By Kati Neville
Have you thought about how and when to end your podcast? With all of the focus on starting your show, it might seem odd to consider ending it too. But establishing a few guiding principles will keep a check on both emotion and inertia when it's time to focus on new professional projects and goals.
Perpetual online access to podcasts means listeners will find your show even after you've moved on. Some podcasters continue to pay for hosting so that episodes are available even after production stops. Traffic from search engines brings in enough new listeners to make it worthwhile. This option is optimal, if you can afford it.
But if the monthly cost of hosting is more than you want to spend, consider consolidating your .mp3s on one webpage. Or, identify your listener favorites and burn them onto a "Best of" CD, that's offered for sale. Better yet, weave them into your next book proposal. Maybe your book with an accompanying CD will dazzle the sales team!
Do not seek sponsors if you have any reservations about making a long-term commitment to your show. Your timelines and future plans may conflict with sponsor expectations and contracts. Better to keep it simple and have fun.
Don't abandon your listeners. Instead, plan to inform them about the changes in your career that impact your podcast. Thank listeners for their support. And invite them to help you succeed in your new endeavors.
Listeners will migrate to your new website, blog, or podcast at different rates. Some will stop listening altogether. Others will switch quickly. So be sure your new online presence is ready for visitors before you announce any changes. Also, expect to operate your old and new sites concurrently for a few months so late adopters aren't left behind.