Tag Archives: host tips

Host Tip of the Week: How Can Advertisements Benefit Your Show?

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When surfing for shows that interest you, or hosting your own radio show on BlogTalkRadio, there is one thing that you are bound to run into: Advertisements. Advertisements are very important on BlogTalkRadio, as it is one of the primary ways we support the network and ensure that we can continue to offer this service to our community.

But hosts often wonder: Can I change them? Can I remove them? Can they benefit me in some way?

The answer to all of the above is yes.

Here are a few of the options that are available to you:

Join the BlogTalkRadio Revenue Sharing Program
Did you know that you can make money off of the ads that BlogTalkRadio places on your pages? Through our Revenue Sharing Program you have the ability to opt in and retain 35% of all revenue generated from the ads on your show.

Get More Control Over the Ads on Your Pages with Premium Services

If you want to have more control over the ads placed on your page, you can opt for a Premium Plus account which will remove audio and video ads, leaving only banner ads.

If you want complete control over all ads placed on your profile, and you desire the ability to sell advertising space and keep 100% of the revenue from them, you can look into one of our Branded Profiles.

If you have more questions on any of the above programs, contact us here!

Host Tip of the Week: Using Tags and Keywords When Scheduling Your Shows

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We are often asked by BlogTalkRadio hosts how they can bring in more search engine traffic to their BlogTalkRadio show pages. One of the best and most cost effective ways is by focusing on SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

What does this mean? Some of you may have started to schedule your show and gotten to the area marked “Add Tags or Keywords” and breezed right through it with out much thought. This area is actually very valuable when it comes to increasing the amount of traffic sent to your show from the search engines.

In this post we wanted to explain a few basic SEO concepts and resources so you can super-charge your show for  the search engines and attract the more listeners.

WHAT ARE TAGS & KEYWORDS ?

A “Tag” or “Keyword” is a word or phrase that’s descriptive and specific to your show’s content, and should be the words that your audience will type into their search engine when trying to find your show. For instance, say someone is searching for photos of Brad Pitt. The key phrase used for this search might read “Brad Pitt pictures.” This search term will bring up all the websites offering images of Pitt, and all the websites using this phrasing.

HOW TO USE TAGS AND KEYWORDS WHEN SCHEDULING SHOWS
To find the tags or keywords that work the best for you, you may want to do some keyword research to find the most popular keywords for your show content. Make a list and choose the most relevant and popular keywords associated with your show (we recommended 3-5 per show). You’ll want to use these words in your tags and include them several times in your show title and description (without being completely apparent.)  It is most effective when the keywords are related. Always try to create unique titles for your shows and place your “best” keyword (based on the topic) in the title of your show. This helps tell the search engine (as well as the reader) what your content is about.

TIPS AND TRICKS
Try to keep your title as easy to follow and straightforward as you can. Also, remember that the better your spelling and grammar are, the more likely your keywords are to actually work ;).

So for example, for a show about tags and keywords; here is how you can get some stellar SEO:

Your tags could include the following:
best tags, tags and keywords, keywords, increase page views, keyword tagging

Your title could be: Increase Your Page Views with Tags and Keywords

Your description could include:
On tonight’s show Increase Your Page Views with Tags and Keywords, (host name) teaches you how to increase your page views by keyword tagging your show page. Tags and keywords are the number one way to increase page views and get listeners to your show. We will cover how to do research on your tags and keywords, choosing the best tags, and much more.

Some examples of not so great choices might be:
article, views, titles, search engines, performance

Here are a few places you can go to for keyword suggestion:

* Wordtracker
* Google AdWords
* Keyword Discovery
* SelfSEO

SEO is a good topic to study up on when it comes to marketing your show, here are a few great resources for you to check out:

SEOMoz
SelfSEO
SearchEngineWatch

Good luck in your SEO!

BlogTalkRadio’s Host Tip of the Week: Picking a Show Time

Happy Friday BlogTalkers!hosttip-of-the-week1

It is great to bring the weekly host tips back to you!

Many hosts have asked us “when is the best time is to host my show?”

There are a few important things to think about when choosing your show time for your online radio show.

Time Zones
When selecting the best time for your audience, you first should take into consideration the time zones. There are a lot of different time zones, but the most common are EST, CST and PST. If you are trying to attract a local audience your job will be easy as you just need to worry about your own time zone. If you are trying to reach a wider audience you will need to think about choosing a time that works for multiple time zones. For example, scheduling a show at 8:00am EST will likely not work for those on the West Coast where it is 5:00 am. Here is a great site for finding out what time it is in different areas.

Content and Audience
From there, gauge your content and your target audience. Do you host a show providing parenting advice to stay-at-home moms? Early afternoon might work for you. Have a sports show targeting male sports enthusiast? An evening during the week, or during the day on the weekend might be best. Try to put yourself in the shoes of your target audience. You can also research other shows on the network that have similar content and large followings. When are they hosting their shows? You probably don’t want to compete directly with their time slot, but looking at the general time frame when they are hosting their shows can be helpful.

You can also do some basic research with your target audience. Conduct an impromptu survey with family, friends and colleagues that fit your target demographic. Ask them what time would work best for them and see if you can identify any trends.

Keep in mind that there may be times when members of your audience are not close to their computers. Those people can dial in to listen to your show if it is airing during their commute, or can come back to the archive later. That is the great thing about the BlogTalkRadio platform, people can listen from anywhere, anytime, multiple ways. The content is always available via archive and can be downloaded by listeners so they can listen whenever they have a free moment.

Same Time Next Week
When building a listener base it is important to establish a consistent rhythm with your show. Try to keep it on the same days and at the same time each week so your audience knows when to expect it and can build it into their routine.

Good luck scheduling and have a great weekend!

Part Two: Using Social Media to Promote Your Show, Using Facebook

hosttip-of-the-weekThis is part two of our multi-part series on promoting your online talk radio show using social media. (Read part one)

This week we will focus on Facebook. Using Facebook is a great way to market and build your show’s community.  Below are some tips that can help.


TIP 1: Create a Facebook Fan Page for Your Show
Starting a Facebook fan page helps build a community around your show.  Remember to provide value or content of interest to your followers and fans and listen to and interact with friends who make comments or share on your page. Make sure you are not using the page merely to push out information about your show time! Share links, ask questions, give tips and ideas to build your own community on Facebook.

dr blogstein screenshot One BlogTalkRadio host who uses Facebook fan pages to promote his show well is  Dr. Blogstein of The Radio Happy Hour.  Dr. Blogstein share updates about his show, but also includes other engaging content such as quizzes, photos, and more.

TIP 2: Join Facebook Groups
One of the best ways to meet like-minded people online is to join Facebook groups on topics of interest to you and your show. Share ideas and tips and further establish yourself as an expert in your show’s subject mattter within these groups. Then, fine appropriate times to talk about your show, especially if you have an upcoming notable guest of interest to the group.

TIP 3: Add Value to the Community
Make friends on Facebook with people who interest you, and stay active with them by commenting on their walls. If you become an online friend, they will want to learn more about you and what you are doing, including your work on BlogTalkRadio.

TIP 4: Set Up a Facebook Event
Have a special guest coming up or broadcasting live from an event such as a baseball game, concert, or conference? Spread the word by creating a Facebook event, and invite everyone you know online. Don’t forget to include the date, time, a detailed description of your show’s content, and the link.

TIP 5: Ask Your Friends to Spread the Word
When you post information about your shows on Facebook, be sure to include a brief note encouraging your friends to spread the word to other interested parties.

TIP 6: Add a Show Player or a Badge to Your Facebook Profile
player_embedShare your content by adding your player to your Facebook profile, and encourage your friends to do the same.

Just follow these simple steps:

Go to your show profile page on BlogTalkRadio
-Click on “Add this player to your websites” button
-Click on “Post to Social Networks using Gigya” button and select Facebook
-Click on Post, then Add to Profile

Or you can add the badge to your profile page by copying and pasting the badge code into the “Gigya My Stuff” application on your Facebook profile. To add the player or badge to your fan page you will also just need to add the “My Stuff” Application, and copy and paste code from the  “Add this player to your websites” page on BlogTalkRadio.

And, just like with Twitter, you can connect your BlogTalkRadio show directly to your Facebook profile to cross-promote. (For more information, check out this quick screencast.)

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us or leave a comment below.

Stayed tuned for Part 3 of “Using Social Media to Promote Your Show.”

Until next week, y’all!

Host Tip of the Week: Calling in to host your show

hosttip-of-the-week2Just getting started with your show on BlogTalkRadio? When time comes to host the show, you have a few options for how to dial in and connect.

For hosts with a basic account, an easy way to host is by dialing in on a landline phone. To ensure the best possible sound quality on your show, it is a good idea to use a high quality telephone, and speak clearly into the handset.

For hosts with a Premium, Premium Plus, or Branded Client account, there are a few more options for dialing into your show. One additional option is to call in using Skype, which enables hosts to call in directly from the computer. These Skype calls are free from anywhere in the world, and many hosts prefer this method of hosting. Using a headset with Skype frees up your hands to use for chat or managing the switchboard.

BlogTalkRadio does not endorse any products, but when it comes to additional equipment to use while hosting, we encourage hosts to share their preferences with other hosts. For hosts eager to take their shows to the next level with sound equipment and are seeking these tips and advice, check out our BlogTalkRadio forum http://forum.blogtalkradio.com/ and connect with other hosts.

To connect to your show, call into the line 15 minutes or closer to the start time of the show. If you have a co-host, your co-host will dial in on the guest call in number, while you will dial in on the host line. Then, get talking! When you are finished hosting, simply hang up the phone to end the show. Your show’s audio will be what you recorded from the time you went live on the air, until the time you hung up the phone.

If you ever accidentally disconnect from your show, just call back into your host line at any time before your show is scheduled to end, and you will be able to resume your show.

Have a great week, y’all!

Christie Sweet

Host Tip of the Week: Chat Room Success

hosttip-of-the-weekWant to know how to maximize the chat room feature on BlogTalkRadio? Our chat room can be a great way to:

• Engage listeners during your show
• Manage and encourage audience participation
• Connect with your listeners
• Grow your listener base
• Build a community around your show

How to use our chat room feature. If you want more information on how the chat feature works, view our screencast here.

How to Moderate Your Chat Room: Managing a chat room, although potentially easier with a co-host, can also be done effectively when you are hosting solo. If you have a co-host, while you are speaking, he or she can actively monitor and interact with listeners in the chat room. If you are hosting alone, we recommend interacting with your chatters while you are playing an audio file, or when special guests are speaking.

How to Engage Your Chat Room: Be sure to welcome the participants of your chat room at the beginning of the show to get the discussion started. You can also encourage people to type their questions and comments into the chat room, if they are shy about calling in. It is good practice to continue to welcome new chatters at various times throughout the show as you notice them joining in. To save time, pre-type messages in a document, and cut and paste into the chat window while you are on the air.

Another way to engage listeners is to highlight something covered on the show and ask your audience to share what they think in the chat room, or offer related questions or facts about your guest or relevant topics.

Manage Live Q&A: If you have callers dialing in, you can ask them to private message you in the chat room with their name and phone number so that you can announce them properly when you bring them onto your show. You can also encourage listeners to use the chat room as an alternative way to submit questions.

Opening your chat room takes a quick click of the mouse, and can increase your listener engagement and show’s sense of community by leaps and bounds.

Share your favorite chat room tips in the comments.

Have a great week, y’all, and happy chatting!

Christie Sweet

Host Tip of the Week: Successful Co-Hosting

When it comes to hosting a successful online talk radio show, having a co-host can be a great asset. A co-host can help you to:hosttip-of-the-week1

*Plan and manage your show’s timeline
*Outline questions for guests
*Coordinate and screen calls
*Run the show while you screen callers
*Provide a fresh perspective on the air
*Give your show more voices, more personality

Here are a few co-hosting tips:

1) Pre-Show Planning and Communication. Make sure that you and your co-host are well prepared before your show goes live. It is important that each of you understand who is doing what when you go on air. Who is screening callers? Making introductions? Asking questions? It can be helpful to draft an outline for your show before hand; this will ensure both you and your co-host have great talking points. If conducting an interview, consider alternating asking questions. And remember to prepare a great introduction for your guests ahead of time.

2) The Logistics: Two hosts, two calls. When you dial-in to conduct your show with a co-host, the Host dials in on the host line, the co-host dials in the guest line. If your co-host will be helping with the switchboard, they can log right into the host’s account using your user name and password, open up the switchboard, and have the exact same abilities of the host. With the chatroom, the host will click on the green “start chat now” button, and the co-host will click on “login to chat as co-host”, and then “start chat now.”

3) Screening Callers. One of the biggest benefits of have a co-host is having someone that can help screen callers without interrupting the show’s flow. Premium switchboards have a call screening feature which allows you to enter information about the caller and appears on the switchboard next to their phone number. This allows you to introduce the callers by name and location when putting them on the air, without having to interrupt your show to ask these details. For more on how call-screening works, click here for a screencast tutorial. We are also launching a live training session for Premium hosts, and those interested in learning more about the benefits of premium services, on February 4th at 1:00pm ET. If you want to learn more about using the enhanced switchboard, click here to attend.

4) Real-time Show Communication: Try IM. It can be important to have a private line of communication available between you and your co-host while the show is live. Instant messaging (IM) is a great way to silently communicate with your co-host without interrupting your show or your listeners. You can let the other host know when you are ready to speak, or that you need to take a break and have the co-host take over the show.

The bottom line: having a good co-host can add new content and perspectives to your online talk radio show. As always, we welcome your thoughts and questions!

Until next week, y’all!
Christie Sweet

BlogTalkRadio Host Tip of the Week: Engaging Listeners

hosttip-of-the-week1An engaged and interactive listener community can add a whole new dimension to your online radio show and can take a good show to the next level. Whether you are a new host unsure of where to start, or a seasoned host looking for new ideas, here are some tips to help you get listeners more engaged in your BlogTalkRadio show:

1. Take Live Callers:
A great way to get listeners interacting on your show is to encourage questions and feedback through your call-in line. There are many ways to manage live callers using BlogTalkRadio’s switchboard, depending on your hosting style and the level of control you would like to maintain over the show’s content. Some hosts engage callers by immediately bringing them live on-air as they appear on the switchboard, while other hosts feel more comfortable bringing only scheduled callers live on-air so they can stay focused on the central theme and avoid any content surprises. With BlogTalkRadio premium services, we offer the best of both worlds: our premium enhanced switchboard enables hosts to screen callers, and thus organize caller’s content, before bringing them onto the show.

2. Open Your Chatroom and Engage Your Chatters:
When you open your chatroom during your live show, your listeners can engage in chat with you, as well as with other listeners. Managing the chatroom during your live show is an effective way to enable discussion and can be another avenue for live listeners to ask questions and give feedback that you can respond to in real time. In addition, opening your chatroom can help bring in more listeners by creating an atmosphere of camaraderie and interactivity that listeners will want to return to and suggest to friends.

3. Benefit From A Co-host:
Introducing a co-host to your online radio show can help you better engage your listeners, in tandem with the two tips we’ve already discussed, while adding friendly banter and calmness to your show. Imagine having a friend take on half the tasks during hosting! Look for a co-host who complements your hosting style and with whom you feel comfortable. Try out a few test shows to make sure that your differing viewpoints and chemistry make a positive addition to the show.

4. Have a Contest:
Listeners love to win swag, and adding a contest to your show can be a great way to get the less vocal people involved. Host a trivia contest, a competition between listeners, or an idea-generating event to demonstrate your desire for your listeners to interact with you and each other. To encourage listeners to tune in repeatedly, you can introduce a multi-week contest, giving clues during multiple shows, so listeners are motivated to tune in and listen to each show up through the contest deadline.

5. Use Sound Clips:
Sound effects, original music, and pre-taped segments create a more diverse audio landscape for your listeners. Plus, your options for content increase exponentially, thus expanding opportunities to create more imaginative and fun content. Laughter, applause, doorbells, catch-phrases, and sound effects are easy to find online for free, and can help keep your listeners focused and entertained.

In upcoming tips, we’ll expand on these ideas with more examples and recommendations. If you have any recommendations, feel free to email us at service-at-blogtalkradio.com or add it in the comments below and we’ll look to include them in future entries.