The old proverb, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions,” is a great one to keep in mind if you think you have discovered the next “it” podcast . . . yet, have no connection to the “it” subject matter. You might intend to become the next My Favorite Murder or Marc Maron, but the important element you’re missing is you’re not them. However, unlucky for them, they are not you.
Often the hardest step in creating a podcast is honing in on what the podcast is. Let’s say you love My Favorite Murder. You’re not a detective, a lawyer or a murder mystery writer, but you see how popular that show is, and you think you could make a show like it – but make it even better. Sure, there are tons of true crime podcasts. However, there are dozens of television shows about hospitals. Do people only watch one show about a hospital and never enjoy another one? Not at all! The ladies over at MFM have done you a favor by priming audiences to recognize a topic they are interested in learning more about.
But the sink or swim of your idea hinges on, do you have a unique take on the genre? Have you read every book on terrifying serial killers and you are dying (pun intended) to share your love of this subject via a podcast? Or, do you and your BFF just want to quit your jobs and become podcasters? (Who doesn’t?) The wave of joy might carry you through the first couple of episodes, but after that, what is your show about? Why would someone subscribe to it? Can you sum it up in one sentence and get people to understand why you are the one best suited to tackle this topic?
The bottom line is you can create a show about anything you want. But you should make the show you want to make, not the show you think you should make.
Creating a podcast from the ground up is hard (though, using Blubrry’s Pro Podcast Production services can help you with the technical side to make sure everyone hears your perspective, loud and clear). Crafting a show that showcases your unique voice, point of view and life experience is what audiences want to hear. They are less interested in you doing something you’re less engaged in, in the hopes of it becoming popular.
In the face of this, you can always try out your version of MFM. Post a few episodes. Using Blubrry Hosting services, you can analyze the listener statistics to see who is listening to your show and where they are. Once you get some data on your audience, it can tell you if the idea you thought was unique is something people connect to. There’s so much that goes into thoughtfully creating a show. If you skip the step of figuring out why you and why now, you’re going to have a much harder time figuring out how to make the show last.
Hit podcasts become hit podcasts because their content connects with their audiences in an authentic way. It’s impossible to predict what is going to resonate. However, the chances of something taking off and becoming a hit are far greater if podcast creators stay true to themselves, their interests and their expertise.
Written by: Tara Jean O’Brien
Tara Jean O’Brien has been a writer, actor, improviser, podcaster, and stand-up for nearly 800 years. When not producing, editing, and hosting her podcast, Single Vs. Married, or co-hosting, Cinema Craptaculus Presents: B-sides, she also writers on Medium and recently found a floor safe hidden in her coat closet.