podcast home for them – they’ll flock to it!
Idea #10: Interview the Founders
Why not set up a podcast where you interview the founders of businesses.
You may not get to sit down with Bill Gates (but you never know unless you try), but there are plenty of successful business owners who would be pleased to explain how they got to where they are.
People will be inspired and educated by their stories. And you can bring it to them!
How can I create a unique podcast?
The firsts step to creating a unique podcast is to study other podcasts.
Subscribe to a number of podcasts that are in your re of interest.
Listen to them for about a month with a note-book in hand. Take note of all the things you like and all the things you don’t like.
Choose a topic that you know. Then look for a unique angle that no one will have covered – check our ten ideas listed above for inspiration.
Should I have an extensive script or just wing it?
Whether you spend hours preparing your podcast script or simply work off a few notes on the card is a personal decision.
Both methods will work.
Many people need the security of a fully written script, especially during their first few podcasts.
The beauty of podcasting, as opposed to YouTubing, is that your audience cannot see you, so there is no need to hide your script away.
An outline or script will keep you on track with what you want to say and the points you want to make.
Your audience will appreciate it when you don’t waffle or repeat things that you have already covered.
How long should my podcast be?
There is no set length for a podcast.
There are some extremely popular podcasts that are very brief, running for less than ten minutes.
On the other extreme, some of them run for up to four hours like Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History. On average, though, most podcasts tends to run for between twenty and thirty minutes.
There are some definite advantages to keeping your podcasts short (around the ten-minute mark). They require less preparation time.
Production time, including editing and mixing time, will also be reduced. This makes it easier for you to produce content on a regular basis.
Short podcasts will also ensure that your subscribers get a fast download experience every time.
Also, if you limit yourself to 10 minutes, you will more likely to stay on track with your content. If you are regularly interviewing other people, you will need a longer length podcast in order to do justice to your interviewee.
What Authorities regulate podcasting?
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is the government watchdog of everything that gets transmitted to the public via mass communications.
They are responsible for enforcing decency laws on television and radio.
The FCC does not consider the internet to be broadcast medium so it does not have the power to regulate content on podcasts. However, this is likely to change in the near future.
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) regulates the use of music on platforms that are transmitted to the public.
If you try to use your favorite song as the intro to your podcast without getting the right permissions, the RIAA will soon come knocking. By the way, it was the RIAA who closed down Napster (remember them?).
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is a donor-supported organization that works to protect the digital rights of the individual.
They are dedicated to educating the media, lawmakers and the public on how technology affects their civil liberties.
Creative Commons (CC) is a nonprofit corporation which is dedicated to helping artists, copyrighted material and people who want to use copyrighted material but may not have the wherewithal to buy rights from the RIAA. They offer free licenses for use in podcasting.
How can I conduct really good podcast interviews?
Here are a few podcast interview tips:
- Do your research
- Ask specific, searching questions
- Visit guests’ websites to find out more about them
- Make sure that your questions follow a logical order
- Ask open-ended questions
- Prepare twice the number of questions you think you will need
- Don’t worry about asking a stupid question
- Do not ask inappropriate questions
I hope that you’ve been inspired by our podcasting ideas and tips to get started on your own podcasting adventure.
If so, its time to get out there and share your brilliance with the world!