What Do I Talk About On My Podcast?

(FYI, this blog is made up of a few days of my Daily Podcast Tips newsletter).

Why Are You Starting Your Podcast?

So you want to start a podcast? GREAT! You have things to say, and people need your content.

You need to identify your WHY.

It is paramount to identify the purpose that drives you to embark on this audio adventure, as it lays the foundation for your show's success and impact. So, let's take a moment to delve into the significance of identifying your podcast's raison

First and foremost, understanding your purpose provides clarity and direction. It acts as your North Star, guiding your content, format, and target audience decisions. When you clearly define why you want to start a podcast, you gain a compass to navigate the vast sea of topics and possibilities.

Some Reasons to Start a Podcast:

  • Be seen as an expert
  • Reach a global audience
  • Get more sales for your products and services
  • Grow Your Network
  • Have Fun

Identifying your reason also helps you stand out in the podcasting crowd. With over four million podcasts available (more on that in a future email) worldwide, it's essential to differentiate yourself and offer something unique (and yes, that is not easy, but it's not impossible). You can carve out your niche by pinpointing your purpose and building a loyal following of like-minded individuals drawn to your specific content brand.

If I were to boil down the “why” of knowing your “why,” it would be one word:

My “Why” Helps Me Avoid Panic

Here is why. Every January, LOTS of people decide to start a podcast. Consequently, in the first few months of the year, I get “more than usual” sign-ups at the School of Podcasting.

In February, much like every Gym in America, things take a downturn in the world of downloads.

This doesn't bother me. Why? Because my goal is not to get advertisers (which focuses on downloads). The goal of my show is to drive people to my membership site. When February comes and my downloads take a dip, I don't care because my memberships are going up.

There is no panic. There is no stress. In fact, because I'm not checking my downloads every three minutes, I'm more productive.

This then keeps me motivated because I am achieving my “WHY.”

Starting a podcast is exciting but can also be demanding and time-consuming. There will be days when inspiration wanes, technical glitches arise, or the number of listeners feels discouragingly low. However, when you are intimately connected with your podcast's purpose, it becomes the fuel that reignites your passion and resilience. Remembering why you started will help you push through challenges, overcome setbacks, and stay dedicated to delivering valuable content to your audience.

Beyond personal gratification, a well-defined purpose enables you to genuinely impact your listeners' lives. Every podcast episode presents an opportunity to entertain, educate, uplift, or spark meaningful conversations. By understanding your purpose, you can create episodes that speak directly to the needs and interests of your target audience.

if your WHY is to be seen as an expert, why are you doing interviews? You are making OTHER PEOPLE look like expertsClick To Tweet

For example,  (interviews are a great way to grow your network).

Lastly, identifying your podcast's reason helps you set measurable goals and track your progress. When you have a clear purpose, you can establish specific objectives that align with your vision. So, take a moment to reflect on your purpose, write it down, and let it guide you as you embark on this exciting podcasting journey.

Remember, when you clearly understand why, the possibilities are endless, and the impact can be truly transformative.

You HAVE to Define WHO You Want to Listen to Your Podcast

My bumper sticker answer is, “Spend $100 on a microphone and 100 hours on getting to know your audience.

Podcast Bumper Sticker

If Your Show is For Everybody – It's for Nobody.

Your answer can't be my audience is “Everybody.” I appeared as a guest on a show that interviewed me with the same 30-ish questions that the host asks each guest. The host explained that the show was like “Inside the Actors Studio” except for podcasters.

People have heard of that show (and maybe you haven't) because the host interviewed A-List Celebrities. If you don't have A-List Celebrities, it probably is not going to work.

Choosing Your Niche

Do you have to Niche? You don't HAVE to, but it helps create a more engaged audience. I love Blue music. But there are many subgenres of that music. If you put on blues music from the 1920s of ol' Bling Lemon Peel Johnson… well, I'm out. I don't need to hear some out-of-tune guitar recorded while someone was frying bacon underwater.

But if you did a podcast featuring music of indie musicians who played electric blues with a slightly harder edge, I'm in! (and for the record, no, you can't play any mainstream music in your show, not for 10 seconds – none, and yes, that will be a future email).

I've Got a Niche – How Do I Get to Know What They Want?

Here is one of the strategies (there are multiple) that I teach at the School of Podcasting.

Go to Amazon and type the subject of your podcast. Click on a book and look for two and four-star reviews. Why two and four? Often one-star reviews are “Worst book ever,” and five-star reviews are “I love this book.” Two and four-star reviews of ten have an “I would've given you a five-star review, but you didn't mention ____” so there is a bit of constructive feedback that you can use to make better content.

Figuring Out What To Talk About On Your Podcast

What are you going to talk about that will hold the attention of your audience (your WHO) and inspire them in a way that gets you closer to your WHY?

What To Talk About On Your Podcast

Can you see why knowing your WHO and WHY is so important? Those two together help you determine your content.

When you have a clear picture of your WHO and your WHY, the WHAT becomes easier to create.

If you're still struggling, one way to make it easier is to decide on what you're NOT going to talk about.

I once played in a country band, and we had criteria for picking songs. It had to be in the top 10 of the country charts. So what about Sweet Home Alabama from Lynard Skynard? Yes, it's popular, but it wasn't on the country charts. If we started playing Skynard, then we are one step away from playing the doors, and now we are just like every other band.

If you're unsure what to talk about, focus your idea by identifying what you're NOT going to discuss.

Looking For a Podcast Mentor?

Who is Dave Jackson - Podcast ConsultantIf you are looking for someone to help you start a successful podcast where you sound professional (without spending a million dollars on the wrong equipment), and help you get syndicated in places like Apple, Google, Spotify, Amazon, iHeart, and more, then join the School of Podcasting Community risk-free. You'll get

  • Unlimited one-on-one coaching
  • Step-by-step courses that walk you through at your pace, wherever you are
  • A network of brilliant podcasting minds
  • Confidence in your voice, your content, your purpose.
  • A 30-day money-back guarantee

Join the School of Podcasting

Further Studies

I've got a couple of quick episodes you can check out

Why should I start a podcast? (8 minutes)

The Side effects of podcasting (9 minutes)

Why You NEED to Know Your Audience

What is a Niche and How Do I Niche Down?

Daily Podcast Tips

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About the Author
Owner of the School of Podcasting. Also produces the "Ask the Podcast Coach." He is also the author of the book "More Podcast Money" and is a regular speaker at podcasting and media conventions.

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