As the Holidays approach, podcasters, like all of us, might be looking to take a podcast break and enjoy some rest and relaxation over the festive season. As a podcaster, you will need a break – whether it’s over the Holidays or sometime in the future – to recharge your creative batteries and maintain a sustainable workflow. But we also all know that consistency is key in podcasting! So how can you take a break from your podcast without losing your momentum, or your audience?
Is that even possible?
Yes! Great news! It certainly is!
In this blog post, we’ll explore some savvy tips and best strategies to help podcasters take a podcast break and step away from the mic for a bit without sacrificing their audience engagement.
Let us show you how!
8 Best Strategies for Taking a Podcast Break Over the Holidays
1. Plan Ahead and Batch Record!
First up, one of the most effective and “easiest” ways to take a break from your podcast is to not.
I thought this post was about helping podcasters take a break from our podcasts. It is! Don’t worry! You’re still taking a break! It’s just not going to sound like you are. Because one way to take a break from your podcast is to batch-record your episodes and release those according to your usual podcast schedule.
You can take your break, and your podcast community can still enjoy all your amazing content.
This method does require some thorough planning, and extra effort beforehand. But it is a really great way to take a podcast break while still keeping your podcast momentum.
2. Prepare Your Audience
Another one of the best strategies, if you’re looking to take a podcast break, and keep your audience, is to firstly prepare your audience! No matter what strategy you use to take a podcast break, remember that communication is key – especially if you don’t plan on filling that ‘gap’!
If you don’t plan on ”filling the gap” record an Out Of Office message as an episode. Be sure to include when you plan on releasing a new episode! This lets listeners know what’s going on, and ensures they’ll be waiting for you when you return!
3. Communicate with Your Audience
The next of our best strategies for taking a podcast break should really be used in conjunction with any of the other strategies…communication. Communication really is the key to keeping your podcast momentum as well as your audience intact whenever you’re planning a podcast break.
However you plan to fill the gap, or especially if you choose to not fill the podcast gap with anything, keep your audience in the loop. This just helps let them know what’s going on. And so they don’t unsubscribe at the first sign of no new podcast episodes.
In the lead-up to your break, start letting your audience know what to expect.
You can also record an “out-of-office” style message that you can release on its own. (Highly recommended if you’re not going to be filling the gap with anything.) Or insert this at the beginning of the episodes that will be going out over your break. Be sure to state clearly when you’ll be returning to your regular episodes. And create excitement both about your ‘break’ content as well as what’s coming next, and you’ll keep your audience whilst you enjoy your podcast break.
4. Publish Re-Runs!
If you’re particularly looking for the best strategies for taking a break from your podcast over the Holidays, then this next one is for you…re-runs! The Holidays are almost synonymous with re-runs! So let this work for you and your podcast. Take a podcast break by publishing some of yours or your audience’s favorite episodes over the Holidays.
Publishing re-runs is not only an easy and effective way to offer your audience high-quality content while still being able to take your podcast break without the effort of podcasting. This not only keeps your podcast active but also gives new listeners a chance to discover and relive your best work.
5. Create Bonus Episodes
Our next strategy for taking a podcast break without losing episode engagement is to create and share bonus episodes. These bonus episodes could be extended versions of some of your best interviews or your most moving monologues. Or even episodes that feature some of your hilarious bloopers, or even behind-the-scenes insights.
Bonus episodes are another great way to still offer added value to your listeners and keep your audience engaged. But this type of ‘bonus’ content can also enhance your connection with your audience. As it brings a deeper sense of “realness” or “humanness” to your show.
6. Highlight Reels
Compilation episodes that act as highlight reels from your podcast is another winning strategy to help you take a podcast break. Create episodes made up of the best bits and top highlights from your episodes over your latest season. or however you like to segment your episodes.
These bonus episodes made up of the best bits of your episodes are a fun and valuable way to keep your audience entertained and engaged with your podcast, even if you’re not putting out brand-new content.
“Best bits” episodes are a tried-and-tested strategy from all avenues of the entertainment industry. And they’re perfect for podcasters looking to take a little break from podcasting.
7. Swap Episodes with Other Podcasters
Another effective strategy for filling that podcast gap while you take a podcast break is to swap episodes with other podcasts. This strategy gives you great content, without having to do any of the actual work of episode creation beforehand.
But key to the success of this strategy is picking other podcasters in your niche. You still want to give your audience high-quality, highly valuable content that still caters to their needs. And by picking great podcasts within your niche, you can do just that.
By sharing high-quality content from other podcasts, you can still maintain that connection with your listeners.
Even while you’re not technically there.
But as an added bonus, if you’re strategic with your podcast picks, this swap can serve to help both you and the other podcast hosts grow their audiences because you both serve the same audiences.
8. Release Trailers or Sneak Peeks
Finally, strategy 8 of our best strategies for taking a podcast break, over the Holidays or in general, is to create trailers or sneak peeks to release while you’re taking your much-needed break.
This is a fantastic strategy for two reasons. One, by creating amazing trailers or sneak peeks, you have amazing content to fill the gap while you get to step away from the mic and take your break.
But two, epic trailers and sneak peeks can help build anticipation until you do return. This teaser strategy keeps your audience eagerly anticipating your comeback, ensuring you still have a loyal audience when you return from your break.
*Want to learn more about the magic and science of podcast trailers? Check out The Trailer Park Podcast!
Taking a break from podcasting doesn’t have to mean sacrificing momentum. By planning ahead, communicating with your audience, and strategically using various content options, you can ensure that you get a rewarding break that we all need from time to time, without it having any detrimental effects on your podcast or your podcast community.
Remember, a break is in an investment your health and well-being. And so, it’s also essential for your podcast’s longevity and sustained success. But in order for it to have no adverse effects on your show, you’ll need a strategy. Or eight.
But no matter how you choose to take a break from your podcast, either over the Holidays, or any other time of the year, remember that communication is key. Let your audience know what’s going on, and they’ll be there to welcome you back when you return!