30 podcast topic ideas in 2024

Want to make a podcast but don’t have any good ideas? We made this list of 30 excellent podcast topics to inspire you and help you find the perfect one.
Podcast topic ideas

Podcasts are the most popular they’ve ever been, with new shows hitting Apple Podcasts, Spotify 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 topic idea is easier than you think. This guide covers 30 podcast topic 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 topic

To start brainstorming podcast topic ideas, think about what interests you and how you want to express yourself. 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’ll 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). 

As you’re coming up with good topics for podcasts, consider which format will work the best for your show. The Pew Research Center analyzed the most common formats of top-ranked podcasts:

  • Deep reporting — Dive deep and examine a topic or story. About four in ten top-ranked podcasts (38%) use a deep reporting format.
  • Interviews — Bring someone else onto the show and ask them questions about their experience, expertise or whatever value they offer your listeners. 
  • Commentary — Make a one-person show where you offer commentary on an issue, give a tutorial, or report on a topic.
  • Other — Use another format like soundscapes, TV and movie recaps, or news summaries.

Keep in mind that some topics and formats go well together. True crime podcasts are almost always in a deep reporting style and sports podcasts are typically in a commentary style. Other topic areas may lend themselves to more than one format, though. Politics podcasts are evenly split between deep reporting, interviews, and commentary. Entertainment and pop culture podcasts are generally interviews or recaps.

Pro tip: Extract the audio from your video interview and edit it into a podcast.

According to the Pew Research Center, the most common podcast topics for U.S. listeners are:

  • True crime
  • Politics and government
  • Entertainment, pop culture, and the arts
  • Self-help and relationships
  • Sports
  • History
  • Money and finance
  • Comedy
  • Religion
  • Science and technology
  • Health

Podcasts that cover multiple topics, such as host-driven shows like The Joe Rogan Experience, are also very popular with U.S. listeners.

Let’s take a closer look at popular podcast topic ideas, with examples, to help get your creative juices flowing.

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. Popular tech podcast Reply All based much of its content on answering listener questions.

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. The podcast Lore examines a dark historical tale in each episode and presents it as a scary campfire story.

3. Politics and government

Politics podcasts help people make sense of what’s going on in government. They might also cover news and trends related specifically to politicians and laws. Politics podcasts can also come from different parts of the ideological spectrum, like Bannon’s War Room from former Trump adviser Steve Bannon to Pod Save America, from former Barack Obama staffers.

4. 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. The podcast My Favorite Murder combines true crime and comedy with funny retellings of real-life crime stories.

5. 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. The popular personal finance podcast The Ramsey Show offers advice from a panel of experts on a new topic related to finance in each episode.

6. Science

Science podcasts help people uncover and understand the natural world. Since this topic area is broad, science podcasts can take many forms. You can find documentary-style podcasts like the BBC Earth Podcast, reported features like Radiolab or playful interviews like Ologies.

7. 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. Tara Brach, Ph.D., shares weekly guided meditations on her popular podcast.

8. 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. The kids’ podcast Wow in the World explores science, technology, engineering and social science in a fun and engaging way.

9. 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. The Daily Zeitgeist has a new episode every morning and covers the latest news, politics, internet and pop culture trends with a funny twist.

10. 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. The podcast Digital Nomad Quest from Sharon Tseung is all about how to make passive income and secure financial freedom as a digital nomad.

11. Advice podcast

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. You can also structure it like an advice column, and ask listeners to submit questions to you that you answer in the podcast. Slate’s advice podcast is Dear Prudence, which has host Jenée Desmond Harris and a guest answer listener questions about life, love, family, work and more.

12. Pets

Who doesn’t love animals? 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! Can I Pet Your Dog? is a podcast where two dog owners talk about their dogs, other people’s dogs, and the latest news on all things canine.

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. Two experts on leadership host a weekly podcast, The 90th Percentile: An Unconventional Leadership Podcast. They talk about the latest empirical evidence and data related to leadership and coaching.

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. The podcast The Fox and the Foxhound is a Harry Potter podcast co-hosted by a husband and wife — one of whom was a diehard Potter fan and the other who had never read the book series before. It chronicles what it’s like reading Harry Potter for the first time as an adult.

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. The BBC does an excellent job with documentaries, and The Documentary Podcast is no exception. The show covers a wide range of globally-minded topics with new episodes every few days.

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. The DIY Musician Podcast interviews successful artists and discusses how to build a music career on your own in today’s industry.

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. NPR’s Book of the Day features one new book in its daily episodes, with a quick review and sometimes interviews with authors.

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. One of the most long-running and popular podcasts of all time is WTF with Marc Maron. Although it’s not stand-up comedy, Maron is a comic and his interviews with guests are as hilarious as they are revealing.

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. The Amateur Traveler podcast covers a new destination every week, with travel tips from locals and other travel experts.

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. In the podcast Curious City, WBEZ dives into the history and culture of the city of Chicago.

21. Dramas

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. The popular audio thriller Limetown was a scripted fiction series that ran for two seasons and received a ton of critical acclaim.

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. On the Breaking Beauty Podcast, hosts Jill and Carlene provide insider tips on the best and trending beauty products. Many of their episodes also feature special guests.

23. Tech

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. Tech publication The Verge has a weekly podcast, The Vergecast, which covers tech news and the latest gadgets.

24. Podcasting

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. On Podnews, the hosts don’t cover how to make podcasts, but instead the latest news in the podcasting industry.

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. On Business Accelerator, hosts Michael Hyatt and Megan Hyatt Miller cover a wide range of business-minded topics, from productivity to being a better leader.

26. Sports

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 an analysis of a recent match, or even bring on players for interviews. The Bill Simmons Podcast is a show about the NBA and NFL and ties into broader pop culture as well. The host is a former ESPN employee and brings on celebrities, athletes and media figures as guests.

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. Roger Whitney hosts Retirement Answer Man, which provides helpful tips on saving for retirement financially as well as lifestyle tips about retirement.

28. ASMR

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. Sleep and Relax ASMR has episodes that use various ASMR triggers to help listeners feel more at ease and even drift off to sleep.

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. On the podcast My Unsung Hero, you can find quick stories about small acts of kindness and courage that have changed someone’s life. Most episodes clock in at under 10 minutes.

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. Mission to Zyxx is an improvised science fiction sitcom podcast — it’s based on the premise that the cast is a team of ambassadors establishing diplomatic relations with other planets. Each episode is improvised and features a new special guest comedian.


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 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 podcast topics 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. 

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