Is your podcast name brilliant? How do you know? Are there any rules or guidelines to judge by?
The answer is YES. Before you commission podcast artwork and print swag, it is important to consider some best practices.
Can you break the rules? Yes again, but only if you know what they are.
Your number one goal is to keep your podcast title brief and intriguing — attention-getting — one with the draw to become a household name among your target audience. That’s a big ask, but worth the work.
And remember, your podcast name is about more than good looks; it has a very functional role.
It is also an important contributor to discovery and audience growth, identifying your podcast in search results on your favorite podcast app or podcast directory.
In this article, we use the words “podcast show name,” “podcast title,” and “podcast name” interchangeably to describe the ONE name for your podcast. Podcast episode titles are distinctly different and have their own guidelines. Here we focus solely on the podcast name.
Suffice it to say that when starting a podcast, it is important to carefully choose your show’s title, ensuring that it reflects best practices and works to engage potential listeners.
Here are the steps to take when naming your podcast:
1. Basic Podcast Name Guidelines
These guidelines include recommendations from platforms like Apple Podcasts and Libsyn’s in-house experts. We want to ensure your creative choices won’t exclude your podcast entirely from the most popular podcast apps.
Unless a brand has asked you to include its elements or name in your podcast title, avoid it at all costs. You may risk legal action and MORE problems if eventually, you monetize. For instance, Apple specifically does not want you to use any Apple product brand language, even if your podcast is all about Apple products. YOU can come up with your own name. Believe in your creativity.
Don't Use the Word "Podcast"
Generally, it is advised not to include “podcast” in your title. Including the word “podcast” can take up precious space that could be better used for keywords or engaging show artwork. Your audience already knows they are listening to a podcast.
Visualize Your Podcast Name on Your Podcast Artwork
In the video below, we talk about Podcast Artwork best practices and the importance of including your podcast name is mentioned. As you think about your name, also think about your artwork.
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Don't Use Explicit, Profane, or Violent Language
As mentioned, it is a best practice to include the name of your podcast on your podcast artwork. That said, Apple Podcasts for Creators states that show artwork can’t have references to illegal drugs, profanity, or explicit or violent language. So, keep it clean to ensure the broadest reach, if that’s your goal.
Explicit language can also keep your podcast out of international podcast directories with stricter language guidelines than the U.S.
DO Pay Attention to Podcast Title Character Count
Just how long should your podcast title be? According to Pacific Content, half of all podcast titles are between 14 and 29 characters. The most popular title length is 16 characters. The mean average show title is 23.9 characters, and the median show title is 20 characters.
Why are they all in a similar range? It is likely due to everyone’s realization that podcast apps will truncate names that are much longer, and chances are it will get chopped in search results.
DO Avoid Keyword Stuffing
Keyword stuffing is when you repeatedly use a few keywords (or phrases) in your content. An example is when you give your podcast a title like:
Why is my dog doing that? Dog training and dog obedience with expert dog psychologist Spike Barkalot.
It’s clear that you are trying to attract anyone who is even thinking about their dog by loading the boat with a lot of dogs! You are also waaaay over the recommended character limits mentioned above.
Since 2019, Apple has rejected podcast names with too many keywords. Don’t take that chance. Stick to relevant keywords and not too, too many of them.
You are going for the not too many, not too few perfect keyword approach.
TIP: If you want to add more keywords, put them in your podcast description, episode titles, and descriptions. But you still want to avoid keyword stuffing.
Keep Your Show Title Straightforward
Avoid anything that might trip people up while searching for or sharing your great podcast. Like is it 2,000 or Two Thousand? Is it Allowed or Aloud? Take a look at a homonyms list and avoid them. In addition, abbreviations, unnecessary punctuation, and special characters just complicate things.
Podcast names and podcast artwork that follow best practices:
These examples clearly communicate what each podcast is about from the name and artwork.
Free Podcast Cover Art
And don’t forget, Libsyn gives you access to Canva to create your cover art which provides lots of easy templates and fun options!
Be Careful of Clever Podcast Names
This is one of the best practices that is particularly hard to keep in mind, especially if you are a pun master. We are not saying that you shouldn’t be witty — you should — but be mindful of how clever you get and if your cleverness alienates your potential audience. Is the insider language too insider? Is your cool podcast name just not relatable? If you are trying to attract a broader audience, consider terminology more widely used.
2. Brainstorm Podcast Name Ideas
Now that you have a framework of things to consider, you are ready to do a little podcast name brainstorming. A great podcast name can come from this work and every word counts. Don’t fall in love with any one podcast name just yet. This is the fun part of letting your ideas flow. If you have a brilliant rule-breaker idea, jot that down, too.
Like any brainstorming session, you have a goal: to develop creative podcast name ideas to make your new podcast stand out and foster a natural curiosity about your content. The potential listener should think: “I want to hear/learn/think/know about that.”
Your ideal podcast name should also reflect what you have in mind for your show’s tone and your own personal brand as a podcaster.
Who knows … at the end of it all, you might have enough ideas for two podcasts!
Keep the tips below in mind while brainstorming.
Using AI for Podcast Name Ideas
If you are stuck and don’t know where to start, using AI can be very helpful. The trick is to give a clear command. It may take a few requests to get what you want. Do not ask AI to “name my podcast” or “tell me cool podcast names.” AI will need more direction than that.
We asked AI to:
Create a podcast title that is 25 characters long and is about dogs and hiking
We got this output:
Paws and Trails: Canine Adventures
We then asked for five more variations and got the following:
- HikeDogs: Trail Tales
- WoofHikes: Canine Trek
- TrailBuddies: Dog Journeys
- DoggyTrails: Hike Bliss
- WildTails: Dog Hikers
These answers provide helpful alternative words and combinations you might not have considered. They also have some formatting issues that you would not want to include.
Try to keep your name original and not the same name AI provided. Think of your new listeners. Will they want to know the story behind your podcast name? Is “AI made it for me” the one you want to tell?
Podcast Name Generator
You can also use a free podcast name generator to help you brainstorm. Yes, there is such a thing. We caution against PAYING someone or something to brainstorm for you. So many free options can help the average creator get started. It is better to save money for a mic than a paid podcast name generator.
Google Tools for Keywords
If you have some great ideas brewing, hopefully, you are writing them down. If you question whether the keywords you have focused on are right, try using Google’s Free Keyword Planner or Google Trends to see search volume over time.
A good podcast has a catchy title reflecting your content and includes ONE keyword/phrase. For instance, you could call your show about understanding dogs “All things Dog,” but when you Google that, you get a zillion podcasts, articles, and YouTube channel videos on everything from dog breeds to fancy leashes. “All Things Dog” is too general a topic, and “dog” is too general a keyword.
However, if your podcast name is “Why Is My Dog Doing That?” now you’ve got a title that someone with a question about dog behavior is much more likely to search. It is clear that you will provide some answers to questions about canine behavior. Just “Why is my dog …” gets an average of 22,000 Google searches per month.
Your catchy podcast name also suggests that you understand how frustrating it can be when your dog behaves in ways that don’t make sense. You’ve also already built an empathetic relationship with your potential listeners.
Real People are Helpful, Too!
A good podcast name can become the perfect podcast name with a little help from a friend. Can’t find anyone? Join a podcasting community and collaborate with others who bring fresh, objective, and exciting ideas to the party. Remember that at this point, old adages apply: no ideas are bad and two heads are better than one.
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Refine Your Podcast Name Ideas
Generate a list of words that have to do with your podcast content: topic-specific words (Why Is My Dog Doing That?), conceptual words (Agression to Zoomies: Dog Behavior), fun words that may play off your title topic (Bad Dog, Good Dog).
Right now, you are simply compiling podcast name ideas: creative podcast names, funny podcast names, catchy podcast names, but most importantly, a podcast name that will get the attention of your target audience. If you have yet to identify your target audience, we suggest you look at our How To Start a Podcast Guide for help.
Use descriptive words to come up with a descriptive title. For instance, which podcast name do you think is better?
“Explaining Your Dog” or “Ruff & Ready Dog Answers”.
Which podcast name will you remember? A play on common phrases is often a good podcast naming strategy.
3. Podcast Title Research
Now, it is time to whittle down your podcast name ideas to a few great podcast names. Send an email to your friends and family with your top podcast names and your podcast’s topic. Ask them which they like best and why. Getting feedback is always helpful when you are launching a new creative project.
Tally up responses and see where your proposed podcast names fall. Is the one at the top your perfect podcast name? Just a few more steps to find out!
Now that you have some top contenders, it’s time for some research. Take a look at the competition as well as your favorite podcasts.
You will find some very successful rule-breaker podcasts. Celebrity status or startup funding may have contributed to their ability to break the rules. Note what contributed to that success and what success looks like for you. Look specifically for what is working that applies to your podcast.
Search Everywhere For Your Podcast Name
Once you have landed on a few alternatives you like, you must ensure you are not infringing on anyone’s trademark. You don’t want to launch a podcast with the same name as someone else.
Remember rule #1 — be original.
Think like new listeners who don’t know the name of your podcast yet. They are just exploring apps like Spotify, looking at categories and featured content. A very important part of every successful podcast is the ability to think about and react to your potential listeners’ interests.
Start Your Podcast Title Research
Every directory’s algorithm is different, and they continue to subtly evolve.
For instance, Apple Podcasts uses some of these factors to deliver search results:
- Metadata: show title, channel name, and episode title
- Popularity: podcasts with large followers and plays in Apple Podcasts
- User Behavior: podcasts with high engagement, those that are played or followed from Apple Podcasts search results
All that means for you is to search the directories thoroughly, with combinations of words and individual words, and take the time to review podcast name results, even more than you might on a web search engine.
We recommend doing directory-level searches just to BE SURE the same podcast name you are proposing isn’t already out there. Think of it as an extra layer of protection.
Finally, check if a domain name with the same name as your proposed title is available. The domain name doesn’t need to exactly match the title, but ideally, it should be similar and unique. You can search for and register a domain name at any registrar, like Libsyn’s Pair Domains.
4. Finalize Your Podcast Name and Marketing
Hopefully, your podcast name ideas are narrowed down at this point, and you are ready to create the remaining information required to set up your show on a podcast host like Libsyn.