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How to Nail Your Podcast Niche: 7 Steps for Captivating Ideas

Discover the 7 essential steps to nail your podcast niche and create captivating content that hooks your audience. Plus, we share some niche ideas!
Kendall Breitman
Social Media & Community Expert
Last Updated:
September 3, 2023
Reviewed by
Ortal Hadad

Creating a successful podcast in 2024 is a challenging feat. 

With millions of competitors out there, launching a series that captures the public’s imagination can be challenging. You may think that all of the podcasts that could possibly exist already do. However, you would be wrong. Selecting a unique podcast niche will help you stand out from the crowd. In the guide, we will cover what a podcast niche is, why you need one, and how to figure out which one will work for your project.

What is a podcast niche?

Broadly speaking, a podcast niche is a topic that the content of your series centers around. The niche lets your audience know what to expect from you and helps you define your brand. Examples include true crime, country music, and investing. Before starting to work on a new series, you should identify your podcasting niche.

This move helps you target a very select group of people — your demographic. Trying to market your podcast to everyone and anyone is nigh impossible. Instead, you want to be clear on who your ideal listener is. When you choose a niche that appeals to a small market, you are more likely to succeed as you can tailor your content to that market. 

Why is your podcast niche vital?

Your podcast niche is one of the most crucial factors in the success of your series. The subject you choose sets the tone for your content, helps you define your audience, and establishes your authority in the industry. It’s a huge deal. Let’s break that down here: 

Define your audience

When you have a podcast niche, you know who you're talking to and what they're interested in. It makes creating content that they'll find valuable and engaging easier. You will have the chance to tailor your podcast series to meet the needs and expectations of your listeners. Consider who your audience is when pinpointing your podcast niche.

Stand out from the crowd 

Finding a way to differentiate yourself is essential. Fortunately, a suitable niche can help you to do this by giving you a unique focus that sets you apart from other shows. There’s no place for a generic podcast that doesn’t have a core topic. You’re not starting a talk show. Instead, you need to choose a podcast niche that gives your series direction. 

Grow your audience 

With the right podcast niche, reaching people already interested in your topics becomes effortless. You will already know where to find your audience. You can reach out to them via social media or at events. That means that you're more likely to attract new listeners and build a loyal following. 

How to choose a captivating podcast niche: 7 steps

Think you have what it takes to create an award-winning podcast series? Before you get started, you’re going to need a podcast niche. Coming up with captivating podcast ideas can be tough. However, there is a straightforward process that you can follow below.  

Step 1: Research popular podcast niches

First things first, you need to know what the popular podcast niches are. To create a successful podcast, you need to carve out a niche. That means looking at a new take on a well-known subject matter. Understanding what type of content works well with audiences is a savvy move. This will give you some inspiration to help with the ideation process.

Step 2: Consider what your passions are

What is it that drives and motivates you? Do you have an interesting hobby? Do you have a specific expertise that you want to share? Some of the most interesting podcasts come from people who are truly passionate about their subject matter. When you’re thinking about your specific podcasting niche, start with the obvious choice. Think about what your unique set of interests are and whether they would work well as a podcast genre

Step 3: Define the core target audience 

Next up, let’s talk about your audience. Every podcasting niche needs a core audience — a group of people who will tune in and listen on a regular basis. 

Ask yourself:

  • Who will be interested in your podcast niche? 
  • What is their age, gender, and location? 

Answering these questions will help you understand who your audience is and how you can reach them. If you can’t define the audience for your podcasting niche, you may want to rethink the subject. 

Step 4: Do your research on the subject first 

Do you have a podcasting niche in mind? If so, it’s time to do some homework. Before you launch yourself headfirst into making the podcast, you must do your research. 

You should be asking questions such as: 

  • Is there enough content out there? 
  • Do you have enough to say about the subject matter? 
  • Can you get experts to give you advice and support?
  • Is there enough interest or a large enough target market? 

When you have a topic in mind, be sure to do some research and see if it’s a viable option. 

Try planning an episode first! When researching your podcast niche, try planning a dummy episode. Decide on the content, how you would introduce the subject, what sources you would use, and how the structure would work. This exercise allows you to see how straightforward it would be to create a podcast series based on your chosen niche.

Or, list 5 episode titles! Can you think of five episode titles for your podcast? You need to make sure that your podcast has enough scope to keep going. Coming up with content can be tough, but if you have many ideas, that’s a sign that you may be onto a winner.

Step 5: Test the market 

When you know what your podcasting niche is, it’s time to test the market. You need to be sure that your demographic has an appetite for the subject before you work on your series. You can do some market research, reach out to community groups online, or use social media to find your audience. Survey the right people to see whether they want to listen to your podcast. You can also use this approach to come up with new ideas. 

Step 6: Refine your niche 

Learn from your audience. Now that you have done some market research, you can use your findings to inform your podcasting niche. Note that at this point, you may realize that your podcast niche does not work at this point. That is okay. You haven’t invested any time or money into the project yet. It may be a smart move to return to the drawing board here.

Step 7: Make it unique and specific

Choosing a niche podcast is only half of the job. When you have selected a subject, you need to put your own spin on it. There are more than four million podcasts in the world. If you want yours to stand out, you must do something unique. Consider how you can make your podcasting niche different. For example, if you choose to create a true crime podcast, could you focus solely on huge investment fraud cases? On the other hand, why not look at true crime from Japan? The more out of the box, the better your chance of success.

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Popular Podcast Niche Ideas for 2024

Looking for some podcast niche inspiration? You’ve come to the right place. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular subject matters and examples of podcasts in that genre:

1. True Crime 

Here’s a podcast niche that should come as no surprise. True crime focuses on exploring and discussing real-life criminal cases, investigations, and the intricacies of the criminal justice system. Podcasts in this genre cover intriguing true crime stories, like unsolved mysteries, infamous crimes, serial killers, and historical criminal events. 

It’s a wildly popular topic. In 2024, true crime podcasts were the third most popular genre after comedy and news. According to a survey by Pew Research Center, 34% of podcast listeners in the United States say they regularly listen to podcasts about true crime.

Examples of true crime podcasts: 

  • My Favorite Murder Podcast by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark
  • Crime Junkie Podcast by Ashley Flowers
  • The Murder Squad podcast by Paul Holes and Billy Jensen 

2. Business and Entrepreneurship 

The business and entrepreneurship podcast niche provides insight and inspiration to individuals interested in starting, growing, or managing businesses. These podcasts cover a wide range of topics related to entrepreneurship, including startup strategies, business development, leadership, marketing, finance, innovation, and success stories.

The popularity of this type of podcast is set to soar. According to a recent survey by Edison Research, Business is already the sixth most popular podcast topic in the US.

Examples of business and entrepreneurship podcasts: 

  • The Tim Ferriss Show by Tim Ferriss
  • The Startup Podcast by Gimlet Media
  • Entrepreneurs on Fire by John Lee Dumas

3. Self-help and Personal Development 

People love the chance to upgrade their lives. As the name suggests, self-help revolves around providing guidance, strategies, and inspiration to individuals seeking personal growth, self-improvement, and a better understanding of themselves. Within this niche, there are many sub-categories, such as mental wellness, nutrition, and careers. 

Self-help and personal development are becoming more popular. According to a recent survey by Pew Research, 32% of podcast listeners regularly listen to podcasts about self-help and personal development.

Examples of self-help podcasts: 

  • The Mindful Kind by Lori Harder
  • The Life Coach School Podcast by Brooke Castillo
  • The School of Greatness
  • Happier with Gretchen Rubin
  • The Happiness Lab

4. Health and Fitness 

The health sector is booming, so it’s unsurprising that this podcast niche is wildly popular too. Health podcasts offer tips and inspiration to promote physical and mental well-being. Of course, there are many areas to explore. The podcasting niche covers various topics related to health, fitness, nutrition, mental wellness, and lifestyle choices. Health and Fitness podcast niche is the eighth most popular genre in the US.

Examples of health and fitness podcasts: 

  • The Huberman Lab by Andrew Huberman
  • The Rich Roll Podcast by Rich Roll
  • The Doctor's Farmacy by Dr Mark Hyman
  • The Model Health Show by Shawn Stevenson

5. News and Politics

News provides a never-ending stream of content. Podcasts in the news and politics niche share details of current events, news analysis, and commentary to keep listeners up to date. Subjects range from the latest happenings in the area to global politics and recent world news topics. According to the Pew Research Center, 22% of Americans get the latest information from podcasts. While 16% only do this sometimes, 6% do so regularly.

Examples of news and politics podcasts: 

  • Pod Save America by Crooked Media
  • The Rachel Maddow Show by MSNBC
  • The Daily by The New York Times
  • NPR Politics Podcast by NPR

6. Comedy 

Fancy having a launch? Comedy podcasts are all about entertaining the audience and making them giggle. Podcasts in this niche focus on providing humorous and entertaining content to make listeners laugh, unwind, and enjoy light-hearted discussions. 

Laughter is the best medicine… especially when it comes to podcasts. The truth is that many listeners don’t want to hear about serious topics. In fact, comedy is currently the most popular podcast topic in the US.

Examples of comedy podcasts: 

  • Comedy Bang Bang by Scott Aukerman
  • The Doughboys by Mike Mitchell and Nick Wiger.
  • WTF with Marc Maron 
  • The Last Podcast on the Left by Ben Kissel, Henry Zebrowski, and Marcus Parks

7. Science and Technology 

Next up, it’s a geeky podcast niche that everybody loves. This one explores advancements and innovations in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). It’s about educating and engaging listeners by delving into the fascinating world of scientific research, technological breakthroughs, and their impact on society.

This podcast niche is certainly one to watch. According to a recent survey by Pew Research, 40% of podcast listeners say they regularly listen to podcasts about science and technology, which is up from 25% in 2022.

Examples of science and technology podcasts: 

  • Radiolab by Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich
  • How Stuff Works by Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant
  • Science Friday by Ira Flatow
  • CrowdScience BBC World Service podcast 

8. Sports 

Sports podcasts offer the latest news about athletes, teams, and the world of sports in general. In this podcasting niche, the hosts cover popular sports such as football, basketball, baseball, soccer, tennis, and more, as well as niche sports and emerging trends within the sporting world. According to research, podcasts in the sports genre rank fifth place in the United States.

Examples of sports podcasts: 

  • Pardon My Take by Barstool Sports
  • The Rich Eisen Show
  • The Ringer NBA Show 
  • The Athletic Football Show

Other Podcast Niche Ideas to Consider

In this guide, we have covered some of the most popular podcast niches right now. If you’re still looking for more ideas, here are some other popular podcast topics. 

  • Crypto Podcasts: Cryptocurrencies are booming since many people want to learn more about them, how to invest, and their future. 
  • Celebrity News Podcasts: They are in demand in 2024 because people are always interested in the lives and opinions of famous people, especially those who are entertaining, influential, or controversial. 
  • Travel Podcasts: These types of podcasts are popular in 2024 because people are eager to explore the world again after the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, or at least to plan for future travel. 

FAQs on podcast niches

Looking for more information on podcasting niches? Let’s take a look at some of the answers to the frequently asked questions (FAQs) surrounding this hot topic: 

Why is it hard to create a popular podcast?

Unlike social media platforms, where content can go viral, podcasts generally rely on word-of-mouth recommendations, search algorithms, and platforms' curated lists to gain visibility. As a result, only 1% of podcasts get 99% download distribution per episode. However, by choosing a unique podcast niche, you may find that you boost your chances.

Is the podcast industry oversaturated?

The podcast industry is not over-saturated yet but is more competitive and challenging than ever. With millions of podcasts available, listeners have more choices and higher expectations for quality, relevance, and diversity. If you’re an aspiring podcaster, you must work hard to stand out from the crowd, grow your audience, and monetize your shows.

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