4 MIN READ • Attraction

Content Fractals: How to Make Your Podcast Stand Out By Zooming In

The secret to going big with your podcast often starts by aiming smaller and looking closer than anyone else is willing to.
By Jeremy Enns

By Jeremy Enns

By Jeremy Enns

I don’t talk about it here much, but I’ve spent the last 8 years traveling full-time.

When I first started traveling, I approached it the same way many people do:

Each country was a line item on a checklist and I wanted to check off as many of them as possible.

And so I’d spend anywhere from a few days to a few weeks in a country, seeing one or two major cities or attractions, and then move on to the next one.

In one sense, this approach allowed me to see a lot of the world.

But it didn’t allow me to see much of any one country.

If I had had one of those scratch-off maps at the time, I would have fully scratched off each country I visited—border to border—without hesitation as soon as I departed.

Looking at that map, you would have the distinct impression that I had visited half the world’s land mass.

But that map would be a lie.

A more accurate depiction would have been to scratch off only the cities and locations I had actually spent time in.

On that map—a truer representation of my travels—it would be clear that I’d visited—for all intents and purposes—zero percent of the world’s land mass.

This distinction was made clear by a recurring conversation I had in every place I went.

I would get talking with someone—sometimes a traveler, sometimes a local—and they would excitedly tell me about a specific city, town, or region I needed visit before leaving.

None of these recommendations were places I had ever heard of.

And with my onward travel plans typically already set, I missed out on most of them.

But for the ones I did visit, a strange thing happened.

The conversation repeated.

Having traveled to a region, people would then ask if I was going to a specific town, or doing a specific hike, or seeing a certain landmark.

Within a town, people would ask if I was going to a specific restaurant, or museum, or attraction.

The lesson that stuck with me was this:

The more you shrink your field of view, the more you find there is to be interested in within its bounds.

The same phenomenon applies precisely to podcasting.

I call it Content Fractalization.

Thinking of your show as a series of Content Fractals is a surefire way to drastically sharpen your shows hook, improve listener retention, and create better outcomes for your listeners.

Here’s how to apply the concept to your show.

Most podcasts default to taking a broad approach to their topic with their content strategy.

A typical show about podcasting, for example, might cover a wide variety of topic categories including:

  • Recording & Audio Production
  • Marketing & Growth
  • Monetization Strategies
  • Podcast Systems & Workflows
  • Interview Technique
  • Content Ideation and Creation
  • And more

Within each of those topic categories, a host might cover a wide variety of subtopics.

And in each episode, the host might ask a wide variety of questions related to that topic.

Most hosts think that this approach allows them to create a one-stop shop where a potential listener—in this case, a podcaster—can get everything they need to create and grow their show.

But there’s a problem with this broad approach to content strategy.

Much like the scratch-off map, by dedicating episodes to a broad variety of topics related to your niche, it’s easy to fool yourself into thinking you’ve covered a significant amount of the available terrain.

In reality, however, you barely scratched the surface.

The result is this:

Instead of a show containing everything a listener needs to know to be successful, you’ve created a show that actively inhibits listeners from getting results.


Because you haven’t gone deep enough into any one of the topics you’ve covered to deliver the minimum effective dose of useful content for your listeners.

This is the default approach for most podcast creators, especially those with interview shows that are intended to educate their listeners on a topic.

And it’s a dead end.

It’s not differentiated.

It’s not defensible.

And to be frank… it’s not interesting.

The good news is the seeds of an infinitely more interesting, useful, fulfilling show are likely hiding as fractals within your existing show.

You just need to zoom in to find them.

Much like travel, each topic within your niche offers a rich opportunity to zoom in and explore.

Apply a microscope to your content and it quickly becomes clear that there’s a lot more to each topic than you had initially realized… and that they’re a lot more interesting.

Interesting enough, perhaps, to zoom in, explore further, and open up a whole swath of fresh, fertile… and often entirely untouched terrain.

This is where the Content Fractals reveal themselves.

In my experience, most topics interesting enough to do a single episode on have the potential to build an entire show around.

Let’s go back to our example of a generic show about podcast and apply the microscope.

Zoom in one layer and we can immediately see the potential for a number of more specific, interesting, and useful shows.

  • A show dedicated 100% to podcast marketing.
  • Or 100% to monetization.
  • Or 100% to interview strategy.
  • Or 100% to podcast production.

Any of these shows are much more desirable to anyone wanting to up their game in that area.

But we can go deeper, to find a second layer of Content Fractals within each of the first.

  • Within marketing, a show 100% focused on using social media for podcasting.
  • Within monetization, a show 100% focused on landing 5-figure sponsorships
  • Within interview strategy, a show 100% focused on dissecting the first question of great interviews (someone please make this show).
  • Within podcast production, a show 100% on the use of music in podcasting (I also want to listen to this).

As you can see, the more you zoom in, the more you realize there is to say and explore about each topic.

What’s more, the deeper we go into the fractals, the sharper the hook of each show idea becomes, and the more likely it is to grab a listener’s attention and reel them in.

We can view individual episodes through the lens of Content Fractilization as well.

One of the most common pieces of feedback I give when doing podcast audits is that one single question in an interview should have been the basis of the entire episode.

As with an episode topic, any question worth dedicating 5 minutes to is probably worth dedicating 50.

Perhaps 500.

Or 5,000.

Or an entire career.

Look close enough at anything and you’ll discover an untouched world, rich in nuance, intrigue, and fascination waiting to be discovered and explored.

All you need to do is zoom in.

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