15 Untapped Podcast Ideas
As of 2020, there are just under one million podcast episodes. For perspective, there are currently over 500 million blogs and 31 million YouTube channels.
As you can see, compared to other mediums, the podcasting space is still relatively young with tons of opportunities for creatives and business owners.
While there are still untapped podcasting areas, some genres are more saturated than others, making it essential to choose a topic with a unique angle.
In this article, we'll show you how to choose a podcast topic and share 15 untapped podcasting ideas so you prime your show for growth and success!
How to choose a good podcast topic
Whatever podcast topic you choose, it needs to meet some basic criteria; after all, you'll potentially record hundreds of episodes on your show's subject matter, so you want to choose wisely. Here are some things to consider.
#1 Pick a subject you want to talk about
This suggestion might seem like a no brainer, but it's easy to start a podcast with the hopes of making money and forget to ask yourself if you enjoy the topic enough to stick with it for the long haul.
Genuine interest and passion are some of the best ways to increase your chances of success in podcasting. Most podcasters who experience podfade started their show without knowing how much effort is involved or had unrealistic expectations about earning money through the medium.
#2 Play to your strength
Ideally, your podcast should be about something you're familiar with so you could just hit the record button and start talking for an hour without any preparation (if you needed to).
Doing some research for each episode isn't a huge deal if it's something that you're already passionate about and interested in learning. But throughout your podcast, you're probably going to run into weeks where you're too busy to do much prep work and need to do things more off the cuff.
#3 Make it niche
Appealing to a smaller audience with a niche topic might seem like hurting your chances of success, but in reality, it ensures your show stands out from the crowd; the specificity of niche topics also helps you build a loyal audience.
It's tempting to start a generic podcast to reach a large crowd, but if you try to compete against full-time professional podcasters with a studio, staff, and multiple episodes per week (ex: NPR's How I Built This, popular comedy podcasts, etc.), it won't be easy to compete in terms of quality or content.
"This is the age of narrowcasting/micro-niches or making podcasts available that may appeal only to a small percentage of a total potential audience. But, for those the program appeals to, that appeal is vast."
— Quick Start Podcast team
Making your podcast niche doesn't mean you have to avoid popular genre, though; if you want to make a self-help podcast, great! Just know you'll have to work harder at making your show different than the thousands of similar podcasts already out there.
Here a few ways to make a podcast topic niche:
- Appeal to a specific demographic or target audience
- Speak to a subset of people with unique opinions or experiences
- Focus on specific topics within your primary genre (ex: The podcast Help Me Be Me is "self-help for people who hate self-help.")
The takeaway is this: you can make your podcast niche no matter its genre. And remember, you can broaden your show's scope at any point, so look at choosing a topic as a starting point rather than a commitment to always and forever talk about spelunking.
Pro tip: Browse Apple Podcasts (formerly iTunes), Spotify, or do a quick Google search to get familiar with the content in your prospective genre. Ask yourself which shows are doing well, which ones aren't, and why? A little bit of research on your competition goes a long way toward making the best podcast possible.
#4 Choose seasonal topics carefully
Some seasonality in your podcast is okay; a massive number of shows are about topics that are relevant for only part of the year. However, doing a podcast about the Olympics that happen once every two years isn't a great choice.
You don't have to stay away from doing a sports-related podcast, entirely, though. Plenty of avid fans sit at home itching for the season to begin and welcome all kinds of related content in the meantime. Just be realistic about your ability to keep the show consistent and fresh throughout the entire offseason (a cohost might help this situation.)
15 Untapped podcast ideas
As we mentioned, making your podcast niche is a pivotal part of having a show that stands out, but don't get too focussed on being 100% original with your topic idea. The chances are, someone out there has a podcast similar to yours, no matter which subject you choose.
Instead of trying to create a podcast that's the first of its kind, pick a relatively untapped topic and do it better, adding a unique angle to the subject matter.
Still need help narrowing in on a topic? Here are 15 untapped podcast ideas to help you brainstorm!
1. The outdoors: hiking, camping, boating, etc.
There is no shortage of outdoor enthusiasts, but this trend seems to be picking up steam with more and more people wanting to get back to nature. So whether it's dirt bikes, cabins, boating, rock climbing, or camping, there is probably enough of an audience to make a podcast about it.
Ex: Best places to hike in a particular state/region, camping hacks, etc.
Sailing requires a lot of specialized knowledge and items. It also has a steep learning curve, so there's a lot to discuss! Competition is low, and it doesn't have as much seasonality as other weather-dependent activities.
Ex: How to sail without experience, sailing in a specific region, best sailing equipment for cheap, DIY sailing projects, etc.
3. Welding, metalworking, or woodworking
Welding and metalworking are experiencing a comeback in 2020 with the rise of minimalism, self-sufficiency, and the push-back against big-name corporations. So, if you're a professional welder, metalworker or woodworker with lots of experience, this could be the perfect time to start a podcast sharing your expertise.
Ex: Make it extra-niche by focussing on framing, tips for beginners, woodworking on a budget, woodworking with little space, etc.
Whether you're a dog, cat, hamster, or snake person, you can make a podcast about it. Keep in mind a more general animal-related topic might be too competitive, so the more exotic you can get with it, the better.
Ex: If you want to make a niche dog podcast, you could have a show about a specific bread, or a particular skill like agility training, natural animal healthcare, having a pet on a budget, etc.
5. Crafting & DIY
The world of DIY and crafting is all the rage right now, and you can take this topic in endless directions. This subject matter is rife with opportunities to create extra downloadable content, online courses, and supplemental material (sewing pattern templates, how to guides, etc.)
Ex: Pottery, sewing, quilting, painting, DIY household products, etc.
6. Musical instruments
If you play the guitar, saxophone, piano, or any other instrument, you can make a podcast to discuss your knowledge and experience. For something a bit more specific, consider a podcast about Djing or electronic music composition.
Ex: Guitar learning hacks, successfully booking gigs or house shows, how to teach yourself sheet music, etc.
7. House flipping
House flipping is quickly gaining popularity as more and more young people seek out alternative revenue streams. Talk about your own homes that you're working on, any issues that you encounter, or interview other people who are doing the same.
Ex: Give tips and tricks to newbies on what to look for, how to spot a profitable deal, and what red flags to avoid.
Podcasting about podcasting is a bit meta, but it's a great way to share your experience if you have a passion for the medium. If you've successfully monetized your podcast, you have an excellent opportunity to launch another show, teaching other creators to do the same.
More and more people are launching online businesses and using podcasting as one part of their marketing strategy. This new wave means you could easily branch out to include content on social media, digital marketing, and how to be a podcast host, influencer, etc.
Ex: How to create online courses, podcasting for moms, podcasting tech, podcasting for your business, etc.
9. Wedding & event planning
Since COVID, couples are having to get more creative about the way they tie the knot. Although you don't have to make your content COVID-specific, you can use this current global challenge to help new brides overcome obstacles on their wedding day.
Be aware you will have higher audience turnover than the average show since listeners won't find the content relevant after getting married. The good news? People are always getting engaged, so new couples will fill the space as their married friends recommend your podcast.
Ex: How to have a wedding during a pandemic, how brides can save money, DIY hacks, etc.
10. 3D printing
3D printing is an up-and-coming technology, so there's a lot of news to talk about as the tech evolves and becomes more widely used. This nice is a great tech podcast topic for anyone passionate about this up and coming innovation.
Ex: New 3D printing tech breakthroughs, review different printers, discuss various techniques, possibilities, etc.
11. Storm chasing
Storm chasers are passionate about tracking, witnessing, and sometimes documenting extreme weather. Although this topic is a bit seasonal and regional, you can discuss things like tech, gear, and weather systems in the off-seasons.
Ex: Southeastern storm chasing, the science behind tracking a weather system, stories of storm chasers, personal stories, etc.
12. Caving, rock climbing, rappelling,
If you're an outdoor adventure junkie, you're probably also a valuable resource to others looking to start similar activities or learn more about extreme sports. A podcast is an excellent way to share your expertise, tips and create a community around your interests.
Ex: Share the best locals, feature interesting stories and experiences, interviews with experts, gear, hacks, etc.
13. Tiny homes
Tiny homes are growing in popularity, but there's a lot of complexity around zoning laws, finances, and how to find land. The complexity of this topic means there are lots of problems for you to help your audience solve. You can also tap into the van-life community and interview the many people who have found an alternative to traditional homeownership.
Ex: How to have a tiny home in a specific state, building your own tiny house, zoning laws within the United States and abroad, etc.
14. Urban farming
Urban farming is the process of growing food within a municipality — whether or not you have huge amounts of land, money, or know-how. If you have experience in horticulture, agriculture, or urban homesteading, there are plenty of people anxious to learn from you.
Ex: How to grow and sell produce it at farmer's markets or directly to restaurants. You can cover recipes like salad mixes, seasoning, and medicinal herbs, or discuss what crops are the most profitable, which tools to use, how to store your produce, etc.
15. Book summaries/reviews
There are lots of book review podcasts out there, but there are so many possibilities within this genre, we think there's always room for more. You can review books within sub-genres like Greek mythology, folklore, or memoir, which aren't likely to be crowded.
Some of our favorite podcasts feature micro-niche content like this. They are a hugely valuable resource for people who want to get a synopsis of books they can easily listen to on their commute (similar to a podcast-version of Blinkist.)
Ex: Record a recreation of a book series, complete with characters and heavy production (ex: a Harry Potter podcast), or review and recap books within a genre or sub-genre, helping listeners decide what to read.
A lot goes into starting your first podcast, but investing the time to pick a solid topic sets your show up for maximum success. We hope this list gives you a starting point to decide what kind of topic is right for your own podcast!
Once you pick your topic, you can start thinking about other elements that go into making your show the best it can be — these guides can help!