Tag Archives: Show

Prep for Your Online Radio Show Like a Pro: 10 Quick Tips

In our ongoing effort to help BlogTalkRadio’s many talented online radio hosts better produce and promote their shows, we’ve developed a new Quick Tips series.

Tip #1: Before scheduling your show, choose the right title, description, and keywords.

The first thing you’ll need to do when getting ready for your show is schedule an episode. Scheduling your episode will create a page that includes all the important details for your upcoming episode: date, time, topic and so on. An effective title, description and keyword tags can help you attract listeners.

Here are some quick Dos and Don’ts when creating your title, description and keywords:

Do

  • Try to limit the number of words in your title to six words or less.
  • Keep your titles and descriptions focused and interesting.
  • Have a great guest? Use their name in the episode title (i.e. Michael Jordan interviewed by John Smith).
  • Make sure all the essential information is covered in the description.
  • Use keywords that aptly describe what you’re broadcasting about and that your listeners are likely to use to search for your content. In addition to including these keywords in the tags fields, you should include them in your title and description. 
  • Use spell check.

Don’t

  • Use the same title, description and keywords for every episode.
  • Use all caps.
  • Use the same keywords for every tag.
  • Use profanity.

Examples

Title

Good: 
Gardening Tips: Keeping Indoor Plants Alive

Bad:
WATERING PLANTS

Descriptions

Bad:
We talk about watering your plants.

Good:
Have trouble keeping your house plants alive? Tune in to learn how to turn your brown thumb into a green thumb. Our guest, Mildred Greenhouse, will provide helpful indoor gardening tips about soil, feeding your plants, and ideal watering schedules for orchids, flowers, and trees.

Keywords

Good: 
Mildred Greenhouse, indoor plants, watering plants, soil nutrients, feeding plants

Bad: 
plants, plants, plants, more plants, trees

Tip #2: Consistency counts when deciding on an episode date and time.

When building a listener base, it’s important to establish a consistent schedule for your show. Try to keep it on the same day of the week (or days, if you have episodes more than once a week) and at  the same time each week so your audience knows when to expect it and can build it into their 
routine.

Need more tips on show scheduling? View our screencast on how to schedule your show for more help.

Tip #3: Create an intro for your show

If you don’t have one already, recording a great introduction can help you create a more professional and engaging show right from the start. A fun intro can pull your listeners in and keep them tuned in longer.

So how do you create an introduction? There are a few different ways. You can engage a professional announcer to create one for you. Or if you’re looking to save money, you can easily make your own intro using BlogTalkRadio. Here’s how to make your own: First, write a script and select and upload your background music. Set your background music at 25%-50% and do a test run speaking over it. You may need to experiment a bit to find out which level works best with your voice. Next, schedule a episode to record your intro. When you are done recording, download the file to your computer and re-upload it as a start-up audio file. (Here’s a screencast on how to upload audio files.)

Read our guide on creating the ultimate show intro.

Tip #4: Create an outline or Script for your show.

To ensure your show flows smoothly—and to avoid dead air—it’s great idea to decide on a format for your show and to draft a show outline prior to going live.

A helpful exercise for getting format ideas for your show is to listen to other shows on BlogTalkRadio. Jot down what you like and dislike about each one, and that can serve as a great starting point for building your format. 

Here is a sample show format for a 30-minute guest interview:

  1. Intro Start-Up Audio: 30 seconds
  2. Introduction of Guest: 1 – 2 minutes
  3. Guest Interview: 15 minutes
  4. Music/Message Break: 1 minute
  5. Guest Q&A – with live callers: 10 minutes
  6. Show Conclusion: 2 minutes
  7. Outro Music: 30 seconds

Creating a detailed outline prior to each episode will ensure both you (and your co-host, if you have one) 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.

Tip #5: Prepare for your guest.

The two most important things to consider related to interviewing guests on your show are:
1. How will they call in?
2. What will you talk about?

How will they call in? 
Be sure to discuss with the guest how they will be brought onto the show. There are two options:

For Hosts using our Free services: 
The guest can dial in to the listener line and then be brought live onto the show using the switchboard. If you select this option, be sure to provide guests with the Listener Number, ask them to dial in at a specific time, and find out what number they will be dialing in from, as this will make it easier to identify their call on the switchboard.

For Premium Hosts: 
You can dial out to your guests directly from the switchboard using the outdial feature. To learn how to use view our screencast on outdialing. Learn more about Premium Services.

What will you talk about? 
Set yourself up for a successful interview by doing research on your guest and preparing an intro and questions for your guest prior to the show. It is also a good idea to ask guests if there are any topics they want to cover before the show.

Tip #6: Get your audio files queued up and ready to go. 

In addition to the show intro, playing audio files (i.e., music, pre-taped interviews and/or sound effects) during your show can add depth and excitement to your broadcast. They can break up the talk and provide great transitions. Here are a few technical tips to remember: to avoid distortion, it’s not recommended to set the volume higher than 150% when uploading files. When playing audio files, all callers can still be heard if they’re speaking, so it’s best to mute the host and callers when playing files. Playing your sound files during your test show (see Tip #7) can be a great way to make sure that all files are sounding the way you want them.

Tip #7: Conduct a test show.

Conducting a test show prior to the live event can be a great way to work out the kinks prior to your live event. To schedule a test show, simply log in and schedule a show for the time you need. When choosing maturity, choose “Test” or “Private” so that it will not broadcast to the masses. When you call in to do the test, use the exact dial-in option you’re planning to use for the show. If possible, include any guests in your test show as well. Test the audio files you are planning to use, test voice clarity from the telephones or headsets that are being used, and then listen to the playback after the archive is finished. Then you can take care of any adjustments before your scheduled show.

Tip #8: Choose a quiet space to broadcast.

Find a quiet place to host your show where people will not accidentally interrupt you— dogs won’t be barking, telephones won’t be ringing, and so on.

Tip #9: Dial-in 15 minutes prior to your show.

It’s good practice for you, your co-host and your guests to call in 15 minutes prior to your show. This will provide time to review the show outline, launch the chat room, and get settled before going live.

Tip #10: Optimize your show’s sound quality.

Here are some quick Dos and Don’ts when it comes to sound quality:
Do

  1. Call in to your show using one of the following options:
    1. For hosts with a free account, the best way to dial in to your show is using a landline. 
    2. For premium hosts, there are two options for dialing into your show that will optimize sound quality: a landline or Skype. 
  2. When connecting via landline, use a high-quality phone and to speak clearly and directly into the handset. 
  3. When dialing in via Skype, use a high-quality headset plugged directly into your computer. Using a headset with Skype also frees up your hands to manage the chatroom and switchboard. And be sure you are using a hardwired Internet (rather than a wireless) connection and that you have closed out of all applications except for Skype and the BlogTalkRadio switchboard. For additional tips on how to host your show with Skype, view our Skype screencast. Learn more about Premium Services.
  4. As mentioned in Tip #7, we recommend you schedule and host a test episode to check equipment and audio files for optimal sound output. 

Don’t

  1. Use a speaker phone. This can cause annoying echoes and feedback. 
  2. Use a cell phone. This can effect quality and lead to dropped calls. 
  3. Use Skype with a wireless connection. This can compromise audio quality and lead to dropped calls.
  4. Conference multiple people in with Skype (on the host line). This can cause degradation in sound output. Again, test for optimal sound.

Bonus tip: 
If you are looking to further optimize your audio quality when dialing in using a phone, consider investing in a JK Audio Box. This is what the BlogTalkRadio staff uses to conduct broadcasts.


That’s it! We hope you find these tips helpful in making your show shine. You can find more tips & tricks for more helpful information on creating, producing and promoting your BlogTalkRadio show in the BlogTalkRadio Learning Center.

You can also download the BlogTalkRadio Quick Tips as a PDF.

Daily Highlights: Tuesday; September 21, 2010

terri-vaughn3

All Girl Talk Radio whoops it up with Terri J. Vaughn, who first captured our hearts as Lovita Alizay Jenkins Robinson on The Steve Harvey Show. The wife of former Chicago Bear Karon Riley will chat about her role on Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns.

robmorrow-mauratierney

Bob “Mr. Media” Andelman sits down with Rob Morrow, who starred in Robert Redford’s 1994 flick Quiz Show, and Maura Tierney, who starred in E.R., to chat about their roles on ABC’s intriguing new legal drama, The Whole Truth, which debuts tomorrow at 10pm ET.
chris-difford

Icon Fetch’s Tony Peter rocks out with Chris Difford, half of the Squeeze team who—with Glenn Tilbrook—penned pop classics like Black Coffee in Bed and Cool for Cats. Glenn will chat about the band’s new album, Spot the Difference, which painstakingly recreates its greatest hits.
david-nunes

AACONS’ Marie Stroughter goes one-on-one with David Nunes, who was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve as California State Director for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development section, before being elected to U.S. Congress in 2003.
davidsimon-davidji

Chopra Center Radio debuts with “Emotional Healing,” an hour-long special hosted by Dr. David Simon, the center’s co-founder, and davidji, its lead educator. If you’re stressed and afraid to move forward in life, their tips and wisdom will soon have you on the path to recovery.
demetria-mckinney

Women on the Move host Leslie Harris gives it up for Demetria McKinney, who began her screen career in Tyler Perry’s 2004 video release Meet the Browns, before going on to star as Janine Payne in his hit TBS sitcom House of Payne.


*Please note that all show times are listed in EST time.

Thousands of live radio shows broadcast live everyday on BlogTalkRadio. Find out what’s on live now.

Part One: Using Social Media to Promote Your Show, Getting Started & Twitter

hosttip-of-the-week3Social networking platforms are a great way to promote your online talk show on BlogTalkRadio. Using tools like Twitter, Facebook, Cinch, and MySpace, you can cross-promote your content and gain more followers, friends, and ultimately, listeners. In essence, the more people online who feel connected to you and your interests, and the easier you make it for them to stay connected and keep up with you, the more likely they are to check out your BlogTalkRadio show. Keep your friends and fans engaged and entertained, and you can be confident that your listeners will increase.

Here is the first in a series of posts on how to maximize these site’s offerings and expand your listener base online.

Here are a few basic tips to get you started:

Build Killer Profiles: Your profiles are what define you as you interact within the different social networks. Make sure yours is one that helps people find you and inspires them to connect. A keyword-rich description and good picture are a great place to start.

Cross-Link Your Profiles: When you are setting up new profiles on sites, make sure to cross-link them. For example, on your BlogTalkRadio profile link to your Facebook, Twitter and other profiles, and vice versa. This helps you build friends and followers across the different sites where you participate.

Promote Your Profiles: A simple way to get started promoting your profiles and your show is to include logos and links to them on your website and in your email signature.

In the weeks to come, we will cover tips for using Cinch, Facebook, and MySpace.

This week, here are some tips for using Twitter to promote your show:

Twitter offers a very short and sweet way to get your message out there, and using less than 140 characters and a link can get new listeners to your show fast. Once you have created an account (it’s a good idea to use your show’s name as your Twitter handle), be sure to follow your fellow BlogTalkRadio hosts, current listeners, and real life friends. From there, you can start searching for people with similar interests who would be intrigued by your show’s content, add them and then add their friends and followers. Often times they will follow you right back.

Another technique for building your network on Twitter is to use Twitter Search, or keyword search in TweetDeck to scan tweets for related content, and start conversations with new people. It is also a good idea to announce your Twitter handle during your show. You can connect your BlogTalkRadio account to automatically post to Twitter, which automatically publishes show promotion tweets when you are going on air. Here is a link to a screencast on how to do this. When it comes to content, don’t just tweet self-promotional messages, try to offer value to your followers by conversing with them, offering news and opinions that are interesting, useful, funny, or unusual.

Here are a few links to other articles that you may find helpful on Twitter:

http://www.twitip.com/13-twitter-tips-and-tutorials-for-beginners/

http://twittercism.com/10-easy-ways-to-maximise-your-twitter-experience/

Stayed tuned for Part 2 of “Using Social Media to Promote Your Show.”

Until next week y’all.

Christie Sweet