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The List: Day 1 – Part One – What’s In A Name?

Probably the most important aspect of your entire podcast is the name. Can your show live or die by its name? Maybe. Let’s first look at 7 aspects that go into creating a good name for your show.

1. Keep It to Three Words or Less
In this case, less is more. We’re bombarded by advertising and marketing over 2,000 times a day – make it easy for your listeners to remember your name. Your show may be about a lot of things, but you don’t need to put it all in the title.

2. Make it Easy to Say
Is there a cadence to the name? Does it roll off or twist your tongue? Remember, you’re going to be saying this name for as long as your show lasts. Say it out loud. Say it to your friends and family. Listen to them say it back to you. It sounds silly, but what looks good on paper often doesn’t sound good when spoken.

When I came up with Campground Pirate Radio for a show name, I had a number of concepts I wanted to get across:

I had a cadence in my head. It went Da-da Da-da Da-da-da. It felt right to me so I started with that.

There was the rogue radio element. I had just seen the movie Pirate Radio and loved the entire concept of playing music with no constraints, no commercials and no program director looming over you. The words pirate and radio worked perfectly and fell right into the cadence: Da-da Pirate Radio.

The first part was the toughest. I wanted to emulate the sound of FM radio from the 70’s and 80’s. Not necessarily the music, but the feel of it. While buzzing through an old copy of Radio Magazine, I caught the term terrestrial radio. Terrestrial meaning earth or ground.

I was also starting to form the shortened version of the name in my head: CPR. It all started working together. I m trying to resuscitate a dying medium. C-ground Pirate Radio… Campground. Yeah, I like that.

Okay, so Campground Pirate Radio was a little loopy, but it’s memorable and conveys what the show is about.

3. Make it Easy to Spell
Now is not the time to channel Prince or spell in Cellphonese. Pick simple words that are easy to spell. I’m betting that the Quantifiable Eugenics Symposium 4 Grrrls Podcast won’t get a lot of hits.

4. Is it Memorable?
This is, by all means, the number one concept you need to understand. Can anybody remember the name of your show? Picture this conversation:

“Man, I just caught this incredible podcast last night! Three guys all ripping on stuff in the news. Man, I laughed so hard I thought I was gonna get sick!”

“What was it called?”

“Uh, what was it called? God, I’m not sure. I remember that it was on this site with a weird name but it wasn’t the name of the show… I’ll look it up when I get home… if I can find the site again.”

“Never mind.”

And, poof, you just lost another listener. Maybe two if the first guy can’t find your site again.

5. Does It Say What the Podcast Is?
Remember the saying, “never judge a book by its cover?” Guess what, we all do that. How many times have you been scrolling through iTunes until a certain show name caught your eye? And why did it catch your eye? Probably because there was something in the name that rang true with you.

Never underestimate telling people exactly what your show is about.

6. Can You Use That Name For Your Site, Social Media and Email?
Try to use the name of your show in all of your media. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve run across a show that literally went out of their way to hide from people.

You’d find The Joe Blow Podcast at PodBlob.com/jbpodcast. Email them at joe2345@aol.com and don’t forget to Like them on Facebook @joespodcast.

Use your title in your web address, your social media and your email.

7. Can You Make A Logo Out of the Name?
For CPR, this took a little while and a number of tossed out versions to come up with.

First it was just words on a line – then playing with color – then stacking the words… it looked alright but something was missing. It had to say Pirate Radio. I soon added a skull and crossbones, but that was too obvious. Then it hit me, a pirate ship on the high seas, rocking back and forth… on a wave.

Campground Pirate Radio logo

Take it Step by Step

  • Brainstorm a list of keywords that relate to what you’re doing.
  • Try blending words together to create other different words.
  • Do domain searches as you’re coming up with names to see if they’re available or to give you other options.
  • Keep it short – three or less words works great.
  • Make it easy to say.
  • Make it easy to spell.
  • Never underestimate telling people exactly what your show is about.
  • Use your title in your web address, your social media and your email.

So, What’s In a Name?
Just the name of the show, the name of your website, the names on your Facebook, YouTube and Twitter accounts and your logo.

So what names have you come up with or are tossing around for your podcasts? Don’t be shy, let me know what they are in the comment section. And, hey, make a link out of it! Yeah, you heard me, plug your show in the comments section.

Let’s see your podcast names and tell me why and how you came up with them.

About Jay Walsh

With a combined 25 years of design, marketing, podcasting, video and social media knowledge, Jay created ProPodder.com with the goal of helping you make a better podcast.

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