6 Steps To Get More Listeners

The number one goal of broadcasters is to find listeners, just as the goal for bloggers is to find readers. You can easily say that a large amount of listeners is the main mark of success for any broadcaster. As all good things, it is difficult. There is a lot of competition and listeners have such a huge assortment of broadcasts to choose from that you have to make yourself stand out and get the listeners tuning in to every broadcast. These steps will help you to find listeners and keep them.
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Why do People Love Broadcasts?

 

There are many forms of media, and they all offer something unique. Television offers a carefully scripted show for us to watch, and text posts allow us to read and reread at our own speed. However, there is also live broadcasting that is gaining popularity online. There are four reasons why live broadcasts are scooping up audiences that other forms of media can’t satisfy.
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Radio is Important-And You Can be Too

 

 

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We all like being important, right? If you answered with “no,” my answer to that is “liar.” Maybe you haven’t thought about it much, but you have something important to share with all of us. Many times the only people with voices are the ones we see on CNN and FOX News that make us not want to watch…CNN or FOX News. This is a shame because with such a powerful platform that influences so many lives, we should be able to get entertaining, intelligent, and all around better information. Luckily with the advent of the internet, anyone can influence and help each other. Blogging is a great way to share, promote content, and better the world, but it has been restricted to text. Now services like Croice and Live365 are allowing anyone to take part in audio as well. We will talk about why radio really is important and how you can easily and cheaply take part.

 

Developing Your Market

 

Increasingly, businesses are turning to content marketing to develop their customer base and hold on to existing customers. Many content marketers blog, but that can only go so far, as not all people like to sit down and read. Online broadcasting really hits a chord with some people and allows them to listen to a broadcast while they work or go about their day. Using an online broadcasting service allows you to:

 

-Create “how to” broadcasts that the audience loves

-Review products in real time

-Have audience interaction that keeps people listening and engaged

-Become personal with you audience who in turn trusts you and your product

 

 

 

 

Helping People

 

Online broadcasting allows you to reach anyone with a computer connection. In many countries, even poor ones, people have internet access. You may be surprised. Internet access in Africa and the middle east has grown by well over 2,500% in the last 10 years and makes up an increasingly large portion of the population. Many people in these countries don’t trust their news agencies because they are compromised and turn to the internet to understand the state of the world instead. You can help them greatly and really influence how they see the world by broadcasting online with your views and research that you have the privilege of conducting. You can broadcast about:

 

-Current events in closed parts of the world

-Your own government’s policies and agendas

-Research on how to make businesses more efficient and competitive

-Your country’s culture and experiences you’ve had

 

This can create a dialogue between many people in the world as they can interact through instant messaging and everyone can gain a better understanding. Remember Radio Free Europe and its sister stations? Yeah, broadcasting can be important and effective.

 

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Making Money

 

We have already talked about how broadcasting can help market your products and services, but it can also make money itself because you can set it up as a class and charge money for entry. Webinars have become a big money maker lately and more businesses are turning to it. This is because it offers a lot for customers and businesses, you can:

 

-Mirror the content you already produce, but become more detailed

-Engage your audience deeply and can get them more excited about your product

-Drive traffic by funneling the audience through your webinar and to your page

-Create a lasting impressions because people won’t soon forget this kind of media

 

As long as you have a good and professional webinar, your conversion rates will increase and people will be more likely to tell their friends and colleagues about your broadcast. If your webinar is especially entertaining, it could even become a viral money maker for you.

 

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But How?

 

If you are interested in creating your own online broadcast, then Croice and Live365 are the two best places to look. Croice offers a free start and an inexpensive way to connect with many listeners, place widgets all over the internet to alert your audience, and work with Slideshare to add a free visual element. Live365 is a professional broadcasting site that comes at cost but allows you to also use live video and songs that are all fully licensed. All you need is a little creativity, internet access, and to not be too afraid of becoming a very important person.

The Five Dangerous Mistakes Beginner Hosts Unknowingly Make (And How to Avoid Them)

You’ve started on a path toward becoming a great host. You’re feeling excited and full of optimism. Until, slowly but surely you start to worry about all the things than can go astray, especially if you’ve never started a show or podcast before. The fear of making a mistake may even prevent you from getting started. But that fear of failure shouldn’t immobilize you – take heed the words of Dale Carnegie, who once said that “the successful man will profit from his mistakes and try again in a different way.

But despite the virtues of perseverance, are mistakes an unavoidable “companion” on the path to success? And the short answer is no. Truth be told, it’s not always as easy to learn from one’s setbacks or challenges as it’s all too often portrayed to be. As Otto von Bismarck once remarked, “fools say that they learn by experience. I prefer to profit by others experience.

In this article, we’ll help you do precisely that – to profit from others experience – by sharing with you the five common mistakes beginners (and even seasoned broadcasters) make on their shows and podcasts. Naturally, you’ll also learn how to avoid them.

Mistake #1 – Ranting About Irrelevant Things

Listeners form a lasting impression of a show in the span of a few minutes, if not seconds. Therefore, it’s paramount that you get to the point and dive into the content as quickly as possible. Giggling and talking about unrelated material – a common rookie mistake – is a surefire way to lose a listener forever. Stay professional and give listeners what they want – engaging, fresh, and relevant content. (By the way, apologizing for being late or not releasing an episode on time is a no-no as well).

Mistake #2 – Having Poor Quality Sound

In this day and age, listeners expect a high-quality of sound. In general, you should avoid using simple USB headsets and built-in laptop mics and instead you should employ a dynamic or condenser microphone. To learn more about the different mics and how to choose the select the right one for yourself, head over to our post that covers the topic in detail.

Mistake #3 – Engaging in Excessive Repetition (During Interviews)

Interviewing experts, thought leaders, and other authorities in an industry or niche is a great way to garner significant attention to a new show or podcast. But beginner hosts must be wary of an insidious mistake they commit all too often – needlessly repeating and re-interpreting the interviewee’s responses. In most cases, simply letting the answers “hang” is a much better approach than reciting what was said in order to “buy time.”

Mistake #4 – Not Thinking Long-Term

Although there is a set of common reasons why people decide to create a show or podcast, there are just as many personal ones. But before you take the plunge into the world of broadcasting, it’s essential that you consider these points:

a. Do you have a reliable evergreen source of content? (If the answer is no, that should be a redflag to you).

b. Are you truly passionate about the topic of your show? At the very least, are you passionate about the reason why you’ve decided to launch a show?

c. Will you be able to find, grow, and cultivate an audience? Can you spot a few viable marketing channels for your show? (Refer to this post to discover how to promote your show and grow your audience).

d. Does your show content align well with the particular monetization strategy you have in mind? We recently covered this issue in detail – click here to learn how to choose a topic that will make your show a success.

Mistake #5 – Thinking Great Design & Graphics Are Secondary

Design matters. A lot. That’s one of the many lessons lessons any broadcaster, host, or podcaster can learn from Apple. But to the detriment of listeners and content creators alike, host continue to launch websites with homemade and DIY graphics that do one thing well – scare website visitors away. Having good cover art is twice as important if you plan on recording and uploading show episodes into iTunes, which has strict requirements and high expectations of its podcasters. Here’s what iTunes has to say on the subject of cover art.

Additional Issues to Consider

Strictly speaking, it wouldn’t be correct to categorize the following points as mistakes. Yet, many hosts have trouble when dealing with them:

1. Having Confusing Episode Numbering

Although many hosts like to have a introduction (“zero”) episode, in most cases it’s better to simply start with episode ‘number one’.

2. Doing a Bad Job of “Promoting” Guests

when interviewing guests, don’t leave it up to them to introduce themselves to your audience. As the host, prepare a short snippet that informs the listeners how they can find out more about the person you’ve invited to your show.

3. Over-Preparing

A lot of beginners instinctively resort to creating long scripts and either memorizing them or reading them verbatim. In nine out of ten cases, this is neither effective for you as the host nor a pleasure to listen to. Resorting solely to improvisation isn’t a good idea either. Take the middle road and prepare anchor notes with key ideas, concepts, and issues that you’d like to cover during a given episode.

4. Using Sub-Par Hosting

Regular web hosts aren’t well-suited for streaming large audio files. If you plan to record and upload your episodes, consider using one of the “professional” podcast host services, like Libsyn and Blubrry. This won’t be as important an issue in the beginning, but you should pay careful attention to how your files are streaming as your audience grows.

How to Make Your Radio Show a Pleasure to Listen To

A writer’s ability to use and communicate with an original voice is one of the traits that distinguishes great writing from merely so-so and mediocre writing. Just as a talented author brings life into the written word, so should you try vivify your own show or podcast. An engaging broadcast is one that sounds natural, well-paced, and conversational – all at the same time.

Talk to One Listener at a Time

Traditional radio and its modern online equivalents are at their core “one-on-one” communication mediums. As Steve Allen, American television personality, said, “radio is the theater of the mind” – and your job as a broadcaster is to find the right combination of words to inspire, energize, and sooth your listeners.

The starting point in reaching that lofty goal is to remember that you will be heard by individual people and not by one huge crowd. When you keep that small detail in mind while you speak into the microphone, your broadcasts will take on a whole different quality, one that listeners will thank you for.

Sound Conversational

What is the fastest way to put your listeners to sleep, aside from speaking about a subject they did not expect to hear from you? Well, you guessed correctly if you said to speak in a stiff, overly formal manner. In practice, this means that you should try to speak with your listeners, rather than speaking at them. The difference is subtle, yet very powerful.

When doing a broadcast or recording an episode, imagine that you are talking to a friend in your kitchen. Before writing a script, consider whether you would use those words, phrases, and sentences while talking to that friend. If not, it’s best that you substitute them with something more colloquial.

Prepare Far in Advance

The majority (around 80%) of your time should be devoted to preparation and the remaining 20% to execution. This may not sound like a breakthrough in the principles of success, but it’s simply guaranteed to help you produce high-quality broadcasts and podcasts on a consistent basis.

Irrespective of their field of practice, the most successful hosts have lived by this principle, including famous radio personality Jess Cain. And if you are still a beginner who is honing his or her craft, it’s paramount that you practice your delivery to ensure that your listeners perceive you as an effective, impactful, and confident communicator. In short, start every show episode as well-prepared as possible.

Bring Forward Your Entertainer Side

You may hear that “being yourself” is the shortest path to good and harmonious relations with other people. When it comes to broadcasting, this is also partially true. In essence, if you’re naturally quiet, reserved, and would readily describe yourself as an introvert, your goal shouldn’t be to present that side of yourself while in front of a mic. On the contrary, you should try hard to find and expose the ‘entertainer you’ – the part of you that sings in the shower or to the car radio. In a nutshell, be enthusiastic and your listeners will reciprocate that way about your show.

Decide On Content Using “Mental Filters”

What distinguishes online radio from other content formats is the presence of snippets where the host mentions details from his life. That is what make online shows and podcasts such a personal and relatable medium. Despite the inherent freedom in what you can talk about to your listeners, as a host you have to walk a fine line between babbling on about things your audience simply doesn’t care about and mentioning a few points from your life to which your listeners can easily relate to. In short, always ask yourself – “would my listeners enjoy hearing me speak about this on air?”

How to Choose a Topic that Will Make Your Show a Success

In one of our previous posts, we covered the basics of starting a new online show. In today’s post, we’ll go in depth on a topic of immense importance and one that all new radio hosts can relate to – choosing a topic for your show or podcast.

To say the least, picking the right topic should not to be taken lightly. A recent article by USA Today discussing the re-emergence of podcasting argued that “the most popular categories for podcasts are news, politics and sports“, and it’s true that these topics attract significant listeners numbers. But if you are truly serious about getting off to a great start, you should give some serious to what you’re best suited to talk about over the next few months (or years).

Here’s how to ensure you pick a topic that’s right for you:

Option #1. Focus on A “Meta Niche” (If Your Goal is to Create a Business)

If you’ve been an astute observer of some of the longstanding trends in online for-profit content creation, you may have noticed that the lion’s share of money is made in three niches:

1. Health and Wellness
2. Business & How to make money
3. Relationships & Dating advice

If you think about some of the most fundamental needs that humans have, it may come as no surprise to you that these categories help people fulfill those universal wants. What’s more, the problems and frustrations that individuals experience and as they try to get fit and healthy, make more money or start a business, and attract a mate or find a spouse are enduring. In other words, the three niches deal with issues that listeners tend to grapple with for years (if not their whole lives). This is one the reasons why an abundance of content producers and formats (books, blogs, radio shows, podcats etc.) not only mutually co-exist, but also thrive. The tendency of podcast/show listeners to subscribe to more than one source of content is especially common in these topic categories.

If you decide to structure your show or podcast around one these subject areas, it’s recommended that you narrow down your topic as much as possible. There are a lot of reasons why “niching down” is a pre-requisite for finding success in today’s crowded space, but ensuring that you find an audience and get noticed in the first place are among the most pressing ones.

Here are a couple of additional resources that show you how to pick the right niche:

How to avoid picking a topic that is too general

How to narrow down your topic

What to Do When “All of the Good Ideas are Already Taken – Tips to Help You Pick a Niche

Option #2. Choose a Hobby, Passion, or Interest (If Generating a Direct Income is Secondary)

When selecting a topic for your show or podcast, your second option is to cover a personal hobby, passion, or interest.

The obvious benefit of going down this route is that you’ll simply have more fun hosting a show on something that you already enjoy engaging with on your free time. The potential drawback, however, is the impossibility of knowing ahead of time whether the potential audience is large enough to warrant starting a show or podcast in the first place.

At the same time, the likely smaller audience size of a show or podcast devoted to an obscure passion may not be a problem at all considering your motivation for running such a show or podcast. Audience size would be a minor concern if your objective is to become a better communicator, use the podcast as a stepping stone for a career in traditional broadcasting, or learn the ropes of stand up comedy.

Despite the inherent uncertainty that comes with talking about a personal passion, you should do some market research and try to answer the following two questions:

1. Can you find any additional resources devoted to your topic of interest? (other sites, fan pages, similar podcasts or shows)? If the answer is yes, then that’s a good sign.

2. Is your show tied to popular culture in some way (for example, a broadcast devoted to the the Hunger Games book series)? If so, then you’re on the right track as well.

That said, you may be surprised to find out that shows/podcasts on such peculiars topics as boating, beekeeping, and tarot cards have been successful. The bottom line is that there are no hard and fast rules with regards to choosing the right topic, but if you have a passion, chances are that there are many other who share your interest.

Bonus Tips – How to Find Even More Ideas

Both Stitcher and iTunes are ideal for browsing through most of the podcasts in existence. For example, Stitcher has a Popular & Trending section and lists lists podcasts and shows under various categories, such as Comedy, Business & Industry, Education and many others. Just head over to one of these resources and take note of all existing categories and podcast names. Afterwards, it’s time to choose your own topic!

Finally, here are two additional resources worth checking out:

Finding an Audience in a Small Niche and Competition in Your Niche – both are roundtable discussions by a group of seasoned podcast and radio show host pros who’ve been in the game for a long time.