Author Archives: Georgia Grey

Questions About Equipment? Not Sure Where to Begin? Learn From the Best in the BlogTalkRadio Forum

Interact with the BlogTalkRadio community at our forum.

Interact with the BlogTalkRadio community at our forum.

BlogTalkRadio hosts love to discuss equipment. From microphones to telephones everyone has a recommendation. Hosts and listeners also have terrific advice for the best ways to use BlogTalkRadio to your advantage. It doesn’t matter if you’re new to BlogTalkRadio, or an old pro, there’s plenty of tips, talk and advice happening at the BlogTalkRadio forum. Here are some of the different discussions happening right now:

  • I’d Like to Be a Guest – Experts who wish to share with others are posting their details at the forum. If you’re looking for folks to feature on your show, or looking to be a guest on someone else’s program, this section of the forum is a goldmine.
  • Phone, Skype…or? – Not sure what to use to dial in for the best sound quality? Our hosts weigh in on their favorite call in methods.
  • BlogTalkRadio Shows – Features genre friendly folders to discuss and promote shows.
  • Blogs and Social Media – Here’s where we share details about our blogs and Twitter ID’s and share other social networking methods for helping to bring in traffic and spread the word about their shows.

The BlogTalkRadio forum is a positive, pleasant place where hosts and listeners can enjoy each other’s company and share the tricks of the trade. Won’t you join us and share your ideas?

5 Tips for Handling Haters, Trolls and Negativity

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Every community has haters. Online we call them trolls, an apt name because they lurk around reading comments or chats waiting in the shadows to jump on others for no other reason than they can. Keyboard courage, using a computer’s anonymity to empower one in a negative manner, abounds in all online communities. If there’s a chatroom or forum close by, chances are there’s a troll hiding under a bridge.

Trolls make things difficult, for sure, but that’s what they’re going for. They live to give others a hard time. Fortunately, there are ways to handle trolls without making the environment negative for all who visit. If you’re frustrated because of crank call ins, or chat or forum trolls, Behold:

5 Tips for Handling Haters, Trolls and Negativity

  1. Don’t Engage: If there is a troll in your chat room or forum, kindly ask that person to refrain from unkind remarks. Don’t engage and request your community not engage. Feel free to delete comments and lock or delete threads if things get out of control.Trolls want you to volley. They want to make things uncomfortable for the rest of your community. Instead, ignore the troll. Hang up if on the phone. Hopefully when he finds out he has no one to push around, he’ll leave. If not…
  2. Contact the “Powers that Be”: Contact whoever is in charge, such as a forum’s administrator, community manager or customer service representative. At BlogTalkRadio if someone is creating negativity in a chat room, contact host services – service(at)blogtalkradio.com. If there’s a problem in the forum or Yahoo Group, contact community manager, Deborah Ng at deborahng(at)blogtalkradio(dot)com. Fortunately, BlogTalkRadio trolls are a very rare breed. (and we’re very proud of our positive, helpful community.)
  3. Have a firm policy in place – It always helps to have a comment or anti-negativity policy in place, this goes for chat rooms too. Offer a warning or a reminder if it’s needed, and anyone not following the rules should be asked to leave. If he keeps it up …
  4. Ban the offending party – Don’t be afraid to ban someone who constantly creates a negative environment. It’s not the troll’s community, it’s yours. Many forum or chat moderators feel that by diffusing a negative situation, they’re only going to make things worse because the troll will get angry. The troll is not in charge, why put him in a position to call the shots?
  5. It’s not censorship to want a positive experience – Many times when comments are deleted or trolls are silenced, the offending parties cry “censorship!”  This is not the case on a privately owned website. The owner of a website has every right to create and enforce the rules.Think of online communities as being in someone’s home. When you have guests in your home, you expect them to be kind of respectful of each other. If they’re not, they’re asked to leave.

No one should ever have to put up with an online negative experience, please don’t feed the trolls.

Promotion is Just an Email Away: How to Reach Out to Bloggers to Promote Your Radio Shows and Podcasts

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by Deb Ng

One way for podcasters and online radio hosts to create awareness around a show, topic or guest is to reach out to bloggers. Bloggers are always looking for newsworthy or niche-worthy topics to cover and will be happy to talk about your show. The best part of having your show picked up by a blog is that the link will appear online throughout the blog’s duration, so traffic can last for years. What follows are some tips for contacting bloggers to ask them to discuss their show.

1.Don’t spam – Don’t email the same bloggers every time you have a show airing. Instead wait until you have a notable guest or topic. If the same people receive the same mail every day or every week, you’re just going to end up in the spam filter. Make sure something special is going on before you email folks for coverage.

2. Think outside the genre – Promotion works so many ways. For instance, the other day Frugal Coast2Coast recently had a show where the topic was saving money on food for special diets. That topic was pitched to cooking blogs, personal finance blogs, and also blogs for folks who follow special diets such as diabetics, and parenting blogs where peanut and gluten allergies are discussed. Think about all the people who would be interested in your topic and take it from there. Sometimes it pays to go beyond the obvious.

3. Offer cross promotion – If you keep asking people to write about you, they might get upset after a while if you don’t offer the love in return. Offer to do some cross promotion. Give a shout at the end of the show and in the chatroom to the blogs that gave coverage. Write about them on your own blog. Even just a link on your show page is enough to show them it works both ways. When you cross promote, bloggers won’t hesitate to work with you again in the future.

4. Try to avoid the form letter approach – Instead of sending out the same cookie cutter form letter and press release, tailor your letter for each individual show. This way bloggers aren’t put off when they receive the same email each time. Try to personalize by using the blogger’s name and blog’s title.

5. How will your show benefit a blogger’s community? Research each blog before sending a promotion request. Write a paragraph about the show and how that blogs community will benefit from listening in.

How are some of the ways you pitch your shows to blogs?

10 Best Practices for BlogTalkRadio Listeners

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by Deb Ng

We talk a lot here about best practices for BlogTalkRadio hosts. However, a large portion of the BTR community is made up of listeners. Many of our listeners come to BlogTalkRadio as the result of clicking on direct links at blogs, Twitter or other promotional tools and then leave us once the show is over.

On behalf of BlogTalkRadio, I’d like to invite all listeners, new and old, to take some time and have look around. We have hundreds of shows airing each day, many of which I ‘m sure will interest you. Here are a few best practices for making the most of the BlogTalkRadio listening experience:

  1. Register – Many of our listeners don’t register to be part of the BlogTalkRadio community because they feel registration is only necessary for those wishing to be a host. This isn’t true at all, registration has its perks! When you register for BlogTalkRadio and create a screen name, you now have your own BlogTalkRadio identity. This means you can participate in the different chats and comments and everyone will get to know you. If you’re registered, you can also friend other like-minded members of our community and even become friended in return. You will receive updates on your “My BlogTalkRadio” page whenever your friends do something new. Registration will also give you the ability to send messages to other registrants and give you access to our monthly newsletters and email updates.
  2. Chat – BlogTalkRadio is an interactive community. Most of our hosts enable their chat rooms so listeners can participate in their show page’s chatroom. The benefit to this is networking with folks who like the same topics you do, meeting new people, and even just having a little conversational fun. You can ask questions of hosts, guests and other listeners and learn more about any topic you like.
  3. Call in – Like chat, many hosts allow callers. By calling in your can speak to a host or his guests and ask questions or share your own insight. Hosts love having folks call in, and it’s a great way to get people to know more about you and what you do.
  4. Have a look around – Just because you followed a link to one particular show doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have yourself a look around. Visit our On Air schedule to learn more about the day’s programming or use the search box to find out the topics that interest you. Browse the different categories, check out our branded programming, and even dig through our archives and “Best Of” pages for some past gems from the BlogTalkRadio vault.
  5. Visit the forum – BlogTalkRadio has a brand new forum. We’re working to build it up to make it THE place for the BlogTalkCommunity to converge, share tips, ideas, promote your favorite shows or blogs, and engage in conversation with the rest of the BlogTalkRadio community. Join us!
  6. Visit the BlogTalkRadio Help Center – There are two great places to learn more about BlogTalkRadio and how to make it work to your advantage. The first is the BlogTalkRadio Learning Center located on the main BTR site. Included are tutorials, FAQs, screencasts and more, to help make your experience with us as simple as possible. The BlogTalkRadio Help Center, located on the BlogTalkRadio Blog, is a work in progress listing blog posts offering tips and ideas for a positive experience.
  7. Start your own BlogTalkRadio show – You knew this was coming right? Many of our listeners enjoy the experience so much they become hosts. Everyone has something to talk about…what’s your topic?
  8. Comment at the Blog – We love comments and learning more about our community. If you have an opinion on something we posted here, do comment. If you have a tip or idea to share, post here, we’d love to learn from you. And if you disagree? Tell us that too! As long as you disagree in a respectful manner, you’re welcome to share your point of view. Comments are a great way to gain exposure to your radio show, blog or website. Each comment form has a special place to drop links, feel free to drop yours too!
  9. Search Twitter– Twitter is a terrific place to learn about the day’s programming. Hosts, guests and listeners all Tweet their favorite shows. Check out BlogTalkRadio on Twitter Search and and maybe you’ll find a new favorite!
  10. Subscribe to feeds or alerts – BlogTalkRadio allows listeners to add their favorite shows to RSS feeds or as an alert so you can be notified when new content is posted. Stay current on your favorite topics by subscribing.

New to BlogTalkRadio? Start Here

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Since new hosts sign on every day, I thought we’d throw out another list of helpful links. Here are a few things to help you get started with BlogTalkRadio:

  • Take a Virtual Tour – Would you like a virtual tour of BlogTalkRadio? This screencast will show you how it works.
  • BlogTalkRadio Forum – Meet your fellow hosts and listeners. Share tips, equipment suggestions and other ideas.
  • BlogTalkRadio 101 – Every Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. EST, BlogTalkRadio’s star, Nikki Starr, hosts BlogTalkRadio 101. Featuring tips and tricks and everything you need to learn how to use BlogTalkRadio. All of Nikki’s classes are archived so newbies can listen to all the shows they missed.
  • My BlogTalkRadio – This screencast takes you through all of your “My BlogTalkRadio” options so you can navigate with ease.
  • Register as a Listener- Even if you’re not interested in hosting, we still have tools to enhance your BlogTalkRadio experience. Check out this screencast for listeners.
  • Get Started as a Host – This screencast walks you through everything you need to know to host your own BlogTalkRadio show.
  • Switchboard Screencast – Learn how to work your switchboard here.
  • BlogTalkRadio’s FAQ’s – Everything you wanted to know about BlogTalkRadio but were afraid to ask.
  • Contact Us – Questions for support? Want to learn more about branded content? Here’s how to get in touch.
  • Revenue Share – Did you know we offer a rev. share program?

There’s more too! For everything you need to know about BlogTalkRadio, please visit our Learning Center.

How Are You Using Twitter Search?

How do YOU use Twitter Search?

How do YOU use Twitter Search?

by Deb

I’m totally digging Twitter Search lately. Not only is it great for a vanity search – to see who might have @ responded to me that I missed, but it’s also a great way to find like-minded people to follow.

Now, if you have a BlogTalkRadio show it’s also a terrific way of finding who is talking about your topic. You’ll find links to news bits, interesting blogs, people to follow, folks to interview and folks who might become listeners.

Twitter is an amazing networking tool. Use Twitter Search to find other BlogTalkRadio hosts and listeners. I’m finding more and more of us are socializing via Twitter and sharing tips and technical advice. On a daily basis, I chit chat with Sunny Goodman, Dr. Blogstein, Jenn Fowler and many other BlogTalkRadio hosts with a Twitter presence.

I also search Twitter to find out who needs help with BlogTalkRadio. When folks ask questions, it’s my job as Community Manager to help them out. I can help make them comfortable with the BlogTalkRadio interface, answer their questions, or put them in touch with the folks who can offer technical support. All community managers need to have a heavy Twitter presence, and BlogTalkRadio is no exception. Twitter is such a huge referrer of traffic to our site, and Twitter Search is an important tool for everyone who is part of the BlogTalkRadio community.

How do you use Twitter Search?

22 Helpful Posts for BlogTalkRadio Hosts and Listeners

by Deb Ng

I find myself searching through this blog quite a bit lately, usually to answer questions asked by folks who use BlogTalkRadio or want to learn how to use BlogTalkRadio. It occurred to me that we get new users every day, as well as new readers to this blog. With them in mind, I would like to refer you to some of our greatest hits.

  1. 17 Places to Find PodSafe Music
  2. 11 Online Resources to Help Promote Your Online Radio Show
  3. How to Have Your BlogTalkRadio Show Featured
  4. Show Descriptions: Tips for Bringing in the Masses
  5. 10 Reasons You Should Consider Blogging
  6. What are Keywords and Why Should You Care
  7. New Promotion Tips and Tricks
  8. New Promotion Tools for BlogTalkRAdio Hosts
  9. BlogTalkRadio Groups on FaceBook
  10. Podcast Directories for Your BlogTalkRadio Shows
  11. How to Become a Guest on BlogTalkRadio
  12. How Do You Say Thank You to Your BlogTalkRadio Guests
  13. How to Host Your Own BlogTalkRAdio Show
  14. What Happens if Your Guest is a No Show?
  15. Use Twitter for Relationships, Not Spam
  16. 7 Hints for Avoiding Dead Air When No One’s Callin’ In
  17. Finding Guests for Your BlogTalkRadio Shows
  18. 5 Tips for Writing a Show Description that Rocks!
  19. Do You Want a Radio Show or Event?
  20. Resources for Hosts: 20 Free Social Media E-Books
  21. Using Social Neworks to Bring in Listeners
  22. 7 Ways to Take Your Blog to the Next Level with Radio

How to Host Your Own BlogTalkRadio Show

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by Deb Ng

I have a confession to make. Every day I search Twitter to find folks who are asking questions about BlogTalkRadio. There are a couple each day, who are thinking about using our service, but not sure how it works. In fact, when I go to conferences or online networks, I’m often approached by people would love to host an online radio show but aren’t sure how. Moreover, they think it’s too technical for their range of expertise. They couldn’t be me wrong.

I’m here to tell you hosting your own BlogTalkRadio show is simple, free, and fun.  So, if you ever wondered how to start your own BlogTalkRadio show, here’s everything you need to know:

1. Sign up for a host account – At the top of our home page is a link that says “Start your own free talk show”. Click this link and a form will magically appear in front of your eyes. Fill out the check off the appropriate boxes, and you’re good to go. Really that’s it. You could actually start your show 15 or 20 minutes after logging in, but we recommend you take some time to look around and learn a bit about how things work and how to make your show a success.

2. Check Out the BlogTalkRadio Learning Center: Our learning center offers a wealth of information for hosts of all levels. Read our FAQs, listen in to BlogTalkRadio 101, peek at our rev. share opportunities and more – and don’t forget to meet other hosts and listeners in the BlogTalkRadio forum. When you’re sure you know enough about using BlogTalkRadio, it’s time to move on to the next step.

3. Schedule Your Show – After you log in, there’s a link at the top of the homepage that says “My BlogTalkRadio”. This houses everything you need to start your own BlogTalkRadio show. At the top of this page is another “My BlogTalkRadio” heading. Under that you’ll see a link to add/or edit your own show. Once you schedule your show, all you technically need to do is call in and host.

4. Fill Out Your Show Description Page  – Don’t over look this small but important feature. Your show description serves more than one purpose.  Not only does it tell folks what’s going on for each particular segment, but, if worded correctly, it has the ability to reach the search engines and rock the long tail.

5. Congratulations! You’re Ready to Host Your Own BlogTalkRadio Show! – Once you have all the necessary information filled out, you’re ready to start your own BlogTalkRadio show. You may want to schedule a short test show first, just to make sure everything’s working and there are no technical issues. Use your host number to call in to talk to the masses, and the guest number is for your listeners and guests to call in. You’ll be able to see these callers on your switchboard. And don’t forget to launch the chat room! Folks love to interact while a show is in progress.

If you find you’re a little confused or things don’t appear to be going well feel free to contact me at deborahng(at)blogtalkradio(dot)com, or one of the host services team at service(at)blogtalkradio(dot)com.

Good luck and enjoy your BlogTalkRadio experience.