Should You Publish During the Holidays?

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(By Johnny Peterson) Well, its that time of year again. Chances are, over the course of the next month you’ll be flying out to visit family or prepare your own home to house several aunts, cousins, nephews and the occasional dog.

This also means you are probably going to be putting your podcast on the backburner for the time being….or are you? 

There are a few routes we can take as hosts and producers of shows while the busiest non-work time of the year approaches: 

Take a break!
I used to be a huge stickler about being consistent with your content releases, to the point where I’d freak out if I knew one of my shows would be on hiatus for even one episode. However, I have since come to the realization that audiences understand that podcasters are people too, and the holidays are for everyone to enjoy.

So unless it’s incredibly easy to pump out two or three episodes in one sitting, don’t stress about drastically reducing your audience just because you took time to spend with those crazy relatives you never get to see. Just give a simple disclaimer to your listeners that the podcast will be taking a hiatus for x amount of time due to the holidays, and give a definite date as to when they can expect their regularly scheduled programming to return.

Listeners are loyal, and in many cases this will give them time to revisit an old favorite or catch up on episodes they haven’t gotten around to yet. As both a host and a listener, I understand that most will give you the benefit of the doubt.

I have to put my foot down somewhere, so I am setting my max at 2.5 weeks (for weekly releases). After that, you can’t hold me responsible if your next episode’s first 24 hours is not as high as it usually is.

Batch-record episodes
If this is easy to do, why not keep the content train rolling? We already have a ton of relevant topics to discuss on your show to keep listeners satisfied over the holidays. Thanksgiving Day horror stories, crazy Christmas traditions and your worst New Year’s Eve (That one you barely remember and swore never to speak of again) are all great options for batch-recording and creating themed-content on the fly.While we all love spending time with our in-laws, we can all imagine a scenario of sneaking away to listen to our favorite podcasters’ holiday-themed episode. Why can’t that be you we’re tuning into?

Prep some podcast highlights.
Let’s say you’re hitting a pod-wall (kind of like writers-block) and going stir-crazy trying to create content while your flight is delayed for the third time that day. Throw together a highlight reel!

This is easy as pie: clip 4 segments from your 4 favorite episodes and cook yourself up a nice, hot highlight reel of your podcast. All you need is a fun intro, some transition sound effects and a theme to build around (a certain topic, most-listened-to segments, etc.).

Not only will this provide some nostalgia for your day 1 listeners, but it can serve as great content in the future when attracting new listeners, and give incentive for recent subscribers to go back and binge your old hits during the holidays.

So kick back, have an extra serving of your cousins weirdly-delicious casserole, and enjoy time surrounded by loved ones (and maybe even convince them to give your show a chance in the process).

Johnny Peterson is the CEO and founder of Straight Up Podcasts, providing professional podcast services and consulting. He is also the host of the Pod Logic podcast. You can reach Johnny at johnny@straightuppodcasts.com