Choosing a podcast topic for your show is one of the first things you do as a podcaster. It’s absolutely vital that you can translate your podcast ideas effectively – it’s not easy to create something unique, engaging and interesting, but we’re here to help! Read on to learn more about podcast topics, plus we share loads of ideas for every show format, from solo to co-hosted and everything in between, to inspire podcasters who need help finalising what their show is going to be about.
In this article...
How to pick a podcast topic or idea
When picking your show topic, there are two main factors to consider:
- What are you passionate about or interested in?
- Where is there a gap in the market?
If you can find something about which you’re so passionate that you talking about it constantly excites you, and someone hasn’t already done it to death, you’ve got yourself a podcast idea! Think about it – if you’re not really that interested in something, you’re not going to be motivated enough to record a podcast episode each week, and if the topic is already established then no one’s really going to listen to your take on it.
So, if it’s that easy, why doesn’t everyone have a hit podcast?
Because finding something genuinely exciting, niche and original can take a bit of work on your end. To find out what’s missing, you might have to do a little market research – take a look at what’s not been done yet in your niche.
Let’s take the SEO Mindset. The show is run by Captivate’s own Sarah McDowell, who wanted to create a podcast for the SEO industry – she could see there were already a lot of podcasts teaching you how to do SEO, but nothing focusing on career development and personal growth for SEO professionals. That’s what her show focuses on – a strong, clear concept about a topic she loves, covering a niche no one else was doing.
You also need to understand your audience, so that you can tailor your content and marketing towards the kind of people you want to be reaching. A great way to do that is with a listener avatar – this allows you to zero in exactly on age, gender, interests and income level so that everything you do is targeted.
What is your USP?
Having a Unique Selling Point (USP) is crucial for podcasters – it sets you apart in an extremely crowded landscape. Your USP is basically what makes your podcast special: it could be your niche focus, unique format, or your engaging personality. It gives potential listeners a reason to choose your show over others, as well as helping to create a brand identity that resonates with your target audience. Ultimately, a strong USP not only boosts your podcast’s visibility and credibility but also ensures long-term success.
Below, we’ll dig into some great topic ideas for every show format for you to use as a jumping off point!
11 topics for a solo podcast
- Media reviews
What are you passionate about? Music, books, films, comics, tv shows? Review or analyse things in that format – remember, nicher is probably better here. There are a million music review podcasts, so get a bit specific about genre and you’ll better appeal to your target demographic.
- Personal growth or self-improvement experiences
Do you feel you’ve learnt some valuable information throughout your life experience? Things which it might benefit others to learn? Why not make a podcast about it! Try to be specific and honest and avoid platitudes and cliches.
- Narrative fiction
Audio fiction is really taking off at the moment – an episodic narrative podcast is a fantastic, dynamic way to share a story you’re writing.
- Audio documentary
Audio documentary is a type of non-fiction narrative that utilizes commentary, interviews, and investigative journalism to discuss a specific topic or genre. Like a David Attenborough special on Spotify!
Do you know something that the general public don’t? That could be a foreign language, something about history or geography or philosophy or even astrophysics. If you have a specialist subject, a solo podcast is a great way to disseminate that information.
- Genre specific news
Are you super interested in Star Wars / Formula 1 / Punk music in the North of England? A niche podcast about the comings and goings within that industry would be a great idea – there’ll always be new things to talk about, and it’s easy to keep engaged on your own.
- Discuss and demonstrate your hobbies
Are you a writer? A guitarist? Or perhaps you have a less common hobby you’re passionate about? Your podcast could take an episodic look at what it’s like to do this day to day, sharing tips and knowledge with those who want to take up the hobby themselves.
- Explore the latest tech trends
Delve into the ever-evolving world of technology. In your solo podcast, you can research and discuss the latest tech trends, innovations, and breakthroughs. Offer insights on how these developments impact our lives and what the future might hold in terms of technology. You can also interview experts, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders in the tech industry to gain diverse perspectives on tech trends.
- Travel stories
Share captivating travel stories from your personal experiences. Take your audience on virtual journeys to different parts of the world by describing your adventures, encounters, and cultural experiences. Offer tips and recommendations for fellow travelers, making your podcast both entertaining and informative.
- Cooking or baking show
Host a solo cooking or baking show where you guide your audience through preparing delicious dishes. Share your favorite recipes, cooking techniques, and tips for mastering various culinary skills. Consider exploring different cuisines, dietary preferences, and seasonal recipes to cater to a wide range of food enthusiasts.
- Guided how-to’s
Create a series of guided how-to episodes, where you provide step-by-step instructions and practical advice on a particular subject. This could encompass a broad spectrum of topics, from DIY home improvement projects to mastering a musical instrument. Your expertise and clear guidance can help listeners acquire new skills and knowledge in a structured manner.
8 topics for a co-hosted podcast
- Sports commentary – focus on a particular sport or team
Dive deep into the world of a specific sport or team, discussing recent games, player performances, and sports-related news. Provide expert analysis and engage with fans’ perspectives.
- Comedy and improv
Create a platform for humor, sketches, and improvisational comedy. Invite comedians, actors, and improv artists as guests. Explore different comedic styles, share funny anecdotes, and entertain your audience.
- Book club
Hosts read and discuss books, offering in-depth reviews, literary analysis, and recommendations. Engage with your listeners by selecting books across genres and encouraging them to read along with you – you could even have special episodes where you invite authors to do readings or discuss books they have recently published.
- Hosts debate a particular subject
Choose thought-provoking topics or controversies and engage in lively debates. Invite experts or enthusiasts to present their perspectives, providing a platform for constructive discussions.
- Deep dives into films, books, or a particular subject
Take a comprehensive approach to exploring a particular film, book, or subject. Analyze its history, impact, and cultural significance. Offer insights and trivia to enhance listeners’ understanding.
- Game or quiz show themed podcast
Incorporate interactive elements like trivia quizzes, games, and challenges. Engage the audience and possibly involve them in the games, with prizes or rewards for participation.
- Kids themed show
Create content suitable for children, including storytelling, character-based adventures, and educational segments. Encourage creativity and imagination in a child-friendly format.
- Discuss latest news or events for a particular subject
Keep your audience informed about recent developments, trends, and breaking news related to your chosen subject, whether it’s technology, science, entertainment, or another area of interest.
8 topics for an interview based podcast
- Interviews with ordinary people to find extraordinary stories
Focus on everyday individuals with extraordinary stories, experiences, or accomplishments. Highlight the unique and inspiring aspects of their lives.
- Interview musicians in a particular genre
Spotlight musicians, exploring their creative processes, inspirations, and contributions to a specific music genre. Share their tracks and insights into their careers.
- Interview authors
Feature authors and their works, delving into their writing styles, motivations, and the themes of their books. Promote reading and literary discussions.
- Interview entrepreneurs – ‘aha’ and learning moments
Focus on the entrepreneurial journey. Discuss the challenges, successes, and pivotal moments in entrepreneurs’ careers. Extract valuable lessons for aspiring business leaders.
- Interviews with experts/specialists
Offer deep insights into niche areas by interviewing experts, researchers, or specialists. Provide your audience with authoritative information and in-depth knowledge.
- Interviews with inspiring people
Showcase individuals who have pushed boundaries and achieved extraordinary feats in their respective fields. Explore their motivations, struggles, and achievements.
- Switch it up – get people to interview hosts
Reverse the roles by having your audience or special guests interview the hosts. Share personal insights, experiences, and behind-the-scenes stories. Each guest will ask different questions based on their background, experience and expertise – it’s a great way to spark interesting conversations.
- Quick fire round
Challenge guests to answer rapid-fire questions on a variety of topics, revealing their personalities and preferences in a fun and engaging manner. If there are particularly interesting answers to certain questions, this will make for interesting discussions later on.
8 topics for a short form or bite-size podcast
- Quick life hacks and tips
Provide practical and time-saving tips on everyday tasks, such as cleaning, cooking, organization, and more. Simplify daily life for your audience.
- Short stories or poems
Share concise, compelling short stories or poetry that captivate listeners’ imaginations and emotions.
- Bite-sized ‘how-tos’ on a particular subject
Offer short, quick step-by-step instructions or tutorials on various topics or focus on one particular area, making complex concepts accessible in a brief format. For example, learn how to [insert topic] in 5 short steps.
- Quick wins and lessons
Share quick, actionable insights and lessons that can lead to personal growth, self-improvement, or career development.
- Opinions on particular news or event
Provide concise, insightful commentary on current events, trends, or news items, allowing your audience to stay informed in a short and snappy format.
- Share a fact or bust a myth of the day
Highlight interesting facts or debunk common myths related to a specific subject, providing knowledge and entertainment in bite-sized portions.
- Comedy roast or funny one-liners
Inject humor into your podcast with comedic roasts, funny anecdotes, or one-liners that bring laughter to your listeners.
- Short summaries of films or books
Offer quick, spoiler-free (or spoiler-y, but remember to warn people!) summaries and reviews of movies, TV shows, or books to help your audience decide what to watch or read next.
8 topics for a business podcast
- Share latest news and updates from the business
Keep your audience informed about your business’s recent developments, product releases, milestones, and updates.
- Interviews with industry leaders or experts
Feature interviews with prominent figures in your industry, allowing them to share their insights, experiences, and predictions for the future.
- New product or service releases
Announce and discuss new products or services from your business or from others in your industry, showcasing their features and benefits.
- Sharing industry stats or news/events
Provide data-driven insights, industry trends, and coverage of significant news or events shaping your field.
- Opinions on related industry topics – thought leadership style
Engage in thought leadership discussions, sharing your own and your guests’ opinions on pressing industry topics, challenges, and solutions.
- Behind the scenes of a business
Offer a glimpse into the inner workings of your business, sharing the daily operations, challenges, and strategies that drive success.
- Share business or industry learnings
Reflect on lessons learned, mistakes made, and strategies that have proven successful in the context of your business or industry.
- Debates on related industry news and updates
Foster debates and discussions on industry-specific topics, encouraging different perspectives and insights from experts and enthusiasts.
Example topics and ideas from Captivate podcasters
Let’s take a look at some example shows on Captivate, what topics they discuss and the formats they use.
- The News Agents
The News Agents is a topical news show co-hosted by three of the UK’s top journalists. They discuss the day’s news and politics, putting their journalistic expertise to use as they explain what’s going on behind the headlines.
Topic: News and Politics
- ZOE: Science and Nutrition
Hosted by Jonathan Wolf, ZOE Science and Nutrition follows a loose interview format, where leading scientists and experts are invited onto the show to discuss different aspects of health and wellness. The interview format provides a variety of topics and the opportunity to share knowledge the host himself may not possess.
Topic: Science, Health and Wellness
- The Game With Alex Hormozi
The Game is primarily the solo show of entrepreneur Alex Hormozi. He shares business tips and motivation, helping to teach people from his success.
Topic: Entrepreneurship, Self Help
- The bossbabe podcast
Hosted by Natalie Ellis and Danielle Canty, the bossbabe podcast is a co-hosted look at entrepreneurship and self improvement. The duo share tips to help women get ahead in business, looking at everything from the practicalities of running a company day to day to how to manage stress.
Topic: Self Improvement, Entrepreneurship
- The Wittering Whitehalls
Co-hosted by Michael and Hilary Whitehall, The Wittering Whitehalls features the couple discussing a huge range of topics and offering their insights – everything from weddings to workouts. It has a similar vibe to a kind of agony aunt page, with friendly advice for everyday life.
- The Wittering Whitehalls
The ADHD Women’s Wellbeing Podcast is hosted by Kate Moryoussef, an ADHD lifestyle & wellbeing coach and EFT practitioner. In her podcast, Kate has conversations with global experts, thought leaders, professionals and authors about how we can harness our wellbeing to work alongside our brains and enhance our lives as women with ADHD.
Topic: Health and Wellness
- Filthy Ritual
Filthy Ritual is hosted by Hannah Maguire and Suruthi Bala. This is a true crime, audio documentary podcast where hosts tell the story about one one of the most prolific con women in British history, Juliette D-Souza.
Topic: True Crime, Audio Documentary
- Wong Notes
Wong Notes is a podcast by Cory Wong, an American guitarist and songwriter. In his podcast he interviews his favorite artists as they discuss personal tricks of the trade and never-before-heard stories.
- Yoga Nidra
The Yoga Nidra Podcast hosted by Aatma Life offers guided meditation practices. Yoga Nidra is a form of guided meditation that involves deep relaxation and conscious awareness. It’s a tool for promoting physical, mental and emotional relaxation and healing.
Format: Short Form, Solo
Topic: Education, Health & Fitness, How-To
- Camp Here and There
Camp Here & There is a podcast by Mayfield & Belov, an entertainment production partnership founded by Blue Mayfield and Nochlas Belov. The podcast is a weekly horror comedy podcast, where a small midwestern sleepaway camp plagued by supernatural terrors and natural disasters.
Topic: Horror, Narrative Fiction
- In Her Ellement
In Her Ellement is a podcast by Boston Consulting Group. AI and digital expert Suchi Srinivasan and product designer Corin Lines talk to the women at the vanguard of technology in business, art, education, and more.
Format: Co-Hosted, Interview
Topic: Technology, News
- Armchair Adventures
Connie is the host and chief adventurer of Armchair Adventures podcast, part of Armchair Adventures Travel Agency. The podcast is a fun, engaging, join-in story podcast for kids aged 6 to 10.
Topic: Kids Themed Show
- Is it a good idea to pick a niche podcast topic?
It absolutely is – a niche topic allows you to zero in on your target audience. If you’re trying to appeal to everyone, you won’t really hook anyone in, as you won’t be able to get specific enough. Better to really excite a certain group of people than to mildly interest a wider circle.
- Can I change my podcast topic?
Yes, of course – it’s your podcast, you can do what you want. Changing often is terrible for growth, so don’t dart around all the time, but if you’re dissatisfied with your current topic then a well communicated shift can work wonders.
- Do I need to focus on one topic or idea?
Not necessarily, but it is a good idea to have a clear vision and something that makes your show consistent from episode to episode. This could be your format, sense of humour or anything else that can make you stand out to listeners.
- Should I follow trends when picking a podcast idea?
It’s probably a good idea to keep an eye on what’s popular, and you should certainly be doing market research, but you’re always better to do something you’re passionate about than something just because it’s trendy. Saying that, once you have picked your topic it’s a great idea to use Google Trends, which is a free tool, to keep an eye on what is trending to do with your podcast. This way you can stay relevant and create engaging episodes that your audience will care about.
Selecting the right podcast topic is absolutely crucial – when making your choice, it’s important to consider your passion, interests and the wider podcast market. If you’re genuinely excited about a topic and it hasn’t been extensively covered, you’ve found a winning podcast idea.
In this article, we’ve explored various podcast topic ideas for both solo and co-hosted podcasts, offering inspiration for a wide range of interests and content formats. By choosing a topic that aligns with your passion and engages your target audience, you can set yourself up for a successful and fulfilling podcasting journey. Remember that it’s crucial to stay consistent and authentic in delivering your content, and even if you decide to change your podcast topic, effective communication is key to retaining and growing your audience. Ultimately, your podcast should reflect your unique voice and perspective, making it compelling and enjoyable for your listeners.
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