Dear future/ up and coming podcasters, although the podcasting world is not as big as the YouTubing world, the podcasting space is becoming bigger, and the competition is increasing.
The higher the competition is, the more difficult it is for your podcast to be discovered, which is why having content that is creative and unique is so important. So, how can one make a podcast unique?
Many factors could potentially make your podcast unique. Your podcast’s niche, format, production quality, and what you bring to the table for your audience are all a part of that.
If you want to understand what makes something unique ( because many people think they are creative when they are just delivering what everyone else is serving) and read about these factors in more detail, then continue reading this blog post.
How to make a podcast unique?
People often think that capitalizing on something that makes someone else’s work unique is smart. Usually, that uniqueness factor ends up serving the first person to come up with it or popularize it in the long run.
Being unique is not something that one can rip off from someone else, so how does one make their podcast unique? Well, we have to understand what the term unique means.
What does it mean to be unique?
Being unique means doing something that no one else is doing. But can everyone come up with something that has never been done before? Well, here is the thing. If you do just one aspect differently, then you are going to be unique.
Often, companies fail at acknowledging this and end up marketing their services as if they are doing something so unique when everyone who is running a similar business is doing the same thing.
How many toothpastes claim to be the number one recommended toothpaste by dentists?
All of them!
How many pizza restaurants claim that they serve the best pizza?
A lot of pizza places.
So, how can someone make something unique in a world where it seems like everything has already been done before?
It is all about observing what is happening around you, taking bits and pieces from different sources, adding a dash of your personality, and blending all of that together. Let me give you an example of something that is happening all around us right now.
Have you seen how many retellings of fairy tales and tv show reboots have been going on lately? People are taking something that is already popular, and adding their own twist to it, thus making their new work unique.
For example, you might have watched Sabrina the Teenage Witch growing up. It was a beautiful tv show about a witch that focuses on the power of friendship, love, and family. It was very lighthearted, funny, and fluffy.
Netflix’s reboot of the show, on the other hand, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, is very dark compared to the original tv show.
The creators of the show took an idea that has been done before, chose a focal point that could change a lot of the themes of the series, and ended up with a unique take on the adventures that Sabrina is going to experience during her teenage years.
But how can we apply that to podcasts and which features can we tweak to make our podcasts stand out? These are all great questions, so let us talk about the features that can make your podcast shine.
What features can make your podcast stand out?
Unlike movies and tv shows, podcasts have not been around that long. This means that you could probably still find something that has never been done before.
However, let us assume that all of the “New Ideas” are taken, which is something that I do not believe in, you can still make your podcast unique by listening to and understanding what the other podcasts are doing and realizing how can you take that to the next level.
These features include your podcast’s niche, its format, what’s in it for the audience, its production quality, and of course, your personal touch.
What could make your podcast unique?
Today, I am going to talk about five things that could you could tweak to make your podcast unique. Some of them are essential no matter what, like the production quality of your podcast, while the rest are there for you to pick one or two off and work on.
That is why I am saying that coming up with a unique idea is endless; it is because the possible variables and combinations that you can do are as vast as the ever-expanding universe.
The five factors that I am going to discuss today are the following:
- Your podcast’s niche
- What’s in it for your audience
- Your podcast’s format
- Your magical touch
- Your podcast’s production quality
Factor no. one: Your podcast’s niche
Having a very specific niche is going to help your podcast stand out because you are only tackling a specific sub-subject instead of the broader subject. For example, instead of having a podcast about dogs, have a podcast that talks about one particular breed of dogs like the German Shepherd dog.
You can also make your podcast on blind dogs instead of dogs in general. Some people might feel like choosing something too specific is going to make fewer people interested in your podcast, and to a certain extent, that is true.
So, why am I recommending that you pick a niche when it means that fewer people are going to follow you? Because sometimes, less is more.
If you just talk about dogs in general, which is considered to a sub-subject when compared to pets but is not too niched, you will have a passionate following.
However, there is a lot of content in varying forms out there that talk about dogs, so when you pick a narrower niche, you are standing out.
Because people who specifically have blind dogs or German Shepherds are going to subscribe and stick around because they know that every episode your post is going to be specifically tailored for their interest.
Having passionate people following your podcast means that you will have a higher engagement percentage than those with a broader niche who may or may not have more subscribers than you, but not as much of a loyal following.
Some people will have a broader niche and have more success than podcasts that have a specific niche, but they are not a lot in number.
You can find a unique niche in every category, so just observe what is already being presented, think of everything you have ever needed but never found enough people discussing and see if you can make a niche by taking all of that into consideration.
For example, Amy Landino’s Detail Therapy podcast is not your typical self-help podcast. Her motto is to go after the life you want by creating and sticking to routines that work the best for you. She interviews many successful people and asks them about their habits.
There are people on other platforms who talk about what they do in their lives like the “A day in my life/ A day in the life of …” videos and posts.
Amy brings more to the table, though.
Because she does not just talk about her routines and how she is going after the life that she wants, but she interviews successful people who come from different types of backgrounds and hardships and asks them how they overcame that and routines help them stay on track.
So you see, it is not your typical productivity podcast. I will be referencing this podcast a lot during the next few factors that I am going to discuss.
Factor no. two: What’s in it for your audience
This is something that you should keep in mind no matter what. If there is nothing in your podcast that is going to benefit them, whether it is comedy, knowledge, etc., then you are probably not going to get far.
When someone stream or downloads your podcast, they are committing to take at ten to sixty minutes of their time to listen to you. Whether you release a podcast daily, weekly, biweekly, or monthly, that is a lot of time.
So if you are not providing them with something that is valuable to them, then you are wasting their time. Once they realize that, they will stop listening to your podcast and start looking for something else.
That is why you should always make your that your content is providing your audience with something valuable to them.
Focusing on proving the audience with something valuable to them is considered to be unique.
Although it is something that has been done before ( again, just because something was done before in another way, it doesn’t mean that it is not unique), it is not something that all content creators and businesses do.
For example, a bank could claim that they care about their customers, but they don’t offer decent customer services to their clients.
On the other hand, another bank could offer twenty-four hours customer services where a client can talk about their issues with a real human instead of just chatting with a bot online.
So, make it a priority to create good content that is going to bring value to your audience.
Factor no. three: Your podcast’s format
A lot of the podcasts seem to follow the same format, which is having a guest over an interviewing them. However, this is only a small part of a podcast’s format, and you can totally do something unique with it.
Instead of one person interviewing one guest, why not have one or two hosts interview two guests at the same time?
Also, you can interview guests in different ways and introduce segments where your guests participate in games or activities that you come up with. Ellen DeGeneres does that perfectly because she is always coming up with different games that her guests can play.
Usually, the audience learns more about those celebrities through these games. Ellen’s show isn’t all about sitting on a sofa or a chair and just talking to her guests. She comes up with new ways to make the interaction unique for the guest and the viewer.
A lot of people have been doing that lately, but what is exciting is that you can come up with your own game and make it a permanent segment on your show. To be unique, you have to be inspired, which means that you have to copy a little bit of what you observe.
One way that Amy Landino makes her podcast, Detail Therapy, unique and stand out from other self-help podcasts is ( other than her niche) that she always asks her guests that one specific question, which is what is your morning routine.
People who are obsessed with routines will subscribe to her podcast, and people will keep on returning every episode to learn about this successful person’s morning routine because it is difficult for them to get that elsewhere.
It is important to note that Amy discusses other important things with her guests as well, but the “tell me about your morning routine” segment makes her podcast format unique.
A YouTube channel that has an entire series called “In a Day”, where celebrities talk about everything they do in a day in short videos, is Vanity Fair.
They took something that many people are interested in and created a unique video format that has not been done before from a trend that many YouTubers have already done in a not so unique way ( some did, but the majority did not.)
To see what Vanity Fair is doing, here is their first episode of “In a Day” featuring John Cena:
Factor no. four: Your magical touch
A little dash of personality can take you a long way, which is why any podcast can be a little bit unique because there is no other you.
Unfortunately, due to trends, many people tend to lose sight of what makes them different and pursue what is trendy.
An excellent example of this is Emma Chamberlain on YouTube. A lot of people copy a lot of her gestures and activities, but who is the one who dominated YouTube? Emma and not those who just copied what she did.
So, find your voice and figure out what makes you unique and make that a part of your podcast. Maybe your funny, or you speak very eloquently. Whatever it is, figure it out and do not be shy of utilizing your quirks.
It is important to note that personality alone is often not enough to make you stand you because podcasts that are in your same category might have great personalities as well.
One last thing, people might have different personalities, but we mostly share a lot of similarities as well. Many people are funny, friendly, and hard-working so that alone is usually not enough to make your podcast stand out.
Factor no. five: Your podcast’s production quality
Finally, but not least, let us talk about your podcast’s production quality. This factor is a non-negotiable one! Your podcast’s production quality should be very high, no matter what kind of content you are creating.
There was a time where I thought that having unique ideas stump quality, and I was so wrong.
I had a page when I was younger, where I would post my short stories and poetry. People loved my ideas and disliked how I never edited my work. There was a time when I young when I believed that if people like one good thing about your work, they are going to overlook all of the other flaws.
I do not know what world I was living on, but I woke up from that fake reality because quality should never be overlooked because of creativity or uniqueness.
So, whether it is the quality of your podcast’s audio or the quality of the content itself, do not slack on those things.
I will be going into more detail about this topic in the upcoming section of this blog post, so continue reading.
How to enhance your podcast’s production quality
I am going to talk about three of the most important things that you should work on to improve your podcast’s production quality.
Like I have mentioned previously, If you have a unique idea that you can implement in your podcast, but your podcast’s production quality sucks, then all of the uniqueness in the world is not going to matter.
The three factors that I am going to talk about today are the following:
- Prepping for your podcast’s episodes
- Having good audio, so you should use a good microphone
- Editing your episodes, so you can remove and rearrange certain audio clips to boost your audience’s engagement.
Prep for your episodes
Prepping your episode means researching, outline, and discussing your episode ideas with your host before you hit the record button. Is that a lot of work? Yes. Does it improve the quality of your podcast production, absolutely!
Now, do not worry. You do not have to write down your script down word for word. That is only one way of preparing a script for your podcast. There are other ways, as well. The most popular scripting writing methods are:
- Writing the script word for word
- Mind mapping your podcast’s episode
- Outlining your podcast’s episode.
In this post, I will only discuss my favorite method, which is mind-mapping. However, if you are interested in learning about the three different methods of writing a script, make sure you read my How to Write A Podcast Script blog post, where I explain each technique in detail.
Let us talk about mind mapping!
Mind maps are great for people who have more of a visual memory. It is a great brainstorming and outlining method for creative people because it allows people to create and draw visually structured diagrams.
These visually structured diagrams will help people recall the points that they want to discuss and allow them to analyze the ideas that they have outlined via mind mapping very efficiently.
Have good audio
To make sure that your podcast’s audio is good, stay away from using your phone’s built-in microphone and purchase a microphone.
A great and affordable audio by using a USB microphone. Depending on what kind of phone you are using ( iPhone or Android), which iPhone you have, or if you are using your laptop, you are going to need some accessories to make the USB microphone work.
A good USB microphone that you can purchase is the Samson Go Mic Portable USB Condenser Microphone. This USB microphone will enable you to have good audio quality. It is also very affordable because it costs about thirty dollars ( $ 30).
If you will record your podcast using your laptop, then all you have to do is connect the Microphone’s Cable to the microphone on one end and to the laptop’s USB port on the other end.
If you have an android, then you are going to need an OTG cable. This cable will enable you to connect the USB microphone to your phone.
If this sounds confusing, think about it this way. In this setup, we have four different pieces: A, B, C, and D.
- A= Your Android phone
- B= The OTG cable.
- C= The USB Microphone
- D= The cable of the USB Microphone
- You will plug B into A ( the part of the OTG cable the fits into the charging port of your Android.)
- Then, you will plug D into C ( Insert one side of the cable of the microphone into the microphone.)
- Finally, connect the USB side of D into B ( the USB side of the microphone’s cable into the port that is on the other side of the OTG cable.
If you are using one of the recently released iPhones ( the past couple of years), then the accessory that you are going to need is the Lightning to USB adapter, which you can get from Amazon for about thirty dollars ( $30).
To set up your recording space, follow the exact same steps that I have mentioned when I talked about using an android. In this case, the letters A, B, C, and D represent the following:
- A= Your iPhone
- B= The Lightning to USB adapter
- C= The USB Microphone
- D= The cable of the USB Microphone
Edit your podcast
Uploading your podcast just as it is is very unprofessional.
Not only are wasting your listener’s time with all the awkward or prolonged silence that often occurs while recording a podcast, but you are also sabotaging your audience’s experiences with all of the “Ahh’s” and “Umm’s” that are your audio.
Editing your podcast will improve the production quality of your podcast because you will be able to edit out the stuttering, the sneezing, and anything else from your audio before you upload it.
It will also allow you to add some tunes and sound effects to your podcast, which is going to elevate your audience’s experiences.
Free editing apps that you can use are:
- Audacity if you are editing your laptop/ MacBook.
- GarageBand if you are editing your iPhone/ MacBook/ iPad.
- Spreaker Studio if you are using Windows, Mac, iOS, or Android
- BandLab app if you are editing on your Android phone.
To learn about the seven podcasting best practices, make sure you read my 7 Podcasting Best Practices blog post.
How to write an effective introduction/ opening for your podcast?
Though some people believe that writing an effective intro or opening for your podcast is a difficult thing to do, it really is not. You just have to keep brief, simple, and to the point. Things that should be included in every intro is introducing your self and the host, explaining what this podcast is about, and mentioning briefly what the episode is going to about.
How many podcast episodes should be released per month?
There is not one podcast schedule formula that is considered to be the only correct answer. It all depends on your schedule and the length of your episodes. If they are very short ( five to ten minutes), then you publish a new episode daily or every other day.
If your content is longer than fifteen minutes ( thirty minutes, one hour long), then you can have a new episode weekly, biweekly, or monthly. All that matters is that you stay consistent.
How to promote your podcast?
You can promote your podcast in a variety of ways. One way is to pay for ad slots on podcasts that are in a similar podcasting category as you. Also, you can implement Pat Flynn’s Ninja podcast marketing strategy. Another way is to create an email list so you can easily contact your audience.
To learn more about these promotional methods, make sure you read my How to Promote Your Podcast blog post.
Can my podcast appear in Google’s search results?
Google is making audio content a first-class citizen on Google’s search results page, also known as SERP. If you search for your favorite podcast, you will notice on the first page of results a horizontally scrollable area explicitly designated for podcasts. Thanks to Google Podcasts, you can now listen to your favorite podcast on Google’s search results page (SERP)
To learn why and how your podcast can be featured on the first page of Google’s search results, then check out my Can My Podcast Appear in Google’s Search Results blog post.
That’s it for today’s post. You should now know what you can do to make your podcast stand out. You also know how to recognize what is considered to be a unique way of presenting information or a unique selling proposition (USP) and what is just fancy bluff.
If you have any questions related to how to make your podcast unique, then feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- HOW TO MAKE YOUR PODCAST UNIQUE: WHAT’S YOUR USP?
- How to make your podcast stand out
- How to make your podcast stand out in a crowded market
- Podcasting Best Practices – The Study
- Podcasting Best Practices
Till next time,