Tips for Creating Your Own Radio Program

Bring your ideas to life by broadcasting yourself

Have you been itching to broadcast your voice? Are you thinking about creating your own radio show or podcast? It may seem intimidating at first, but modern technology has made it easier than ever to record content and upload it for anyone to hear. But where do you begin?

Start With Something You Love

Your first task is to figure out the subject or style of program you'd like to create. What's your passion? Maybe you want to share a particular kind of music, or maybe you want to discuss politics or local sports. Leverage your interests and think outside the box if necessary.

Do some research after settling on a topic or theme. You don't need stiff, established competition when you're starting out, so if everyone local is listening to Bob's Sports Show, you'll have to make your program different.

It's important to settle on something that you care about. Your listeners will be able to pick up on whether you're interested in what you're talking about, and they may quit listening if they don't hear someone who is authentic, 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 a small budget can create an internet radio station and air custom programs.

Alternatively, you could spend practically no money at all and produce a podcast. Take some time to consider which works best for your goals and available resources. This can depend on the audience you want to reach, as the podcast market enjoys different demographics than radio.

Podcaster speaking into a microphone with a windscreen
Jasper Cole / Getty Images

Gather Tools to Record Your Show

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

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

Learn Why You Need Formats

You might imagine your show as a wild ride with outrageous content, and that's great. However, remember that people are creatures that seek order—even in disorder. Formats give structure to your radio show or podcast. 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 effectively to let your listeners expect at least something small to recur for each one of your shows.

Original Material and Music Royalties

If you plan to do a radio show that features music created by someone else, you'll have to pay royalties for the right to play that music on air.

Fortunately, you can broadcast through a third party like and they'll handle those fees—usually for a fee. You can also podcast original talk material or music for free.

You might want to talk to a legal professional before you begin broadcasting so that you understand the legal ramifications. You don't want to get off the ground only to find yourself getting sued.

Close up of sheet music
Snap Decision / Getty Images

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 or create promotional videos on YouTube.

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

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