“What’s in a name?” Shakespeare’s Juliet would have us believe not much. However, when it comes to podcasting, that is definitely not the case. The name of your podcast matters a great deal. It is one of the first conventions used to identify your show. It’s what others will use to tell their friends and family about you, and it’s what potential listeners will use to search for you. With so much riding on your name alone, the question is, how to go about finding the right name for your podcast?
We’ve compiled some key points you should consider when looking for the right name for your podcast. Follow these, and you’ll conquer the name game and ensure that your podcast name helps you stand out from the crowd.
Consider Your Podcast
Finding the right name for your podcast begins with a thorough understanding of your show and its audience. Answering some fundamental questions about your podcast at this stage is the basis of finding that all-important name. Your answers will then guide your brainstorming and idea generation process as ideally, there should be a strong connection between the content of your podcast and its name.
Start by answering the following questions:
1. What Is Your Podcast Niche?
The answer to this question should focus on your topic. Understanding your niche and the role of your podcast within that niche will help you zero in on what your name needs to communicate to your potential listeners. If your show focuses on learning to live waste-free, for instance, your eventual podcast name should communicate this. At its heart, a good podcast name is one that accurately reflects what your topic is about.
Related reads: 8 Strategies to Build Authority in Your Podcast Niche
2. Who Is Your Audience?
Consider such things as the general age of your listener. Will they be Baby Boomers, Gen X, or Millennials, for example? What industry or profession are they likely to be involved in? The answers to these questions will help you focus on who your podcast name needs to appeal to. People of a similar age or in a similar age of life are likely to have had many shared experiences. These experiences can be leveraged in your hunt for your podcast name. As an example, a podcast called Tear Down That Wall could focus on overcoming the challenges and obstacles of starting over in your 50s. People in their 50s now would understand the reference to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1991 and the challenging but ultimately positive outcome that occurred as a result. Understanding your audience and what references may appeal to them could provide a plethora of potentially great podcast names.
3. What Is The Focus and Tone of Your Podcast?
A great podcast name should also capture the focus and tone of your podcast. If your podcast is a serious, academic discussion on a topic, a tongue-in-cheek or a play-on-words title would not capture the tone correctly. The name may even deter potential listeners from ever choosing your show in the first place, as they may perceive, from the tone of the name, that your show is not the no-frills discussion they are after. When in reality, that is exactly what your podcast offers! No matter how clever a name may seem, if it does not capture the tone of your podcast, a new idea must be found. You don’t want your seemingly super cool and clever name to mislead and consequently frustrate your listeners.
As soon as these fundamental questions have been answered, you’re ready to start brainstorming potential podcast names. This brainstorming should take place over the course of a number of days, rather than just in one sitting. You should therefore deliberately set time aside for brainstorming. A good way to start is to set aside three separate times over the span of a week, remove all distractions, and brainstorm away!
Start with the answers to your fundamental questions and let your creativity run wild. You can use any and every brainstorming technique you like, the key is to put pen to paper. Don’t just keep your ideas in your mind, write everything down. You never know which spark of an idea could lead to the perfect podcast name!
Related read: How to Find Your Podcast Topic: 8 Unique Topic Ideas
Using all the ideas you conjured up during your brainstorming, you can now start generating your top options. There are three main pillars to consider when creating the right podcast name.
1. A Strong Correlation Between Topic and Name
Pillar One for finding the right podcast name is that there should be a strong correlation between the name of your show and your podcast topic. Using the ideas from your brainstorming sessions, find the options that best encapsulate your topic and your overall brand. You should also think about terms relevant to your podcast niche. This could be specific jargon used in your field, terms or phrases closely associated with your topic, or references related to your content. These could help clue in your target audience – who would understand these terms or references – as to what your podcast is about. Having a clever reference can also help make your podcast name memorable, which is the next pillar.
2. A Name That is Highly Memorable
It should come as no surprise that a great podcast name is one that is memorable. Listeners need to remember your name so that they can share it with others, and find it again if, Heaven forbid, they forgot to subscribe! Some of the ways you can create a memorable podcast name are by keeping it short and punchy, as too many words can make recall tricky. A memorable name is one that perfectly captures the tone and spirit of the podcast, as this strengthens the association between name and topic. You want a name that rolls off the tongue and sticks in the mind; not one that slips through the mental cracks.
3. A Name That Optimizes Discoverability
The third pillar is that your podcast name should have a high SEO value. This means that it will be likely to show up as a result when your topic is searched online. One way to optimize your podcast name for discoverability is to use a term or keyword highly-related to your niche as part of your title. This could be a keyword specific to your niche, but it could also be one of the references related to your topic. Ideally, you’re looking for that word that turns up regularly when your topic is searched. It is important that you use this keyword as part of your title, and not as an add on! (See the don’ts below for more on this!)
Related reads: How to Improve the Discoverability Of Your Podcast
Some Do’s and Don’ts
Do Be Careful of Ambiguity
Keep a sharp eye out for homonyms, homophones, and homographs. Sound like an English lesson? Well, these are important concepts to consider when naming your podcast. Homophones, for example, are words that sound alike but have different spellings and meanings, and could cause some interesting mix-ups if you’re not careful. There’s a vast difference between Sew Right!, a podcast about the joys of needlework and So, Write!, a podcast about overcoming writer’s block. The titles sound exactly the same, but will yield completely different results!
Do Run Your Options Through Internet Searches
You should always run your options through an Internet search and eliminate those which have already been taken by other podcasters. Use Google, as well as podcast directories such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Stitcher to see if there are any podcasts that already have one of your names. It is important that when listeners search for your podcast, they actually find yours – not someone else’s who happens to have the same name! This search should also extend to social media platforms as some of your options may already exist on those platforms. In order to build your brand, you would want your podcast name to extend across all the platforms you use. So if the name is already taken on one of those, it would be best to go back to the drawing board.
Don’t Use “Podcast” in Your Title (Unless You Absolutely Have To)
This may come as a surprise, but having the word “podcast” in your actual podcast title is not recommended by many podcasting experts. It is often seen as unnecessary use of characters, as potential listeners would most likely already be looking in podcast directories for podcasts, rendering “podcast” in the title irrelevant. The one possible exception maybe if there is already a podcast with a similar name to the one you have your heart set on and adding “podcast” to the title would serve to differentiate yours. However, if there is another podcast with the same or similar name to yours already, it may be wiser in the long run to rather find another name.
Don’t Overcram with Keywords
One error new podcasters make is to try to cram too many keywords into the title, thinking that this will help with their discoverability. However, the opposite effect is likely to happen. Apple Podcasts, in particular, does not take kindly to keyword-saturated titles and has taken to removing these from their directory. Definitely not the outcome you were looking for! Rather save those keywords for your description or your show notes than risk being removed altogether by having too many keywords in your title.
The name of your podcast matters a great deal. It must be engaging, memorable, and have a high SEO value. It must also capture the focus and tone of your podcast and encapsulate your brand. That’s quite a tall order! And with so much pressure to find the right name, it’s easy to let this dilemma become a debilitating hurdle that stops you from actually getting your show up and running. With the help of our guidelines, finding the right name for your podcast should be that much easier!
Follow these, and you’ll find the perfect name for your podcast is one idea away! But remember, even if you feel as though you haven’t found “the one” just yet, don’t let that stop you before you’ve even started. There is always the opportunity to rebrand in the future if that elusive “perfect name” is suddenly found. The worst thing you can do is not start. And while a great name plays a significant role in discoverability and therefore the overall success of your podcast, the key to a successful podcast is consistency – and that is really the name of the game!
Related read: How to Plan for Recording Your First Podcast Episode