You’ve got the equipment, the enthusiasm, and the ideas, but one crucial question looms large—what should your podcast be about? A topic is not enough, the answer lies in the niche.
My name is Niall Mackay, founder of Seven Million Bikes Podcasts. I’m also the host of A Vietnam Podcast and Smarter Podcasting.
When I first started, I was armed with little more than a microphone and a head full of ideas. Like many newcomers, I began by exploring general topics, casting a wide net in the hopes of attracting a broad audience. It seemed like a reasonable approach at the time, but as the years passed, I realized that something was missing—something crucial that could elevate my podcasting game to new heights.
Choosing a podcast niche isn’t about narrowing your horizons; it’s about finding your unique corner of the podcasting universe—a space where your expertise, passion, and authenticity can flourish. The benefits are immense: highly engaged listeners, unwavering loyalty, and untapped monetization opportunities.
Let’s start your niche podcasts!
Podcast Niche and Niche Audience
Niche audiences refer to specific, well-defined groups of people who share a common interest, passion, or characteristic. In the world of podcasting, understanding and catering to niche audiences is crucial. Why? Because these niche groups matter significantly. They are not just faceless listeners but rather a community of individuals who are deeply interested in a particular subject matter.
Recognizing niche audiences is vital in podcasting because it allows content creators to tailor their material to a specific demographic, delivering content that genuinely resonates with a well-defined group.
Benefits of Niche Audiences
In broader podcasting categories, such as technology, sports, or self-help, competition can be fierce. Niche podcasting allows you to carve out a unique space with fewer competitors. This increases your chances of standing out and becoming a recognized authority within your niche.
Enhanced Engagement and Loyalty
Catering to niche audiences fosters deeper connections and engagement. When listeners find content that speaks directly to their interests, they’re more likely to become loyal subscribers. They appreciate the tailored approach, feeling that the content creator truly understands their needs and preferences.
Niche audiences often form tight-knit communities around shared interests. Hosting a niche podcast allows you to tap into and contribute to these communities. This fosters a sense of belonging among your listeners and encourages them to interact with one another, creating a strong and supportive community around your podcast.
Focusing on a podcast niche enables you to delve deep into a specific area of expertise or interest. This specialization enhances the quality and depth of your content. You can provide valuable insights, in-depth analysis, and expert opinions that may not be readily available in more general podcasts.
Over time, your knowledge and insights can establish your credibility, both among your listeners and within your niche community. This can lead to speaking engagements, collaborations, and other professional opportunities.
Advertisers and sponsors are keen to reach specific demographics. Niche podcasts with well-defined audiences can attract advertisers interested in precisely those listener groups. Therefore, joining podcast advertising networks can help you to connect with the sponsors or advertisers. This can lead to more lucrative monetization opportunities compared to general-interest podcasts, where the audience may be less clearly defined.
How To Identify Podcast Niches
Choosing a podcast niche within a broader topic is a critical step in developing a successful podcast. Once you’ve decided on your podcast’s general theme or topic, the next challenge is to narrow it down and identify the specific niche you want to target.
List Potential Niches
Begin by brainstorming potential niches related to your chosen topic. Let’s say you’re going to make a pop culture podcast, your niches can be:
- 90s Pop Culture
- Pop Culture in Literature
- Retro Gaming Culture
- Urban Street Art and Graffiti
For a fashion podcast:
- Sustainable Fashion and Beauty industry
- High Fashion and Runway Analysis
- Famous Fashion Icons in the Fashion World
- Fashion Business and Entrepreneurship
List out as many as possible, and move to the next step.
Analyze Your Interests and Expertise
Consider your own interests and expertise. Assess which niches align with your passions, knowledge, and experiences. Hosting a podcast about a niche you genuinely feel passionate about will not only make the process enjoyable but also help you connect more authentically with your audience.
Your personal stories related to the podcast niche can add a unique and relatable dimension to your podcast. Sharing anecdotes, challenges, and triumphs from your journey within the niche can help establish a deeper connection with your audience. Interesting stories humanize your podcast and make it more relatable
Research Audience Demand
To choose the right niche, you must know your target audience and understand the potential audience’s interests and needs. Conduct market research to determine if there’s a demand for the niches you’re considering.
Use keyword research tools such as Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, or Ahrefs to identify relevant keywords and phrases related to your potential niches.
Join online forums, discussion boards, and social media groups relevant to the niches you’re considering. Sites like Reddit, Quora, and niche-specific forums are excellent places to engage with potential listeners.
Create online surveys or questionnaires and distribute them to your existing audience, friends, or relevant online communities. Ask about their interests, preferences, and pain points.
Analyze other podcasts within your broader topic and the niches you’re exploring. Assess the competition’s content quality, audience size, and engagement. Search on Apple podcasts for some keywords about your niche to see your competitors. For example, if you have a true crime podcast, you might search for “true crime,” “cold cases,” or “unsolved mysteries.”
Here are some tips I used to apply to evaluate competition:
- Listen to several podcasts within the broader topic and niches you’re considering. Take note of what competitors do well and where they might have room for improvement. Your podcast should aim to create content with higher quality or have a unique angle that sets it apart.
- Analyze the engagement levels of competing podcasts. Pay attention to metrics such as likes, shares, comments, and reviews.
- Look for gaps or underserved areas within your chosen niches. Consider whether there are specific topics or different aspects that existing podcasts haven’t adequately covered.
- Explore the possibility of collaborating with existing podcasts or influencers in your podcast niche.
- Use keyword research tools to identify popular search terms and phrases related to your niche. Look for keywords that are underserved or have lower competition.
Consider how you can bring a unique perspective or angle to your chosen niche. Even in a competitive podcast niche, your distinct voice, personal experiences, or approach can set your podcast apart. Think about what value you can provide that others may not.
Test Your Niche Ideas
Remember, your niche should reflect on your podcasting goals. Your chosen podcast niche should align with your objectives, whether it’s building authority, growing your audience, or generating income through sponsorships and partnerships. Ensure that the niche you select supports these goals.
Before committing fully, create pilot episodes within your potential niches. Share these episodes with a small audience or friends and gather feedback. Analyze the response, engagement, and interest generated by each niche to make an informed decision.
Consider Long-term Goals
Podcasting is a long-term commitment, and your enthusiasm will drive your motivation to create content consistently. Ensure that you have a solid foundation of knowledge in the niche. Your expertise will not only enhance the quality of your content but also help you engage with your audience more authentically.
When you have identified what it is, brainstorm a list of potential episode topics, first episode ideas within your niche. Consider whether there is a wealth of material to explore over time. Can you continuously generate fresh and valuable content?
Besides, develop strategies for maintaining long-term sustainability. This might include creating an editorial calendar, building a content backlog, and exploring opportunities for monetization or sponsorships. Stay attuned to evolving trending topics and interests within your niche and the broader topic. What was popular a year ago might not be relevant today. Be ready to pivot or explore new sub-niches.
Targeting and Attracting Your Niche Audience
Define Your Ideal Listeners
Start by creating a detailed persona of your ideal listener. Consider factors like age, gender, interests, pain points, and goals. The more you understand your target audience, the better you can tailor your content to their needs.
Start crafting your target audience with these features:
- Demographic Information: age, gender, location, education level, and occupation.
- Interests and Hobbies
- Pain Points and Challenges
- Media Consumption Habits
This, in turn, allows you to create content that is highly targeted and relevant, increasing the chances of attracting and retaining a dedicated niche audience for your podcast.
Attract Your Listeners
- Podcast Name
Your podcast’s name is the first impression your potential audience has of your show. It should be memorable, relevant, and reflective of your niche. Here’s how to make your podcast name work for you:
- Cover Art
Your podcast logos is a visual representation of your show. It’s often the first thing potential listeners see when browsing through podcast directories. Using tools like Canva to create your own artwork, or hire a designer to ensure the quality if you can.
- Engage on Social Media
Actively participate in social media platforms where your target audience spends time. Join relevant groups, forums, and communities to interact with potential listeners, share your content, and gather feedback.
- Consistent Branding
Maintain consistent branding across all your podcast’s elements, including cover art, episode titles, intros, outros, and social media profiles. This consistency helps create a strong brand identity that’s easily recognizable to your niche audience.
- Leverage SEO and Keywords
Optimize your podcast’s website, episode titles, and show notes for search engines. Use keywords related to your niche to improve discoverability on platforms like Google and podcast directories.
- Offer Valuable Content
Ensure that your podcast consistently delivers high-quality, valuable content that meets the needs and interests of your niche audience. Satisfying your listeners’ expectations will keep them engaged and coming back for more.
Successful Podcasts with Great Niches
Here are 10 successful podcasts that have found their niche audiences and have achieved remarkable success in their respective niches. These podcasts have demonstrated the power of catering to specific interests and passions:
“The Daily” by The New York Times
Niche: Daily News Analysis
“The Daily” has found its niche in delivering in-depth analysis of top news stories on a daily basis. It has become a go-to source for those who seek comprehensive news coverage and insights.
“How I Built This” by Guy Raz
Niche: Entrepreneurship and Business
Featuring interviews with successful entrepreneurs and business leaders, this podcast focuses on the stories behind successful companies and entrepreneurs. It attracts a niche audience of aspiring business leaders and innovators.
“The Moth” by The Moth
“The Moth” podcast features real people sharing their extraordinary personal stories. It appeals to a niche audience passionate about authentic and compelling storytelling.
The “Pen Addict” by Brad Dowdy and Myke Hurley
Niche: Writing Instruments and Stationery
This is a niche podcast dedicated to the world of pens, paper, and stationery. The episodes dive deeper into the passion and obsession that many people have for writing instruments and related accessories.
“The Adventure Zone” by Maximum Fun
Niche: Tabletop Role-Playing Games (RPGs)
Hosted by the McElroy family, this podcast focuses on their RPG adventures. It has created a niche community of RPG fans and enthusiasts.
“The West Wing Weekly” by Radiotopia
Niche: TV Show Analysis (Specifically “The West Wing”)
This podcast dissects and analyzes each episode of the TV show “The West Wing.” It appeals to fans of the show who appreciate a deep dive into its nuances.
“The Fantasy Footballers” by Fantasy Sports Studios
Niche: Fantasy Football
As the name suggests, this podcast is all about fantasy football. It caters to a dedicated niche of fantasy sports enthusiasts looking for expert advice.
“The History of Rome” by Mike Duncan
Niche: Roman History
Mike Duncan’s podcast explores the history of ancient Rome in great detail. It has cultivated a niche audience fascinated by the complexities of Roman history.
“The Bechdel Cast” by iHeartRadio
Niche: Feminism and Film
“The Bechdel Cast” discusses the representation of women in movies. It has garnered a niche following of film enthusiasts interested in feminist perspectives.
“Science Vs” by Gimlet Media
Niche: Science Debunking
This podcast takes on popular misconceptions and pseudoscience, dissecting them with scientific rigor. It appeals to a niche audience seeking evidence-based information.
These podcasts have thrived by narrowing their focus and delivering content that caters specifically to the interests and passions of their niche audiences. They have leveraged the power of specialization to build dedicated communities of listeners who are not only engaged but also enthusiastic supporters of the content.
Examples – Podcast Niches
True Crime Podcast
- Unsolved Mysteries
- Investigative Podcast: Historical, Cold Case Investigations
- International True Crime
- Internet of Things (IoT) Gadgets and Innovations
- Cybersecurity Threats and Solutions
- Emerging Trends in Artificial Intelligence (AI)
- Small Business Marketing Strategies for Local Restaurants
- E-commerce and Dropshipping Success Stories
- Entrepreneurial Insights for Women in Tech Startups
- Solo Backpacking Adventures in Southeast Asia
- Luxury Travel Destinations for Honeymooners
- Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Travel Tips
- Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Reviews
- Classic Literature Rediscovered
- Author Interviews: Behind the Pages
- Ancient Civilizations: Egyptology
- World War II Military History
- Women’s History: Unsung Heroes and Achievements
- Positive Discipline Techniques for Toddlers
- Homeschooling and Alternative Education Approaches
- Parenting Children with Special Needs
- Space Exploration and Astrophysics
- Marine Biology and Ocean Conservation
- Psychology of Human Behavior and Decision-Making
- Paleo Diet and Recipes
- Vegan Cooking and Plant-Based Living
- Gourmet Coffee and Craft Brewing
- Mindfulness Meditation for Stress Reduction
- Financial Independence and Retire Early (FIRE) Movement
- Confidence Building and Public Speaking Mastery
How To Identify Podcast Niche – Summary
I hope my guide can help you choose your niche. By catering to specific audiences and niches, you uncover a multitude of benefits that can propel your podcast to new heights.
These specialized groups of listeners are not only passionate but also incredibly loyal, forming strong connections with your content. As a podcaster, your ability to cater to their precise interests and needs leads to more engaged and committed listeners.
You’re not just a podcaster; you’re a curator of knowledge, a source of inspiration, and a voice for a unique community. Embrace your niche, listen to your audience, and remain adaptable in your quest for long-term podcasting success.