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The Indie Podcaster with Kieran MacRae

How to Make Your Podcast Stand Out With a UPA

Published 4 months ago • 4 min read

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Hey Reader! We've had 4 days of sunshine in a row here in Scotland. And it's not even spring! I'm surprised I haven't got sunburned already. Feel a bit like Gollum crawling out of this winter...


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How to Make Your Podcast Stand Out With a UPA

Today, I’m going to teach you how to make your podcast stand out from the crowd.

We’re going to create your UPA - Unique Podcast angle.

Standing out in the crowd of podcasts is a difficult task, especially if you cover a popular topic. You need to carve out a space for yourself that lets people know exactly why they should listen.

How do you do that?

By creating your Unique Podcast Angle.

Now, let's dive in.

What is a UPA

You can offer something no one else can.
Some part of your experience, background, personality, skills, or production will be unique compared to all the other podcasts.

That something is your unique podcast angle. Once you find it, you can use it to sell your podcast. Use it in all your bios and introductions, and people will have a clear reason to listen to you over someone else.

Here’s how we did it for Generally Spooky History.

How a UPA made Generally Spooky History Stand out

When my wife and I started a spooky Scottish history podcast, we thought we’d be the only ones.

We were wrong. There are more than 10 Scottish history podcasts currently active, and 3-5 of them deal with spooky Scottish history…

We were frustrated, angry, and annoyed. We’d get bitter every time another podcast covered a topic we’d already done. (like an episode on the Loch Ness Monster was some sort of revolutionary idea lol)

And to be honest, it was taking the fun out of it. We pushed on for around 20 episodes, just trying to do our thing. Then we realized we needed a UPA

Our episodes were gradually getting longer and longer as my wife threw herself deeper into research. We looked around and realized that the other podcasts in our space were creating sub-1-hour episodes. Ours were typically 2-3 hours.

That was our Unique Podcasting Angle. We would do the deep dive.

Suddenly the other podcasts weren’t competition. They were doing it differently. If you want the deep dive, stick with us. If you want a more brief overview, try somewhere else.

We had found our place to stand in the crowd.

How to find your UPA

There are so many things that can make you unique. The three most obvious are being the first/only, being the longest, being the shortest

Go check out Fiery Discourse on X. “The only podcast on the internet dedicated to dragonesses, female dinosaurs and other similar saurians!”

That’s a unique angle.

Then you have my podcast, where our episode about the Battle of Culloden lasted three and a half hours. We’re the longest.

And you have one-minute podcast tips which… Well, you can work it out.

Of course, it’s a race to madness if everyone tries to be the shortest. 30 second podcast tips? 10 second podcast tips? All the way down to a 1-second podcast tip where someone shouts “MARKETING” and the podcast ends.

Three places to look for your UPA

  • Your expertise. Do you bring background knowledge and experience that most people don’t have? Show it off.
  • Feedback from listeners. What do people say they like about your show? Don’t be afraid to ask.
  • Analytics. What episodes do people enjoy the most? Is there a common theme that you could double down on?

I can’t tell you what your UPA will be because it’s unique to you. Take some time to consider where your show stands compared to the others.

Here are a few more ideas to consider.

• Most honest

• Most detailed

• Most in-depth

• Most genuine

• Most passionate

• Most enthusiastic

• Most controversial

• Most knowledgeable

Common Mistakes

Not delivering - Use your UPA as a promise to your listeners. Here’s what I do, and here’s what you’ll get. Don’t break that promise.

Choosing what you think you should do - Please don’t rush out and pick a UPA at random because “Kieran said I needed one!” Think about what you can offer and what lights you up.

Worrying about it before you start - Don’t let analysis paralysis win the day. You don’t need your UPA crafted from day 1. Learn what you love doing by starting and then refine over time.

Mull it Over

A clear definition of what you do and who it’s for will make all your marketing efforts easier. It will help you avoid feeling like there’s competition everywhere you turn and make you more confident that you’re offering something of value.

Good luck, take your time, and craft your UPA. It’s worth it.


Community Wins

Congrats on Petals of Support for reaching 200 episodes
Amazing work from Under The Apron Podcast who reached 10,000 downloads
And a warm welcome to the Indie Podcast Community for I Can't Believe You Asked That Podcast! who have their first 25 downloads!

If you have a win you want to share, hit reply.


How I Can Help You

1) I can add you to my best podcast lists. These lists are always so closed off so I wanted to change that. anyone is welcome, and it's a vote to decide the order. Hit reply saying what category your podcast fits into, and if you don't see the right category then please suggest one.

2) Recommended Tools. These are the tools I use to grow my podcast. I focus on tools that improve quality and save time.

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