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. This guide covers 30 podcast ideas to help inspire you, plus how to tell the difference between a good podcast idea and a bad one.
How to find a good podcast idea
To start brainstorming podcast ideas, think about what interests you and how you want to express your voice. 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 makes you want to stand up and say something? List subjects you care passionately about — 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 want to be 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? 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 generate some podcast ideas. To hone in on your audience, try to narrow your topic. Let’s say you want to make a podcast about live streaming. That’s a great start, but live streaming is broad. Which subtopics 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. You lose some of the audience interested in other types of live streaming (e.g., for businesses), but you’ll end up creating much more valuable content for your target audience (gamers).
Which podcast types are the most popular?
As you’re coming up with good topics for podcasts, consider which format will work the best for your show. Here are the most popular:
- 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 offer your listeners.
Podcast topic ideas
- True crime
- Personal finance
- Guided meditations
- Kids’ programs
- Event planning
- Alternative lifestyle
- Advice or quote of the day
- Top 10 lists
- A topic you’re unfamiliar with
- How-to and DIY
- Entertainment reviews
- Comedy sketches or stand-up
- Local news and culture
- Audio dramas
- Product reviews
- Business and entrepreneurship
- Retirement and older adults
- Under 10 minutes
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.
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 crime
True crime podcasts unpack 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, U.S. 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.
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.
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 are evolving 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.
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 10 list — that’s why this format is so popular across all media. You could make your podcast solely top 10 lists, covering completely different topics each week, or stick to a general subject area.
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.
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.
Scripted audio dramas are a popular genre for podcasts and can be just as exciting as a TV series. People love listening to good stories, and you can make it a serial drama so you have a new episode each week.
22. Product reviews
Instead of reviewing books, movies or TV shows, review products and tools. It helps to pick a niche, like beauty, sports gear, hiking equipment or clothing, and stick to products from that niche.
Technology is a vast topic to explore and can take form as several types of podcasts. You could do a podcast talking about the latest tech trends, a weekly roundup of new products that hit the market, tutorials for specific gear, interviews with tech influencers and so much more.
If you know a bit about podcasting, then what better topic to choose than, well…podcasting? You could talk about the ins and outs of audio production, mention tools you use to record, edit, and publish your podcast, or even do reviews of other podcasts.
25. Business and entrepreneurship
Do you run your own business or have a profitable side gig? Start a podcast to share your knowledge, or interview other entrepreneurs about their experiences.
What do sports fanatics love more than watching their favorite teams? Talking about their favorite teams with other sports fans! You can pick a certain team, league or sport and cover the latest news, give analysis of a recent match, or even bring on players for interviews.
27. Retirement and older adults
Podcasts aren’t just for younger generations. If you cover topics geared toward retired people, you may find a sizable audience. You can try out and review new hobbies, offer advice for transitioning to a new phase of life, or cover the financial aspect of retiring.
Some people listen to podcasts for relaxation, and ASMR is one of the most popular genres for it. With ASMR, you don’t have to talk. Instead, you can make sounds like pops, clicks or whispers that are meant to help listeners relax or fall asleep.
29. Under 10 minutes
Podcasts are often consumed on the go, and some listeners prefer shorter episodes that are packed with content. You could do five-minute explainers, seven minutes of interesting facts or something similar.
30. Improv and games
Scripted, polished podcasts are definitely the preference for many listeners. But improvisation and playing games with guests can also be entertaining, especially if you have some improv training.
How do I pick a podcast topic?
To pick a good podcast topic, you need to think about what’s important to you. Are there are any questions you want to answer or a topic you’re deeply passionate about? What do you want to share with others? Choose something that you won’t get tired of talking or thinking about too.
What kind of podcasts are most popular?
Comedy is a top podcasting genre, but other topics like news, true crime, science, pop culture and health are also popular. Ultimately, listeners look for entertainment, valuable information or thought-provoking topics.
What makes a podcast successful?
The most important aspect of every successful podcast is consistency. Whatever cadence you choose to publish your podcast — daily, weekly, monthly, etc. — stick to it. Also, keep your content consistent. Don’t talk about health and fitness one week, then news and politics the next week.
How do I make my podcast unique?
The best way to make your podcast stand out is to show off your personality. Engage with your audience and remind them that there’s a real person behind the microphone. If you have guests on your podcast, they should also be unique.
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.