Everything ends, so here are some tips for deciding when to retire your podcast and how to do it without “podfading.”

When to end a podcast

Should you end your podcast? Here are some tips to figure out if and when.

Because you feel any one of these at a particular time is not a sign that you should end right then. Consider ending when these conditions are regularly true.

1. When you run out of content

Some podcasts have limited material, such as a TV-show-fan podcast. If you're out of content, then you would be wasting time to talk when there's nothing to talk about.

2. When you lose the passion

You've probably heard about “passion” in podcasting so much that you're sick of that word. Because we use our voices in podcasting, a lack of passion will be obvious.

3. When you need to make room for something else

Life changes. It's not always that something gets in the way. Sometimes, you simply get more interested in something else. Unless you have a commitment to fulfill, there's nothing wrong with ending a podcast to free up your time for other opportunities.

4. When you've tried everything else

Whether the work is too hard, you're not reaching your goals, or whatever other reason, make sure you to jump too quickly into quitting.

Here are some past episodes that may give you some ideas for reviving your podcast.

How to end a podcast

You've decided to end a podcast, but you need to end well.

1. Be intentional (don't “podfade”!)

“Podfading” is when a podcast slowly dies by fading into oblivion. The usual sign is that the publishing frequency starts to become inconsistent and more spread out.

Be intentional by planning your ending. Maybe you'll have big finale, a party, a live show, take call-ins, wrap up with your best content, or anything special.

The point is to act deliberately and finish well.

2. Tell your audience

Part of being intentional is to communicate your plans. Don't leave your audience wondering when or if your podcast will continue. If you mean to end it, tell them it's over.

Finish well in how you tell your audience. This is not a good time to complain. Even if there were problems leading up to ending the show, don't make a legacy of those problems by dumping them into your last episode.

If you can, tell you're audience that you're ending the show before you end it. This gives your audience time to send in their finale feedback or something they've wanted to share for a long time.

3. Keep the podcast online

Even though you may stop actively podcasting, your show could still have value and many people could still benefit from it. Leave your podcast online for as long as possible.

Yes, this means continuing to renew domains and hosting, but those costs can often be reduced since you won't need as much with a retired show. With Blubrry or Libsyn, you could downgrade your account to the bare minimum plan and still maintain your entire catalog of episodes and RSS feed.

If absolutely necessary, you could migrate your media to archive.org and your website to something like WordPress.com.

4. Be open to returning

What would make you resume this podcast? Would it be donations, extra time, a returning TV series, or something else?

Don't give your audience a false hope that you may return, but I suggest that you remain open to the possibility of resuming your show when the important conditions are met.

When do you think a podcast should end?

Have you ended a podcast before? Why and how? Please comment to share your experience!

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About the Author
As an award-winning podcaster, Daniel J. Lewis gives you the guts and teaches you the tools to launch and improve your own podcasts for sharing your passions and finding success. Daniel creates resources for podcasters, such as the SEO for Podcasters and Zoom H6 for Podcasters courses, the Social Subscribe & Follow Icons plugin for WordPress, the My Podcast Reviews global-review aggregator, and the Podcasters' Society membership for podcasters. As a recognized authority and influencer in the podcasting industry, Daniel speaks on podcasting and hosts his own podcast about how to podcast. Daniel's other podcasts, a clean-comedy podcast, and the #1 unofficial podcast for ABC's hit drama Once Upon a Time, have also been nominated for multiple awards. Daniel and his son live near Cincinnati.
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8 years ago

Great show. I have had 4 or 5 podcast just end without any notice at all. Two of them I e-mailed to ask if/why they had stopped, but only one e-mailed me back. When I end my podcast(which I hope won’t have to be for a while) I will definitely do some of the things you mentioned.

Happy International Podcast Day!

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