For a lot of people, the hardest part of starting a new podcast is actually getting it off the ground to start with. Coming up with ideas for your podcast can often be pretty tricky. In fact, it’s one of the most common questions that comes up regarding creating podcasts; “How do you find ideas for podcast stories?” We’re going to show you 3 different ways that you can find story ideas for your podcast.
1. Ask the Right Questions to the Right People
Asking questions seems like a basic answer but it’s one step that a lot of people seem to miss out or forget entirely. It’s good to just sit down and think about different things, then maybe interesting ideas will come to you.
You might see a cat as you’re walking home that hears a mouse that’s really far away and runs off to get it, then your question could be, “Just how good is a cats hearing? How does it compare to a humans hearing?” This is also why you should carry a notebook with you at all times. This way, you can jot down any ideas or inspiration you get during the day.
One podcast that actually focuses on asking “what if” to everything is RadioLab. This podcast explores various questions or scientific theories that might very well be on many people’s minds, for example, the episode More or Less Human. This spawned from asking the question that’s in the episode description, “As the line between technology and humanity becomes blurrier, we wonder, are we becoming more or less human?” One question that influenced an entire episode, and every episode is a new question.
2. Use Social Media as a Research Tool
Social media can actually be a fantastic place to find contributors or even an entire story! Quite often, journalists or content creators will put posts out on Twitter asking for people related to the story they’ve chosen.
If you were doing a podcast on single parents, you could post something like this, “Hey guys! I’m looking for a single mum to talk about life as a single parent for my latest project. If interested, message me!” You should end up getting plenty of people replying to you that want to share their story or give you more information on the subject you want to focus on.
One example I saw on Twitter of this was from a German podcaster. Use hashtags, put an approachable message up, and you will definitely find the people you’re looking for. Also make sure that you're asking in a sensitive way if it's an issue that some people might be incredible uncomfortable talking about.
3. Tell Interesting Stories Listeners Care About
So most traditional stories have a main character who has to face some kind of challenge or problem in their life, and the story focuses on them overcoming this problem or challenge. You should be aiming for this kind of content on your podcast too! Try to find people who are willing to talk about some kind of problem they are facing in their lives, and then ask them about how they overcame it, or how they’re planning on overcoming it.
One example of this is the podcast Terrible Thanks For Asking. This focuses on real people and their problems, and how they are overcoming them and getting on with life. The reason it has gained such popularity, is because it focuses on real human emotions that everyone can relate to. So sometimes, the most simple stories can have the biggest impact on listeners.
Find Story Ideas for Your Podcast
That’s 3 ways you can find story ideas for your podcast. The best thing we can suggest for finding those fantastic ideas, is just to talk to people. The more people you talk to, the more interesting stories you’ll find.