Media Coverage for Your Blog (or Yourself!) – Radio Interviews

Darren Rowse recently posted an article on ProBlogger about How to Get Media Coverage for Your Blog. Given that PR is my primary area of expertise, it's a subject pretty near and dear to my heart - I've decided to expand upon it here.

After reading one of the latest comments about someone doing a radio interview, giving their blog URL (www.IrishPolyglot.com) in the interview, and not seeing any increases in traffic because of it, I decided to start this series (yep, it'll be a series) discussing radio interviews and ways to make them work for you. The difference is that I'm going to talk about not only how you can get media coverage for your blog, but also for yourself as a freelance writer.

Radio Interviews - Are They Worth It?

I'm a fan of radio interviews (and their cousin - the podcast / Internet radio interview). Perhaps that stems from my background - before focusing on online PR, I worked in music PR. Much of what I did revolved around planning and implementing radio campaigns (getting tracks spun on-air, having artists mentioned or interviewed over the phone, or even having them booked for live on-air interviews and performances).

While I don't talk about PR much here, at NakedPR I used to periodically mention that musicians tend to be far ahead of most webpreneurs when it comes to using the Web for promotion - the same is true of radio coverage. They know how to "work it."

Radio coverage is certainly worth it if you can get it. The thing is, you can't measure radio influence through traffic alone. It isn't the Web, and it doesn't work in the same way.

Challenges of Radio Coverage (and what to do about them)

A lot of writers and bloggers neglect radio and podcasts, because they don't feel it applies to them. In truth, radio and related mediums can apply to anyone - you just have to face its challenges and learn how to use it to your advantage. For example:

  1. There's no direct link. Unless you have a unique phone number or URL setup for your radio campaign, you'll find conversions can be rather difficult to track. Don't expect traffic miracles. Instead understand that repeated radio interviews can do wonders for your name recognition. It's like with press releases - one isn't going to make your blog famous (likely). It takes repeated exposure to establish you or your blog as an interesting or authority source of information. The more listeners hear you being interviewed or mentioned, the more likely it is they'll remember your URL or think about you later, deciding to visit your site. The point? Stick with it.
  2. Timing is everything. It doesn't matter if you're being interviewed on the largest radio station in a major metro area if the timing sucks. If you're being interviewed during relatively dead airtime, where people simply aren't tuned in, you won't see results. If you're being interviewed when plenty of folks are tuned in, but they're not in your target audience (meaning they don't give a rat's furry little behind what you're saying, what you do, or what blog you run), you're also not going to see results. All you can do is know your audience. Can't get an ideal interview time? See if the show will be archived for you to promote on your own (they can also do wonders to emphasize your authority status with your existing audience).
  3. There's no visual. This is why URLs are tricky in audio promotion. Saying the URL isn't enough. If someone doesn't have something to write with, and you happen to spit out your blog URL, they won't have time to jot that down. This is one of the reasons brandable domain names are so valuable - they're often memorable. Even if people do try to remember your URL for later, they may have gotten the spelling wrong. Never just say it - spell it aloud. Note any hyphens that may be in that URL. Also watch how you're pronouncing things - if you sound muddled, you won't do yourself any favors. Say it slowly. Say it clearly. Enunciate every single syllable. Twice.

There's a reason musicians tend to do well on the radio, and it goes far beyond the fact that they're promoting audio-based products. They're generally more comfortable with the medium, used to presenting themselves orally to an audience in some manner (where others can find it nerve-racking and not come across quite as planned), and they tend to be extremely in-tune with their audiences (when they're around, what stations they'd be listening to, etc.).

Take a few notes from those artists. Prepare yourself. Prepare your site. And understand that offline promotion has benefits that can far outweigh simple immediate traffic - it's about exposure and recognition. Instant gratification is a Web thing. It doesn't quite work that way in the radio world.

Profile image for Jennifer Mattern

Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, consultant, and indie author. She runs numerous websites & blogs including All Freelance Writing, Freelance Writing Pros, NakedPR, and Kiss My Biz.

Jenn has 25 years' experience as a professional writer and editor and over 20 years' experience in marketing and PR (working heavily in digital PR, online marketing, social media, SEO, new media, and thought leadership publication). She also has 19 years' professional blogging and web publishing experience (including web development) and around 18 years of experience as an indie author / publisher.

Jenn also writes fiction under multiple pen names and is an Active member of the Horror Writers Association.

Subscribe to the All Freelance Writing newsletter to get freelance writing updates from Jenn in your inbox.

4 thoughts on “Media Coverage for Your Blog (or Yourself!) – Radio Interviews”

  1. Wow! A blog post series inspired by a little comment I left, I’m honored 😀 (and subscribed of course 😉 )

    I’ve actually been interviewed on the radio a few times, but it was about things unrelated to my blog. It’s true that air-time is very important. The link I gave on problogger was specifically about me and my blog, but a few months before, I was interviewed as a representative of <a href=”https://www.couchsurfing.com” and it was aired at 8:45am on a weekday on RTE radio 1, Ireland’s biggest national station. That was a big difference; I had friends call and email me and family members mention months later that they had heard me. Amazing exposure!! Pity I couldn’t have given my blog url then 😛 . The Spanish interview was at 11am (local time), and although that’s a good time I think the radio is much more popular for people to listen to in their cars on the way to work when it basically gets most of their attention. Sadly, interviewees we can’t pick the time we are to be interviewed (but if you are targeting a show, it should be during morning or afternoon rush hour!!) In reading the transcript (or listening to it if you understand Spanish), is there any way I should have dealt with the interview differently? I don’t think it’s possible to have given my URL any clearer; I said it, spelt it out, explained what it means, and then my interviewer repeated it twice!!! And yet, no extra hits… I don’t think recognition is applicable here because it’s for the Aragon region in Spain specifically. I used it mostly to show on my blog and increase credibility.

    Obviously TV airing is a different story. I was on French Canadian TV, once again about Couchsurfing. That was at 6:40pm when people are typically home from work and relaxing in front of the box for the evening. I even had strangers recognize me in the street that week because of it!!! If anything, it gives more credibility to my blog mission that I can link to such media exposure.

    Interesting tips – thanks again for specifically tackling my issue 😀

    Reply
  2. I didn’t read through the transcript previously, but was trying to respond in a more general sense for others interested in the same thing, so I’m glad to see you did take the time to spell it out there – a lot of folks forget that! 🙂

    I think you had two potential problems though:

    1. It was given in the midst of the conversation, and there alone. It’s a good idea to mention it during the interview first, let people hear it, and then give it to them again (again spelled out) at the very end where they’re more inclined to be thinking “hey, I wonder what that site was again, and I hope they tell mention it again so I can write it down.”

    2. I can’t say certainly that this was a problem, but I’m wondering if the audience simply wasn’t a good match to the site. While a hardcore fan of the subject matter might be willing to translate content (Spanish interview and English site), Average Joes are much less likely to do so – and it would really come down to the likelihood those hardcore niche fans would be listening at that time. I don’t know what’s normal over in Spain, but around 11am here, we’re often trying to finish up work-related projects prior to breaking for lunch, which is when we might be more likely to listen to the radio (and keep in mind, those listening while working can’t really give you their full attention – when you’re talking about travel and languages, I imagine their full attention really helps). 🙂

    All of that aside, it’s quite admirable that you’ve learned 7 languages through immersion the way that you have. 🙂

    Reply
  3. This is a timely topic for me. I did my first radio interview a few days for a talk show on Australian radio about American expat perspectives on the presidential election, and the local feelings about the execution of the Bali Bombers. The host gave my URL several times, and it’s listed on her blog. I had a great time doing the interview; it will be interesting to see if any increased traffic comes out of it.

    Reply
  4. That’s a great idea. Even if you’re not receiving direct hits to a blog, column, or your writing work, any media attention helps build your reputation as a writer. Gives me great ideas for my own work, thanks!

    Reply

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