Mike Lidskin, whom I featured in my recent vlog, Greg and I visit Twirl Radio , began Twirl Radio in Sacramento, California about ten years ago, after taking a course at Access Sacramento, an outlet for public access television and radio programming. At first, the program was just on cable radio (a radio service that came through the local cable television cable provider) and a very limited (several mile radius) broadcast. When the broadcast element was suspended, his program - and all the others at Access Sacramento, were reduced to near obscurity - as many people didn't realize that such a thing as Cable Radio existed.
His persistance and hard work began to pay off, audience-wise, when Access Sacramento began to offer content online. Through his website, Twirlradio.com, a worldwide audience can listen live to his program every Saturday night, Pacific Time, from 4-6pm. At the moment, he believes, he has more listeners worldwide then in Sacramento itself. After ten years and more than 500 shows, he's developed a solid connection with the indie rock world. He provides a unique insight and support to several regional music scenes, providing for some musicians unique exposure that might not have been possible otherwise. His audience today, while certainly not huge by radio standards, is constantly growing and makes itself known through interaction with Mike on Facebook during the weekly broadcast.
There were times early on, Mike says, that his only audience may have been his computer left connected to Twirl at home - but he nevertheless continued to develop his craft (what today we would somewhat less elegantly call his "brand"), and was recently named Producer of the Year by his colleagues at Access Sacramento. Last year, he was asked to join RechargedRadio.com, an internet radio network in the U.K., and offers that program once a week to a British Audience as well (check his website for podcast info).
Whether you're creating content as a hobby, or for business, it's worthwhile remembering that one thing never changes regardless of technology: quality and persistance. Mike's advice to individuals trying to build a presence online: "First, do what you love. That's the right reason for starting any creative venture. If you truly love what you're doing, listeners and viewers will come. And make sure you treat each viewer and listener like your only one. If you do that, you'll never be alone in your venture."