You may come to a place in your podcast journey where you’re ready for a break from your podcast. In today’s episode, we’re exploring why you may want to take a break, what options you have, and how to plan for a break!
Clocking In with Haylee Gaffin is produced and brought to you by Gaffin Creative, a podcast production company for creative entrepreneurs. Learn more about our services at Gaffincreative.com, plus you’ll also find resources, show notes, and more for the Clocking In Podcast.
Why You May Need a Break From Your Podcast
There are a few factors that can lead to you needing a break from your podcast.
You could reach a point that you are just overwhelmed. Your podcast may be doing what it is supposed to be doing, like driving traffic to your business, and you’re growing but your podcast hasn’t been a priority. Because of that you could feel burnt out. You don’t feel good about the episodes you are recording. Or it could just be way too much on your plate at this moment. This happens, it’s normal.
Almost every podcaster or entrepreneur probably knows this feeling all too well. This feeling can come in a season. What isn’t normal is letting it happen over and over again. So, you may want to take a break just to prevent this.
Budget of Time Or Money
Another reason you may want to take a break is that you’re running out of budget. And this could be a budget of money or of your time. Podcasting does take up a lot of time. If you’re doing all of it yourself, that’s a lot of. time commitment. If you’re outsourcing anything. then that can be a large financial commitment. What I want to highlight is that if this is part of your struggle, there are ways around it. We’ll circle back to those solutions.
I have recommended to some of my clients to skip holiday weeks. If their podcast upload schedule falls on a holiday, I recommend that they skip it. Or, if they are looking to take a break around the holidays, we are revisiting their schedule during that season.
Maybe every summer you’ve noticed that your listenership has gone down. Depending on your audience, your listeners may not be listening during certain times. That is totally normal and something you can consider if you want to take a break.
Launching Another Project
This reason goes along with burnout. You may be in the process of launching something big in your business and you want to dedicate a little more time into that. You can dedicate more time into this new launch and take a break from your podcast for a bit. This is the exact reason I took Clocking In from a weekly podcast to biweekly.
We took the effort and energy we would have put into two additional episodes each month and poured that into Mic Check Society.
Your break options
Now, you may realize at this point that a break would be beneficial to you and your business. You have a few options as to how you approach this break.
Pause your podcast
This is pretty obvious. Simply hold off on making episodes for a short period of time.
You may even choose to just release fewer episodes during this break. That’s what I did with Clocking In. We switched to biweekly releases.
This option may be harder to approach, but I like this one. It can be beneficial to your team if you are outsourcing. I recommend all of my clients batch record content regardless of taking a break. Batching can be so amazing for those who have a business that serves others. In one day’s time, you can record a month’s worth of podcast episodes.
There are quite a few ways to do this. One way is rerelease old episodes. This is not something that I recommend you do a ton. If you have been around for a while, you can totally do this. Pull one of your earlier, most popular episodes and reupload.
Or, if you have other areas of your business where you are releasing exclusive content, you can pull this content and put in an episode. I would present this as bonus content.
You can also repurpose your blog posts content as a script for a podcast episode.
There are a few ways to this approach. But, I have seen where podcasters will take the audio from an interview with another podcast a few weeks after the original host posted. They will use that audio as an episode with an intro highlighting the original podcast on which they were interviewed.
Ask other podcast hosts who do solo shows to swap with you. They can host an episode and feature their own unique perspective.
What to consider in any podcast break:
There are a few. things that you should consider when you approach a podcast break.
Listener retention & loyalty
If you aren’t releasing as frequently, your listeners will not return. You have to remarket to them. Get them back into the routine of listening to your show. Your listeners may find something to replace your show with something else.
Monetization plans & marketing
If you are using your podcast to market your business or market through ads. You may have a contract with advertisers, you have to keep up with that contract.
Or if you’re using your podcast to market your business and you take a break, you’re losing a major part of your marketing.
Also, check with your producer. Look into the fine details of your contract. You don’t want to lose your spot on their client roster.
3 Steps to Your Next Break
The key to a successful podcast break is planning. Plan ahead of time to avoid the areas that may lead you to needing a break.
But, if you reach a point where you’re ready for a break, there are 3 steps to take.
Plan with intention
When you plan with intention, you are avoiding burnout and allowing yourself time and space. When you make last minute decisions, you’re not planning in a way that leads to success. Plan your content out quarterly. Give yourself time.
Notify those who need it
Whether you’re outsourcing to a producer, using an assistant, or a marketing team, you’ll need to let them know. Anyone involved with your podcast needs to know if you’re taking a break. Give them a heads up and let them know how their workload will shift and what the return looks like.
Set a return date. If you don’t you probably won’t hit it.
Communicate with your audience
Let your audience know that there will be a shift. Let them in on the journey and tell them why.
Mic Check Society
Today’s episode is brought to you by Mic Check Society, a community for podcasters. Each month, I’m dropping an exclusive training, hosting a monthly hot-seat call and coworking sessions, plus you’ll get access to our Facebook group to connect with and network with other podcasters!
Check out the Show Notes:
Why you made need a break? (1:49)
Your break options (6:12)
What to consider in a podcast break? (14:11)
3 Steps to your break (19:30)
Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:
Mic Check Society
Episode 80 with Magan Ward
Episode 82 with Christina Lenkowski
Review the Transcript:
Now in most podcasters journeys, they will likely come to a place where they feel like it might be time for a break, or to put their podcasts on pause. And there are a multitude of reasons for this. And there’s nothing wrong with feeling this way. So in today’s episode, I want to highlight that I want to talk about why you may be feeling these feelings. What leads to a break, what options you have in actually taking a break from your podcast or what to consider when you take those breaks. And then also how to plan it and plan a return.
Hey, y’all, welcome to the clocking in Podcast, the podcast for entrepreneurs and professionals making their way in the working world. I’m your host Haylee Gaffin. This podcast is produced and brought to you by Gaffin. Creative, a podcast production company for creative entrepreneurs. Learn more about our services at Gaffin creative.com. Plus, you’ll also find resources, show notes and more for the clocking in podcast. So let’s clock in and get to work.
All right, y’all, I feel like I’m gonna get so much hate on this topic. But let’s be real, it is very easy to get either burnout on podcasting, or run out of budget, or maybe you just are ready to scale back a little bit. So today, we are talking about taking a break from your podcast. And we’re doing this at the tail end of my own podcast break. Now, you may not have felt it as much as a normal break would. But we’re going to talk a little bit about that today. So the first thing I want to talk about is why what are things factors that lead to a podcast break. A few of these include burnout, you could be overwhelmed, you could maybe your podcast is doing what it’s supposed to do driving traffic to your business, you are scaling and growing and all the things. But your podcast is something that has not remained a priority during this time. Because of that, that could lead to burnout. Every time you sit down to record an episode, you don’t feel good about it. Or maybe it’s just way too much on your plate at this moment, that the thought of recording something will not be quality content.
This happens, it happens to almost all podcasters they will feel it at some point. Almost every entrepreneur and podcaster I’ve met has hit a season of burnout. And that is totally normal. What’s not normal is letting it happen over and over and over again. So that is one reason that you may actually want to take a break from your podcast another might be that you are running out of budget, whether that’s the budget of money, or time because podcasting does take up a lot of time. And if you’re doing it all yourself, that can lead to a lot, a lot of time commitment that you’re putting towards your podcast. Or if you’re outsourcing it, it could lead to money that you’re putting into your podcasts. Now, what I want to highlight and recommend to you is if this is part of your struggle, there are ways around it, we will get into those shortly. The next reason could be holidays coming up. Now a lot of my clients, I have recommended to skip holiday weeks, if they are not a weekly podcast episode I’m recommending they skip it. Or if they’re looking to take a break around the holidays. We’re revisiting what their schedule looks like during the holiday season, especially if they are releasing on holidays. Another reason could be listener trends. So maybe every summer you notice that your numbers go down.
Your listeners are primarily parents maybe, and their kids are out of school. So they’re on vacation, and they are just not listening to your podcast that is totally normal and natural, and something that you can consider if you want to take a break. Now one final reason is it kind of adds into the first reason of burnout. But maybe you’re in the process of launching something big in your business and you want to put a little more time to that without overwhelming yourself and leading yourself to burnout. That reason right there is exactly why this podcast scaled back to every other week episodes rather than releasing a weekly episode like we had for over a year. What we decided to do was scale back so we took the effort and energy that we would have been putting into two additional episodes every month and we put that into Mike Czech society. When we decided to launch my Czech society I sat down and I looked at my time commitment to This podcast my time commitment to my clients. And I just knew that if I wanted to scale MIC CHECK society and build it into this community for podcasters, that I would have to give something up. Obviously, I couldn’t give up my clients. And additionally, I didn’t want to give up my time.
My personal time away from work, I wanted to stick to a certain number of hours, which meant that I scaled back on this podcast. And what I did was I highlighted that I mentioned it when we, when we scaled back to every other week, I told my podcast listeners that that’s what we’re doing. And I made sure to create what I feel is very quality content, because I wanted the quality of my episodes to remain as high as they had been in the past. And in order to do that, and my Czech society at the time, I had to approach it with less content on the podcast. Now that we’ve talked about a few reasons, you may want to take a break, I want to talk about your options for breaks, because there are quite a few options out there for how you can take a break in your podcast. The first is obviously pause your podcast, if you’re like, Okay, I need to completely cut off my podcasts for a certain amount of time. That is okay. Now, it’s not my recommendation. I do not recommend this all the time, I actually push back against this and scale a different way. And what I encourage my clients to do is instead of pausing, the second break option would be to scale back like I did. So a few months ago, when we decided to scale back we went to every other week. I chose every other week because I wanted to remain consistent.
I wanted to continue to put out episodes every other week without hurting my listenership, but also without overwhelming myself. So when I say scaled back, I want you to look at it this way, I basically cut the amount of time that my team and myself were putting onto the podcast in half. When you move from weekly to every other week, you’re cutting that work in half. That is so much time back. So first option for taking a break is just to completely pause your podcast. Second option is to scale back. Now your third option. And this is kind of a harder option to approach but I do like this way, especially if we’re looking at like a summer where you as a podcast host want to take a break. And you are outsourcing to a podcast production company or producer or someone on your team is handling your podcast production. What you can do is batch record your content. I encourage this anyway. I think that batch recording is really amazing for people who have a business that is serving others, and they do not have time on a weekly basis to think about their podcasts. What you can do in one day’s time is record all of your podcast episodes for the next month. Or if you’re looking at a summer break over a week, take the time to batch out all of your episodes for the summer. So this could look like recording episodes for June, July and August in May.
That way, you don’t have to think about your podcast content until you come back in August from your summer break. And your team has handled everything else. Now your fourth way to approach a break or like find a way to not work as much on your podcast is to repurpose content. And you can do this in a multitude of ways as well. One way is to rerelease old episodes. Now this is not something I recommend you do a ton. It is something that if you’ve been around for a while, you can absolutely do this. Go back pull one of your most popular episodes from your first year or your first season or repurpose that. If you are a seasonal podcast, where you have breaks in between your seasons, you can also do this, repurpose that content to keep up listener retention. So while you’re on that break, listeners are still downloading your content still listening, still enjoying what you’re doing. But that is one way to repurpose content. And I know I’m like saying a bunch of numbers here like one way to way but stick with me. We’ll put all of these in the show notes. The second way to repurpose your content as one of your break options is if you have a educational community or membership of some kind to take some of those in membership trainings. Pull a section of that Training and repurpose it for content. Or you can do this with Facebook Lives in a Facebook group that you do or an Instagram Live. Now these, I would say make these like bonus content. So if you move to every other week, but you’re like, Oh, I still want to put out weekly episodes, you can put bonus content out with these types of things. Another thing you can do is if you still want to push for weekly episodes, but you’re like, I just don’t have time to come up with new content, look at your blog posts on your website, repurpose those.
Now, I believe I said this on the podcast a few weeks ago, but it may have been inside of my check society where I was talking about this, but I’m actually repurposing content inside of Mike check society’s Facebook group through Facebook Lives. Now I wanted to find a way to practice speaking live and speaking off script and just kind of showing up for the community. And so I do a weekly Facebook Live. And in this Facebook Live, what I’m doing is I’m taking an old blog post that I’ve done, and I am reviewing it right before I go live adding to it coming up with concepts that are relevant to that week in that time, and I am sharing that and I’m repurposing that content as new content in a new form. So you can also do this with your podcast. I’ve done it before in the past on episodes where if I come up with a topic that I want to talk about, and I already have blog posts on it, I will go pull that blog posts and use it as a rough script and add to it there. So you don’t have to start from scratch every single time you create, specifically solo episodes. But if you’re mainly an interview based podcast, you can do this with conversations you have with people in those groups or in educational communities, whatever you are already creating content for look at how you can repurpose it. Okay, so that was a lot. But that was the fourth way that you can take a break from your podcast by not working as much. And so the fifth way to do this is podcast swapping. Now, there are a few ways to do this, I would love to see how this is done more. But I have seen where podcasters will, will be interviewed on someone else’s show.
And then they will ask them for the audio. And what they’ll do is they’ll take that audio and they will put it on their own podcast, they will put it on their own podcast after the host podcast episode has had enough time to get listenership. So usually 30 days later. And what they’ll do is they’ll put an intro and outro on this that’s like, Hey, you should go listen to this podcast. This is my interview with so and so on that podcast, hope you enjoy. And then the other podcaster will do the same thing. This is a way to repurpose content, but also podcast swap. So you’re just using the podcast content that someone else has put out there for your own podcast, it gives them access to your audience. And it’s not the same as sharing, like, Oh, I was on this podcast, go listen over on social media, but it’s like you are in the ears, they are hearing the full conversation. They know exactly what the other person does now. So it’s a win win for both unless you just really, really value unique and custom content for your podcast. Another thing you can do in the podcast swapping world is ask other podcast hosts who do solo shows to swap with you to do some kind of expertise of their own content, it doesn’t even mean that you would have to be on their podcast or record for theirs. But you can say I want to feature you. It’s kind of like guest blogging, where instead of it being an interview, you’re just teaching my audience and showing them value in whatever it is you do, you can pitch them at the end of that kind of thing. So that is the fifth way that you can take a break from your podcast, by scaling back not doing as much work, etc, etc. Now, I want you to consider a few things when you are approaching a podcast break.
One I want you to consider listener retention and loyalty. When you are not releasing as frequently as you used to your listeners will not show up when you return. You have to re market to them. You have to get them back into the mood and into the routine of listening to your show. I did a test on this back. Gosh, it was a few months after I launched my podcast I took this very unexpected long break. And I came back I explained kind of why I highlighted that there was just so much going on and I didn’t prepare my audience. When I did that. I lost over half of my listeners because of a few reasons. One, they no longer got notified I have my podcast and Apple podcast app because of Apple’s 14 day timeline. So what this means if you have not heard of this before, if you are releasing podcast episodes, and your listeners have automatic downloads turned on for your podcast, and they do not listen to a new episode, or a new episode is not downloaded to their phone in 14 days, you will no longer be in their automatic downloads. So in taking a break that’s longer than 14 days and not marketing your podcast at all. Your listenership will fall, anyone who doesn’t listen will no longer show up as a download the day of the of the podcast release day. Additionally, when you stop releasing for your listeners, they will find something to replace you with. Think about like that favorite TV show that you watched and then kind of fell off of watching. It’s because you probably replaced it with something else, or the content got banned, which can happen too, if you do not take a break when you need to your quality of content will fail you and your listeners. Now another thing to consider in taking any podcast break is your monetization or marketing plans. So if you are using your podcast to market your business, or to monetize through ads, you have to consider what that looks like before you take that break.
Because if you are taking a break and you have ads running, the expectation is that you’re putting out weekly episodes. So if you have any ad plans, you have to talk either to the podcast advertiser, or you have to turn around and keep creating that content until that contract is up. Now the marketing aspect of it is if you’re using your podcast to market your business, and you have a big launch coming up, and you cut out podcast episodes, you may be cutting out a huge portion of your marketing. That was exactly why one reason I kept pushing through the podcast while I was working on my check society was because I knew that my ideal members were listening to my podcast. So when I wanted to market my check society, I knew if I wanted to keep pushing it, I had to keep putting out content. Once MIC CHECK society was out, I did decide to scale back after I had pushed my check society enough in those weekly episodes. But then I was still kind of pushing it throughout with our guest educators and then content that was relevant to what was happening inside of my Czech society. So consider your monetization plans, your marketing all of those things, when you are deciding to take a break. Now another thing that I will throw out there only because I’ve run into this is check with your Podcast Producer, if you have a contract with them, whether it’s month to month, or maybe you have a three month contract, or a six month or a year long contract, look at the fine print, look at those details, have that conversation with your Podcast Producer, make sure that they will still have a spot for you on their client roster. When you return whatever that looks like. You just want to make sure you have that conversation with your Podcast Producer to ensure that you know exactly what it looks like for you to come back from your podcast break. But also, if it’s even a possibility, because after all, we are all running businesses. We all know that things happen in the business world where things don’t go as planned. And if you are wanting to take a break, your contract may not allow for that or your contract may allow for it.
But Your Podcast Producer just needs notice to adjust their own workload. Now the key to successfully taking a break is planning plan for your podcast break plan so that you don’t get overwhelmed so you’re not burnout so that you have the time the capacity the budget to run your podcast successfully. Now that we have gone through why you may want to take a break what your options look like in order to take a break and what to consider as you approach a break. I want to talk about three steps to actually planning your break. So the first one is to plan with intention. When you plan with intention. You are avoiding burnout, you are allowing yourself to have the time and space you need to make decisions. Because when you make last minute decisions of okay, I just did not have the time last week to create an episode to put out next week. You’re not planning far enough in advance for your podcast in general. So maybe You want to start planning sooner, plan all of your content out for the quarter, plan time on your calendar to actually sit down and record your episodes and get it to your producer and have them create all of the content that goes around that. So plan with intention. Now, the second step is to notify those who need to know. So that could be your Podcast Producer, your virtual assistant, your marketing coordinator, anyone who has any role in your podcast, let them know. And I say this as someone who had to let team members on my own team knows about our podcast scaling back, because I had to set the expectation of your workload is going to shift, this is what you’ll be doing now, for a certain amount of time, and then my goal is by this date to come back, which also highlights that need for a return date, set that return date, if you do not set a return date from your break, it’s very likely you will miss it, it is very, very likely. And depending on your producer, they may actually have you put down a deposit to hold your spot for that return date to ensure that they have capacity on their client roster for you to come back that time.
Now, if you don’t come back, you may lose that deposit just depends on your producer. But also if your break means that the hours will be cut for some people. So say you have a producer or you have a VA who 95% of their job is your podcast and you decide to take a break. What does that mean for them? Will you be cutting their hours? Will you be handing them something new. So consider those things and who needs to know about your podcast break? Before you actually get to that break. Now the third thing is to communicate with your audience that you are taking a break, let them know, highlight the fact that you will either be scaling or you’ll see they’ll see a shift in what they’re listening to. Or there may be no episodes for a few weeks or a few months or whatever that looks like. Let them in on the journey. Let them know why there was a podcast I used to listen to that. I would go and binge their podcast episodes. Well, at one point, I went to their show and they had not released in four months. In my mind, they were they ended the podcast because there was no notification of like, Hey, we’re actually going to take a break for a few months, well, then they came back randomly. And it was like, I felt like I was not a part of their journey. I wasn’t a valued listener to them.
So since then, my expectation for how to communicate with my audience has completely shifted. And it’s something that I highly recommend to my own clients to do in announcing a break or sharing with their audience that they’ll be back at some point, even if they don’t have that date in mind that they just are taking a little sabbatical or break or whatever from their podcast. Now, I know this is a super long episode. But before we wrap up, I do want to share about my own experience. So earlier this year, between summer and fall, I decided to scale back to every other week episodes. And it was also a time when I introduced interviews. And those interviews came from people who were guests educators inside of MIC CHECK society, so you can head back to and I’ll link these episodes in the show notes. But we had Christina Lin kowski on to talk about PR and pitching yourself for podcasts. And then we also had Megan Ward on to talk about pop up podcasts. Both of those were amazing episodes in such high quality and such so much value that was offered to my audience that I knew that I had made the right decision in scaling back to every other week so that I could build in the time to build in marketing for my check society through these guest interviews through blog posts through additional podcast episodes, so that I was serving my clients while also serving my business. In doing that. I did see new listeners come in.
They came in from Christina and Megan’s audiences. But in addition to that, I saw my download numbers increase and stay up. So I have loved seeing the growth that guests interviews have brought to my own podcast. But also I saw an increase in downloads on past podcast episodes because new listeners were coming in from guest interviews. I wasn’t having to put out as much content because I was seeing all of those listeners go and listen to older episodes whether they were episodes mentioned in the podcast episode, which is a technique you should consider doing when you have guests on to highlight past episodes. So someone will go listen, to always make sure you’re linking those in the show notes. So it makes it easy for them to find, in addition to the success of an increase in downloads, I personally felt so much relief, knowing that I did not have as much work to do on the podcast. And I was able to batch ahead, so I actually batched all of my content for September and October in August. And then I turned around and came back in November and started recording again for November, December. Now, I am moving back to weekly episodes in the new year, I only wanted to take this break as I transitioned into offering a membership based education and creating that value. While I did that, I was also growing the production side of my business, and scaling team members. So I have an editor on my team that I’ve been working with for almost a year now. And the two of us have been working side by side to figure out what the growth of our business looks like. So that we can continue to serve our clients well, while also creating educational value for the clocking in audience, but also for my check society members. So it has been a really great opportunity, I do miss recording as much content because it does bring a lot of traffic through search engines through Pinterest through just creating the value in the content. So I don’t think then every other week podcast is necessarily the right podcast for my own business. But I do know that taking this break has given me the space to appreciate the content that I have created.
Appreciate the people that have poured into this podcast, appreciate the listeners who have gained value and supported this podcast. It gave me a new appreciation for this podcast. And I didn’t think it would like I was really nervous when I decided to make the move from weekly episodes to every other week, especially as a podcaster, which like, Oh, it’s scary. It’s scary. Like I do this for a living. I make a living, encouraging people to be consistent in their podcast content. Yet here, I was scaling back. I wasn’t doing what I originally set out to do with weekly episodes. And I moved to every other week and it was scary. But it worked. It worked for me it worked for where I was in my life and in my business. And will I do it again, very, very likely, it is very likely that I will consider pivoting to every other week, during busy seasons or during summertime or if I’m going on some sort of vacation or sabbatical or whatever that looks like. I will definitely consider doing it in the future. And I will probably always skip the week of Thanksgiving and the week of Christmas for new episodes. But we’ll see. We’ll see how that goes in the future. Now I have shared my own experience in this week’s episode, and I’ve loved getting to do them. But I want to share a few of my clients and that’s exactly what I’m doing in the next episode.
So come join us in two weeks as Bonnie Bakhtiari of the brand strategy podcast Laylee Emadi of so here’s the thing podcast and Bree pair of Thrive blogger podcast all share their own experiences in taking breaks, or scaling back or batching content. They each have their own unique experience. And I’m so thankful that they took the time to share. So that will be coming out in two weeks because we’re every other week now. If you enjoyed this episode or you are considering taking a break in your podcast, make sure you connect with me over on Instagram. I would love to chat. My Instagram handle is at Haylee Gaffin we’ll link it in the show notes of today’s episode at clocking in podcast.com. And we will see you next week. Talk to you soon.
This has been another episode of The clocking in podcast. You can find the show notes for this episode and more at Gaffin creative.com. Thank you so much for your listenership and support. If you love this episode, I’d be so honored if you leave me a review in the Apple podcast app. Until next time, I’m your host Haylee Gaffin Clocking Out.