Podcast names are the welcome mat invitation for people to hear what you have to say. Your podcast name is the face of your broadcast. Often the first thing people will encounter. This means it can be a crucial element leading to a potential audience member signing up or bowing out. Choosing the right name is essential.
While a good name won’t guarantee you success, a bad one could contribute a lot towards your podcast journey ending before it has been given a chance to begin. So here are some thoughts and ideas to help you make the right choice and give you the best chance to succeed. Seven of the aspects we are going to be looking at are the following:
- Awareness of Target Audience
- Incorporating brand name
- Keeping it short and sweet
- Sound and feel
- Spelling variations
- Tone and Personality
Drawing them in
The right podcast title will be descriptive and creative. It will preferably give potential listeners a glimpse of what they can expect when they tune in. But you will also need to keep some technical components in mind to make it easier for your audience to discover the show.
One of the key things to keep in mind when starting a new podcast is that you do not want to mimic or copy something that is already a hit. Being unique and standing out with your name and brand is important when it comes to being found.
Mistakes to avoid
Before we take a look at some of the chief areas to consider, let’s start by looking at three of the things you definitely want to avoid.
 Lack of access to domain and social handles.
As you play around with possible names for your podcast, you will definitely want to keep an eye on domain and social media handle availability. In fact, this process may help you to hone down a long list of possible names to a few more accessible ones. Remember that you want to be able to invest in a domain name that is as close as possible to your podcast name to avoid confusion. Same with social media handles – the more they resemble the podcast name the easier it becomes for people to find you.
 Overly long and too-clever-for-itself titles
Dan Misener, in a blog post for Pacific Content, analyzed over 500 thousand show titles and discovered that the majority of podcast names are made up of 29 characters or less. There are a variety of reasons as to why shorter tends to be better than longer but a shorter name tends to be catchy and easier to pass on and avoids problems like clipping [when your title is cut short where it is being displayed because of too many characters]. A clever or jokey name may get you an initial nod or laugh but once that is done, does it continue to serve you. Rather have something that people can share by word of mouth simply and effectively.
A second point to note here is that including the term ‘podcast’ in the name of your podcast tends to be redundant and should be avoided unless you are trying to be ironic.
 Using offensive terms that might get you blocked
Using a curse word or having a controversial title may seem like a good idea in terms of getting noticed but you may find that you lose more than you gain. Certain platforms may refuse to host your podcast if it has a name that they find differs too much from the brand they are trying to create. Stick to simple, direct, and less-likely-to-complicate names.
How to go about choosing your podcast name
Now that we know what mistakes to avoid, how do we actually go about picking a name that’s likely to work?
We largely covered this in looking at mistakes to avoid. But remember that as you try to secure a title for your podcast, be mindful of what domains and social media handles your name will give you access to. It is crucial to your podcast’s initial growth that people are able to find you easily.
Use a tool like Instant Domain Search or Namecheckr to see your name’s availability across multiple platforms. Google searches and typing the name of your potential podcast into some of the leading podcast directories will help you choose a name that has not already been picked.
This is a lot of work and will take a bunch of time, but is one of the key factors to your success and so it is worth doing.
Awareness of Target Audience
Understanding who your podcast is aimed at is one of the key aspects to keep in mind when putting a podcast together. But this will also prove helpful when deciding on a podcast name. Does the name you are thinking of feel like it will connect well with the particular group of people you are hoping to create for?
Incorporating brand name
If you are already recognized as a brand on one or more of your social media platforms then you can consider using your name in the podcast title. If you already have an audience in one space, the easiest way to move them to another space is through recognition.
Keeping it short and sweet
We have touched on this already but while half of all podcast titles are below the 29 character mark, the most popular length is 16 characters. That is not a lot to work with and so you are likely thinking of two words max. This is where grabbing a thesaurus can come in handy as you explore synonyms of words that you think relate to your topic. You might find a shorter punchier word than the one you were thinking.
Sound and Feel
If – well, when – your podcast does well its name is going to be said a lot. So make sure from the beginning that you choose a name that feels good to say. The best way to do this is to say your potential name, a lot. Speak out the names you are playing with over and over and get a feel for which ones feel good to say and to hear. Get your friends and family involved in this sound and feel test and listen to the feedback. While this isn’t a make or break category it might end up being the difference between a good and a great name.
Play around with the words that you are thinking of using. Sometimes a fun name is created simply by changing a couple of letters around. What are some alternative ways of writing out the words that make up your name?
Tone and Personality
This will be closely linked to your audience and the style of podcast you are looking at creating. The name is the first exposure many people will have to your podcast. So if your show intends to be serious and formal you will want the name to convey that. The same if you are going for a more fun, informal and chatty vibe. Let the name match the tone and personality you are anticipating your podcast is going to have.
Other things to consider
Don’t think of this as a checklist that you have to hit perfectly. Rather consider it a road map that will help you make your way towards the best name for you. You won’t necessarily hit all seven of those ideas directly, but if you are only getting one or two of them right, you may want to take a bit more time.
Some other possibilities to consider while brainstorming a name are blending common names together and creating a brand new word. Creating an anagram from a common word related to your theme. Rearranging the names of the people who will be involved. Incorporating a play on words. Thinking about word-of-mouth discovery [How easy is it for others to tell their friends about you?].
However, after considering all of these different things, often the easiest path to walk down is that of being simple and direct. The main thing you want is for the people who are looking for what you have to offer to be able to find you. Sometimes simply stating who you are in the podcast title is enough to create a successful brand.
At the end of the day, your audience will be tuning in to listen to you and the content you are producing – not your podcast title. So be careful you don’t get so focused on finding “the perfect name” that you never get around to creating those amazing podcasts.
Once you have narrowed down your final choices to two or three, bring in the cavalry. Enlist some friends or family members as a focus group and introduce them to the names you are considering. Listen earnestly to their responses and suggestions but at some point, you just have to pick a name.
It is definitely worth putting in the time to make sure you don’t rush ahead with a bad name. But trying to nail the sweet spot on a name can end up being procrastination from getting going with the actual show. Which is really what the whole thing is about. So back yourself. Pick a name and start getting it out there.
Are you ready to start podcasting? We can help you. Submit your first project now. Plus if you’re looking for super helpful articles on other aspects of podcasting, you have come to the right place.