Seriously, is there anyone who hasn’t or doesn’t listen to the radio?
Radio is one of the most beloved and iconic traditional medias and it is still thriving and engaging people like no other, in spite of all the visual technologies now in our media landscape. Even the king of content, “video,” is enhanced because of its audio track.
Listening is actually quite a personal experience. Before there was TV and cable, people gathered around their radios to listen to the news of the day and various entertainment, theatrical, musical and educational shows.
The Share of Ear report by Edison Research says Americans spend an average of 4 hours and 5 minutes each day consuming audio, and more than 52% of that time goes to broadcast radio on all its various platforms. But other sources of pre-programmed audio now control 26% of listening time, while listening to one’s own music collection receives more than 20% “share of ear.”
BlogtalkRadio was launched and founded in 2006 by Alan Levy, with Co-Founder Bob Charish who thought the phone would be a great way to enable bloggers to connect with their audiences. BlogTalkRadio has broadcast and archived more than 2 million radio shows since then.
If you are a consultant looking for a great way to create original content of your own, then this medium can be a valuable resource to build your brand, showcase your expertise and build a following. Jump into content creation and consumption with podcasting to expand your reach, but more importantly help you stand out.
If you have a nice speaking voice and you can engage in a conversation and find interesting, energetic and informative guests – you can be a radio host.
Host a Podcast on BlogTalkRadio
Pick a Niche, Name and Theme for Your Show
The more consistent you are with what you talk about and do, the more you will become known for it.
Define Your Style
Choose a format that works best for you and your personal style. Mix up solo shows with guests you can feature and work off of. You can do interviews, conversations, and Q&A. Do you need to work off a script, or can you create some talking points that allow a more free flowing segment?
For a 15 minute segment, think about structuring it this way. Use two minutes for your opening and introduction of the topic and guest. Use 10 minutes for the main topic and interview. Use the final three minutes for questions, wrap up, giving out the contact information for both you and your guest, and preview of the next show.
Develop Your Marketing Strategy
Develop your own consistent marketing plan for before, during and after your shows. BlogTalkRadio provides considerable assistance here with social media feeds and links offered to all hosts on their site. There are settings that alert people when you create your show, then right before broadcast and after the show is archived. These alerts go out on the companies blog, Facebook and Twitter.
These integrated, turnkey tools also help hosts to consistently market their shows on their platform, website or social media of choice. Try to integrate your marketing across your entire online presence including email marketing, business cards and website.
Visually Brand Your Home Page
Invest in and use a custom image, intro and close for your broadcast that is uniquely yours. Additionally, create a description that clearly expresses the spirit of your show style, who you are and your expertise. Spend some time on the BlogTalkRadio site in your category and see how people are visually branding and describing themselves.
You can emulate what they are doing or go to sites like Fiverr, VoiceBunny or Elance to find affordable options for copy writing, graphic design and creating custom audio show intro and outro audio. Better yet, find a show you really like on BlogTalkRadio and contact the host through the site to ask for a referral.
Book at Least Four Shows in Advance
This allows you to always be promoting ahead of time. Always remind people to listen to shows they may have missed and that are archived for listening whenever it is convenient for them.
You can even create an ongoing, looping marketing campaign on your homepage. This can announce when shows are created, when their broadcast date is approaching, when they are live on the air, and then when they are archived on the site as a podcast.
Select Guests Who Have Energy
You want good communicators, people who are able to articulate ideas and have their own, active social platforms. The best guests are not necessarily the most awarded or honored, but people who have some interview experience, a great communication style, nice voice and a pleasant demeanor.
BlogTalkRadio makes it easy for a consultant to create and host a live radio show with nothing but a phone and a computer. You can then promote and distribute the recording as an archived podcast.
Ways to Promote Your Expertise:
- Showcase your industry knowledge by doing short 5, 10 and 15 minute segments featuring checklists and tips such as “5 Ways to Keep Customers Happy,” “6 Things That Make A Website Pop,” “How To Write a Book in 7 Easy Steps.”
- Do Interviews with key leaders in your industry/niche for their insights about the latest trends and topics.
- Present tutorials that educate, help others and show your knowledge about your niche such as “How To Accessorize a Blog Post,” “10 Types of Twitter Posts That Get Retweeted.”
- Host panel discussions with complementary experts who can blend different points of view in your field.
- Host Q & A sessions with questions that come from your industry or community. Survey people prior and qualify people in advance if they are calling in.
- Use your podcast to launch new products or services and highlight existing ones by creating a series of shows to showcase different features and benefits.
- Market yourself to other show hosts to be a guest and then mutually market each other. It really helps to co-market each other, especially if you have active communities.
- Start a Network of similar content in your niche or industry and encourage others to host a show on your network. This is a great way to build and showcase what you and others who are leaders in the field do.
If hosting your own show and going solo is not your forte, you can find thousands of shows created daily that may be resources for insights and information. You can use these resources to write about, talk about and reference in your content.
Additionally, BlogTalkRadio is an active social community of its own for hosts, guests and visitors to meet, be found, connect and find interesting and talented people.
Stand by – going live in 5, 4, 3, 2 1!
Images: BlogTalkRadio, Edison Research
This is a great post with tons of good ideas for getting someone off the ground. I think you hit it on the head when you talked about consistency. If you’re going to start, make sure you’ve got a plan, and then execute. The world is full of good intentions, but the truly great ones are the people who execute consistently.
Thanks Robert. It’s a media that has come a long way and you are so right about consistency. Of content, style, types of guests and show frequency.
I started my first podcast show in 2006. I have been using BlogTalkRadio in the past and I still have an account there.
I have been struggling with the regular schedule… It will be a breakthrough this year, now with a new show together with a co-host! Stay tuned for trendspotting, social media, guest interviews, etc.
I agree with your ideas of what to do on your podcast, but I strongly disagree with your choice of Blog Talk Radio. At $40 a month, you can do a show than sounds so much better for half that price and you would have complete control of your show.
Blog talk radio’s site is ridiculous with the amount of advertising. Debra why would you drive people to a site where they get bombarded with ads that you don’t benefit from. Oops, wait got to close the BTR pop up. I do a live call in show every Saturday and I spend 1/4 the amount of Blog Talk radio and it sound 200% better. See http://schoolofpodcasting.com/blog-talk-radio/
Personal Podcast Coach
School of Podcasting
Dave, thanks for your input and I certainly agree with some of it. I have found blog talk radio to be good for me and have built a podcast audience and downloads of 460,000+. Sometimes relationships me more than other things, And people know where to find me there. I appreciate your input.
Deborah: I like your answer to Dave Jackson. I have been a premium user at BlogTalkRadio for some time, but I will host my show on LibSyn in the future. I will still keep my account on BlogTalkRadio. I have done some great interviews there! 🙂
I like some of premium features at BlogTalkRadio, for example a call-in number, stats, and how your show gets promotoed throughout the network.
I am for a free market, so I think that players like BlogTalkRadio, LibSyn, SoundCloud, Audioboo, and others will all have their share of the market.
Thank you Martin. BTR is blown off by some podcasters, but to each his own. It has worked great for me, been a great partner and I do not see any reasons to switch.
I think that Alan Levy has done a great job on creating a platform for podcasters. BlogTalkRadio worked very well for me after I had to find a new platform some years after my first try with podcasting in 2006. I have now learned more about the different alternatives out there regarding value for money, sound quality, marketing opportunities, networking possibilities, etc.
I will keep my account on BlogTalkRadio due to the fact that I have created some awesome podcasts there, but at the moment, I will not subscribe to the premium account.
I will put my future podcasts at my new home at LibSyn. I recently got an account on Stitcher, so I will distribute my new podcasts through this service.
I will send you a DM, so we could talk more… 🙂
I use callinstudio.com every Saturday, and while it may not be as pretty as BTR it is just as functional. Oh yeah, it also costs me about $16 a month (depending on how many people call in). So I get great audio, better stats with Libsyn, and the ability to take calls. I also stream the video live via Google hangout. It’s fun to start the show (pressing start on about 5 different things), but I have a loay audience now that shows up every Saturday to interact. Blog talk radio (for me) was an ok choice in 2005 when people were using the built in microphone of their lap tops and the sound wasn’t that good. Now you can buy a microphone for $80 and sound great. I just know I personally have had to hold the hand of many a sad podcaster who finally decides to move from BTR and they learn their feed is hijacked, and its a true pain. This is why I’m biased (amond many other facts). I appreacite Debs message, but not the vehicle I would choose to deliver it. Just wanted to let people know of other choices, and koodos for letting my comment through.
Dave Jackson: Thanks for informing us about Call in Studio! I know Sean Saulsbury and have been in contact with him regarding his podcast, The Independent Entrepreneur (now on hiatus).
I have been searching for a call-in feature, since I am not using BlogTalkRadio on a regular basis at the moment.
Dave, thank you for your insights and feedback. It’s welcomed here. I believe in consumer choice. I seriously considered moving my show late last year, but I didn’t want to give up the “recognition” that I have worked hard to align myself with and I get very good feedback on my shows on social media. Hey, congrats on your great podcast and business helping others. We should have each other as guests! Game?