What do you do with your podcast over the holidays?
Is it time to take a break or should you keep on truckin’
The holiday season is upon us, so I thought this would be the perfect time to address what to do with your podcast over the holidays. I don’t mean take it down or leave it up — the answer to that should be obvious — but should you take a break or keep on truckin’, putting up episodes, through the holidays?
I debate this exact topic with myself every time the winter holiday season approaches. Because The Lady Dicks Podcast is an entertainment podcast instead of one paired with a business, I feel like holiday-themed episodes are fun and our season starts pretty late into the fall, so it seems unfair to take a break so early.
… but we don’t record during the winter break. In fact, we take a break starting the first week in December that carries over to the first week of January because people are out of town, hitting up holiday parties and generally enjoying the season. That break means I need to account for the time that we’re not recording and make sure I don’t simply run out of episodes.
So, what is a podcaster to do?
#1 The case for the holiday-themed episode(s)
Holiday-themed episodes are a ton of fun.
I’m a HUGE true crime fan, and many of my favourite shows record a holiday-themed episode to satisfy their listeners' creepy Christmas curiosity. It’s a great way to bring in a little holiday fun to the episode and do something themed.
If you are planning on doing a holiday-themed episode, I’ve got a few quick tips I can share:
- It’s completely fair game for your holiday-themed episode to be shorter, your listeners will completely understand this.
- Take a listen to a few of your favourite podcasts that have holiday episodes for inspiration.
- Have fun with it — even if your podcast is quite serious, a holiday-themed episode (or themed episode in general) is a great excuse to let your hair down and have some fun.
- Ask for your listener’s input. You make your podcast for yourself, but you also make it for them too — if you’re stuck on ideas get their input.
If you want to do a holiday theme but need to skip the actual holiday week (or even two) one of my favourite things to do is do holiday-themed episodes throughout December.
#2 The case for the holiday break
Chances are you can probably use a break. Not simply related to your podcast, but overall. If that is the case, especially if you can really feel it, you should probably take a break.
While you can totally hammer on through by scheduling episodes in advance, taking a full-on break means you have a bit of time to catch-up after the break and aren’t having to do a bunch of extra work just to make it happen.
We originally tried to skirt on right through, but when it comes down to it everyone needs a break. While our first episode of the season comes out sometime in October/November, we’ve been working on the season since August. The break gives us all a chance to recharge.
If you do plan to take a full break, just remember to share that with your listeners and let them know when you’ll be back. I also recommend running a holiday social media campaign that recommends some of your favourite episodes.
#3 The case for truckin’ on through
God bless the podcasting souls that truck on day in and day out. There are some seriously dedicated podcasters out there who simply keep on going, rain or shine.
If you decide to keep on trucking, I do recommend that you still take a break to recharge (you’re better when you’re rested) by pre-scheduling episodes throughout the season.
One of the great things that I’ve seen a few podcasters do when it comes to the holidays is to repost old episodes that were “lost”, remastered or just general fan favourites. It still puts content on your feed, but you don’t have to actively work on it, thus giving you that long-needed break.
Whatever you decide to do this holiday season, your listeners will be OK with it. Sure, they’ll miss you, but they totally get it.
Truthfully, as a podcast listener myself, I expect that my favourite shows will be skipping a few weeks to take a break. To cover the break, I tend to download my favourite episodes and give them a listen over the season.
My best advice is to pick whatever works best for you and your team, and make sure you share it with your audience. Add in a simple message in your pre-show talk about what’s happening during the holiday season, and if you’re leaving, when they can expect to hear from you again!
Tae is a lost cause who really has no idea what she’s doing in life — so she does a little bit of everything. She writes about plus-size fashion, health and beauty on her blog Curvy Girl, marketing your indie film on the upcoming INDY FILM blog and is the editor of Part-Time Podcaster on Medium. She runs The Lady Dicks Podcast and its companion travel blog The Spooky Traveller. Plus she’s currently working on a film.
But it’s not all fun and games for her, she has a Bachelor of Communication in Journalism and a Master of Arts in Intercultural and International Communication. Previously, Tae worked in corporate communication, marketing and public relations. Who says you can’t have it all?