Updated: May 5
My guess is that as you read the five-letter word 'Obama', the thought of the 44th president of the United States crossed your mind for a second, If you think about 'Obama' for a couple more seconds, I can bet that his image would pop up in your mind. I dare you to try it if you don't believe me.
That's the power of a name. Name is identity!
Talking about 'name', one of the first things every podcaster does (or would do) is name their podcast; in essence, giving the podcast an identity.
For some, picking a podcast name comes easy. For others, there is a tendency to overthink.
What I intend to do in this blog post is to go through the types of podcast names and what I consider the characteristics of a very good podcast name.
TYPES OF PODCAST NAMES
PODCAST NAMED AFTER THE HOST: This is when hosts decide to integrate their names into the title of their podcasts. E.g Dr. Sid Speaks, Queen Raffy's Space Podcast, etc.
ANCHOR'S NAME ADDED AS AN ADDENDUM TO PODCAST TITLE: This is similar to the first. The only difference is that the word 'with' is usually used to connect the main title of the podcast with the name of the anchor. E.g All Round Gist with Funmi, Parenting Corner with Oluwapelumi Janet, etc.
DESCRIPTIVE NAMES: A descriptive name describes what the podcast is all about. E.g Road to 30 Podcast, Cha-Cha Music Review Podcast, etc.
CREATIVE/REMARKABLE NAMES: These types of names are usually not related to the podcast. E.g Don't Much my Whisky, Jesus and Jollof, etc.
GENERIC NAMES: More often than not, podcasts with generic names are open-ended. That is, the host(s) can talk on a variety of topics. E.g I said What I said, Naija Girl Talks, etc.
ACRONYMS: Some podcasters use acronyms whilst naming their podcasts. This is not really advisable because it can either be boring or difficult to pronounce. E.g ISKCON of DC. ISKCON stands for the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. A more creative one is GAP which stands for Generic Acronym Podcast.
CHARACTERISTICS OF A GOOD PODCAST NAME
SHORT: I recommend that the name of your podcast shouldn't exceed 4 words
EASY TO SPELL: The primary mode of promotion for many podcasters is word of mouth. You don't want to lose prospective listeners just because they can't spell your podcast name. Avoid deliberate misspellings.
EASY TO PRONOUNCE: This is good for you who would always introduce the podcast weekly or monthly (as the case may be). It is also just great for your listeners too.
MEMORABLE: Your listeners should not find it hard to remember the name of your podcast. This can affect repeat listenership.
UNIQUENESS: You want to make sure that the exact name of your podcast is not taken already and that the domain name is available in case you want to have a dedicated website built for your podcast. N/B: You can find a go-around if the social media handle of your proposed name is unavailable.
GIVES AN IDEA OF WHAT YOUR PODCAST IS ABOUT: Now this isn't compulsory but considering the number of podcasts on distribution platforms vying for listeners' attention, people can be encouraged to give your podcast a try if they know what to expect from the get-go.
NO ABBREVIATIONS & NO OFFENSIVE WORDS: Your podcast can be banned from Apple Podcast (for example) if the name contains expletive or offensive words.
PS: Some podcasters believe that adding 'podcast' to your podcast name is redundant. You can check out this tweet.
When I started my podcast This is the Future, my goal was to talk about the teaching profession and education in general. However, after a year (or so) of podcasting, I decided to delve into historical events. I also interview Africans doing interesting things.
Despite this change, I did not have any problem with my podcast name because it was not restrictive.
I mentioned this so that you can also put it into consideration in your search for a name for your podcast.
Lastly, be deliberate in choosing a name for your podcast but don't overthink it.
Do you have any other thing you think podcasters should consider when thinking of a name for their podcast? Let us know.
What's the name of your podcast and what's the inspiration behind it? Also, how easy was it for you to come up with a name?