One of the first things a new, prospective listener will see about your podcast is the name. Because this is really the “first touch” someone will have with your podcast (even before they hear your voice), the name becomes very important.
Naming your podcast is probably 75% of the battle in launching your podcast. You can learn how to do the things required to plan, record, edit and publish your episodes. But if you get the name wrong, you will not attract any listeners! If you take your time and choose a great name, you will draw listeners in and grow your podcast a lot faster than you can without a great name.
To start, do not get in a rush! Take a week or so to write down any and every possible name you can think of. Brainstorm by writing 10-15 titles around the subject of your podcast on a daily basis. Create short, three or four word descriptive phrases that describe your podcast or what the content and subject matter will be about.
Once you have 50-75 candidates for the name of your new podcast, take a couple days off and then come back to your list fresh.
Now, you move to elimination mode! As you scan your list, cross off names that just do not “sing” to your spirit. These names may have sounded great three or four days ago, but not so much now. If you have 75 possible names, you should be able to cut your list to say the top 20 that stand out for you.
Take another couple of days off before you come back to your list.
Now you will rank the twenty on your list in order of “likeability.” This means the names you like the best, put at the top. In addition, as you go down this list, cut out any name that just does not appeal to you at all. If done properly, you should have your list cut down to 12-15 possible names at this stage.
You can then take this list and share it with 5-7 trusted advisors and family members. Ask them to rank your possible podcast name, choosing the top 5 off of the list and ask them to write a comment as to “why” they like each name.
Once you receive your results from each of the people you shared the list with, compile the results. Rank your top five.
Now, it is time to check on possible domain availability on the top two or three. This is where you need to take your time and get the process right.
You should choose a podcast name / URL that allows you to have the dot COM extension. If you find the dot COM is unavailable, that means someone else is using that name.
Beware! Most domain hosting platforms will offer you several alternative extension since you cannot have the dot COM. Do not go down that route unless it is part of the branding for your company, group, etc.
Lack of a dot COM extension means somebody, somewhere, is already using that name. If your podcast really starts to get a lot of traction, you may find yourself receiving a “Cease and Desist Order” because of Trade Mark or Copy Right violations involving the other company who owns the dot COM extension.
Imagine working two, three or four years and suddenly your podcast is one of the most popular in your niche. You then receive a “Cease and Desist Order” or, worse yet, are facing a legal challenge where you are facing millions of dollars in fines and legal fees!
Re-branding your podcast once you become popular is very hard to do! Even if you agree to change your name and your brand in exchange for the legal challenge to go away, you are still facing huge costs in the re-branding process.
In addition, you will be losing huge amounts of your listeners in the process. Many people will not try to find your new name. You truly will be “starting over” with your new podcast. All of the work and expenses you will have spent were wasted.
But it all can be avoided if you will take the time at this stage and make sure you are able to purchase the dot COM domain extension. Even then, that is not a 100% guarantee your podcast name is not being used by another company, person or even another podcast somewhere with a different extension. But the odds are greatly in favor if you have a dot COM extension.
To avoid those kinds of headaches, start your podcast with a name that allows you to own the dot COM extension yourself. Do Google searches and just check to see if there is a company out there somewhere that is already using your desired name.
If the first one is not available, go to the next on the list. You may have to go through the entire process two or three times before you finally arrive at a suitable name that meets all of the criteria you have established. Once you find one that does – go for it!
Then you can start your podcast knowing that the name is unique only to you.
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