by Deb Ng
As a professional blogger I learned a lot about what it takes to run and build a successful blog and community. Perhaps even more important, I learned why blogs are an important promotional, social networking and community building tool. For serious podcasters and online radio hosts, blogging is a must. Here are some reasons to consider starting your own blog:
- Blogs bring in search engine traffic – Blogs have the ability to bring in massive amounts of search engine traffic. You can use this traffic to your benefit. Talk about your show and promote upcoming guests and topics.
- Blogs give you a place to showcase your shows and podcasts – Did you know you can embed your show’s player on your blog? This gives your readers and listeners a convenient place to listen, and keeps traffic where you want it most. Plus, when hear your most recent show, they might be inclined to visit BlogTalkRadio to check out the archives.
- Blogs allow you to share news and ideas – Explore your niche and bring readers and listeners the latest news, tips and ideas in your topic.
- Blogs offer you the opportunity to build up a community – For many bloggers, the best part of blogging is growing a community. When folks comment on a regular basis, you know they’re interested in you and what you have to say. When your community is turned on to your blog, they’ll want to learn more about your radio show.
- Blogs allow you to keep the conversation flowing long after your show ended – A blog is the perfect vehicle to follow up on radio show topics. Plus your community and listeners can continue the discussion long after the chat room ends.
- Blogs are an awesome promotional tool – Your blog is yours to do with whatever you like! Use it to promote your shows to your heart’s content. Discuss upcoming guests, topics and more.
- Blogs allow you to share links and resources – After each show post links to informative articles and resources for further exploration.
- Blogs give you the opportunity to take your podcast to a whole new level – and vice versa – Blogging allows you to expand on your day’s topic and reach a whole new audience.
- Blogs are fun – Most bloggers blog because they love what they do. Blogging about your favorite topic is fun and addictive.
- Blogs helps you become established as an expert in your niche – Use your blog to showcase your expertise. Show off your knowledge. When you know what you’re talking about, folks want to read what you have to say.
Tell us about your blogs – how do you use them as a promotional tool for your radio shows?
If you’re a member of BlogTalkRadio – either as a host or a listener – you’re already signed up for the BlogTalkRadio forum. Membership really DOES have its privileges! And if you haven’t yet checked out our new forum, I encourage you to do so. Many of our hosts are sharing tips and ideas for promoting their shows, discussing equipment and much more. We have special places for different niches and genres to get together and talk about their favorite topics and even a forum where hosts can promote their shows to their hearts content. We even have an off topic gathering place for those members who don’t wish to talk shop all the time.
You’re not the only one with a passion for online radio. Drop by our forum and meet others who share your addiction!
by Deb Ng
My Twitter addiction is legendary is these parts. No matter how much I’ve tried, I can’t quit. OK, well that’s a lie. I never tried to quit, and have no plans to do so in the future. I like Twitter not for its ability to send traffic to my blogs or this website, but because of the community and cameraderie. That’s why if you’re only using Twitter to post links to your podcasts or blogs it isn’t going to work.
Granted, each “Tweet” is only 140 characters, but Twitter is still about people and relationships. Why would someone want to follow another’s tweets if they only contain links? Rather than spam, use Twitter to cultivate friendship and relationships. Sure, you can also use it to turn folks on to your radio shows and blog posts, but don’t forget what it’s really about.
Here are a few tips for getting the most out of Twitter
- Follow like minded people – Do a search for people who share the same interests. In fact, plenty of our BlogTalkRadio hosts are on Twitter and they’re great folks to follow. Also, find the talkers, movers and shakers in your niche group, they’ll be the most interested in what you have to say, and they’re the folks you want to learn from.
- For every link to your stuff, throw out a few conversational Tweets – If you only invite people to visit your stuff, folks are going to think you’re a spammer. Talk about what you’re doing or what you’re reading. Discuss news or what you’re listening to. As you do this, you’ll build up followers who will visit your links when you post them.
- Spend some time on Twitter not to promote, but to get to know the people who follow you – Folks follow you because they find you interesting and entertaining. Take some time to have a conversation with your different followers, you might build up some great relationships.
Here are some BlogTalkRadio shows and resources featuring ways to get the most out of Twitter:
- Nikki Starr offered a quick Twitter course on BlogTalkRAdio101.
- Warren Whitlock isn’t only @WarrenWhitlock on Twitter, he’s also a blogTalkRadio host who has written a book about using Twitter and also talks often of using Twitter and social media to succeed.
- The Columbia School of Journalism had a helpful show on using Twitter for journalism – or everything you wanted to know about Twitter but were afraid to ask.
- In October Business Matters welcomed a couple of Twitter experts to discuss the whole Twitter phenonmenon.
- Host Rob Richards offered 5 Steps to Twitter Success.
- Twitter was even a topic of discussion with the FlyLady and Friends.
- Another of my friends, Jim Turner, offered tips on Making Twitter More Valuable on Social Mediasphere.
- Host Debra Simpson has some great Twitter and FaceBook Tips
- If you’ve come this far, you don’t want to miss Paul Cooley‘s interview with the “Twitter Guy”.
Also, my friend Darren Rowse has very helpful blog called TwitTips.
This blog is a must for anyone into social media or wishing to learn
more about using Twitter to help build traffic and contacts.
When you’re about to stoke up your favorite search engine to look for information on Twitter or any of the other social networks, why not check BlogTalkRadio first? Our hosts are not only experts, but they interview experts. We have some of the best information available right here!
by Deborah Ng
There’s an interesting discussion happening in the BlogTalkRadio Yahoo group about keeping the conversation flowing when there are no call ins. We’ve all been there. We request listener call ins and no one responds, leaving us with awkwardness as we wing it while hoping someone, anyone, will toss a question our way.
What happens when you throw a party and no one is talking? Here are a few hints for avoiding silence when there are no call ins.
- Write a script – Many BlogTalkRadio hosts prepare a script beforehand. Besides writing an intro, create several talking points and expand on all those points before your show. Try and have more than enough material so that if you don’t have any callers, you can seamlessly go it alone.
- Prepare for a solo show – Go into each show with the mindset there may be no callers. Don’t depend on it to happen. Prepare for all eventualities. If you don’t expect any call ins, you wont experience any of the awkwardness that happens when no one dials your number.
- Have a friend or two on standby – Before the show, line up a few friends or family members to hang out on standby via Skype or email. If you have no call ins, request one of your standbys call and ask questions. Many times listeners don’t want to be the first to call in. Perhaps if one of your standby people are first, others will follow.
- Have a few articles and anecdotes handy – Before your show prepare a list of articles, blog posts and anecdotes relating to the day’s topic. If you find yourself with some time, quote from those articles and discuss.
- Look to the chat for ideas – Many hosts find questions to answer or ideas to discuss in the chat room. See what folks are talking about, and carry the discussion over to your show. Chatters love it when you make reference to them!
- Offer a list of resources – Talk about the resources available on your day’s topic. Find blogs, magazines, documentaries, books and anything else you can think of. If you find yourself in need of something to talk about, give out a list of the resources so listeners can further explore on their own.
- Play music – Many of our hosts use music as a way to avoid dead air. In fact, we just posted a list of places to find podsafe music to use!
I hope some of these tips help to keep you talking when there are no listener call ins. In addition to these hints, I’d love to learn what you do. What are your favorite hints for avoiding dead air?
by Deb Ng
It’s no secret my favorite part of the job is going through all of the day’s programming to find stuff to highlight on the blog. When it comes to content, our hosts don’t disappoint. Sometimes though, I come across a promising new show, but can’t write much about it because the show description is rather…lacking. If you’re interested in bringing in new listeners, your show description is the first place to start.
Picture this: You’re new to BlogTalkRadio and begin looking around our On Air Schedule for something new and interesting to listen to. You come across a show with a great name but the only show description is “music”. Hmmm…what kind of music? Is it all music and no talk? Is it a particular Indy band or a mix? Will there be interviews with musicians?
How does one know if it’s not in the description?
Here are a few tips for writing show descriptions guaranteed to send listeners your way:
- Write a rough draft. Many times, I visit a show page and the description doesn’t make sense. It’s hastily written with typos and words missing. Take some time to write a rough draft. Read it over a few times and then paste it into your show description form. (Just a small but important bit of advice from the Queen of the Typos.)
- Your show description should describe each particular segment, not your show in general. Detail the day’s topic, any guests, if listeners can call in, or chat will be open. Go for regular details instead of the vague and general.
- Don’t forget your keywords. Keywords have the ability to go beyond the BlogTalkRadio site and reach the Googlesphere. If folks come in via search engines, they’ll check out your archives and hopefully even become regular listeners. Use keywords to attract search traffic. Your guest’s name is a keyword, your topic is a keyword and your genre is a keyword. Use them. Embrace them. Love them.
- Don’t forget your tags. See keywords above. Tags are just like keywords, they attract search traffic and that’s a very good thing.
- Make it fun. Your show’s description is the first impression many folks will get of you. Do you want them to see your show as a dull program or lively event? Don’t be afraid to use vibrant, descriptive words to describe your segements. Let your personality come out!
It’s your turn: What do you do to make your show descriptions stand out?
I use various social media sites to help promote BlogTalkRadio segments and services and I know many of our hosts do too.
I often hear from hosts who are unsure of how to take advantage of social media sites, or which sites are the best for their segments or niches.
Here’s something that can help!
Chris Brogan has assembled an awesome list of 20 Free eBooks About Social Media. Some of these are obviously for blogs, but that doesn’t mean you can’t read them for marketing ideas. Others such as the Podcst Marketing eBook or the Geeks Guide to Promoting Yourself with Twitter are sure to be helpful.
If you find yourself with some free time, do check it out. You may find some great tips for bringing in the masses.
Use Twitter to help promote your segments
What do you do to promote your BlogTalkRadio shows? Many of our hosts use social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and Yahoo Groups.
If you don’t mind, I’d like to throw out a few suggestions for spreading the word. This is an open forum so please feel free to add your own tips in the comments.
Facebook – By setting up your segment as an event on FaceBook you can alert your friends and followers. Also, find like-minded Facebook groups and friend people with similar interests.
MySpace – MySpace is a wonderful social networking tool and a great way to spread the word about your radio show. Many BTR’s hosts have MySpace profiles and would love to interact. It’s a great way to promote each other.
Yahoo – Did you know BlogTalkRadio has a large Yahoo group? This is a great place to talk about your show and share ideas and tips with other hosts and BTR Insiders. It’s a very active forum so it’s in a hosts best interests to join.
Twitter – I admit it. I’m addicted to my Twitter. It’s a wonderful way to keep in touch with others and share links to blog posts and radio shows. If you have a good following on Twitter, you’re sure to bring in listeners. Because it’s a 140 character microblogging site, you don’t have to worry about committing to a deep conversation.
Blogs & Websites– Blogs and radio are the perfect pairing. Use a blog to promote the days topic and embed the player for your segment, and use BlogTalkRadio for expanding your day or week’s topic. Use keywods and phrases to create articles and promo pieces to get the attention of the search engines.
What do you do to promote your radio shows? Share your tips in the comments.