Day 5: Create a Focus List for Your Podcast [How-To]

This is part of the 31 Days to Better Podcasting series by How to Record Podcasts. Find out more and get on the list

Do you watch American Pickers? I do. One thing I notice is that Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz (from American Pickers – History Channel) do is hand each client a piece of paper. On that piece of paper is the things they look for as pickers. We also know that Mike is a bike fanatic and Frank loves old oil cans.

American Pickers Have a list. You Should too

American Pickers Have a list. You Should too

If you want to find out information about old bikes and oil cans – along with other antiques – you would go to American Pickers. Therefore, if people want to know about subjects YOU know best, they might come to you.

Focus your Podcast

I have talked to many on the focus of their podcasts. Day in Tech History (for example) is the focus of tech history, with a little bit of science, space and geek history blended in. The ratio is easily 75 (tech) / 8.5 / 8.5 /8.5%. I know people that listen to my show are historians and IT pros.

Geek Smack! is a little harder to focus on. It’s 60% Tech news, 35% geek news and 5% other. That might be entertainment news or anything that would interest my audience.

Focus on your Focus in the Podcast

Taking it one step further I had to figure out what Tech news I would be talking about. At one time I was all over the board. I talked about every and any piece of tech news I could get. As the years progressed I focused it better.

Now I try to blend in about 75% of tech news to consumer gadgets and 10-25% in Enterprise news. I used to add government news but somehow strayed from it. Probably because I am not a government tech anymore.

Create a Focus List

Create a Focus List

3 Tier List to Focus Your Podcast

Start with your main topic. If you are doing a tech podcast, then the main topic is Technology. List 4-5 subsections (if you can) – Windows, Mac, Gadgets, Linux, Enterprise. Extra points if you break those down my percentages.

From those 4-5 sub-topics, make 2-3 more tertiary topics. for example, with Windows you could put down Computers with windows, Steve Ballmer announcements and critical updates. If the articles are about XBox (for example) you can decide if that fits your Microsoft criteria.

Poll the audience on Topics to alter the Focus List

If you get more feedback on Windows Updates than XBox, then change the ratio or get rid of XBox stories altogether. If you talk about Microsoft and your audience says “What about XBox”, then start putting more in.

Don’t be surprised if your focuses change. After all – 5 years ago the tech news was either Microsoft or Apple. Now it’s Apple or Android with less Microsoft. Go back and look at the list every few months to see if you are on the right track.

Keep on your focus list and your audience will know what you talk about. Those interested will consume more. There will be cross-over which is OK to talk about. Remember the focus of your show and keep true. After all, Mike and Frankie do buy other things than oil cans and bikes.

Create a Focus List for your Podcast

Create a Focus List for your Podcast

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