First Published: August 5, 2022

Last Updated: August 5, 2022

The Gist: Batching content may be useful for planned breaks from content creation, but what about outside of that best-case scenario? Here are 5 other ways to take a content creation break when you need it.

You may have noticed I didn’t email you in June.

I flared up and burnt out…hard.

So the one week I originally planned to take off writing, turned into 5 when I didn’t have the strength or energy to push through the inertia.

Luckily, both of my business models are built to not collapse when flare-ups happen, and that includes my content marketing models.

So today I want to talk about the different ways to take a content break when you need one.

But first, an explanation of why my answer isn’t “just batch it,” like other content experts recommend.

Best-case vs. worst-case scenario planning

When most content marketers approach this topic, it’s from a “best case scenario” one.

They talk about being able to plan for the break in advance, batching all your content ahead of time, and scheduling everything perfectly so people (and the algorithms) never know you’re gone.

Okay, sure. 

That’s how to take a break from publishing in a best-case scenario. 

I don't know about you, though, but my scenarios are rarely best-case. 🙃

That’s why and how minimalist content marketing and content remixing exist in the first place.

I’d be burnt the hell out, completely unable to write, sometimes unable to work at all.

But I had a boss who still expected a headline he’d never read before to show up at the top of the blog, three times a week. Who'd ask what I was publishing that week. Who still expected the number of leads we were generating to go up and up and up, always.

I needed to figure out how to make things work.

Years later, the same burnout would happen. 

And now I had my own business that I needed to pay myself from every month, regardless of how many hours I was able to show up or how many new pieces I was able to create.

So I had to come up with creative ways to “do content marketing” that didn’t involve the deep work of new content creation, let alone a big batch of it all at once.

Ones that didn’t just involve doing more work now to do less work later.

Ones that involved less work, end of sentence.

Eventually, I cobbled it together into the system I teach today.

And here’s how you can use some of those content marketing tactics to take a break of your own, without shutting down your “content marketing engine.”

Tip 1: use email marketing automations

Email marketing is usually one of the most profitable channels in a business’s marketing mix. Meaning it’s one of the most important channels.

If there’s any channel you want to avoid going completely silent with, it’s this one.

However, that doesn’t mean you need to be writing and sending live emails every week.

For example, I might have taken all of June off from sending new emails, but I still had automations running for:

Those automations all vary in topic and length, but they all serve the same goal:

To make sure that in a moment when a subscriber needs information, they still get it, whether or not I’m “in the office” that day.

It also makes sure that when someone is at a key point in the customer journey, they’re being communicated with accordingly.

Between that and the SEO that drives daily signups to my email list, customers were still able to be created and served while I was OOO.

Any of the other email-related tips, like greatest hits sequences and clips compilations, can be created proactively as automations, in addition to keeping you going during an impromptu break.

Let's look at some examples...

Example: my greatest hits sequence

Well, let’s start close to home: the very website you’re subscribed on.

If you sign up for my email list, you get some follow-up emails sharing my most popular blog posts, podcast interviews, and past newsletters with you.

greatest hits automation example

It’s a combination of automation and the greatest hits tactic below, and ensures no one ever signs up for my email list only to not receive anything for weeks, even if I’m taking off when they sign up.

(If you want a greatest hits sequence of your own, I can put one together for you in 1-2 weeks! Contact me here if you're interested.)

Example: my sales emails

My greatest hits email sequence isn’t the only automation I have going. In fact, it’s the last one a new subscriber receives in most cases.

Several of my freebies are actually samples of my paid products.

When someone signs up for one of those, instead of getting my greatest hits sequence right away, they get information about the related product first.

This is how I’m able to keep sales going when I’m on a content break, along with letting me do live promotions just when I have the energy to instead of having to rely on them for the majority of product sales.

Plan your perfect repurposing strategy

Download my free content repurposing planning worksheet to figure out the most strategic and intentional way to reuse and recycle your content.

Tip 2: republish your greatest hits

The next thing you can do is ask yourself, “What would Cher do?” And the answer is bring out your greatest hits.

(Then probably tweet something random and incoherent. God, I love her.)

Depending on the details of your content marketing strategy, that might mean:

  • Reposting your most important social media posts from the past, instead of writing new ones or going totally quiet on your profile.
  • Rebroadcasting your most important podcast episodes back to the top of your show’s feed
  • Republishing your most important blog posts at the top of your website archive
  • Resending one of your most important newsletters or emails

(A note: when I say most important, that usually means a balance of popular and relevant to your current business goals and offerings.)

You can even mix and match channels, like turning one of your best blog posts into a newsletter or one of your best podcast episodes into social posts.

“But Brittany,” I hear you thinking, “people will get mad if I share something I’ve already shared.”

No, they won’t.

Here's why:

Reason 1: they won't remember

If it’s been a few months or more since you last shared it, people don’t remember. It’s not an insult, it’s just a result of the sheer amount of content in the world.

In the wise words of Schitt’s Creek’s Alexis Rose, “people aren’t thinking about you the way you’re thinking about you.”

people arent thinking about you quote

You might remember every piece of content you’ve created vividly, but we create a lot less than we consume. 

Reason 2: not everyone saw it

Also, not everyone in your audience saw it the last time you shared it anyway.

Consider what your email open rates, blog impressions, or social media views for any given piece of content are — just a percentage of your full audience, right?

Remixing is an opportunity to share it with people who were in your audience last time, but for one reason or another (they were probably just busy), they missed it.

Reason 3: you have new followers/subscribers

Finally, your audience has also likely grown since then. And all content audiences have a natural churn to them.

So even if your email list size is the same number as the last time you sent that awesome newsletter, say 1,000, it’s still not the exact same 1,000 people that were on your list months ago.

Rebroadcasting is the first chance for your “new friends” to see that content. If it’s good, it’ll be appreciated.

Now, I’ll hop off my soap box and get to some examples. I just get that comment so much I knew I’d need to address it up front.

(Both of these examples are in the podcast space, but by no means is it only applicable to podcasts! Podcasts tend to be better than other channels at republishing greatest hits because some platforms, like Apple Podcasts, only show the latest 100 episodes so there's a huge need for rebroadcasting.)

Example: Pop Culture Happy Hour

One of my favorite podcasts, Pop Culture Happy Hour, is fantastic at republishing old hits from their archive. They do so proactively and in timely, relevant ways.

For example, whenever a show or other pop culture property is in the news and they have an old episode about it, they’ll likely rerun it. (A subtle benefit is that these episodes drum up publicity for a show’s new episodes WITHOUT any spoilers for them.)

pop culture happy hour encore conversation episodes

Just last month, on July 6, they reran their episode from last year about the TV show Reservation Dogs ahead of the new season. They've also done the same with their season 1 coverage of Only Murders in the Building.

Example: CoSchedule’s Best of AMP podcast season

Next, there’s a more condensed example.

Instead of regularly republishing old episodes like PCHH, the Actionable Marketing Podcast from CoSchedule is currently doing a full, consecutive season dedicated to republishing their best old episodes.

coschedule best of content season

(CoSchedule is a client of mine, but I work on their blog, not their podcast, so I can’t take any credit for this. I can just stand back and applaud.)

Tip 3: put together some clips compilations

This is basically like doing a super simple, copy-and-paste style expert round-up, only every expert is you.

Or, like one of those clips episodes of sitcoms where all the main characters reminisce through flashbacks to past episodes.

Or like when a YouTuber does a video reacting to some of their older videos.

ijustine reaction videos

It’s a way to pander to your audience with some fan favorites, retell some favorite stories, and put together a piece of totally new content based on pieces of stuff you’ve done before.

For example, consider choosing a topic you talk about a lot in your content and pulling together some of the best related tips you’ve already published in a listicle.

(In fact, this post is kind of a clip compilation! All of these tips are ones I’ve talked to you about before. I didn’t come up with new ideas, just put new “framing” around stuff I’d already come up with.)

Example: the Work Brighter guide to ADHD productivity

In my other business, Work Brighter, I write about productivity for neurodivergent, disabled, and mentally ill professionals. Scattered across different blog posts, I had tons of tips and tactics that would be great for ADHDers, but no single post dedicated to it.

So when I noticed the topic of being productive with ADHD coming up more often, I put together a guide that summarizes advice and even reuses graphics from elsewhere on the blog, linking out to the full articles.

adhd productivity guide table of contents

Example: Clean My Space’s cleaning motivation videos

One of the YouTube rabbit holes I go down occasionally is cleaning, and an original in the space is Clean My Space. They have years (maybe even decades?) of videos, tips, and B-roll built up.

So they’ll sometimes put together “motivation” compilation videos.

clean my space cleaning marathon

Say the theme is spring cleaning.

They’ll combine the footage of their best past advice about spring cleaning, along with somehow-both-motivational-and-calming vlogging B-roll, and publish a two-hour-long video I…er…someone…can put on in the background of their own cleaning.

Plan your perfect repurposing strategy

Download my free content repurposing planning worksheet to figure out the most strategic and intentional way to reuse and recycle your content.

Tip 4: rebroadcast a live appearance

This next idea is inspired by the podcasters who do live shows they turn into podcast episodes MUCH later.

Of course, lots of them release recordings of the live shows as regular episodes as soon as they happen.

But I’ve noticed other shows that save them for a rainy day, and I love that approach.

Sometimes instead of a live show, it’s a bonus episode from their Patreon or other membership.

And while you might not have patrons, you can still take the same approach.

If you have an old-but-still-relevant webinar, interview, workshop, or even livestream, you can remix it into a blog post, email, or social post.

You might want to re-edit a bit, to clip out anything outdated, but that’s still a break compared to totally new content creation.

I’ve done this lately by emailing you about podcast interviews and guest posts I’ve done in the past but didn’t write a full email about at the time.

Example: Unladylike Pep Talks

unladylike pep talks

Another podcast I love, Unladylike, had one host leave the show recently. So to give the remaining host a chance to regroup before going back to publishing again, they’ve published “pep talks” they originally recorded for a smaller group. They’ve also republished past episodes on relevant topics, like PCHH.

Example: Best Friends Podcast

The Best Friends podcast is another example of how to go about this.

best friends live show

They do live events, both ones that are literally live podcast recordings, as well as more general events the two hosts do together as famous comedians, actors, and best friends. 

And they turn both kinds into episodes, not just the ones that follow the same agenda as the regular episodes.

Tip 5: pass the mic

This idea is last because, depending on your managing editor chops, it might feel like harder work than usual instead of a break.

But if you’re comfortable curating and editing, you can consider sharing your platform with guests.

For example, this might mean opening your blog up to guest posts for the period you won’t be writing anything. Or doing a feed swap with another podcaster your listeners would enjoy. Or doing a takeover on your social media feeds.

This isn’t quite as simple as the other four options, but it also has benefits the others don’t. When you’re sharing your platform with another business or creator, you’re also tapping into their audience and borrowing trust.

So with extra work comes extra benefits.

Plus, if you’ve wanted to highlight collaborators without committing to a long-term program, this can be a great way to try it out. Committing to it for a set period of time takes a lot less upfront work and systems than an open-ended guest feature program.

Example: Wondery feed swaps

I'm convinced that feed swaps were a huge part of Wondery's growth, and that they must have a higher listener retention between shows than other podcast networks.


Because they rarely launch a new show without dropping it in the feed of other shows, which gives those show's hosts, writers, and producers a week off.

wondery presents

For example, this is from the Business Wars feed, but previews a new season of American Scandal. And one related to business, because they keep the cross-promotion relevant.

Take a break before you need one

Finally, a little bonus tip, is to take a break BEFORE you absolutely need one…when you can.

Taking 5 weeks almost completely off without planning before hand isn’t ideal.

I’m proof it can be done, but I’d still love to avoid it as much as possible.

Part of that means pulling back from new content creation before you’re totally burnt out on it.

If you want help planning for one, I can help.

Check out my services page for my latest offerings.

Which pop star will save your content strategy_