Starting an Online Radio Show: 6 Essential Things to Do Before You Start Broadcasting

As with anything new or unfamiliar, preparation and planning are essential in ensuring a successful outcome. Online broadcasting, podcasting, and content creation in general are no different in this regard.

The art of broadcasting involves a number of moving parts and it’s essential that you take care of them before you making a first impression on your listeners. To help you start off on the right foot and avoid the frustration of figuring out what to do bit by bit, we’ve decided to put together a list of the most essential action steps any broadcaster serious about his craft must must take.

#1 Arrange a High Quality of Production

Although different audiences have different expectations with regards to content, a desire to hear high-quality audio is something shared among most listeners. There are several  keys to releasing audio: having hardware well-suited for the task and use of the software and editing techniques (if episode are released for download)

Equipment/Hardware

Purchase a dynamic mic (condenser mics do a poor job of canceling out background noise) and a pop filter. The Blue Yeti is also a good professional-grade option for those just starting out.

It’s also recommended that you get a mixer. Here’s a list of the of 10 reasons to do so.

Editing/Software

Here are a few software tools you might consider investing in:

Soundboard (OS X and Windows) –  offers a “quick way to enhance your podcasts or broadcasts with sound clips, effects, or musical accompaniment.”

Sound Byte for OS X and Windows – provides “digital automation software for a variety of recorded sounds.”

Garage Band for a OS X or Adobe Audition for Windows and PodProducer (Windows) are addition tools you may consider using.

#2 Practice to Ensure Smooth Delivery

Irrespective of whether you will be improvising or relying on a script, it takes practice and skill to get to point where you’re able to deliver content for relatively long periods of time without making any mistakes.

Most novices will find it challenging to do so in the early stages of their radio show or podcast. If you record and listen to yourself, figure out where you tend to make mistakes and learn how to correct them, you’ll improve quickly.

#3 Get Clear on Your “Reason Why”

It’s important to clarify your motivation before starting a radio show or podcast. Are you doing this to learn or master new skills, build an audience, or prove that you have the skills to break into an industry? Or, will you use an online broadcasting service like Croice as part of your job?

Are you planning to monetize your content? If so, how are you planning-to do so? For example, podcast hosts who monetize their work measure their reach (the number of people who download or listen to you) and optimize for frequency (the number of “episodes” release schedule) because potential sponsors and advertisers look at these metrics before outlaying advertising money. Others reap the rewards of having a show and a following by taking advantage of affiliate offers.

#4 Pick a Home Base for Your Brand

You need to determine where listeners will go to hear the latest news from you,  download the latest show episode, and send in comments and suggestions. The simplest option is to have a WordPress site on a premium theme, such as WooThemes, Thesis, StudioPress, or PageLines. They allow for customization, have built-in SEO features and  a thriving help & support community.

If you plan on hosting your audio files on your site, the following set-up is advisable: a WordPress site hosted on either a standard hosting provider, such as DreamHost, or specialized one (e.g. WPEngine) accompanied by a PowerPress plugin, and Libsyn or Blubrry for audio file hosting.

#5 Establish Awareness

Outline and then implement a marketing and promotion strategy for your show or podcast.

#6 Know Where to Get Help and Learn from the Best

How do you master a subject quickly and efficiency? The answer: learning from people who are several years ahead of you. If you are serious about your becoming a radio show host, check out the following resources and online podcasting/broadcasting communities:

School of Podcasting

Podcasters Google+ Page

The Audacity to Podcast podcast

Podcasting Technology Resource Group on LinkedIn 

Also, make a habit of listening to other prominent hosts and learn why they’re successful at what they do. Take a look at the Podcast Awards page for a list of the major figures in a variety categories.

 

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3 thoughts on “Starting an Online Radio Show: 6 Essential Things to Do Before You Start Broadcasting

  1. Thank you for the mention here, too!

    I must actually correct #7. The “30-second” limit is a myth. The idea is that you can play a small portion of copyrighted content for the sake of commentary or review (such as a music-review podcast), but it can’t be a representative portion.

    But using any amount of copyrighted music, such as for your theme song, is a violation of copyright laws and can be punishable by law, regardless of how much you used, how much attribution you gave, how you acquired the music, or whether you make money from your podcast.

    If you’re not using copyrighted content to review or comment on it, then you should get permission first.

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