• Josie Colter

Tips for naming a podcast

Go from nervous to nailed it using my five step podcast naming formula + checklist to help you find the perfect name, fast, and ensure that it's built to last!



Why is the name of your podcast so important?


The name of your podcast is the equivalent of creating a brand or business name – it's going to shape everything else that comes after it. From topic-based 'does what it says on the tin' word play and implied double-meaning Climate Curious, cultural references Crazy Smart Asia (a direct challenge to the TV show Crazy Rich Asians) to just straight up self-titled shows 'The Joe Rogan Experience', there's a number of different ways to approach it. Use my podcast naming formula to breeze through the process... Podcast naming formula:

  1. Draft zero

  2. Tools

  3. Shortlist

  4. Share

  5. Sleep


1. Make a 'draft zero' bank – list all your ideas.


I would approach this initial part as telling yourself it's ok to write down rubbish ideas. The main thing is to just get them down. No idea is silly! Don't limit yourself.


  • The more the merrier - Create a big google sheet and start compiling names – the good the bad and the ugly. Strip away all expectations of other shows, what you think would be 'acceptable' and just create a bank of a whole range of different sorts of ideas.

  • Short and sweet – keep it under 29 characters. Pacific Content analyzed over 650K show titles and found 75% of all podcast names are 29 characters or less. While you may have 225 characters to play with, focus on concise names for a stronger punch.

  • Creativity over utility – never prioritise keywords over creativity.

  • We know it's a podcast - so there's no need to use the word podcast in the title, or the description.

  • In plain sight - some names don't need over thinking, for example, perhaps the podcast is also your business name, such as Creative Blood, or you may want to leverage your well-known host – such as The Tim Ferris Show.

  • Your antithesis - stuck trying to sum up what your show is? Try starting with what it isn't.

2. Expand your thinking - tools

Name generators I LOVE that might jolt your thinking.


3. Create a shortlist


Start to whittle it down to your top ten, top five, eventually ending up with your top three.

  • Tonally on point - think ahead and get legal sign off for tapes and music. These are small details that will cover you for any publishing issues.

  • If in doubt, go niche - trying to cater to everyone and make it a huge smash hit from the off is a mistake - you need to focus on finding your people and growing listener loyalty.

  • Keep it brand friendly - potential sponsors tend to avoid names with a negative tone or connotation. Steer clear of anything that could become tricky for you during commercial conversations – nothing negative, political or inappropriate.


4. Check + share

Do a quick internet search to check the show name isn't taken, and share your top three name picks with some friends to see which they gravitate to the most.

  • Search-ability - quickly check for other similarly names shows, check the URL is available and that SEO is good – meaning people will be able to find your show effortlessly.

  • Say it out loud - the name needs to sound good said out loud – make sure it's easy for say, across different languages and cultures around the world.

  • Ask the audience - send your top picks out to a few friends from your target audience so you can get a good feel for which might resonate the best. Honest feedback is invaluable – so if they tell you to go back to the drawing board, start back at step one!


5. Sleep on it


  • Give it time - You need to sleep on it, for quite a few nights. Keep coming back to your ideas and mull over what sits best in different sorts of contexts. What is most accurate, precise and memorable? And is something you feel proud and excited to talk about? Think about it not only as the basis for your podcast, but the start of your brand. A concept you can take live on stage, or adapt and grow season to season across different focusses.

You're ready!

Well done! You're officially ready to start creating your artwork. But first...

  • Secure the URL + social handles – You'll need a home for your podcast, and you want to make sure no-one else nabs your URL! Even if you're not planning to build this yet, protect your IP.


What next?

Start planning your show using my 5Ws podcasting worksheet – taking you from idea to opportunity in 10 minutes. A simple activity to kickstart your idea.


 

What are your biggest challenges trying to find the perfect name for your podcast? Drop me a note at josephinecolter@gmail.com.

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