One of the most intimidating parts of starting a podcast (and, let’s be honest, there are a lot of intimidating parts) is choosing a great name for your new podcast. And it’s intimidating for a reason. Your podcast’s name is what will help many listeners actually find your show and (hopefully) interest them enough to start listening. And the honest truth is that you can have great equipment, excellent sound quality, and interesting content, but without a good podcast name, it could prevent your target audience from even knowing that your show exists.
That’s why we’re here to offer some guidelines on picking a title for your podcast. Just keep reading.
Steps to Choosing a Great Podcast Name
1. Have fun brainstorming
Before you do anything else, just have a little fun with the brainstorming stage! This is your moment to envision what you want your podcast to be like, who your ideal listener is, and what your podcast keywords will be.
If you find yourself getting stuck on keywords, try to imagine what exactly your ideal listener is searching for online. And remember, there are no bad ideas in brainstorming! Don’t judge any of your ideas at this juncture. Just write down anything and everything that comes to mind. Bear in mind that this stage could last a few hours or a few days. Don’t use it as an excuse to procrastinate on moving forward, but also try not to rush through this step.
2. Narrow down your choices
Once you’ve taken your time with brainstorming, it’s time to make some cuts. Comb through the many names that you’ve come up with and begin eliminating. The first titles you should eliminate are ones that are overly ambiguous. You can definitely have a fun and creative name for your podcast, but it also needs to be clear what your topic is. Keep in mind the keywords that your ideal audience will be searching that will (hopefully) lead them to your podcast.
*Pro tip: be very careful of “keyword stuffing”. This is when you try to cram as many of your top keywords as possible into your podcast’s name, and it’s a practice that podcast platforms have really started to crack down on.
3. Consider your branding
Once you’ve eliminated that first round of names, you might have a few that include your name. Keep in mind that most successful podcasts that include the host’s name (i.e. The Joe Rogan Experience) are successful for one very specific reason: their hosts already had a following before beginning the podcast. If your name is your brand, then definitely include your name. If it’s not, then there’s probably no reason to go that direction. Along those same lines, if you already have an existing brand that will connect easily to your podcast, use that brand name! It’s always great if you’re starting a podcast with a brand people already know.
4. Do your homework
Now that you’ve ideally narrowed down your choices to the very best handful, it’s time to do your research. Primarily, you want to make sure that there’s not another podcast using the same name. Search Google and a few podcasting platforms to cover all your bases.
Keep in mind that it’s not a great idea to use a name that’s similar to an existing podcast either, even if it’s not exactly the same. You want your podcast to be unique and memorable — not a name that could easily be confused for a different show. And don’t forget one very important step of your research: social media. You’re going to want to create accounts for your podcast across the various social media channels, so make sure that your desired handle is available on any platform you’ll want to use.
5. Get a second opinion
If you’re having trouble making your final decision on a name (and even if you’re not), try testing out the name(s) you’re considering on a focus group. This certainly doesn’t have to be anything formal or official. You can just tell some friends or colleagues that you’re thinking of starting a podcast called ____________ and ask them what they think the show is about. If you want to be a little less casual about it, this is a great time to call upon the awesome tool of Instagram Stories. You could create a poll, pose a question, or use the brand-new chat sticker to find out what your followers think about your potential podcast name. Facebook also has a polling post feature (and the added benefit that you’ll probably get feedback from a closer-knit circle on Facebook). Another benefit of asking for opinions on potential podcast names? It gives you a chance to pre-promote your podcast across social media platforms before it even launches!
Do you have a tip for choosing a great podcast name?
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Good advice! Regarding #4, I think one of the best things that can happen when coming up with a new name for anything (business, podcast, etc), is to have somebody else already using it. As frustrating as it is (at first), it causes you to have to really dig, get clear, and get creative. And I’ve never ended up with a name that wasn’t better than the first one I thought of.