How to brainstorm topics for your podcast episodes (with host Melissa Guller)

Are you stuck trying to brainstorm new topics for your first (or next) podcast episodes? There are so many topics you could discuss, but it’s always smart to make sure your content has a proven audience before you start recording.

In this episode, you’ll learn…

  • The key to a great topic isn’t doing something that’s never been done before.  So what is it?
  • What makes a strong topic? On the other hand, what topics should you avoid?
  • What is the step-by-step process you can use to brainstorm not just 1 topic, but 10-20+ great topics?
  • What is the difference between evergreen, seasonal, and trending content? And should you be using all three?
  • How to think like a reporter, a marketer, and a listener to research ideas in different ways
  • How to do basic keyword research
  • How to start an idea bank (and why you need one)

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10 prompts to help you brainstorm topics for new episodes

Before you dive into research, I recommend starting with a judgment-free brainstorm. 

What I like to do is set a timer for 5 minutes and see how many topics come to mind. 

And don’t worry too much about how good your ideas are. The goal here is quantity, NOT quality.

To help guide your brainstorm, I reference a “download” in the episode. But after recording, I didn’t want to gate the content, so here are 10 prompts you can use to guide your brainstorm:

  1. What are you curious about?
  2. What do you want to try?  
  3. What do you find interesting?
  4. What does your listener find interesting?
  5.  What are some things that you believe (or don’t believe)?
  6. What do you think that a lot of people don’t understand?
  7. What do people get wrong?
  8. What’s a unique perspective you could provide?
  9. What types of people could you interview? (Job descriptions? Life experiences? Parents? Gen Z-ers?)
  10. Are there specific people you’d like to interview? 

This isn’t a comprehensive list, but hopefully it’ll jog your creativity and help you get your initial brainstorm list started.

By the way, if you’re looking for a great microphone, check out our guide here: Top Microphones for New Podcasters

How to start an Idea Bank [free download!]

As you start to brainstorm ideas, I recommend starting an Idea Bank where you can keep all episodes in one place. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a few ideas in your phone, a few on a post it, a few in a random spreadsheet…

Not the most helpful approach.

Here are just a few perfect places where you could start an idea bank:

  • A note on your phone
  • A page in your notebook
  • A Google Doc on your computer
  • Airtable, if you fancy
  • An Asana or Trello board

…you get the picture. It can be anywhere! And depending on your style, the list can be as complex or as simple as you’d like.

If you’re interested, I put together a quick Google Sheet that could help you not just track your ideas, but also start ranking them or adding notes. Please feel free to add and edit your own columns.

See the Idea Bank template

References & resources

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You may have heard me say that podcast reviews are crucial for all podcasters. They help offer social proof that people are enjoying your show, plus they factor into Apple’s algorithms. So if you’re enjoying Wit & Wire, I’d love to ask for your review:

  1. Head to witandwire.com/apple, ideally on your phone.
  2. Scroll down and click the 5-star rating.
  3. For bonus points – and the chance for a shoutout on our podcast! – add a quick sentence about what you enjoy about the show. Feel free to include your podcast name.

A huge thank you in advance!

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