Andrew Pearce, who presents the internet radio station’s weekly Business Briefing, told listeners that his company has been working quietly in the background on this project for some time now and gave them all an opportunity to get a free entry in, and ‘backlink’ from, this local business directory.
Andrew Pearce, who runs the locally-based firm Direct-to-Market (a direct-response marketing consultancy that focuses heavily on internet-marketing strategies and technologies) often advises in the show about how businesses can better leverage the internet to assist with their local marketing efforts. Listeners are also able to email questions to the radio station to be answered on-air.
In last week’s Business Briefing, Mr Pearce explained about the importance of topically and geographically relevant inbound links – known as back-links – to a business website and promised all loyal listeners the opportunity to get a valuable backlink that is both geographically and topically relevant for free.
In yesterday’s Business Briefing (to be repeated later this week) he invited all listeners to visit the GotBracknell website and create up to 5 entries for themselves, each with a backlink that would normally cost £30, for free. He went on to explain that at present the website is still in development and not being actively promoted, and that if Radio Bracknell Forest listeners were to “skip through” the payment process without paying, then Direct-to-Market’s administration staff would manually approve any entries made pre-launch.
In addition to a comprehensive Bracknell business directory the GotBracknell website also features free classified advertisements for local people, whether business owners or private, and topical news derived straight from Radio Bracknell Forest’s news team. The aim is for the Got Bracknell website portal to become “the place to go” for local people, and in this way Andrew Pearce hopes to give something back to the community in which he lives.
The website will launch formally in the near future, and while basic business directory entries will remain free those that include a URL (for a powerful backlink) will become subject to a fee, so anybody wanting a free entry to assist their business is advised to visit the Got Bracknell website sooner rather than later.
A listener to our weekly Business in Berkshire slot on Radio Bracknell Forest wrote in with a question as follows: “Can you recommend a website for free podcast hosting where we can make a weekly free audio upload for our small business in Reading? We have limited technical skills so would like one where we will get some sort of HTML code to cut and paste onto our website to help with our free podcasting.”
John Hicks, Radio Bracknell’s station director, and I always appreciate it when listeners write in because it means we know you are enjoying the show and getting benefit from it, and I enjoy helping people by answering the wide and varied questions that we get. This week’s question is no exception, so here we go: To which website can you upload audio free every week to share your free podcasts and get some HTML code to paste onto your own website in return?
The answer is… drum roll… Blog Talk Radio.
If you don’t know what it is then forget the audio element for a moment and just think of bloggers: people who write blogs on a daily, weekly, monthly or highly irregular basis. Some people host those blogs on their own website (you’re reading one right now – our free marketing tips at http://www.direct-to-market.co.uk/articles are in fact a blog) whereas others who don’t have their own website (and even some of those who do) host them on a shared site along with many other bloggers. One you’re undoubtedly familiar with is Radio Bracknell’s News blog (ably maintained by Caroline Cook and Mark Lynch) at http://radiobracknell.wordpress.com If you hunt around using the search box in the top right of that site you’ll find loads of others there too with names in the format of http://????????.wordpress.com
That’s all written content though, obviously.
Blog Talk Radio follows a similar shared blogging concept with one important difference: all the content is free audio uploads rather than written!
The site’s idea is of course that people will create and host their own radio shows, and hopefully that they’ll do it at the same time every day/week/month etc. just as Radio Bracknell does with our Business in Berkshire slot. That’s optional though, and not mandatory.
You must be a registered member of Blog Talk Radio to host a show (i.e. place content on their blog) but the basic membership is free and perfectly adequate for even as much as two hours’ content every day if you wish! To prove it can be done, I have setup a free Direct-to-Market Radio Station on the site to show you http://www.blogtalkradio.com/Direct-to-Market – it’s effectively a free podcast directory – and created and uploaded my own content (a short podcast, just like our listener wants to).
The procedure for uploading your own free podcasts is actually pretty simple too:
Go to BlogTalkRadio and create a free hosting account;
Watch the (relevant) tuition videos;
Click “My BlogTalkRadio” on the top right of the screen;
Click on the “My Account” tab;
Click “Add/Edit a file”;
Enter the file details and upload your free podcast;
Return to your “My Account” tab and click “Add/Edit an episode”;
Fill out the form, being sure to choose a time and date when you will be available;
Set your podcast (uploaded in step 6) as the “Startup audio” and press “Submit”;
5-10 minutes before the time you set, go to “My switchboard” and dial in on the phone number provided (when they ask you to press £ they mean # - they’re American!);
Stay dialled in until your show has finished, then hang up;
Choose the button style that you wish to use, copy the source code provided, and paste it onto your website (or ask a programmer to do this for you;
That’s it, you’re done, your podcast is now ready for download by anybody who cares to listen to it.
If you don’t want the hassle of phoning in and staying on the line while your show runs, or you want to upload more than one thing to your podcast hosting directory per day, then the answer is to upgrade to a paid subscription: full instructions are on the website. You can similarly get rid of the (very short) BlogTalkRadio jingle that will be pre-pended to everything you upload, but I don’t personally consider that a problem.
If you’re worried about your phone bill whilst on the phone to a US number then there are many services that will give you a far cheaper rate than BT. I recommend Utility Warehouse (disclaimer: I’m an authorised distributor) as there is no contract tie-in period, so you can “give it a go” and if you don’t like it then return to your previous supplier whenever you like. If you want to know more then my little area on their website is here: http://www.telecomplus.org.uk/bigmoney then click either “Home Phone” (top left) or “Business Customers” (bottom row) or “Contact Us” as you prefer. Regardless of the quality of Utility Warehouse’s products I personally feel that, from a marketing perspective, their website is actually one of the worst I’ve ever encountered, as I may sometime explain in another post, so in truth you’d be better off just phoning me on 0333 444 0340 and I’ll help you cut your bills!
Back to our listener’s free podcast and BlogTalkRadio: You’ll be given a choice of three player buttons, and here they are:
“The Button” (that’s what BlogTalkRadio calls it!)
If you can tear yourself away from listening to Radio Bracknell Forest for long enough, try the buttons above and test out the user experience for yourself. For free, it’s excellent!
Finally, keep an eye on either this written blog (you can subscribe using the facilities on the right) or my Direct-to-Market Radio Station (OK, free podcast directory!) because I will gradually be uploading as many “back-copies” of Business in Berkshire as John can find, all new shows as we move forwards, and of course any other hints and tips that I fancy sharing with you. In short, a tremendous resource of internet marketing hints and tips for you to use in your business! For great music though, keep listening to either Radio Bracknell Forest or UK Jazz Radio.