Podcasts are the most popular they’ve ever been, with new shows hitting Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and other platforms every week. If you’ve ever aspired to make your own podcast, now is the time. But coming up with an idea for a podcast can seem difficult — how do you know if people will find your show interesting? What about all the other podcasts that already exist in your niche?
Finding a good podcast idea is easier than you think. In this guide, we’ll give 20 podcast ideas to help inspire you, plus tell you the difference between a good podcast idea and a bad one.
How to find a good podcast idea
To start brainstorming podcast ideas, you should consider your voice and what interests you. Also, think about your audience and the kind of conversation you’d like to have with a listener.
To find your voice, consider the following:
- Are there any questions you want to answer? Maybe you want to know why some live streamers make so much money, or how anyone manages to run a successful side hustle with a full-time job. Let your curiosity roam and try to come up with “why” and “how” questions that interest you.
- Topics or issues you care about deeply. Are you moved by climate change or gender equality? Is there a topic that always makes you want to stand up and say something? List subjects you care passionately about, and one of them might make a good podcast topic.
- The reason for starting a podcast. Why do you want to make a podcast? Maybe you’re someone who prefers to share their message by speaking into a microphone rather than writing a blog post. Perhaps you want to attract customers to your business. Uncovering your motivation for starting a podcast will help guide you later on.
Once you’ve explored your voice and who you are as a podcaster, think about your audience. Who would listen to your podcast, and what does their typical day look like? Do they have similar questions as you, or do they care about the same issues as you? Imagine having a conversation with one of your listeners. What would you really enjoy talking about?
After you’ve given these factors some thought, you’ll likely start to generate some ideas. To hone in on your audience, try to make your topic narrower. Let’s say you want to make a podcast about live streaming. That’s a great start, but live streaming is broad. Which sub-topics will your podcast cover?
One way to narrow down your podcast topic is by targeting a section of your audience. Maybe your podcast will be about live streaming for gamers or businesses. You lose some of the audience interested in live streaming by narrowing your topic, but you’ll end up creating much more valuable content for the part of your audience you are targeting.
Which podcast types are the most popular?
As you’re coming up with good topics for podcasts, another consideration is which formats work the best:
- Monologues — Make a one-person show where you offer commentary on an issue, make a tutorial, or report on a topic.
- Stories — Use soundscapes to tell a story and immerse listeners.
- Conversation or freestyle — Grab a co-host, pick a subject, and let a conversation happen naturally.
- Interviews — Bring someone else onto the show and ask them questions about their experience, expertise, or whatever value they have for your listeners.
20 podcast ideas
1. Q&A 🎙
Ask listeners to write and send you questions before the show, then answer them in a podcast. You can even broadcast your Q&A live every once in a while to promote your show. To keep up this format long-term, try asking one deep question and answering it for every episode.
2. Paranormal 👻
People love exploring the weird, spooky, or unexplained. Make a paranormal podcast to dive into these mysteries and pick a new one for each episode.
3. True crimes 🔪
True crimes podcasts dive into a crime or incident that actually happened, analyzing it in detail. People love hearing exciting crime stories, especially if they’re true.
4. Personal finance 💰
Personal finance is a popular podcast topic because everybody struggles with managing money at some point. Make your show more specific by covering personal finance for single parents, US expats living abroad, or some other targeted audience.
5. Guided meditations 🧘
Podcasts are the perfect medium for guided meditations. Help your listeners relax and cover meditations for different topics or emotions, such as anger, stress, sadness, gratitude, etc.
6. Kid-friendly 👶
Kids listen to podcasts too! You can make it educational, so they can supplement their schoolwork, or entertaining to help them relax. If you make a kids’ podcast, be sure to target a specific age group. Nine-year-olds aren’t going to enjoy the same content as 14-year-olds, for example.
7. Time-specific ⏰
Time-specific podcasts come out at certain times of the day or week, like a daily morning news brief or a weekly Monday motivation podcast. Tying your theme to a time is a great way to stay on schedule, but you’ll probably have to think of a subject to cover in your podcast as well.
8. Event planning 🤓
Event planning is a big industry, so you’re bound to get some listeners if you cover it in your podcast. You could talk about how to plan certain events or provide updates on how live events evolve following the COVID-19 pandemic.
9. Alternative living 🙌
An alternate lifestyle can mean a lot of things. Maybe your podcast is about living a minimalist life, being a digital nomad, or something else that varies from the norm. You can talk about your own life or interview others about their alternative lifestyles.
10. Advice of the day 💬
Give listeners a valuable nugget of inspiration, motivation, or advice each day with a short podcast. You can talk about whether you’ve applied this advice in your life and how it went for you. Asking listeners to write in with their own advice is also a good way to get more engagement out of your podcast.
11. Pets 🐶
Who doesn’t love pets? Make a podcast with tips and advice for caring for an animal. You can cover common pets like cats and dogs or discuss more exotic pets like lizards, rats, birds, or even tarantulas!
12. Top-10 lists 📈
It’s hard for anyone to resist a good top-ten list — that’s why this format is so popular across all types of content. You could make your podcast solely top-ten lists, covering completely different topics each week, or stick to a general subject area.
13. Coaching 💪
Coaching podcasts are like advice-of-the-day shows, but with more substance. Pick a niche, like digital marketing or personal development, and offer your advice and best tips. To make a successful coaching podcast, ask listeners to send you their questions or problems so you can discuss them on the show as well.
14. A topic you know nothing about 🧐
You don’t have to be an expert on something to make a podcast about it! Choose a subject you don’t know much about but would like to learn more and discover it along with your listeners.
15. Documentary 🎥
Documentary-style podcasts include a lot of interviews, and you may even record them on location. They’re very similar to regular documentaries, but with audio only.
16. How-to podcast 🙏
Do you have a skill or talent you can share with others? Create a tutorial podcast, where you teach listeners how to use a tool, complete a process, or work on a skill.
17. Book/movie/album reviews 💫
Review podcasts are popular and easy to make. You can choose books, movies, or albums of a certain genre and review a new one each week. Podcasts also make an excellent format for a book club, where you and a guest or two can discuss the book together.
18. Stand-up comedy 🤪
Do you enjoy making people laugh? Develop some comedy routines and perform them on your podcast like a stand-up comic. You could also do a series of comedy sketches.
19. Travel podcast ✈️
Take listeners on a journey to somewhere new with each episode, either by talking about your own travel experiences or interviewing travelers. Providing travel tips and tricks also makes a good podcast. You can focus on a particular country or region of the world or cover the entire globe.
20. Local podcast 👌
Do you live in a great city or region that you want more people to know about? Make a podcast about all the events, news, and quirky characteristics of your city. Local listeners can learn about what’s happening in their area, and non-local listeners might enjoy learning about somewhere new.
🔥 Read next: How to make a podcast with Restream
Let’s wrap up
Starting a new podcast is both exciting and challenging. Don’t get stuck on thinking of an idea — there are plenty out there! Give it some thought, do some research, and find a podcast topic that inspires you. If you have that spark, you’ll always feel motivated to create new episodes.