Unsurprisingly, most of the folks who land on The Podcast Host website are looking for advice on starting and/or growing a podcast, as opposed to stopping one.
However, situations do arise that merit quitting a podcast, or even quitting podcasting altogether!
So, Why Quit Your Podcast?
Here are some popular reasons why you might be struggling with your show. And an indication that it could be time to stop.
You're Not Enjoying It
Podcasting isn't the sort of medium you can “fake” – at least, not for very long.
Audio is intimate, and listeners can quickly pick up on a podcasters lack of passion or enthusiasm for a subject.
If you're not enjoying talking about something, nobody is going to enjoy listening to you talking about it.
If you feel like you've reached this stage, it's likely that your numbers and engagement will be on the way down, and a change of direction is definitely required.
You've Run out of Things to Say
No two podcast topics are alike.
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A show in one niche might run for 500 episodes, and have enough episode ideas in the bank to see them through to the 1000-mark.
Another show in another niche might've had a great run of 50 episodes, but now the podcaster is at a loss as to what more they can possibly cover.
This is the nature of the beast with some topics, and the series may have achieved everything it was set up to do.
If this is your situation, and you're still enthusiastic about podcasting itself, then it might be time to launch a new show on another subject altogether.
You're Not Sure Where You're Going
To run a successful podcast series, you need to invest time, energy, and at least a little money.
There'll be days where you're struggling with something, or questioning the worth of it all. On those days, you need to remind yourself of why you're ultimately doing this.
Whether it's your creative outlet, or the way you market your business, knowing why you run your podcast can help keep you on track when the going gets tough.
This is something that ideally you'd have figured out before you launched. But not everyone has.
If doing your show was just something you fell into, and now you're really not sure where you're going with it all, then it might be a good idea to sit down and evaluate whether or not it's worth continuing with.
You Don't Have Time
Maybe you like podcasting, enjoy doing your show, and want to continue with it – but you simply don't have the time.
Sometimes life gets in the way, and there will always be priorities bigger than running a podcast.
If having no time is your biggest obstacle, then it may be time to stop podcasting for now.
But I'd encourage you to review everything you spend your time on first. We all get the same 24 hours, how are yours taken up, and by what?
If it's by caring for people, or working long hours in your job, then there's perhaps little you can do about that in the short term.
If you're spending a handful of hours each week watching Game of Thrones, or playing Far Cry 5 though, then could that time be better used?
For more on this, have a look at our article on finding the time to podcast.
You're Not Satisfied with the Show's Growth
If you've been running your show for a while now, maybe you're totally underwhelmed with the response it's getting.
That might be download numbers, or it might be engagement. Or, maybe you feel your calls to action are being ignored. Or that reviews come along once only in a blue moon.
A lot of this comes down to setting realistic expectations. Podcasting is a long game, and the vast majority of “successful” podcasters have been doing it for years.
If you've been putting out episodes for less than a year, then you're unlikely to be seeing any massive growth or tangible results just yet.
You either need to be prepared to stick at it, or opt for another medium that you think might be more immediate.
Of course, there are many ways to promote your podcast and grow your audience too. That's why we created our 30 Days of Audience Growth course inside The Podcast Host Academy.
You Quit Your Job to Go Full Time with Your Podcast
You can earn a living by podcasting, but following on from the last section, that tends to come after years of putting out episodes and building your show.
If you've just quit your day job to start a podcast, monetise it, and live off the income, then there's a high chance you've made a mistake.
Unless you have money in the bank to see you through the next 2 years (at the very least!), then I'd give your ex-employer a phone and ask if your old position has been filled yet.
That doesn't mean you need to quit your podcast of course, but at this point in time, it's all about what you can put into it, not what you can make back from it.
How to Quit Your Podcast
So one of the above has resonated with you, and you've decided that something needs to change?
Maybe it doesn't need to be quite so final though. Let's look at your options.
Go on Hiatus
It could be that you just need to step away for a bit.
Podcasts going on hiatus is relatively common. You just need to communicate with your listeners about it.
Explain on an episode that you'll be taking a break. And let them know when they can expect to hear from you again.
It could be that once you return, you'll still feel like quitting the show altogether. At least now though, you know for sure.
Ideally though, you'd return to the mic with fresh enthusiasm and new ideas. Or a schedule that allows you more time to create and release new content.
With a rebrand, you can change the entire focus of your show. You can change the name, the cover art, the description. And you can change the podcast's entire focus.
The big benefit in totally rebranding an existing show is that you keep all the subscribers, reviews, and search rankings “juice” you've built up in places like Apple Podcasts.
If you're changing to a topic that's in no way related to your previous topic though, then realise that you will lose a lot of your subscribers before you gain any new ones.
You might end up with a few bad reviews being posted too. As some listeners will take issue with getting content they didn't sign up for.
As always, just be honest and open in everything that you do. Explain your intentions to rebrand the show as many times as you can in advance of the big change.
Give those listeners who're only interested in the topic a chance to bow out, whilst the ones who've grown to like hearing from you as a presenter may choose to stick around.
Sell or Give Your Show Away
Maybe your show is doing well, fulfilling its purpose, and has a healthy and engaged audience that it serves.
But, for one of the reasons listed above, you feel like you're unable to continue running it. If that's the case, why not consider letting someone else take over?
You might choose to retain ownership of the series, and basically “hire” a presenter. Or you might choose to hand over the podcast in its entirety to someone else.
If your show is established enough, you might even be able to sell it to someone.
With any of these routes, just be mindful to get everything down in writing to avoid any messy “ownership” situations further down the line.
Archive Your Show
Just because you stop doing your show doesn't mean it needs to disappear.
If your topic is evergreen, then the show can still help people many years after you've ceased putting out new episodes.
In order to “archive” a show, you might choose to upload it all to archive.org
Or, to keep everything the same, minus the new episodes, just switch your media hosting payment plan to the lowest one possible. Usually you can keep your “retired” podcast running in the background for the price of a cup of coffee each month.
And, if the mood takes you, you can always jump back on the mic again at any point in the future.
Start a New Podcast
If you're still enthusiastic about podcasting, but absolutely done with your current show, then just start a new one altogether.
The things you'll have learned already will set you in good stead to do something even better this time around.
Just be sure to clearly identify your purpose for starting any new show. What are your motivations, your aims, and your goals?
Nailing this down early can help avoid arriving at another situation in the future where you feel like quitting.
Quit Podcasting Altogether
Maybe you're just sick of podcasting as a medium. It isn't for everyone, after all.
At least you've given it a shot, and that's more than many others can say.
You'll have learned from it too. Even if it's just the lesson that you never want to run another podcast again!
Just Stopping Vs Final Episode?
If you're calling it quits, it's good practice to at least put a little episode out explaining the situation to your subscribers.
This is especially handy for if you're archiving your show, but leaving it online.
If you plan on letting your hosting subscription expire, then your show is eventually going to disappear anyway. So you might not even be bothered.
But if you're planning any other podcasts in the future, it's best not to get a reputation as someone who just drops their audience without a word and walks away.
One Door Closes, Another One Opens
So hopefully you're not looking to quit podcasting altogether. You just need to make some changes to how you podcast.
Whether you're looking for a complete overhaul of your show from top to bottom, or planning to start a new show altogether, that's something we can help you with in The Podcast Host Academy.
That’s our Premium Site, where you’ll find access to all of our video courses, tutorials, ebooks, and downloadable resources.
It’s the ideal place to plan, launch, and grow your podcast in a focused and structured manner!