How to Name Your Podcast
The name of your new podcast has two jobs it must do:
- be memorable
- be search-friendly.
To make sure your podcast’s name is both memorable and search-friendly, think about the name as two separate sections: the Title and the Sub-title.
The Title’s job is to be memorable — something catchy, fun, a little inside-jokey, that listeners will easily remember.
The Sub-title’s job is to be search-friendly — have descriptive keywords that give more information about what exactly the show is about that are also likely terms a potential listener would type into the podcast directory when they are searching for a show like yours.
Examples of the Title: Subtitle format working well:
Milk and Sugar: Exploring the Relationship Between Coffee, Customers and Baristas
Purl-Fect: Interviews with Competitive Knitters
So Fluffy I Wanna Die: An Ex-Pet Groomer Spills All
So how do you get your own perfect podcast name?
Step One: Brainstorm. Over the course of a week, write down whatever words and phrases cross your mind as a potential name for your new show. Take your time with this step, and for right now don’t worry whether what you are writing down will work as a title or a sub-title. Aim for at least ten words or phrases on this list. Remember: The trouble is not usually thinking up podcast names, it’s remembering podcast names. Write everything down!
Step Two: Make sure you are being unique. Take your list of potential names and start running ones you really like through Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Messy, and other podcast directories. If there’s already a podcast with your chosen name out there, you’ll want to go in a different direction. You want listeners to be able to find your podcast, not confuse it with others.
Step Three: Check social media. Because social media is so important to promoting your podcast, do a search on the various platforms to see which of those names (if you want your podcast to have its own account) are available. The social handle doesn’t need to be an exact match to the podcast name, but it should be close. Ideally you’ll have the same handles for your podcast across all platforms — NameCheckr can be very helpful here.
Step Four: Ask your target audience what they think. At this point, you’ve probably narrowed your potential name down to two or three title and sub-title combinations. It’s time to ask your target audience what they think. If your podcast is about elementary school literary strategies and you want to name it “Ms. Frizzle’s Biggest Fan: What You Need to Know” but then when you ask your teacher friend what she thinks it’s about and she guesses it’s fanfiction for the Magic School Bus, it’s time to make a tweak. Changing the sub-title so it is now “Ms. Frizzle’s Biggest Fan: Elementary School Literary Strategies for Teachers” helps a lot.
Step Five: Say the name out loud. A lot. How does it sound? Does it flow easily? Is it catchy? If all goes well, you’re going to be saying this name a lot, so you want to be comfortable with it. One trick is to pretend you are introducing yourself on a panel. Do you like how “I’m Katie, the host of the Full Speed Ahead: Sailing for Landlocked Beginners” sounds? If so, you and your nautical podcast are ready to launch!