Coming up with a good name for your brand-new YouTube channel can be tricky. It’s almost as hard as choosing a great name for your business.
Does the name fit your brand? Will people know what your YouTube channel is about by the name alone, or will you have to explain it to them? Is it relevant now? What about next year?
You could use many of the YouTube name generators out there, but these seem to churn out nonsensical titles that only a robot could come up with (or like, for that matter). So let’s take a more strategic approach to finding your perfect name.
There’s a lot that goes into choosing a good YouTube channel name, and we’re here to help you dial it all in. From choosing an SEO-friendly name to including a number or not, we’ll help you craft the perfect title for your YouTube channel.
14 Practices Behind Every Good YouTube Channel Name
1. Be Descriptive
Good YouTube names generally fall into a few buckets:
- Brand (Coca-Cola)
- Name (Ariane Grande)
- Category (Soccer Highlights)
- Descriptive (Top Call of Duty Plays)
If your YouTube channel’s content and theme fit your name or brand, then you’re set—don’t worry about the rest of this post. Some YouTube channels work best by just using your name or brand for the channel.
If you’re the highlight and host of the channel, then it makes sense. However, if you created a channel around grizzly bear sightings, it wouldn’t make much sense if your channel’s name was Jamie Richards.
Your YouTube channel might not fit into the brand or name category, and that’s okay. You can find plenty of great opportunities within the categorical or descriptive categories.
2. Check Availability
It doesn’t matter if you come up with the greatest, most brand-encompassing name in the world if someone else already has it. Availability needs to be your #1 priority—and not only on YouTube. If you plan to have a website (or already have one) and social media channels, you’ll want to ensure the name is available on all the platforms.
You don’t have to have exactly the same name on every digital medium, but you should strive to get as close as possible.
You’ll also want to make sure your YouTube channel name is easily searchable. For example, you might not want to choose Strange Things as your title because it’s always going to get drowned out by searches for Stranger Things. Or, for another example, you wouldn’t want to choose Bodybuilder for a channel name because Bodybuilding.com monopolizes just about every YouTube and Google search for that word.
Use a tool like Namechk to search for available names across the Internet. Type in a name, and it’ll tell you its availability (or lack thereof) across domain names and social profiles.
3. Keep It Easy to Spell
Your audience should be able to spell your name from just hearing it—that’s how you’ll gain word-of-mouth marketing juice. If someone has to repeat it multiple times or have you spell it out for them, it’s not simple enough.
4. Make It Catchy
You want your name to stick with your audience. It needs to be clever enough to be memorable, but not so clever that it’s totally ambiguous. You’ll have to walk a fine line to find the perfect name.
Instead of coming up with entirely new words, try using unique modifiers and adjectives to give your name a special feel. For example, instead of Meatastic Recipes, you might try More Meat Recipes or Infinite Meat Recipes.
The book Made to Stick has 6 great principles to stick to:
If you can come up with a catchy YouTube channel name that touches on those points, it’ll have a good chance of being sticky.
5. Stay Relevant to Your Topic
Good YouTube names stay relevant to the channel’s theme. Your audience should know what your channel is about by looking at the name alone.
Irrelevant names can mislead and confuse your audience. Imagine visiting a YouTube channel with the name Real Estate Lover only to find a page dedicated to concerts in Colorado. You’d probably hit the “return” button in about 0.2 seconds.
A good YouTube name functions a lot like a book title. Think of how your customers might be strolling down the aisle at the library looking for just the right book—if they’re looking for a book on running, they’ll likely be looking for the word “running” in the title.
The same goes for your YouTube channel. If someone is looking for videos on hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, they’ll likely look for keywords in the channel title like hiking, PCT, and backpacking.
6. Use Capital Letters
Using capital letters increases the readability of your channel name, especially if you choose to keep it as one word. For example, imagine if PewDiePie‘s channel name was pewdiepie—you wouldn’t even know where to start.
7. Avoid Numbers
Unless your number is uniquely relevant to your channel content (like Formula 1, 90’s Music, or Travel Route 66), avoid them. If the name you want is unavailable, don’t try adding numbers to it like you would with your email address. This is different.
If your desired name is unavailable, you’re going to have to get clever in other ways or look for a completely separate name.
Imagine channel names like Soccer124325 or Runway23. The numbers make the name look unprofessional and commonplace—which is the opposite of what you’re going for with a catchy, memorable name.
8. Leave Room for Opportunity
Choose a name that gives you room to explore new opportunities. Super niche names can pigeonhole you into limited content, and that might not work for you moving forward.
For example, if you want to start a channel featuring mountain drone footage, you might not want to call it Colorado Mountains. What if you move to Utah? Or what if you go on a trip to Switzerland and want to include footage from those mountains?
However, you have to be sensitive to what your audience might be interested in. A generic channel called The Best Music Ever might be too broad to attract interest—you’ll probably need to niche down further to something like The Best Country Music Ever or The Best American Tunes Ever.
9. Say It Aloud
Another good litmus for your channel name is saying it aloud. How does it sound? Some names might appear fun and classy in your head or on paper, but they just don’t sound right when said aloud. This isn’t a make-or-break criterion, but keep in mind you’ll likely be saying the channel’s name a lot, so ensure it sounds good verbalized.
10. Test Your Name
Curious about the quality of a name? Test it with your friends or family. Better yet, if you have an existing audience, launch a poll to let them vote or voice their opinions. Your followers or customers might be able to come up with a better name than you can!
11. Make Sure You Like the Name
With billions of different possibilities, there’s no reason to end up with a name that you don’t like. However, this happens all the time. Here are a few classic examples of folks who hit it big and ended up hating their professional or stage name:
- Mumford & Sons: Marcus Mumford said he would have named the band anything else if he had a clue they’d have been this successful. They thought about changing the name at one point, but it was far too late.
- Foo Fighters: “It’s the dumbest band name ever,” says lead musician Dave Grohl.
- Arctic Monkeys: The band blames their name on the fact that this was the very first band any of them had been in, and they didn’t get an opportunity to test out different names with different bands.
Don’t end up like these celebrities. Choose a name you’ll like today, tomorrow, and 5 years from now.
Imagine introducing yourself on the channel or on a podcast or on a TV show in a few years—would you be happy and comfortable with the name then? If not, it’s time to keep digging for the right name.
12. Consider Search Traffic
Search traffic is one of the most lucrative and organic ways people will discover your YouTube channel. Think of search terms your audience may use to find content. If those words are in your channel name, then there’s a chance you can hit it big and rank your channel for those keywords. It’s also an additional signal to YouTube’s search algorithms that your channel’s content is relevant to certain search queries.
13. Try Name Modeling
Do you have a few favorite YouTube channels you follow? Look at their naming strategies and see if there’s a formula you can adopt for your own. For example, they might all include a person’s first name or a descriptive take on their last name: Jesse Cooks, Silvia Skydives, or Biking with Alberta.
14. Have Fun
Take a look at the all-time most popular YouTube channels. Notice anything that they all have in common? Look very closely.
Did you find it? Me neither.
Looking at the names of the most-subscribed YouTube channels, there’s no real science to it. Some are 1 word while others are 7. Some contain real names, while others are nonsense.
Take PewDiePie, for example. The beloved YouTube star simply forgot his original Pew (as in a gun firing) Die password and added Pie to the end to come up with the brand-new name for his channel.
Because he loves pie.
All that’s to say: have fun choosing your name. Try as we might to nail down the exact reason why one name is better than another, the most important factors to your success will be your content, branding, and marketing. Get that right and even a name like Cocomelon or Pinkfong! Kids’ Stories & Songs can make it big.
You Can Change Your Name Later, But…
You’re not stuck with your decision forever. If you made a mistake or have just fallen out of love with your YouTube channel name, you can change it:
- Sign in to YouTube Studio,
- Select Customization,
- Choose Basic Info,
- Click Edit to update your channel name
That’s it. Pretty easy, right?
While it’s quick and straightforward to edit later, keep in mind the impact changing your name will make:
Will people still recognize the brand channel when they see a new name? Even if you release video updates and social media posts about updating the name, there’s a good chance most of your audience won’t see it. Will they stop following your account when they discover they’re subscribed to an account they’ve never heard about?
Once you start using your YouTube channel name, it’s everywhere. You likely say it in your videos, and you’ve probably created (or hired a designer to create) artwork for your profile and cover image. Those will all need to be updated if you want to maintain consistency moving forward.
Launch Your YouTube Channel
Don’t let choosing a name keep you from launching your dream YouTube channel. In the end, your content and marketing will play a much bigger role than your name.
Want to learn the ins and outs of how to hit it big on YouTube? Check out our brand new class How to Master YouTube Ads, taught by the man, the myth, the legend, Tommie Powers. This course will help you get your YouTube ads up and running (the right way) in no time.
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