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652498984_804df2a414So you’ve seen The Today Show, or Oprah, or Jerry Springer, and you’ve thought “hey, that could be me!” Well, except Jerry Springer – let’s hope you’ve never thought you could be Jerry. But anyway, being a talk show host looks like one of the most fun (not to mention most lucrative) jobs out there, if you ask me.

But how do you get a talk show? And how do you use it to make millions of dollars? Well, I can’t help with the second part (let me know if you figure it out), but I can help with the first. It’s called BlogTalkRadio, and is a fantastic Web app for becoming the host of your very own Internet talk show.

btr

BlogTalkRadio is really two things: it’s a place to find talk and radio shows (sort of like a podcast library, really), as well as a way to create your own show. There’s tons of great stuff on BTR, but for now, we’ll just stick with creating your own show.

First things first: create an account with BTR (don’t worry, it’s both free and easy). The link’s a little hard to find at first, so I’ll help – it’s the “Register” link, at the top right of the home page screen.

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signin

Once you’ve created an account, you’ll see your Account central; it’s probably pretty empty at the moment. No worries, we’ll fix that. Click the “My Account” tab, and then select “Become a host now!” on the left side. Then, create your Host account – give it information like your Twitter account, Facebook account, show category, and all that jazz.

You get to personalize your show like crazy (though it’ll still be hosted by BlogTalkRadio) – add a logo, a link to a website, lots of links, and an audio clip to play at the beginnig; you can also change the link to the show (http://www.blogtalkradio.com/somethingorother) which lends to much more branding and personalization.

how to host your own talk show

Show created, go back to the “My Account” page, and select “Add New Episode.” Add information about your soon-to-be-hit show’s first episode, as well as a time and date for the show. There are even a few ways to make some money with the episode, like showing related Amazon books. Once you’re done setting it up, you get a link to the show to share with the world.

When you’re ready to begin the show, the real beauty of BlogTalkRadio shines through. To get the show started literally couldn’t be any simpler. Every show has a phone number. You give out that number to one person, or a million, or make it public – totally up to you. During the show, people call the number to get connected to the show. You, as the host, can, with the press of a button, allow them to talk. Otherwise, they just sit in the queue, listening to the show and waiting for their turn. When you allow someone to talk, they’re connected with you as if you’re in a studio together – until you mute them again. Then they go away.

broadcast yourselfPeople can listen to the show either by calling in, subscribing by email or RSS, or just hunting you down and listening on your BTR page. After the show is completed, it gets archived on your page, where people can still listen to it or download the show.

BlogTalkRadio probably isn’t going to be your one-way ticket to super-stardom. But it’s a great place to create a show, talk about what your interested in, and get some real experience being a talk show host. And hey, who knows? Maybe you’ll be the first “straight from BTR to Late Night” story.

Jer-ry! Jer-ry! Jer-ry!

Are you already an Internet radio star? Have you tried anything like this before?

Photo: John Edwards 2008

  1. Bruno
    February 12, 2010 at 10:18 am

    On shovio you can host your own live interactive show for millions to see. play anykind of movie clip live on your show and take webcam calls in real time! this is the new way to host your own live show. i just found it a few weeks ago and im addicted!

  2. Mike B
    September 21, 2009 at 9:58 am

    I currently use BlogTalkRadio (BTR), 1000Mikes and do music streaming. I have used NowLive (which completely changed since so I dropped them) and TalkShoe. TalkShoe has some nice features and I liked being able to host using a SIP client (free) and they have nice moderation features and chat. Plus scheduling a show was very good. BlogTalkRadio has a nice switchboard interface but once your time is up, your show is off - so don't have long talkers or last-minute callers - your show will end. 1000Mikes is based in Germany(?), very schedule-friendly although no real call-in switchboard features, it is still a nice product. You can take calls with 1000Mikes, but it isn't as friendly (yet) as the others.

    For hosting on TalkShoe, I used X-Lite (free VoIP client) or Gizmo5 (also free and easy setup). These are similar to Skype but they use the SIP protocol. Calls are free.

    For hosting on BTR and 1000Mikes (at the same time), I use Skype. However, I use Skype to dial-out to BTR and 1000Mikes phone numbers, which costs $2.95/month for unlimited calls (your rate may vary). It is still very cheap! BTR offers their premium plans which allows you to host via the web as well as call your co-host or guests.

    BTR is bloated with shows and only the premium paying accounts, or most-popular shows, get noticed. So, unless you have the President or a Hollywood figure on your show, good luck. BTR's focus is not on the "little" start-up shows unless you pay for premium services. Funny, since simulcasting my shows on 1000Mikes, I have had more listeners on the 1000Mikes site in a shorter amount of time than on BTR. There are some quirks with the 1000Mikes interface, but they are making progress and I'm not giving up on them.

    I could go into how I simulcast my talk shows on BTR, 1000Mikes and the music stream (which is on another computer) LIVE, but that would take too much space...as if I already haven't. LOL! Ok, that's my $1.50 worth.

  3. stephanie mckechnie
    August 18, 2009 at 3:54 am

    I want to do a "Boating Talk Show" here in Panama City, FL. Where do I begin? How do I get started?

  4. Guy McDowell
    August 7, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    TalkShoe.com has a similar set up. The VoIP can be a bit difficult to set up though for TalkShoe. I'll give this a try.

  5. John
    August 7, 2009 at 3:38 am

    Could this be the answer to the hole in my sole left by the demise of Skypecasts? I'll check it out, thanks for the tip.

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