Your best move is to sit down and list out every possible idea for an episode you have. Don’t worry so much about attaching a guest to each idea – this is something you can do later if you choose. The point of this exercise is to get your ideas out of your head and down on paper so you can develop them.
Now that you’ve emptied your mind and built your initial list, you’ve probably got some great content to get started with.
But what happens when that list is exhausted? You don’t want to put yourself in a position where you’re scrambling for an episode and potentially compromising the quality of your existing content because you rushed putting something together. I’ve made this mistake before. Believe me, that content stands out.
One of the reasons podcasts fail is because the creators run out of content. They don’t plan ahead and it becomes easier to skip a week or two because they don’t have anything new lined up. Eventually, podcasting becomes less and less of a priority, and their show fades away. This is known as podfading.
Fortunately, there’s a very easy exercise that I do daily to ensure my list of episode ideas is always growing and, spoiler alert, I’m going to share it with you today.
This exercise only requires a few minutes of your time and will not only give you content ideas, it’ll keep you sharp as you continuously do research on your niche and industry.
Depending on how many podcasts you release per week, you want to give yourself at least a 4 or 5 to 1 ratio of new ideas to podcasts released.
So, let’s say you release one podcast a week. That means your task is to add one new episode idea to your list per day. Take weekends off if you want, but since it only takes a few minutes, you may want to perform this task on weekends, too. Or, do three on Friday and kick back with a tasty beverage on Saturday and Sunday.
The point is that you’re adding anywhere from 5-7 new ideas to your list for every one episode your release.
For my podcast, Pod Theory, I’m releasing five episodes a week. This means my daily exercise requires me to generate three new ideas for upcoming episodes. When the week is over, I’ve released five new episodes, but I’ve generated 21 new ideas for the future. It may seem excessive, but it’s comforting to know my bank of content ideas is overflowing with choices. I currently have an abundant list to choose from as I plan out upcoming episodes and it continues to grow by the day.
So how do you do it? There are several ways:
- Brainstorm – think about your existing content and what you’d like to add to it.
- Ask your audience – your audience will tell you what they want to hear. Put out a poll or literally ask them in any capacity you can. Take their suggestions and build on them.
- Refer to blogs, videos, and other podcasts – Keeping your ear to the street will help you find all sorts of content. Always be looking.
- Search hashtags on Twitter – I get a lot of ideas for new content by checking out tweets and joining conversations under various podcasting hashtags
The one thing you need to make this exercise work for you is discipline. You need to commit to performing it daily. If you miss a day, you need to generate two ideas the next. In my case, if I miss a day, I need to generate six ideas.
I’ve also worked ahead and generated a week’s worth of content, or 21 ideas, in one sitting. Pre-batch batching, if you will.
The punchline here is this: Never let your content well run dry.