To anyone new to podcasting and getting setup one of the things to take into consideration is your room environment. Rooms play a role in how your voice will sound and how your voice is captured. Your voice in certain rooms will act different based upon the properties the room has. To get a nice sound, ideally a room without reflective surfaces is best. Consider looking into a carpeted room versus one with a tile floor. Rooms that are full of wall hangings are also good as they will absorb any reverb. Egg carton/crates are a solid easy low-cost option to use that help reduce reverb so don’t shy away from this folklore tale. Amazon and other online retailers sell foam squares for those on a higher budget. Some of the best recordings I have done were inside of walk-in closet. Another thing to be aware of when selecting the ideal podcast room is the outside noise of your room. Are you in a room near the exterior of your house that captures that noisy neighbor driving by? Does your room sit near a utility room where a furnace goes off a lot? As you step into setting up your space to podcast in these factors will play into your post-production hours. The cleaner sounding your podcast room is the better your sound will be.
Let’s be honest, naming your podcast is usually the easiest part. I say usually though, because when my friends and I tried to come up with a name for our now called “The Hullabaloo Pod,” we went through a dozen names before we settled on our name. Why? Because a few of the names we thought of already were names of podcasts. Some of the names already had the best Twitter handle, and a few names not all five of us could agree on. Did we want the name of our podcast to describe the theme of our podcast? Did we want the name to have nothing to do with what we would talk about? Did we want it to be something serious or something funny? All of these questions are good to ask yourself, and you are justified to use these questions to explain why you named your podcast what you did. If you are podding with another person, or several people though, consensus on the name can be more difficult. For example, when you have five people participating in a podcast, agreement upon a name can be a challenge.
The Hullabaloo Pod is a collaboration of friends from the United States, Canada and England. We wanted a name that would possibly incorporate that we were in international podcast, in which we could most likely make fun of each other and where we were from. We intended for our podcast to just be all of us having fun and riffing off of each other on any number of random topics; from serious topics such as the possibility of worldwide utopia, to less serious topics such as the wrong way to get waxed, and some games thrown in for good measure. We thought we could try to find a name for the podcast that would help explain some of these premises. We came up with some names like “The Global Canard.” At last, we went with The Hullabaloo pod, in homage to when we all first podded together on The Cult of Dave podcast (episode 8-Holiday Hullabaloo, part of the New Pod World Order podcasting network). It seemed to just fit; it’s a fun name, and hullaballoo literally means “commotion,” which is what it is when the five of us jump on Skype and start recording the conversation of five good friends, who met on Twitter because of their love of the podcast Tell ‘Em Steve Dave.
When it came to naming my own podcast, I ran into these same issues. I came up with some ideas (long forgotten because that was three years ago now), and I would search the internet, iTunes and Twitter to see if the names were taken. I wanted something that fun to say or made me laugh. Months before I started my podcast, I had read an article online discussing the death of the English language because of fads like shortening common words such as totally to “totes.” At the time, I completely agreed with the article. I could not stand when people my age or younger (let’s be honest, mostly younger since I am in my mid-30s), would say “totes!” I would grind my teeth and roll my eyes in annoyance. Yet somehow, after reading that article, I found myself saying “totes,” more out of mockery of those that seriously used the word in their everyday vocabulary. As I would say it, most of my closest friends understood that it was in jest, or shared my irritation over this common slang term, and we would find ourselves laughing. Next thing I knew, I started considering a name with “totes” in the title. Then I thought, well if I end up mostly recording with my girlfriends, why not just take that article title and try “Totes M’Lady?” I did my searches and found that no podcasts existed with that name. Here goes nothing, my podcast has a name: Totes M’Lady, on the New Pod World Order network.
I do highly recommend that once you have a name, even if you have not even started on gathering recording and editing equipment, secure your name through social media websites you plan to use. Here at New Pod World Order, we rely heavily on promoting our podcasts through Twitter, and using hashtags with your podcast name as often as you can. That way, even if you post something from your personal social media, you can create a virtual trail with your hashtag. We also promote through Facebook and Instagram, so it is a good idea to grab those accounts with your podcast name as well. Lastly, I would recommend setting up a free SoundCloud account, since you can post your first one or two episodes for free through SoundCloud to get your started. We will explore in another article how to secure your podcast through popular audio hosting sites like iTunes and Stitcher.
There is no magic recipe for naming your podcast. My advice is that you should find a title that you know you will like until the end of time though, because once you start, you are stuck with it. I also think it is a good idea to talk about how you came up with your name on your first episode of your podcast. Podcasting is about storytelling, and what better story than how you decided to start a podcast named something as fun loving as The Hullabaloo Pod or Totes M’Lady?