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Why should I niche my podcast?

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I haven’t talked about this for a while, but the question “why should I niche my podcast” was brought to mind when, just this morning, a podcast was shared with me that was about “computer technology, ancient Greek literature, and above ground pools.” That wasn’t really what it was about, but it was about three things just as disconnected as those and I’m just trying not to call that podcast out specifically because they’re new and still learning.

The internet is actually difficult to navigate

The internet is full of information, and people are limited in how they’re able to sort through all that information in order to find the information they actually want. They’ve got search engines, they’ve got discovery algorithms, and that’s all they’ve got. You open up a web browser and you search, or you open up an app and you search, or you open up an app or log into a website and algorithms present suggestions to you… this is the primitive way we navigate the web.

Search engines strive to return the most relevant results for a search query, while discovery algorithms work to present you with content that your past behavior suggests you’ll be inclined to like. Both discovery algorithms and search engines strive to categorize and organize content as accurately a possible so when either of them serve a result/suggestion to a user, there’s a high possibility that result is relevant.

It is important that both search engines and discovery algorithms have a solid understanding of what your content actually is.

So then, one answer to the question, “Why should I niche my podcast” is: so search engines and discovery algorithms don’t get confused

If a user pulls up Google and searches for, “Podcasts about ancient Greek literature”, all podcast websites about ancient Greek literature are in the running to appear on the first SERP (Search Engine Results Page).

Google then has to sort through those results to determine relevancy. If your podcast website has content on it which is related to Greek literature, you’ll rank high; maybe even on the first page (it’s not that easy, I’m simplifying it). But if your podcast website has content on it which is related to Greek literature, and content which is related to computer technology, and content which is related to above ground pools, Google is going to use that information to guess that your podcast website is far less relevant to the search query than the first few dozen which contain content related only to Greek literature.

A black and white photo of pages from a book written in Greek. Accompanying the article "Why should I niche my podcast?"

Another answer to the question, “Why should I niche my podcast?” is: because it makes targeting your audience easier.

You’ve probably heard the saying “if your customer is everyone, you won’t be able to sell to anyone” and, if you haven’t, now you have.

Imagine you create an ad campaign and your ad manager asks you, “who would you like to target with this ad campaign?” and you said “Women over 50!” Your ad is going to be shown to as many people as possible who match that criteria. If you’re budget is $1000, you might reach 100,000 women over 50. But, in the United States, there are ~60M women over 50. Do you just want to target a random 100,000 of them? Probably not.

Imagine the same scenario but, this time, in answer to your ad manager’s question, you respond, “I’d like to target women between the ages of 50 and 65 who have been divorced, do not have children, and have shown an interest in yoga or meditation.”

Now, instead of a random 100,000 women over 50, your ad is going to target only women who meet all of those parameters.

Which do you think is more useful?

If you niche who you are creating for, you will necessarily niche your content.

You might be saying, “But I’m not going to run ads!” and that’s fine, you don’t need to run paid ads for this to be important. If you are creating for women over 50 who have been divorced, do not have children, and have shown and interest in yoga or meditation, that means all of your content is going to reflect that. If that’s who you target, that will be reflected in the podcast audio, in the episode show notes, in the transcripts, in the branding, in the social engagement, and in the blog posts and articles.

From a niched creation standpoint, everything else will fall into place as it should.

So, “Why should I niche my podcast?”… because it’s integral to your success in the long term.

Header photo by Silvan Arnet on Unsplash

Inline photo by Michal Matlon on Unsplash

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