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Growing Your Station
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It takes time to build a station. Many new
see one or two listeners during their first couple of weeks. But in time, if
you offer a reliable stream and good content, word will spread and
your station will grow. Patience and perseverance will help.
Here are some great tips to help you get established, and grow...
Don't be a part time station. To have any hope of
building an audience, you need to be on the air 24 hours a day,
365 days a year.
Use a good host. If your station
buffers, or is down, you lose listeners. And they don't come back.
Make sure you are pleasing the listeners you already have. Even if
that's just one or two on a good day. People will usually give you
one try. If they don't like what they hear, they might not return.
So before you mount a massive campaign to attract new listeners,
evaluate your stats to see if the ones you have - however few -
are sticking around for a while. The best test is to look at your
connected listeners at around 4pm on a weekday. How many of those
connected have been there for four hours or more? How many do you
recognize from the day before? The week before?
If those numbers don't look good, attracting more of the same will
simply increase your tune-ins. But not truly the number of
listeners. Things to potentially tweak include audio processing
and general stream quality, crossfading, playlists, sweepers,
transitions, hosting (Yes, hosting - nobody stays connected to a
stream that rebuffers all the time), and overall music selection.
Talk to your listeners. Don't be a 24/7 jukebox. You've just
lumped yourself in with Pandora and other 24/7 music services.
Give your station some personality - yours! Invest in a mixer, a
good mic, and go on the air every now and then. That's why you got
into this, right? So give your station some flavor... Make it
Make it Easy to Listen!
You would be amazed at how many station sites we visit where
we can't find the link to tune in! Or sites that offer a
format of audio that iTunes or Windows Media player don't
Holy cow... Your "Tune In" link
should be in the visitor's face the instant they hit your site. It
should reach out from the monitor and slap them! "Look here", it
should scream, "CLICK ME RIGHT NOW!!!". If you have a site for your
station, its number one purpose should be to guide weary travelers
to your stream! (Via your LoudCity launch page, of course)
Don't make your listeners download plugins or special software
to tune in. In this day and age, people have been conditioned not to
download stuff from the Internet.
Bottom line - remove as many barriers as you can so that tuning into
your station is like falling off a log.
Market your station
So you have a solid host, you're up 24/7, you have
good content... now it's time to spread the word! Here are some ideas
for you to achieve growth.
1) If your programming is local-oriented, put up flyers in nightclubs
and bars, or bulletin boards at local colleges, stores, laundromats
3) Run sweepers and IDs on your station encouraging listeners to
"Spread the word" about it. Make sure you run IDs frequently to
"brand" your station so people can remember it, and tell their
friends about it.
4) Seek a listing on the Windows
Media Radio Tuner and iTunes (Be prepared for major expenses though)
5) Get friends and family to also pass the word about your station
6) Always make it sound as if you have hundreds tuned in even if you
have only one listener at the moment. Sound big, become big.
Remember, getting listeners is only part of the fight. Keeping
them... well, that's another story. For every
person who listens to radio at home, there are 4 or 5 tuned in from
work. Those folks listen for 9 hours a day, Monday through Friday.
Could you listen to your station for 45 hours a week and not get
sick of it after a month? Keep the content fresh, rotate, and add
new content on a regular basis. Give people a reason to keep
listening, and many of them will.