There are probably hundreds of thousands of radio stations on the internet right now. With such a large competition out there you may be wondering if it would make any sense at all building your own online radio station. The truth is that the online world is in a continuous expansion and there will always be people interested in your type of music or in what you have to say. Even if you don’t have the success you were expecting to have, you don’t really have much to lose starting your own radio station since the cost for starting one is quite negligible.
The first step to creating your online radio station is to determine the platform you will be using for your radio station. There are several options available to you but your best bet would be choosing SHOUTcast. This software, besides being free of charge is the complete solution for anyone looking to build an online radio station, be it a professional or an amateur one. Even though SHOUTcast is free software, you will still need to host it on a server, as you would with much any other online radio platform software. There are many online services offering radio hosting services right now that you can benefit from. You could also host this software yourself but the low cost for hosting it elsewhere and the inconveniences of having to host it yourself make this a no-brainer. Another great advantage that comes with having a paid radio hosting account is that you don’t have to trouble yourself with configuring the streaming server. The company that provides this service will handle everything for you. They could even help you start your first online stream. You really don’t need to have any sort of technical knowledge to start streaming online.
Normally, if you will be streaming on your online station your computer will have to be always on since the audio files your audience will be listening to will be on your computer. However, there is another more convenient option available that automates your radio station completely. This software is called Auto DJ and it allows you to completely automate your radio station. With Auto DJ you won’t even need to keep your computer on all the time. Auto DJ is totally worth having if only for the money you will be saving on your electrical bill. You need to keep in mind though that Auto DJ will not work without a SHOUTcast account. Once you have purchased an Auto DJ account you will need to attach it to a SHOUTcast account. The SHOUTcast account doesn’t even need to be from the same company.
Configuring Auto DJ to work with your station will be no problem at all. You only need to upload your audio files through an FTP program (if you don’t know what FTP is then you can find plenty tutorials on YouTube. Simply do a search for it and you will be amazed at how many results you will find). Once your files have been uploaded onto the Auto DJ server you will only need to create your playlists and you are pretty much done. You will still be able to stream from a live source on your online radio station by turning off Auto DJ.
Having your own online radio station could bring many benefits both socially and financially so there really is no reason why you shouldn’t give it a try.
Just about every online radio station owner has the same problem: getting enough listeners to connect to their streams. However, why do you think that some radio stations have all the listeners while others struggle with only a handful? The truth is that virtually anyone can have a broad audience if they knew how to make themselves noticed.
If you want to have more listeners tuning in to your online radio then the first thing you could do is to make sure that your music and live shows are what people are looking for. If you can’t provide your audience with quality air time then there is no reason why they should come to your station in the first place.
The first step to making yourself noticed is by building a website for the radio station. Nowadays you don’t even need to hire a web designer for this task since there are so many CMS (content management systems) out there that virtually do all the work for you. If you haven’t worked with a CMS before then your best bet would be using WordPress since this platform is the friendliest to work with and easy to do the maintenance once in a while. There are also many free themes that you could use for your website and customizing them is relatively easy. With minimum effort you could have your very own website up and ready. You can even embed a player on the website and have your audience listen to your station directly from the homepage. If you have no idea how to do this then you can search for this on YouTube where there are plenty very easy to follow tutorials on exactly how you can do this.
Building a website is not enough if you want people to actually come and visit. You need to spread the word about your new website on forums and social networks for starters. When you have a few people coming to your website and you will want to have even more then you will want to learn more about Search Engine Optimization. Until then however, you should stick to the basics and settle for what you can get right now.
Local marketing never seems to go out of style. Many companies use the most basic types of marketing even today simply because they work. You can do the same in your city by have a few people spread flyers.
Word of mouth is another old school but very effective marketing technique which you can use successfully with your online radio station. This technique works even better when used on the web. Social networks can create a viral effect if the material is good enough so make sure that your radio station has real value to provide to your listeners.
If you want to make your voice heard on the internet then there currently is no better choice than with online radio. Building your own online radio station could bring in multiple benefits. With enough support from your listeners you could turn this hobby into a full time income. Just imagine all the possibilities an online radio station brings.
Building your own radio station is quite easy to do nowadays. You have a lot of streaming providers to choose from and this can only mean good news for you. The SHOUTcast and Auto DJ software will also allow you to stream your station online 24/7.
The problem that most people have with online radio is that they find it hard to manage. Spending a lot of time in front of the computer, making sure that everything runs smoothly can be a full time job without the proper tools. Nowadays most companies offering online radio hosting have a solution that allows you to stream 24/7 automatically.
Even if you are new at streaming, there is a great deal of online tutorials on how to do it and if you still don’t have the necessary knowledge to do it yourself then you could simply ask the support team from the company you have purchased radio hosting services from. Most of the streaming service providers have free online support and they are available online 24/7.
However, you need to be careful when choosing the right radio hosting company. Although there are many quality providers out there, once in a while you will find companies that are only after your money and will not provide you the services you paid for. A little bit of research could go a long way and could help you from wasting your money. Once you found yourself a service you can trust you should also test their online support to see if they are at all helpful. You can check this out by simply giving them a call and letting them know you intend to invest in their services. You can decide right there and then if they are somebody who you would like to speak to again. If you don’t like how they are treating you then there really is no point in having to deal with them again when you have a serious matter to resolve.
Although price is also a very important factor in choosing your radio hosting provider, consider that most of the time you get what you pay for. So if you are not sure whether a company is worth the price they are asking then you could search online for reviews or simply call them to see how they treat you.
Primcast is a hosting and streaming company that offers some of the most reliable and high-quality radio hosting services on the market today. We have tools to help you build a fully automated online radio station so you won’t have to sit in front of your computer the whole time you are streaming. To find out more about our services you can visit our website at http://www.primcast.com/shoutcaststreaming.
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