Episode 11

Published on:

23rd Feb 2021

S1E11 - Jack Rhysider of Darknet Diaries: Growing a High-Quality Podcast to $15,000 a Month in Memberships

In this episode we'll hear from Jack Rhysider, the creator behind Darknet Diaries, an award-winning podcast with over 15 million downloads last year. With loyal listeners paying up to $15,000 a month in paid memberships, this podcast focuses on true stories from the dark side of the Internet: on hackers, breaches, shadow government activity, hacktivism, cybercrime, and all the things that dwell on the hidden parts of the network.

Main Points:

  • Building a high quality podcast from the first episode
  • How Darknet Diaries grew to $15,000 a month in paid memberships
  • Getting podcast mentors through cold email
  • What podcasters get wrong when asking for money from their listeners


Join us in the FREE Supercast premium feed and you get to hear Jack talk about:

  • 0:37 Would Jack ever join a network? Darknet Diaries' 2020 marketing plan
  • 2:42 Why promo swaps are effective at growing podcasts
  • 4:12 Winning awards and other marketing experiments
  • 4:58 Leverage and getting featured in Apple podcasts
  • 6:37 You don't need a large audience to start monetizing
  • 8:42 If you want to start monetizing your show...
  • 9:43 Price tiers, and why the $1 tier doesn't work well
  • 10:59 Paid podcast marketing did not work well, here's why

Sign up here: premium.supercast.com


  • 1:32 True crime meets cybercrime: What is Darknet Diaries?
  • 2:23 Mixing podcasting and 10+ years in IT Security
  • 4:06 From side project to going full-time
  • 5:58 High quality standards from the very beginning
  • 7:00 Growing Darknet Diaries from the start through blogging and Twitter
  • 8:46 Jack Rhysider's mentors for Darknet Diaries
  • 11:16 How Email led to Darknet Diaries' podcast growth
  • 13:05 Pulling a Darknet Diaries story together through alerts
  • 14:54 Describing the listener, and the Discovery Channel
  • 17:51 Monetizing a podcast through Patreon and ads
  • 20:20 Data-driven monetization and offering value to listeners
  • 23:11 Go to the listeners, don't bring them to you
  • 24:53 $15,000 a month in memberships and revenue transparency
  • 27:23 What podcasters get wrong when asking for money
  • 28:25 Sharing podcast stats and findings through lime.link
  • 30:20 Megaphone.fm podcasts showing up on blocklists
  • 34:00 The future of privacy in podcasting
  • 35:23 What Jack Rhysider would do if he started all over again
  • 36:17 The evolution of the Darknet Diaries team


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Jason Sew Hoy