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How to name podcast episodes

tl;dr  – Name podcast episodes with these tips and make your podcast episodes stand out. Make them memorable and branded with the right podcast episode name.  

Two important benefits from making a podcast episode’s name great.

  • First, it helps listeners find your episode in their podcast app.
  • Second, it can help increase your audience when the word they’re looking for is in your podcast episode’s name and they find your show.

And there’s more. A good podcast episode name makes it easier to promote on social media. One click takes visitors to your podcast’s landing page – or directly to the recording. 

Here are 7 tips with examples to answer the question: How do you name podcast episodes?

Our strategies for naming podcast episodes rely on 7 guidelines. 

1. Use action-packed titles to name podcast episodes to hook your audience.

Does your podcast episode tell a story? Does it ask questions? Does it talk about overcoming a problem or a how-to so listeners can avoid pitfalls? If any of those fit, how you name a podcast episode matters.

Think about your audience. Are they into sports? Science fiction? Comedy? There are lots of questions or stories you can include to structure an episode title that caters to your audience.

Think about keywords. Is there a keyword or phrase in your episode title that you want people to find when searching for it? Make sure to include it in the show’s description and in the episode’s tags.

Find synonyms. Do some of the words in your episode title have similar meanings? For example, “How to be a Better Writer” might have synonyms like “Writing Tips,” “Writing Strategy,” and “Creative Writing.” If so, include them in the episode’s name and tags. 

2. Use active voice to name podcast episodes. Verbs are your friend.

Your high school English teacher told you this and it’s still true today. Use active voice. (Look her up and thank her!) Passive voice is tired and boring, not compelling and is old school. Here are some examples of changing passive to active voice.

Remember: Use active voice in your podcast episode titles.

FIRST A NOUN – THEN A VERB.

A noun followed by a verb will most likely result in an active voice.

  • The ball was thrown. Change it to “He threw the ball hard and almost knocked over the catcher.”
  • The visiting team was defeated by the home team’s big scores. Change it to “The home team upset the visitors and scored big in every quarter.”
  • The dog’s bark was ignored by its owner. Change it to “The owner disregarded the barking dog and the intruder entered through the back door.

3. Keep the podcast episode name short, sweet and easy to remember.

Friends episode, "The one with..."
Brand the podcast to your show

When recommending a podcast to a friend, do you tell them long sentences or do you remember an episode you enjoyed and maybe the podcast show’s name? When I recommend a podcast, I may sometimes recall the show’s entire name, but I always remember an episode I especially liked. That’s the title I usually tell them to search for.

If your podcast is new, you need a name that is both compelling and easy to remember. Before you name your show, find a word that you want to include in all your podcast episode titles. It brands each episode to your show. Remember the TV show Friends? Each episode started with The one … That was brilliant and easy. Do the same thing when choosing titles for  episodes.

4. Combine words differently when choosing titles for episodes. Use a word or phrase consistently for branding.

Example 1: Let’s say your podcast is about fishing in the Pacific Northwest. How do you choose titles for episodes? Maybe try a pattern with a consistent word.

“On Fishing for Marlin” could be the start of a pattern. Then there’s “On fishing for [fish type here]” for each upcoming episode.

Example 2: If your podcast is about cooking and you use affiliate links to sell cooking tools, serious cooks will look for episodes with “kitchen tools” and the tool they want to learn about in the episode title. You want them to find your episode and click the affiliate links, so how you go about choosing titles for episodes can impact your income.

Think about a situation like this: Each episode’s name features the tool of the day. “How to use a [tool name] in your kitchen” or “Solve casserole mess with a [tool name] in your kitchen.”

Using words differently helps your podcast episodes stand out from the rest. Including the same word or phrase in the episode title brands your podcast episodes. Think about these two ideas when you name podcast episodes.

5. Use a powerful word or phrase to name podcast episodes.

Words have power. When you name a podcast episode, find similar words that make your show feel powerful. Remember that English teacher in high school? She taught you what synonyms are. Look up a word to find better or more exciting words to name your podcast episode.

  • Hint: if you write in Microsoft Word, use SHIFT+F7 [the function 7 key] to open suggested┬ásynonyms. You can also find it on the ribbon in the “Review” tab.
Name podcast episodes using a thesaurus for researching synonyms
Microsoft Word Ribbon
  • Hint: there are several free synonym sites online. Search for “synonym for [your word]” and you’ll see multiple links to try.

6. Test episode titles with friends and family before publishing them online.

Friends and family make a good substitute for focus groups. When you name podcast episodes, ask around and see if they have input that you can use. That way, you’ll have worthwhile suggestions for title for your episode and your audience will be much closer to finding your podcast.

You’re likely an expert in your field. Too often, experts think and talk in industry-specific words but the rest of world doesn’t. If your audience is made up of ‘regular people,’ testing a podcast episode title with regular people will often result in a more descriptive word or phrase and help it get found by potential listeners.

7. Use humor as a motivator when you name podcast episodes.

“Funny” has a place when you name podcast episodes. What’s the thing about funny? Funny sells. Funny helps you talk about difficult topics. Funny makes listeners smile. Funny makes them come back for more. 

Funny is an entire range of things. It’s not a single joke; rather, it can be a light-hearted phrase, an intro to an interviewee, a bit or irony, and the tried-and-true self-deprecating remark. 

Of course, funny isn’t appropriate everywhere and that’s where your judgement comes in. 

When you name podcast episodes, make sure to use these key tips to help you create titles that will resonate with your audience and grow your following. By following these tips, you’ll be able to create catchy and memorable podcast episode titles that attract new listeners and engage existing fans.

Want more tips for your podcast?