Tips for Creating Your Own Radio Program

Bring your ideas to life by broadcasting yourself

Disc jockey smiling in studio
Marc Romanelli / Getty Images

Have you been itching to broadcast yourself? Are you thinking about creating your own radio show or podcast? It might seem intimidating at first. Where should you even begin?

Start With Something You Love

A radio program isn't much at all unless you decide what kind of program you want to offer. What's your passion? Maybe you want to share a particular kind of music or you may want to do a talk show on a favorite subject, such as politics or local sports. Exploit your own interests and think outside the box if necessary. 

Do some research after settling on your topic or theme. You don't need stiff, established competition when you're just starting out, so if everyone local is already listening to Bob's Sports Show, you'll have to make your program better than his or at least markedly different. At the very least, you won't want to air yours in his same time slot. 

It's very important to settle on something that you actually care about. Your listeners will be able to pick up on whether or not you love what you're talking about, and they might very quit listening if they don't hear someone who is authentic and honest and willing to keep up the show.

Decide Whether to Stream or Set up a Podcast

There are more choices today for creating and distributing your own radio program than ever before. Anyone with even a small budget can create his or her own internet radio station and air custom programs.

Or, you can spend practically no money at all and simply podcast. Take some time to consider which works best for your goals. This can depend on the particular audience you want to reach. 

Gather Tools to Record Your Radio Show

Picture of a microphone in front of a computer monitor

You're going to need some basic tools to podcast or stream. At a minimum, you'll need a quality microphone, a recording application, and maybe an audio mixer.

You might need even more depending on how complicated your radio show is going to be. Will you be using sound effects or featuring music? Educate yourself about digital MP3 files, microphones, mixers, and other tools of the trade.

Learn Why You Need Formatics

You might envision your radio show to be a wild ride of outrageous proportions, and that's great. However, remember that people are creatures that seek order — even in disorder. Formatics give structure to your radio show. They're the elements of your broadcast that your listeners will hear.

They can include DJ chatter — this is you, talking about your passion or otherwise connecting with your audience — and what's called a "sweeper," which is a statement or jingle that identifies your station.

Learn how to use them most effectively to let your users expect at least something small to recur for each of your shows.

Original Material and Music Royalties

Picture of sheet music on a piano

If you’re going to do a radio show that features music created by someone else, you'll have to pay royalties for the right to webcast that music.

Fortunately, you can broadcast through a third party like Live365.com and they'll handle those fees — usually for a fee, of course. Or, you can podcast original talk material, or your own music, for free.

You might want to talk to an attorney or another legal professional before you begin broadcasting so you understand your legal responsibilities. You don't want to get off the ground only to find out you're being sued!

Promote It!

After you've created your radio show and you're offering it to the world on a regular schedule, you’ll want as many listeners as possible. You can have the greatest product in the world, but if nobody knows it's out there and where to access it, you won’t make many sales. 

It might require a little in startup costs, but consider giving out freebies like key chains, T-shirts, pens, or notepads at major shopping hubs if you're broadcasting locally.

You could also advertise for free on social media sites and other places lots of people flock, like YouTube.

Do some research into search engine optimization if you're going to be on the internet so people who are interested in what you're offering can easily find your show's location on the web.