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Podcast names are tricky. At the planning stage, it feels like the most crucial decision you’ll ever make. You might start with a list of podcast name ideas, each trying to balance clarity, gravity, and humour.
It can keep you up at night trying to make the right decision. But once it’s done, it’s just a name and often loses all meaning!
So, if we’re going to make good use of that ‘up at night’ time, what makes for a “good” podcast name? What factors should you take into consideration? And what are some of the common mistakes made by podcasters when it comes to naming their shows?
These are the things we will look at in this one-stop-shop guide to podcast names.
Automatic & Instant AI Podcast Name Generator
Did you know that you can immediately generate some potential names (along with an elevator pitch, suggested formats, ideal audience profile, trailer script, and ideas to make your show unique) with the Alitu Showplanner? It’s totally free, no signup or login required.
Of course, it won’t hurt to learn what makes a good and effective podcast name so that you can pick well from any list of AI-generated options. So read on to get the full lowdown…
Three Ways to Name Your Podcast
Alright, then. Here are the three primary schools of thought around finding that perfect podcast name.
#1. Creative Podcast Names That Support Your Story
Creative or clever podcast names are often built around a play on words or a vague term from the show’s topic or niche.
Many catchy podcast names make sense when you look deeply into them. But others are just plain abstract and offer no hint of the show’s content.
This won’t hold you back if you already have an audience, a reputation as a good content creator, or a big marketing budget. If enough people check out your show and enjoy it, then you’ll do fine.
But if you’re starting entirely from scratch, you need to ask yourself what your target audience is searching for online – and if your podcast name will appear in these searches.
If you’re at this stage, the next option is best for you.
#2. Descriptive Podcast Names to Catalogue Your Content
This type of name can be described as “doing exactly what it says on the tin”.
You might think of this as the “boring” option, but nobody will care so long as your content isn’t boring.
Descriptive podcast names are immediately identifiable to their target audience. And they’re easier to find because they perform better in searches.
However, if you have a really clever or creative podcast name picked out for your show and are desperate to use it, you can always find a way to merge it with a descriptive title, too.
A Warning Around Keyword “Spam”
Be careful with overly long podcast names or “keyword stuffing”, though. You can add descriptiveness without going overboard.
A few years ago, iTunes/Apple Podcasts started to clamp down on podcasters adding subtitles to their podcast names within their “Podcast Name” field. This would give folks more opportunity to show what the podcast was about. For example;
Podcast Name | What it’s about – or – Podcast Name, Who it’s for, and why
But using commas and ‘separators’ in your podcast name might now see you rejected by Apple Podcasts when you try to submit there.
This is the unfortunate result of a minority of podcasters filling their podcast name fields with keywords in an attempt to rank for every search term under the sun.
There have also been reports of podcasts being rejected because the podcaster has added their own name onto the end of the primary podcast name. For example;
Training for a Marathon, with Jane Smith, Running Coach & Sports Nutritionist
In this instance, Jane would want to move the latter part to the author tag (rather than the podcast name field) to avoid potential issues. You fill out a provider or “author” tag when creating your show inside your media host, so you can still rank for searches for your own name or your business name by adding it there instead.
So try to be as succinct as possible with your podcast name ideas to avoid running into any problems. After all, if you can’t get into iTunes/Apple Podcasts, you will have serious issues growing any sort of audience.
#3. Using Your Actual Name
Successful podcasts named after their hosts generally have one thing in common – the host already had an audience before they started the podcast.
These names offer no hints about the show’s content. If you’ve never heard of Tim Ferris, his show could be about literally anything.
As it happens, the podcast is about “interviewing world-class performers” in all fields, linking together the similarities and routines that connect them.
If nobody knew Tim Ferris, he’d probably have put more description into his title. Something like “How to be World Class” would undoubtedly catch the eye of his target audience.
AI Tools for Choosing the Perfect Podcast Title
There’s a lot of hype around AI tools for podcasters these days. To be fair, some of them are pretty nifty.
My favourite, by far, is the Alitu Showplanner, which acts as a brilliant podcast name generator. That will give you some excellent potential names, as well as generate an elevator pitch, an ideal audience profile, and ideas to make it unique. It’s totally free to use – you don’t even need to sign up or log in, either!
We can’t talk about AI without mentioning ChatGPT, either. It’s the big dog in this realm and has the potential to act as a great podcast or even business name generator.
We dig into this in-depth in our Best ChatGPT Prompts for Podcasters guide, but, in short, here are the kinds of info you can include in your prompt:
- The subject matter – your podcast topic
- The type of content – your podcast format
- Your ideal listener (e.g., founders, athletes, vegans)
- Your favorite podcasts or podcast names that inspire you
ChatGPT will spit out endless lists of potential names for your show. Some will be decent, but might need a few tweaks; others will be rubbish, but might still help get your creative juices flowing. If you spot one that looks perfect, just remember to do your due diligence – it might already be taken. We’ll cover this scenario in our FAQ, below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Our three-option podcast name-generator approach has hopefully given you a few ideas. But you might still have many questions about choosing a show title. In the rest of this article, we’ll aim to answer them as quickly and as clearly as possible 🙂
What if Someone Is Already Using My Ideal Podcast Name?
When you come up with any good podcast name ideas, it’s good practice to ensure there aren’t any other shows already using them.
A quick search in your podcast app will let you know what’s available and what isn’t. You can go further, too, and search on Google for <your keyword> + “Podcast”.
You might find a show using the cool podcast name you had your heart set on and spot that they stopped publishing episodes back in 2007.
As frustrating as this can be, don’t just bash on and decide to use it anyway. At the very least, it’ll confuse your listeners and potentially harm your audience growth.
Even using a similar name to a pre-existing podcast can be a bad call, regardless of whether that show’s still active.
It might be possible to contact whoever ran this show and see if they’ll give it to you or let you buy it from them. If you’re absolutely desperate to use a specific podcast name, then there’s no harm in asking.
Podcast Names Vs. Episode Titles
There’s a bit of confusion around the use of the word “podcast” in podcasting.
A podcast itself is really the overall show, and not its individual episodes. But some folks may still think of “naming their podcast” as choosing a title for an episode.
It’ll make things clearer for you and your listeners if you refer to podcast episodes as “episodes” rather than “podcasts”.
Of course, naming individual episodes is an important topic too, and one we cover fully in the afore-linked article!
Should I Use the Word “Podcast” in My Name?
There’s no harm in putting the word “podcast” in your show title. But it can be a little redundant.
When someone is searching a podcast directory for new content, every result they get is a podcast.
Of course, a name like “The [your topic] Podcast” can still work well. But if your name is a bit longer, and you’re looking to save space, then the word “podcast” can be the first to go.
You’d maybe still want to mention the word “podcast” on your actual website name and blog posts to cater for Google searches. But you can often leave it out of your podcast name when entering that detail into your media host.
How Long Should My Podcast Name Be?
You have up to 255 characters to play with here. Should you take full advantage of this? Probably not!
Just like the length of your podcast episodes, the best advice here is to opt for a length that gets the job done but doesn’t outstay your welcome.
Short and snappy will always look better than long, rambling podcast titles. Many listening apps will cut big names when displaying them, so they won’t look very clear or appealing in search, anyway.
If it’s maximum keywords you’re after, it’s better to deploy these in the names of your individual episodes, instead.
How Much Time Should I Spend on Choosing a Podcast Name?
It’s easy to procrastinate on this step and never actually get around to launching the thing. If you can set aside one hour of uninterrupted time, there’s no reason why you can’t nail this if you use all the tips, advice, and tools in this guide. You can always tweak or change your podcast name further down the line, too. It isn’t like getting a tattoo or naming your kid.
Should I Name My Podcast After My Blog?
There are obvious advantages to brand consistency over all platforms. If you can use the same name on your website, YouTube channel, and across any social media platforms, it makes you instantly recognisable. However, this doesn’t work for everyone. Blogs or websites can get away with having names that are a bit more obscure because they get the SEO benefit of text-based content. If you don’t think your blog name would work well as a podcast name, consider using it in your author tag.
Case Study: The Bedroom Battlefields blog is about miniature wargaming but could easily be about relationship counselling. So, the companion podcast is simply the Tabletop Miniature Hobby Podcast from Bedroom Battlefields.
Being Found by Potential Listeners in a Search
When potential listeners search for a term or keyword in a podcast directory, they’ll be presented with a list of potential shows to listen to.
Most podcast directories or listening apps will search through podcast names, provider names, and episode titles, so you’ll need to work your relevant keywords and SEO-friendly terms into these. Again – just be sure to do it in a succinct and “non-spammy” way!
And though having clearly and descriptively named content is a best practice, it doesn’t mean you’ll automatically jump to the top of any search results.
There’ll be other shows competing for these terms, too. And if they’ve been around longer than you, they’ll likely rank higher because they have a greater number of all-time followers.
Some topics are ultra-competitive because there are so many podcasts on that subject. It’s tough to rank for things like “money” and “business,” but if your show is about painting garden gnomes or pigeon roller skating, you’ve much more chance of being found at the top.
Don’t be too disheartened if your topic is really competitive, though. Keep creating consistent and great content, encourage listeners to share and follow the show, and you’ll be golden.
Ultimately, just put your time and effort into the things you can control, as opposed to fretting over how other podcasts are doing.
And search isn’t the only way to be found either. In fact, we have an entire book on Podcast Growth, which gives you loads of other tips and techniques to employ on the promotion and visibility front.
Testing Cool Podcast Name Ideas With Your Target Audience
If you have a handful of podcast name ideas picked out, you can say to someone, “I’m doing a podcast called ____. What do you think it’ll be about?”.
This helps if the person isn’t in your target audience or doesn’t know that you have that weird pigeon roller skating hobby. Any “inside info” might give them a clue that folks searching online won’t have, so be wary of asking any close friends.
How to Choose the Perfect Podcast Name for Your Situation
There’s no single answer here about what approach you should take. It depends on you, your topic, and the type of podcast you’d like to make.
You likely fall into the camp of “I have no audience right now, and I’d like to grow one”, though. If that’s the case, choose as descriptive a name as possible. Give yourself the best possible chance of being found.
And remember, your podcast name isn’t set in stone. You can tweak or change it at any time. That isn’t to say you shouldn’t try to choose a good one right from the beginning, but don’t get so stuck on this that you never actually launch the thing!
Finally, I’ll mention the Alitu Showplanner one more time. This is more than a simple AI podcast name generator; it’s a fully fleshed-out podcast launch kit. Remember, it’s totally free to use, with no login required. Once you get your results, be sure to share them with us in the IndiePod Community, too!