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Can my podcast survive a hiatus?

Even the most consistent podcasters sometimes need to step away from their shows for a while. However, every time you pause publishing new episodes, you risk losing a chunk of your listeners. Here are some smart ways to stay connected with your audience so they’ll eagerly anticipate your show’s return.

End on a Strong Note

Your most recent episode will receive more attention than previous episodes because it will stay at the top of your feed for your entire hiatus. You want your season finale to represent the high quality of your series as a whole. It should provide a good indication of what your regular audience can anticipate when you return and what new listeners can expect by exploring your back catalog.

Talk About Your Hiatus

Mentioning your hiatus at the end of the episode immediately before your break might seem like a good idea. Still, if a listener doesn’t stay to the end of every episode, they might miss your message. It’s better to talk about it near the beginning of your episode than at the end. You can also choose to publish a special hiatus announcement. Here are some examples.

Release a Trailer for Your Next Season

Most podcast hosting platforms will allow podcast publishers to designate an episode as a trailer. Before your hiatus is over, insert a trailer into your feed to generate anticipation and excitement about your upcoming season. 

Make Use of Your Back Catalog

Your hiatus provides the perfect opportunity to showcase your back catalog. Here are some ways to do so.

  • Use analytics to learn which episodes held your audience’s attention, then build a “best of” playlist. 
  • Peg previous episodes to seasonal or topical news hooks. 
  • Prepare a “top ten episodes” list. Write about them in a blog post or your podcast newsletter. 

Should I Use Mini or Bonus Episodes?

You can produce “mini-episodes” or other bonus recordings in advance and schedule them for automatic release during your time away. However, take care with this type of content, especially if it’s of a lower quality than your regular material. Too much bonus or mini content that does not attract listeners can activate Apple’s “Not Interested Anymore” switch. 

Final Thoughts

Regardless of what else you choose to do before your break, remember the importance of setting expectations with your listeners. If you want more help regarding the best way to handle your hiatus, talk to us to see how we can help.

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