A lot of people feel late to the game or feel like maybe their idea has been done before. So what? I'm holding the door open for you, get in here.
Here are some ways people question themselves on whether they should start or not.
But Is My Idea For a Podcast Good Enough?
The idea is never the important part of what makes a good podcast. It always comes down to execution. For a while my favorite podcast was a show about how people lost track of something and then decided to finish it. This is absolutely not a show that sounds interesting to me at all. But the narration and the stories were so compelling that after I got into it I devoured it like a fiend. Focus on your craft of being a great entertainer/educator/journalist/whatever and it doesn't matter what your idea is, if you're good, people will like you.
But There's Already a Podcast That Does What I Wanted To Do
Yeah, so what? They don't have the world perspective you have. They like different art than you. They have different opinions than you. Even your identical twin is different than you. What you bring is you, and you're unique. Trust me.
When I first started I got 4 episodes into my show and discovered Reply All. A massively successful show which literally covered the same stories I had just written down the day before. I felt sunk. I created a podcast that I thought was missing in the world. But here's a show doing exactly what I had envisioned. I quit podcasting, and listened to their show. And after I made it through 10 of their episodes, I realized, it's not exactly how I would have done it. I would have had an entirely different way of presenting some stuff. And my perspective and opinions weren't seen at all in other episodes. So I picked the mic back up and got back at it. And I'm so glad I did. Despite their show covering similar topics as me, we are different enough that we can both be big popular shows. And people appreciate each of our shows for different reasons. The high tide raises all ships. And the tide just keeps rising in podcast world.
I'm Afraid My Idea is Too Saturated Already With Podcasts
Hahaha. No. As human beings, we crave new. We want to know what's up and coming, the next best thing. And we gravitate towards it. There are enough songs, movies, books, video games, and podcasts to keep you entertained for your entire life. We don't need a single new piece of art to be continually satisfied. Yet for some reason it's the new stuff that holds our attention and we quickly lose track of old stuff. This is just the nature of being human.
Look at it with the lens of how the world is changing every second of every day. There are new sports games played every day. There are new movies coming out. New music coming out. New news! And we like hearing about it and talking about it. There will never be a time in the future where we say "that's enough music" and everyone stops making new music. Art is constantly evolving and podcasts are art. Our culture will never progress to where we are all done talking about politics or culture. It doesn't matter if there's a million podcasts already on your topic, when something new happens in the world everyone has a chance to talk about it.
If you're wondering what's the most crowded category in podcasts, Pacific Content did some research on this. The most crowded category in 2020 was Religion & Spirituality, and in 2021 its education. In 2021, True Crime was the absolute least crowded category despite many people who think it's overcrowded. Yet still when you break down these categories like this it's no where close to the number of blogs or YouTube channels on the same topic. We've got a long way to go and there's no peak in sight.
I'm Afraid I'm Not Good Enough
Yeah well maybe. But if you wait until you're good enough to start, you started too late. The best way to practice is to do it in front of an audience, and to put yourself on a schedule and stick with it. 75% of all podcasts are inactive. 63% of all podcasts don't make it past 10 episodes. Source: podcastindustryinsights.com. People get in, expect something else, and then jump out when it doesn't happen. They don't understand the concept of planting seeds in the spring and harvesting them in the fall. They don't understand that this takes practice to get good. Either that or they don't have a commitment to what they are doing. If you can make 20 episodes in a year, you'll be 1000x better than when you had made 0. The only way to get good is to get in and keep at it.
It's ok to suck starting out. Everyone sucks starting out. But it's worth being dragged through the mud to get there. Because podcasting can change your life. It can be your new career, it can propel you to new places. It can open opportunities you would never ever ever come close to having if you didn't try. So jump on in, and get used to the water.
If you want to start podcasting but not sure where to start, check out my article How to Start a Podcast. A step-by-step guide.
Careful of your expectations when getting in though. You might think there's some kind of pie in there waiting for you to eat it. But you really have to bake the pie yourself, before you can eat it.