How to Start an Online Radio Show - If You’re Me. First Steps.

how to start an online radio show
As far as the How To start an online radio show of it all, I am playing a bit of catch up here so I will give you the general overview and I will bounce back and forth on our time-line a bit to fill in more of the details of the initial phases of all of this since I’m back-tracking a bit, along the way.  Since I am a list person and after watching the new Sara Jessica Parker movie “I Don’t Know How She Does It”, I’m thinking all women are…list people, I’m going to use bullets because I would have been and would be totally lost without them.

How to Start an Online Radio Show

  • First,(there are several “firsts” when it comes to the creation of any entrepreneurial venture so I’m not numbering these bullets so that you can simply grab the one that sparks first…first, then next and so on.)
  • Pick a name:  Take some time with this one and be sure it truly represents you and your show/business/general vibe.  It’s not something to rush into or to be taken lightly and it’s not simple to change.  It’s similar to naming your child…although it is possible to change, it is not a simple thing to do because your name BECOMES AND REPRESENTS YOU.  It defines you …and it is how others will know you, locate you and refer others to you.
  • Create a MasterMind Group:  Get a group of your people together - 5-7 is the perfect mastermind number.  Be picky as to who you include in this group.  It should consist of people who support you, that LIKE this project for you and have good, creative, positive “juju” in general.  This will be your “goto” group for launch to popcorn ideas if you get stuck…so make sure you like these people.  If ever one of them turns into a negative energy source…pluck them like a weed and fast (you would be amazed at how quickly bad energy can contaminate a project so don’t stand for it for a single second.)  More on that later.
  • Define your mission of you online radio show.  

    Please Note:  You can get super formal in these initial stages (and some people may advise that you do so) - but I’m not one of them.  Some experts may tell you to write your mission (or purpose) statement at this juncture (and unless it flows out of you in 20 minutes with ease…I disagree.)  This phase of the journey (imho) is broad strokes, dreamy, intention.  Writing down ideas and thoughts that have been real only in your mind and putting them down on paper or on a computer and SEEING THEM is a HUGE STEP - and as long as you are taking HUGE STEPS then you are moving in the right direction.  It’s my firm belief that this phase has got to be FUN.  It’s got to be full of your JUICE and CREATIVE ENERGY and PASSION or you will kill your own dream by getting stuck in the weeds (minutia)

So…when I say “Define your mission” I mean - simply write what it is you’re business (in this case your show) is going to be ABOUT.  Don’t get hung up on formalities. Seriously…you’ll never get anything worthy off the ground if you get hung up on all of the formalities while you’re standing in and trying to get out of the gate.  Live by the rule “dont sweat the small stuff…and it’s all small stuff” until you’ve got it up and running.  Once it’s up and running and you figure out that it’s going to stick and be something you are going to actually DO…that’s when you cross all of your t’s and dot your i’s…but in embryo phase…CREATE…have FUN DREAMING it into existence.  Let it BECOME.  BE it’s fertile ground.  Don’t choke it with minutia. Feel like you know how to start an online radio show? No? Yes? Keep reading.

  • Pick a venue/host.  I chose:
    • BlogTalkRadio (BTR) (This wasn’t even a question for me.  I chose them based on name/rep alone right off the hopper and admit that I didn’t shop around).  I’m super happy with the choice, for a multitude of reasons and their professionalism and their all-inclusive offering is at the top of the list.
    • PLEASE NOTE:  We DO earn a commission at the Dash; if you buy BlogTalkRadio’s Premium services as well as any of the resources on our resources page and if you buy MOST ANYTHING throughout our site.
    • We do not “push” a product or service because they pay us.  Instead, we find products we LOVE and then we request they allow us to sell their product because we like it enough to refer others to use it.  That is our monetization model at the Dash. We earn commissions or profits by referring our viewers/listeners to use what we believe are fantastic products and services.  Books we love and live by…courses we’ve taken that have changed our lives…product suites we’ve developed to save you time and money.  We believe that using our expertise and taking our time (and spending our own money) to locate, test and report to you what we think about products and services has true value.  If you agree and find our opinions of these tools, services and products to be accurate and valuable to you- please buy them through our links so that we may enjoy the fruits of our labor.  It’s much appreciated and is direct feedback to us that what we are doing here has value to others…and we’ll keep on doing it!
  • Educate Yourself on the web radio technology/studio you have chosen:  I cannot stress this one enough.  Take all the time you need and get all of the support you need…to learn.  There are a gazillion things to learn about creating a great show. These steps are essential on how to start an online radio show BUT FIRST - you have to know how to:
  1. Schedule an episode
  2. Direct people TO your show
  3. Record your live show
  • (And those are only the top 3.)  As I said earlier…there are a GAZILLION. So, this first bit is where this post is going to begin and end.  LEARN THE SOFTWARE.  I’ll get into detail on certain features here and there when something deserves a highlight - but really…LEARN THE SOFTWARE. There are people who spent a great deal of time writing the training, creating the YouTube videos and recording the sessions - so PLEASE spend the few days it requires of your time to learn it.
  • Buy Premium.  I know this may go against popular “tire-kicking” opinion - but I’m a big believer in buying the top of the line package for a month and using it fully.  Maybe I’m paranoid and feel like I’ll miss something if I don’t - who knows?  What I DO know is…I want to have every benefit that was built available to me - then it’s up to ME to pick and choose what I do or don’t need.  I HATE finding out that something I wanted isn’t available in the “basic” package.  I HATE THAT!

My Recommendation on how to start an Online Radio Show (What I did): When purchasing premium I recommend purchasing a LITTLE MORE than what you think you will use so you have time for the stuff you aren’t thinking about right now (stuff that falls outside the one hour show you are considering starting out with). Don’t OVER commit yourself financially…and don’t UNDER estimate the time you want.  Buy a little less if money is tight (you can always buy more).   What I did:  I purchased 3 hours a day knowing we wanted to start with one hour a day 4 days a week and that we wanted to grow to at LEAST 3 hours a day 7 days a week within the first 6 months of our being on the air.  I also did so because we knew that we would want to pre-record segments, test things…play with the soundboard and that we would have guests turn into regular segments, etc.  (All of which were happening by month 2).  Since I knew what we wanted and I knew we were giving it a committed GO - I bought the year - which saved me the additional money I would have spent on the additional time.

how to start an online radio show

  • Getting Started:  On BTR there is a Getting Started page -find it,  click every link and DO IT ALL.  Take it in small doses so you retain it.  It’s easy to get overwhelmed here so remember - the way to eat an elephant is ONE BITE AT A TIME.   Learning the web interface was initially a bit overwhelming and admittedly I have not completed every section/video in it’s entirety. Use what you need…and use it as you need it.  It’s there for you whenever you get stuck.
  • Live Support & Training: If you are brand spankin new like I (and everyone on my team) was - the critical piece here is TRAINING.  BTR not only has a massive library of audio’s, videos and written material to teach you soup to nuts what you need to know…but they ALSO offer you the ability to schedule live one-on-one training with one of their trainers.  Kathy Tyson was our trainer and she was truly a godsend.  Patient, well-infomed, educated and accessible were just a few of her most attractive traits as a newcomer to this industry.  I’ll leave my list of notes from our meeting with her in another post so you can gleam what an hour did for us.  I can tell you that after one hour with Kathy I (we) no longer felt like fish out of water.
    • Schedule the one-on-one time with BTR trainings (or the equivalent if you chose another company.) If they don’t HAVE live trainers available for you - reconsider.  I have found myself leaning on my (volunteer) trainer and BTR’s support staff often in this process and I would NOT be succeeding without them.
    • Schedule a few Tests:  Take your new recording studio and personality for a few test drives before going live.  Be careful to schedule tests within the limits of your package.  If you only get one recording session per day and you only get one hour - schedule all of your tests in that one hour and stay in your studio (or you will find yourself scratching your head like we were.) :) Live and learn!!

Ok that’s all for this round.  I’ll be fattening these up as we go and your suggestions and questions will be of HUGE value to me so I know what it is you most want to know.  Please leave them in the comments below.  Look out for our next post on how to start an online radio show part 2.

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