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Famous on Internet Radio and Podcasts

Internet radio is broadcasting over the Internet to your computer. To hear live shows you typically need Windows Media Player or RealNetworks RealPlayer. The easiest way to find out if you already have either one installed on your computer is to go to an Internet radio station, such as wsRadio.com, and click on a live or archived show.

These days, Internet radio stations offer their shows as podcasts so listeners can tune in while they're on the move by downloading the files to their iPod or other portable audio player. The stations might also offer a transcript of the show, or at least a heading and summary, via an RSS feed. Internet radio may even be broadcast to your cell phone.

Want fame without a lot of work? Be an Internet radio guest. You'll immediately tap into the station's listening fan base. The stations will likely turn the shows you're on into podcasts, saving you from having to do that work yourself.

Internet radio stations are popping up all over the Web. Some are the traditional radio stations going online, and others are Internet-only. You're not looking for the music programs, you're looking for Internet radio talk shows—guest experts are always needed.

Often, there's a "Be a Guest" link on the home page. If not, you can surf the program guide and then e-mail your topic ideas to the appropriate program hosts. The three types of information I mentioned in the first section—statistics, case studies, and tips—could be turned into timely and tasty topics.

Hosting your own program is also a possibility. Just be careful. You'll be committing to hosting, managing, and possibly promoting your show. While the Internet radio station might promote your show in its program guide, you could be required to sell ads or pay a fee until your show is self-supporting. Yikes.

I'm not saying hosting your own show is a bad idea. It could be great. After all, you'll get online visibility and improved credibility. You could create new business opportunities by interviewing people on your show. Plus, you'll become a member of the press, which definitely has its perks.

Just think carefully before committing to being a host. Find out the station's audience reach, as well as your required responsibilities and marketing opportunities, before signing up.

Whether you host an Internet radio show or appear as a guest, your message will be available for all to listen to long after the show airs. As I mentioned earlier, Internet radio stations are archiving shows on their sites as Windows Media Player or RealNetworks RealPlayer audio files, transcripts offered via feeds, or podcasts.

Many people are essentially running their own Internet radio show by publishing podcasts. If this is you, here are a few quick tips for optimizing podcasts for the search engines:

  • Use keywords in your podcast titles and descriptions for RSS or Atom feeds.
  • Consider putting podcasts on landing pages (see Chapter 8) and optimize those pages for relevant keywords.
  • Offer a text-based summary or transcripts of each podcast on your landing pages.
  • Submit your podcasts to sites and directories such as iTunes, odeo, Podcast Alley, podomatic, Podscope, and others. Submit your podcasts to relevant categories within directories, where possible.
  • Use relevant keywords in the links to your podcasts.

You don't have to jump on the podcasting bandwagon. Instead, contact Internet radio shows and highly visible podcasters about being interviewed. Leverage their techie skills. All you have to do is talk.

I recently searched for my name on Google's Blog Search and spotted several podcasts of interviews I did. Cool. Internet radio shows, and podcasters, will promote you for you. This can lead to additional media coverage and new business. one of the podcasts I did resulted in a paid speaking job within 30 days of being posted. The same can happen for you.

The fun part about Internet radio is being able to call in from anywhere to do the show. All you need is a land line. (Cell phones have poor reception and shouldn't be used.) Feel free to wear your bunny slippers.

There's a third strategy for reaching the press, prospects, and spiders that I want to cover in this chapter. It's not for everyone. However, more business professionals could benefit by using it. I'm talking about webinars.

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