With the holidays quickly approaching, podcasters of all sizes are looking to take a short or long break. But, for podcasters, taking a few days or weeks off is not as simple as requesting time off from your boss. Instead, podcasters need to maintain engagement with their fans while taking a hiatus to ensure a successful return to podcasting.
So, how can you keep your audience engaged while taking a hiatus without just working throughout your time off? Here are six tips you can use to prepare for your holiday hiatus and ensure your audience is eagerly awaiting your return.
Plan Your Return
To get your audience excited about your return, they need to know when they can expect you to start creating more new content. By giving the audience crystal clear expectations of your return you let them plan around your hiatus. For example, if you take a three-week hiatus, some of your fans can choose to listen to an audiobook during the time they normally spend listening to your podcast.
With that example in mind, you can go a step further beyond simply planning your return by giving your audience recommendations on how they can fill their time while they wait for your return. You can recommend old episodes of yours, other podcasts that have had you on as a guest, audiobooks, and podcasts hosted by people you’ve had on as a guest.
Stay Connected on Social Media
You can maintain a connection with your audience while on a hiatus by keeping up with your social media accounts. Although commenting and responding to your audience takes some work while on a break, you can preplan your actual posts in advance.
Scheduling your social media posts before you go on a hiatus keeps your audience updated without requiring you to post each day. You can schedule your posts to give more short-form content while you’re gone. This gives your audience new content to digest in the short term. As your return approaches, roll out content that gets people excited. Remind them exactly when you’ll be putting out your next podcast episodes and showcase what you’ll be covering in those new episodes. You can also do a live stream shortly before your next release to answer any questions your audience might have about your hiatus.
Take the opportunity before your break to hone in on the social media promotion of your podcast. By promoting your podcast on social media shortly before you return and directly after, you can re-engage your audience. It brings your podcast to the forefront of your audience’s mind so they can get excited about your return.
Recording new content in advance of a hiatus is a great way to keep your audience engaged while you take a break. Your pre-recorded content could be entire episodes or it could be shorter pieces of content that tackle a small subset of your normal topics. By slowly rolling out your pre-recorded content throughout your hiatus, you can keep your audience engaged and excited.
Another consideration is where you release your pre-recorded content that might be different than your main content. Of course, you can always release it through your main channels, but if the content is significantly different, you may want to consider alternatives. This can serve as an opportunity to Test a short-form content channel and see how your main audience engages with it.
You can also release pre-recorded content on your social media channels to keep those accounts active during your break.
Maintain Activity in Your Community
If you’ve already built a community around your podcast, always aim to maintain activity in your community even while on a hiatus. While you do not need to be as active in your community while on hiatus as you normally are, maintaining some level of activity keeps your fans up to date on the latest in the topics you cover.
You can also encourage your fans to interact with each other to keep your audience engaged without requiring your time.
To encourage your audience to interact with each other, preplan a few topics for discussion prior to taking your break. Then, slowly roll out these topics within your community to start a discussion so your community can keep going. This keeps your community enriched with new content as well as allows you to step away without leaving your following without new content.
Repurpose Old Content
Experimenting with repurposing old content while you’re on hiatus is a great way to keep content rolling out while testing new content forms. You can repurpose your old content in a wide variety of ways that keeps it feeling fresh and new for your audience. Whether it’s creating infographics or finally starting a blog, take your hiatus as an opportunity to try out new formats of content. You might even find a content form that makes a major impression on your audience that you decide to stick with even after you return.
To repurpose your old content while on hiatus, consider hiring professionals to help out. You can hire writers to turn your old podcast episodes into blog posts or graphic designers to create infographics that are easily sharable on social media.
Keep Your Fans Updated
Keeping your fans updated throughout your hiatus is a great way to keep your audience engaged. Tell them exactly what you’re doing during your hiatus. If you’re traveling, give your fans photos of yourself in unique locations. Or, tell them what you’ve been spending your time on during your break. Whether it’s personal development, professional research, or even just spending time with your family, keeping your fans up to date can help you build a genuine connection with your audience.
Taking a hiatus as a podcaster can feel uneasy. We always question if we’ll have an audience to return to. But, if you keep your audience engaged while on your hiatus, you can successfully plan out a long or short-term break while still growing your podcast.
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