You want to start your own radio show but you’re not quite sure where to get started? Regardless of the genre you are passionate about, whether it’s a country, oldies, or talk show, we’re here to help. This guide will teach you everything you need to know to get up and broadcasting on-air in no time.
What You Need to Start Your Own Radio Show
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need much to start your own radio show. So there’s no need for expensive high end equipment like mixers and DJ decks, instead you just need the following essentials.
Internet Connection (At Least a Stable One!)
Where would we be without the internet? Well you wouldn’t be reading this that’s for sure! To broadcast online you first need access to a stable internet connection. Mobile signals like 3G or 4G may work if you’re broadcasting from your phone, but there’s no guarantee they will stay connected due to bad coverages or signal drops. Things like a home or office network will work better, this way you can stream your shows without interruption.
Microphone (Nothing Fancy)
Big radio stations have top of the line equipment that’s insanely expensive (you’re talking thousands of dollars or pounds). It would be nice to have something like that, but that’s not what you need right now. As you’re just starting out it’s best to get the basic equipment first.
Here at Radio.co we recommend either a condenser mic like the Behringer B1 or a dynamic mic like the Rode Podcaster. Both are great for sound quality, they’re easy to setup, and are very affordable. You can find our review on them and more of the Best Radio Microphones here.
Radio.co (All-In-One Broadcasting Platform)
Radio.co is a broadcasting platform to help you start your own radio show. Think of us as a transport service – We take your shows, package them up, and deliver them to your listeners worldwide.
As we’re an all-in-one platform you get all the tools you need to run your shows from start to finish. We’re also constantly developing new tools to make it easier for you get started, plus we were voted one of the Top 10 Technology Companies in the UK, so you know you’re in good hands.
You can actually try Radio.co today with a 7 day free trial – Start your own radio show today by heading here.
Radio Licensing (Do You Need it?)
Traditional radio stations broadcasting via FM/AM do need a license, however it’s not as simple or straightforward online. Really it depends on where you’re broadcasting from, what you’re broadcasting, and who you’re broadcasting too.
If you’ve already researched internet radio licensing and come up empty handed then the best thing you can do is to consult a qualified professional or the relevant authority for your country regarding copyright and licensing. Find more info here.
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How to Broadcast Online & Out to Your Listeners
With Radio.co you can get up and broadcasting in minutes! Now there’s 2 ways you can do it: live or automated. Automated broadcasting is all handled by Radio.co. Just upload your tracks, create playlists, and schedule content to go out during the day.
Live broadcast your shows from your computer. For example, you could have a laptop with a microphone. Send out your talk show live to your listeners with just a few clicks. Alternatively you can mix it up with both automated and live shows. Take over scheduled playlists anytime to start broadcasting.
In order to live broadcast from your computer you need programs like BUTT and Mixxx. Here’s a handful you can try.
BUTT – Windows / Mac / Linux (Free)
BUTT is a simple broadcasting tool that’s quick and easy to get setup for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Best of all it’s free and works quite nicely with Radio.co, so it’s highly recommended.
Download and install BUTT here.
Mixxx – Windows / Mac / Linux / Ubuntu (Free)
Mixxx is an advanced open-source DJ software for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Ubuntu. You can add your entire music library and manage shows locally on your computer. Mixxx is perfect if you want a bit more control over how your music, for example you can mix together 4 decks, control EQ, and input multiple microphones.
Download and install Mixxx here.
RadioDJ – Windows (Free)
RadioDJ is a free Windows broadcasting software that’s great for managing music, playlists, and broadcasting live shows to your online radio station. It’s somewhere in middle between BUTT and Mixxx in terms of features and ease of use, but it’s worth checking out.
Download and install RadioDJ here.
How to Get Listeners Tuning into Your Radio Shows
Now let’s say you’re up and broadcasting online, but you’ve got no listeners. How do you get people to tune in to your shows? Well there’s a few different ways. You can embed a player on your website like this:
Send listeners directly to your stream like this stream.radio.co/s7ee52dd88/listen.
List your station on internet radio directories where there’s thousands of listeners like TuneIn, Streema, and many more places here.
What Your Radio Shows Should Look & Sound Like
Z-100 (WHTZ) and BBC Radio 1 are very popular radio stations in the USA and UK. They stand out in most people’s minds because their brands are easily memorable. They both have unique looks and sounds, for example most people here in the UK can tell you that the logos below belong to BBC Radio 1 through 5.
Your radio show should have a strong brand both in terms of look and sound, so that’s things like music and jingles you play. Radio branding like this is commonly tied to radio imaging, which is how your voiceovers, sweeps, intros, and so on sound. Your sound should showcase what your show represents, so dark and moody for political talk show or light and happy for a pop show.
Whatever your look and sound might be, it’s best to get some ideas by looking at examples. Check out this guide for more info here.
How to Choose Topics for Your Radio Shows
Running your own radio show gives you the freedom to create and broadcast whatever you want, but without a structure in place it can come across as incoherent and inconsistent. Instead plan out your content to create engaging shows that keep listeners coming back for more.
Download the How To Choose Engaging Talk Topics for your Radio Shows
Enter your email below and we’ll send you our How To Choose Talk Radio Topics video.
Get to Know Your Listeners First
Firstly get to know your listeners. Who they are, where they’re from, and most importantly what they want to listen to. Use tools like Google trends, opinion polls, and social media to research what they’re currently engaged with. For example if you’re running a political radio show in the USA then the obvious choice would be Trump.
Set Themes & Goals to Aim for
Themes are what carry your shows. For example if you’re running a political radio show you could have a weekly segment not just about Trump, but about Theresa May, Vladimir Putin, and other leaders from around the world.
The point is talking about this subject matter would fit in with the context of your radio show’s political theme, not to mention it sets a goal of discussing the topic at least once a week.
Invite Guests for Engaging Content
Get a fresh perspective on our shows by inviting guests. They encourage discussion and can spark debates on your topics. Whether it’s interviews with guests or phone-ins with listeners, other points of views provide interesting avenues of conversation which actually make it easier as you only need to present a loose topic and then respond with follow up questions.
Hopefully that should give you an idea on how to choose topics and structure your radio shows. For a more in depth look at how to Choose Talk Radio Topics for Your Shows then head here.
How to Write a Radio Script for Your Shows
Whatever content you plan on broadcasting it’s best to script out what you’re going to say beforehand. This way you’re not stumbling with what to say as you have a clear path to follow. So what kind of a script should you write? Well it depends on your type of station, either if that’s a talk or music show.
Download a Radio Script Template
Enter your email below and download two script templates to help you plan and make your shows even better.
What Talk Radio Scripts Should Cover
As the focus of talk radio is on topics it’s best to know what you want to say well in advance. As there’s no industry standard script style, we’ve put together a brief example with notes that may help with yours.
What Music Radio Scripts Should Cover
A music radio script is quite a bit different from a talk radio script. It has less fully scripted passages of text, but instead has more notes and bullet points to guide you. It’s meant to feel more improvised and free flowing then for example a news or talk radio show.
Now it’s your turn! Hopefully this has given you enough food for thought and a good jumping off point to start your own radio show, however helps never too far away. Here at Radio.co we’re always on hand to answer any questions and help you get setup. Got a question? Send us an email here or talk to us by booking a demo.
If you’re ready to get started right this second then you can! Start your own radio show today with a 7 day free trial by clicking the button below.