Research service eMarketer forecasts that over the next two years, 40 million Americans will begin listening to a podcast at least once a month—joining the 120 million listeners who have already adopted this habit. While podcasts are a pretty developed medium at this point, you can still succeed with a niche topic geared towards a specific audience and expertise. For example, rather than start a run-of-the-mill career advice podcast, I used my experience interviewing at Google and LinkedIn to launch my own pod and give unique career advice to women in their job interviews.
While it may seem daunting, picking a solid podcast topic doesn’t have to be hard. Here, I’ve not only compiled how to decide on a topic, but I’ve also put together 104 ideas to jumpstart your process. Tip: After selecting your topic, create a website using these podcast website templates and display your show using the built-in Podcast Player. You just need to choose a podcast hosting site and connect your RSS feed.
Starting a podcast? Use this podcast name generator to name it.
How to decide on a podcast topic?
A dream job needs to interest you, play to your strengths and, most importantly, pay you. Similarly, starting a podcast requires many of the same criteria. For a good foundation, choose a topic that hits these four factors:
01. Strong personal interest
You must have extreme passion for your chosen topic, as you will invest a lot of your time talking and researching it. It’s easy to discuss a topic at length if you’re interested in it, whether you know it from your life, career, education, or hobbies. Plus, you’ll automatically feel more confident speaking about it.
Even more so, your genuine interest will motivate you to dig deeper. For example, filmmakers and friends Nathaniel Hendricks and Preston Jeter found they shared a mutual obsession for Canadian actor and SNL legend Dan Aykroyd while watching one of his movies. When they discovered that his IMDB page included more than 100 credits, "The Best Legs in Chicago" was born. Each episode follows the pair as they watch the movie and discuss how it relates to Dan's career as well as the culture of the time.
02. Existing audience
Do others share your interest in this topic? While a niche target audience can help you quickly gain listeners, the pool of potential listeners should still be large enough to ensure success.
We recommend you check to see if a community currently engages in your topic. Social media groups, Reddit threads, blogs and even other podcasts can help you gauge the topic’s popularity. For example, recap shows like Office Ladies are great podcast topics because they come with a baked-in audience.
03. Unique differentiator
No one is you and that’s your power. What unique vantage point can you offer on your topic? You don’t need to reinvent the wheel, but having an original take on a popular podcast topic will help you stand out and gain more listeners.
True crime podcasts are the best example of this. While My Favorite Murder quickly captivated the genre with its comedic spin, new shows like Very Scary People always find their way to the top of the charts with unique offerings like celebrity hosts or in-depth investigative journalism.
04. Monetization ability
Launching a podcast might begin as a passion project or hobby, but soon you may see glimmers of success—and even a potential for profit. Ensure you pick your podcast topic with monetization options in mind.
Common ways to monetize a podcast are sponsorships, affiliate marketing, paid courses, services, premium content and podcast advertising. For example, if you're a social media guru and your show shares tips and best practices, you can sell a course on social media marketing and even offer paid services to help other companies with their efforts.
When deciding on your podcast name, be extra careful not to corner yourself. Let’s say your podcast name includes the word “taxes” but you also offer other financial advice. You don’t want to miss out on future monetization options from advertisers who offer loans or mortgages.
Podcast topic ideas listeners will love
By analyzing the leading podcast genres, scanning numerous podcast directories such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and finding exploding topics across the web, I’ve narrowed down these categorized ideas for your show.
01. Arts and entertainment
Art, culture and celebrity life has always entertained the public in various forms—and podcasts are just a new format for following these entertaining topics.
If you're an artist, let your creativity shine and your craft transform into words. A podcast about your work can be an excellent way to introduce yourself to new audiences and share your skills. You can even possibly use it as a marketing channel for offering online courses or art sales.
On the other side of the spectrum, if you're a huge pop culture junkie, you'll love gossiping about the latest and hottest news in Hollywood right from your couch. From landing your TV show to possibly getting hired to write for a magazine, covering entertainment can even open doors to media jobs or PR opportunities.
1. Poetry or prose readings, like The New Yorker: Poetry
2. Arts materials, like Real Paint Talks of PSC
3. Photography or filmmaking, like Shutter Stories: A Canon Podcast on Photography, Filmmaking and Print
4. Industry tips, like Voice Acting 101 Podcast
5. Arts education, like MFA Writers
6. Artist interviews, like The ADHD Artist
7. Celebrities, like Life is Short with Justin Long
8. Popular culture, like Who? Weekly
9. Book or film reviews, like The Potterverse: A Harry Potter Podcast
10. Artist tips, like Surviving Art
11. Marvel, like Marvel’s Voices
12. Audio sketch, like Live from the 405
Storytelling is a human instinct that spans generations, dating back to early cave drawings and oral traditions and shaping our culture over time. From bedtime stories to business anecdotes, we have a natural ear for consuming information through audio.
Are you a natural storyteller who enjoys speaking at length? If so, this podcast idea might play to your strengths. Fiction, nonfiction and everything in between is welcome here.
You can draw content from real life events, like funny dating experiences, to create relatable, yet interesting content. Maybe your stories will even lead to publishing or speaking opportunities.
13. Humor, like Dating Funnies - Actual Stories
14. Mystery, like Weird Darkness: Stories of the Paranormal, Supernatural Legends
15. Sleep stories, like Dreamful Bedtime Stories
16. Business, like How I Built This
17. Parenthood, like Responding to Life: Talking Health, Fertility and Parenthood
18. Dating and intimacy, like Girls Gotta Eat
03. True crime
True crime is the third most popular podcast topic, leading the market with an 18% share. Lure this audience in with a niche topic, such as love crimes.
If gruesome crime stories are like music to your ears, this genre might be perfect for you. From true crime to fiction, you can walk listeners through the spookiest cases out there. Once people get hooked with suspense, you can keep them waiting for your new episode releases.
Maybe your show will get turned into the next Netflix original, or the success of your work will lead you to publish a novel. Another route to cash in on, is to grow your fan base and get donations through websites like Patreon or Kickstarter.
19. Murder stories, like True Crime Daily
20. Investigative, like Nightmare in Chowchilla: The School Bus Kidnapping
21. Love crimes, like Crimes of Passion
22. Paranormal, like Ghost Town: Strange History, True Crime, and the Paranormal
This ready-made true crime podcast website template might help you “kill” your online presence.
Whether you play in a band or simply love music, these podcast topics below can incorporate your interests. You may explore music news, updates and the latest changes in a specific genre, or differentiate yourself by going deep into one area like country music or following a band’s life like The Beatles. Both topics already have a solid fan base to tap into.
If you play a musical instrument, share your skills with tips for other players. Maybe you'll land some private music lessons from it or a record deal (aim for the stars). Concert ticket sellers or instrument equipment brands may even want to advertise on your show.
23. Music history, like The Queen Podcast
24. Music criticism, like Your Favorite Band Sucks
25. Craft, like Songwriter Theory
26. Genre or artist specific, like Jazz United
27. Music culture, like Making Ways: The Art of Music
You can display your show on this music podcast website template.
Food podcasts provide listeners with the perfect "bite"-sized information. These podcast topics can vary from recipes to vegetable gardening tips. If you're often in the kitchen cooking already, you might record and document each step in real-time.
While food may be a broad topic, we all need to eat to survive. Just think of a sub-niche within food, like diets such as keto or flexitarian, which have a targeted, but strong following.
When your fan base grows, cookbooks, affiliate deals and chef courses can be excellent podcast monetization options.
28. Dietary lifestyles, like Active Vegetarian
29. Global cuisines, like Pass the Chipotle Podcast
30. Baking, like Modernist BreadCrumbs
31. Gardening, like The Joe Gardener Show
32. Wine, like Wine Talks
33. Wellness and nutrition, like Food Psych
34. Recipes, like Play Me a Recipe
We cooked up this food podcast website template, so you can dish out your great recipes immediately.
06. Businesses and technology
Started a business and ready to share your learnings? Think back on which advice you wish you knew when you began. Business podcasts are amazing for networking, building new professional relationships and exposing your brand.
Your podcast can cover general business topics or your company can have a podcast related to your industry. For instance, Wix started the podcast Now What? to discuss the future of technology, eCommerce and web design. The show highlights ideas and conversations with leaders in the space and brings the industry closer together.
Besides marketing your website or online store, your podcast can also lead to brand deals from sponsors that offer software or solutions to your business listeners. For instance, a sales podcast that coaches reps on how to close more deals might get sponsored by sales enablement tools.
35. Strategy, like Strategy Simplified
36. Leadership, like Women in Leadership Podcast
37. Careers, like Career Chasers
38. Sales, like Sales School with Jordan Belfort
39. Advertising, like Asians in Advertising
40. Entrepreneurship, like Where Are They Now?
41. Economics, like The Economist Podcasts
42. Social media and marketing, like The GaryVee Audio Experience
43. A day in a professional's shoes, like Experience A Day in The Life
44. Teach your profession, like The Teacher Career Coach Podcast
Interested in more podcasts like these? Check out this list of leadership podcasts.
07. Finance and money
We all need money—and often want more of it. You'll have a large audience at your fingertips by starting a podcast about finance tips, investing, and money management.
If you choose one of the podcast ideas within finance, ensure you have strong authority to discuss and advise on such sensitive topics. After all, you want to make sure listeners can trust you with their big financial decisions.
Similar to business podcasts, you can easily partner and advertise for fintech, financial solutions and banking companies. If you want to go solo, offer financial consulting services on your site or offer guides, eBooks and paid email marketing newsletters as bonus paid content.
45. Real estate, like BiggerPockets Real Estate Podcast
46. Investing, like Millennial Investing
47. Stock markets, like Daily Stock Market News
48. Financial tech, like Crypto Banter
49. Retirement, like Ready for Retirement
50. Personal finance, like Listen Money Matters
08. Sports and gaming
Sports podcasts have a 17% share and are the fourth leading topic. The mass of spectators watching the Superbowl, NBA and Olympics show the demand for this category. But which unique angle can you take? Sports fans, gamers and athletes can all add unique perspectives. These days, people truly commit to their favorite players and teams. Break into a niche by covering one player at a micro level, or be a one-stop-shop for the latest updates on sports.
Who knows, maybe a sports team, sporting news channel, or brand will want to become a sponsor. If you’ve accumulated a massive audience of runners, for example, they might want your recommendations on which gear and shoes to shop for—and those brands will want to maintain a solid relationship with your audience.
51. Training, like Runners High With Bala
52. Strategy, like Smart Poker Study
53. Sports culture, like Game Theory
54. Professional leagues, like The Ringer NBA Show
55. Outdoors, like Modern Outdoor Survival
56. Athletes, like Just Women’s Sports
57. Gaming industry trends, The GamesIndustry.biz Podcast
58. Fantasy leagues, like Fantasy Footballers
59. Video games, like What’s Good Games
Check out this sports blog and podcast website template that perfectly combines written and audio content.
09. Fitness, health and wellness
Data from YouGovAmerica suggests that the most popular New Year's resolutions are about self-improvement (living healthier 23%, losing weight 20% and exercising 7%). Sometimes we all need that extra encouragement and a podcast can be that motivating voice in our ears.
If you choose this topic, your workout tips or nutrition guidance can possibly land you private clients. You may just launch a personal training business and even teach virtual classes on your fitness website. Starting a successful YouTube channel to show your workouts can also maximize your talents.
60. Medical conditions and support, like Let’s Talk Bipolar
61. Sleep, like Get Sleepy: Sleep Meditations and Stories
62. Mindfulness, like Mindful In Minutes Meditation
63. Yoga, like Let’s Talk Yoga
64. Fitness fundamentals, like Mind Pump: Raw Fitness Truth
65. Nutrition, like Thinking Nutrition
66. Alternative medicine, like Gutsy Health
We all face different obstacles and your unique lifestyle podcast might just be that life-changing voice someone needs to hear. Whether you're a stylist, relationship guru or simply a parent who knows how to articulate life’s lessons, you can find your niche and monetize it. Maybe you’re a beauty brand and want to sell your own products. If you're advising and podcasting about sensitive issues that people turn to for meaningful guidance, then donations could be a way for others to thank you for your service.
67. Religion, like Daily Jewish Thought
68. Love and marriage, like Modern Love
69. LGBTQIA+, like Coming Out + Beyond
70. Pets, like DogLogical: Making Sense of Your Dog’s Behavior
71. Philosophy, like How to Be a Better Human
72. Travel tips, like Travelogue
73. Wedding planning, like Bridechilla
74. Beauty, like Clean Beauty School
75. Parenting advice, like Talking to Teens
76. Friendship banter, like Q and A
77. Commentary, like Anything Goes with Emma Chamberlain
78. Lifehacks, like Caregiver Lifehacks
79. Hobby, like Seamwork Radio: Sewing Stories
Why are TED talks so successful? You feel you learned a lot in a short period of time. Educational podcasts thrive on a similar motivation. Share your rich insight and authority on your episodes. Is psychology your strong suit? Or is it feminism? Help people invest their time in consuming exciting topics on the go.
If you have not only a unique expertise, but you disseminate factual and reliable information, your credibility can grow a large audience. TED doesn't just let anyone take the stage, and typically the speakers begin with sharing their background.
You can easily repurpose your educational content and monetize your podcast, too. Create a blog with paid ads and affiliate links or premium downloadable eBooks that offer in-depth guides.
80. History, like This Day in History
81. Riddles, like Brain Drop Puzzles
82. Space, like Deep Space Podcast
83. Science, like Science Vs
84. Biographies, like 5 Minute Biographies
85. Society, like How Your World Works
86. Technology, like Invention by iHeartPodcasts
87. Psychology, like Reverse Psychology
88. Trivia, like Crazy Random Cool
89. Languages, like Spanishland School
12. News and politics
Global health, elections, geopolitical conflicts—news is always breaking and listeners naturally want to stay informed.
While many major news outlets have launched their own podcasts, the world still needs nuanced perspectives on hundreds of local, political and international events. Take advantage of your freedom of speech, just ensure you take the topics seriously to avoid spreading misinformation.
News podcast topics will likely lead you to running ads during your show, especially when you’ve grown a large, consistent audience.
90. Local news, like In Search of Portland
91. Global news, like BBC’s Global News Podcast
92. Breaking news, like CNN Breaking News Alerts
93. Debates, like Modern-Day Debate
94. Political commentary, like Political Divide
If you have a few jokes up your sleeve, start a comedy podcast. Comedy is the #1 leading podcast genre—understandable, as laughter is the best medicine.
Podcasters share funny stories that happened to them, interview others, and make amusing commentary on events. In this genre you need excellent improvising skills, so make sure you can think on your feet.
If you dream of an agent discovering you, podcasting can be a way to grow fans. To make money from your show immediately, create a membership website to let fans access your old content.
95. Lifestyle humor, like Kiss and Tel Aviv
96. Stand up comedy, like Midlife Mixtape
97. Pranks, like Phone Pranks with Jubal Fresh
98. Embarrassing moments, like OMG! Stories
This comedian website template comes with a built-in podcast player, so even if people can’t see your stand-up shows, they can at least listen.
14. Kids and family
Kids podcasts can perfectly catch the whole family's attention—grown-ups included. And not just while listening, kids can play an equal part in crafting and launching the podcast. Consider many fun topics in this niche such as jokes, riddles and fairy tale stories.
New kids are born every year—meaning there’s always an audience for your podcast. You may want to target expecting, single, or young parents. Or you can explore a popular children's topic in detail, like animals. Just be mindful of your audience. If you share relatable—but not kid-friendly—parent content, make this clear upfront. Alternatively, if you produce suitable content for all ages, make that obvious, too.
Parents buy a lot for their children, from toys to food and clothes; you'll have plenty of ways to sell merchandise or promote affiliates.
99. Trivia, like But Why: A Podcast for Curious Kids
100. Storytelling, like Car Ride Stories for GIGI Kids
101. Animals, like Kids Animal Stories
102. News for children, like Wow in the World
103. Children’s humor, like Kids telling jokes to kids
104. Disney, like Kid Friendly Disney Fun Facts Podcast