Continuing my series about figuring out content to keep your business in the mind of your customers, let’s dive into the world of podcasting.
First, let’s define what a podcast really is: it’s simply a method of delivering content. That’s it.
Podcast content has no defined rules; podcasts run the gamut in terms of topics, styles, length, audio quality (let’s be real here), and audience demographics.
I think a lot of people tinker with the idea of starting a podcast to promote their businesses and help set them up as an authority in their niche but are afraid that they won’t do it “right.”
There is no “right” in terms of structure. While My Favorite Murder or Last Podcast on the Left run multi-episodic, hour+ episodes, there are meditation podcasts, marketing and business podcasts, and a ton more than have episodes that are 10-15 minutes max. One podcaster I know has an average episode length of 7 minutes and she is CRAZY popular in her niche.
So whether you’re creating a podcast as a supplement to your business or are going all in and focusing solely on podcasting, you’re going to need to find a source of topics that can help you develop consistency and help grow your fan base, but how can you be sure you’ll never run out of ideas?
Content Ideas for New Podcasters
Here are some ways I’ve found topics for Stop Sucking at Business:
1. What do I talk about anyhow?
For me, it’s marketing. I can and will talk your ear off about value-based marketing initiatives if you let me, so that’s what I’ll do on my podcast. Most of my episodes are loosely structured around 3-5 talking points, but otherwise, they’re fairly free form because I just won’t stop talking once I get started. The trick is to remember to write the idea down when it pops in your head as it invariably will (which is why I have a section in my Bullet Journal solely dedicated to that).
2. What are others in the niche talking about?
Look at the top podcasts, bloggers, and YouTubers in your field: what are some topics that seem to be really popular on their platforms? Use those topics as inspiration and put your own spin on it, or invite those influencers on your podcast and talk about the subject they’re known for! (Note: this, of course, presupposes you already know who you want to listen to your podcast. If you don’t do that before your first episode, you’re just throwing stuff at a wall to see what sticks and that’ll cost you tons of precious time. Give How to Make Your Brand Kick-Ass Without Driving Yourself Crazy a spin and get your avatar knocked out in a day).
3. Keyword research.
If you have a general idea of what you want to talk about, head to google to flesh out keyword ideas. I use Serpstat (which is like SEM Rush but cheaper) and Tube Buddy for finding popular-but-attainable topic ideas based on keywords, but if you’re not ready to invest then type a vague topic into google and use their suggestions and related keywords as a way to better flesh out your next episode idea and maybe a few more.
4. Try to do content in clusters.
Never mind the bulk batching concept (which you should totally do!), but try to hit a topic from a few different angles in multiple episodes to appeal to your audience and show them why you should be considered an authority. If you’re doing a podcast about dolls, then hit up the history of dolls from different cultures in multiple episodes. If you’re podcasting about social media, do a series on Instagram and deep dive each episode into a new tactic that you’ve used and why it’s been successful (or if it hasn’t!)
Essential Tools for Podcasters
Just as a quick run over if you’re starting out, you can start podcasting anywhere for very little money. Use your phone + a voice recorder app + your earbuds with included microphone and start there.
One thing you’re going to want to pay for is hosting for your podcast, as the space and bandwidth it’ll take up won’t fly too well with the company you host your WordPress blog with. Libsyn is really popular, but I’ve recently moved my podcast from there to podcast.co because of its features and pricing.
When you’re ready to upgrade to more professional tools, here are the tools I use:
- Yeti Blue Microphone – I’ve had a much more intense setup before, but I’ve found that my Yeti Blue mic handles things way more easily and works great. I think it’s an excellent mic for both new and experienced podcasters.
- iPad Pro – I plug my Yeti into my iPad and record with GarageBand. Granted the iPad isn’t what i would consider a “necessity” but I like that I can record on the go and have my setup totally ready to roll.
- USB to Lightning adapter – to get the Yeti to work with my iPad.
- Soundproof Recording Box – I record in my basement in my YouTube studio so I’m at the mercy of my furnace and sump pumps. This box has been clutch when it comes to getting rid of those noises and keeping the focus on my voice.
- Pop filter – Pop filters are great cheap ways to get rid of the harsh sounds from letters like P and T.