You can skip this article in the 101 series if you already know exactly what your podcast will be. But it’s important to figure this out before moving on to the rest of this article, because a lot of the specifics will depend on exactly what you’re trying to do with your podcast. Not every podcast requires the same equipment and skills!
If you’re still working out the premise of your podcast, however, read on.
First off, think about why you want to make a podcast. Do you want a chance to interview people you admire? An excuse to hang out with friends and talk about things that excite you? A way to create an engaging piece of performance art? To make money? To inform listeners of important issues? Podcasts can accomplish a lot, and there’s no wrong reason to make one.
Whatever your goals, chances are that you want your podcast to be unique in some way. You want a hook, something that will bring in listeners and guests, something that you’ll have fun making season after season.
We can’t tell you what that hook will be. The whole point is to make it yours. The best advice we have is to prioritize that last point--make sure it’s something you will enjoy. If you find it interesting/funny/exciting/engaging, so will other people! Especially since your enjoyment will come through, making it more fun to listen to. And don’t underestimate the importance of enjoying what you do. How else will you have energy to keep doing it?
You can listen to existing podcasts to get ideas, but if you don’t, that’s ok, too. There are tropes for podcasts for every medium, and you don’t have to stick to them--podcasting is still pretty much the wild west. Don’t be afraid to do something new, and help shape the medium!
It’s also ok if your idea is similar to someone else’s, as long as you put your own spin on it. Does the world need another true crime podcast? If it’s good, absolutely! As long as you respect other podcasts’ copyrights and don’t plagiarize, do what you want!
Once you have your idea, start writing down the major components that it's made of. Do you need one of a kind music? Are you going to have to record your own foley effects? Do you need more voices than just yours? Don't worry about acquiring all the stuff just yet--just get it written down until you've got a nice idea of what your idea looks like.
Then, congratulations! You've finished brainstorming your podcast idea!