iTunes New and Noteworthy screenshot

I’m planning to set up a new podcast and am having a challenge finding a good name for it.

From some work I’ve done over the past weekend, I found Brian Casel’s comments about the subject on the Mashable site, in his excellent post 7 Tips for Launching Your Podcast Site, rang true for me:

Pick something that is both memorable and speaks to your topic/audience. It’s my opinion that direct, descriptive names work better than abstract or overly creative names. Before you can hook your audience with your killer smile and groundbreaking content, you’ll need them to tune in. That’s why your podcast name needs to jump out and grab them. Remember that much of your audience will be discovering your podcast via iTunes or Google search. So it’s a good idea to include a keyword or two within your show’s name.

Yes, get them to tune in: that’s a thought to hang onto.

Criteria I’m using, not necessarily in order of priority, are:

  • appropriate to the focus and scope of the podcast
  • not duplicating an existing podcast title
  • easy to remember and share
  • web domain available (not necessarily as primary url but at least for “insurance”)
  • includes keywords likely to bring more traffic
  • lends itself to good graphic – esp iTunes badge

Focus of the podcast

I have not yet completely pinned down the focus of the podcast.

At first I thought it could be something quite personal, such as “Conversations with Des” or “Coffee with Des”. That would leave me fairly unlimited scope for topics.

But being realistic, that could or would create an audience-building challenge. Even those thousands of Twitter followers do not of themselves a podcast audience make.

I know it will be a business-focused podcast and I intend to focus on something I am passionate about, enough to have no anxiety about staying interested and enthusiastic for months or years ahead, and which is likely to be of sufficient interest to a sufficient number of people to give me hope about building a substantial audience.

And I don’t want it to be too niche and specifically not about LinkedIn (I already have a podcast about LinkedIn).

So it’s almost certainly going to be about one or more of these:

  • social media
  • social business
  • coaching

Currently I’m thinking it is going to be on social business. That subsumes social media and in the way I approach social business it is also gives me some scope to talk about coaching – as illustrated by my tagline for this website, Advanced coaching for the new social business landscape.

Not duplicating an existing podcast title

Checking that will be a combination of:

  • using the main search engines
  • searching iTunes registered podcasts
  • taking some comfort if I have secured the domain name+

I’ve done some of all of these already and plan to do a bit more.

Easy to remember and share

This should be easier than the exercise when I was choosing a name for my LinkingEdge podcast, given that I could not safely have used the word LinkedIn in the title. For the upcoming podcast I can use any of “social media”, “social business” or “coaching” in the podcast name.

It definitely won’t be a “cute” name, or something that has meaning only for an in-group.

Will it “jump out and grab” people skimming through iTunes or Google search (Brian Casel’s recommendation above)? That could be a challenge and I’m not going to sweat it.

Web domain

As a name comes to mind, I immediately search on it with one of our domain hosting services. It may be paranoid (but who says we aren’t being followed!) but I don’t do these searches on the open web and I don’t use one particular domain hosting service for this because I have a suspicion they jump on names that are searched frequently.

Sometimes if I see that a domain I was liking has been taken I will search for it on the open web, which is why I know that the domains for a lot of good names about social media and social business have been taken, but are not being used.



I use the Google Adwords Keyword Tool and Market Samurai.

I know from previous searches on “social business” and from searches over this weekend past that if I’m going to use “social business” in the name, the keyword rankings may not be great. But I believe use of the term (used in relation to for-profit business) is growing and I may decide to take a “considered punt” on that.

Lends itself to a good graphic

Leo Laporte podcast badge small display

I’ve picked up that having a good graphic on iTunes is valuable – essential even – for building audience. So I have spent quite a lot of time over the weekend studying the podcast badges on the iTunes “New and Noteworthy” section, under the Business category (see image above).

There is a wide variety of styles.

I’ve done some reading on how to optimize this item and may post on that separately, after I have gone through the process.

Leo Laporte podcast larger displayOne thing that seems currently definite is that the graphic needs to be square and a minimum 1400px x 1400 px – which in the massed display on the iTunes site seems to be about 124px x 124px, but which from some experimenting I’ve done seems to provide more scope for detail than I had expected, and then about 220px x 220px on the display for the specific podcast, which allows for a bit more detail, but remember you only get to upload one image, the 1400px x 1400px, so you need to know what it is going to look like when it is scrunched down to 124px x 124px: see as an example the smaller and larger displays to your right here of the Leo Laporte podcast badge.

I’ve noticed several badges where too much detailed information has been crammed into the space, to the point where some of it is just a blur, on the grouped display (about 124px x 124 px), which kind of defeats the ideas of something jumping out and grabbing people, as Brian Casel recommends in the quote above. It’s certainly put me off trying to add in a sub title. 

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Des Walsh is an executive coach. He helps business owners and entrepreneurs worldwide deal effectively with the feeling of being left behind or overwhelmed, or both, about social media – especially LinkedIn - and how to engage safely and effectively with social media to help grow their business. Connect with Des on LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter. And to stay in the loop, get Des’s weekly Social Business Bites (select snippets of his "best of the week" online finds).