How to Make Money with Internet Radio. There is no doubt that every single person I meet, interested in starting an online radio station, is a die-hard enthusiast of the Radio Broadcasting World. From the current and old timer pro jockeys to the amateur or gamer deejays they all can be considered genuine radio and music lovers. However, every entertainer appreciates an audience and every entrepreneur enjoys some type of financial reward. The common question all of these exceptional people have simmering on their minds; How can I promote my online radio station so that it makes some money?
As significant as this may be, it is important, before thinking about money to take one step back and concentrate on actually promoting the radio station to gain new listeners. Attract new listeners and you will eventually attract those advertiser dollars. Unfortunately there is no miracle answer to the question. Please don’t let people fool you into buying videos, eBooks or memberships that claim to have the secret methods to making money with an online radio station. There is however, proven guidelines and techniques that will help you promote your radio and increase your audience. Before you start to promote the radio you have to understand that running a station is exactly like running a business. Are you ready to invest your time and possible some money to make it a successful venture? If your life does not allow you at the moment to invest a lot of time or any cash, is your expectation of success at a reasonable level? Let’s begin with some key elements and concepts you need to consider once you have decided to embark on your successful musical journey.
This is the first key element to consider. Sadly it is a step that is often skipped. Many station owners claim that it is perfectly outlined in their head. This is a very bad idea because when you have everything written down on paper you can easily refer back and modify it at any given moment. It also becomes an important tool to share with your potential partners and investors. Find a free template online and simply fill in the details. Make sure you include an introduction to your radio and outline your business and marketing strategies. Be sure to present your plan in an exciting and unique way so that it stands out from among the masses of stations out there. Therefore, your business plan becomes your guide to assure you that you are on track to reach your objectives.
Now you need to consider who will be your target audience. Once you make up your mind about this you need to find out where they are hanging out online. A lot of people starting radios online are usually part of an online community. They participate actively in forums or social networks (Twitter, Facebook, You tube etc.).
Station Genre and Music
Now it is time to decide on the genre of music for the station. The station will please a potential niche audience if you are playing music they want to hear. Avoid mixing up genres and focus on being one genre such as Dance, Indie, Country, Pop, Talk, etc. If you decide to play different types of music be sure to keep an updated schedule that is available on your website so that the listeners know what to expect. Good radio automation software allows you to build daily playlists. Add live or pre-recorded shows to your schedule. Keep the music fresh and exciting. Make sure your files have proper metadata tags so that the listeners can easily see the title and creator of what is playing.
Running a station with the everyday tasks involved, can be a tough job, every bit of help counts. Most of the time, station owners are not in a position to hire employees. Try to attract volunteers to help you out. Deejays, managers, webmasters and article writers all can be a valuable addition to the team you build. But do not be quick to hire just anyone. As much as a volunteer can help you, they can literally quickly destroy the station you built. Deejays that have poor internet connections will cause you to lose listeners. Staff members that enjoy gossip and drama can also be poisonous for your team. Be sure to interview each person before giving the controls and be swift to act when a problem arises.
Website and its Traffic
Most listeners will turn up first on your website. If your website is outdated, of low or mediocre quality your potential listeners will turn away faster than they clicked. Many station owners refuse to acknowledge this and are missing out on a huge following. Keep the site fresh, clean and full of content. Always make sure that you have multiple players to tune into. Make sure they are clearly marked for your visitors. You need to observe and monitor the traffic you are receiving. This will help you with your marketing strategies.
Social media is so popular today that it cannot be ignored by radio stations. Some of the most recognized social media sites include Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Twitter etc. Conduct some research to see which ones will work the best for you. When you post comments or status updates be sure to be creative instead of intrusive or annoying.
Internet Radio Station Directories
There are online radio directories that allow you to submit your radio station information. Carefully read the instructions, some will ask you for a banner exchange or to register to the site. Don’t expect a high amount of listeners coming from these sites since you are listed amongst thousands of other radio stations. The best thing about these Internet Station Directories is that you are creating links that will help the page rank of your website, therefore, giving you better positioning on Google. Click here for an updated list of some station directories that are working well.
Elite Radio Station Directories
There are a few limited radio directories that have so much traffic they actually do bring some listeners. They are described here as the Elite Radio Station Directories. They are a little difficult to submit to and they can be selective. However if you follow the instructions closely without skipping any steps you should be successful. The first and most popular one is ITunes. The second one is Windows media Guide and the third one is TuneIn. TuneIn may not bring you as much traffic as ITunes but it is great for mobile, tablet and media device platforms. Even car manufacturers starting to offer internet radio are utilizing the TuneIn radio database in their devices. Look for my guide on how to submit your station to those directories. Howto add your station to ITunes article is here (More Coming soon!)
Press-Releases Do a search on Google for ‘Free press releases’ sharpen those writing skills and submit your news articles. The articles will be spread out across internet and picked up by various websites including Google. This helps immensely for your Search Engine Optimization.
Link Exchange Make sure you have some graphic design work for your radio station such as a banner. Don’t be shy to contact various website owners via email and ask to exchange banners and links.
Newsletters It is very important to remain connected with your listeners. Make it a point to capture the email addresses of your listeners. The best way to do this is through a subscribe button or join up section on your website. Keep your members up-to-date with station news and music related content they signed up for.
Create Listener Loyalty Again it is up to you to be creative and unique in finding ways to retain the loyalty of your listeners. Simply interacting with your listeners via online chat and social media can help a lot to create a bond with your fans. Encourage them to send comments and suggestions. Consider holding online competitions or contests. Give small prizes that will keep them appreciative and coming back for more. You can do a search Google and sign up for services that offer rewards and points for return visits to your site.
Offline Promotion Remember promotion is not just done online. You can reach a huge audience in your community. Print out some flyers, brochures and business cards. You can deejay at local events and parties and advertise your station with a printed banner. If you have some extra cash place an ad in your local news publications. Try and partner with other businesses to play your radio in exchange for Ad placement. Keep your eyes open for local events like fairs or expositions; setup a booth, radio and speakers and spread the word. You will notice that most of the suggestions outlined in this article cost nearly nothing at all. The best marketing doesn’t have to cost a penny. Paying click sites like Google and Facebook ads were specifically left out of the article because they can wait until you have gained more experience and start making some revenue. They can be very complex to understand and you need to properly comprehend how they work if you want to have successful ad campaigns. If you don’t use them right you will see yourself throw a lot of money away. So make your plan and follow through daily on the methods we gave you. You just need to be determined, hardworking and focused. Be creative and listen to your fans. Have a look around the internet and see how other radio stations are doing it. Each day take a moment and step back to listen to your radio station and ask yourself: Would I listen, enjoy and stay tuned to this radio station? I wish you the best success on your musical radio journey. Derek Bullard, CEO of Radiosolution Contact me info (at) radiosolution.info Skype: dibblebee