Thursday, August 06, 2009

How to Host Your Own Talk Show Online

652498984_804df2a414So you’ve seen The Today Show, or Oprah, or Jerry Springer, and you’ve thought “hey, that could be me!” Well, except Jerry Springer – let’s hope you’ve never thought you could be Jerry. But anyway, being a talk show host looks like one of the most fun (not to mention most lucrative) jobs out there, if you ask me.
But how do you get a talk show? And how do you use it to make millions of dollars? Well, I can’t help with the second part (let me know if you figure it out), but I can help with the first. It’s called BlogTalkRadio, and is a fantastic Web app for becoming the host of your very own Internet talk show.

BlogTalkRadio is really two things: it’s a place to find talk and radio shows (sort of like a podcast library, really), as well as a way to create your own show. There’s tons of great stuff on BTR, but for now, we’ll just stick with creating your own show.
First things first: create an account with BTR (don’t worry, it’s both free and easy). The link’s a little hard to find at first, so I’ll help – it’s the “Register” link, at the top right of the home page screen.
Once you’ve created an account, you’ll see your Account central; it’s probably pretty empty at the moment. No worries, we’ll fix that. Click the “My Account” tab, and then select “Become a host now!” on the left side. Then, create your Host account – give it information like your Twitter account, Facebook account, show category, and all that jazz.
You get to personalize your show like crazy (though it’ll still be hosted by BlogTalkRadio) – add a logo, a link to a website, lots of links, and an audio clip to play at the beginnig; you can also change the link to the show (http://www.blogtalkradio/somethingorother) which lends to much more branding and personalization.
new ep
Show created, go back to the “My Account” page, and select “Add New Episode.” Add information about your soon-to-be-hit show’s first episode, as well as a time and date for the show. There are even a few ways to make some money with the episode, like showing related Amazon books. Once you’re done setting it up, you get a link to the show to share with the world.
When you’re ready to begin the show, the real beauty of BlogTalkRadio shines through. To get the show started literally couldn’t be any simpler. Every show has a phone number. You give out that number to one person, or a million, or make it public – totally up to you. During the show, people call the number to get connected to the show. You, as the host, can, with the press of a button, allow them to talk. Otherwise, they just sit in the queue, listening to the show and waiting for their turn. When you allow someone to talk, they’re connected with you as if you’re in a studio together – until you mute them again. Then they go away.
callPeople can listen to the show either by calling in, subscribing by email or RSS, or just hunting you down and listening on your BTR page. After the show is completed, it gets archived on your page, where people can still listen to it or download the show.
BlogTalkRadio probably isn’t going to be your one-way ticket to super-stardom. But it’s a great place to create a show, talk about what your interested in, and get some real experience being a talk show host. And hey, who knows? Maybe you’ll be the first “straight from BTR to Late Night” story.

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