Crafting ideas for your podcast can be quite fun, but making your podcast content more listener-driven will take some hard work and dedication. Creating content that is specifc to your listener is one of the best ways to grow your show and attract long-time listeners.

In order to shape your content around your listeners, take time out of your busy schedule to not only focus your podcast, on the guests, or the topics you enjoy but also focus on everything that will allow listeners to be more involved in your decision-making process.

Each of these 5 steps contains important factors you can use to help simplify the process of creating listener-driven content and expand your audience reach.

1.  Establish Your Expertise

Your Podcast Topics: When using your podcast as a platform, this is the place where you share your knowledge with those tuning in. Talking about topics that you are well-versed in or sharing new research in the area will help to establish you as an expert in the field. New listeners can immediately tell, simply by looking through previous episode titles, what they can learn from you. Once you’ve established your expertise, it is important to then listen to what your subscribers specifically want to hear. From there, dive into the topics that you feel suit your brand the best and that you are passionate about while answering direct listener questions all at the same time.

Blog Posts and Other Content Platforms: Just as your podcast is a platform to establish your expertise, so too are your blog posts and social media channels. When listeners read your blog and see your expert tips and tricks, this will draw them in wanting to learn more. Again, using comments and feedback from these blog posts or helpful tips you share on social media can help guide the topics on your podcast. Providing these readers with in-depth conversations on your podcast about the topics they are interested in is a great way to increase engagement and draw more ears to your show. Other platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook are great places to market your podcast and explain to your current and potential listeners what you’re all about. The informal nature of social media allows your listeners to interact with you more, and any discussion that erupts is a great topic to pursue further on your podcast.

Live Stream or Masterclass: Offering your listeners a look into your life through live streams will help them relate to you and become as passionate about the topics as you are. On live streams, you are able to ask your audience direct questions or simply answer the ones that are popping up. This will broaden your reach, and you can use the live streams to share your knowledge and show potential listeners why it is worth their time to tune in. Offering a masterclass is another way to assert your leadership and help others get to the answers you are able to provide. Whether it’s helping someone start a business or giving them the best techniques to grow succulents, a mastermind provides intimacy and allows you to better connect with loyal listeners to the show. From these masterclasses, there are often case studies that result, which create pieces of content to then repurposes for the podcast.

Related read: 7 Reasons Why Your Podcast Needs A Website

2. Ramp Up Your Social Media Presence

Establish Your Podcast Niche: Using your social media to establish your podcast niche is a great way to outline to new potential listeners whether or not they will be interested in your podcast. This doesn’t mean shutting some people out, it just means that listeners will be able to define what your podcast is all about quite easily. Focusing on an area of topics that are specific to your expertise is key, especially since there are so many podcasts out there today, so niching down will set your podcast apart from the rest. Social media is a great place to get more specific and draw listeners to the podcast after you’ve caught their interest with soemthing you’ve shared.

Related read: 18 Social Media Tips To Grow Your Podcast

Invite Listeners Engagement in Topics: As discussed, there’s no better way to create listener-driven content than simply asking for it! Using Social Media Platforms to ask listeners for their opinions about the topics you have done in the past and the topics they would like to hear in the future will allow them to feel more involved and committed to your show. It will also be easier to choose a topic you know your listeners are interested in, and really give them valuable content. Don’t forget to add a call to action; whether on social media or the podcast itself, remind your listeners to get connected and invest in the discussions, which is ultimately the content that you create.

Extend Your Reach Beyond The Podcast: It is always important to consider the other avenues available to you for producing content. Having a podcast is great, but extending your reach beyond the podcast will prove to be even better. As we discussed earlier, creating a blog for yourself or just increasing your social media presence will give your listeners another outlet and place to connect with you. You don’t even have to use your social media presence to point to the podcast. Simply use it to grow your audience and build another level of connection with them. Every interaction is a potential for new content, to answer yet another specific question for your audience.

Related read: 7 Tips to Market Your Podcast on Instagram

3. Build Your Podcast Community

Bring Listeners Together: There’s nothing quite as powerful for growing your podcast as a strong community to back it. People love to come together, to talk to others who share something in common. Your discussions on your podcast will have an impact on your listeners, so giving them a place to voice their opinions with like-minded people is an absolute must! These groups can be online communities such as private Facebook groups. You can even go as far as organizing a live event, a place to share more knowledge and get together with your audience in person. From these events, you can garner a ton of great content pieces to then share with those listeners who were unable to attend.

Allow For Spontaneous Discussion: Although following a script seems safe and easy, it isn’t always the best thing. Allowing spontaneous discussion feels more real and less rehearsed. The spontaneous discussions will show the passion in your voice more than a rehearsed set will. This rings true, whether it’s on your podcast or in a live stream session. This is also crucial when it comes to your podcast community. In your group where listeners gather together, create a space where spontaneous discussions can emerge and use those conversations as a guideline for future podcast content.

See What Their Needs and Questions Are: After each episode read all the comments and reply to the ones with questions. This includes checking the discussions on your social media platforms. Showing your listeners that you care about what they say and taking their needs into consideration will allow you to gain more loyal subscribers. Again, this type of interaction and engagement with listeners builds community, not only between audience members but also with you, the podcast host. This connection is invaluable and will allow you to be more specific when tailoring your content to meet listener needs and answer their burning questions.

Related read: 7 Strategies for Building a Strong Podcast Community

4. Ask For Listeners Feedback

Get FeedBack On Previous Episodes: It might seem like this point has already been overly stressed, but again, asking for feedback is the only way to grow, improve, and move beyond what you have been doing. A great way to capture what your audience thinks is to send out surveys or even just a quick short email to get feedback on your previous episodes. Remember to always have a call to action, on both social and on your podcast, to remind listeners to engage with the content you put out.

Ask Listeners For Ideas: Using your Social media platforms or your podcasts to ask listeners what it is they would like to hear next is a great way to find new and exciting topics you might not have thought of. It helps you to start thinking outside of the box and expands the perspective that you have (even if it is your topic of expertise!). Your audience will look at a topic in a completely different way, which is a great source of new inspiration for content. Plus, your listeners will enjoy the process of hearing their topics go live on a podcast episode! So get asking and see what comes out of it all.

Switch Up Your Content Template: As mentioned, creating interesting content for your podcast is very important. However, sometimes it can become a struggle to come up with new ideas especially if you’ve already discussed so many topics. This is where a switch up in your content template comes in to play. If you’ve always done your podcast a certain way without ever changing it up, it is a good idea to ask listeners what part of the episodes they actually truly enjoy. Of course, you don’t have to throw everything out the door, but it could be a fun tactic to find new ways to structure your podcast episodes to make it more exciting for those long-time listeners and new ears just tuning in.

Related read: How To Revamp Your Podcast for the New Year

5. Invite Listeners Contribution

Introduce a Platform Where Listeners Submit Their Questions: Now that you’ve got all that incredible feedback from the listeners, and you’ve found some ways to switch things up, what about introducing a Q&A segment in your show? Introducing a platform where listeners can submit their questions to be answered on the show is a great way to generate tons of content for these types of episodes.

Create a Flow of Podcast Content: Your podcast content shouldn’t stop with the podcast itself. Use these listener Q&A episodes to create email newsletters to reach even more of your audience and share these answers with them as well. You can also create PDF downloads or short eBooks to summarize important listener-driven topics and share them with new audience members.

Have Listeners on as Guests: Finally, another way to produce that incredible listener-driven content is by actually having listeners on your show as guests. This is a great way to not only gain more listeners but to also build that strong community full of loyal subscribers. Haven’t you ever wanted to be a guest on your favorite show? Well, now you are giving your listeners the chance to experience what happens behind the scenes and help you to create those incredible podcast episodes!

Related read: How to Use Your Email Newsletter to Grow Your Podcast