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16 JUNE 2017

written by Mike

WHAT IS YOUR

PODCAST IDEA?

 

Everything starts with an idea – podcasting is not an exemption from the rule. It’s important to understand the basics of recording and audio editingbut without an idea that gets you excited, even best sounding podcast won’t be enough.

But ideas are everywhere; you must have a new one ever few minutes.

How do you focus on one?

When it comes to podcasting, you can follow a simple system of elimination, selection and market research. It’s all about being prepared, being ready. The worst thing is to work on something for weeks and only after the release to realise that no one wants to listen/watch/buy your product. It happens when you think that what you like, others will enjoy too.

Don’t worry; I’ve been there many times. There were a few ventures that I got excited about, dived in without market research, worked for months and after the final release was struck with disappointment.

I thought to myself – why?

The production, the graphics, the package was so much better than other products, and yet no one was interested. Lessons were learnt, market research and planning is as much, if not even more, important as the production itself. 

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 Let’s go back to the podcasting, let’s hone on the ideas you have. Make a list and write things that you are passionate/excited about.

What topic can you talk on for hours?

What, in hindsight, is something that could never bore you?

The question should be at the core of your plan. Podcasting is hard; you will need a subject that excites you. It’s easy to jump on the latest trend, but people notice if you are not genuine, especially in podcasting. When you are done with the list, mark the topics that you are an expert in.

You want to be seen knowledgeable and insightful. You may be excited about a particular subject, but if you don’t do enough research, you can make a mistake. And once your podcast is out, it is available to criticism and any shortcomings will quickly be exposed. Best bet is to combine passion and expertise.

Another point is that podcasting (as any other content medium) will cement your expertise in the eyes/ears of others. Let’s say you are an expert in graphic designWithout marketing or broad exposure you are on the same ‘level’ as another experienced graphic designer. With a podcast, perceived expertise grows, and you get additional exposure. It doesn’t matter if your podcast gets 100 downloads if 10 of these turn into well-paying clients.

Another point to consider is the depth of the topic you choose. Podcasting is a long game, and it will take months, sometimes years to get the momentum going. It’s crucial to have enough material, to be able to produce engaging content for an extended period. Otherwise, at some point, you will start repeating yourself.

I find that with a lot of personal development or business podcasts. After a while, the topics start to repeat itself, even if the podcast is built around interviews. How many times can you listen to advice like:

Just go for it

Be different

Take massive action

Learn from failure

And so on and on.

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I don’t want to diss these kinds of pods; I admit that I listen to some and from time to time I need a motivational kick from a successful entrepreneur. But it’s easy to see that after a while the creators run short on original content. One thing I always do, before starting any content-oriented project is to sit down and write at least 50 topics as fast as I can.

If you can do that with your idea, it means that you may have something with enough depth to do a podcast about. Otherwise, at some point, you will struggle.

Podcasting is fun, but it’s not easy. Having an idea is easy – testing it is not something that many people do. Time and time again I find podcasts that had a lot of good info and then just stopped.

Did their steam run out?

Wasn’t there enough content to go on?

Imagine yourself two years from now.

Would you still want to do the podcast then? Week in and out?

Even if it doesn’t get too many downloads? Even if it doesn’t bring any monetary return?

If the answer is yes, then there is no need to wait anymore.

Time to start is now.

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