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Creating content to keep your podcast relevant and engaging is hard work, but it will always be worth the extra time. Investing in yourself and your ideas is not easy, and when you’ve exhausted all of your initial ideas, you can feel like you’ve run out of steam. Writer’s block is real, but with some extra time and reflection, you’ll get your podcasting ideas flowing again.
This may be that one piece of advice that sounds cliché, but it’s incredibly important to remember. While you may be tempted to tone down or exaggerate certain facets of your personality, listeners can always sense when something doesn’t feel genuine. If you want your content to be truly engaging, it’s best to stay true to who you are. You’ll never have to keep up a facade or be seen as inauthentic.
In this same sense, know and trust yourself. Is there a topic you have tried to steer clear of? Is there a topic you’ve wanted to talk about but don’t think anyone else would want to hear? Trust yourself and trust your listeners. Don’t shy away; be real. Make a list of topics you think are important but you’re not ready to talk about and decide if there are any topics under those umbrella ideas that could pave the way.
Everyone’s wants and needs are different and trying to appease everyone will just leave you frustrated. Attempting to create fresh content can tempt you to venture into different genres or stances, but never risk the audience you have trying to gain an audience you don’t. Ask yourself if the topics you choose will appeal to the listeners you have and those you want to attract. Would your loyal followers want to listen to this episode in its entirety?
You may feel like you’re already doing this, but topics you like discussing must be the cornerstone of your podcast. It not only ensures engaging content since you are more likely to discuss the nuances of the topic, but it draws listeners in when they can hear you being engrossed in a particular idea. If you choose topics you don’t like or are not relevant to you, you’ll struggle to connect with your own material and your target audience.
Stories are incredible ways to reach your audience. Listeners tend to empathize and identify with the storyteller and people are more likely to remember funny or interesting stories than straight information. Stories are also a great way to get your ideas across without sounding condescending. Use stories to bring up concepts or ideas and start a broader conversation. Use them as a tool to get your audience thinking about the topic you want to present or to ask thought-provoking questions.
Although podcasts are a one-way medium, there are ways of getting your audience involved. Getting audience participation can be as easy as asking open-ended questions and having them message you with their answers. Consider telling your listeners you will feature some of their answers in the next episode to increase response. Their answers may inspire topics that can branch off of the original.
Try reading the comments and messages you have been receiving from your listeners and expand the topics you research based on commonalities. Use your social media pages and your email list to reach out to users and inquire what they’re looking for. Search through your previously most popular podcasts and see if there’s a topic that was touched on that could use more attention. Remember who your target audience is and why they get value from your content.
Your podcast has an opportunity to put words into action. If you’ve had an episode you or your fans particularly loved, consider the ways you can move forward with that topic. When your content offers a way for your listeners to do something, they will become more interactive. And not just telling what they should do or why they should do it, but how. Talk with them about how to move forward. Practical directions can help them achieve the goal.
As an example, if your episode focuses on discussing the difficulties young musicians face when trying to get their careers off the ground, add actionable content about how they can work toward those goals, such as tips about how to get their demos to stand out, how to grow a social media presence, or local open mic nights. Instead of your listeners just agreeing with you, they will feel empowered to be able to get something done.
Whatever your niche, there are multiple experts in that field who have experience joining podcasts. Maybe they hit the podcasting trail and are on various shows every week. Experts are great guests because they have experience speaking on the topic. But well-known experts have often been heard by your listeners. Consider using your platform to give way to some lesser-known guests who may have insight into your topic, giving you more content and your listeners a fresh voice.
When hosting a guest, it’s important to learn as much as you can about them before recording so you can prepare relevant, intelligent questions. To make sure to provoke new thoughts and information for your listeners, use questions that encourage your guest to offer unique answers or to segue into great stories they may have to tell. In this respect, it would behoove you to research your guest well and make an effort to study their background in the topic.
Preparing talking points and questions for your guest is important, but it shouldn’t be a list to be checked off. It’s important for your conversations to flow naturally which allows them to broaden into new ideas. If your guest touches on something you’d like to circle back to, invite them to come on again and talk with you about it more. With organic conversation and genuinely listening to what they have to say, you may find yourself with more ideas.
When a guest offers a personal anecdote, ask follow-up questions or offer a tidbit you have that relates to your guest’s. When a host moves onto another question too quickly it can feel abrupt and cut off the guest’s train of thought which breaks the listener’s engagement as well. When you allow the conversation to flow with well-prepared topics, you will end up with unique content that no other podcast features. And unique content expands your audience.
If your goal is to have listeners who are eager to hear you speak and tune in to every episode, you must create content that they can’t wait to get more of. It’s easy to begin doubting yourself when you’re struggling for content, but it’s only temporary; the ideas will flow soon. Check out Helium Radio Network today for engaging content, relevant radio, and informative podcasts to help you survive in this field.
Written by: #HeliumRadio