If you're going to be a podcaster, one of the most challenging things you will encounter is consistently coming up with great content. Here are some tips for how to collect and generate show material.
1. Have a capture list.
You don't want to be put on the spot every week for a new idea. It's good to have a committed list of collected ideas to choose from. Sometimes you'll have podcaster's block, and a list of previously collected ideas will be useful. Sometimes you'll have ten ideas hit you at once, but you can only act on one of them at a time. For this reason, you'll want to start a collection list of ideas for podcast content.
There are a few ways to go about this. I recommend using something like Evernote. That's where I capture all of my content ideas. I make a checkbox list, add ideas when they come, and mark them off once I've used them. You can also use a pocket-sized book. The main goal is that it should always be accessible. Both for when ideas hit you, and for when it comes time to record your show.
2. Join groups, meet ups and forums around your chosen topic.
Sometimes being a podcaster is more about listening than it is about talking. If you join a group of people who share an interest in the subject that you podcast about, you will have a direct connection with your potential audience. You will know what they are talking about. You will know what they are worried about. You will know what they are excited about. And you will know what problems they need help with.
Listening to your audience gives you incredible insight into how to serve them. In order to lead a conversation, it helps to actually be part of the conversation.
3. Follow thought leaders in your field.
This doesn't mean that you want to copy and paste everything they say. But it is good to be aware of what they are saying. To be part of a conversation, it's good to know who started it and what was said. Then you can add in your two cents.
Don't be a parrot. Make sure that your two cents actually add to the discussion. But there is no shame in listening and replying. Just make sure to be true to yourself, bring your unique point of view, and avoid being a copycat. This way, thought leaders can inspire you, as opposed to confine and limit you.
4. Subscribe to publications related to your podcast topic.
Subscribe to magazines, blogs, email lists, even other podcasts. The more you immerse yourself in a field, the better you will be at conversing about it. Also, the more you subscribe to, the more content ideas you will have to choose from, and the more points of view you will understand.
There are lots of great apps out now, that will even do content curation for you. Flipboard, for example, will feed you a constant stream of content on an almost limitless number of topics.
5. Enjoy being part of the conversation.
We sometimes feel like if we're not the first or the best, we might as well not even try. This is garbage. Accept that, while being a thought leader is the goal, just being part of the conversation is incredibly valuable.
Others might have already covered a story or topic, but your listeners want to hear it from you. They want your take on it. Don't pass on something merely because it's already been talked about by somebody else. Give your listeners what they deserve. Don't deprive them of a home run, merely because you weren't the first up to bat.
Follow these five steps, and you will likely never run out of things to talk about on your podcast.
The five steps were:
- Start an idea capture list.
- Join groups, meet ups and forums around your chosen topic.
- Follow thought leaders in your field.
- Subscribe to publications related to your podcast topic.
- Enjoy being part of the conversation.