How to Research Your Podcast Niche

The idea to embark on a podcasting journey is only the very beginning of an extended process. From its original inception to the final product, the creation of a podcast is incredibly layered and dynamic. All that a podcast entails from initial design to content, to branding, marketing, and everything in between, is vast. If podcasting is the medium that feels most available or natural to you, and you’re interested in the production of one, you may be considering what that looks like in action. You may be formulating your own plan for moving forward and juggling several potentials for your own podcast. These early beginnings lay the formative foundation for what your podcast will come to be.

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As such, it’s important that you understand and identify the very root of your podcast, the center of all of your succeeding content, your niche. This is the one throughline of all of the varying facts of your podcast and makes up the underlying tone of your podcast as a whole. While it may be intimidating, and even feel limiting, to choose one single niche for an extensive content form like podcasting, we will begin to outline just how imperative it is in this article. Your niche’s intrinsic importance, how to find one that best suits you, and a general idea of where you fit amongst your peers within the niche are all part of the creation of a podcast. 

Importance of Having A Specific Niche

You might think that having a nicheless podcast is the ideal dream. To not be limited in what you can talk about, to have the full spectrum of conversation topics available to you, and to be open to a diverse audience all sound like great things. Yet, the most likely truth is that even if you start off this way, over time, you will naturally begin to fine-tune your messaging and find yourself smack dab in the middle of a niche. 

Basically, niches are inevitable, but this doesn’t have to be a bad thing. In fact, it is a really helpful tool for identifying both your brand and your audience. See, a niche acts as a container, not as confinement. It’s a way of communicating to others what can be expected, rather than a role you’re forever obligated to fill. From that perspective, it’s easier to see how an accurate and thoughtfully chosen niche can be an immense strength. It tells your ideal audience who you are, all while providing gentle guidelines for where your content may or may not go. 

With that said, the broadness of the topic becomes almost unwanted, in that it feels unorganized and sporadic. Even podcasts with the most range in what they talk about are always speaking through a certain lens or from a specific angle. Identifying what this is for you, is what will ultimately set you apart from your niche peers. What are you offering your listeners that’s unique? What are you doing differently? And why should a listener choose you over another podcast in your niche?

Brainstorm Potential Niches You’re Expert At or Interested

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If you’re feeling overwhelmed with the prospect of choosing a single niche, from a seemingly endless list of topics and themes, you’re not alone. This long-term decision takes some consideration, indeed. However, when you look at podcasting as an outlet to speak about what you know about, your most natural niche may begin to be more obvious. You have a certain set of experiences and expertise as a human being, based on the course of where your life has taken you. Perhaps you’ve dedicated several years of your life to studying a certain branch of intelligence, or maybe the common arcs of your life have been similarly themed. In either scenario, you likely have a lot to offer relevant to specific conversations. Your listeners haven’t lived your life, nor do they see things from the same exact perspective as you. The metaphorical muscles you’ve worked more than others are your most unique advantage. 

To begin to form an idea of what these things may be for you, carve out space and time to brainstorm your past experiences and your areas of expertise. What you know, what you’ve seen, and the unique angle you see things through maybe the exact edge you need for your podcast niche. If you don’t feel like an expert on anything specific, you also have the option of choosing something new. Just ensure to pick something you’re willing to and excited about educating yourself about in depth. 

Idea Generation To Test Your Niche Of Choice

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Once you’ve begun to formulate an idea of what you’re best at, choosing a niche for your podcast is not far behind. A great way to stretch the limits of a potential niche, and assess your own competence within it is to generate some possibilities for what your podcast episodes may look like. After all, it’s not going to be the right niche for you if you’re only compelled to it in theory. There has to be a real substance for you behind what you choose to share.

Yet another brainstorming activity relevant to your niche of choice, dedicate a chunk of your focus to potential topic points, questions to answer, or guests to bring on. A well-rounded podcast is one that’s delivering a high-quality product to satisfy the listener’s desires. Is this something you can effectively do through your niche of choice? If you feel confidently in (and excited about) your ability to deliver, you’ve found your podcast niche. If not, it’s time to go back to the drawing board. 

Don’t stress if it takes you some time to find your best positioning within the podcasting world. This decision is one that affects the lifespan of your podcast as a whole and is not always as simple as having an idea and running with it. It takes deliberation and patience to stabilize yourself within a truly sustainable podcast niche. 

Narrow The Focus

There are no limits to the specificity available to you, just as there are no rules about how broad your podcast can be either. If you’ve found a niche that feels like a good fit, but still doesn’t quite hit the nail on the head, consider narrowing your focus even more. Whether you want to narrow in on how your niche relates to your target audience, or you’d just like to tackle a certain branch of the niche you’ve chosen, your options are endless. For example, perhaps the niche you’ve chosen is psychology. But more specifically, what you’re interested in is sports psychology. This is more dialed in a version of psychology, that still falls within the umbrella term. This process can be done in almost any niche and provides even greater clarity to both you and your target audience. 

Check The Popularity

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By this point, you’ve finally settled on a niche, feel satisfied with your choice and can reasonably envision yourself creating content in the long term relevant to this topic. You’ve identified your own strengths and cultivated a newfound clarity for your podcast. You may have even started brainstorming your next steps forward. But there is one last significant aspect of choosing your niche, and that is creating industry awareness. 
It’s time to shift your focus from yourself to the niche you’ve chosen at large. Gaining an understanding of what’s popular in your niche, how heavily populated the niche is, and more is equally as important as choosing the niche in the first place. There are numerous ways to accomplish this and assess the podcasting community within your niche.

Some of the methods are as follows:

Survey Your Own Community – It’s always a great idea to ask for feedback from the people around you, whether you have a preexisting platform or not. This could be your immediate circle of friends and family, your co-workers or podcasting co-creators, or your audience if you are already somewhat of a public figure. Being candid with your sphere about your new creation, and your certainties and uncertainties within it can help you gain insight on what may perform well and what may not. 

Refer To Forums / Groups – Because of the internet, we all have great access to opinions and perspectives that lie outside of our own immediate circles. By tapping into public forums across the web, or groups hosted within various platforms, you can test run your podcast concept with strangers in your target audience and niche. 

Keyword Research – With the help of public tools and software, you can actually directly research the popularity of certain keywords within your niche. Google Trends and KWFinder are two great examples of platforms designed to support this research. By plugging in the keywords either in your podcast’s name or just within your chosen niche, you can get a better idea of just how heavily trafficked your niche is. 

Choosing a niche seems to be an incredibly labor-intensive process, and it would be a lie to claim that it isn’t. Establishing what you’re best at, and how you can communicate that to the world directly is one of the biggest obstacles in everyone’s creative process. However, the reward of creating a podcast within a niche you feel confident and secure in far outweighs the amount of work required. With the willingness to brainstorm, and a commitment to stick with it no matter how challenging it may be, you will quickly find that your niche was obvious all along. 

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