If you’ve ever wanted to start your own podcast, now would be the perfect time to do so. Podcasts have never been more popular, and its demand will grow even more in the future.
However, these first enthusiastic feelings about starting a podcast are usually followed by deflating consternation and the lack of ideas on what to actually talk about. Should there be an overall topic or theme underlying a podcast? Is it ok not to have a topic but just to talk about what’s coming to mind?
Deciding on a topic is probably one of the hardest tasks in the process of launching your own podcast. With that in mind, we present you the most popular topics out there and have a few spare tips on how to kick off your podcast career with a topic that fits you. And for those of you who are still uninspired, have a read on some concrete thought-provoking inputs we’ve come up with.
Top 3 most popular topics in the world
To begin with, let’s have a look at three of the most popular podcast topics on the market. These can be great sources of inspiration and offer endless possibilities to expand on in your own podcast.
True crime topics are the absolute number one in the world of podcasting. There’s nothing more exciting than a story of a good mystery to enhance a boring car ride or a normal afternoon walk.
The true crime genre started its evolution back in 2014 with “Serial”, the most known true crime podcast and pioneer in the field. It tells nonfictional stories about crimes over multiple episodes and attracts millions of listeners from all over the world.
Don’t we all love to talk about food? Podcasts about this cherished topic are all over the place and provide you with some lighter listening fare compared to true crime. Podcasts with glorious names such as “Doughboys”, “House of Carbs” or “I’ll Drink to That” give attention to the food universe at large. The podcast hosts discuss fast food chains as well as the history of food, and provide you with useful tips for the kitchen.
No boundaries exist if you want to join the world of food podcasts. From restaurant reviews and sharing your grandma’s secret recipes to have a chat about French wine, everything is possible.
TV shows, books and movies
There are many podcasts out there which present you the latest reviews about books, movies or TV shows. “Get Booked”, “The Rewatchable” or “Breaking Down Bad Books”, for example. And the best thing? There are even more books, movies or TV shows out there waiting to be reviewed. You might want to give it a try with your favorite literature or Netflix masterpiece.
How do you find the perfect topic for you?
Now you might think that all you’re interested in is already covered by some podcast out there. Or that you are not creative enough to come up with one of these outstandingly compelling topics like all the other podcasters you know.
In fact, there is a ton of content just in anticipation to be thrown out there! A few relatively easy tricks can help you to think about your future podcast and find the topic which is perfectly right for you.
Focus on your passion.
Everybody has this one passion, hidden somewhere deep inside. Why not let it out? The best and easiest way to get started with your podcast is to talk about something that you’re burning for. Something you can brag and tell your friends about. For like forever.
And don’t think you should teach something to your audience. You can, of course. But this mindset usually puts you under a lot of pressure and takes away self-confidence that you definitely need for the rest of the how-to-get-started-with-a-podcast process. You might want to talk more about experiences, impressions, or your own views on your favorite subjects.
Make your topic unique
A good tip on how to come up with ideas for your podcast is to browse through common podcast platforms and see which topics you’re interested in are out there. Maybe you have an idea to narrow them down, and then you can make it unique by telling your personal story with the topic or talk about specific details that other podcasts don’t cover.
Do not talk about mountain biking in general, but talk about mountain bike gear. Do not tell your listeners about travelling the world, but tell them about travelling the world through the eyes of a child. You get the grip.
Bring in some friends
If you’re unsure whether or not you have something useful to share, your friends certainly will hop in and tell you all about their passion! Make yourself a host and interview other people about their fields of knowledge. Maybe one of your friends has an unusual job, or a unique hobby the world needs to know about.
Besides, bringing in a friend is way more fun for you as a producer. And interviews as well as discussions between two people always bring a bit of a change into the listener experience.
Know your listeners
Seriously, this is a must. If you want to have listeners for your podcast you have to put them first. Because your main goal will probably be to podcast for your audience, not for yourself.
You need to define your audience, and then think about where their interests are and what challenges they might have to overcome. Ask yourself why you would listen to your own podcast, or what you would like to listen to in general. What are you expecting from the podcasts you listen to? Reflections like these bring you closer to your audience and help you find the right topic for you. And for them.
What about having a podcast without a topic?
A question often discussed is if starting a podcast really needs an underlying topic.
Here’s the thing. Choosing a topic, or an overall theme, for your podcast gives your future listener a hook on what to expect when they press the play-button. Going without a topic means attracting people with your personality. This works well for big podcasters like Joe Rogan who have built themselves a reputation in the last couple of years. But maybe not so much for beginners.
Therefore, choosing a theme or at least a topic for every episode is a central part of starting your own podcast, mostly for the sake of your listeners. Yet, do not forget that what makes a podcast good is mostly about telling a story that touches your listeners emotionally and makes them wanting to hear more. Regardless of the topic.
Some quick topic tips to cut loose
In case your brain is still blank after these tips, we have some quick topic suggestions for you to hit the ground running:
- Keep it short. Like, really. Come up with short five-minute stories or tell us about your favorite life hack in two minutes.
- Start a podcast about other podcasts. Yes, this sounds weird, but there are also books about other books out there, right?
- Make a podcast about your location. Tell your listeners about the history of the place you live, or how it feels to work there. What do children think about your town, for example?
- Bring together two people with the same name who don’t know each other and let them have a chat.
- Tell good night stories. Or wake up stories. Or lunch eating stories.
Do you see how it works?
The podcast community is ready to welcome you!