In today’s blog post I want to answer a viewer question that came through my email recently. The question was, “How do you start a podcast in a niche or topic area that doesn’t have very many examples?”
Inside the email, this viewer said that she has been actively involved with poverty solutions and homelessness. It's a topic that she can really lose herself in, and that she would love to create a career around it--especially because she grew up in poverty. I
It's a topic that's obviously very passionate for her.
This viewer says that she's finding it hard because she can't find any other podcasters or YouTubers that cover this area of expertise. The closest thing she has found is just one individual podcast that was featured on the Freakonomics podcast. The podcast wasn’t an entire show dedicated to the idea. Instead the idea was just one episode.
She continues by saying that she wants to break the mold and it's a great opportunity for her but she’s struggling with how to create that podcast.
My answer to this viewer is that she should just start. Period.
I want her to create the podcast that she wants to see available in Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever she decides to put her podcast. If no one is in the niche, she needs to create the niche and show that there is interest that surrounds that topic area.
Years ago when podcasting was in its infancy, podcasters used to create programs based around their interests. These interests were things that weren't necessarily inside of the mainstream such as books, television, radio, or wherever else.
Instead, these content creators decided to create programs that share their experiences around the interests that they had. If they couldn't find the answers in any of the aforementioned pieces of media, they figured out the answers for themselves. As a result, they would share those results with their audience so they could start building up a league of passionate listeners.
Once other podcasters caught wind that this type of content creation works, they started creating their own content based around other niches. For example, some podcasters could have been in the toy train industry and shared all of their knowledge about creating toy train tracks, Collectibles, or whatever else. It didn't matter what they talked about just as long as they were sharing valuable information and hints as to how they were able to develop and grow with their hobby or interest.
Fast forward to present podcasting, most niches are oversaturated. There may be a few niches that aren't saturated, but it's very difficult to find them. But when you do find them, I would take full advantage of dominating that entire niche with the information that would be helpful for potential new listeners.
In the case of the viewer question, I would recommend that this person goes out and they start creating individual episodes that share valuable information and entertain the audience. Of course, there are some podcasts that should not entertain but strictly educate. However if you can find the balance, I would recommend positioning your podcast in a means to do both.
When the audience starts listening to each program, they will catch on really fast that your program shares valuable information in which they will want to come back each week.
One thing I don't think podcasters realize is that podcasting can be used as a tool to help people out. Podcasters can utilize the platform and share it with organizations, influencers, etc. My recommendation would be to develop conversations around whatever this viewer is passionate about.
The best way to do this is to grab a notebook and come up with a series of topics that you can utilize for each week. Perhaps you only answer one question that we can do our podcast. That may be just enough for someone to discover your program and want to listen to subsequent episodes. As a podcaster starts to get more downloads, it may start showing up in other people's phones as a recommended program to listen to.
After a while, the podcaster will start receiving messages from listeners and influencers on how they can get more involved with the podcast.
A podcaster who is in an unsaturated niche should make it a point to develop questions that haven't been answered anywhere online. and even if they have been answered online, I would recommend that the podcaster answers it in their own manner. Even if the answer is the same as other areas on the internet, perhaps you have your own spin on how you can solve someone's problem.
Not all of the time will the internet give you the best answers. This is one of the hardest lessons I had to learn when it came down to creating my own YouTube channel.
When I was looking for specific answers on Google or on YouTube, I couldn't find the exact answer to the problem that I was looking to solve. Then one day I decided that I wanted to boot up my YouTube channel and talk specifically about podcasting.
Even though they were other podcasters creating videos on YouTube, They Weren't attacking it from the angle I was as a radio broadcaster. Most podcasters were talking about the technical side of podcasting while I wanted to focus on much more than that.
Anytime I jumped inside of Google or YouTube, I never could find the answers that I was looking for because most podcasters focused solely on the technological side. That's where I saw an opening.
Since I had about 18 years of experience in radio broadcasting, spoke at various podcasting conferences, and consulted multiple clients, I knew that I wanted to share my answers for someone who was in a position similar to mine. Even though they were not radio broadcasters, I knew someone out there was an editor and developed podcast programs on the side just like I do.
I did not see a YouTube channel out there like that.
That's when I decided to start answering questions that I always wanted answered. I wrote them down in a notebook and answered a question each week.
I didn't worry about the lack of answers on the internet. Instead, I created the answers for the internet.
I would recommend any podcaster who is struggling with creating a program inside of a topic area that isn't saturated to create answers for the internet.
I briefly answered this in the previous section, but I think it's worth noting. When you go about creating your content and an unsaturated niche, it's important to create the content for how you want it to be perceived.
If the area is very passionate to you, you should never have to worry about what other content creators might think of what you are developing. Furthermore, you shouldn't always worry about what other content creators are creating either. Sometimes that can muddle your message.
My strong recommendation would be to focus on what makes you passionate about the topic that you were talking about. That's what will make you more unique than the other people who are creating content within the similar area.
Besides, you may find that your program is far more personable than the other people who are creating content in the same niche area. Listeners like to latch onto the personality of the content creator. So the more likeable and knowledgeable you maybe, the likelier that your listeners will continue to come back and follow along.
When you get into podcasting, you must know that you have to be confident and how you speak about your topic.
All too often do I hear from podcasters who are afraid to talk about something that they are very passionate about. My recommendation to them is that they don't worry about the sound of their voice, the nature of their topic, or what some listeners might say to them.
After all, you are the content creator and you will realize how much work it takes to create one podcast. Whether that podcast is 10 minutes or it's one hour, you will realize and know that anyone who wants to criticize you for the content that you create is just a Critic. You don't have to listen to them at all. All you have to do is listen to your gut and Blaze your own trail.
Be confident and blaze your own trail every single time you crack the mic.
Whether you're feeling inspired to make a podcast like mine or you're just trying to figure out where to start, my FREE PDF GUIDE will show you where to get started in under 15 minutes.
Shannon will share his 20+ years of radio broadcasting knowledge and show you how strategies in radio relate directly to podcast creation and strategy!