Figuring out a niche for your podcast

So you want to start a podcast, huh? There are a million other podcasts. How do you stand out? You need to identify a niche.
If your show is about two guys who talk about everything under the sun – well, then you are just like a hundred thousand other shows.

If you’re talking about tech, there are tons of podcasts about tech. But if you are talking about women in tech, then you have something unique to talk about. You have a unique perspective. You have a community that will listen to you. And they’re probably not being spoken to in the way they want to be spoken to.

If you can find a niche that no one else is covering, then you can build a great audience.

But figuring out a unique angle, a USP can be challenging. So how can you, the budding podcaster, target something that no one else is targeting (yet).

A great example of a niche podcast is Grammar Girl. I can’t remember the last time I saw a grammar podcast, but Mignon Fogarty has a loyal following. A podcast about grammar isn’t for everyone, but Mignon found her audience. Her audience is people who care about grammar and want to improve their grammar. And Mignon found them and gave them what they wanted.

Another great example of a unique podcast is Gastropod. They cover food and food history. I have never heard of another podcast about food and food history. It’s different.

So how can you figure out your niche?

Firstly, it’s pertinent to mention here Charles Bukowski and his philosophy of Don’t Try. What Bukowski meant was that if you try to be something you’re not, then you will fail. If you want to start a podcast about food, don’t try to be like the host of another popular food podcast. Figure out who you are, and who your audience is, and give them what they want. Also, don’t force yourself to come up with the idea. Instead, let inspiration strike naturally.

Asking yourself what you’re interested in is a good place to start. Here are some ways to go about it:

  • Think about what you talk about with your friends? What do you read about online?
  • Think about the content you consume.
  • Think about the stories you hear. What is unique about them? What are the details?
  • Think about the community you belong to. What are they talking about? What do they care about?
  • Think about what you’re passionate about.

Again, the important thing is: You can’t force yourself to think of a great idea. You have to wait for inspiration. But when you find your idea, you will know. You’ll feel it.

Another great way to look at things is to combine genres.

History+Comedy? The Dollop.
History+Food+Science? Gastropod.
Hollywood+History? You Must Remember This.
Medical Science+History+Comedy? Sawbones.

My advice to you is to look at a hobby or niche you’re interested in and try to find a podcast around it. If you can’t find one, then you might have a podcast idea on your hands.

But, be cautious. You don’t want to be too niche or you may not get any listeners for your podcast at all. Take metal detecting for example. It’s not a very popular hobby and the barriers to entry, like the equipment you need to get into it, are high. On top of that, how many of those hobbyists listen to podcasts?

Instead, take something popular like book reviews. Now there are lots of podcasts about books. But go slightly offbeat and you have audiobooks. A podcast about audiobook reviews. Now there’s a niche.

There are a lot of podcasts about cars. But a podcast about Porches is something else. You get the idea.

The internet is a vast resource of information. You will strike gold with your idea, eventually.

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Sonnet is a podcast player for Android. Listening to podcasts shouldn't be hard. But so many podcast apps on Android are cluttered and confusing, especially for new listeners. With its modern, clean design Sonnet is extremely user-friendly. Download the app and see for yourself.
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