Sigh. Why are titles so hard?
Believe it or not, some would-be podcasters spend weeks or even months considering their podcast name.
In fact, as a result of getting hung up on what to call it, some have not yet recorded a single episode. Can you relate?
You know you have great content, ideas, and topics. You know you’re going to build a devoted audience who can’t wait to hear your next episode.
But before you can do that, you have to somehow sum all of your great content ideas and themes into one short name for your podcast!
And to have any hope of being successful, your podcast name has to be enticing, informative, and recognizable. Yikes!
It may sound like a tall order, but the good news is it’s certainly not impossible. To help you out, read these tips and ideas to discover the right name for your podcast.
Take out a pen and paper, or open up a blank doc on your computer, and get crystal clear about what your podcast is about. Start by writing down everything that comes to mind about your podcast: Ask yourself who you’re serving, what you will be talking about, why you care about the topic, what further directions your podcast can take, and more.
Then whittle all of that down, and down — and down again — until you have a nice, brief description of your podcast. Think elevator pitch, but even shorter.
During this exercise, you’ll see certain words and themes emerge. You’ll see your potential audience more clearly. And when you’re clear, you’ll have an easier time summing everything up into a catchy title.
Pro tip: Have your ideal listener in mind as you ponder your podcast name.
In our post about things to consider before starting a podcast, we discussed creating an ideal listener avatar, and this is sometimes all you need to make critical decisions (such as picking a name) related to your show. If a decision wouldn’t make sense to your ideal listener, you can move on and pick another choice much faster.
Include Your Content in Your Podcast Name
Choose a name that reflects the content of your podcast. That way, potential listeners will instantly know if they’re in the right place or not. If your podcast is about pet sitting, it’s probably not a good idea to choose a podcast name about the beach.
Let’s say your podcast is all about coloring your hair. A show title like I Just Dyed would make perfect sense because it tells the listener that it’s about dye.
Or maybe your show is all about cooking Korean food. Your title could be something like Al’s Korean Dish. This tells the listener the host’s name is Al, and that he’ll be talking about Korean food.
When you consider the keywords of your content, the possibilities for a name are endless.
What Makes You Different?
People are already talking about your topic, but that’s okay. You have a different angle, unique personality, and your own ideas.
Even if your topic overlaps with other podcasts, there’s something different about you and your podcast. And you can include that difference in your podcast name, so that people will instantly know what you’re about.
For example, if your podcast is about parenting, what angle do you take that is different from other parenting podcasts? Maybe you’re specifically interested in talking about sleeping through the night, the toddler years, discipline, or parenting teens. Can you incorporate your unique element into your podcast name?
A quick word on title length
It’s important to choose a name that isn’t too long. According to Pacific Content who has analyzed the metadata from more than 650,000 podcasts, “Half of all podcast titles are between 14 and 29 characters,” and “The most popular title length is 16 characters.”
It’s important to note that this information is related to podcast titles only, not episode titles.
The big reason you don’t want a title that is too long, is that you want it to be easy for your audience to remember and easy for potential listeners to search for online. You also should be aware that the longer your title is, the more it will be clipped on platforms like iTunes.
Titles for podcast names (again, not episode titles) on iTunes are clipped after approximately 30 characters.
Use Your Name
If you already have a large audience before you start your podcast, your name is likely well known. In these situations, using your name as your podcast title might be a good idea. Your fans will know you from your other platforms, and will specifically search for your podcast by your name. Or if they’re browsing, they’ll instantly recognize your podcast name.
However, if you’re starting from scratch, or from a very small audience, using your name as your podcast name may not help you grow. People won’t instantly know you, and they won’t know what your podcast is about.
Consider the long term impact of using your name
Now for a quick word of caution from Neil Patel. When you use your name as your podcast’s name, your show is tied to you. If your show begins to gain a large following and become successful, you can’t exactly sell the show because you are the face of it.
While you can bring on additional team members, you will be the star. Even having a cohost can be a branding nightmare when the show is named after you. Whereas if you use a generic name, you have a lot more flexibility in the event the show skyrockets to fame.
Neil regrets building a personal brand some days. He said, “If I took all of the time I spent building a personal brand into building a corporate brand, I would have been worth a lot more money.” He went onto say, “if you want to build something big, something that will continually live and move on without you, then focus on building a corporate brand.”
Check for Domain Availability
Many podcasters want to own the domain associated with their podcast name. While you don’t necessarily need to use the domain to create a website, owning it is a good idea to ensure no one else can grab it.
What if the domain is not available for purchase?
In truth, you might want to consider choosing another name for your podcast. This is especially important if someone has a website built with that domain name as you could be sued for copyright infringement for using the name as your podcast title. On the other hand, you may want to seek the counsel of an attorney in this case because we’re not lawyers, and we can’t give firm legal advice. (Yes, our lawyers made us add this disclaimer!)
Consider Your Company Name
Some podcasts are built with the intention of growing brand awareness for online and brick and mortar businesses that are already set up. If this is the case for your podcast, it might be a good idea to use your company name as your podcast name.
Get a Little Help Online
Already have fans on social media, via blogging, on YouTube, etc…? Ask for their input. What name would they suggest? Take it a step further and host a naming contest for your show. The winner could get bragging rights or even a prize package that you put together.
Nothing gets people excited about offering their opinion quite like a contest. Lays flavor contest anyone? The brand had hundreds of thousands of submissions, got a lot of press, massively increased brand awareness, and the winner received a million dollars.
You don’t have to choose a podcast name from your fans’ suggestions, but you’ll likely get plenty of ideas to spark your own thoughts. Plus, you’ll get a clearer picture of what your fans expect from you, and that’s always helpful!
In the event you’re still stuck, how about using a podcast name generator? Enter your podcast details into the query, and the generator will give you dozens of suggestions. While you might feel the ideas it generates are terrible, it could be just what you need to get the creative juices flowing.
Do Your Homework
Even if the domain name is available, before settling on a podcast name, check to make sure it isn’t already taken anywhere else. Namecheckr is a great resource you can use that searches domains and social usernames across multiple networks. You can also Google the name and search in Apple Podcasts and Spotify.
Finally, rest easy knowing your name isn’t set in stone
If this is all overwhelming, take a deep breath. The good news is, whatever name you choose can always be changed sometime down the road if needed. Just like you can change the legal name given to you at birth, nothing is set in stone.
Of course, starting out with the right name is always best, but don’t let yourself get too stressed out to the point you never launch your podcast. Take your time, do some deep thinking, and choose a podcast name that works for you and your audience.