As the saying goes, “All good things must come to an end,” and in some cases, that “good thing” may very well be your podcast. Yes, it’s true. Sometimes, no matter how you may try to avoid it, you may be nearing the moment of decision and facing the fact that it may be time to hit “record” for the last time.
But how do you know when it’s time to quit your podcast? When it’s time to let go of something you used to be so passionate about? This is never an easy call, especially when there is such a strong negative connotation to the word “quit.” You most probably, along with many of us, had that other saying drilled into you as a kid, you know, the whole “Quitters never win and winners never quit” one? Well, I’m here to tell you that in some cases, quitting is exactly what you need to do! Whether it’s for personal or professional reasons, or simply to make room for the next “big thing” in your life, quitting your podcast may be the next step in your podcasting journey. But this is certainly not a decision that is made easily. Often, we are in denial about when it’s time to walk away from something we love, whether it’s a relationship, a job you thought you would always be doing, or, in this case, your podcast. Your show is something that you have poured yourself into, and so, although necessary, you may be having trouble deciding if it really is time to call it quits.
So, to help you decide if this is the right move for you and your show, we’re sharing the seven most common signs that it just might be time to quit your podcast and sign off for the last time.
Let’s dive right in…
1. You’re No Longer Motivated
As has been said, when it comes to your podcast, it will most likely never be easy to decide to pull the proverbial plug, but one of the first signs that it may be time to do just that is if you’re simply no longer motivated to keep putting out episodes. Very rarely will we do anything well if we are not motivated to do so. So if you’ve lost your motivation for podcasting, chances are good that you’re no longer going to be striving to make your podcast the best that it can be. And if this is happening to you, it’s probably time to quit your podcast. A lack of motivation will result in lack-luster episodes and less-than-stellar content – which you can bet your audience will certainly notice, and will likely not be all that pleased! So, if you do find yourself with a severe lack of motivation, and no longer have the drive to put your best effort into your episodes, then it might be time to say farewell to the airwaves and look for your next adventure.
ProTip: If you are seriously thinking about quitting your podcast, then we highly recommend recording a farewell episode, rather than simply letting your podcast fade into oblivion. (See the link to our post on podfade at the end of this post!) A farewell episode allows you to tie up loose ends, thank your listeners and all those who helped make your show possible for joining you on this journey, as well as allowing you to address any other “housekeeping” issues. A deliberate, last episode allows you to end your podcast on a high as well as giving you and your listeners closure to that chapter.
2. You’re No Longer Passionate
Simply put, if you’re getting bored doing your podcast episodes, it’s very likely that it’s a sign to call it quits. If your passion drives up, for whatever reason, and boredom sets in, you may quickly find that anything related to your podcast ends up on the back burner. As with a lack of motivation, a lack of passion will mean that you no longer have the drive to keep pushing your show forward, and the tasks that you need to do to make your show succeed will become a drag. Passion is such a crucial part of making anything in life successful, so if its no longer there for your show, then it may be time to think about recording that farewell episode, so that you can put your focus on finding that thing you are passionate about once again.
3. Your Topic Has Run Its Course
Perhaps your topic has simply come to a natural end. This can happen. Each and every podcast topic is different. The amount of episodes your podcast has all depends on what topic you chose and the niche you align yourself with. It might be that you started your podcast so you can share your story or knowledge with more people and once that’s done, then your podcast has fulfilled its purpose and there is nothing more you’d like to share. But if coming up with new content can be likened to pulling teeth, or all your new episodes just feel like recycled versions of old episodes, it’s another sign that it may be time to bring your podcast to a close. Of course, there are times when you’ve just hit a funk when it comes to thinking up new ideas for your episodes, or your creative juices have hit a dry spell, and these temporary lapses certainly do not mean you need to quit your podcast! There are plenty of sound strategies that you can utilize to breathe new life into your show and get your podcast episodes back on track. But if, after you’ve tried these techniques, there is simply nothing left to share and your topic has run its course, then it may be time to make that difficult decision to end your show.
Related read: 6 Ways to Come Up with New Podcast Episode Ideas
4. Your Podcast No Longer Brings You Joy
No matter how much enthusiasm and gusto you had when you took that first step into the world of podcasting, there is never a guarantee that it will last forever. And whether it’s because your full-time job is keeping you busier than usual, you’re facing a transition period or crisis in your personal life, or the enthusiasm you first felt when you were coming up with new ideas for your show and the buzz you felt whenever you thought about your podcast is simply gone, this could be a serious sign that it might be time to quit your podcast. If all the enjoyment of hosting your show has been sapped and it’s become more of a burden, then there really is no point to keep on going. And as the great Marie Kondo would say, if it doesn’t spark joy, out it goes! Life is really too short to pour energy into activities that do not bring us joy because we feel guilty about stepping away or saying no. It’s no point of failure if your interests and circumstances change and you no longer feel the same joy for your podcast that you once did. Perhaps it was right just for that season, and now it’s time for brighter things!
Related read: How To Take a Podcast Break Without Losing Your Momentum
5. You No Longer Have The Time for Your Podcast
If you’re finding yourself constantly burning the midnight oil and feeling stressed out that you’re not getting to all you need to and should be doing, then that is the next sign that it may be high time to quit your podcast. As we all know, starting and running a podcast requires hard work and dedication. But it also requires a lot of time to put together a top-quality show for your audience. And in the beginning, all the excitement with getting your show up and running may overshadow the time you’re putting in. But after a while, you may realize that you simply don’t have that time that goes into creating a successful podcast. You may then need to reconsider your options. It may be that adjusting your release schedule makes a world of difference to the time crunch, but if you still find yourself pressed for time, or sacrificing the time spent with your family or neglecting other important facets of your life, then perhaps it is a clear sign that you may need to let your podcast go, whether for a season, or the foreseeable future.
Related read: 7 Tips to Make More Time for Your Podcast
6. You Can’t Keep Up with the Demands of Your Podcast
In the same way that a podcast can be demanding on your time, so, too, it requires a lot of hard work. Like with a lot of things, the more work you put in, the more you will get out in results. And with more and more people joining the industry, on an almost daily basis, it requires more work, effort, and creative thinking on the part of the host in order to get your show rising above the rest. This often means running a blog and website alongside your show, as well as starting social media accounts to help build a strong podcast community. And this is over and above the time and effort it takes to come up with content, do the actual recording, as well as all the editing. You may find that as your personal or professional commitments change and increase, you simply can’t keep up with the demands of your podcast. And this may be another sign that you may need to consider putting a stop to your show, whether it’s for good, or just for a season.
Related read: How To Build a Strong Podcast Community
7. You Want to Change Direction
This last “sign” is a little different to others. Sometimes, while you’re on your podcasting journey, you may realize that you want to pivot your niche. While the previous signs indicated that you needed to step away from the mic and hang up your headphones, this sign may indicate the end of your podcast…but to make room for a new one! There are times when a podcast can transition to a new topic, but other times, particularly if the new topic is a polar opposite to your current topic, where simply rebranding is difficult. So rather than completely rebranding your current podcast, it may actually be easier to find a way to end off your current podcast, and use your final episode to announce the beginning of a new podcast. So this “sign” is more of a “yield” than a “stop” sign, but if you do want to change direction with your podcast, it is still a sign to think about how you want to go about making that change.
If you’re experiencing any of the above scenarios, then it may be time to hang up your headphones and pack your microphone away. And while it’s always hard to see something you poured your heart and soul into come to an end, the end of one thing always makes room for something new. Whether that’s a new podcast, or something else entirely, the fact remains that if you have the passion and zeal for your new venture, it will be the right move for your next chapter. But remember, even if you are sensing that the end is near for your podcast, it doesn’t mean that it will be forever. A brand new idea may strike when you least expect it, and the podcasting industry will be ready and waiting to welcome you back with open arms.
Related read: Podfade: What It Is And How To Avoid It