‘Tis the season…to take a break from your podcast! I know, I know, it feels like sacrilege to even think about taking time off from your show.
But, the fact remains that there may be times when you need to press pause on your podcast. Especially as the Holiday Season rolls around…
Because no matter which holidays you celebrate, the Holidays are a time when you would like to spend more quality time with your family and friends, but also to rest and relax in preparation for the new year.
And you should definitely do all of the above! It’s super important!
But, in order to do all of the above, you will have to stop doing something else…like your podcast. Because being able to take more time for yourself, and to do all those holiday things, means less time for your podcast.
But you also don’t want to lose your podcast momentum, or worse, your audience, by taking a break.
The great news is that these are not mutually exclusive. You can take a break without losing your audience…
And yes, I know we always say how important consistency is when it comes to creating a successful show. It is important. But, there are definitely ways around this so that you can successfully take a break from your podcast.
Pausing your podcast for the holidays…
And the Holiday Season can work really well as a time to take that break.
Well, because that’s kinda what everyone is doing. We’re winding down for the year. Finishing up projects, turning our attention to holiday activities, spending time with loved ones, and just enjoying some down time.
And so should you take a break during the holidays, your audience will likely understand. Because they’ll be busy with all those things, too!
And if you play your cards right, they’ll actually be looking forward to your next episode even more.
But in order to “play the right cards”, you need a strategy.
So how do you go about taking a break from your podcast without losing your audience? Here are some tips:
1. Communicate With Your Audience
First and foremost, if you’re going take a break from your podcast, and you don’t want to lose your audience, you have to communicate with your audience.
Let them know in advance that there’s a change coming. Give them a heads up that you’ll be taking some time off, or that your show will run a little differently for the holidays, and when they can expect new episodes to resume. This way they won’t be left hanging and wondering what happened to you, or confused as to why your show has suddenly changed. And, most importantly, they won’t leave. Because you’ve made it clear that you’ll be back.
2. Batch Record Episodes
An easy way to take a break from your podcast without losing your audience is for audience to not know that you’re on a break.
You can batch record episodes before your scheduled break, and set them up to publish according to your normal schedule. If you’re only going to miss a couple of episodes, this is fairly easy to do.
By recording a bit more in the weeks before you take time off, you can easily manage sticking to your usual schedule.
Your listeners get to enjoy your episodes, you get to enjoy break, so if you can make this strategy work, it’s a win-win.
3. Cross Podcast
Another strategy for keeping your audience engaged while you take a podcast break is to partner up with a fellow podcaster who caters to a similar audience. You could swop out episodes for the holidays.
Key to this strategy working is picking a podcaster who offers content that is of the same quality and in the same niche as yours. That way, the new episodes will still serve your audience and will keep them sticking around until you’re back with your new episodes.
This strategy could even help you grow your audience while you’re on your break. If you and your fellow podcaster promote your crossover well, you could both gain a significant amount of new listeners from each other’s audiences.
4. Share Past Favorites
Another easy way to take a break and still serve your audience is to republish some past favorites. Who doesn’t love a good re-run?
Whether it’s Friends, The Office, or Castle (my personal favorite) there’s something super comforting about revisiting our favorite episodes, and this comfort definitely extends to podcasts!
So if you’re looking to take a break these holidays, start checking out your episode stats, read your comments on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or Podchaser, and create a shortlist of your best-received episodes.
Then share these while you’re ON A BREAK! (See what we did there?)
Your audience will likely be thrilled to hear some of their favorite episodes again. And, more importantly, will still be around when you get back.
I’ll just take this opportunity to re-iterate Point Number 1 again…communicate with your audience. Whether you’re going to be re-sharing episodes or cross-podcasting, let your audience know what’s going on.
You want them to be in-the-know, so they’re not confused, or worse, frustrated, when you run that re-run or they hear another voice rather than yours.
Bottomline, to keep your audience while you’re taking a break from your podcast – whatever that break looks like – communication is key.
5. Utilize Your Other Platforms
Another really effective strategy for keeping your audience while you’re taking a break from your podcast is to engage with them on other platforms.
You may not be releasing your episodes over the holidays, but you can still offer them your content via social media, or your newsletter. These typically will require less output than a podcast episode, so can also be batch created with a little extra planning and preparation.
Share these throughout the time you’re on a break, and you and your podcast will stay front and center in the minds of your community, even whilst you’re not technically putting out podcast episodes.
And when you’re ready to start recording again, your audience will be right there waiting for the new episodes.
6. Come Back with a Bang!
And finally, our last strategy for keeping your audience while you’re taking a break from your podcast is to return with a bang! Make sure you have some solid content, new segments, and new episode ideas lined up for when you return.
No one wants to tune back into a stale show – so use the break as motivation to really mix things up and come back with something fresh. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel here. Just come back with renewed energy and vigor (which is exactly what the break is for, right?!), breathe that into the new content you create, or the new, exciting segments you come up with, and your audience will be ready and waiting to welcome you back with open ears!
If you really want to come back with a bang, create a little build-up before you release your new episode.
Drop some hints, create some fun audiograms that showcase your new segments, reveal some sneak peaks, or even create a new trailer. And share these across your social media platforms to really amp up the excitement of the return of your podcast.
We all need a break from time to time. It’s actually really healthy and beneficial for our longevity to take dedicated breaks. Your podcast is no different.
Whatever your reason for needing a podcast break, whether it’s just to clear your head, rest up, or recuperate for the new year. If you’re going on vacation or you want to spend the Holiday Season with your family without any distractions. Or perhaps, you just need some time away to get the ideas feeling fresh and exciting again, taking a podcast break without losing your momentum or feeling like you’re letting your audience down is certainly possible!
Communicate clearly with your audience, let them know what’s happening, and any of the above strategies will do the trick. You can have your break, and your audience will be waiting in anticipation for your return.
Related read: The Best Holiday Podcasts to Listen to this Festive Season