What’s in a name. A rose by any other name would still smell as sweet, right? While Shakespeare certainly was onto something there, the same rules may not apply to podcasting. Before you’ve settled on what to call yourself and how to describe your show, here are a few things to consider.
What Should I Call My Podcast?
Before you’ve settled on the perfect name, take a few minutes to search your favorite podcast app or even head to Google. If that title, or even something incredibly similar, is already taken, you may want to consider doing a little more brainstorming. If a potential follower were to search your podcast name and you’re tenth on the list, it’s going to be confusing and they may give up.
Also, think carefully about using explicit words in your title. While it may sound fun or even fit your brand and audience, podcast apps can refuse to accept or promote podcasts with explicit titles and you may find it a struggle to advertise your podcast in the future.
Lastly, don’t use the word podcast in your title. If they’re searching shows in a podcast app, they know you’re a podcast. This takes up precious space and adds nothing to your description.
Writing Your Podcast Description
Now it’s time to introduce your show to the world. The biggest thing here is to nail your podcast’s identity, its benefit for potential listeners, and the relevance or expertise of the hosts. This is a good place to state your logline too (more on loglines in a minute!).
Remember, a new listener can stumble upon your show at any time. Your description should pique interest without being unapproachable. Avoid “insider-y” or overly niche language. This is a great time to let your personality shine through and turn eyes into ears.
Here's a great example:
Which night creams will make you look well-rested, is quitting coffee really worth the headache, can emptying your closet actually bring you joy, and wtf is a gratitude practice, anyway? These are the kinds of self-care questions that wellness enthusiasts and writers Kate Spencer and Doree Shafrir discuss each week, along with a special guest, as they explore what it means to be getting older — and hopefully wiser.
Getting a new listener to your show based on your podcast art and description is just two-thirds of the battle. At the end of the day, content is key — and, with few exceptions, any episode can be the starting point for a new listener. Having a ‘logline’ for your show can drive home all of the above and hook a new listener in.
A logline is essentially a one-liner that sums up your show for listeners. Some may call it an "elevator pitch". It’s a guiding principle that you use to direct your content, and to quickly get across to new listeners at the start of your show, what the show is all about. Here's a great example Acast podcast, Akimbo that creates a summary of the podcast's themes and subject in just two sentences:
Akimbo's a podcast about our culture and about how we can change it. About seeing what's happening and choosing to do something. The culture is real, but it can be changed. You can bend it.
How should I title my episodes?
Episode titles can often be cut off by podcast directories, so think small. If you’ve got a great guest, put their name in the episode title and near the start. Make them descriptive and fun, but steer clear of click-bait.
Pro tip: There’s no need to add the show title, episode or season number in the title. These things can all be made clear somewhere else and you run the risk of eye-grabbing information being lost after ellipses on the podcasting apps.