The Internet allows almost anyone to start a radio station and cultivate an audience. This doesn’t mean that anyone can do it, but the tools needed for the job are available and for the most part, they are not that expensive.
There are some investments that you’ll have to cover early on, mostly when it comes to equipment and the proper software needed to host the show online and reach out to audiences. It’s possible to find sponsors, run ads and get a return on this investment after a while.
Who Your Show is for?
The first step in starting an internet radio show is to find a market for it. This basically means that you need to come up with an idea for a show that someone would like to listen to. It may sound simple, but within that, there’s a lot of room for variance and mistakes.
Keep in mind that the show should also be for you, meaning that it should be about something that you’re interested in and that you can provide valid input about. Working on something you love will also make things easier in the long run.
Invest in Equipment Early On
You can record a show using your phone and the tools you can find online. Therefore, even a complete novice can start an internet radio show without the need to invest in it early on. However, with the proper equipment, the show will appear to be more professional and the process will be smoother.
It’s best to invest in a show you want to have, rather than the one you have at the moment. That way you’ll have the proper equipment when the show grows and finds an audience.
Hosting the Show Online
There are numerous tools online to help you host the show without too much IT knowledge. Click here to review and compare different hosting options and how they suit the needs of a small show producer. Chances are you’ll find a tool that suits you.
It’s best to start with a subscription-based hosting tool. That means you can upgrade your plan or quit it altogether if your show doesn’t go as planned or if you end up needing a more sophisticated hosting option. The goal is to find a tool that will automate most of the behind the scene work for you.
Branding and Sponsors
Once your show is all set up you should consider branding it so that it’s easier to promote. This means you’ll need a brand name and an aesthetic that’s easy to copy across a variety of different social media and other promotion channels. A show also needs a catchy title and a set of sound clips the listeners will associate with it.
This approach will make it easier for sponsors to find and promote your show. Having sponsors changes the nature of your online show. It turns it into a gig rather than a hobby and the show becomes self-sustainable.
Treat the Show Seriously
Even though online radio shows are usually small endeavors in terms of audiences they attract, you should treat your show as a serious project. Try to keep the production levels consistent and make sure you have a publishing schedule.
Having a schedule is essential for getting the audience involved and creating a community around your work. A schedule will also force you to keep working and make sure you have a show ready on time. This creates a feedback loop and helps you produce more and work on your content with purpose.
Using Music on Your Show
Music and sound design are a big part of setting up an online radio show. Playing music during your show can also get you in legal trouble if you don’t have the right to use someone else’s content. Make sure you have professional legal advice to make this process easier.
It’s also possible to subscribe to services allowing you to use music and sound clips online. The subscription pays for the copyright, making it easier for a small-time creator to have content for their show, without having the funds or the lawyers to back them up.
Providing the News
News shows are common on radios and the same goes for those that are hosted online. It’s perfectly fine therefore to have a short news section on your show, and especially so if it’s oriented to the niche you’re otherwise covering.
Some small radio shows also write and produce their new segments. That’s an option but it often proves to be one that requires much more work and effort than you would otherwise put in. Subscribing to a news agency and using their content is often much easier.
One of the ways to easily and inexpensively promote a small online radio show is to network with others that are trying to do the same. If you know other creators trying to start a show promote their work to the audience you’ve built up and have them do the same.
This helps with widening your audience but also opens the door to other possible lucrative and productive deals, such as sponsorship and promotions. Having a relationship with others working in your field will help you improve your content and have a sense of how your niche is changing.
An Internet Radio Station Should Be Fun
A small internet radio station should be fun for those who listen to it, but it should also be fun for the team creating and producing it. Keep in mind that while the show is new and small in its scope it’s more of a hobby than a job and you should be able to have fun while creating it.
Having such an approach is also good for the audiences and those who tune in to your show regularly will be able to notice that the show is a labor of love. That’s something that too often gets overlooked as making a show becomes more mundane.