Does My Podcast Need a Hiatus?
Does My Podcast Need a Hiatus?

Does My Podcast Need a Hiatus?

Ready for a hiatus on your podcast? I’ve definitely been feeling that way recently too. It takes a lot of time and effort and, frankly, it can feel overwhelming.

I’m not taking a break right now, though there’s nothing wrong with a break…if you do it right.

This week on the podcast, I’m sharing why you might not want to take a podcasting hiatus and what to do if you decide to push pause for a bit.

Whatever decision you make, it’s yours to make and you should do what works for you. Listen in to find out how.

Mentioned In This Episode:

Transcript:

Welcome to episode 202 of the Content Experiment Podcast, a podcast for podcasters that supports the idea that content and marketing are ever-moving targets in any business, and it’s okay if you don’t feel like you’re doing it all right, all of the time.

Here we talk about podcasting and creating content for your audience that they want to hear in a way that’s sustainable for you, the business owner. Because I know that you have a lot on your plate. So I’ll give you the ideas and tools and tricks to publish your podcast consistently in a way that works for YOU.

Today we’re continuing our solo series and talking about taking a break from podcasting.

The original title of this episode was “how to avoid burnout,” but the reality is that SO many of us are in burnout mode. We’re burned out on life. On business. On relationships. On parenting. On financial stress. On client work. On the sucky weather. On all the crap going on in the world today. On so many things.

Is it really possible to avoid that burnout? Maybe. Maybe some of it. But so much of that is out of our control that it’s hard to avoid it entirely.

I’ve personally been in a season where life has been kicking my butt. The last six weeks or so have not been what I expected or what I planned and it’s weighed heavily on my business and this podcast. What energy I have had has been spent on getting client work done. In fact, the last two episodes of the podcast I’ve recorded the afternoon before it goes live. I do not recommend this as it puts a lot of stress on yourself and your team. I always recommend batching and working ahead. And both time, yes, even including my milestone 200th episode, I’ve wondered if I need to take a hiatus on the podcast. I haven’t been prioritizing it.

What about you? Have you thought about taking a hiatus on your own podcast? Putting it on hold for a bit to regroup and either change directions or decide if you want to continue it at all?

Podcasting truly is a labor of love. It can be hard to see a direct (or even indirect) benefit from continuing. It sometimes feels like no one is listening and there’s been no forward momentum in your business as a result from it (not to mention a lack of financial benefit from hosting).

And when you’re feeling overwhelmed, just hitting pause can feel like the next best move.

For where I am in life and business right now, I keep thinking, I just need to get through these tasks or this stuff that needs to happen in life. Then I can have a breather. Then things will calm down. Then I can have a little bit of time to catch up.

And you know what? Even when I get through those days or tasks, I still feel like there’s too much on my plate. I’m still stressed about what’s next.

Because there will always be more to do. Or the next thing on the list.

I also know that if I do decide to hit “pause,” it will be really difficult to start back up again. It’s like exercise. Sometimes keeping up the momentum is challenging, but when you skip a few days, it’s easier to skip a few more, then a few more and a few more. And before you know it you’re sitting on the couch at 5 a.m. eating chocolate covered gummibears and watching The Office instead of going to the gym.

Is that just me? I don’t think so!

So for me, as of right now, as much as I feel like a hiatus might be a good thing for me, I won’t be taking one. I’ll get through this season. And I’m actually recording this episode a full SIX days before it goes live. Yay me!

But if you’re of a different mindset and are ready for a hiatus, I have some tips for you.

First, avoid taking a break. In episode 185, I talked about why your podcast feels so hard right now, and it’s probably because you’re trying to do too much. Or all of it yourself. Consider hiring some support or continuing to publish but not worrying as much about the promotion. Remember, you don’t have to be everywhere! And listen to episode 161 where I talk about taking down time in your business. This means that you’ll have to work ahead a bit, but I promise it’s worth it. You’ll continue publishing episodes but will get to take a break after some batching.

Don’t just disappear. People take breaks in podcasting for a lot of reasons, and it’s okay to be vulerable and share those reasons with your audience, within reason of course. The last episode before your break should explain the break and how long you think it will last. Then be sure to come back when you say you will.
Don’t apologize for taking a break. You don’t owe listeners an apology because you’ve done nothing wrong. You’re taking care of yourself and your energy. If listeners don’t respect that, they don’t need to be a follower anymore.
If you’re taking a break to focus on a specific project or area of your business, do that! Make your time off worthwhile. Remember at the beginning of 2020 when you had all those plans to do home renovations or finish that cross stitch or learn piano? All because you were stuck at home and maybe had more time on your hands? Did you do it? I know I didn’t. If you’re letting go of something as time consuming as podcasting, make it worth your while
Don’t just completely disappear. I assume you still have a business you want to grow. Where will you connect with your audience? I recommend continuing to show up on social media, though maybe a bit more limited, and definitely sending a regular nurturing email to your subscribers. Don’t let them completely forget about you!
When you’re ready to come back, make it a mini event and celebrate it. But don’t go over the top explaining what you did and why you went silent in the first place. You already told your listeners you’d be taking a break. Now celebrate that you’re back.
Consider re-releasing some of your most popular episodes during your hiatus. Have a team member create new show notes and schedule some social posts. This helps you stay top of mind, keeps your podcast feed fresh with minimal effort on your part

Make sure that your podcast producer, manager, editor, assistant, whoever is working with you on the podcast, is aware of your plans and give them some notice to plan ahead financially. Podcasting takes a lot of time, even for (maybe especially for) your support crew. Letting them know today that you’re pausing your podcast effective immediately might be a big financial blow to them. So let them know in advance and when you’ll be starting back up again. And know that they’ll be seeking out new clients between now and then so they may not be ready to go right away when you’re ready. Communication is so important here.

Consistency is SO important, but I also understand the need for a break. We’re all huma. And it’s totally your decision on whether a hiatus is right for you and your business.

If you want some support around continuing your podcast without a break but maybe want some accountability for getting your next few episodes out, I can help in the podcast ease membership.

It’s part accountability, part expert-on-call to help you get your podcast out to your audience consistently and with confidence.

Each Tuesday you’ll get a 90 minute accountability session where you set your intentions on what you’ll work on for your podcast during the call, then you’ll spend the next 90 minutes doing that work. Maybe it’s outlining your next episode, researching guests, writing your show notes, or even recording a solo episode.

Then, every Thursday, you’ll have 60 minutes to ask questions and make connections with others on the call.

You’ve heard me talk about how important consistency is, and it’s true. Your audience expects to hear from you on a regular basis. They look forward to your episodes. But it’s also SO hard to prioritize our own work. We’re so busy making sure our clients and families are taken care of but the work on our own podcasts isn’t going to get done unless we make the time.

I’m going to help you with that.

This Podcast Ease membership is a month-to-month commitment, you can join or cancel at any time. Calls are at 8 a.m. Pacific on Tuesdays and Thursdays and you can join any time.

The investment is $99 a month for weekly Q&A sessions, weekly coworking sessions AND I’ll also pepper in some additional support and trainings here and there. Join now at thecontentexperiment.com/ease.

If you found value in what you learned here today, be sure to share it on social media. Take a screenshot of the episode on your phone and share it over on Instagram stories. Tag me at thecontentexperiment. The more you share, the more we can get the podcast into the hands of more business owners, just like you, who need to hear the message that they are not alone.

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