Before you start thinking about names for your podcast, we actually find that it’s best to start with your podcast description. Sounds weird, right? But trust us on this. Using your own words, describe what makes your podcast great. In general, aim for roughly 1-2 paragraphs in length. Remember the big 3 questions: Who? What? Why? It’s generally good practice to slightly introduce yourself, talk about the purpose of the podcast, and sprinkle in a little bit of your motivation for the podcast. The description, unlike the name, is much easier to change down the road. So do not feel the need to stress over each word and syllable because it can be altered even when you have 50 episodes published.
To begin, you must consider your topic. With that in mind, are there any particular phrases or idioms that stick out to you? Take this as an example, my friend Thomas came up to me and had an idea about exposing the secrets of pharmaceutical companies, and one of the first ideas that came to mind was “Getting a Taste of Their Own Medicine.” There were so many nuances to this title, but he ultimately settled on a different one because he felt that this title conveyed a sense of retribution which was a theme absent in his podcast. One potential drawback with this method is that many of the common idioms in spoken English are already taken for podcast names which brings us to our next topic, uniqueness.
You’d be pretty surprised to see how many names are already taken. Before I began my own podcast, I’d gone through about 30 different names, and most of them were already shows! It’s important to have a name wholly your own because podcasts are housed in a directory, and if you share a podcast name with other shows, then a listener who may search up your show title may end up listening to the other podcast. And the final reason is common courtesy. A general rule of thumb is first come first serve. So if someone else has a show with a name that you may want, please don’t be a jerk.
While you are allowed to have a podcast title of 255 characters, we recommend having a title of around 30 characters which roughly approximates to 6 words. The reason for this is because you want to have a memorable name. A name that sticks into the minds of listeners and allows listeners to type into any podcasting directory. You don’t want potential listeners typing an entire essay to search for your podcast.
And just as a general practice, do not include the word “podcast” anywhere in your title. It is already implied that your show is a podcast, and it makes it unnecessarily complicated in general search engines.
TIPS AND TRICKS
Finalizing a name for your podcast is not easy. We recommend you to create a list of around 30 different names. Feel free to ask your friends, teachers, and family. If you find yourself stuck, try doing something else. I find that petting my dog or going outside for a walk helps a lot. For me, finding a name was a process that took several months, for others, finding a name was a process that took 30 minutes. But to recap:
Make sure your show name is unique and indicates the purpose of your show.
Aim for approximately 30 characters.
Take your time!
Ideally, before moving to this stage, you should have a name figured out for your show. Now, before running off for stencils and paper to make your art, we recommend reading this next section which will be incredibly helpful in choosing the best cover art for your show.
With excellent content, comes excellent cover art. To help you understand what a cover art is, think about your cover art as the logo for your podcast. It's the first thing that listeners notice in a directory, and If you don’t have an enticing cover art, then you won’t have many new listeners stumbling on your show by “accident!” (Notice that we put the word accident in quotation marks because no listener will be there by accident.)
Logistically speaking, we recommend using an online graphic design software to create your cover art. This picture should be anywhere from 1400 x 1400 to 3000 x 3000 pixels which is easily converted through an online software found on canva.com (we’ll get into that a bit later).
Your cover art should effectively convey what your podcast is about. So if your podcast is about basketball, having a picture of your dog isn’t the best choice (unless your podcast is about how well Fido balls up). You get the point. One of my friends has a podcast about gardening, and for his cover art, he laid out a bunch of his fruits and vegetables on a table.
To begin creating a cover art, you first must find a good picture. A test of whether or not you have a good picture is if you ask someone else who has no idea about your podcast if they can correctly predict what the podcast is going to be about with this picture. The only nuance to this is if you have a podcast where you expect your audience to come to listen to your personality. In that case, a clean profile picture will suffice. You cannot choose any ordinary picture on the internet for your cover art. You must either create an original graphic design or find a picture that is labeled for reuse. To do that, head over to Google.com and search for a picture that you may want. Once you clicked on the “Images” tab, on that same line, click on “Tools.” Here, a dropdown menu showing “Usage Rights” will appear and you must either click on “Labeled for Reuse” or “Labeled for Reuse with modification” if you intend on adding words on to it.
Now that you have a picture that you like, head over to canva.com. Once you’re logged in, head over to the Home page where you’ll find an option on the top right that reads, “Create a design” and click on that. Once you do so, select the option that says “Custom dimensions.” As noted above, your cover art can be anywhere from 1400 x 1400 to 3000 x 3000 pixels, but for the best quality, we do recommend going for that full 3000 x 3000, so type “3000” into both the width and height and leave the dimension as “px”.
Now, what you should see on a screen is a blank layout. Here, you can insert the picture you’ve chosen that you feel would best represent your podcast. Once you do so, click on “Text” which will be an option on the left-hand side of the page. Choose a choice of text and you will be able to add your podcast name that you have decided upon. If your podcast name is too large, play around with the text or cut out a few unnecessary words, but make sure that the remaining text still conveys the purpose of your podcast. Feel free to drag this text box around and play around with its orientation. Many times, the best position for the text isn’t in the middle! If you want to alter the font, there are options on the top of the page to do so. This is where your imagination can run wild, so we definitely recommend spending some time and playing around with all these options.
Once you’ve finished your cover art, head to the top right where you can download it. For the best format, choose PNG and click download. There you have it! Your own podcast cover art. How exciting!