What Makes a Good Podcast (+how mine got me on Netflix)

These days, it seems like everyone wants to start a podcast. You put 100 people in a room and I guarantee at least 98 of them are selling their friends on recording their “amazing” conversations. Listen, rambling into a microphone is not a secret hack to riches. It takes a lot more work than people realize. 

The truth is, there’s a lot of competition out there, which means your podcast needs to be really good if you want people to listen to it. Don’t worry, though. This post will show you how to make an awesome podcast that people will love.

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Table of Contents

How to come up with an original podcast idea

podcast-ideas

If you want your podcast to have a real shot at success, it’s important to have an original idea. Coming up with something truly unique is no easy task, however. If it were easy, everyone would be churning out incredible podcasts left and right. 

Fortunately, there are a few steps you can follow to ensure that your idea stands out from the crowd and remains genuinely original. Here are a few tips that will help you come up with an idea that stands out from the crowd. 

Take stock of your interests

You probably have a one-of-a-kind collection of interests that not many others share. The key is to find the intersection of these passions, as that can make your podcast idea truly original. Take my podcast as an example. I’m fascinated by personal finance, empowering individuals to live their Rich Lives, and fostering healthy relationships. By combining these unique interests, I’ve created a podcast that’s refreshing and truly stands out (which helped a lot with turning the podcast into a Netflix show). The same can happen for you. Explore your own set of interests, identify the common ground between them, and craft a podcast concept that captures your individuality. This way, you’ll create something truly special and captivating for your listeners.

Research your audience

If you have a specific audience in mind, conducting thorough research on them can be very helpful in shaping your podcast idea. Researching your audience will help you gain insights into their needs, challenges, and desires. This understanding, in turn, can inspire you to develop an idea that provides genuine value. Think about the problems your audience might be facing and consider how your podcast can offer solutions or insights that address those issues. By combining this audience-centric approach with the previous tip we discussed, you’ll really get those creative gears turning. 

Look at other podcasts in your niche

If you know exactly who your podcast is meant for, it’s worth taking some time to research other podcasts in the same category. This research will give you ideas and inspiration, as well as show you what to avoid. The goal is to ensure that your podcast isn’t just a copy of someone else’s. You want it to be unique and stand out from the crowd. By doing your research, you can gather insights and create a podcast that offers fresh perspectives and original content for your specific audience.

Don’t be afraid to refine as you go

Don’t worry if you can’t achieve perfection right from the start. You absolutely can start releasing episodes before you have a clear vision of what your podcast will become. In fact, many successful podcasts have followed this approach. The key is to focus on continuous improvement and refinement over time. As you gain experience and receive feedback, you’ll be able to shape your podcast into something truly worth listening to. Embrace the journey of growth and development, and remember that even the most popular podcasts started somewhere. 

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How to know if your podcast idea is good

So now you have an original podcast idea that you believe in. But how can you be certain the idea is good? It’s important to understand that every podcaster thinks their own show is excellent. Fortunately, there are a few ways you can use to determine if your podcast is hitting the mark.  

Your podcast idea excites you 

If you’re discussing a topic that doesn’t genuinely excite you, your audience will pick up on it, and their interest will wane. However, enthusiasm is infectious. When listeners can feel your genuine excitement, they’re more likely to return for more. Therefore, if your current podcast idea fails to ignite that passion within you, it’s time to go back to the drawing board. Keep exploring until you find an idea that truly excites you. It’s that passion and enthusiasm that will captivate your audience and keep them coming back for more. Just take a look at how excited I am in this podcast episode below: “We own 7 properties. Why can’t we pay for groceries?”

Ask for feedback from other podcasters

Though it may be challenging, reaching out to podcasters in your network can be a great idea. They often have a keen sense for successful ideas, so their advice can be valuable. If you don’t have any connections, consider sending cold DMs to podcast hosts. You’d be surprised at how many people are willing to help you if you just ask. Leveraging the experience of other podcasters can provide valuable insights for your own podcasting journey.

Put out a pilot episode

An easy way to determine if your idea is good is to simply put it out there. You don’t need fancy equipment or a big investment for this initial stage. Create a test episode to see how people respond to the content. Share it with a small group of friends or release it to a wider audience to observe their reactions. Gathering real-world feedback will provide valuable insights into the viability and potential of your podcast idea. Taking that first step and putting your content out there is the best way to validate your idea and make improvements based on audience response.

Things every good podcast has

After confirming the viability of your podcast idea, it’s very important to make sure you possess the key ingredients that contribute to a successful podcast. While this list doesn’t cover every aspect, it highlights a few core elements that are commonly found in good podcasts.

1. Be audience focused

Making your audience the top priority of your podcast is vital. The one who serves the audience best emerges as the winner in terms of content. Keep the lines of communication open with your listeners to better serve them over time. Prioritizing their preferences and feedback ensures content that resonates and keeps them engaged. The success of your podcast lies in understanding and serving your audience well.

2. Include good stories

One of the best skills to develop for a podcast is to be able to tell a good story. If you can master this timeless and invaluable skill, you’ll easily rise above your competitors. Captivating narratives have the power to hold listeners’ attention like nothing else. So if you want your audience to return week after week, mastering the art of storytelling is crucial. My podcast focuses on the story of couples. Good stories are always relevant. Which is why I was able to turn my podcast into a show on Netflix. Take a look at the episode below to see storytelling in action: 

“He won’t marry me until I pay off my $15k credit card debt”

3. Provide a lot of value

Always keep the question “what’s in it for the listener?” at the forefront of your mind. If you struggle to answer this question effortlessly, it means you’re not providing enough value to your audience. It’s absolutely crucial to obsess over this aspect consistently. By doing so, you’ll ensure that your podcast surpasses others in your niche, as it will consistently deliver meaningful benefits and value to your audience.

4. A consistent publishing schedule

Consistency in posting is important for the growth of your podcast, even if your content is great. People who really love a podcast make it a regular part of their routine. If you don’t stick to a consistent posting schedule, you won’t become a reliable part of their lives. So, make sure you decide on a schedule you can stick to in the long run. By consistently releasing episodes on time, you increase the chances of building a loyal audience who eagerly looks forward to your podcast as a regular part of their routine.

5. A way to monetize

Having an engaging podcast is great, but if you can’t make money from it, it can feel a bit pointless. There are different ways to monetize a podcast, but some methods are not very dependable. One approach that I like is to build an email list and sell courses. If you’re interested in learning how to do the same, my course Earnable can teach you the step-by-step process of monetizing your podcast successfully.

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