Just as the Internet provides an opportunity for almost everyone to post a blog, a webpage, or a simple Twitter page, the ability to host your own radio show can be accomplished with a simple registration, using an online service like BlogTalk Radio.
BlogTalk has become a popular audio podcasting platform for thousands of users who host shows on a wide range of topics – from automative repair tips, cooking, and movie review shows, to conversations about technology and gadgets. There’s no limit to what can form the basis of a show. And BlogTalkRadio makes it easy to get started with a free 30 minute live show plan, in which each show episode is automatically archived for later downloads.
How It Works
BlogTalk Radio consists of highly professional hosted radio shows, to shows hosted via a simple mobile phone. To get a feel for how the shows work, simply go to the BlogTalk Radio homepage and search for a topic of interest, or listen to one or more of the live or featured shows listed on the page.
Live shows often allow listeners to call in with questions and comments. But you can also download archived shows and listen to them via your computer or mobile podcasting app. If you find a show you like, click the “Follow” button under profile icon and you will get notified by email when the next show is scheduled to air.
Hosting a Show
If you decide to host a radio show, you simply need to click on the “Become a Host” or the red “Create My Talk Show” button on the upper-right side of any BlogTalk page. At that point, you add your Show Title, Profile Description, and select a Show Category.
With the free hosting plan, you’re limited to 30 minute episodes that can be aired anytime except the Prime Time hours of 4:00 to 8:00 PM, which is reserved for Premium Hosts only. You can also designate the visibility of your show, for either Everyone, Mature, Explicit, and Test.
After you register a show, you have as much time as you need to prepare for your first presentation. You’re not required to host daily or weekly shows. How often you post depends upon your time and the content of your shows.
As with any social networking site, you want to click into your Profile page and write descriptions about your show, the Display Name, and list your website where listeners can find out more about you or your organization.
Before you do your first show you will definitely want to set up and run a Test Show, which will run like a live show, but no one will hear it unless you send a few people the URL link to hear it.
Setting up the Test Show allows you to learn how to link into the BlogTalkRadio Studio and call into the Hosting number to conduct your show. You will want to make your Host call at least 15 minutes before the show is scheduled to air. BlogTalk will give you a five-minute countdown for when your show will start.
You can call into the show using your phone, but BlogTalk recommends that you get a better quality audio using Skype on a computer. If you must use a phone, make sure not to use the phone’s speaker, but instead speak directly into the mic, or better yet use headphones.
While a 30 minute episode doesn’t seem like a long time, in radio time it’s a good minimum amount of time to air a show. Think about how most television news shows or sitcoms are actually less than 30 minutes with commercials.
So in order to make the best use of the time, prepare an outline for what you will talk about and how much time, roughly, you plan to spend on each sub-topic. Guest interviews are also useful for radio shows, but in the early stages of your show you might want to rely on a co-host for a show, so that you’re not the only one doing all the talking.
When you log into the BlogTalkRadio Studio (accessed on the upper-right side of the page under your username and account), you will see that it provides a phone number for listeners to call into your show. When people call in they will hear your show on their phone. Their phone number, not their name, will appear in the BlogTalk Studio. When you’re ready for a caller to speak, you announce his or her area code or the first three digits of the phone number, and then you click the red button to un-mute the phone and allow the caller to speak.
It’s a good idea to keep a Frequent Callers list of phone numbers so that you can identify those callers by name when adding them to the radio show.
BlogTalkRadio provides lots of useful resources, including screencasts and manuals for getting your show up and running.
Hosting a BlogTalkRadio show is easy, but the challenging part is getting people to listen. When you create a show, that show really doesn’t exist until you let people know about it. So you will need to promote your show using your email contact list, your social networking pages, and maybe even some advertising. But one of the great things about BlogTalk is that your shows are archived.
So even if you only get a handful of listeners for your first few shows, you can post a link to your shows on your website for people to listen to later.
BlogTalk also provides an embed code for each show which can be used to post the BlogTalkRadio Player on your website. From there when people visit your site, they can listen to your archived shows and become more familiar with you and your organization or business.
For other ideas about online streaming radio, check out these articles:
- Start An Online Radio Station Of Your Own: Here’s How
- The Top 8 Radio Talk Show Hosts With Online Streaming
- How To Schedule Recording A Radio Station On Windows Or Mac
BlogTalkRadio and other similar services are what make the Internet a powerful tool for all users. Let us know what you think of BlogTalkRadio and your experiences with it.