After creating a podcast and recording the first few episodes, many hosts tend to realize that they don’t have a lot of ideas in the bank and end up feeling stuck, eventually leading to podcast overwhelm. Here’s our guide to creating a content plan for your podcast to help you stay consistent and on track for success.
When we advise our clients on content planning, we primarily focus on the research aspect of the undertaking.
Staying consistent is key to long-term success in the podcast industry. It boosts your search results when you publish content consistently and helps listeners find your show easier. This is why having a content plan can be so helpful because it removes the stress of figuring out a topic last minute and can guide your content creation months in advance.
For many of our clients, we provide the option to have an expert in this space evaluate what’s going on in their niche, both in podcasting and on the web (including social media). Based on these found topics, commonly asked questions, or new keyword findings, we create a content plan to better curate their content relative to what is actually working to build listenership.
This is easy to do and requires that you simply spend time doing research. While our experts go in depth and spend days curating content plans, here’s a watered-down version of their work to help you get started.
There are plenty of websites to use for content research, including our favorite: Chartable. Chartable is a podcast analytics platform that gathers current data on podcasts from around the world including chart rankings and reviews.
This website is a great source for finding podcasts in the same categories as your show because you can easily see what kind of content they’re producing that helps them to rank highly on the podcast charts.
For example, if you have a podcast about cooking food from around the world and are looking for more content on the topic, a good way to do this is to find similar, high-ranking podcasts in the foods category on Chartable and take a look at their content.
Don’t strictly copy exactly what these podcasts are doing. The audience will be quick to figure this out and it can cause a lot of bad reviews and loss of listener retention, as well as action on the original poster’s part. We simply recommend this method because it’s a good starting point. It gives you ideas of what’s working well for these other podcasts and can give you ideas you might not have considered before.
The internet is your friend when it comes to figuring out popular content and potentially trending content for the future.
A good place to start is by using search terms like “current trends in (x topic)” or “what do the experts predict will happen to (x topic)?” From there, read the articles and take notes on the things that catch your attention.
With the food podcast above, the host could look for “top trending restaurants near me” then go try those restaurants and review them on the show. Another search under this topic could be “traditional vs modern foods in (x country)” or “most popular recipes in (x country) today” to get some great content ideas.
Social media research is a fantastic way to cater your content to a broader audience. Instagram and Reddit are the perfect platforms to start with. You can easily find the most popular pages and Reddit threads concerning certain topics and curate a list of content from them.
Answering commonly asked questions on your podcast can be a great way to make you the authority on a specific subject. It can boost your search results, build social rapport, and it shows the audience that you know your stuff.
To find questions to answer, try browsing the comment section on the popular threads or posts and create a list of the questions you see people asking. Once you have a long list, go back over it and take note of the recurring questions or the questions that stand out to you.
If you’re not answering listener questions in an episode, social media is still an essential tool to building a solid content plan.
Using the food podcast example again, look for popular pages in this genre. Try the recipes that are going viral, give your controversial food opinions (if that’s your regular podcasting theme), record experiences from food trucks or even interview restaurant owners with pages that are starting to gain traction on social media. Keeping tabs on what’s hot on these platforms is a sure way to pull eyes and ears to your content.
Remember to keep notes of your research, as these will come in handy when curating the plan. As you start to see commonalities among your research, then you know you’ve got some potentially great episode topics waiting to be covered.
After you’ve done your research and feel satisfied with the long list of talking points or questions gathered, the next step is to highlight points that stand out to you, that share similarities to other points, and that seem the most important or pressing for coverage.
From there, decide how many episodes of content you want to plan for, as this can help you keep only the most important points as part of the content, further removing the good ideas from the great.
Depending on the time of year, some content can be geared toward holidays and can be part of an episode special. For example, foods traditionally eaten during certain seasons or holidays in a part of the world would make for an excellent episode released around the time of that event.
*Our team does an in depth analysis of the information they’ve gathered. This helps them determine whether a trend will stick and is actually worth talking about. They also look at the podcast’s previous content and examine what does or doesn’t resonate with their audience based on specific metrics and identifiable patterns.
*As the owner of a podcast, you can use this method to determine what episodes have done well and use that information to guide your research and content plan formation.
The last step is to organize a plan in a way that makes sense to you. We’ve found that the best way to organize content is to create a bulleted list stating the anticipated release date, a title draft and a bit of information regarding that specific episode so you know what to research more when you actually go to create that episode.
We hope this guide helps you in your search for podcast content and planning!
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