After a few months of hustle to launch and grow your podcast, the exhaustion might start to wear on you. You can only go, go, go for so long. So what happens when you feel like taking a break from your podcast? You either ignore those feelings and keep pushing until you crash OR you press pause and reinvigorate your work.
And then there are times when you can’t make the choice. You simply have to take a break.
You might not be ready to take a break right now. That’s totally cool too. Hustle until it starts feeling like you need to flow and when you do, you’ll be ready.
So, is taking a break from your podcast right for you? And how do you prepare for it?
Why You Might Consider Taking a Break From Your Podcast
You need to strategize
If you’re moving forward without a plan, it might be time to stop and figure out where you’re going. You can’t reach your goals if you aren’t crystal clear on what they are and how you’re going to get there. It is perfectly reasonable to take a break from your podcast to strategize about what’s next. The lovely Lauren Frontiera of Grit and Glitter took off December to do this and you know what, her podcast grew in the meantime. She also came back to do three shows a week, so she’s at serious girl boss levels.
You need creativity
Running out of topic ideas and guests you’re dying to interview? Feel less excited about podcasting and wonder why you even started? Hold up! It’s time for a break. Do what you need to do to prepare for a podcast pause (more on that below) and reconnect with what you love. Instead of totally taking your mind off your podcast. Meditate on it. Go somewhere you love with a notebook and get really creative. Go crazy! Doesn’t that sound fun?
You need to rejuvenate
Life doesn’t care that you have a podcast to put out. Whether it’s a personal issue or a family matter, things happen that interfere with your podcast. Remember, those things happen to your listeners too! There is nothing wrong with taking a break because you can’t keep going with the big heap of life on your plate. Taking a break from your podcast is totally okay. It will be there when you get back.
When to Start Your Podcast Pause
At the end of a season
Taking a break between ‘seasons’ of a podcast is not unheard of. This is a particularly good option if you want to strategize or refuel your creativity before getting back into your podcast. Say you take a month or two off from your podcast between seasons, all your previous episodes will still be there for new listeners to find.
After a Podcast Series
Just delivered a fantastic series of episodes on an interesting topic? Take a break before you move onto your next one. You’ll give your audience time to digest the valuable information you just shared and maybe even go back and listen to related episodes you published months ago.
Sometimes you won’t have any warning and you’ll need to take a break immediately. That works too. Your audience will miss you, but they’ll understand!
How to Prepare for a Podcast Break
Warn Your Audience
Whether you’re know you’re taking a break at the end of the season or you have to take a break at the spur of the moment, warn your audience. Managing their expectations will mean the difference between an understanding audience and a unpleasantly surprised audience. Let them know in your last regular episode that you’ll be taking a break of a certain length and advise them about what they can do in the meantime.
Share Previous Episodes
What did I mean by tell your audience what they should do while you’re taking a break from your podcast? Give them a call to action! Tell them to listen to previous episodes you shared. Perhaps a top 10 list? I’ve seen very popular podcasters take breaks by posting a podcast series of their favorite episodes of the year. You can either publish them again on your podcast or simply direct your audience to these episodes in a newsletter, podcast outro, or social media post.
Start a Challenge
Another idea of what you can do while you aren’t reaching out to your audience regularly is to set them up with a challenge. This way you’ll give your audience something they can do on their own until you come back. Start a 30 day Facebook Free challenge or daily meditation event, whatever fits with your podcast. When you come back, you can all talk about the experience.
Schedule Social Media
Even if you’re taking a social media free break, that doesn’t mean you have to disappear from your audience’s radar. Take advantage of a social scheduling application and post updates from your guests and previous episodes they should listen to. Your audience will appreciate knowing you’re still there.
Plan out What’s Next
You’ll be able to relax more when you’re taking a break from your podcast if you have an idea of what you’re going to do when you come back. Consider scheduling interviews a month or so in advance. Decide what topics you’ll touch on. If you get these decisions out of the way, you’ll have less to worry about during your break.
Give Your Team a Heads Up
Don’t forget to tell your editor, writer, and/or assistant that you’ll be taking a break. Send them a quick email explain why if you’re comfortable with that. I promise they’ll understand. Plus, they’ll appreciate your notice instead of wondering what happened.