Complete Guide to Naming Your Podcast
The name you choose for your Podcast is a big deal. A badly named Podcast will have to struggle much harder to capture and engage new listeners. However, some people just jump into it, they come up with an idea and never stop to question whether their name is any good or even makes any sense.
Some people get away with it. They run with a name that doesn’t tell you anything about their show, it’s silly, absurd or simply random and they do quite well. But imagine how well they would do if there name captured the rapture of potential listeners, drawing them in with sweet promises to address whatever issue the podcast is on.
It is important then to clearly address the subject of your Podcast in the name. At the same time it has to stand out from the competition, be unique and engaging.
When someone is searching for your content on iTunes, or Spotify there are very few opportunities to capture their attention. The name of your show is one. A big one. Your name is the first way to help capture a loyal listener and a potential subscriber.
Brand Goals & Target Market
When developing your Podcast name, consider your target audiences. What are their interests? Why would they listen to your show? You have a couple of words to tell them what your show is about and capture their curiosity.
If your show is a political satire make the title funny and involve some political terminology. ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’ might be a good place to start thinking about ideas, for example. This references the 1837 tale by danish author Hans Andersen. The story is well known and deals with ideas of despotic rulers, corruption, and timid advisors all in a light hearted satirical fashion.
Naming a Podcast is different to naming a business (See How to Name a Business) or brand (See our brand name generator for help). There is a certain literary bent to the naming process. It needs to be informative and original.
If you have a great idea for a show, but you don’t know where to start with the naming process. Think about your audience. Remember that you, your friends and family are not necessarily your target market, so that tongue in cheek witticism, or serious descriptive name you came up with originally is quite likely not right.
First of all you have to imagine you are approaching you Podcast from the outside. Imagine you have no idea what it’s about. Does the name grab your attention? Could you guess what the Podcast is about? If the answer to either of these is no, then it’s back to the drawing board.
Consider the interests, hobbies, age range, and gender of your target market. Will they be able to relate to it and understand the references? Whilst you don’t necessarily have to keep the name of your Podcast as short as you would for a business or brand, it should still be simple, easy to talk about and immediately understandable to your targeted demographics.
What to do if your name is taken
You’ve come up with a great name. But after a quick search on the internet it seems that someone had that idea first. What can you do? First of all figure out if their podcast is still active. If they haven’t posted anything for a long time contact them and see if they will let you have it. If they say no, or they are obviously still actively using their podcast name, don’t worry, this actually might be a good thing, you don’t necessarily have to go back to the drawing board.
What is the key message behind your name? Are there any words that you could swap out? Use a thesaurus and search up synonyms. Find interesting words and phrases that mean similar things. Rearrange the structure of the name too.
One thing to remember though, is you want your name to be original. If, whoever got to your name first, has a podcast covering a similar topic, you don’t want your name to be in anyway recognizable as theirs. If it is you will look like a cheap imitation, whether or not your show is better, they were there first.
Should you use your real name when Podcasting, or a Pseudonym?
The Disadvantages of a Pseudonym
- You may not be taken seriously. Imagine trying to broach a serious current issue that’s recently been in the news, but you’re only known as ‘That Cat Lady’. Having a ‘cute’ name could damage your credibility and limit your possible subject matter.
- You may regret your decision down the line. When it comes to building a personal brand, you need to use your real name. Your real name has credibility and authenticity and you can detract from that with a pseudonym.
- You may have complications with multiple identities. If you use a pseudonym online, what do you call yourself when you go to in-person events like conferences and meetups? What if you launch a business related to your podcast? You have to essentially live a constant “lie” if you use anything other than your real name.
Disadvantages of your real name
- Everything you do online will be connected to you—forever. This can potentially hurt when applying for a job, but if it’s done right it should actually be a big help. Make sure you’re careful with what you associate with your real identity.
- Your real name may be too long, difficult to spell. It might be already taken online, or very similar to someone else. This is frustrating for a lot of people. But there are ways around it. Be creative and make sure you don’t limit your potential podcast topics. Someday you may want to change topics, or expand.
- Your real name might compromise your privacy or your security in some way. One of the biggest concerns online is about safety. This is a very real concern. You can take a few precautions though to help keep yourself safe online, for example like getting a PO Box and never sharing any information that might reveal your location.
Should you name your Blog and Podcast the same?
Podcasting and blogging go hand in hand. Your Podcast will benefit massively if you blog alongside it effectively. We’ve written a guide to naming your blog and created a blog name generator you can check out for more help.
Keeping your branding the same across your blog and podcast will absolutely help you in the long run. And having the same name for both will help your listeners find your blog online.
On your blog you can publish show notes, outline what the podcast is about, and share any resources you referenced in the show for interested listeners.
On top off this blogging is another great way to get your show seen. Because Podcasts are audio only, optimising their visibility on search engines like Google is pretty tough. You have the Podcast name, episode name, and maybe, if it’s published in iTunes for example, a short description. Writing up a blog around eah episode will not only add valuable additional information, but make your podcast much more searchable online.
Competitor Name Analysis
Pod Save America
Pod Save America is a News podcast that addresses current political stories in the US. The name plays on the phrase ‘God Save America’, the play on words hints at it’s satirical nature whilst also showing they are discussing serious topics.
My Dad Wrote a Porno
This isn’t just an arresting title. It is literally British podcast host, Jamie Morton, reading chapters from his father’s erotic novels. This is a light-hearted comedy Podcast supposed to amuse and engage, which is exactly what the title does.
The Guilty Feminist
Again a very descriptive name. This is a feminist comedy Podcast that addresses the hypocrisies and double standards of everyday life. Each episode starts with short stories beginning ‘I’m a feminist but…’
No Such Thing as Fish
No Such Thing as a Fish is a weekly British podcast series produced and presented by the researchers behind the BBC Two panel game QI. The topics are weird facts and features the like of which feature on the show QI. This name is less descriptive, and you don’t instantly know what the show is about. However, it grabs your attention and makes you curious to find out. Once you know it makes perfects sense.
Under The Skin with Russel Brand
This Podcast asks what’s beneath the surface? It covers topics from people we admire, ideas that define our time, and the histories we are told. It plays on the metaphor under the skin taking its meaning to look deeper into something. This accurately represents what the show is about, is unique and easy to remember.
This is a philosophy podcast that is to bring philosophical ideas to bigger audience. The punctuation in the name is important as philosophy is traditionally a very dry subject and the name, punctuated with an exclamation mark shows that there is a lighter passionate side to this podcast.
Podcast Name Inspiration
- Understanding Crypto: This would be the name of an informative cryptocurrency podcast. Cryptocurrency is a trending topic currently, with massive fluctuations in currency value, yet it is something not fully understood by many people. Keeping the name clear concise and informative allows people to easily find and know what the podcast is about, and would appeal to that specific target demographic.
- Alien Investigators: This could go several ways. And as such the name could be off-putting for some. It could be a podcast on alien conspiracy theories which are popular in some circles, or it could be a light-hearted science podcast that explores the nature of and possibilities of life outside our planet.
- Fantastical Tales: A podcast about tales.The word fantastical implies incredible fantasy, whilst tales is a description of the content. A more creative name could be beneficial for this kind of Podcast.
- When the robots come: Exploring ideas of fast advancing technology. This title references ideas surrounding human fears of hostile robotics which trends in popular literature and movies like Terminator.
- Natural Progression: Questioning how humanity is changing and shaping the natural development of the world. This title is purposefully a little obscure to show that there would be an interesting new angle to the topic.
- This Blue Planet: Exploring ideas around some of the planets most incredible natural features. The name sounds somewhat like a documentary. It would be an informative environmental show with and obvious bent towards promoting ‘green’ living.
- Greatest Athletes: This is an easy and informative show title around history’s greatest athletes. This would appeal to a specific niche. The obvious understandable title would help it gain new dedicated listeners.
- By The Moons of Jupiter: Exploring sci-fi stories and literature.
- Odin’s Beard: Exploring Norse Mythology. Myths and Legends are a popular topic. Reference to Odin’s beard makes it clear it’s not a serious analysis and appeals to a male demographic.
- Nonsense What Dreams are Made of: A comedy show that explores the meaning behind dreams. Te title is purposefully grammatically incorrect to display the nonsense of the show. It is an engaging topic and thetitle outlines clearly what the show is about.
Can you change your name later?
Sometimes it may be necessary to change your name at a later date. Maybe your Podcast evolved and you no longer think the title is relevant, or perhaps it’s too restricting.
You can certainly change your name at any point. However, you can’t realistically expect to keep all your subscribers. But if you go about it wisely you shouldn’t cause too much of an upset with the name change.
- Make sure you can explain the reason behind the change.
- Communicate the reasons way ahead of time. Make sure everyone know what’s happening, when, and why.
- Communicate the change on your website and on social media.
- If changing topic, make it clear.
Don’t feel trapped or tied down by your name. Make sure the name is a good fit for you. Companies rebrand all the time, done well it can help you grow to new heights.