If you’ve been consistent with your podcast, lots of people will tell you that it’s okay to take a break if you need it sometimes. However, there are a few pros and cons that I want to highlight so you can make an informed decision.
Risks of taking an unannounced break
Losing listener trust
By being inconsistent when releasing your podcast episodes, you’re not allowing the trust element between podcast and listener. Trust is really important for confidence in you, that you are a person who does what they say they’re going to do. Likewise, it is important for sales in developing a rapport and connection. So if you don’t show up in the way that you promised your audience, then that can be problematic.
Negative impact on listener behaviour
Think about listener behaviour. If someone has made listening to your podcast part of their weekly routine to educate, entertain and inspire themselves to take new action, if you don’t show up, they are probably going to listen to the next recommended podcast to fulfil their need. If they then love that show, which is being consistent, there is a strong chance they won’t come back to you occasionally.
All this is not to say you can’t take a break. If you have something happening in your personal or business life that just won’t allow you time to podcast, then a break is necessary. Here are my tips on how to reduce the damage of having a break.
If you are taking a full break, try record a super short episode to tell your listeners there is something going on and let them know what specific date you will be back. Communicating helps us build relationships by allowing us to share our experiences, and needs, and helps us connect to others.
2. Batch recording
Batch record as much and as often as you can. By doing so you can manage your time well and get your episodes out consistently. You’ll need a plan in place but you can absolutely stay on schedule when you plan to batch record. Batch recording can help your podcast be more efficient and less stressful.
3. Use past episodes
I would suggest having ready to go some past episodes (your most popular ones) which you can re-release. Look at your podcast host and notice which episodes have had spikes in listenership. There is an opportunity with some of those episodes to put together a mini series celebrating your best bits so far on your show.
4. Treat it as a mini relaunch
Have you created your podcast in a series with the intention that you would be delivering weekly without fail? In this scenario, if you’ve had to take an unannounced unexpected break, I think it is okay to come back with a bang and treat it like a mini relaunch, effectively label it as Season Two. This little hack means that Apple and Spotify are picking it up as a new series, which gets treated a little bit like a new release which will help you get more traction in the charts at that point. Treat it like a real comeback moment where you’re really celebrating your show again, and potentially come back with more than one episode or an in depth episode sharing the personal journey that you’ve been on. Give the reasons as to why you have not shown up in the way that you promised.
Podcasting really does allow you to develop a deep connection and rapport with your listener. The important thing is to communicate what’s going on, so find a way to give yourself permission that sometimes it’s alright to be less than perfect.
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