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Expert Advice for Creating a Podcast Niche

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Photo by Max Pixel / CC0 1.0

In the past several years, podcasts have introduced a new means of communicating a message to an enthusiastic and subject-motivated audience. Podcasting is also a natural fit for entrepreneurs or any creative soul who seeks a supplemental, or even primary, outlet for his or her content. The potential for attracting a substantial audience is limitless. In fact, current analyses suggest that 90 million Americans listened to a podcast in the month of May 2019.

Picking the right “niche” (i.e., focused subject matter) is critical to realizing podcasting success. If you’re considering venturing into the delightful and personally-rewarding world of podcasting, here are a few things to keep in mind about selecting the right niche.

Why You Should Pick a Niche
If you’re set on starting a podcast, and you have a broad array of experiences or interests (which often veer in quite different directions), choosing a niche can be a bit trickier, requiring some conscientious thought. Just keep in mind that, in the podcasting universe, trying to accommodate a broad scope of ideas will quickly become untenable. Focusing on one niche at a time will create the necessary guardrails for you to remain disciplined enough to “stay in your lane.” This, in turn, will make it easier to attract and cultivate an interested, devoted audience. That being said, the good news is that niches aren’t life sentences—you can always expand the breadth of your content once you’ve gained a loyal following.

However, please consider the following…

Don’t Go Too Narrow with Your Niche
A classic theme of podcasting vernacular is that “the riches are in the niches.” This is true, but any new podcaster must be careful about just how narrowly he or she goes down the niche rabbit hole.

Most podcasting gurus suggest that the more specific the niche is, the better—and this has become even more true as the barriers to starting a podcast have decreased over the years and more people have become entrepreneurial podcast hosts. This advice is based on the proven belief that the narrower the niche, the easier it is to monetize one’s podcast.

For example, when the highly-anticipated Fox Bet launches this Fall, its upcoming Super 6 game could further expand its customer base by simultaneously launching a podcast specifically relating to online soccer betting. As another example, if you’re an insurance salesperson, you could produce a show that only focuses on life insurance; then, you could further “niche down” your podcast topic by narrowly focusing on seniors (let’s say, people over 60) who fall into a certain income bracket. Just keep in mind that if your niche is too hyper-focused, it can limit the number of podcast episodes you can realistically pull off. Content is king!

Bolster Your Niche with a Compelling Persona

As of June 2019, there are already over 750,000 podcasts hitting the airwaves and the internet. The question you must ask yourself is, “What can I do to make my show stand out from the crowd?” As an initial matter, don’t be afraid to get creative, whether it be your subject matter or your podcast’s particular “slant”. That’s what podcasting is all about. Moreover, time has proven over and over again that consumers are drawn by a podcast’s content, but they stay for the host. To differentiate your show, you must bring the personality of a compelling host into it (even if it’s not you). Think through all of the unique factors that only your host can contribute to making your show stand out.

With the right level of niche, a captivating host, and imaginative, tantalizing content, your podcast can reach enough of an audience to generate a consistent income stream.
Photo by Yagraph / CC BY-SA 3.0

Final Thoughts

For entrepreneurs and creative types, launching a podcast is a great way to bring attention to your business and get your message out. Your initial challenge will be to select a narrow, yet balanced, niche that will entice your ideal audience. Remember that your audience will be seduced by your content, but their loyalty will likely depend on your host—so ask yourself, “What is the uniqueness of your host or your brand story that can add definition to your niche?”