12 content ideas for podcasts

By Mark Challinor

Media Futures Consultancy

London, United Kingdom


Mobile devices, being that they are mobile, are arguably the best way to listen to podcasts. I host and present a radio show in the United Kingdom (The UK Brand Show), which is a weekly live show and available as a download/podcast afterward. I know from our research that many choose to download the show as a podcast on their own time so they can listen on their smartphone at lunchtimes during the week or on the commute home.

One of the most frequent questions we ask at the radio station is what angles can we take. Not just what subject matter is best, but how do we stand out from the growing, crowded marketplace?

Podcasts allow people to engage in content at their own time and on their own terms.
Podcasts allow people to engage in content at their own time and on their own terms.

For me, it seems that niches work best. You’ll need to work out which niche subjects are best for your audience(s), but once you have done that, here is a list of 12 ideas I think apply for successful podcasting.

These are areas that I have used to achieve the highest download figures and where specific thought has been given to the content of the show/podcast — more thought than just the subject matter itself.

Not all will apply to you, but the following should give you two or three angles to consider:

1. Your own solution to a specific problem around the chosen niche.

Tell how you found a solution to a problem many listeners are probably facing. Using this type of angle, the recording is usually successful because you give a unique angle and a practical, helpful story.

2. Interviews with experts or influencers related to your chosen subject.

This is a great way of getting on the radar of many influential people in your community. You “honour” them by asking them for an interview and their opinion is given. It offers credibility and is always a hit with listeners to have known figures on the show. I have personally found not to be afraid of asking celebrities, experts, etc. They normally say yes. Trust me. Go for it.

3. A collection of opinions on your topic.

If you interview a couple or more experts or maybe influencers on the same topic, you can actually re-package the answers, compiling an overview of expert opinions on that specific topic.

4. Relay an event, course, or talk you visited on the niche.

Let others reap the benefit from your own personal and probably trusted experiences. They are listening for a reason: They like you. If, for instance, you went to a product launch, event, or conference on your subject recently, talk about what the key take-aways were or what you liked or didn’t like.

5. Analysis of a report.

A leading organisation has probably published a report, article, or broadcast about your subject. Why not share a personal analysis of it? Your expert perspective on things will be valued.

6. “How to” podcasting.

Depending on your subject (in this example, a cooking podcast), are you using certain kitchen implements or ingredients others might be interested in? Can you introduce sponsorship/product placement here to generate a new revenue stream? Why not give your listeners all your insights around challenges you faced and how you conquered them with the products you used?

7. Behind the front page.

Most audiences like to get a glimpse of the people they are reading about in the traditional media or listening to on the radio or podcast. An insight into who you are and what you are working or focusing on when you are not podcasting will help you build trust and connections. Be human. Be personable.

8. Rants and debates.

If you had a really bad experience in your podcast area, can you talk about what happened? Maybe something left you annoyed, speechless, or incredulous. Talk about it. Rants can create much heated debate and interaction. Get your podcast noticed as one that pulls no punches, is hard talking, is honest. Relate to the listener.

9. Inspirational and motivational podcasts.

Can simply share where you find your inspiration? Or who or what inspires you the most?

10. Comparisons for solving or buying.

Why not compare different solutions for an issue or problem in your chosen niche, or compare products offerings? But remember, honesty is the best policy (e.g. when comparing your e-commerce products to your competitors, don’t lie). Trust is key to building audience.

11. Series podcasting.

This kind of podcasting could help solve your “what type of podcast should I produce” problem. For example, if you decide on something like “This week in the fashion industry,” simply collate the most important articles, updates, and news from that area in a weekly podcast and become the go-to source for information on that industry or topic.

12. Humour.

Don’t forget that using humour at the right time in the right place can be immensely powerful. Be creative. But make sure you use it wisely and appropriately. Don’t try too hard to be funny for the sake of it … and end up not being funny in the process.


In short, be creative, consider what angles you should take when you have chosen your niche(s), and always put yourself in the mindset of the listener. What do they want to hear? What will bring them back next time? What value can you give them in exchange for their time?

And finally, never forget the age-old rule of promotion. In your podcast you should tell them what you are about to give them, give it to them, tell them what you’ve just given them, and then tell them what’s coming next time.

Happy podcasting!

About Mark Challinor

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